Shimano Tekota Reel Review
Shimano has done a wonderful job on this lineup of conventional fishing reels. Out of the box you will notice the Tekota does not have the fancy finish of Shimano’s higher priced “gold” reels but this will prove to be a non-factor once the reel is fished with.
I have the Tekota 600 in use on all my live-bait/jigging outfits as well as employing the smaller 400 version for deepwater fluking trips. The Tekota’s solid construction has proved to be more than a match for any striped bass or bluefish encountered to date. The 600 model combined with the Star Rods MH 8ft casting rod offers an excellent combination for a wide range of applications.
The reel offers a large line capacity for its size. I still prefer monofilament line for live-bait fishing whereas I have 30lb Power Pro loaded on the 400s for fluke fishing. I fill the 600s with 250 yds of 25lb test Berkley Big Game monofilament and have a full 300 yd spool of 30lb Power Pro on the 400s with a mono top-shot. Line capacity is a non-issue.
The Tekota frame is built around a cast aluminum frame. The side plate opposite the handle is graphite which helps make the Tekota one of the lighter reels in it’s size class. The reel is very solid and I have never noticed any signs of sway or twist with big fish on the line. The over-sized handle is very comfortable and provides plenty of cranking power, and you can REALLY crank with these reels as the drag system provides approximately 16lbs of drag which is pretty nice for a reel this size. The retrieve ratio is right around 4.2-1. This is not a FAST reel but in it’s use aboard my board for live-baiting it works very well.
In a crunch the reel will cast fairly well. It is definitely not going to win any casting contests but I find I can cast with it just about as well as any other conventional reels I’ve used. I like to fish live bunker by snagging one in the school and leave it swim until found by a predator. With the Tekota I have no trouble tossing a 3 ounce weighted treble into the school and then have the ability to free-line the bait a lot easier than could be done on spinning tackle.
The solid aluminum frame, a silky smooth Dartainium drag system combined with an oversized power handle give these reels un-paralleled power to show that trophy at the end of your line who the boss is.
These reels are overbuilt to withstand plenty of winning arguments with large gamesters and are a great value in their price class.