Shimano Ultegra XTD 5500
Shimano had a phenomenal year with its great value Ultegra XTD 14000 reel and this year sees the launch of the compact 5500 version.
This impressive reel packs an abundance of top quality functions into its slender body. With X-Ship Gears you are guaranteed solid cranking power with instant feedback. The AR-C spool, Slow Oscillation and X Aero Wrap Line Lay all combine to ensure perfect line lay and fantastic casting performance. The micro-adjustable drag offers silky smooth reliability, giving you all the confidence you need to remain in control during the fight. In recent years I have tried backwind as much as possible during the fight, setting the clutch so it only gives line under extreme pressure. But when I’m out with my son I’ve had the clutch set much looser, which helps prevent any unnecessary hook pulls. The compact body weighs in at only 500g making them perfect for use with lighter setups. In fact they feel great when paired up with a lighter test curve rod such as the 12ft 2¾lb or the 10ft 3lb Shimano Velocity rods. The high 5.3:1 gear ratio offers an impressive retrieval rate: 105cm of line per turn of the handle. Each reel retails at £139.99 and comes supplied with a spare spool and spool reducers.