Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier Baitcast Reel | Review
I recently purchased a Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier Rod/Reel combination - as I had some birthday money to burn. I've always been a proponent of the classic Spinning Rod & Reel, as it's been a staple of sport fishing for over a century; however, I was interested in trying something new. Despite all the horrifying stories of back lashes and birds nests, I wanted to finally give a bait casting reel a chance - after all, it wasn't my money.
So before I made my purchase, I did some extensive research on what a good bait cast reel should offer. Here is what I discovered. A good baitcast should generally be a "one piece" system, and by that I mean it's forged/formed from a single piece of metal (generally aluminum, as it's light weight). Being a one piece of system means there are less opportunities for cracks, breaks, and over all wear and tear, and let's face it, that's important as I know my equipment takes a beating over the course of a season.
Secondly, the reel should be "geared" for performance - with the focus being on it's bearings & braking system. This particular reel has a 7-bearing system with Powerlock anti-reverse technology and a Dual Braking System. That in itself is incredibly important technology, because it will prevent you from forming those dreaded and time consuming back lashes that will have you cussing and moaning while your line piles up in the palm of your hand, having never touched the water. In addition to the above, this particular reel also has a 6-pin centrifugal cast control (Centrifugal: moving or directed outward from the center), with easy pin adjustment. Essentially the pins aid in additional control, allowing you to move pins to "balance" your cast. This is all great... if it works... so does it?
Amazon - Baitcasters
It does! I couldn't believe it, but with only a few practice casts and a little know how, I was able to whip out my lures/baits incredible distances. That is after all the main advantage of the "bait caster" - to literally launch your lures lengths just short of a football field. Alright, perhaps that is a exaggeration, but I was thoroughly impressed with the great casting distances, with even light weight tackle attached. Those aforementioned casting controls truly aided in the process of preventing back lashes - of which I only suffered one - and that's because my thumb forgot it's role on one lengthy cast.
The other advantage to this reel is that is does exceptionally well with all line types, including: monofilament, florocarbon, & braided lines. That's another huge advantage, as you want a reel that will be able to handle the "slings and arrows" of any situation.
Overall, the reel performed beautifully and made me feel less guilty about blowing a $100 gift card on fishing equipment, instead of gas. I would definitely recommend this reel to anyone interested in trying a bait caster, or for even those seasoned anglers who may be disappointed with their current equipment. Clearly that was the consensus of those who had previously purchased this reel from Bass Pro Shops throughout the year, as it continued to receive high marks in nearly ever category. It scored an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5.0, and that was achieved not with 1, 10, or even 50 reviews - but with over 300.