AFTA 2016: Fishing World’s top 5 reels

THE 2016 AFTA Tackle Show has just finished on the Gold Coast and there were plenty of great new products on the market. Here Fishing World choose their top 5 new reels released at this year’s show in no particular order.

Shimano Stradic Ci4

THE revamped Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is a significant improvement over the previous range with weight having been even further reduced and the introduction of Shimano’s Hagane cold forged gears. This series also boasts a Magnumlite rotor plus a new bail design which sees the weight reduced and the centre of gravity improved. Shimano’s product manager Chris Cleaver says that this reel is better than many of yesteryear’s Stellas. Winner of best reel at AFTA 2016 Tackle Show as voted by tackle retailers.

Verdict: Shimano has improved on an already popular model to produce a super light reel that winds like a dream, and it’s a no-brainer that this will be popular.

RRP mid $300s

More info at

Penn Slammer 3

FRESH off scooping the best saltwater reel at this year’s Icast Show in the US, the Penn Slammer III is set to make big inroads into the heavy-duty spin market in Australia, especially considering the price. Featuring the IPX6 sealed drag system and Dura-Drag washers that Penn says eliminates hesitation even under extreme drag. Mitch from Penn says that the 30kg of drag on the biggest model, the 10500, is perfect for heavy spinning applications like switchbaiting for marlin and trolling for tuna.

Verdict: A super heavy duty reel that looks and feels tough. It also comes in at a fraction of the price of the competition. If it performs half as well as Penn says it will, it could take the Aussie market by storm.

Slammer III prices start at $369 RRP

More info at

Abu Garcia MGXtreme

THE new low profile Abu Garcia Revo MGXtreme is the lightest Revo baitcast reel ever produced. It has a new spool design and is jam-packed full of carbon, aircraft-grade aluminium, ceramic, titanium and magnesium to keep the reel down to only 126 grams. Ross Cannizzaro from Abu Garcia says the MGXtreme is the lightest baitcast reel on the market.

Verdict: The MGXtreme is ridiculously lightweight and smooth as anything you’ll ever feel. It’s going to be hugely popular with anyone that spends long days casting or trolling, particularly in freshwater.

RRP $699

More info at

13 Fishing Concept TX

THE Concept TX from 13Fishing was designed with one thing in mind; saltwater protection. It boasts 100 per cent resistant sealed bearings and Ocean Armor 2 Saltwater Protection which Damon from 13 Fishing says will allow the reel to be completely submersed in saltwater. A smooth operation, 25Lb of drag and an 8.1:1 gear ratio rounds out this new offering from 13 Fishing.

Verdict: We’re not sure about the colour but the reel feels beautifully smooth and light in the hand and offers potentially unrivalled saltwater protection.

RRP $429

More info at

Okuma Makaira

OKUMA’S new Makaira spinning reels boast a solid construction packed full of machine forged components, with no die-cast aluminium at all. A customised pre-set drag system works similarly to a lever drag while the rotor brake, manual bail trip and stainless steel gearbox ensure there is nothing flimsy about this reel. John Bell from Okuma says it’s the strongest reel we know of in the market for GT popping and Dogtooth jigging.

Verdict: This reel is ultra-tough, no question about it, and will have even the most loyal tackle fans wanting to take it for a spin. The only question is whether Aussies are prepared to pay for something that doesn’t yet have the name of its established competitors in the heavy spinning market.

RRP: Early estimates are $1299 for 20000 and $1499 for 30000.

More info at

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