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Rod & Reel Combo Preview

A unique side casting reel and rod combo from down under

Date: 5/21/02
Tackle type: Rod & Reel Combo
Manufacturer: Alvey & Snyder Glas
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 6.9 Preliminary Score

Introduction: Alvey reels... some might ask what exactly are they, are they spinning or bait casting reels?  Alvey reels are famous side cast fishing reels that are made in Australia.  They are nothing like you have ever used before and TackleTour had the opportunity to evaluate this new rod and reel combo from Alvey and Snyder Glas.


Alvey & Snyder Glas Combo Specifications

Snyder Glas Flame Wrap Rod: FW7

Material Snyder's Proprietary Graphite
Length 2.1m (6'10.7")
Colors burgundy
Line Weight 3-6kg (6.6-13.2lb)

Alvey Reel: 5000XTLD

Line Capacity 4kg/500m (8.8lb/547yds)
Gear Ratio 1:1
Spool Diameter 5 inches
Additional Features Graphite lever drag, free spool, fiberglass spool

About Alvey & Snyder Glas: Alvey Reels Australia has been producing their well known side cast reels for over 80 years.  This all started in 1920 when Charles Alvey, an English migrant, developed a simple and durable reel that was easy to maintain and would cast great distances.  Today Alvey Reels continue to strengthen their position in the fishing business by applying their latest technologies in fiberglass, carbon fiber, and graphite materials.  Alvey has also widened their product line by introducing other fishing tackle such as rod buckets and bait pumps.


Snyder Glas fishing rods has been around since 1976 and was established by two very experienced rod makers, Len Butterworth and Dick Snyder.  Snyder Glas was the first in Australia to produce a graphite composite rod suited to Australian conditions.  Today Snyder Glas has over 100 different blanks and this year they take another step forward by introducing a series of new Flame Wrap rods and blanks that employ their unique process to form a new style of graphite.


Impressions: When we first received the rod and reel combo we were very excited to see how the reel works.  Steve Brown of Ausfish.com gave TackleTour the opportunity to field test a new model of the Alvey reel and the new Flame Wrap fishing rod by Snyder Glas.


The Alvey side cast fishing reel does not look like anything we have ever used before.  The 5000XTLD reel looks more like a fly fishing reel than anything else.  The reel has a yellow spool that is 5 inches in diameter and it's made out of fiberglass.  One side of the reel contains the handle and a graphite lever drag control for quick and easy adjustments when you're fighting the lunkers.  The other side, the back, is made out of graphite.  The back portion has a control that allows you to switch the reel to a right or left handed position, plus the ability to turn off the drag allowing free spooling; having the spool freely turn in both directions.  This new model has an extended base compared to the 500BCXL reel that employs a shorter base.  The Alvey reel has a 1:1 winding ratio and can accommodate a great amount of fishing line.


The Alvey 5000XTLD uses a 5 inch standard spool and a 1:1 gear ratio


The Flame Wrap fishing rods are Snyder Glas's latest line of products that were produced under an unique process that utilizes a new style of graphite that can be used for many different applications.  The choice for the Alvey 5000XTLD combo is the Flame Wrap 7, a 6'10.7" burgundy spinning rod that sports 6 high quality Fuji guides.  This muscular looking rod definitely makes a good match for the Alvey reel.


The Flame Wrap rod uses Snyder Glas's unique graphite that's durable enough for all types of fishing conditions


The entire combo feels good, but it's a bit on the heavy side.  After extended usage there could be fatigue.  We will see how this combo performs throughout our tests.

Real World Tests: The 5000XTLD and FW7 combination was designed for bass fishing.  So we took the combo out for some bass and striper fishing from a watercraft and from shore because Alvey reels are known for casting long distances.


Casting & Accuracy: Casting this combination at first was not simple due to it being a different type of reel.  It's similar to an Angler who has just started using a bait casting reel.  But after a little patience and practice casting the Alvey-Snyder Glas combo is as easy as any other.  Alvey reels are world famous side cast fishing reels that can cast great distances.  Even though our Snyder Glas FW7's bottom guide placement did not meet the Alvey reel requirements(the new models will meet the specs), casting was still achievable due to the strong rod and the Alvey reel design that allows your line to freely flow off the spool.  For instructions on how to cast this system visit Alvey Reels.


To cast, simply turn the reel perpendicular to the rod like the picture shown on the left.  Then turn in back to the parallel position to fish


Accuracy on the other hand is different.  No, it's not bad, but it's just that this combination is a bit large for casting it into structure or trying to aim at specific points that are close-up.  Now if you're in open water and want to target a specific area that's far away, this combo will be good for that purpose.


Retrieving & Power: The Alvey-Snyder Glas combo sets itself apart from both the spinning or bait casting tackle in this category.  It is because this rod and reel has quite a different feel to it.  The Alvey 5000XTLD side casting reel has a 1:1 gear ratio and while working lures it's a totally different experience.  Working different types of lures using this combo is exciting and actually allows you to sense what's going on.  In some ways you have total control of your lure because you're "one-to-one" with what you're using.  But because of the 1:1 ratio it does mean that using some lures will require more work that usual. 


The Snyder Glas rod is nice for different types of fishing, especially when hooking Stripers that rip the smaller rods out of your hands.  This heavy built rod has the power to muscle in the fish and the high quality components like the Fuji guides make this rod a good performer.


The Drag: The 5000XTLD reel has a good drag system.  The Alvey reel's drag settings can easily be controlled by the lever that's positioned right next to your cranking hand.  The drag system allows fine adjustments and can achieve the maximum setting without any problems.  The other benefit is that you can turn off the drag by simply hitting another switch on the back of the reel.  This will allow you to use your hands to work the reel like a fly fishing reel.  Instead of using the drag you use the friction from the palm of your hands.


The drag lever is located right next to your hand when retrieving providing quick and easy adjustments



Preliminary Ratings (?/10) [early prototype]

Construction/Quality The combo is built durable using good components.  The last guide on the rod needs to meet the reel's specification, which it does in the newer rods 7.5
Performance The casting ability of the Alvey reel was degraded due to it being an early prototype.  The latest Flame Wrap rods will have the last guide placed further away from the reel which will allow further casts.  The rod is muscular and performs well for larger fish.  The reel's drag system functions well while battling fish that love to run. 6.5
Price N/A ?
Features The ability to easily switch from left to right hand is beneficial 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Comfortable at first, but after a day of casting and retrieving, the weight and the 1:1 gear ratio does cause fatigue 6.0
Application A rod and reel combo that's better for shore or open water fishing since Alvey reels are known to casting great distances 7.0

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Simple and durable L Prototype didn't cast as far as it should
J Muscular rod L A bit on the heavy side
J Good drag L 1:1 gear ratio could make working certain lures difficult

Conclusion: The Alvey-Snyder Glas rod and reel combination has been really exciting for us to evaluate.  The Alvey reel is the first side cast fishing reel most of us have ever used.  This prototype is made quite well and we will definitely have to try out the real thing once it's ready.










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