Consequently, when offered a choice of jigging setups by keen jigging exponent and BCS Enterprises owner Chris Wong, I naturally went for the best: a Maxel Transformer 70 jigging reel secured to a Jigstar Battle Royale BR52BMH rod.
This setup really looks the part. The reel comes in various finishes; I’m guessing this one is ‘Black/Gunsmoke’. Whatever it is, it’s shiny and smart. The rod, on the other hand, has a more subtle, rather menacing appearance, with the blank’s dark-plum sheen only lighting up at certain angles in the light. Nice.
I had a couple of good options coming up to test the 18-37kg outfit, which had been loaded with 300m of Jigstar Katana 37kg braid: first, kingfish at the Three Kings Islands, then yellowfin tuna and maybe wahoo at Niue, so the opportunities were there.
I ended up using the outfit on several occasions and found it offered several excellent qualities. First, the outfit fits snugly in the hand; my own hands are modest in size with short fingers, yet my left hand wrapped around the palm tang and reel side plate nicely, providing a secure grip with plenty of potential for effective rod movement and control. (Please note, though, that on the advice of Chris I left the reel-brace off; when used, the grip would probably not be as comfy.)
This combines beautifully with the rod’s inherent ‘bounce’ (created when lifting suitable-sized jigs) when retrieving and is further aided by the reel’s jigging-friendly shape and balance, along with a practical cranking-length handle and spot-on retrieval ratio. In short, the rod and reel work particularly well together, making the angler’s job so much easier. In practice, the silky performance saw me tiring more slowly so I could jig for longer.
While I didn’t land a monster (sorry), I tangled with enough modest-sized kings and tuna to appreciate what was in my hands. This outfit is a weapon. Although typically short and powerful, I found the rod bent over nicely with drag pressure that suited the 37kg braid, so it wasn’t too hard on the angler, whilst also combining nicely with the reel’s powerful crank handle and grunty 4:1 gearing ratio to effectively control and lift the fish.
Two months on, the reel’s tough finish is still unmarked, despite being dragged all over the place, although I note a personal need to clean the lever-drag quadrant more thoroughly; it’s easy for salt deposits to gather in the small holes. Plenty to like with this gear!
• Lever-controlled carbon dual drag that delivers smooth performance even when wet.
• Precision machined, rigid, one-piece tempered aluminium frame. • Super strong, cold-forged aluminium spool and side plates.
• Smooth, high precision, heat-treated stainless-steel helical-cut gears.
• Eight oversized, shielded stainless-steel ball bearings plus two roller bearings.
• Recessed stainless steel seat sees reel sit lower on rod.
• All models have silent line-retrieve operation.
Capacity: approx. 330m 37kg/PE 8 braid
Line-retrieval per crank: 112cm
Overall weight: 790g
Maximum strike drag (still allowing freespool): 16kg; maximum fighting drag (still allowing freespool): 30kg.
• High-performance Japanese Toray nano-carbon blank designed specifically for hard-fighting fish.
• Top quality Fuji guides with low friction, heat-dissipating SiC inserts.
• Comfy and secure PSS/PLS palmsupport reel seat.
• Chameleon finish. • Comes in high quality bag.
Rating: PE 4-8
Lure weight: 300-500g
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