Monday, 8 July 2013

Saltwater-proof spinning reel? First look at the Alcedo Hokkaido Marine Spin 5000

Some of you who know this blog will be wondering if I'm not a glutton for punishment, after previously having difficulty with another Alcedo reel that claimed to be waterproof.  Thing is, firstly their agent for the UK did replace the reel after it jammed, clearly having got saltwater inside. Secondly, the reel was pretty good otherwise.  When I got the replacement, I ignored the silly "you'll void your warranty if you open it up" warnings and applied plenty of good quality reel grease to anywhere I thought the brine could get it.  And so far, it's held up much better than its predecessor.  Not that difficult, I suppose, given the first lasted less than a season.

So why, you might ask, have I gone out and bought another reel from them?  Well, Bill (their agent) did say that they were working on making a saltwater resistant reel (notice the careful wording).  The new reel, the Marine Spin 5000 is pretty much the same reel as the Aluminium MTC, other than its supposed saltwater resistance.  Which means it could be a good thing, given that the Aluminium MTC failed in just a few weak places.  That reel was never waterproof, which is why when the salt got inside, it was doomed to fail as the materials weren't saltwater proof.  The spool jammed, the reel pretty much seized up solid.
Yeah, the handle's big, but it's not that big!  Sorry for the weird "phone camera" perspective!
Anyhow, here we are again.  The Marine Spin is a bigger reel than the Aluminium MTC, so it should handle the hard work of many hours plugging and soft lure work, particularly as some of the lures get up to an ounce  or two.  Surprisingly, the reel is only 100g heavier, which means it works as an ideal replacement for light jigging work where you would generally use a multiplier. Hence I guess the enormous power handle, which looks purpose made for jigging and was one of the reasons I bought it, having lost my previous set up over the side!  But I've also come to the conclusion that even with a spiral ring placement on your rod, using a fixed spool to jig rather than a multiplier is just a lot easier.  The problem to date has been the reliability of fixed spools is nowhere near that of multipliers, particularly in hard marine environments.
Weasel words or the genuine article? We'll see in a few months time.
The Marine Spin 5000 certainly looks the part, handsomely finished in orange and black.  It feels pretty beefy and it should be with a compromise gear ratio of 4.9, which isn't the fastest nor the slowest but should be low enough for winching those scaly beasts up from the depths.  The reel is perhaps not as smooth running as the smaller Aluminium MTC but is perfectly acceptable.  I might feel differently if this was going to be my main spinning reel, but it going to be mostly used for jigging for cod and pollack, so it won't get the huge number of hours of use that a spinning reel gets.  
The handle looks great for hanging on when those heart-stopping pollack-thumps strike without warning.  The clutch seems silky out of the box.  We'll see if starts to stick after a few months of being drenched in paddle and wave splashes.
The line lay with 33lb braid (15kg Power Pro Depth Hunter) is good, no evidence of bedding even when pressure is applied on the retrieve.  The drag seems particularly good, but they always do straight off the production line!  Let's see how smooth it is after a few dunkings in the brine...  :-)  

Although Alcedo, like all reel manufacturers, like to shout about how many bearings etc. the reel has (it has 8), the only thing that really counts for sea kayak fishermen is whether it can keep out the salt.  That remains to be seen.  My new Shimano boat rod has a long handle (so long I took 4" off it - see here), which keeps the reel pretty clear of stray waves.  Of course, when sea kayak fishing, reels always get splashed with sea water, particularly if you're doing a lot of trolling.  They have to be able to withstand that one basic requirement and I'm hopeful that the Alcedo Marine Spin 500 will do just that.  

Like always I'll be reporting back on the reel at the end of the season with an update on how the reel has performed.  

5 trips update!

So far, so good.  Reel has been dunked and splashed in saltwater and is still turning smoothly.  It gets rinsed with freshwater after each trip but I'm pleasantly surprised.  The drag remains pretty smooth (slight stickiness on higher kg loads, but hasn't failed me when getting hit hard by big pollack) and it's proved itself capable of winching up some big cod..  No visible signs of rust anywhere yet and the body coating has taken a far battering.  

The end of season update will follow in the winter months.

End of season update

Done ok this reel.  Slight stiffness on picking it up after the winter period, but used it all through 2014 so far and it seems fine.  Had several dunkings in the brine, still holding up.  Thumbs up so far!
Battered but hanging in there, so far so good after its 2nd season.


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  4. good job

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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