Tuff Aussie reel

This heavy-duty threadline reel is something of a rarity – it’s designed and assembled here in Australia.

Up until the 1970s we had a tradition of engineering some pretty interesting reels – the famous Seascapes, Surfmasters, Crouches, Graemes and Taylors were all made locally until the influx of overseas product from Asia and America made the home-grown operations economically unviable.

Of course, we still have Aussie-made reels such as the ever-popular Alveys and niche products such as the Hayden fly reels. But this XTA Diablo 9000 from Tuff Tackle is the first Aussie-designed spin reel we’ve seen for a very long time.

This jig/game/heavy spin reel is interesting on a number of levels, not least the fact that it seems well made and comes in at a very attractive retail price. We’ll do a full test on it in an upcoming issue, as well as feature it via video tests and articles here on the Fisho website.

In order to give you a sneak peek, however, here are a few vital statistics:

The reel is rated to 37 kilos, boasts 20 kilos of drag and has a 10 year warranty. The body is solid aluminium with digitally cut bronze gears (a lubrication port allows for maintenance of the gearing system), a one way bearing and SS anti reverse ratchet. The drag system is fully sealed with SS and carbon fibre washers.

The reel boasts a bearing line level pulley, solid 3mm bail wire, a capacity of 320m of 0.37mm line, a 4.4:1 gear ratio and it weighs in 750 grams. All components are 316 stainless alloy with the body featuring engine-grade aluminium.

The reel was designed by Simon Ball, a mechanical engineer, super keen angler and founder of Melbourne-based TuffTackle.

We’ve had a play with the Diablo 9000 and can report that it seems well engineered with precise tolerances, little or no play and solid gearing. It’s not as refined as high quality Japanese reels such as Stellas and Saltigas, but at $375 retail it’s about a quarter of the price! We’re really looking forward to testing it out and seeing if it performs as well as it looks.

Testimonials from a variety of charter operations from around the country seem to indicate that the reel is, well, the real deal. “Finally a reel that can be used as a winch wrench from 100m that doesn’t flog out”, “I can’t believe how good these reels are”, “best bottom bashing reel I’ve used for trumpeter at 100m”, “compares favourably with the Shimano and Saltiga” are some of the comments from charter skippers who’ve used and tested the Diablos.

TuffTackle also makes the Diablo Sniper 10,000, a 60 kilo rated spin reel which will retail for about the $695 mark. From all accounts, the Aussie-made Sniper is right up there as a seriously heavy duty reel. Stay tuned!

For more details, contact TuffTackle on (03) 59643453 or

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