By Terry Brown
For the record I am not a spinning reel dude. I have my fair share of them but until recently they were meant for crappie fishing and pond fishing with a bobber and a worm or maybe throwing a small crankbait or inline spinner when I have waded a local creek. “No way would I be caught dead with a fairy wand in my hands in a tournament!”
That all changed recently when boat traffic increased and the bite got super tough on my local mud hole. I had to resort to desperate measures. I had to figure the puzzle out and remembered the days of old. I first got a new Pinnacle spinning rod and reel, downsized my bait, put on 8 pound Berkley Braid and quickly put finesse fishing into my arsenal.
Let’s go back a few years. I used to dock fish a bunch on the St. Johns River. I fished tons of them and needed a weapon to reach places I could not get to with a baitcaster. The only way to reach those tough to get to fish around pilings covered with barnacles was with a spinning rod. I found a spinning reel, can’t remember the brand but it was gray and big, a 5 1/2-foot spinning rod I bought at Walmart in the bargain bin that I could shoot pool with and I was ready to go. That combo weighed as much as a 25-pitch stainless steel prop and was as smooth as an alligator’s back. It had torque, but I truly believe it was designed to pull in crab traps, not to catch pressured bass. It was out of date when I got it, and if I still had it today, I am sure it would bring in major bucks at an antique auction. Air cooled Sea Kings had nothing on me.
I digress. I recently got my hands on the new Pinnacle Performa XT combined with the new Pinnacle Perfecta DHC rod and it took about 3 minutes for me to realize that the technology has improved greatly since my days on the St. Johns. The Pinnacle Performa is very smooth, has an easily accessible and smooth drag system and a 5:1 gear ratio. The Quickfold handle is also a slick feature. The bail system was designed to reduce line twist and has a titanium coated line roller. The oversized bail arm is another feature we like as it looks and feels more durable. We like to hand flip the bail both to cast and engage the reel but the FatWire Bail was designed to be engaged with the reel handle. Slick feature. The Performa XT we tested weighs a light 10.4 ounces and balances well on the Perfecta DHC rod.
The reel body, rotor and side covers are made of a special alloy of aluminum, copper and silicon called ADC-12 that allows the gears to mesh perfectly and should help with durability of the reel. The owner’s manual and pouch that come with the reel are added values.
We have used 8-pound Berkley and Sufix 832 braids on this reel and have found it to work well casting to cover as well as skipping docks. Long casts are not a problem, and we noticed no slippage on hooksets. Even though I still look like a rodeo clown dodging a bull when using it, I like the feel and have added a new trick to the old dog’s arsenal, especially around docks. Teaming this combo with a 3/16 to a 1/4-ounce Eco-Pro Tungsten weight, 3/0 EWG hook and a small worm has added bass I may have missed with heavier tackle.
The Performa XT and the Perfecta DHC can be found at Tackle Warehouse. The Performa XT retails for $89.99 and the Perfecta DHC costs $144.99. The rod and reel are both solid and a good purchase for an avid bass angler.