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Product Shootout


4 Techs, 3 Countries of Origin, 2 Price Points, One Goal... Which Reel Is Best? - 2018 Low Profile Baitcaster Shootout (part one)


Date: 10/8/18
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano, Daiwa, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Cal

Introduction: Head to head battles between products from rival manufacturers are always fun. Admittedly, we don't do enough of them here at TackleTour. Zander and I always discuss a handful of possibilities at the beginning of each year, but things don't always pan out. Either product ends up on the chopping block to be discontinued, or we're not able to gather the supporting materials necessary to complete the review, or sometimes we just take too long and what we had planned is no longer relevant. 2018 is proving to be a good year. We've already published our head to head shootout of two high end spinning reels and today, we're here to introduce you to our next battle.

Low profile baitcasting reels are the weapon of choice amongst serious bass anglers.

Low profile baitcasting reels are the weapon of choice amongst serious bass anglers. With close to a dozen manufacturers, there are so many reels to choose from that it's often difficult to make heads or tails out of one product as compared to the next. Most anglers keep it simple choosing one manufacturer that suits their needs and sticking with them. We here at TackleTour have never been that faithful.

The easiest way to begin that long journey of making a decision on which reel to choose is to start with a price point in mind.

The easiest way to begin that long journey of making a decision is to start with a price point in mind, but if you're easily lured by the latest and greatest, that strategy doesn't always work. With all the different choices out there today, how are we framing our 2018 low profile casting reel shootout, and how did we come to the decision of the four reels to include? Our 2018 low profile casting reel shootout is all about the tech.

Our 2018 Low Profile Reel Shootout is all about the tech, but no, we're not including Shimano's DC technology.

The Players: By "tech" we are of course referring to the technology behind each reel - primarily the brakes. Putting aside the digital age, there are basically two categories of casting brakes - magnetic or centrifugal. Daiwa has led the way for several years with their different MagForce technologies. There's MagForce V, Z, and their latest, SV. The magic is with their SV system, especially when combined with their T-Wing line guide. Player #1 : Daiwa Tatula SV TW

Player #1 : Daiwa Tatula SV TW

On the centrifugal side, Shimano is seen as the leader, and their latest SVS Infiniti system has literally brought the manufacturer back from the brink of despair after the whole "E" incident. Then, Shimano created their own magic with their MGL reels. Each reel with the MGL designation we've fished have been nothing short of spectacular. Player #2 : Shimano Chronarch MGL

Player #2 : Shimano Chronarch MGL

Abu Garcia has had a system similar to SVS Infiniti for decades. Their IVCB system is my favorite amongst their many braking systems. I was excited to discover this year, they've included their IVCB-6 brakes in what I've always considered to be their Zillion or Chronarch. Player #3 : Abu Garcia Revo4 STX

Player #3 : Abu Garcia Revo4 STX

That makes three braking technologies, but we promised four - four technologies. Our last entry to this year's shootout is from a manufacturing upstart making waves, taking no prisoners, and definitely not apologizing for their bold moves. 13 Fishing has answered the question of what if - what if a manufacturer could design a fishing reel with no ball bearings so owners of these reels (especially those fishing inshore) would not have to worry about corrosion of the most vulnerable component within a reel? Player #4 : 13 Fishing Concept Z

Player #4 : 13 Fishing Concept Z

Next Section: Meet the Players...









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