Bring the power of your local tackle shop home with the Berkley Cyclone
Total Score: 8.16
Looking for a more convenient
way to load up your fishing reels with different types of line between trips?
Ever wish you had a quick way to re-spool your favorite reel while on the boat
or out on the road? Until recently, anglers who prefer to spool and re-spool
their own gear had to rely on either low cost, make-shift tools or very high
dollar professional spooling stations. Berkley fishing products out of Spirit
Lake, Indiana makes a consumer sized spooling machine that is both portable and
powerful and almost indispensable to any angler with more than a handful of
reels – the Berkley Cyclone.
AC to DC power converter,
12V DC vehicle adapter, hand controller, spool holder, line stripping spool,
Freshwater sized reels
18”w x 15”d x 8”h
Our first impression of the
Cyclone Spooling Station by Berkley Fishing Products was how solidly the unit is
put together and how well the case that encloses the unit is organized. Granted,
while a lot of plastic is used in the case itself, once opened you get a real
sense of having purchased a solid-state product. There are no loose fitting
pieces or questionable materials inside. In fact, most all the accessories that
come with the unit have their own, convenient stowing position within the
framework of the machine. The only slightly limiting feature of the Cyclone is
the fact, due to its compact nature, that it is more suitable for servicing
freshwater sized reels.
case to the Cyclone one discovers it comes complete with a hand held
remote(front left), AC adapter (front right), DC accessory plug (front
middle), line stripping spool (in back, to the right of the yellow orange
face plate), and bulk spool holder (on the underside of the lid) all packed
within the neat carrying case.
Real World Tests:
Setting up our Cyclone
spooling station in our workshop at TT Headquarters was a breeze. Just flip open
the lid, plug in the wired hand held remote and separate power source, and the
station is ready to go. We immediately put ours to the test spooling and
stripping lines from various baitcasting and spinning reels in our vault.
The Cyclone easily supports both left and right hand retrieve
baitcasting reels of varying sizes through the highly adjustable reel seat
bar shown above.
Cyclone easily supports both left and right hand retrieve baitcasting reels. The
adjustable reel seat bar at the front of the unit adjusts up and down on each
side independently and also slides back and forth to accommodate different width
reels. Right hand retrieve reels face left while left hand retrieve reels face
right. Clockwise or counterclockwise rotation of the machine is easily selected
through a button at the top of the hand held remote. The bulk spool holder fits
into receiving slots on either side of the base to support spooling on either
side of the machine. To gain spooling control of the reel, there are recessed
sections within the rotating face plate of the Cyclone where each reel’s knobs
are held during operation. With all these adjustable features, fitting a single
baitcaster into the machine for spooling takes only a matter of seconds. All of
our reels fit snuggly and securely in the unit and were easily adjusted to gain
centered, non-vibrating performance. This was a very well thought out design.
Once our reels were mounted and the machine adjusted for proper rotation,
spooling a reel takes only a matter of minutes.
and ready to go, this reel is prepped for new line provided by the large
bulk spool mounted on the right side of the machine.
spools mount onto the Cyclone’s faceplate through two opposing rubber lined
brackets. These brackets adjust easily through an allen-wrench key stowed on the
unit itself. Centering adjustments for different sized spools are made quickly
and easily as the brackets move in and out in unison to squeeze each spool and
hold them in place. During spooling, control to evenly distribute new line on
the spool is handled manually by guiding the supply thread for line back and
forth along the length of the target spool. The Cyclone does not come with a
tool to help with this guidance, and this is one feature we’d like to see
included on future models.
line is secured to the Cyclone through spring-loaded locking nuts shown
above. Bottom Left: Recessed sections of the faceplate enable rotation
control of baitcasting reels for spooling. Bottom Right: Spinning reel
spools are held securely within the faceplate by two opposing rubber line
Spools of up to five or six inches in diameter to about five inches in length
are easily supported on the bulk spool holder supplied with the Cylcone. This
holder is a simple, shaped, 1/4” metal bar that slides into receiving slots on
either side of the machine. Tension on supply spools is provided by two
spring-loaded locking nuts that secure to the 1/4” bar on either side of the
spool. We found performance to be most consistent when the tension from these
locking nuts was minimal and actual resistance on the spool was provided by our
free hand. Otherwise, after several rotations, the lock nuts do begin to dig
into plastic spools increasing tension and eventually locking the machine up. If
the lock rings are too loose, however, and your free hand is not monitoring the
bulk spool during rotation, the spool can over spin when you stop the motor
spilling line off the spool in all directions.
