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Reel Review

Don't Judge This Reel By Its Quirky Spool: The WaveSpin Reel (continued)

Drag: The WaveSpin spinning reel's "Space Age Multi-disc drag" consists of a total of six discs that are a mix of alternating felt and metal washers each coated with a good layer of drag grease. The discs are a bit small in diameter but still deliver consistent performance through at least 10 pounds of pressure. I did not have a strong enough line on this reel to test it above these limits.


Quick and easy line changes with the two-part spool


The only fish I was able to catch and test the real world performance of this reel's drag with were the bass during our previously mentioned trip to Clear Lake California. The Salmon and Steelhead on the Klamath and the Striper in the California Delta were uncooperative. As a bass reel, the WaveSpin is more than sufficient, and, unfortunately, I was not able to hook up with a true, inshore quality species to really give this reel a run for its money.


Removing the spool's lip reveals the drag stack


Ergonomics: Because of its weight, the WaveSpin spinning reel feels like a solid state, aluminum frame but it is not, its construction is all graphite. The distance from the rod to the spool's lip is at a comfortable distance when attempting to feather the spool, but the spool's jagged edge feels odd when employing this technique. It takes a lot of getting used to. The oversized, inshore knob is very comfortable to grasp and the length of the handle (55cm center to center) provides good leverage to turn the spool during your retrieve.


Another look at how easy it is to remove old line


Design: The reel's most outstanding feature, of course, is its spool, but not only is it radical in appearance, it has a hidden feature that is quite intriguing. As you've no doubt noticed from the photographs, the lip of the spool unscrews to afford you access to the spool's center and make it super easy to take the line off when you want to re-spool. This is a pretty radical feature with the trade-off being smaller than expected drag washers. For many freshwater species, this tradeoff is acceptable, but for strong pulling, hard running inshore saltwater fish, I think I'd prefer to have more surface area on my drag washers than the convenience of easy line changes.


Finally, the drag stack for the WaveSpin reel - a bit undersized for a 3000 sized reel, but a pretty thick stack to make up for it.

Another area of disappointment is in the handle assembly. The screw cap on the non-handle side of the reel is cast plastic as is, it appears, the oversized handle knob. I'm sure this was done to save weight and a bit of cost, but these are two points on the reel that are very susceptible to impact stresses when throwing equipment around during the mad dash to land a fish, so it'd be nice if they were a bit more robust in construction.


The easy lube port on the reel's starboard side

This reel shares the protective trim pieces common in today's spinning reels


On the plus side, for those who like easy access ports for the addition of lubrication ala the Shimano Stella, the Wavecast Reel has a similar port located on the right sideplate toward the bottom of the reel. A very convenient feature.

The width of the reel's body is also fairly standard


Warranty & Availability: The WaveSpin Spinning reel is covered by a two year, unlimited warranty, so if any of the concerns we brought to light of the reel's construction were to come to fruition, you should be covered for replacement parts - pretty generous considering, again, the reel's price point.


Line capacities are clearly expressed on the reel's spool


Availability of the reel is immediate and if you cannot find it at a convenient retail location, you can purchase it online at the company's website. We've also learned that there are now, two larger sizes available, the DH4000 and DH5000 and there are plans to offer an ultra light sized all graphite reel along with an offshore jigging sized 7000 reel during mid to late 2008.


One last look at our WaveSpin DH3000 Spinning Reel


Ratings (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

WaveSpin DH3000 Spinning Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality On par with what we'd expect in this price range 5
Performance Better than expected 6
Price Tough to beat 8
Features The two-piece spool is a great convenience 7
Design (Ergonomics) Once you get over the spool's lip, very appealing 7
Application Solid reel for its intended purpose 7

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Very good value L A couple too many plastic parts
J Nice feeling retrieve L Undersized drag washers
J Comfortable, oversized knob
J Casting performance is good
J Two-piece spool allows quick line changes


While I had little success hooking into something while using this reel for inshore type species like Salmon and Striped Bass, I was able to catch a handful of bass like this Clear Lake chunk.


Conclusion: If there's one thing I've learned since becoming a TackleTour editor, it is to approach each new piece of tackle with as open a mind as possible. Were I to have seen the WaveSpin spinning reel in a store, given it's gimmick-like appearance, there is no way I would have even picked it up let alone have it follow me home. But after speaking with Russ Riley, and given his effort to get one in our hands, I figured I owed it to him to give the reel a fair shake. That I did, and after having a chance to try it out on the water, I could see this quirky little reel does have its positive points and is certainly a worthy contender - especially at its affordable price point. A few refinements here and there and look out. In the meantime, given the reel's "outside the standard spinning reel's box" design, the WaveSpin Spinning reel is worthy of our Innovation Award.











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