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I got some firsthand experience with one of the latest 100% Truth reels to hit the market earlier this season, the mighty mite SS (Small Star), which is sure to change your mind about star drags versus lever drags for high speed, big fish and coastal jigging applications.
By Capt. John N. Raguso

It has been a busy year for 100%Truth. After changing their name and rebranding the company at last year’s ICAST tackle show (they were formerly known as Release Reels), this impressive micro shop of eight employees introduced four different reel models to the marketplace. Included in that group was a pair of new star drag models, specifically the SS (Small Star) and the distance-casting conventional SM (Star Mag). Two new lever drag models, the LGN (Large Game Narrow) and the JS (Jim Sammons signature model) made their debut in the spring and are now available.

Founder and President, Wes Seigler, began thinking about designs that would improve the fishing reel industry back in 2009. By listening to his customers’ ever-changing needs, his crew began making innovative changes to their products. Their business is about giving customers the best possible day on the water. It’s all about the quality of the experience and not having to worry about your gear.

The factory rep I spoke with explained Truth’s evolution in more detail, “Originally, we operated as Release Reels with the goal to create reels that are among the lightest, strongest and most competitively-priced in the industry, supported by a no hassle lifetime warranty. Another company in the marine industry legally challenged our Release Reels Trademark. After reviewing the pros and cons of fighting this challenge, we took this opportunity and turned it into something that we felt truly represents not only who our founder is, but the philosophy of our company as well. We changed our name to Truth Reels because it honestly seemed to fit. Our word is our reputation.”

According to Truth, their SS (Small Star) star drag fishing reel is designed to be a true workhorse for bottom fishing, jigging and light trolling. Scaled down from their original SM (Star Mag) star drag reel, the SS is built with Truth’s signature bridgeless design, which essentially is a heavy-duty machined aluminum reel seat that’s bolted to a pair of equally burly aluminum side plates. It’s strong, simple and bullet-proof, with plenty of wide open thumb space for precise spool control, just what you need for the harsh realities of the unforgiving saltwater environment. A mechanical spool tensioner located on the port side plate gives you adjustable control of the spool’s spin rate, allowing you to minimize resistance for some truly long-distance casts. Fitted with an enormous 6:1 gear ratio and one of the most powerful carbon drag systems on the planet, this reel stops fish in their tracks and won’t weigh you down at less than 17 ounces.

And speaking about the drag system, that’s where this mighty-mite truly shines. The benefit of the massive 6:1 stainless steel gear is that the hollow mid-section holds a series of oversized, carbon and stainless drag washers. These measure approximately 2 inches in diameter and consist of three carbon fiber drags and a pair of stainless steel discs that compress against the indented cavity of the stainless steel gear. This is then backed up with an anti-reverse gear with yet another carbon fiber drag washer. It can dial in a whopping 24 pounds of max drag pressure, which is plenty of stopping power to halt the runs of even the largest inshore gamefish. The Truth SS reel is easy to take apart for maintenance (It’s the first thing that I did.) easy to reassemble and from my perspective of five decades of extreme saltwater fishing, Truth reels should last a long time.

All 100%Truth Reels are designed, machined and assembled from premium grade materials. This includes USA-sourced and certified components including 6061 T6 aluminum bar stock for the side plates and reel seat frame, 316 stainless steel gears, carbon fiber drag washers and like everything else, these are created and manufactured in the United States. The Truth team is comprised of a small cadre of hard-working, hard-fishing folks that really enjoy assembling awesome, high-quality products. They have made a commitment to manufacturing every part they can in-house to maintain these strict standards. All Truth Reels are backed by their lifetime warranty, which is itself a statement of their beliefs, talking the talk and walking the walk.

Drag System- Oversized star drag; three discs; four carbon fiber washers
Weight: 16.8 ounces
Gear Ratio: 6:1
Cranking Speed: 38 inches per turn of the reel handle
Max Drag: 24 pounds
Mono Capacity: 275 yards of 20-pound mono
Superbraid Capacity: 500 yards of 40-pound braid; 350 yards of 50-pound braid
Bearings: Ceramic Spool Bearings ABEC-5
MSRP- $350

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