Semi-automatic reels replace winding the spool with cranking a lever. According to the technical ‘spec’ each pull of the lever on this Bold reel takes up 1.2m of line – that’s fast!
The body, lever and spool are cast aluminium, the gears inside are also aluminium with stainless steel ratchets driving the cogs. The spool is released by pressing a rubber covered button in the centre of the large arbour. Both the back-plate of the body and the gear-housing are plastic with a rubbery coating. Getting inside the gearbox to lubricate is easy enough.
The reel foot is also cast aluminium. A single bolt locks the foot to the body of the reel; loosen the bolt, and the position of the foot can be adjusted, the idea being I can fine-tune the position of the lever using the adjustable foot.
Thinkfish list this as a #3 to #7 reel, the technical sheets give a more sensible range of #5 to #7 lines. This weighs 184 grams, which is not light, but not unreasonable for a #7 line (with about 30m of backing) heavy for a #5 line (with about 100m of backing). Fitted to a long rod, over 9ft, and the weight is less significant, fitted to a short rod, less than 9ft and this can seem unbalanced.
In use, this works well. Get the lever positioned well and the pull is natural, line is cleared from water or grass exceptionally quickly.
The Bold has an adjustable drag, the range is not huge, but enough for trout or grayling fishing. The effect is not the same as a simple direct-drive reel, this is not quite an anti-reverse reel, so I can’t pull the lever while line is being pulled out from the spool. Using this is intuitive and a lot simpler than trying to explain it in writing.
The ratio of capacity to weight is typical of semi-automatic reels, acceptable if you want this function. The semi-automatic function works well, loose line can be taken on to the reel far faster than with a conventional reel – it takes a little practice to get the best from it. An unusual and stylish reel.
From: Barrio Products