What we would ideally like to
see is some type of line counter / spool tension accessory added to the Cyclone
along with an optional foot control pedal. The addition of these two items would
move this machine right up there in features alongside the professional spooling
stations costing anywhere from twice to four times as much as the Berkley
Cyclone. Those machines possess huge footprints and are by no means as portable
as this product.
Top Left and Right: Both the power supply and hand held,
wired remote plug into the base station in conveniently located, out of the
way locations. Bottom Left: The line stripping spool is held in place by two
opposing brackets located on the face plate. Adjustment of these brackets is
made by an allen-wrench type key visible in the upper left of this photo.
Bottom Right: The line stripping spool conveniently stows away on the back
side of the spooling station in it’s own little slot. To the right of the
spool is visible, the right side receptacle for the bulk spool holder.
Stripping of line is performed quickly and easily by the Cyclone. One
improvement we’d like to see, however, is a faster, more convenient method of
attaching the line from your reel to the stripping spool. Right now, this is
accomplished either by tying the line to the spool similar to how one would
start filling the line on a reel, or by pinching the line between the mounting
brackets and the actual stripping spool itself. While hardly cumbersome, a small
notch, slot or similar holding device on the stripping spool would greatly
facilitate matters. The only thing to be cautious of when stripping line with
this machine is to slow down and moderate the motor when all the line from your
reel or spool is almost gone. Otherwise, if you’re not paying attention, the
Cyclone will pull the reel right out of your hand and parts will be sent flying
in all directions.
Another enhancement that
would really make this machine great is if the stripping spool were able to
mount onto the bulk spool holder itself so that one could easily re-use line
that was stripped off of a reel. This would be a most exciting feature for those
who like to change lines often experimenting with different brands, pound tests,
or types of lines all together while not wanting to waste what they were using
found the 12V motor of the Cyclone to provide plenty of torque and speed for the
tasks at hand. We’ve used other consumer targeted spooling machines that were
severely underpowered. So much so one could lock them up by simply grasping the
rotating head or faceplate. The Cyclone offers no such lack in power. What’s
more the machine spins true and easy with minimal vibration and no burning odor
further speaking to the quality of construction.
Cyclone Spooling Station comes in its very own carrying case for maximum
we value the portability of this unit, we found it a little impractical to bring
with us for single day trips. But, where we see a true value add is during
extended vacations or tournaments where you might be away from home base and
even a competent tackle shop for several days at a time. The simple fact that
you can take this machine along with you on the boat and simply plug it into any
12V accessory outlet speaks to the versatility this tool possesses, and we think
the folks at
Berkley Fishing Products
points for designing
the unit with this portability in mind.
Cyclone Ratings (?/10)
Solidly crafted with the
consumer in mind with quality components throughout.
Surprisingly effective for
its size power source
Cost of ownership might be
a bit daunting at first, but when compared to professional spooling
stations, this unit is quite the bargain.
Providing the basics, this
machine could greatly benefit from added features such as a spool tensioner
/ line counter device, standard or optional foot control, re-usable feature
for line that has been stripped but is still in good shape, and a tool to
guide line back and forth as you are spooling a reel.
A small footprint,
convenient carrying case, portable construction, solidly crafted and highly
adjustable components. Very well done.
Not quite large and
powerful enough to service larger saltwater reels, but for freshwater reels,
this machine is perfect. Any larger and the portability factor would be
Pluses and Minuses:
The power and capacity
to spool any number of reels at your convenience
A little pricey
Powerful and durable
No line counter
High degree of
adjustability for reels of varying sizes and configurations
Freshwater reels only
Bulk spool tension
devices are not very effective
The consumer market has
long been missing a tool such as this. Most consumer targeted spooling tools are
make-shift devices mounted to your rod, held between your feet, or clamped
insecurely to a table. While fine for occasional use, most are limited to small
size spools and do nothing to minimize line twist or provide proper tension –
not to mention the difficulty in setting up for multiple reel runs. The Cyclone,
by Berkley Fishing Products brings the power of local tackle shops into your
home, boat or vehicle by providing the consumer with a real, solid state, and
portable spooling machine. Although there are features and enhancements we’d
like to see added to this device, it is the first real, widely available, and
fully functional machine of its kind that we’ve seen on the market. As we
mentioned in this article, if you look hard enough, there are one or two other
products available but we’ve yet to find one that matches the quality and
durability of the Berkley Cyclone.