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Reel Review

Product Refresh : Pfleuger's Patriarch Baitcasting Reel (continued)


Brakes: The Patriarch features a dual braking system of externally adjustable mag brakes and internal centrifugal brakes that can be adjusted right on the spool. It is identical to the system we fished on Abu Garcia's Revo STX reels and performed to identical results.

... the sideplate swivels away for access to the spool and the reel's centrifugal braking system.

Housed in the sideplate are the magnets for the reel's other brake system.

Those being you can choose to fish one brake system completely over the other or you can adjust the internal centrifugal brakes to your preferred setting, then use the external, magnetic brakes to fine tune performance based on prevailing wind conditions or other factors.

The Patriarch features two knobs per bearing and host of other features.

In theory this is a nice option to have, but in practice, you can achieve similar results if the reel simply came with the externally adjustable magnetic brakes.

It's obvious this reel shares the shape and size of it's Revo cousins, but the gears are cut differently (inset is of a Revo STX main gear).

Features: The Patriarch does really well on our features checklist save for coming with a vial of oil and cover for the reel. A really nice design feature of this reel is the way in which you access the spool. The non-handle sideplate has what Pfleuger calls a C-Lock System. It consists of a lever that you flip up and then turn in order to unlock the sideplate, then swivel the sideplate to open up the reel and access the spool for brake adjustments of maintenance. The sideplate stays attached so there's no risk of accidentally dropping it in the water, on the shore, or wherever you might happen to be when you decide to open up the sideplate.


Features Ratings for Pfleuger Patriarch Baitcasting Reel

Ext Brake Adjust? (1-2)
Levelwind Bearing (1-2)
Knob Bearings (1-3)
Micro Clicks (1-3)
Reel Cover (1-2)
Oil (1-2)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

The Patriarch features a familiar, and very comfortable profile.

Design & Ergonomics: In case you did not already know, Pfleuger shares the parent company as Abu Garcia that being Pure Fishing. We bring this up only because Patriarch is more or less identical to Abu Garcia's Revo lineup in terms of shape and size, so if you're familiar with and like the way the Revo reels feel in your hand, you will like how the Patriarch feels too. It is a profile I enjoy fishing.

This shot gives you a really good idea of how low this reel sits on the rod.

The Patriarch features an aluminum frame with carbon sideplates hence the reel's comfortable weight. The reel's handle is 85 millimeters in length and it comes with EVA foam knobs. The knobs have a nice, light feel to them, but they're a but somehow, I'm not a huge fan of their shape. The edges are a little too angular and the taper from the reel side of the knob to the exposed end is a bit severe making the knobs feel fat. Breakdown for maintenance and reassembly are relatively straight forward.


Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Pfleuger Patriarch Baitcasting Reel

Handle Length (1-5)
Knobs (1-5)
Palming (1-5)
Overall Weight (1-5)
Ease of Breakdown (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


The Patriarch can handle any number of applications.

Application: The Patriarch can handle any number of applications with the biggest limitation being its availability in only high speed retrieve ratios. If you're disciplined enough to change the cadence of your retrieve, this is a non-issue, but if you, like myself, prefer different speed reels to match with your application, the Patriarch is not a reel you can depend upon to fill out your arsenal.


Application Ratings for Pfleuger Patriarch Baitcasting Reel

Horizontal (1-5)
Vertical (1-5)
Finesse (1-5)
Big Baits (1-5)
Topwater (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)



Pfleuger Patriarch Baitcasting Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solid build 8.0
Performance Good performer overall but the noisy gears were bothersome 6.8
Price Among the more competitive price points between affordable and high end 7.5
Features A really good list of features 8.6
Design (Ergonomics) Familiar and welcome design 8.0
Application Handicapped by a limited selection of retrieve ratios 6.4

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Very comfortable to palm - Limited Options for Retrieve Ratio
+ Very good overall weight - Gears are a little noisy
+ Good general performance reel  


Conclusion: Though the guts of this reel are a little different than the Abu Garcia STX, it's difficult to not think of that reel while fishing the Patriarch. One thing I do like in this reel over the STX is the way in which the sideplate opens up. Pfleuger's C-Lock System is much more simple and frankly, more secure than Abu's method of securing the non-handle sideplate. The drag washers are similar if not the same between the two reels, but the main gears are cut differently so while Pure Fishing is sharing some features between the two platforms, they are also changing the guts.

Pfleuger's Patriarch is a solid performer and a reel worthy of the company's goal of providing a lot of bang for your buck.

My only real complaints are the lack of more retrieve ratio options, the unavailability of the reel's second retrieve ratio in left hand retrieve, and the unexpected gear noise in the reel. Otherwise, Pfleuger's Patriarch is a solid performer and a reel worthy of the company's goal of providing a lot of bang for your buck.


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