New from Greys, the GTS700 is a cassette reel, which comes with three clear plastic cassette spools. This is the 5/6/7 size, there are two reels listed, this size, and a larger 7/8/9 model.

The frame and spool are metal – aluminium, for the geeks amongst us. It looks like the spool is cast, the body frame is machined from barstock aluminium. Actually that is quite interesting, casting is less costly and makes better use of the metal, the downside is cast aluminium is not quite as strong. So the body, which needs rigidity, is machined, the less critical spool is cast.

A captive nut fixes the spool to the body. Very secure, no play between the spool and body. Remove the spool and cassette, and the body is fitted with a small disc-drag unit, the plastic dag cover or ‘pick-up plate’ is shaped so a pair of sprung pins in the spool engage with the housing. In one direction the spool turns the drag, in the other the pins slip over the shaped plate. The reel clicks in both directions. To change the direction of drag the plate is turned over, no tools needed.

The drag is smooth, and easy enough to set the drag as needed. I prefer quiet reels, but I like that this clicks both ways so the spool can’t spin free either direction.

This is a half-frame design, the metal on both the spool and body is chunky and substantial – very rigid. The face of the spool is dominated by a good sized metal handle and two counterweights, one or other on each of three spokes. On the back, the metal drag-knob is a good size, knurling is neat so the knob is easy to grip but smooth at the same time.

This comes in a nylon pouch, with three identical, clear cassettes. Look closely at the cassettes and Greys have marked line sizes, types and weights on the cassettes and provide small red plugs with which I can clearly mark which line is on each cassette. Excellent idea! The cassettes are well finished so my lines are well protected. These plug onto the spool frame, an O-ring holds them on, and moulded, raised shapes on the cassette lock into the spool. Changing lines is straightforward.

To my eye the 5/6/7 model is big for a #5 line and heavy for a #5 rod, maybe not so much an issue on longer rods, surely not an issue with the higher line-weights. Greys give the capacity as WF5 with 90 metres of backing, which is plenty and gives equivalent capacities for a #6 or #7 lines. The list weight is 214g (7.6oz), I weigh it at 232g (8.18oz) either weight is fairly heavy compared with reels of a similar capacity.

Greys have packaged this very well, the reel and spools come in a padded nylon pouch, enough cassettes for most anglers, extra cassettes are considerably cheaper than spare spools.