I'm willing to bet that I'm like most of you. When I see a good-looking spinning reel for under $70, I'm pretty skeptical. Looks can only get you so far. Performance is what makes or breaks a reel. So I want you to hear me loud and clear with this review.
I don't know if I've been more pleasantly surprised by a fishing reel than I have been with the Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reel. I don't say that lightly. Priced at $65.99, I expected a lot less than what I got with this particular reel. I have been fishing with it in ponds, on big lakes and even in saltwater in the bays of St. George Island. It has exceeded my expectations and to be totally honest with you, I'd be totally fine having a front deck full of these reels. For this price point, I don't think you'll find a better deal.
Hang with me and I'll explain what I'm talking about.
I sincerely try to avoid using words like "shockingly", but I'm telling you - this reel is smooth as butter. If I blindfolded you and let you make a few casts with it, I'm willing to bet you'd guess its price at $150 or more.
The Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reel may not be a household name yet, but it offers almost identical performance as many reels twice its price point. With 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings, everything on this reel moves and functions with impressive smoothness. There is no grit or resistance to speak of anywhere in this reel.
As I mentioned earlier, I have also used this reel in the salt. I don't know if it's rated for it or anything like that, but I figured that would be the ultimate test for this review. It's been three weeks since it has been in the saltwater and I haven't experienced any performance issues. I've fished with it several times since in fresh water and it still performs the same it did when I first unboxed it.
High gear ratio for fast retrieves
I really like that this reel comes with a 6.2:1 gear ratio. It's pretty darn quick for a spinning reel and this has been helpful in several different situations. Whether I've been trying to wrench a nice bass from underneath a dock on a shaky head or manipulate a speckled trout from backwater reeds, I've found the fast retrieve to be quite useful.
A lot of anglers think of spinning reels as wimpy, but this reel is anything but. It has some serious power for getting fish out and away from cover.
It's a lot lighter than I expected
Let's be real - most of the reels at this price point feel like bricks in your hands. They're clunky, uncomfortable and just don't feel right. The content guys at Wired2fish all started calling each other when we unboxed these reels - none of us could believe how lightweight they were.
The Carbon X features an all carbon fiber body, rotor and side plate which allows it to weigh in at just 7.8 ounces. Although it's so light, it also feels really sturdy while fishing.
The drag is pretty darn good
The Carbon X has three premium oversized carbons washers that offer up to 33 pounds of drag power with a sealed rubber ring protecting the drag system from dust and water. That all sounds good, but how does it perform?
The drag performs excellently when you find the sweet spot. I've noticed that if you're a click or two away from this sweet spot that the drag can be a little prone to surging at times. But it took me a minute or two to find the happy medium and once I found it, the drag was impressive. There were no delays in line dispensing and it remained smooth even during hard, boat- or shore-side runs.
If you let the price tag of this reel scare you away, you're doing yourself a disservice. This is one of the more impressive spinning reels I've tested this year and I really believe the Carbon X could be a major player once it catches on. I'm seriously considering buying a few more because they're that good. At $65.99, they're awfully tough to pass up.