Spinning Reels: The Class of 2017 - The Fisherman

Spinning Reels: The Class of 2017

2017 2 Spinning Reels Chris Gatley Casting At Sunrise
Photo by Mike Laptew

Blending cutting-edge design, space-age components and the highest quality and craftsmanship available,  today’s spinning reels offer it all and more.

It’s difficult to say which is more popular, spinning or conventional reels; and in today’s market many of the advantages that one style of reel used to own are now shared across both types.

In the months leading up to this New Year, there was quite the trend developing in the world of spinning reels geared to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic market. For one thing, prices began to drop; an entire decade in which manufacturers were spending countless millions to develop leading-edge spinning reel design has essentially led to the “break even” point. It’s bought and paid for, and what we’re seeing now is some of the most highly developed gearing in angling history, with competition driving pricing downwards.

Of course, there’s also that hardcore design aspect that is keeping the highest quality at some of the higher price points. The need for superior drag design to handle bluefin on plugs, rigidly dependable gear alignment for horsing tautog up on light jigs, or sealed systems to allow for submerged surf action—there are numerous examples where a specific purpose is being met head on by major reel manufacturers in the United States and beyond.

Whether you ply the calm backwaters for fluke and weakfish, the open surf for stripers and blues, the inshore grounds for albies and bonito or the bluewater canyons in search of tuna and billfish, there is a new spinning reel hitting the market this year that fits your style of fishing.

Accurate

2017 2 Spinning Reels Accurate SR6The folks at Accurate are gearing up for a strong 2017 coastal run; a good reason why saltwater anglers should keep an eye out for Accurate’s SR series, a fan favorite in the Accurate line for the past few years. While not necessarily new for 2017, the Accurate SR TwinSpin may be unfamiliar to some, and it’s a real head-turner when you see it in action too. Super compact, Accurate’s patented TwinDrag feature puts out an impressive amount of drag for a spin class reel, up to 40 pounds on the 47-ounce SR-50 (about $1,000 MSRP) for when those midrange tuna return.

If you’re looking to get away to warmer climes in February and March, Accurate’s 10-ounce SR-6 (about $640 MSRP) may the perfect travel partner as it takes up very little space and is capable of helping you through just about any inshore conflict you might encounter during your trip. The stainless steel gears and aircraft-grade aluminum construction make it a formidable tool for jacks, snook, tarpon and the like during your travels, and stripers, blues and albies in your home waters.

Learn more at www.accuratefishing.com.

Daiwa

2017 2 Spinning Reels Daiwa

With reels that include a lengthy list of innovative designs, it’s no wonder why for more than 50 years Daiwa has been a leader in setting industry standards in design and craftsmanship. Today’s line-up of saltwater spinning reels includes such features as the “Air Rotor” for a reduction in weight while more evenly distributing stress throughout the rotor, “Mag-Seal” technology that incorporates magnetic oil to eliminate water intrusion, over-sized heavy-duty Digigears, which are built for saltwater-tough predators, Waterproof Carbon ATD drag systems and more.

New for 2017 is a pair of next generation saltwater spinning reels that build on an existing platform of trusted reel families. The new Saltist Mag Sealed heavy action spinning reels are made to withstand all that the saltwater environment can throw at them and more. Now featuring a Mag Sealed main shaft, Mag Sealed line roller and (CRBB) corrosion resistant ball bearings, these reels are equally at home in the surf or on a boat. With sizes ranging from 2500 to 8000 and a retail price of $199.95 to $249.95, a new Saltist just might be in your near future!

Next up from Daiwa is the new BG spinning reel, the next generation of the ever-popular BG series of reels, offering a complete range of sizes from 1500 for freshwater/ultra light saltwater on up to an 8000 model for the surf or heavy big game action. The retail price on these feature-packed reels ranges from $99.95 to $129.95.

For more information on all the products available from Daiwa, visit www.Daiwa.com.

