Judgment Day for the Lethal
Calais 200ASV Baitcaster (continued)
When you’re fishing with a Calais reel it really does feel like you are wielding
a weapon of bass destruction. The reel just feels deadly in the palm of your
hand and even though larger than the 100 size the CL200ASC can easily be palmed
and the sculpted angles feel good in hand when retrieving. Beauty is more than
skin deep with this reel and it feels both fast and powerful while still
exhibiting that slick retrieve you expect out of a Calais series reel.
The VBS system is easy to adjust
and delivers consistent anti-backlash performance
I wish that I had
brought this reel on our recent trip to the Amazon but the weight limitations
forced me to leave the Calais behind. This reel certainly has the power and
capacity to handle Peacocks and really makes short work of both largemouth bass
and even large Stripers. The extra line capacity makes this a legitimate
saltwater reel, especially when paired with braid. The majority of my testing
was done on largemouth but the few rockfish I did catch with the Calais were
simply no match. Even though the Calais has a relatively brisk 6.2:1 retrieve it
feels powerful even when reeling up fish vertically from the depths.
The reel has a small rubber pad
over the switch for better grip
Overall the Calais
CL200ASV felt just like I expected it to, no surprises, just smooth and
consistent. The handle exhibits almost no backplay whatsoever and the 200 size
is a good reel for big baits in freshwater and as use as a crossover reel for
bass fishermen that like to dabble in salt.
This reel casts the big stuff very
Up to this point the Calais CL200ASV has delivered a deadly blow to the
competition but is the reel’s somewhat dated drag system an Achilles heel? The
Calais CL200ASv makes use of the same Dartanium Drag system found on the other
Calais series reels and while extremely smooth and consistent it just doesn’t
dole out very much stopping power when compared with competing reels. The
Calais’s rated spec is only 10lbs. but in the lab under full lock we were able
to get the drag up to 12.3lbs., which is good enough for largemouth and stripers
but pales in comparison to what many of the competing reels are now delivering,
especially when you look at the Abu Garcia Revo Series.
The Calais CL200ASV is sculpted
and comfortable to palm
There is no argument
that the Dartanium system is one of the most smooth and reliable but it would
have been nice to see a slightly beefed up system in this model. That drag
really could come in handy for some saltwater species as well as Peacock Bass.
Good thing there are plenty of ways to upgrade the drag should you require more
raw stopping power.
Paired with a Dobyns Mike Long
Edition swimbait rod we head to clear lake to fish the Rago BV3D
Ergonomically speaking the Calais CL200ASV delivers both good and bad. If you’re
obsessed with fishing with the lightest rig possible then the Calais CL200ASV is
simply not for you. This reel is as close as you can get to a low profile
baitcaster cut straight out of a piece of solid metal. The level of refinement
found on the Calais is second to none but the tradeoff is definitely the overall
weight. The CL200ASV is the heaviest reel in the series weighing in at a
whopping 9.3oz (only .2oz lighter than the Calais DC), and part of that weight
increase comes from those massive power knobs but they are a welcome addition
when fishing for larger fish with bigger baits.
Jerry Rago checks out the rig...
My only other gripe with
the reel’s ergonomics is the sideplate which requires anglers to rotate the key
a few times to unscrew the sideplate, a quarter turn easy access key like that
found on the smaller Calais CL100A would have been a welcome addition.
...and tries casting his popular
Next Section: Still a deadly fishing