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Akios 555 SCM - An Ozzies First Impression

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Well I must say that there is a big smile on my face thanks to a very good friend who though I needed a few more toys to add to the collection. To that end I just received not one but two Akios 555 SCM reels. :D

 

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I first considered getting one of these after seeing the various articles and videos that have been coming in from overseas and was pleasantly surprised when first Chas got one and then a few of the South Australian contingent. My luck was even better when Don visited from Hawaii and brought his along for the Australian Championships. It was here that I got to see the reels first hand and have a play with tem and must say was very impressed with the feel and quality finish that was displayed.

As you can see in the photo's the reels come standard with mag adjustment , smaller star drag for casting and a very comfortable double paddle handle. Also included with the reels is a larger sports handle as well as a larger star drag for those preferring the more traditional style.

 

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/6351/p1020033k.jpg]

( Here is the larger sports handle and star de=rag as well as the other bits that come with the reel )

 

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As I intend on matching at least one of these reels to my Century TTLDSM rods either with the 12 or 13 footer depending on whether I am bait fishing or spinning and wont be loading it with line heaver than 0.31mm ( 15 pound) and most likely only 0.25 or 0.28 mm ( 8 to 10 pound ) I wont be fitting the larger handle in the short term . If I use a faster shaped lure when a bit more cranking speed is require I may then change this train of though.

 

As you can see I have already loaded the reels with line ( Ultima Distance ) which is what as I use for both my field work as well as for a lot of my beach fishing but unlike a lot of people I have made no attempt at changing anything on the reels other than to balance up the spool tension so that it has only a small amount of play. Other than that both reels are as they come from the box.

 

It was pleasing to see the tight tolerance between the spool and the frame of the reel as you can see a little bit clearer in the below photo as I have had trouble with a few reels were the finer lines get caught between the spool and the frame. Hopefully the field and beach sessions that I am planning with these will show that this isn't a problem

 

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/9552/p1020024j.jpg]

 

I have taken the reel down to my local oval this evening and tried one of them (aka the one with the shock leader on it ) and was very surprised at the level of control that these reels have though I feel that they are a bit over braked for my liking but 100% safe for a fishing reel straight from the box. The casting weight of choice on this occasion was the standard blob floats that I get Via Chas that weight in at around 60 grams which make for a good approximation of the size of lure that will be mainly used by me when using these reels ( targeting Salmon ) down here in Victoria.

 

Also from a safety factor I know that they max out at around the 150 meter mark due to there shape.

 

I did a number of cast slowly starting with the mags on full and progressively winding them off, well all I can say is that at no time did the reels even look like playing up and I feel that this is due to the simple fact that they also run with the centrifugal break blocks fitted from the factory. I will most likely take them out and rely solely on the mag setup as I do with all my other reels fitted with them.

The fit and feel of the reel was very good and the meshing of the gears was smooth as silk which I appreciate a lot in quality products. However time will tell if this remains the case after a good stint out on the field and on the beach. The retrieve speed was good even with the small handles and I feel make it very sweet to use with the spoon type lures that I hope to be flinging around on the beach.

 

Well that’s about it as an initial trial as I was itching to get out and try them out though work prevented me from getting down to the beach , that as well as the weather which as left a lot to be desired with down here in Vic.

 

I will be doing a more stringent test with the reels having one for the beach and I will retune the other for field work and see what distances that I can get from her. Though based on the feedback from the UK casters the distance will be right up there ( A per Jaylee's current form ).

 

So first impressions are :D :D

 

Regards :D

 

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Despite the lousy weather we are having over here with the rain and variable winds, I couldn't help myself and decided to set the other 555 up as a field reel. Initial set up isn't anything major just a simple removal of the ratchet cog from the left hand side of the spool and cleaning the bearing and then placing a small drop of tournament oil on them.

The reel like the fishing one also had the break block but these too were remove.

 

As I wanted the reel for the lighter weights , i.e. 50 to 125 gram I had loaded it with 0.28mm Ultima Distance and then set it up with a 0.70mm shock leader , though once I got to the field and put it on the rod I realised that it was a tad short for full blooded casting.

The rod I matched it too was my Zziplex ZTi as this is relatively slower loading action to my usual Centuries, the reason I decided on this was that I have to slow myself down allowing the ZZippy to bend up as it does this a lot more than my E1000 or TTR and with the rain I wanted to avoid the risk of line slip.

I was only casting with the 125 gram weight and had the reel set on full mags initially, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at the way the outfit went out and was then hoping that the rain would stop at least for a short time so that I could hit it a bit harder.

With the standard mags and the reel set at max there were no problems with the reel, therefore I started backing the mags of till it started to get hairy when the setting was around 5.

It was at this stage that I found that the fine 0.28mm line can just get caught between the spool and frame though it was easy to get out and be back into the casting.

Distances weren't anything to right home about but as I mentioned at the beginning of the report that was due to the shorter than desired leader and the inclement weather. It was good working with the reel and once again its smooth gear mesh was appreciated.

 

Best distance for the session would have been around 210 meters and I am really looking forward to getting some better weather where I will then match the reel up to my Century E1000 or HPR TTR.

 

For tomorrow I have planned to head out for a fish in the morning and hopefully the weather gods are a bit kinder and I can get some video footage as well as some still but this time I will be running the fishing set up matched to one of my Century Super match rods.

 

More updates to come :mrgreen:

 

 

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With the prospect of the weather holding off a little and the desire to use the reel for fishing I decided to head down to Mornington pier for a shot at picking up a pinkie snapper or anything in general though with the barometer well down and not looking like improving in the short term I wasn't overly confident.

 

I decided to match the reel up to my 12' Century Tip Tornado Low Diameter Super match as well as taking down my HPR Super match which I would mated up with my Penn Torque 100. Conditions were not the best regarding the wind direction with a West North Westerly pushing into the wall; this dictated that I needed to be casting the 150 gram leads with the pulley rigs and small Pilchard bait that I was using.

 

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I was very pleased with the way the reel performed from a casting perspective and with the standard bearings and oils and with only the break blocks removed, I had no problem at all casting into the headwind. The shorter LDSM match the reel very well and I was very pleased with the overall balance of the combination. I did find that the small handle and drag knob made it a bit difficult getting the rigs up and started and will therefore be fitting the large sports handle and star drag to the reel.

 

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/3471/p1020034j.jpg]

 

( The two set ups in my tripod )

 

It was a quite session and other than a bit of amusement with some Yak fishermen having a bit of drama with one of there crew flipping his over and it looked like he lost a fair bit of his gear, hopefully that wasn't the case but from where I was it looked like his rod and other bits had gone to the bottom.

 

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( One of the Yak fishermen who had the misfortune of flipping )

 

The fishing was slow for just about everyone and other than a few undersized pinkies and Calamari that were taken by a few of the anglers nothing else was registered whilst I was about. The weather was kind however and other than a few very brief light drizzles the rained did not eventuate.

 

http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/8349/p1020035p.jpg]

 

( The pier wasn't crowded thanks to the threat of rain & strong winds )

 

Getting back to the reel, I found it to be very good and was very pleased with the way it sat on the rod though I was using a sliding reel seat made up with a Fuji Deluxe pipe winch which I have modified to be adjustable. I am a little nervous about using metal coasters on the reel as I don't want to mark the excellent finish on the reel foot. Still I will be using the reels with coasters as that is what I have on all my field rods.

 

Well it will have to wait till next week to get into a few fish - Hopefully :roll:

 

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