I’ve had the opportunity to fish with a large selection of saltwater reels. And after spending the summer trying out Avet’s latest EXW 4/02 reel, it’s become a fast favorite.
This two-speed reel, which has a gear ratio of four to one, has a fast retrieve that helped me catch up on running pelagics and clear the line if another rod was hooked up. I’ve caught numerous yellowfin and longfin tuna (pictured here) in the 30- to 60-pound range with this reel on both dead bait and lures. And I can honestly add, I’ve yet to break one off with this reel. I spooled my Avet with 50-pound Moimoi monofilament, but if you go a little smaller and use 40-pound class mono the reel holds a whopping 600 yards of line. So even if your fish runs long, you still have enough line to chase the big guy down.
While I found that the reel’s lever-drag system smooth from free spool right on up to the strike position, I wish the automatic the clicker system was easier to manage. The button is small and I had some trouble getting my fingers on it to engage it. Other than that, this reel easily endured life in the rugged saltwater environment. I simply washed the reel with fresh water, kept it lubed, and it was ready for the next trip. I’ve since bought another EXW 4/02 and I’m considering adding a couple more for next season. The EXW 4/02 retails for about $359.