WTF?!? : The Megabass Racing Condition 256
Casting: Casting with any spinning reel is pretty much a moot point. What's important to me is whether or not the spool sits a comfortable distance from the reel seat to facilitate feathering. This is also rarely an issue with a reel of this size (The RC 256 is essentially a shallow spooled 2500 reel akin to Daiwa's 2506 size), and the RC 256 proved to be fine in this department.
We were able to get 90 yds of 6lb Sunline Super Natural onto this reel.
Another item to check with spinning reels is the bail arm and how easy or difficult it is to flip the bail closed after a cast when you crank the handle. We should comment that spinning reel purists always close the bail with their hand, holding the line taught in one hand and taking up any slack in the line by cranking the handle before working their bait. I practice this maybe half of the time, when I'm concentrating, but I often get distracted and forget, so having a reel whose bail clicks over easily when you crank the handle is important. I had no issues with the RC 256 in this regard either.
Of course, the RC 256 comes with not only custom knobs ...
... But a custom handle as well.
Retrieve: I already mentioned the RC 256 is just about as smooth as they come. The reel is rated with a 4.8:1 retrieve ratio and in lab measurements, with the spool filled to roughly a sixteenth of an inch from the lip, I managed 28” of line returned per turn of the handle. This number will of course vary depending on how much line is off your spool.
They take some getting used to, but these knobs are actually quite comfortable to fish.
Yuki Ito squeezed every bit of weight savings he could out of this reel.
The machined aluminum knob on the RC 256 was no problem for me to grip, but I've already grown quite accustomed to this knob having fished it on my various Monoblock reels and the IS73 Competition.
Performance is smooth as silk.
Line Management: A factor with all spinning reels that is somewhat related to retrieve is the issue with line twist. I used the RC 256 for two days on our initial WTF testing trip and experienced minimal difficulties with line twist - nothing out of the ordinary, but also nothing extraordinary. One thing with this reel did surprise me though and that's the fact that the line roller is not bearing supported. This is something I come to expect out of any spinning reel over $400 and is often included in reels costing much less. I suspect, were I to use this reel longer term, line twist may very well prove to be a factor for the simple fact the line roller is not bearing supported. But I should caution, this is just a prediction.
But, and there's always a but... the line roller is not bearing supported.
Drag: The RC 256 comes with a drag rated to a maximum of 6.6 lbs. I was only able to manage five pounds of sustained pressure on the reel before my six pound Super Natural broke and that was with the drag not quite buttoned down all the way, so if the max drag of 6.6 pounds is important to you, I'm pretty confident the RC 256 can deliver as specified.
Drag performance is good.
Next Section: Does the reel live up to expectations?