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Reel Review

Catching the Wave(Spin) One More Time


Date: 10/24/10
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Wavespin
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.67 - GOOD

Two years ago we took a close look at a then, relatively new product, the Wavespin DH3000. It easily won our Innovation Award but was lacking in build quality and materials. The company has known increased success since that time thanks to a good performing product coupled with a very aggressive price point. The product has since gone through some modest enhancements including new 5000 (DH5000) and ultra light (DHxL) sizes. Today, we take another look at the WaveSpin reel and see what the DHxL has to offer.


WaveSpin DHxL Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs/yds) 2lb / 330yds : 4lb / 200 yds : 6lb / 160 yds
Gear Ratio 5.1:1
Manufacturer Specified Weight 7.0 oz
Measured Max. Drag 5lbs before line consistently broke... drag can go higher
Number of Bearings 7+1
MSRP $72


Impressions: Line management in spinning reels is an eternal struggle with a direct relationship between the amount of trouble one experiences correlated against the size of the spool on    the reel: the smaller the spool, the more difficulty one experiences. Therefore a spool designed to mitigate against these difficulties will see the most immediate effect on a smaller reel. The WaveSpin DHxL is one such reel coming in roughly the size of a 500 or 750 equivalent reel in Shimano. It is pint sized, weighs in at seven ounces, and right away feels more solid and sound than our original DH3000 reviewed two years ago. Perhaps it’s true what they say about good things come in small packages.


Introducing WaveSpin's entry to the ultralight spinning reel market, the DHxl.

Field Tests: I took the DHxL out on several outings over the last year to year and a half mostly with the goal of assessing the reel’s line management capabilities. I spooled it up with a high quality fluorocarbon (ten pound Sunline Shooter FC) to really give this reel a run for its money – fluorocarbon is particularly difficult to manage on a spinning reel and is unforgiving with line twist.

The DHxl is essentially the same reel as the previously reviewed DH3000 except with a stealthier appearance and fewer fake chrome highlights.

Casting: I matched this reel up mostly with a medium light Damiki Dark Angel spinning rod (the exact same rod reviewed in December of 2009, the S701ML) and used this combo as a finesse bass fishing rig fishing shakey heads and drop shots.

As a caster, the DHxl is positioned at a comfortable distance from the reel foot for feathering of the spool with your index finger.

The DHxL performs very well in casting duties and matched up with a seven foot rod, it was a breeze getting my bait anywhere I wanted and with good distance. Whether this reel honestly cast further than other reels of comparable size is difficult to say. I had this same difficulty in assessing the DH3000 only with that reel, I was working with an underfilled spool. This time, I filled the spool right up to where I’d fill any reel of this size and just fished it as if it were any other reel.

The innovative and patented lip design of the WaveSpin.

The distance between the reel foot and the body of the reel is very comfortable making it very easy to extend my index finger to feather the spool during a cast. The line comes off the WaveCast lip easily and as I mentioned before, casting distance good. It’s marketed with the potential of increasing your casting distance, but perhaps my habit of feathering the spool during a cast cancels out this advantage. I can say that casting distance is certainly not impaired by this reel’s spool lip design.

One real nice difference between the DHxl and its larger siblings is the use of this knob instead of the customary inshore ported circle.

Retrieve: For a seventy two dollar ($72) reel, the WaveSpin DHxL is really very respectable during the retrieve. It is smooth with minimal wobbling effect. It’s quite surprising the quality that can be achieved today in gear mesh and balance of an affordable spinning reel and the DHxL is a prime example of this.

This time, we tested the WaveSpin with a full spool of line.

Part of this comfortable retrieve no doubt has to do with the very ergonomic knob on the handle of this reel – a sculpted rubber piece that provides a very nice contact point for your fingers.  This is a much better implementation than the salt water inspired, ported knob on the DHxL’s larger siblings. The tactile reinforcement is positive and the overall feeling of quality is enhanced by this seemingly inane component of the reel. 

A look at the coated line guide.

Next Section: Drag and Line Management









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