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Enthusiast Reel Review

Move Over BaitMonkey, There's a New Agent In Town and She Has Something to Behold: Evergreen International's Opus-1

Date: 8/26/07
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Evergreen International
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.67

Introduction: In the tackle collector's macrocosmos, there exists, once every so often, the opportunity to grab hold of a unique, rather exclusive, limited run piece of tackle so eloquently executed, it truly deserves the label of "special". We are reminded of the Mephistopheles-esque TD-Ito suite of reels and the Millenium Edition Shimano Stella. Late in 2006, the year of the Daiwa Steez and Shimano's Antares/Calais DC, and amidst eager anticipation from dedicated customers, another Japan tackle Giant, Evergreen International, made its first foray into the fishing reel segment.
That product? The limited run, uber-expensive Evergreen Opus-1.


The Opus-1's packaging inspires visions of clandestine meetings with secret
agent-esque intrigue and allure ...


Evergreen International Opus-1 Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / meters) 12lb/120m (std) : 6lb/80m (shallow)
Gear Ratio 5.2:1
Measured Weight 9.2 oz (w/ std spool) : 9.4 oz (w/ shallow spool)
Max. Rated Drag : (tested) 3.3 kg / ~6.5lbs : (7lbs)
Number of Bearings 10/1
Features Spare Spool, V-Cut Line Roller, Pressed Bail Arm, Carrying Case
Approx Street Price: $850

TackleTour 'Teaser, Mz Jov, keeps an eye out for her victim ...


Background: The story with Evergreen International's Opus-1 begins in early 2006. The prototype was shown at Japan's International Tackle Show in February and immediately, the anticipation began regarding availability and production specifications. When no immediate answers were forthcoming from Evergreen International, fans and collectors alike began to ponder whether or not the reel would actually be produced. This was, afterall, the company's first attempt at such a venture, so perhaps it was proving to be too overwhelming an undertaking.


... Ah hah, she has you now ...

Finally, in the fall of that same year, word began to spread that pre-orders were being accepted for the reel with the expected price tag in excess of 90,000 JPY. Hefty to say the least, and information surrounding the reel was still difficult to acquire, at least for consumers in North America. True aficionados, however, needed nothing more than the photographs on Evergreen International's website. The reel had an interesting allure and with a name borrowed from the music and literary world, those who paid attention knew that Evergreen International would not disappoint with their first composition in this market segment. Orders were placed and the next level of anticipation grew: when would it arrive?

... but are you truly worthy?

Finally, during the winter of 2006, the first limited shipments of Evergreen's masterpiece began to hit store shelves in Japan and ship overseas to the eager International Enthusiast crowd. As it turned out, not all orders were met in full and there were rumors that Evergreen was going to cut production entirely after the first run. If you pre-ordered and received one, you were lucky, if not, it was uncertain if your order would ever be fulfilled. If you had no reservation, forget it. Stories began to circulate that the delivered cost of the Opus-1 to a North American address were approaching $1,000. The borderline enthusiast crowd balked, but those who took the plunge early and received product in hand were rewarded beyond their expectations.


Perhaps Evergreen International borrowed inspiration of the Opus-1's presentation from a recent TV Game Show... sound like a deal?


Impressions: Evergreen International's Opus-1 is the first reel we can recall that has made a lasting impression while still in the box. This is because the box itself is truly part of the presentation. Looking more like of something out of a television game show, the packaging of the Opus-1 is half the fun. It is delivered, housed in its very own custom aluminum attaché.


Contents of the Opus-1's case revealed

Inside the attaché are two, soft sided, black, zippered pouches: one designed to hold the reel safely and securely; the other to house a spare spool and a bonus tool set for assembly and disassembly of your reel. A very carefully thought out and masterfully executed presentation. All that's missing really, is personal courier to hand deliver this prize and ensure its timely and appropriate receipt.

Sit down, warm those cold feet and give in ...

to the allure of the Opus-1!

Lift the reel out of its luxurious housing and you are met with a product that more or less defines the term "retro" in a fishing reel. Borrowing from a shape and styling symbolic of the classic Mitchell reels of decades ago, but with a modern industrial machined parts twist, the Opus-1 combines classic styling cues with contemporary feel.

Each reel comes with a unique identifier...


From the hex wrench screw heads to the custom tailored metal knob to the knurled drag adjustment screw to the trick handle securing mechanism, the Opus-1 screams of careful ground-up implementation and design rather than custom tweaks, adjustments, and color schemes of an already existing product. With the Opus-1, Evergreen International takes aim at the true definition of "Limited Edition".


... and what's this? A make-up kit?

Why yes, a make-up kit for a fishing reel that is!


Next Section: Final impressions and into the lab we go...









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