Anglers Dozen

Along with frame construction, differences among spinning reels at higher and lower price points usually include die number and type of ball bearings, line-lay systems and drivetrain materials.

"Machined parts and tight tolerances contribute to better reels, giving a more solid feel and stronger resistance against torque on larger fish," says Daiwa rep Trent Rogers. "High-quality bearings also affect prices. Daiwa's CRBB bearings are expensive, but we use them in saltwater reels because they're corrosion resistant and sealed to prevent water, salt or sand from entering."

Bail Bonds

"The bail wire's role has become increasingly important since the arrival of braided line," says Jeremy Sweet, reel product manager for Shimano, "Smaller diameters make it easy for line to sneak into tiny ctevices, while higher breaking strengths and zero stretch put moie stress on the line roller."

Shimano's high-end reels rely on a one-piece bail wire that delivers a seamless transition to the R)ller, so tliin-diameter lines And nowhere to snag. Also, tile one-piece bail lias no hinge point that could flex under tension.

Daiwa's Air Bail consists of tubular stainless steel, which is lighter and stronger than solid-wire bails. To increase the longevity of any spinning reel, Rogers recommends closing bails manually rather than cranking

Okuma Epixor

Perm Captiva

Strengthen Your Inshore Arsenal with 12-Pound-Class Spinning Reels • By Andy Hahn

1DRANGE SPINNING REELS, REPRESENTED BY 12-pound tackle, offer a versatile option for anglers who target species ranging from salmon to stripers to snook. The tremendous selection of reels in this category contains models that fit any budget. Best of all, the trickle-down effect has brought features like com «¡on-resistant bearings and premium drag materials — once only available in high-dollar items — to lower-priced reels.

a one-piece, stamped-aluminum leel

Frame and Fortune

Aluminum frames rank as an important factor in the you-get-what-you-pay-for department when comparing spinning reels, so consider the cost a long-tenn investment, "A growing trend sees inshore anglers switching to braided line, which definitely puts a tremendous strain on tackle," says John Bretza, director of product development for Okuma. "Braid's high breaking strength and lack of stretch punish reels with even- hook-set and head shake. Aluminum-bodied spinning reels have the strength and rigidity to withstand the stress that anglers and fish can put on this type of tackle, and they'll last for tnany years."

Okuma calls its Trio a "crossover" reel that delivers the best of both worlds. The design merges stem with graphite side plates and rotor housing, providing strength where needed and weight savings where possible. ' Tlie Tiio has two side plates; most reels have only one," Bretza says. "Tlie aluminum reel stem bears the brunt of tlie stress, maintains precision gear alignment

12-POUND INSHORE SPINNING REELS

Manufacturer/Model

Capacity (yards 12-pound mono)

