Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fly Product: TLTFF Review of the Risen Fly Anakim Reel

Its been just over a year since Risen Fly came onto the market and we've been privileged enough to take this wild ride with them over the last 12 months. Risen launched with a few simple products, their Ichthus Reel, Alpha Line, and Anakim Reel. We had a blast reviewing the Ichthus Reel and came proudly say a majority of our reels are lined with Alpha Line.

When we reviewed the Ichthus Reels, it was perfect timing as we were both into getting after trout and carp as the weather began to warm last Spring. The Anakim Reel review lined up just as perfectly as this larger arbor, bigger, seal-drag reel made its way into our hands just as our focus switched to warmwater and saltwater species. We received the Anakim 9/10 (the larger model of the two offered by Risen) a few months ago just as the fishing was heating up and as we had a few trips on the horizon. With those trips in the past now, and a lot of fish caught, we felt as though the review was finished and ready.

But before we jump into the review, here's some background on the reel per what Risen has to say about their Anakim and some of the specs that make up the reel:

Click on photos to enlarge.

"Anakim", which was an old race of giants, is our large game reel. It boasts a 100% waterproof/dirt proof drag system that can handle all large fish species from salmon, steelhead, carp, bonefish, permit, tarpon and more. The sealed drag is perfect for saltwater applications to reduce corrosion to the most important parts. This reel is made by a CNC machined aluminum processes and anodized to give out a fantastic quality not rivaled at our price range. We had the spool designed to have a V cut to help guide the line and backing in and out of the reel to reduce tangles and hang ups. The cork drag system is smooth yet has the stopping power you need to halt any running fish. There is a little bit of Neats Foot Oil on the cork drag to help keep it of the highest quality. We recommend you use the same to help keep your reels working at their peak.
Neoprene pouch included.
  • Hi-grade silicon aluminum bronze drive system.
  • Tanless Micro-bearings and min shift.
  • Cork drag system, made with a superior high grade cork with a little neats-foot oil on it.
  • Pawl system, advantages over single pawl system include, increased reliability, back-up strength and unique sound.
  • Quick release spool.
  • Counter balanced spool.
  • Quick left and right hand handle reversal.
  • Large, easy grasp drag knob.

Now on to the review...

Our first impression of the reel was pretty good. The Anakim came in a protective, black neoprene reel case with extra hardware for the drag nob. The reel was made up of an awesome color combination of black, red, and white with the Risen Fly logo and reel name/size etched into the reel. The reel felt great in hand, especially after we unspooled it (it came pre-spooled with Risen backing and Risen Alpha line). It didn't have as much weight as you would imagine based off of look and had a nice V in the spool to help hold more line and create more organization with the backing/line leaving and coming onto the spool. The spools large design also helps minimize line memory, which we loved.

The reel conveniently has "+" and "-" signs etched into the drag housing under the nob for those that can't remember the old "righty tight, lefty loosey" saying for adding or subtracting pressure from the drag. The drag nob looked great, fit right in with the overall design of the reel, but just didn't feel quite right due to the fact that it really didn't protrude much from the side of the reel. We will talk more on that in a bit. Removing the spool from the reel was as easy as most reels, simply unscrew the sealed spool cap on the handle side of the reel and pop it off. The spool popped off with ease and went back on just as easily. The handle of the reel has three lines etched into it that surprisingly give it a good bit of grip for holding on to the handle while reeling in a fish.I wasnt quite sure what the band that went around the drag dial was for until I used it and realized it helps slightly with grip as well as putting pressure on the drag.

Once the spool was re-lined, I put it on a few different rods ranging from 8-10wt to get an idea of how it would balance out the outfit. It was pretty heavy on the 8wts but felt ideal on the 9 and 10wts as expected due to those being the suggested sizes by Risen. I tried it on my one 11wt and it felt too small, further confirming my previous finding of it being true to size.

The 9/10 model has an outside diameter of 3.82" which is a little on the small side for a reel of that weight, but like I said, it balances out rods in its respective sizes very well.

Once I had it on my rod of choice, I decided to give it a shot and took it on a few carp trips with me as well as out on the Bay when we were chasing stripers and blues. It took a few trips to finally get a fish on it and once I did I lost two carp right off the get-go, never having the opportunity to hear it scream. Finally, after about three trips of getting the big stinky skunk, I got tight on a carp and let it go. The drag on the Anakim had amazing stopping power, made nice 10lber reconsider continuing to run. I loosened the drag a bit to play with it and thats when I realized the drag dial is way too small and doesn't protrude out of the reel side enough for situations when its needed to grab and turn quickly. The little divots in the dial aren't nearly deep and wide enough for my fat fingers to use and dial, especially when you get to the tighter end of the drag.

When it came time to let the fish stop having its fun and get it to hand for a picture, I started to reel it in. The Anakim picked up line like a Dyson, bringing the 90+ft of line I had let out in, in seconds. The V in the spool quickly organized my line as it came back to the reel and the prawl sound of the reel gives out, as Risen says, a "unique sound" that I personally like.

I was able to let the Anakim put a hurting to a number of other fish, locking down the ideal setting on the drag for where I like to play my fish and let them run while also maintaining control. By the end of the review, I honestly didn't want to let the reel go based on the fact that I was extremely comfortable with it and knew it was a highly reliable reel.

Yes I caught a few "small" fish on it too.

The price point on this reel is PERFECT for what you get. You don't break the bank for a quality reel from a great company. The Anakim comes in at $260.00 for the 7/8 size and only $10 more at $270.00 for the 9/10 size. Risen doesn't sell spare spools for their Anakim yet, and we haven't heard of any future plans to do so.

With all of the above factors and opinions taken to thought, we gave the Risen Fly Anakim Reel 4 out of 5 stars. The one star was lost due to the drag nob size, that was a huge factor for us but not enough to take it anywhere below where we think this reel deserves to be, 4 stars.

We personally want to thank Risen Fly again for providing us with an awesome product for a fun review. Keep an eye on this company as they enter their sophomore year on that fly fishing market, there are big things ahead. To celebrate Risen's 1 year anniversary, they have a promo code running till Thursday (September 26th, 2013) that will take 20% off your entire purchase on the Risen Fly site.

That promo code is "1year".

Be sure to check out Risen Fly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates, photos, and promos. And don't forget, the code "TLTFF" is good year-round for 10% off your entire purchase on the Risen Fly site.

*This review was completely unbiased and this reel was lent to us for review purposes only. This review, as with all of our reviews was, completely fair with no intentions coming into it of giving it a "good" or "bad" rating. We do our best to keep all reviews as fair as possible with biases being thrown out the door.


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