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Reel Review


Higher End Affordability, Pflueger's Patriarch XT Spinning Reel (continued)

For those who prefer to back reel instead of relying on the drag, or maybe doing both, you'll be disappointed to find out the Patriarch XT spinning reel does not have a switch to allow this functionality. I very rarely use this feature myself, but I know that some anglers do prefer to have this feature included, even if it is just for adjusting line length when stowing rods.

This reel features a very sure and reliable bail operation.

Power: Under load, the Patriarch XT SP35X's aluminum gears deliver sufficient power though the feeling of that retrieve changes ever so slightly. You don't really feel it under the adrenaline pumping retrieve when battling a fish, but rather while fishing a bait that has any amount of resistance in the water. It's difficult to describe, but you can definitely feel the internal workings of this reel just a hair more when there is resistance in the line.

Line flows off the spool efficiently.

Bail Operation: Push the bail back in preparation for a cast, and you are greeted by a very reassuring "click" as it holds in place open and ready to go. Turn the handle to engage the spool and the bail snaps back very reassuringly, with little to no jarring effect through the reel. It's a very positive, and forceful close of the bail, but no so forceful that the entire reel shakes. This refined operation is reinforced when closing the bail by hand instead of relying on the internal tripping mechanism when you turn the handle.

The one spot of gold/brass on this reel is at the line roller.

Line Twist: The Patriarch XT SP35X's gold anodized line guide is supported with two bearings delivering smooth, friction free line lay as you bring the line back in from your cast - at least I assume it is smooth and friction free. I can't really feel it. Over the course of several trips, I had little to no issues with line twist, so the line roller seems to be doing its job.

Which happens to be supported by two bearings.

Design & Ergonomics: The Patriarch XT SP35X is a large spinning reel. Pflueger does offer it in a 30, which is slightly smaller, but these are the only two sizes. We measured the SP35X version of this reel at seven point two ounces (7.2oz) which for a 3000 sized reel is pretty good. The SP30XT is rated at six point two ounces (6.2oz), so a full ounce lighter.

It continues to amaze me how Pflueger is able to deliver some of its feature filled reels at such an affordable price.

Price & Applications: It continues to amaze me how Pflueger is able to deliver some of its feature filled reels at such an affordable price. A spinning reel with a magnesium body and rotor generally, easily runs over $500 these days. In fact, the cost is so high, it seems Daiwa has moved away from magnesium in their flagship Exist spinning reel - at least, that's my assumption as to their reasoning. And we all know Shimano Stella comes at a super premium price point. The Patriarch XT spinning reels retail for just $249.99. Talk about value.

The Patriarch XT, a magnesium spinning reel
, retails for just $249.99.


Pflueger Patriarch XT SP35X Spinning Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A stylish and solid reel out of the box 8
Performance Very connected feel during retrieve 8
Price For an Mg reel, what a bargain! 8
Features sealed carbon drag washers, EVA foam knob, Mg body and rotor, shallower than normal spool, titanium main shaft, machined aluminum gear 8
Design (Ergonomics) The cutouts make the reel interesting 7.5
Application Only available in two sizes 7

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:


+ Mg spinning reel for under $300! - Only two available sizes
+ Robust drag  
+ Not a super deep spool  
+ Nice bail action  
+ ...  

If you're looking for something just a little lighter with some key high end features, Pflueger's Patriarch XT Spinning reel is worth a closer look.

Conclusion: Let's get something straight. At just $249.99 for a magnesium spinning reel, Pflueger's Patriarch XT is an incredible value. It is not in the same league as Shimano's Stella or Daiwa's former Mg based Exist when it comes to refinement. I doubt that was Pflueger's intent. Instead, this is a solid performing, intermediate level spinning reel presented in a lighter than normal frame. What this reel lacks in true flagship refinement, Pflueger makes up for in affordability yet it's not totally missing some high end features. That sealed, carbon drag is top notch as is the inclusion of two bearings under the line roller, and the mechanics behind the very smooth bail arm. If you're looking for something just a little lighter with some key high end features, Pflueger's Patriarch XT Spinning reel is worth a closer look.


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