Alutecnos Albacore Veloce 20
The Albacore Veloce 20 is a member of the next generation of Alutecnos Reels, and it certainly is a worthy descendant. The Italian company gave its new reel, which retails for around $500, a more rounded look and an improved, ergonomic handle that has the drag preset on the plate opposite the lever drag. The Veloce's tempered stainless steel gears are housed in a rugged body made of 6082 aluminum alloy, which gives the reel additional anticorrosive properties. Add to that five sealed stainless steel bearings (also corrosion-resistant), and you've got yourself one tough heir.
The Need For Speed
Daiwa Sealine Lever Drag 2-Speed Big Game
Daiwa's Sealine Lever Drag 2-Speed Big Game ($299.99) is built for battle, which is why the company proudly exclaims it's "built like a tank." Consider the evidence: It has two CRBB extra-corrosion-resistant spool bearings, four shielded stainless steel ball bearings, and a machined aluminum spool that is exceptionally light and strong. And this sturdy reel is no one-trick pony—the Sealine 2-Speed is built for performance, too. It features a new, high-speed design with a dual-point gear shaft that gives greater winding power and the Infinite Spin spool for maximum casting of live baits.
Burn Baby Burn
Apparently the design gurus at Penn don't subscribe to the notion that if it ain't broke, you don't need to fix it. They've taken a good thing, the International V Single Speed series, and made it better. How? By adding the new 30VW reel ($449.99) to its product line. The 30VW features a ratcheted lever, loud and durable clicker, and Penn's uber-tough Dura-Drag material. The company claims Dura-Drag can maintain its original settings for up to 100 hours of "burn time" and promises to eliminate jerky drags. This new single-speed reel is a major improvement and a great option for hardcore anglers.
Go For The Gold
Shimano Tiagra 50A
It's no wonder that so many anglers consider Shimano's Tiagra 50A ($549.99) the gold standard in big-game fishing. This flaxen reel has a gold-anodized aluminum frame and spool, which give it a gleaming, highly durable finish. The Tiagra's ratcheting drag lever makes for a smooth, even drag increase from warning to strike, and the drag lever won't back off in the face of boat vibration. What's more, Shimano boasts that the stainless steel antirust bearings on the Tiagra 50A are ten times more corrosion-resistant than traditional options. Looks and performance? Now that's a golden combination.
This article originally appeared in the March 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.