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Reel Review

Does the Patriarch have the guts to reign at the top of Pflueger reels?

Date: 10/6/08
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Pflueger
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 7.5 - Good

Introduction: Earlier this year we reviewed the Pflueger Supreme, just recently surpassed as Pflueger's flagship baitcasting reel. The new king at the top of the Pflueger line is now the Patriarch, a reel that is only thirty dollars more than the Supreme. Is Patriarch worthy? Let's find out. Introducing our review of Pflueger's new flagship, the Patriarch.


Pflueger Patriarch (Patriarch64WLP) Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 14/130
Gear Ratio 6.4:1
Weight 8.4 oz
Bearings 10+1
Spool Wide
Retrieve Right only
Additional Features Titanium line guide, Ultimate Brake System, Machined, ported and double anodized aluminum spool, Titanium finish, Neoprene reel cover
MSRP $199.99

Impressions: As stated in our review of the Supreme, the new generation of Pflueger baitcast reels are more aggressive looking and the Patriarch is no exception featuring a lower profile design and a much more modern appearance. The reel features incredible detailing throughout resulting in an appearance that immediately speaks of "top of the line".


Introducing the Pflueger Patriarch baitcast reel


The Patriarch features an aluminum frame and side plates along with titanium coating for corrosion protection. The reel has a machined drag star and handle with gold highlights - a detail reflected on the machined, ported aluminum spool. This shallow but wide spool holds 130 yards of 14 pound test line.


The Patriarch comes in both a 6.4:1 and a 7.1:1 gear ratio each of which house 10 double shielded stainless steel ball bearings plus one roller bearing. Like the Supreme, the Patriarch also features the Ultimate Brake System which is a combination of centrifugal plus magnetic cast control. A nice addition to this premium reel is a thick neoprene reel cover to protect the reel during transportation or when not in use.


The reel comes in 6.4:1(shown above) or 7.1:1


Complete Rig for Patriarch Tests


Shimano Cumara


Pflueger Patriarch

Lines 12 lb. Spiderwire Stealth Camo Braid
12 lb. Trilene Fluorocarbon

Field Tests: We fished the Pflueger Patriarch in and around local bass waters including the California Delta. I fished it with various techniques including pitching plastics and jigs into tules, tossing crankbait and spinnerbaits, and of course my favorite technique, topwater lures such as a buzzbait and stickbaits.


Rated for Medium Freshwater and Light Saltwater use


Casting: Casting heavy and weightless lures comes easy with the Patriarch. This baitcast reel features a shallow ported spool design that starts up without much effort. This allows anglers to cast light lures without much resistance from the spool. When slinging larger lures to a distant targets, the Pflueger Patriarch does an excellent job.


Ultimate Brake System has dual cast control. Here is the centrifugal brakes


To prevent nasty birdnests Pflueger employs their "Ultimate Brake System" which consists of a combination six pin centrifugal brake and magnetic cast controls. The six pin centrifugal brakes are very simple to access and engage or disengage securely with little feeling they'll pop off during adjustment. The centrifugal brakes does a good job at controlling your cast as it starts up but after that, cast control duties are taken over by the magnetic brakes. I found that the externally adjustable magnetic brakes are great for fine tuning the amount of braking power as you toss different weight lures or when the winds change. Ten settings can be selected with just a quick turn of the magnetic cast control dial. In addition the reel has an easy to grab, non-slip spool tension knob that has audible clicks for fine adjustments.


The other part of the Ultimate Brake System, externally adjustable magnetic brakes


Retrieve: From my very first time on the water with the Patriarch, the reel felt smooth and refined as I tossed various cranks to get a sense of the reel's performance. I was not disappointed and could feel the benefit of the reel's high bearing count. Even after six months of continued use, the Patriarch still feels fluid even when under heavy load of a deep diving crank.


Five magnets are used


We tested only the 6.4:1 gear ratio Patriarch, but this version felt powerful enough to toss high-resistant baits such as deep dive cranks and certainly had enough muscle to pull fish out of heavy vegetation. For those who opt for more speed Pflueger does offer the Patriarch in a high-speed 7.1:1 gear ratio. But sorry guys, the Patriarch does not come in a left-hand retrieve - not yet anyway.


To remove the handle, tighten the drag star all the way, then press the star towards the reel frame. This should disengage the locking mechanism and you will be able to turn the handle from the shaft


The reel continues to impress thanks I am sure to the quality components. The reel is solid without flex in the aluminum frame which is surrounded by aluminum sideplates. The handle has zero backplay and every retrieve and hookset is dead on.


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