Gear ratio

Weight {ounces*

Body

Spoof

Drag

Ball bearings

MSRP

Abu Garcia Soron SX40

180

5.1:1

11

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon matrix

7

$100

Bass Pro Shops Offshore Angler Gold Cup GC40B

180

4.9:1

15.5

Aluminum

Aluminum

Teflon

5

$65

Bass Pro Shops Oltshore Angler Inshore Extreme ¡EX50

200

5.a

11

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon matrix

5

$80

Bass Pro Shops Olfshore Angier Sea Lion SL50

200

4.9:1

16

Graphite

Aluminum

Oiled felt

3

$45

Bluefin Edge GC4000

190

5-5:1

14.5

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon fiber

5

$152

Cabela's Salt Striker SS40

260

4.5:1

15.3

Graphite

Aluminum/titanium lip

Hydro Shield

9

$45

Cabela's Salt Striker Metal SSM40A

200

6.21

12.6

Aluminum

Aluminum/titanium lip

Carbon fiber

9

$80

Qalwa Coastal inshore 3000

170

5.3:1

10.8

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon fiber

7

$130

Daiwa Exceler 3000

170

4,7:1

10.7

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon fiber

6

$70

Daiwa Regal SiA 3000

170

53.1

12

Graphite

Aluminum

Carbon fiber

5

$37

Daiwa Team Daiwa Advantage-A 3000

170

4.7:1

113

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon fiber

6

$150

Fin-Nor Ahab T2

200

4.6:1

19.8

Aluminum

Aluminum

Cork

5

$150

Fin-Nor MegaLite ML5000

225

5,2:1

13.1

Aluminan

Aluminum

Carbon fiber

6

$190

Fin-Nor Sportfisher F550

225

4.9:1

20

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon fiber

6

$80

LLBean Signature 4000

120

4.91

12

Aluminum

Aluminum/gold ftp

Lubricated felt/Tellon

10

$99

Okuma Ced-05 CJ-40S

170

6.2:1

121

Aluminum

Aluminum

Oiled felt

4

$110

Okuma Eplxor EF-40b

170

5£:1

10.6

Aluminum

Aluminum/titanium lip

Oiled felt

9

$65

Okuma Trio 40

170

5.01

n

Hybrid

Graphite/aluminum lip

Oiled felt

9

$80

Okuma V System V-40a

170

5.01

12.4

Aluminum

Aluminum

Oiled felt

15

$170

Penn Captfra CV2SOOO

200

52:1

143

Aluminum

Aluminum

HT-100 carbon liber

3

$60

Penn Conquer CQR4000

ISO

5*8:1

11.1

Aluminum

Aluminum/Eternal Alloy lip

HT-100 carbon fiber

10

$200

Penn Silverado SV5000

200

5-2:1

15,9

Grapnite

Aluminum

HT-lOO carbon fiber

4

$40

Pflueger Arbor 7440

190

43:1

11.2

Aluminum

Akiminum

Carbon fiber

7

$80

Pflueger Medalist 7040

170

52:1

13.2

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon fiber

9

$90

Pliueger President 6740XT

170

52:1

12.6

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon fiber

9

$80

Quantum Catalyst PTs insnore C150PTSB

225

5.2:1

13.5

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon fiber/ceramic

9

$140

Quantum Energy E150PTSB

225

52:1

13.2

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon fiber/ceramic

11

$200

Shakespeare Alpha Blgwater A15Ü

250

4.91

14.2

Graphite

Graphite

Carbon liber

1

$15

Shakespeare Tidewater T4440

170

52:1

127

Aluminum

Graphite

Carbon fiber

4

$30

Shimarvo Sahara 4000FD

160

5.7:1

13.9

Aluminum

Aluminum

Titanium fiber

3

$80

Shimano Saros 40 OOF

160

5.7:1

13.6

Aluminum

Aluminum

Titanium fiber

5

$130

Shimano Sustain 4000FE

160

5.8:1

113

Aluminum

Aluminum/titanium lip

Titanium fiber

7

$270

U.S. Reel SuperCaster 230XL

205

6.0.1

9.5

Composite

Aluminum

Proprietary composite

4

$100

Van Staal VS100

190

4.75.1

112

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon fiber

a

$679

Van Staal VSB100

190

4.75:1

16

Aluminum

Aluminum

Carbon fiber

8

$789

XXX-Stream WaveSpin DH5000

200

4,9:1

12.5

Grapnite

Aluminum

Lubricated felt

a

$108

tlie handle to trip the mechanism. "Repeatedly slamming the bail on retrieve can weaken it and eventually break pans," he says.

Years ago Daiwa introduced Twistbu»er, a specially shaped fine roller that reduces the line twist inherent to spinning reels. Since then, other manufacturers have followed suit, "'Older reels had stationary line rollers. If line has to work harder to pass over the roller, it generates friction that creates twist and harms the line," Bretza says. "A ball l>earing under the line roller allows it to turn freely with minimal friction on the line, which helps reduce twist while cranking in line and when a fish pulls drag."

Spooling Around

The spool directly affects a reel's casting performance. Since line passes over the spool lip during casts, some manufacturers enhance smoothness by coating the lip with titanium or other hard alloys.

Penn reinforces the Conquers Superfine Spool with a slick lip made of— not simply coated with — Eternal

Alloy. This proprietary metal promises much greater hardness tlian steel or titanium. so it resists nicks and helps line flow smoothly off the spool. Consisting of forged, machined and anodized aluminum, the Superfine Spool wears a rubber gasket around the arbor. The nonslip material gives anglers confidence to tie braided line directly to the spool with no mono backing.

The carefully engineered spool-lip taper on Shimano's Propulsion System allows line to leave the reel in smaller loops that don't slap the lip or the tod's stripper guide. Reduced friction results in longer casts with less chance of wind knots.

Drag Race

Drag systems contain a stack of washers, usually alternating discs of stainless steel and another substance to provide controlled slippage. While many manufacturers choose carlxjn fiber, others opt for traditional, tried-and-true materials. For example, Fin-Nor puts cork drag washers in Ahab reels, and Okuma. uses oiled felt in many models.

During long battles with hard-charging adversaries like bull redfish, low-quality drags can overheat and statt binding. Quantum intersperses heat-dissipating ceramic washers with carbon fiber and stainless steel to assure optimal drag performance in Catalyst and Energy spinning reels.

Waterproof drags typically consist of a atbber gasket around the drag knob to protect the washers. "Seating the system keeps salt crystals and water from entering and causing the drag to become jerky. Smooth drags are extremely important on light tackle, and a gasketed drag is like having another bullet in the gun," Rogers says.

Take a look at the many choices available in this category of spinning reels, and you may find that 12-pound is your lucky number, ft dozen hurt to try.

For a list of reel manufacturers with website links, vlsitwww.sportfishinqrnag.com/l2poundspln.

visit our Techniques section at

www.sportfishingmaq.com/gearguideT*^

BETTER BOATING

Maneuver With Throttles Only

Safety Precautions:

  • If the wind or current is too strong to maneuver against at idle speed, add slight throttle slowly and only after a spring line has come taut Otherwise, you can snap the line, making it a deadly weapon, or yank a cleat out of your deck.
  • Never try to stop or fend off even a small vessel with your body, arms or legs. That's why we have fenders.
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