Victory affordable, Skeet Reese’s signature W&M baitcaster
In the lab the Victory posted a drag pressure rating just shy of 10lbs.
(9.88lbs. of pressure), the Teflon drag implementation does a fine job providing
raw stopping power but in the field also proved to be quite good at protecting
the line by releasing line in steady consistent increments. Unlike some other
single washer designs the Teflon washer doesn’t shudder or lock up under extreme
pressure, and it seemed to deal with heat equally as well.
The reel is smooth but not buttery
smooth under pressure
W&M gets kudus for using a
metal drag star but the clicking adjustment isn’t very precise and there is a
lot of play in the drag star’s clicking mechanism. There is so much play that
you can actually rock the drag star back and forth between the notches. While
this factor is a little off-putting the actual drag performance of the reel was
The overall form factor is small
and very comfortable to palm
The Victory weighs in at roughly 7.8oz. and falls right in the middle of the
pack when it comes to sheer overall weight. The cast control system works well
but adjustments require anglers to remove the non-handle sideplate, which is not
attached, and rotate the dial internally. Besides this the Victory reel exhibits
very good overall ergonomics and though those massive knobs look a little
peculiar they do get the job done, and like Skeet mentioned there is absolutely
no fumbling around to find them when a fish is on the line.
The Victory features a large 100mm
handle and those gargantuan rubber knobs
W&M also worked in a few nice
details when it came to ergonomics including a soft touch pad on the clutch
which makes it easy to depress the switch even in wet conditions and the bearing
supported knobs spin freely. The clicking aluminum spool tension knob is also a
very nice addition not normally found in sub 100 dollar reels.
The drag star is metal but the
audible click system does exhibit play both ways in between notches
When it comes to ergonomics we
have seen many manufacturers, including the biggest names in the business, go
through two or three revisions to make a reel that is truly comfortable to palm
but W&M managed to get it right the very first time out of the gate.
The long handle is also ported
As mentioned earlier, when I first started fishing the Victory reel I felt a
little friction in the gearing, especially when retrieving baits that put more
pressure on the line. After time this seemed to disappear but after a few months
of use the reel started to feel a little “gritty.” A little lubrication inside
the reel fixed this and a closer inspection of the guts of the reel didn’t show
any accelerated wear and tear, if anything our test reel just needed a little
more grease in a few key areas.
Press this button and rotate the
sideplate downwards to access the cast control system