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Reel Preview

BassPro releases a slew of new and revamped reels for 2007


Date: 12/29/06
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: BassPro
Reviewer: Zander




Introduction: Basspro Shops in the last two seasons has made serious strides in defining it's own recognizable brand of reels. Now more than ever these reels look like a bona fide family, and deliver their own unique features and ergonomics. For 2007 the catalog/e-tail giant built upon their successes in 2006 and upped the level of technology and craftsmanship implemented in both their baitcasting and spinning reels. These new reels were co-designed, developed, and field tested by some of the biggest names in the business, including Rick Clunn, Woo Daves, Edwin Evers, Stacey King, Wally Marshall, David Fritts, and Tommy Martin. We take a look in this preview at the new 2007 BPS lineup. 

The bold new Johnny Morris "Elite" features Titanium Deposition coating and weight reduction


Johnny Morris Elite: The 06 Johnny Morris was retooled for 07, and a new 7.1:1 burner model will become available but the real story here is the introduction of the new "Elite" version which takes the JM reel's place as the flagship of the line. The reel comes with a Cobalt Blue Titanium Deposition finish, one that reminded us of the Quantum Burner, but looks a bit lighter in appearance. Underneath the armored exterior is an 11 bearing system, with double shielded stainless bearings, and hardened duralumin gears. The reel makes use of BPS's proprietary dual braking system and a new "MaxDrag" system which relies on 3 stainless steel and 3 carbon washers to deliver 14lbs of stopping power. The reel will be available in both right and left hand retrieves, features a 6.4:1 gear ratio, and each one comes with a padded reel case. One of the biggest complaints about the previous generation JM reel's was the overall weight. We are happy to report that the Elite weighs in at a very respectable 8.6oz. The smart looking JM Elite will retail for $219.00.  


The new Pro Qualifier features a souped up drag system


Pro Qualifier: The BPS Pro Qualifier reels have always represented the workhorse line of mainstream reels in the family. New for 2007 the redesigned baitcaster features a more ergonomic profile making it more comfortable to palm. The PQ features "ITB" braking, which stands for "Inertial Transfer Braking." This centrifugal system is easy to adjust via the external control. The internals on this reel have also been souped up. First and foremost the drag system is designed to be smoother and more consistent with the implementation of 3 stainless steel and 3 Teflon coated fiberglass washers, which deliver 10lbs of counter pressure. The reel makes use of 7 bearings, six of which are double shielded stainless steel ball bearings. The redesigned PQ is also available in both left and right hand retrieves, and will retail for $99.99 per copy. 


The Extreme baitcaster is available in 9 different versions, ranging from a flipping model to an ultralight


Extreme Baitcaster: This new reel has Stacey King written all over it. The "Extreme" is all about versatility, and there are a total of 9 different models in this beefed up reel. Emphasizing power in a sleek profile the Extreme reels weigh only 8.6oz, that .1 oz less than the more expensive Pro Qualifier. Like the Pro Qualifier the Extreme reel also features a seven bearing system, but this reel uses Japanese stainless ball bearings. The reel also makes use of the hybrid centrifugal magnetic ITB braking system to control casts. This reel comes in a variety of retrieves and sizes, and there is even a mini 05 size which weighs in at 8.16oz. A small flipping switch is integrated into the side of the flipping model to help release line without disengaging the spool. Retrieve ratios range from ultra fast 7.1:1 to powerful 5.4:1, making this the most diverse series in the new lineup, and at only $79.99 each they might turn out to be the most popular as well.  


The ProLite reel has been further tuned and features an easy access "lube port"


ProLite Finesse: Looking for a lighter reel in the lineup? Look no further than the redesigned ProLite. This reel is designed specifically to handle lighter lines and weighs in at 7.9oz. Perhaps most interesting about this reel is the implementation of a "Lube Port" which opens up to provide quick and easy access to the main gears for quick lubes in between major services. While this reel may be light, the drag still delivers 10lbs of counter pressure. The ProLite will retail for $99.99.


The Bionic Plus gets a facelift and a stronger 1 piece frame 


Bionic Plus: The Bionic gets a minor facelift for 07 and features a stronger 1 piece frame and upgraded double stainless ball bearings. The reel makes use of 6 bearings, and weighs 8oz. The reel is available in two retrieve ratios 6.3:1 and 5.2:1, and retails for $79.99 each. This reel is specifically designed to balance out perfectly with BPS's Bionic rods for a "Bionic Combo" which retails for only $119.98.  



The Wally Marshall retails for under 40 dollars thanks to graphite construction

Wally Marshall: Finally one of the best values in the lineup, the Wally Marshall Baitcast reel. This reel is designed for serious Crappie fishing and while it looks very similar to it's siblings it is cheaper due to an all graphite frame and aluminum spool construction. Retailing for only $39.99 the Wally Marshall still features an external magnetic braking system. The reel weighs in at only 7.7oz.


The Pro-Qualifer spinning reel features a new shorter wider MAG spool


Pro Qualifier-Spinning: Basspro implements a new extremely large diameter "MAG" spool into their redesigned spinning reel. This enlarged spool is wider and flatter and is designed to deliver longer casts, faster retrieves, and increased line pickup per handle turn...all of which aids in reducing line twists. The reel also is the thinnest BPS spinning reel yet and features an ultra compact gearbox housed within an all aluminum body. The PQ spinning reel is available in 1000, 2000, and 4000 sizes, features an 8 bearing system, and retails for only $69.99. 


The MAG spool is also found on the reasonably priced Extreme spinning reel


Extreme Spinning Reel: Finishing out the new lineup is the new Extreme spinning reel. This reel features a similar ultra thin design and Mag spool. Interestingly while this reel is positioned below the Pro Qualifier it has a drilled spool while the PQ does not. The reel features a 5 bearing design but weighs the exact same as the PQ (7.5, 10.4, and 11oz). The Extreme Spinning reel like it's baitcasting brethren represents an amazing value, and for only $49.99 this reel looks very attractive.


Conclusion: The new lineup of 2007 reels have stayed true to what makes BPS reel's popular. It is good to see the brand build upon their successes rather than completely redesign again. By doing this the lineup has the opportunity to improve in versatility, reliability, and in refinement. While we are most excited about the new JM Elite and "MAG" based spinning reels, all of these new products are a welcome addition the BPS lineup, and we look forward to seeing just how well the new upgrades lend to true performance enrichment in the field.









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