Nothing is ever straightforward, is it?
I recently took delivery of the Okuma Custom Black CB-60 reels I talk about here. And they're great: good-looking, smooth, well-built - and they come with a freespool-to-locked-up-in-3/4-of-a-turn drag.
I'd planned to pop out today to see how much better one of these reels - freshly loaded with Rovex 12.8ln Carp Line - casts on my little NGT travel carp rod, compared with what I could reach with my BPX Compact reel, loaded with Daiwa Sensor 15lb line.
With the Daiwa line, I can get out to about 80 yards with a 21/2 oz lead (confirmed with measuring/wrap sticks) - that's not bad for a soft 11' 2.75lb TC rod - and although the spools on the BPX and CB-60 reels are dimensionally very similar - I was confident that I could usefully improve on the cast with the Rovex line.
It's seriously impressive stuff: very strong; tough; really fine for its breaking strain (which it routinely exceeds in independent testing); silicon-coated for better casting (I know...); and 1000 metres costs a fiver!
Only one small (and also big) problem: the reel foot is too big for the rod's reel seat! And it's not just the travel rods - the foot is actually too wide to fit into the front slot of the reel seats of about half of my rods.
What a pain in the arse that is...
Now, the reel does fit onto my 12' 2.75lb Shimano Beastmaster SDRs (the rods that the reels are primarily intended for) but they won't get nearly as much use on those rods as they would on travel rods (I'm not getting onto trains with a 12' rod holdall) so I'm a bit stuck.
I suppose I could file the reel feet, but I don't want to mutilate brand-new reels unless I have to: so I'm crossing my fingers that they'll work with a couple of Shimano Tribal TX Compact (12', 3.5lb TC) rods I've got on order:
I'd already decided on a couple of these simply because I suspect that the NGT rods could find themselves outgunned on the lake I'll primarily be fishing, which is 50+ acres, and which might well need a longer chuck than the NGT rods are capable of: I'm an obsessive user of solid PVA bags. and while I'd be happy enough pinging out bags to - say - 60 yards with the NGTs, the lake I'm going to fish could well warrant casts far in excess of that.
Because the TX Compacts are Shimano too, I'm hoping that the reel seat on these is like the one on the Beastmasters.
Added: They are. And the rods really are impressive - ringed for casting (which I won't really benefit from, but I'm happy to have anyway) and are pretty much indistinguishable from two-piece rods in action or at a cursory glance: as you see from the image above, the spigots have rubber collars on them, which lessen the impression that there's a joint there by filling up the gap.
Me likey these rods - I'm seriously considering buying a third - and in addition to giving me welcome options with regard to casting distance and PVA bag-iness (it's a thing), they'll be fantastic pike rods.
Rovex 12.8lb line + Okuma CB-60 reels should be a marriage made in heaven for my fishing: but "nothing is straightforward" doesn't end with big reel feet...
According to the spool capacity printed on the reels, 1000m of 0.28mm diameter line should do three reels comfortably enough.
Admittedly I filled the first spool right up to the lip - that's what you do - but I really didn't get close to properly filling the second spool.
After much faffing with putting (I hoped) the right amount of backing on the third reel spool (I used an old spool of 18lb line as backing) and then loading the Rovex from spool two to spool three, the line distribution isn't quite right - too much line building up towards the bottom of the spool - so I guess that I'm forced to buy another two spools of the Rovex, and fill each reel from a separate spool of line, just to be sure.
Added: I've reloaded the backing and main line again, paying more attention to how the backing line was going on, and to the tension of the main line. The line lay and distribution are spot-on this time, but I'll still need another spool of line just to load the third reel.
It's hardly going to break the bank at a fiver or so per spool, but it's all still a bit of a ball-ache...