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SHIMANO ULTEGRA XSC- first impressions

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after months of asking around and trying to get input on this EURO-market/JDM reel, I was finally able to buy one (from Amazon, of all places). Many overseas tackle outlets wouldn't ship to the US, although I'm still not exactly sure why..... I stumbled onto this one accidently exactly one week ago after a Google search and seeing PETRIMART had it for sale, and it was even on sale for $229. (It was the "last one in stock"... not sure if they still offer it there). Shipping from Austria was an additional $20 and the caveat was that international shipping may take 4-6 weeks. I was pleasantly surprised to find it at my house in Connecticut 7 days later.

 

I was a little apprehensive to buy this thing sight unseen- I've had an EmblemPro in the past and found it too big/clunky for everyday use. (I know the Canal guys use it daily, but fishing in this area usually calls for lighter gear with rods 8-10 feet being the norm) As such, I opted for 5500 size (or "mini big pit" size as it is referred to on the UK carp sites) hoping it would be more manaeable in size. Thankfully it turned out to be exactly was I was looking for.

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this pic shows it next to my ol' Cabo 60 and its very close to what I've used previously, although somewhat lighter. Its very smooth (just like all Shimano reels) when cranking the handle and drag knob adjusts more quickly than I'm used to from light to fully tightened down within 1 or 2 turns of the knob. I took the spool off and found this interesting looking undercarriage that rides up and down with the spool.

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not sure of its purpose (I'm not a hardcore reel mechanic) but maybe somebody has more knowledge of it than me. I then spooled up with 300 yds of 30lb PowerPro and it filled the spool nicely. I would say any more would be too much..... I then took a ride down to my local millpond to give it a whirl. I mounted the reel on my usual surf rod of choice- a 1208 shortened down to 9'8". This will eventually go on to a new Century 1265 when its finished being wrapped, and should sit on that rod nicely. The 1208 is heavier, but the balance with this lighter reel was still fine. I tied on a 2ounce pencil that I typically use when surf fishing the SouthCoast beaches and started casting

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as you would expect, it casted beautifully- I took it easy at first, and eventually got enough of a feel for things that I was laying in to the cast just like I would during a nor-easter. the reel never budged during the cast and I never even thought about premature bail closure being an issue. It still comes with an atoimatic bail, but the trip point was very ergonomically (for me, anyway) aligned so that the bail opened and came to rest in the open postion without and fiddling around. casts were easy and effortless- and nearly across to the opposite bank.. line lay looked great and neatly packed onto the spool after retrieve.

 

next I'll get it out to the open beach or maybe a local river in search of holdovers and give it more of a test.

 

will post more when I get another nice day.....

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That's a good start and a good first discussion. Keep us posted. Amazon, of all places ... how about that?

 

The Motley Fool site used to joke about Amazon com as The River of No Return. I wonder how the business is doing lately?

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I took the spool off and found this interesting looking undercarriage that rides up and down with the spool.

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not sure of its purpose (I'm not a hardcore reel mechanic) but maybe somebody has more knowledge of it than me.

 

 

My surmise is that the "undercarriage" may be for the purpose of supporting and stabilizing the spool shaft and spool.

 

When the spool is installed does the "undercarriage" serve as a spring and impose a continuous load on the spool's underside?

 

In the reel's parts list, what is the "undercarriage" called?

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That gadget is to prevent the line from going behind the spool. A number of the Japanese reels have things which ride up and down in slots along either side of the spool.

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That 'interesting looking undercarriage ' you refer to is the line guard....keeps the line from getting into places you do not want it to go..............The drag knob , from complete on to complete off in 1-2 turns you refer to is the the quick drag feature.....this is a very good cost effective reel and the 5500 is only 505 grams and does have the X-ship feature.........I do expect you to be very pleased with your purchase. IMO, Shimano offers the very best long distance high quality reels and with a splendid selection........regrettably most only available JDM/EURO.

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Nice reel. I'd prefer the XTC instead. Same reel as yours but I prefer the Baitrunner II drag knob instead of the Instant/Quick Drag knob. I have the XTB but haven't used it yet. Not sure if I need the X-Ship feature in the XTC.

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That gadget is to prevent the line from going behind the spool. A number of the Japanese reels have things which ride up and down in slots along either side of the spool.

 

:read: I am. :read:

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I remember the EmblemPro had small brushes (er something similar) on the edges of the spool to prevent line from goin' down there. you can see the slots on the edge of the rotor that it slides up and down in-

 

also, I;'m told by a friend that uses lots of long-cast reels that I should add a little more line to the spool.... we'll see how it goes over time- will get back with more information when I use it some more.

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I remember the EmblemPro had small brushes (er something similar) on the edges of the spool to prevent line from goin' down there. you can see the slots on the edge of the rotor that it slides up and down

 

 

I remember a reel that had those brushes; I'm not sure it was an Emblem Pro.

 

IIRC, their primary purpose was not to prevent line from getting fouled under the spool skirt; the brushes functioned to sweep sand/debris out from between the rotor arms and spool skirt.

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Nice reel. I'd prefer the XTC instead. Same reel as yours but I prefer the Baitrunner II drag knob instead of the Instant/Quick Drag knob. I have the XTB but haven't used it yet. Not sure if I need the X-Ship feature in the XTC.

 

I fish a XTB and find the repeatabilty of the Baitrunner II drag setting to be poor so I have been thinking of picking up a instadrag knob instead.

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Nice reel for sure. What was the actual shipping cost from Austria? I'd rather get one of those reels from a country that uses euros for currency as to getting one from the UK. The exchange rate for euros seems better than pounds. 


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This reel must cast a mile...I wish it had a faster retrieval for rooster fishing. Is there any shop in the US who repair these reels. I've a TwinPower reel which makes grinding noises due to an accident and I am trying to find out where I can send it for repair...

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