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Reel Upgrade Review


 

Souped Up : Aftermarket Bolt-On Reel Handles from Gomexus

 

Date: 7/5/22
Tackle Type: Reel Upgrades
Manufacturer: Gomexus
Reviewer: Zander






Total Score: 8.50 + BEST VALUE AWARD

Introduction:
Aftermarket reel replacement handles have been around for quite some time, and are a popular piece of kit for swimbait enthusiasts. Gomexus is a popular brand in Asia and has jumped into the upgrade scene here in the Americas, partnering with several e-tailers and communities to make their aggressively priced handle and knob kits available to the masses. Built for a variety of reels including Shimano, Daiwa, Abu Garcia and 13 Fishing, the Gomexus Power Handle is available in both aluminum and titanium and designed to be a straightforward bolt-on upgrade.  

 

Gomexus Aluminum Power Handle and Knobs Specifications

Material Aluminum handle and either TPE or Cork knobs
Length 100mm, 110mm, and 120mm
Shaft Size 7x4mm and 8x5mm
Weight 1.53oz. (aluminum and TPE)
Bearings 2 per knob (4 per handle)
Compatibility Handles available for Shimano, Daiwa, Abu Garcia, 13 Fishing
Accessories Comes with variety of washers, nuts and knob wrench
Options Optional knob colors and custom engraving
Origin Made in China
MSRP $59.95


Gomexus offers bolt-on handle replacement upgrades and is a popular brand overseas

Impressions: I first learned about Gomexus when their products started popping up on Amazon, but it was only when some anglers in the swimbait community started reaching out and recommended I find out more about the Gomexus aluminum baitcasting reel handle and TPE knobs did I give the company and their products a closer look.


These handles are ideally suited for power applications like fishing swimbaits where extra leverage is a plus

Our previous experience with aftermarket reel tuning parts has focused primarily on spools, bearings, and some aftermarket handles from ZPI and DRT. As our affection for swimbaits has grown over the last decade so has our interest in larger reels capable of throwing them, and like many swimbait anglers I became interested in the DRT Varial handles and knobs which catered more towards big bait applications. DRT has an excellent reputation among the swimbait community and is known for providing premium products to anglers, but also come with an enthusiast price to match.


Each handle/knob kit comes ready to install with the handle, knobs, washers, nut and even a small wrench tool

Gomexus is a relative newcomer to the fishing tackle and aftermarket component market and their first product, an aluminum alloy power knob, launched in 2017. Since that launch the company has expanded their product line and in-house manufacturing to include a variety of handles, knobs, and star drags for both the freshwater and saltwater market.


The 120mm handle installed on a Shimano Tranx is ready for big bait duty

The company is based in China and first started selling their knobs in Japan and entered the US market in 2018. Since that time Gomexus has grown their handle and knob materials to include TPE, cork, and titanium. Most of the Gomexus handles and knobs are designed for Shimano and Daiwa reels, but the company has also recently expanded to offer some products for Abu Garcia, 13 Fishing and even Penn on the saltwater side.


The various handle and knob configurations enables anglers to get creative to match their setups

Of all the regions that Gomexus currently sells their products their largest following is in Japan, where their aftermarket handles and knobs are popular among both freshwater and saltwater anglers. In the U.S. the company seems to be putting a lot of focus targeting swimbait anglers. A move that makes sense considering the benefits that aftermarket handles offer in terms of more leverage, or simply improved ergonomics.


The aluminum handle is both lightweight and very rigid, providing a solid platform for the bearings supported knobs

Real World Tests: Gomexus provided three sets of handles and knobs for us to try, and for the purpose of this review we purchased three more sets from Amazon to experience the purchase process and try a larger range of different configurations. While we are fishing a variety of different knobs we decided to focus first on the varying handle and round “Power Knob” configurations because of their popularity in Japan and here in the United States. These are the configurations that you will find on many big bait setups, and what most directly competes with existing premium offerings.


A Gomexus aluminum handle with TPE knobs installed on the new Shimano Bantam

Operation: Before we delve into the specifics of the Gomexus offering lets first explore why anglers would even consider aftermarket handles and knobs in the first place. Switching out spools and bearings has been part of the enthusiast community for a long time, as these components can dramatically change the way a reel casts, feels, or performs for a particular style of fishing, like baitfinesse for example.


The Gomexus handle is machined and reinforced throughout

Companies like DRT, ZPI, and more recently Gomexus, offer anglers an aftermarket upgrade that is relatively easy to implement. A “bolt on” for those familiar with the term, and while changing out handles and knobs on a reel may seem relatively aesthetic, like souping up your ride by changing out rims or steering wheel, there are many anglers that feel it is a very valid aftermarket upgrade.


Gomexus also offers a titanium "Kage" hand polished handle which is thinner and lighter

I fall into this camp and find that swapping out handles changes both the feel and functionality of a reel significantly, and especially when the original reel came from the manufacturer with either a very short handle, knobs that didn’t hit the mark ergonomically, or knobs that were loaded with bushings instead of bearings.


The Kage handle is good for smaller reels where lighter weight is a plus

Next Section: Quick and easy bolt-on installation...

 

   

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