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Reel Review

 

Kistler Enters the Reel Market with Their Series 1 Casting Reels (continued)

Casting: Kistler's Series 1 casting reels come with an external dial on the non-handle sideplate that allow you to adjust braking force. Inside the removable non-handle sideplate, you'll find four (4) centrifugal brakes on the spool. The brakes themselves operate similar to the flying brake arms on an Abu Garcia's IVCB's equipped reels in that the brakes swing out instead of sliding like the Shimano SVS brakes.


Beneath the sideplate we find centrifugal brakes

The individual brake arms are adjustable on/off by simply flipping them towards the center until you feel a very faint "click," or flipping them out to their open position. I started with all four brakes on and the external dial turned to about 8. I don't always remember to maximize brakes with a new reel, but when I don't, it inevitably results in a nice, pro-grade overrun.


These brakes can be turned on or off by simply flipping the wide, outer brake flange towards the center of the spool for off, and away, as shown, for on

Given the Series 1's deep spool, signaling to me, it's a general purpose reel, I didn't really concern myself with its lower limit capabilities but rather, I just wanted to test how well the braking system works, and how it feels during a cast. My primary bait with which to conduct these tests was a Megabass Vision OneTen +2 jerkbait where my first cast revealed a very capable, if not a little noisy caster.


That carbon handle is swept and capped by two very comfortable knobs

One or two casts later, under the suspicion that the noise was coming from the brakes, I flipped open the non-handle sideplate to two flip two them to their off position. On my next cast, not only did the OneTen +2 fly noticeably further, the reel was much quieter on the cast. So depending on your settings with this reel, those brake arms can rub against the non-handle sideplate just enough to make a slight buzzing sound. I suspect turning the external dial to a lower setting would have achieved the same results, but as with most centrifugal braking systems, once I set the brakes where they worked for me, I forgot about them.


The reel itself sits very low on the reel seat

Retrieve: After the first few retrieves, another area you kind of forget about or take for granted with this reel is smoothness of retrieve. Not to say it's buttery smooth, but also pointing out it's not a grind fest either. The Series 1 feels like the majority of reels out there and in a good way. The reel has a somewhat connected feel that reminds me of earlier Daiwa and Shimano product only I don't think those early reels that I used had aluminum frames. Believe it or not, I haven't always been an "enthusiast."


Inside is an aluminum gear

Power: Where this reel does stand out is that stock carbon handle. It measures 100 millimeters center of knob to center of knob and a good deal longer than I would expect. What's more the knobs are a very comfortable shape, so the reel affords you very good leverage while cranking away. I tied on a Megabass Big M7.5 for a couple retrieves and liked the way the Series 1 was able to pull it through the water, but I didn't fish it extensively because the ARK Rods RFC72MHXC was too stout for my liking with this bait.


But the pinion is brass

Opening up the reel I discovered the Series 1's main gear is aluminum measuring 38.5mm in diameter and weighing a very svelte 7 grams. During our 2019 $99 Low Profile Casting Reel Round Up, we measured and weighed gear sizes across 7 budget casters and found main gears ranging in diameter from 37mm to 41.5 and in weight from 7 grams to 25. Did it mean anything? Not really because gear size and weight alone does not a casting reel make. It's just an interesting bit of information.


The levelwind features one bearing support

I found the Series 1 to have sufficient power to support a variety of applications including deep cranking with the afore mentioned Big M7.5, and fishing traditional and bladed jigs in and around grass where I had to pull fish away from the cover after the hook set.


I was surprised to discover the drag has an audible click

Next: Drag, Price and the Rundown...

 

   

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