Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

My reel handle snapped off - do you carry a spare reel with you?

My Shimano Sustain 4000 is one of the best spinning reels I have ever had the pleasure to lure fish with - I love it (review here). Smooth, plenty powerful enough, just the right size for most of the lure rods I tend to use and play with, the drag system seems great albeit I don't like giving bass line if I don't need to, and that handle just does it for me - or at least it did do it for me until it went and snapped clean off when I was out fishing early on Saturday morning................

I would love to be able to say it was a monster of a bass that hit me and that's the reason the handle snapped off, but nope, it wasn't a very large bass and I wasn't giving it too much grief either - or at least I didn't get a chance to because the sodding handle came off the reel as I started to wind the bass in. I got the fish in by manually turning the bale arm around the spool, and my mate Andy kindly grabbed and unhooked the fish for me. Check out the photo above of my lonely reel handle now separated from my Sustain 4000.

Now to be honest this bugs the hell out of me - I look after my gear, and I am going to assume that my handle snapping clean off like that is a one-off. I have not heard of this before, although thinking about it I'm not a big fan of those folding type handles that leave parts of it exposed to potential saltwater damage. What really did me in was that the conditions were fantastic and we were catching a few bass as well. But what can you do? Except for raging at a bit of fishing tackle failing on you completely out of the blue. I think I might have uttered a swear word or two...........

OK, so the bass weren't monsters, but they were on the feed and the three of us were having a blast. My saving grace if you like is that the light went loopy for a while as thunder and lightning swept by us to the south, so whilst I couldn't fish anymore save for my kind friends demanding that I had some chucks with their gear, as per always I had my camera gear with me and I could at least make something of the photographic opportunities, and to be honest I would have had to take photos for a while anyway - I can't not get my camera gear out when you see light like we had on Saturday morning. It's the way I'm made and I can't help it.

What really frustrates me is that I trust the Sustain completely, or at least I did. I love lure fishing with this reel, but when a major part of your setup lets you down you can't help but worry - I always carry a spare spool loaded up with braid, just in case (and yes, it annoys me when you don't get a spare spool included with a spinning reel), but I don't personally carry a spare spinning reel with me. Do you? Am I mistaken to not be carrying a spare reel? I don't carry a spare rod and reel and as such I accept that if I fall over say and snap my rod then my fishing session is over, but I must admit that I have never really thoughts about carrying a spare spinning reel with me. Can you imagine if it had been double figure bass hitting our lures? I think I might have had a little strop!!

Obviously I will be on the phone to Felindre to try and track down a new Sustain 4000 handle, and I am hoping big time that this incident really was a one-off - because it's a fantastic spinning reel and I don't exactly want to stop fishing with it. Yes, my trust in it is has been dented, but I bet my handle never snaps off again, and I am not about to start carrying a spare reel with me (or a spare handle for that matter) - but of course a spinning reel that to me was just about perfect has now come down a peg or two. And please, don't go giving me suggestions along the lines of I should be using a Van Staal etc. - I have owned two of them and I hated lure fishing with them. I get what these reels are about, but using a Van Staal after fishing with Daiwa and Shimano reels? No thank you, and I had issues with my first Van Staal anyway.

Henry Gilbey6 Comments