July 5, 2008

What About Bob?


Last week I receive my $600.00 cheque from Uncle Sam. It was a one time payment part of the economic stimulus package that congress voted on. The president hoped that this would help slow the economy from going farther into the shitter. Some will use it for paying bills or to fill up the Hummer. I was planning on using the money to replace some of the fishing gear. What I really wanted was a new reel. 

Last winter, I purchased a Bob James reel after I decided to retire my Milner Kingfisher. The Bob James wasn't my first choice as the tackle shop didn't have any Milners or Islander reels in stock. I needed a reel that fitted into my budget, so I got it. I tooled around with it and noticed a couple of things that I didn't agree with, namely the handles and clicker. I decided to give it a try as I knew other anglers that had them raved about it. After a couple of months, my impression of the reel soured as I could never get use to the handles being so close to the edge of the spool. I preferred to use my fingers as a drag instead on my palm. The clicker was a huge pain in the ass, as it was placed on the top. Since I use my right hand to hold the rod, the clicker was right near my fingers and several times I engaged it while fighting a fish. Don't get me wrong, the Bob James is a well crafted reel, but didn't suit me. After the season, I knew there would be a new reel in my future.


Earlier that year, Erie Outfitters had several Kingpin prototypes just delivered. Kingpin use to go by the name Arnold Kingpin. I've heard of them, but didn't know anybody that had one. The reels did catch my attention and I was impressed with them. The folks at Kingpin listened to a lot of feedback when it came to developing this reel as it's more geared to the Great Lakes markets. First off, the handles were farther in and the clicker was placed on the bottom. The reel also had a sealed bearing housing. This makes grit or silt getting in almost impossible. But if grit or silt did get in between the spool and the backing plate, all you have to do is remove the screw and unscrew the knurled nut which holds the spool onto the backing plate. Simply remove the spool, clean out the grit and screw the nut back on. The reel also came with a wrench that removed the nut on the front, this allowed easy removal of the bearings. Instead of greased bearings, the company installed oiled bearings. The reel is on the larger size having a diameter of 4 7/8" and comes in several colors such as black, red, platinum, blue or a combination of colors.


Well I couldn't resist and asked to hold me a reel when they came in. After several months the first orders came in and I got the funky purple "steelie eater" Series II 478 fully ported reel. I'm sure I'll get some razzing from the guys telling me the color is  gay and only homos get reels in purple. Inside the box was a certificate of authenticity which is sealed by a wax stamp, wrench and an extra rear nut. I got it spooled with backing and mainline and hopefully this weekend I get a chance to try on the Rocky for carp and catfish.

Oh yeah, I forgot, anybody interested in a reel?

2 comments:

Trotsky said...

Ah Gear...!!
We can never have enough gear.
LOL
That is a ...a-hem...bold colour choice...
;o)
I had a Kingpin for a while ...mine was the Bronze one.
They are very nice reels.
...kinda wish I'd never sold it.
How many days 'til October?

Greg Lum said...

I took the reel for test drive Friday and it has a nice start up and balances nicely with my G Loomis GLX.

Erie Outfitters had a couple of older Kingpins and the newer ones have better upgrades. I picked the purple one as that's not a color offered by Kingpin.

I remember seeing your bronze Kinpin on your blog. I believe Erie Outfitters is the only shop that carries the Kingpin reels in the U.S.

It's about 2 months before the steelhead start prowling along the breakwalls.