Tackle on Test
Advance 4000 Fixed Spool Reel, RRP £34.99
At Baywater Anglers, we run angling education programmes for secondary school children and a lot of other events where we provide tackle for both newcomers to angling and those with a little more experience. We need rugged, dependable tackle which handles load well, puts up with the inevitable knocks and bumps that come with inexperience and which remains, despite all that, still a pleasure to use.
The Air Strike 4000 fixed spool reel fitted this demanding bill perfectly.
For its first test, I took the reel out for a float fishing trip after mackerel, matching the reel up with a 9' Rovex Captive spinning rod. A few casts, which the rod delivered beautifully, showed that it spilled the line smoothly from the spool and then, upon the retrieve, laid the line in a nice contour for effortless casting. Handling the fish that were caught was absolutely fine but the size of the mackerel proved to be no great challenge.
Okay then, time to step up a gear and try for something a little more rugged!
Changing the depth of the float to just a few inches off the bottom, I baited up with ragworm and cast again. A few smaller wrasse wanted to play, again not giving the reel a chance to show its pedigree, but then something a bit bigger decided that it was time to weigh in.
Solid and dependable, the Air Strike reel is a no nonsense piece of kit that does the job well.
3 stainless steel
Metal folding handle
spool - capacity 175 yards of 10 pounds breaking strain line
Stainless steel main shaft
Thick bail wire
Gear Ratio 5.2:1
This was more like it! The ballan put up a much more determined struggle, trying again and again to reach the sanctuary of the thick kelp strands that provided the cover in its underwater lair. The Air Strike, however, was having none of it. While perfectly capable of releasing line smoothly from the drag, it coped admirably with the opposite demands - locking up to prevent the fish from reaching cover.
Despite the best efforts of the fish, it soon found itself wrapped in the mesh of my trusty landing net and swung to shore, weighed in at just over two and a half pounds and then safely released to fight again another day.
All in all, the Air Strike performed very well indeed, proving again that Rovex are masters of producing affordable reels that, despite their inexpensive price tag, are perfectly serviceable and won't let you down. I have no hesitation in recommending it. As for the rod, it too performed beautifully, handling each fish with absolutely no problems whatsoever. I was also extremely impressed with its casting capability, when it cast the light floats that I like using with no difficulty whatsoever. Distance too was very good - I haven't used many rods that would cast lighter floats the distance that this one was managing extremely well. Together they made a great little outfit.
Overall Impressions (Rated out of 10)
Total Score 36