Fin-Nor

2017 2 Spinning Reels Fin Nor

Since 1933, Fin-Nor has built world-class tackle to meet the demands of the most experienced anglers in the world. Innovations in the use of new materials and new designs, created specifically for the new, more successful fishing techniques, have given anglers more opportunities to boat the fish of a lifetime. With more than 900 and counting IGFA World Records to their credit, suffice to say their reels are top notch!

New for 2017 Fin-Nor has added a couple of new saltwater spinning reels to their line-up, including their updated Offshore Spinning reel. As its name implies, this reel was designed for the rigors of heavy-duty offshore fishing but with a price point for the common man of $149.95 to $179.95 depending on which of the six models you choose. Built with stainless steel drive and pinion gears, stainless steel center shaft and 11-disc stainless steel and carbon fiber drag system, these reels have what it takes to stop even the biggest of gamefish.

The entire selection of Fin-Nor reels can be seen by visiting www.FinNorFishing.com.

Okuma

2017 2 Spinning Reels Okuma Metaloid

Okuma hits the market this year with a pair of new saltwater spinning reels to cover anglers from targeting species of all sizes from stripers in the surf on out to bluefin in the canyons. First up is the Metaloid saltwater spinning reel. Available in three sizes from 55 to 90, these reels fit the bill when targeting large inshore gamefish as well as smaller pelagics. With full metal construction and stainless steel gears and priced from $189.99 to $199.99, these reels are sure to be a hit.

If targeting the largest and strongest gamefish that swim in the ocean and doing so with spinning gear is your thing, then the Makaira spinning reels are just what the doctor ordered. Designed from the ground up to be the toughest, most durable spinning reels available, Okuma delivers with features that include a forged machine cut aluminum body, side plate and rotor; Dual Force Drag (DFD) which applies even pressure to the top and bottom of the drag washers to utilize the complete drag surface for unmatched power and smoothness; Hydro-Sealed body; dual anti-reverse system for maximum strength and more. Available in two sizes—20000 ($799.99) and 30000 ($879.99)—and in both left- and right-hand retrieve, the world of big-game spinning should be afraid of what this reel brings to the table.

Visit www.OkumaFishing.com for a look at the full line-up of products from Okuma.

Penn

2017 2 Spinning Reels PENN Slammer III

There’s a reason Penn is one of the industry’s most popular and durable saltwater fishing brands. From inshore to big game, their leading innovation sets records and wins tournaments. Their extensive field testing with top anglers ensures they’re the most reliable reels on the market, and more importantly, on the water.

For 2017, Penn has released two new reels: the Torque II and the Slammer III. The Torque II is designed for heavy-duty fishing from either boat or shore and features a new IPX6 Sealed System, which keeps water out of the gear box and drag system. They also incorporate an updated Slammer Drag System, which now utilizes a proprietary Dura-Drag material. Priced at $699.99 to $799.99, these high-end reels are built to withstand the rigors of heavy-duty saltwater fishing.

In terms of unconventional spinning, the Penn Slammer III is one for the arsenal, with the model“10-5” (SLAIII10500) getting it done on big game like bluefin and blue dogs! Late last summer Publisher Mike Caruso put the big Slammer III to the test on the New England shark grounds and found the 60 pounds of drag fully capable of stopping fish to 275 pounds with 550 yards of 80-pound Spiderwire; pretty impressive for a reel that checks-in at roughly $350. The smallest in the line, the SLAIII3500 is priced at about $250 and with its big cranking handle and 30 pounds of drag, it is an excellent choice for surface-plugging stripers or battling blackfish.

The complete line of Penn reels can be seen by visiting www.PennReels.com.

Shimano

2017 2 Spinning Reels Shimano NASCI

In their words, “HAGANE is Shimano’s reel design concept which aims at ‘eternally smooth reeling.’ Shimano reels, with their impressive smoothness and overwhelming strength, backed by the HAGANE concept, have been the favorites of discerning fishermen for years.” The HAGANE concept incorporates such Shimano standards as a precision cold-forged “HAGANE gear,” the “Micro Module Gear System” for a seamless feel, “X-SHIP” gear system for smooth and powerful cranking and the highly rigid “HAGANE Body” to eliminate distortion and flex when reeling, exactly what you need for tautog jigging.

