TESTED: Fin-Nor Offshore 8500

I HAVE been using this big, heavy threadline reel for a couple of months now and have been quite impressed with its performance. It offers a few features that make it quite different to some of the more expensive top shelf threadlines.

So far, the performance of this reel has been flawless. The line capacity is enormous. Mine took over 800m of 24-kilo braid to fill, and the deep spool definitely increases the capability of this threadline as a genuine medium tackle billfish reel.

Initially, the reel felt overly heavy to me in comparison to the other large threadlines I use, however, as its weight is under the rod this isn’t a problem in use. What really impressed me is the power and the ability to wind under load. This makes deep water jigging very easy, especially in a long session. Using 180 to 400 gram metal jigs this reel has become a favourite on my boat. The drag is capable of ridiculous pressures upwards of 20 kilos and while this seems a little over the top, it is smooth and reliable. The handle is very well designed with a good solid grip bar. This is a beautiful reel for fighting fish.

So far this reel has knocked over some big kings, amberjack and samsons without any fuss at all and I’m looking forward to using it to pitch bait to some decent marlin this summer. After extensive initial use, there has been no corrosion and no breakages. This reel is outstanding value for money and is a great fish extractor for offshore anglers.

Internally it is a very simple design with big heavy metal framework and no distortion under load, which is an essential feature when you fish heavy drags. While I don’t generally like to comment on a reel until it’s had a year or so of use, this reel is definitely quite impressive and I really like the advantage of extra line capacity just in case a monster marlin eats the livebait I sent down for a kingy.

Contact: Jarvis Walker on (03) 8787 6900; www.jarviswalker.com.au

By David Green

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