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Reel Review

aking Victory affordable, Skeet Reeseís signature W&M baitcaster (continued)


Skeet had previously told us that one of the things he really wanted to do moving forward was to introduce tackle that was not just built to his specifications but retailed at prices that everyday anglers could afford. In keeping with this thinking the Victory reels retail for only $99.99 each, a very aggressive price point for an aluminum reel.


The ported spool holds the elf contained centrifugal anti-backlash system


Skeet stated ďWright & McGill and I feel strongly about providing anglers high quality products that they can afford to fish. I've been testing these reels, they are what I use on tour, and they will meet the needs and budgets of any angler.Ē But could a company better known for fly reels, even backed by the brand power of Skeetís name, compete with the big dogs in the bass category? Itís time to find out.


The reel features an aluminum handle-side sideplate


Real World Test: To test the new Victory reel from W&M we ordered one of the WMESRV70RC (7.0:1) high speed reels straight from Tackle Warehouse. We put the reel through the paces on one of W&Mís own Micro Honeycomb casting rods and spooled up with Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon. We head to both the California Delta and Clear Lake to fish this combo and set our sights exclusively on catching some largemouth bass.  


The reel casted very well for short accurate casts


Casting: At the Delta I pitched plastics against the Tule line and found the Victory reel to be very good at short lobs, even when lighter jigs and tubes were tied on. The reel also proved to be a decent overall long distance caster. If anything I found the cast control system a bit aggressive and discovered that only by dialing the system back (close to the less ď0Ē position) I was able to achieve those really long distance casts.


A lot less yellow than we expected to see on a Skeet signature reel


Retrieving: Out of the box the reel felt pretty smooth in the lab and it was only on the water when there was a lure on the line did I start to feel what felt like a little bit of resistance from within the reel. After a day of fishing the reel loosened up and it felt reasonably fluid cranking everything from weightless rigs to jerkbaits.


The reel is relatively low profile...


The Victory reel rates about average in terms of fluid feel, it didnít do any worse than the competition here but it also didnít feel extremely connected or refined. What was impressive however was the absence of backplay in our test reel, there was absolutely none. There are reels costing nearly twice as much that exhibit more play in their handle than this reel.


...and the opening provides decent access to the spool

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