Working off the HAGANE concept, Shimano has released three new reels for 2017: the NASCI, Socorro SW and the Speedcast, all of which are designed for use in saltwater environments. The NASCI is a great low-cost, high-performance reel for light saltwater use available in sizes 1000 to 5000 and a retail price of $99.99 to $109.99. The Socorro SW picks up roughly where the NASCI leaves off size-wise by offering four models from 5000 to 10000 sizes to fill the needs of surf and inshore saltwater anglers. With a retail price of $129.99 for all models, this is sure to find its way onto the rods of many anglers this year. Last up for all-new reels from Shimano, the Speedcast is a great choice for pier and surf fishermen alike. Offered in a single 14000 size and sporting a retail price of $149.99, this reel has the power needed to battle the most powerful fish that swim in the surf.

For more information on the full line-up of reels from Shimano, please visit www.Fish.Shimano.com.

STAR Fishing Tackle

2017 2 Spinning Reels S Series Reel

For Northeast and Mid-Atlantic surfcasters and kayakers, it’s always cool to see national manufacturers gearing up for our specific way of fishing. While the new Star S7000 and S8000 series reels in stores this March should capably serve anglers everywhere, these simple, durable and easily serviceable reels are clearly designed to meet the rigors of surf and kayak fishing. They feature an open frame, no anti-reverse, with a deep-spool design that comes with parts for both manual return bail and dual manual pick-up.

The designers at Star started by looking at some of the most iconic spinning reels in history; next they incorporated modern design logic in building these lightweight reels with super-smooth drags and 29 inches of cranking per turn on the S7000 (28 pounds of drag), 32.3 inches on the S8000 (25 pounds of drag). Tested locally on our local inshore grounds in 2016, look for the black, anodized and machined aluminum spool with the oversized bronze main gear and stainless steel crankshaft (and yes, a waterproof sealed drag system) in your local shop this spring.

Starting at $179; check out the full line of Star rods and reels at www.seastriker.com/starrods.

Tsunami

2017 2 Spinning Reels Tsunami Shield

A local manufacturer in terms of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic market, Tsunami has become known for making top-shelf products at an affordable price while still featuring all the bells and whistles that today’s anglers have come to expect in their gear. Building brand loyalty through top quality rods like the Air Wave and ‘go to’ soft baits like their sand eel and bunker imitations, Tsunami is now finding new spin converts this season with their all-new Shield spinning reel, which provides a semi-sealed, water-resistant reel at a super-affordable price, perfect for surfcasters and inshore boaters alike that was thoroughly tested this past fall by top anglers up and down the coast.

Built with a slew of internal seals placed at key locations to protect parts from the harmful effects of saltwater, this reel is designed for the harshest of environments and will come back begging for more. Couple this with sealed bearings, hybrid machined aluminum body, CF3 carbon fiber drag, heavy-duty bail and braid-ready spool and you’ve got a top new choice in the salt. With a retail price right around $100 depending on model, these reels are sure to delight both veteran and new fishermen alike.

Visit www.BiminiBayOutfitters.com for more information.

Van Staal

2017 2 Spinning Reels Van Staal VR Series

While the original VS series and recently the X-Series reels are a timeless standard in high-end surf spinning reels, the recently-introduced VR reels provide a fully sealed spinning reel option at a more affordable price. Perfect for the angler who needs a single reel to do multi-function duty from back bay to surf to kayak to boat and back, the VR reel is a great choice as it offers many of the features usually only available in the most expensive of reels. The entire line of VR reels features fully-machined 6061-T6 waterproof aluminum bodies, a sealed waterproof drag system, MicroClick drag tuning for precise accuracy and an included conversion kit to go from bailed to bail-less configuration for all models. They are offered in four different sizes and ranging in price from $499 to $589 depending on model.

Please visit www.VanStaal.com to see the full line-up of reels from Van Staal.

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