Wychwood truefly SLA cassette reel - the review
Cassette reels have really become popular the last couple of years or so and this new EFFTEX award-winning offering from Wychwood could be just what you are looking for - read on to see what reviewer Terry Lawton thinks...
The Wychwood truefly SLA cassette reel is presented in a smart brown Cordura-cover protective case with two spare polycarbonate spools. There is an internal moulding in the bottom that holds the reel and spools and two net pockets in the lid which hold the owner’s manual and warranty/care instructions.
The reel as supplied was a pleasant beige matt anodized finish – described by the manufacturer for some obscure reason as warm grey – with brown polycarbonate spools. It is also available in black.
A lot of thought, time and effort went into the design, performance and look of the reel. Wychwood can be congratulated on producing a very good looking reel that is very well made and finished. The weakest aspect is the rather ordinary little handle.
The complete package sets a very high standard in presentation and shows the way that packaging of fishing tackle is going.
Performance and Opinion
The 106mm arbor of the truefly reel is claimed to be the largest in the die-cast #7/8 cassette reel market. This is matched by a weight of 200gms which is light in comparison to many reels, let alone of this size. The reel won the ‘Best New Fly Reel for 2009’ award at Efftex. The reel makes a subdued noise so when a decent fish takes line there is no “screaming reel” to alert the competition.
The shape of the spokes of the original design was changed to help reduce the weight of the reel without compromising its strength and rigidity. One pleasing aspect of the design is the hidden counterbalance. Instead of adding a lump of metal to the reel cage opposite the reel handle in the traditional way, Wychwood has taken metal from the inside of the two spokes nearest to the reel handle. Although the reel is die cast, some machining is used to produce a quality fit and finish. In the search for lightness I am surprised that the flange on the spool frame on which the cassette sits has not been drilled out.
The reel is easy to take apart and re-assemble. The centre nut is unscrewed with fingers – no tool needed – and then the cassette is disengaged from the reel cage. As long as you don’t pull too hard on the nut, it will stay retained in the centre of the reel cage. Another neat touch. Fitting a different spool is aided by aligning one of the little red dots on the edge of the spool with a similar dot on the cage. The spool is held in place by an O ring. Changing from right to left-hand wind, or vice versa, is simple but does need a screw driver.
The drag is adjusted by a sensibly-sized knurled knob with little arrows showing which way to turn it to increase or decrease drag. The design of the knob, which turns with a noticeable sharp click, mimicks that of the reel cage. Drag adjustment is very fine and the drags itself is very smooth with little or no start-up inertia. While that helps protect fine tippets, competition anglers will appreciate the smoothness so that a decent amount of drag can be used to help subdue fish quickly.
- lightweight die-cast aluminium cage and frame
- polycarbonate cassette spool
- new RULON disc drag system concealed behind a hard anodised aluminium barrel for protection and strength
- hidden counterbalance
- 100yds of micro backing with a WF8 line
The reel, with two spare cassette spools (three in all), costs £69.99 and one spare spool costs £6.99 and two spools £9.99.
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