RRP: £299

I recently used this reel in some of northern Norway’s deep and snaggy fjords and was blown away with how well it performed. Handling fish weighing in excess of 20lb was an absolute doddle, while the drag system was fantastic and incredibly easy to operate.

The fact it holds a massive amount of line on the spool certainly helped me combat some of the deeper venues, where it can take up to eight minutes for your baited rig to reach bottom.

This reel packs an almighty punch, and its pure strength is the catalyst to beating large fish. Lean on this as hard as you like and it responds immediately. Nine bearings
mean that each and every crank is as smooth as you like.

Daiwa has done away with the anti-reverse button, which, in my opinion, is a masterstroke – the last thing you need to happen while attached to a large specimen, is to inadvertently knock it into reverse. The line clip has also been omitted – it’s not needed anyway.

Then there’s the brilliant manual
bale-arm. Again, if your arm is perilously close to the handle while casting, there’s simply no risk of prematurely knocking the bale-arm over mid-cast.

Other features include a rubber seal around the drag adjuster so water cannot enter on to the drag washers. Daiwa also uses a special oil to lubricate the drag system. When not in use, the oil becomes almost like water, but as soon as the drag begins to work, it acts like grease. The viscosity begins to alter to keep the drag smooth. Incidentally, you can expect a huge 15kg (33lb) of drag to back you up in testing times.

The whole unit is protected from water entering the inner of the reel superbly. There are nine bearings, of which eight are CRBB (corrosion resistant). A retrieve of 5.3:1 sees 1.23 metres of line retrieved with each turn of the handle, while a rubber bobbin on the spool is brilliant for preventing braid slipping.

A simply fantastic reel for casting from the shore and handling large fish in deep water, as well as for boat fishing.