Destination Outdoors

New reels are real thing

Gear box

September 22, 2005|By CANDUS THOMSON

If Barbra Streisand fished (quite the mental picture), here's what she'd say about the action on Shimano's Stradic freshwater reels and its Torsa offshore reels: "Like buttah."

The freshwater reels seem to get better with each generation. The switch to a breakaway handle means you can more easily tuck it in an overnight bag to take advantage of a last-minute fishing opportunity.

The Stradic line-management system puts a little extra pop on your cast. The reel gives you a speedy retrieve and precise drag adjustments. Shimano supplies the reel with an identical spare spool, a nice touch.

One thing that makes you go hmmmm: The open drag knob lets in nasty crud.

The Stradic line comes in six sizes. The Stradic 1000 weighs less than 8 ounces. It has four ball bearings and one roller bearing. The gear ratio is 6.0:1. Line capacity is 110 yards of 6-pound test. Price: $120.

The Torsa allows an angler to chase big fish with a small, high-power, high-speed, lever drag reel that casts like a baitcaster. How? Shimano designers drastically reduced the weight of the spool to reduce start-up inertia and backlash. The reel also gives a caster more thumb room for more control.

Perhaps the best feature is the "Rapid Fire" drag cam system that allows the angler to quickly swap out the drag cam - without tools - to match the kind of fishing. The reel comes with a cam called the "Long Range Special," but Shimano offers seven other cams, ranging from a light line special to a chunk fishing special.

The Torsa caught the eye of judges at the annual ICAST trade show this year. It beat almost 800 entries to win the "Overall Best of Show Award" and "Best of Show" in the reel category.

Of course, all of this comes at a price. Torsa reels come in four sizes, and will set you back $670 to $700. But if you spend a serious amount of time fishing offshore, at least give this one a look next time you're in the tackle shop.

CALENDAR

Birding

Sunday -- Look for woodland and field birds at a private farm during a walk with the Howard County and Carroll County bird clubs. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the commuter parking lot, intersection of I-70 and Rte. 32. Details: 410-795-3117.

Fishing

Wednesday -- Meeting of the Atlantic Coast chapter of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association, 7:30 p.m., Ocean City Marlin Club, Gold Course Road, West Ocean City Harbor. Details: 410-647-8218 or 410-208-0567.

Hiking

Saturday -- Circuit hike of 10 miles at Antietam Battlefield with the Mountain Club of Maryland. Moderate pace with stops at historic sites. Details: 410-871-0066.

Hunting

Sunday -- Muzzleloader Sight-In Day, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., Glenbrook Rifle Association, 8170 Waterford Rd., Pasadena. Details: 410-255-6498.

Notes

Items -- Items for the calendar may be mailed to Outdoors Editor, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278-0001.

Online -- To read an expanded version of the calendar, go to baltimoresun.com/sports/outdoors.

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