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Reel Preview

Rapala introduces a complete line of new spinning reels (Reel Preview)

Date: 8/4/03
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Rapala
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Rapala follows up the successful launch of their fishing rods with a extensive line of mid priced fishing reels. Five years in the making, this new lineup of reels expands the Rapala total offering, making Rapala the only company to sell a full line of fishing tackle under one trusted brand name.


The RAP SX10i will be the top of the line reel, with 10BB and 1RB, it is designed to be smooth and powerful


About Rapala: Dedicated to delivering memorable fishing experiences every time, the Rapala Group, based in Vääksy, Finland (Helsinki Stock Exchange: RAP1V), manufactures and markets fishing lures, fishing line, fishing rods, fishing reels, hooks, terminal tackle, knives and accessories under the Rapala, VMC, Blue Fox and Storm brand names. The company was unofficially founded in 1936 when Lauri Rapala invented the Rapala fishing lure.

Reel Design: Rapala sought out to complete their lineup by producing quality reels at a "less-than-premium-price."
“Our intention from the beginning was to develop a solid, high-quality, core set of spinning reels, with no fluff or gimmicks,” says Steve Gibson, product engineer for Rapala. “And that is exactly what we have accomplished.” All four of the new reels from Rapala boast the fundamental same enhancements, the only difference is the level of refinement through the addition of ball bearings for a smoother feel.  


Rapala's SX7i has all the same features as the SX10i but will come with 7BB and 1RB


Reel Introductions: Arriving in stores in early 2004, four models of Rapala spinning reels will be available in three sizes each – light-, medium- and heavy-duty. Models range from the RAP Sx4i (estimated retail price: $29.00) with four ball bearings to the RAP Sx10i (estimated retail price: $79.00) with ten ball bearings. Also in 2004, Rapala is introducing two ultralight reel models – the RAP Sx3iUL and RAP Sx5iUL – with the same quality construction for light-tackle anglers, made to tackle panfish and trout with lines as light as 2lb test. The ultralight reels will retail for $29.99 and $39.99, respectively, and every Rapala reel comes with a reel maintenance kit.


The Mid-range reel, RAPSX6i will come with 6BB and 1RB, and is designed to be a great workhorse reel

Die-Cast Aluminum Frame:
Unlike many competitors in the mid range space that use graphite frames, all of the Rapala models will use durable cast aluminum frames. These frames are lighter, more durable, and will not flex under the stress of demanding retrieves. The die-cast frame also ensures a tighter tolerance in the gear housing, and maintains better alignment of all the crucial load bearing gears.


Designed to offer unprecedented performance for such a low price the RAPSX4i delivers 4BB and 1RB for an estimated retail price of only 29.99!


Stainless Steel Ball bearings: The ball bearings are the heart of any reel, as all moving parts rely on the bearings for smooth operation. Many reel companies that use carbon steel ball bearings, which are great when new, but often can rust or become damaged when exposed to the elements. Rapala uses high quality stainless steel bearings that have actually been tested with salt spray to ensure no degradation in performance. While primarily used for freshwater applications, these Rapala reels are rated for saltwater angling as well.


Designed for Panfish and Trout, the SX5iUL and RAPSX3iUL will both deliver smooth and powerful performance despite their small size and weight


Enhancements: While most mid-priced reels are appearing on the market with more and more advanced features, few can match the Rapala total offering. These enhancements include fine drag adjustment, titanium nitride plating, dynamic rotor balancing, and worm gear oscillation, just to name a few. These are features usually found in reels costing 20-40% more! These reels are also available in combos with Rapala's own HM and IM-6 rods.


Conclusion: “These reels have not been rushed to market,” says Bruce Brown, president of Rapala. “They are the product of many years of design research, expert consultation and field testing. We are confident that both Rapala enthusiasts and newcomers to the brand will be thrilled to own these quality reels, with features that are usually reserved for more expensive competitors.” Judging from what we have seen, this new lineup of reels is very exciting. Rapala has been a trusted company for lures, tools, and rods,...and this new venture to complete their lineup is a welcome one. While the actual field testing of these reels will ultimately demonstrate the value of these new offerings, we definitely like what we see so far.










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