About "Catch & Research"

Welcome. I found my passion in ecological economics and fishing. They are all about pursuit of unknown and uncertain objects. I always enjoy the seemingly reckless pursuit itself. This blog is a record of my long journey in research and fishing. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New ultralight reel

I bought a new ultralight reel for my 5'6" ultralight blank rod. I was considering to buy another Shimano's Sonora, but Dick's sporting goods did not have one. I tested couple of reels at display and picked Field & Stream's Ravenna reel, which is a store brand of Dick's.

I know that someone despise store brands. But the reel was not that bad considering its price, $39.99 ($29.99 after $10 discount). A rumor, which I heard about Field & Stream's reels, says that they are actually OEM products of Pflueger. I could not confirm this rumor and could not find a matching model among Pflueger's reels. I could not find further information about this reel at all on-line. Strange... Anyway, so this post is going to be the first review of Field & Stream's Ravenna reel (model# RV-10).

Specification and Features
  • Gear ratio: 5.5:1
  • Line rating (lbs./yds.): 4/210, 6/170, 8/80
  • Weight: 7oz. (I measured it with my fish scale)
  • Graphite body
  • Seven ball bearings
  • One infinite anti-reverse roller bearing
  • Even line wrap oscillation system
  • Precision balance rotor
  • Ported aluminum spool
What I liked most was solid feeling in reeling. Reeling was smooth but reel arm was not shaky. Definitely, my personal preference. Some prefers light feeling. Design and color were OK. Actually, better than Sonora's new orange color outlook. I liked that reel arm was big enough for my hands. I found that other ultralight reels had small reel arm, which sometimes makes reeling painful.

I spooled the reel with 4lb test mono line. I test-cast jig, crank, spinner, etc. and could not find any issue with it. I have not caught fish yet (it has been too warm...). I hope to catch one soon. Someone may question about durability of this "value" reel. At this point, I cannot comment on it. But from my experience of using other value reels, I think that modern spinning reels do not really have durability problem if handled properly.


cdruhl said...

I have one of these as well. It is a great reel. Do not let it break and don't buy it if you want to keep spare spools around for different line weights or whatever because I can't find any source of parts for these reels. I called Dick's customer service and they tell me that no parts are available. If we could figure out who the OEM is then we might be able to get parts. Otherwise, it's a "throw away" reel.

cdruhl said...

I'll bet that these are the same as Pfleuger's "President" reel. They look strangely alike, particulary with the spool and drag wheel. Might be worth a shot to try if I can find a place that stocks Pfleuger parts where I could try before buy or be able to return.

Next time, though, I'm not going to purchase this F&S reel, which to me is a false economy if I can't get parts no matter how good the quality, and simply buy the Pfleuger reel.

I could get a spool for my $14.99 Shumano FX 2500FB reel that came as part of a "Ready to fish" combo. This reel is of arguably of lesser quality but Shimano customer service can get any part that you might need. I have a spare spool for that on the way.

I know spare spools isn't an issue for many but I do like to try out new line types on occassion without having to dump a perfectly good, filled up spool.

It's sad that Dick's offers no support for these otherwise great reels outside of a 1-year replacement warranty if it breaks.