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BFS Reel Review


ARK Fishing's Intriguing and Affordable Gravity BFS


Date: 5/19/24
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: ARK Fishing
Reviewer: Cal


Total Score: 8.00 - BEST VALUE AWARD

ARK Fishing is about as aggressive a tackle manufacturer we've seen in the last decade. Each year seems to bring several new, reasonably priced product lines to tempt consumers not satisfied with the status quo. Two years ago, the manufacturer burst onto the scene with not just one, but three tiers of casting reels. For this year, they are refining that lineup with a specialty reel in response to the burgeoning trend of finesse casting gear. Here's our look at ARK Fishing International's Gravity BFS casting reel.


ARK Fishing Intl Gravity BFS Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 6/55
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 3.7 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
22 - 27
Weight 5.2 oz
Spool Weight 5.6 g
Handle Length 90 mm
Bearings 12+1
Bearings per Knob 2 bearings
Levelwind Bearings 1 bearing
Rated Max Drag ~11lbs
Origin Made in China
MSRP $149.99

Introducing ARK Fishing's Gravity BFS.

Impressions: Being relatively new to the casting reel scene, one would assume ARK Fishing would take the easy way out and simply install a shallow spool into one of their existing platforms. However, if you're familiar with the manufacturer at all, and their quest for providing quality tackle at reasonable prices, you'd expect more. More is what ARK Fishing has delivered in their Gravity BFS. The reel comes with a different diameter spool than the original Gravity reels, so right away you know, thought and effort was expended in the design of this reel.


ARK didn't just slap a shallow spool into an existing frame. The Gravity BFS is built with intent and features a spool with a much smaller diameter than the conventional Gravity reels.


It is also almost two ounces lighter than the G7


Furthermore, tipping our scales at five point two ounces (5.2oz), the Gravity BFS is almost two ounces lighter than its conventional application counterparts. The reel is equipped with a nice, long ninety millimeter handle made of carbon fiber, and for now, is only available in an 8.1:1 retrieve ratio though the manufacturer is contemplating offering a slower ratio as well.

Paired with a Phenix Classic BFS casting rod and ready for action

Real World Tests: For the Gravity BFS's real world tests, I decided to pair it with one of my favorite sticks from last season, Phenix's BFS-C 68 from their Classic BFS lineup and fill it with some Varivas Dead of Alive x8 in #0.8 topped with a leader of 6lb Seaguar Gold Label FC Leader(using an Albright knot).

The brake system is a carry over from the G5 and G7 but with a lighter rotor

Brake adjustments are made via this external dial

Casting: The Gravity BFS's braking system is where ARK Fishing borrowed from their existing platforms. It is the same, or at least similar magnet based system with an adjustable rotor on the spool. The difference being the rotor itself is thinner overall and anodized purple instead of red. There is also a dial on the non-handle sideplate for fine tuning. Out on the water casting everything from drop shot to ned rigs to small plugs, the reel behaves every bit as free and easy as the conventional Gravity G5 and G7 which sport the similar braking system. If you want consistent casting behavior between your reels, ARK Fishing delivers here.

The Gravity BFS sits low in the reel seat

The reel's handle is 90mm in length (center of knob to center of knob)

What's more, that handle is carbon fiber

Retrieve: Click the spool over after your cast to reveal smooth operation, but a different feel than the afore mentioned Gravity G5 and G7 reels. The difference, I'd say, is due to a combination of materials and overall weight of the platforms. Where the original Gravity reels convey a feeling that's solid and firm during retrieve, the Gravity BFS is more light and yes, almost airy. The reel's main gear is aluminum instead of brass, and with a difference of close to two ounces in overall weight, it just sits in your hand differently. You don't need to grasp it quite as tight which in turn actually gives you more feel - a very important element of fishing finesse applications.

That gear inside is aluminum and ported to further reduce weight

Levelwind is supported by a bearing


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