Fishing Reels

Fishing reels have been used in England since about 1650, but if our seventeenth century forefathers could see what technological innovation has become available to us 21st century inhabitants, they’d scream ‘witchcraft!’ (or go day-glo green with pure envy). As we know, fishing reels employ a spool mounted on an axel to deploy and retrieve the fishing line; but there, many similarities end. A seventeenth century angler would have little knowledge of high-tech drag mechanisms, which apply variable pressure to the revolving spool to slow it down (contemporary drag technology always slips the forces below the line’s snapping point whilst placing maximum ‘drag’ on the fish, tiring it to the point where it almost begs to be grilled or pan-fried).
The Lamson Litespeed Reel could easily earn the title of the daddy of fishing reels, even though it’s firmly in the mid-price range (currently available from John Norris at between £250 and £375, depending on model). It’s a top quality reel, with a drag system completely sealed to the elements (including saltwater) and absolutely zero maintenance. There is virtually no start-up torque to the drag, and you can change from right to left hand retrieve by simply unscrewing the cap, flipping the clutch, and re-screwing the drag cap. The Litespeed is machined from barstock aluminium in the US, and for a large arbor fishing reel it’s amazingly light with no compromise to its strength.
Moving on to a veritable Rolls Royce amongst fishing reels, however, you might find yourself swooning before the stunning Abel Super Series QC Reels and Spools. ‘QC’ stands for ‘Quick Change’ and literally years of development have gone into the making of this range. All fishing reels are ‘ported’ or ventilated using a rounded oblong aperture, a design which preserves total rigidity and maximum strength. The brilliant simplicity informing the ‘Quick Change’ design means that anglers can change spools whilst fishing – almost whilst brushing their teeth. All you need to do is ease up on the drag, turn the knob on the spindle – and the spool is loose! Anyone used to fishing in areas where fish are found at different depths, necessitating different lines with different presentations, will find this feature irresistible. This fishing reel series has integral ‘outgoing’ and ‘retrieve’ clicks, radically new to Abel. The series also has the typical wide range of drag settings for Abel products, along with the low start-up inertia Abel aficionados will be familiar with. Simply brilliant stuff!