For many, making the jump from a fixed-spool reel to a multiplier is a leap of faith. You have to either really want to, or need to do it. Of course, fixed-spool reels are fine for most general shore fishing but there are situations when only a multiplier will do.

One such situation is when fishing rough ground. Try using a run-of-the-mill fixed-spool reel here and you’re asking for trouble. Here are six of the best general-purpose beach multipliers – most of which the Total Sea Fishing team has had the pleasure of using for many years. Let’s see what they think…

The Tester

Barney Wright
Age: 39
Years fishing: 34
Speciality: Tournament casting
Favourite fish: Cod

 


 

Daiwa 7HT RRP £125
Bearings: Three
Power handle: No
Retrieve ratio: 5.2:1
Line capacity: 340 metres of 0.35mm
Braking: Centrifugal

Barney Wright 9/10
This reel has proved to be a complete success over the years and has withstood the test of time. Oils and brake blocks are the agents that control the reel and by varying the viscosity of the oil and/or size and number of brake blocks, the reel can be made to run as fast or as slow as possible.
The only drawback is, ironically, also its strength, because to adjust the reel speed to suit conditions means a little reel surgery before fishing, and sometimes during a session! The best way is to always use thick oils and at least one block for total confidence.


 

 

Penn 525 Super Mag RRP £165
Bearings: Six
Power handle: Yes
Retrieve ratio: 6:1
Line capacity: 275 yards of 0.35mm
Braking: Magnetic

Barney Wright 10/10
The ability to cast very long distances and to retrieve in double-quick time is an asset that this reel has. I can confidently use the Super Mag at any fishing venue, whether it is extremely rough ground or clean beach.
With the use of ceramic bearings and strong, adjustable magnets, the reel can be made to run as fast or slow as needed by the movement of a lever. The reel is very robust and can endure some harsh treatment, although being hard on a reel is never recommended! It is a great all-rounder that really does get the job done.


 

 

Abu Mag Elite RRP £156.99
Bearings: Three
Power handle: Yes
Retrieve ratio: 5.3:1
Line capacity: 240 yards of 0.35mm
Braking: Magnetic and centrifugal

Barney Wright 9/10
This reel has been a favorite choice for anglers over the years and is a natural progression of the original Elites. The magnetic braking system of the reel is tried and tested and is as good as ever. It is best suited to clean-beach venues because it casts superbly and is very easy to control. However, it is not overly robust and is susceptible to corrosion, meaning that regular servicing is a requirement for longevity.
It is my preferred choice when extreme range is needed over clean ground. It has a good retrieve ratio; however the drag can sometimes slip if the terminal tackle encounters a snag.

 


 

 

Daiwa SL20 SHV  RRP £150
Bearings: Three
Power handle: Yes
Retrieve ratio: 6.1:1
Line capacity: 350 yards of 0.35mm
Braking: Centrifugal

Barney Wright 7/10
This reel is strong and can withstand heavy treatment and use in the harshest of environments. It is best suited to rough-ground or rock venues, because it is not particularly long-casting user friendly and can be temperamental.
It is great for close-in work and coping with the largest of fish, even when hauled through kelp. It is best to load these reels up with heavy line to tackle these jobs, but it can double up as a boat reel. This makes it a good choice for anglers that dabble in both rock and boat fishing.

 


 

 

Abu Sports Mag RRP £164.99
Bearings: Three
Power handle: Yes
Retrieve ratio: 5.3:1
Line capacity: 240 yards of 0.35mm
Braking: Magnetic and centrifugal

Barney Wright 9/10
This is essentially the same as the Mag Elite with regards to the cage, spool, bearings and gears. However, it does have a different magnet adjuster and endplate, as well as a sportier-looking winding handle.
The reel casts like a dream and the magnets are easily adjustable to suit conditions. However, it is important to keep the reel clean because it can corrode. Always purge with fresh water after use, especially the mag adjuster, because dirt and sea salt can soon jam it up! Then lubricate it afterwards for the best results.
It is suited to most sea fishing scenarios but, because of its more delicate nature, it is not suited for the rough-ground treatment.


 

Shimano Calcutta 400BSV  RRP £189.99
Bearings: Four
Power handle: Yes
Retrieve ratio: 5:1
Line capacity: 260 yards of 0.35mm
Braking: Centrifugal

Barney Wright 9/10
This is a cracking little reel and, typical for Shimano, it looks the business. It possesses a Variable Braking System that can be switched on or off to suit conditions. However, it does require the user to partially dismantle the reel to access it.
It has got a power handle to help make up for a low retrieve ratio, but it works well and makes reeling in easy, although a little slow. It casts very well and is capable of long-range fishing. It is robust enough to also cope with some heavy-ground fishing, but it is necessary to wind like crazy over snags!

Total Sea Fishing

 


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