This 3-TAND reel looks bonefish sized, but it’s actually slightly smaller and lighter than my bonefish reel. 3-TAND describes this as a #7-9 reel, and gives the capacity as WF8F with 220 yards of 20lb backing and weighs 8.3oz (it measures 8.5oz on my scales).
At the heart of this reel sits a sealed drag-unit, the red housing states boldly the drag is “Nano Carbon” I assume that means the drag mechanism uses a superior grade carbon-fibre drag-plates. The drag is very smooth indeed. As I turn the knob to increase the resistance it is clear the range of adjustment is exceptionally wide, it feels like I can turn the knob two or more full revolutions from minimum to maximum drag. This drag really can be tuned to the resistance I like/want. Turn the spool and this has a quiet purr as line goes out, silent as line comes in.
Look at the face of this spool and it has a fairly massive handle – which I like a lot. As I was fondling and handling I had that sense of something missing, something unusual. Then I twigged that the handle is all alone, no counterweight opposite the handle – or at least no visible lump of metal bolted to the face of the spool. The spool spins true, wobble-free, this is counterbalanced using a hidden weight. If I look at the face of the spool the rim is drilled part-way through, then opposite the handle the pattern of blind holes changes: drilled shallower – the counterweight is part of the spool. Very neat.
The T-70 certainly feels like a quality reel. The machining is crisp, the edges are rounded, I can find no flaw in the finish. The spool links to the half-cage body with a substantial captive-nut, when the nut is tight there is a very slight play between the spool and body until the drag is turned up high, higher than I would use for bonefish.
This is set for left-hand wind, switching wind is explained in the owner's manual: it requires a coin and a screwdriver to take the drag-housing apart – not that hard, clearly explained, a job for a clean, well-lit table, not the deck of a flats skiff.
The style of this reel, the type and quality of drag, the quality of machining and finish makes this a very attractive saltwater reel. 3-TAND is a US brand, a new brand, aiming to balance high quality at more affordable prices, so the suggested retail price for this reel is $369.95 (c£224) – a very competitive price for a reel of this quality!