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Reel Review

aking Victory affordable, Skeet Reese’s signature W&M baitcaster (continued)


Drag: 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 quite good. 


The overall form factor is small and very comfortable to palm


Ergonomics: 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


Durability: 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


Next Section: Is it good enough for tournament fishing?










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