I recently had the opportunity to fish with the new Offshore Angler Inshore Extreme Low-Profile Casting reel. During this time, I fished both inshore and near shore waters for a variety of fish, including red drum, spotted seatrout and flounder. A bonus trip put us on some very nice sheepshead as well.
The reel's 6-disc drag delivers up to 16.5 pounds of drag power
I paired this reel with Bass Pro's Offshore Angler Inshore Extreme casting rod, an excellent match for the reel that gave me a nice balanced outfit. (Read the Offshore Angler Inshore Extreme Casting Rod Review.) I was able to make smooth, accurate casts at almost any reasonable distance with this rod and reel combination.
Bass Pro's twelve pound test World Wide Sportsman Camouflaged monofilament line was the line of choice on this reel. One great feature is that it holds 230 yards of twelve pound line -- enough to survive a long run from almost any fish.
The 6.4:1 gear ration on this reel is great. It is a higher retrieve rate than most casting reels, which allows me to either get a lure back to the boat quickly for a fast re-cast or work a fast lure without wearing out my wrist trying to keep the lure moving at the right speed. I get twenty-eight inches of line retrieval for every full crank of the handle. That's significant.
The low-profile design has the handle gearing encased and actually sitting below the top of the reel, hence the term "low profile." This allowed me to cast and reel with more comfort and removed some of the line tangling problems that higher profile reels have.
I fished a number of inshore locations, catching spotted seatrout and redfish with long accurate casts to oyster bar edges. The reel performed flawlessly, and the drag was extremely smooth on the few reds I caught that were actually large enough to activate the drag.
Hook setting was made easier because of the reel's Powerlock infinite anti-reverse feature. There is no "back slack" movement when you set the hook, just a solid hook-up. This same feature allows for better lure control without slack developing in your line.
The drag was extremely smooth on the few reds I caught that were actually large enough to activate the drag.
While backlashes will never be totally eliminated, the Radial Tuned Braking (RTB) combines with the infinite anti-reverse for long smooth casts without backlashes. This new system is a combination of braking shoes that are activated by the dial on the palm side of the reel. The free spool setting is just that: free spool. No braking whatsoever. Some anglers like an entirely free-spool, preferring to adjust and brake the cast completely with their thumb. I'm not one of those anglers. I like the idea of allowing the reel to work for me and help me prevent backlashes -- especially when casting into a blustery wind.
The RTB has three additional settings that allow two, four or six baking shoes to be activated. I adjusted the settings as I fished based on the lure weight and wind conditions; the reel responded remarkably well, and backlashes were minimal at the worst.
This reel is built for saltwater. It has stainless steel bearings, brass and stainless gears, and an all aluminum frame. Rust and corrosion, while impossible to totally avoid on any reel, will be kept to a minimum and can be totally avoided if you simply wash the reel with freshwater after every use and perform preventive lubrication from time to time. The push-button take-apart feature on the palm side of the reel makes for easy maintenance and cleaning.
I like this reel; it feels good in my hands, palms nicely and performs extremely well. I caught a number of fish during this trial, and the reel performed flawlessly. I you prefer fishing saltwater with a casting reel you should have one of these.