Smooth Operator

Electric Kite Reel Review

FSF Staff May 19, 2015

There’s not much that tops the sight of an enraged game fish clearing the water as it attempts to kill a frisky live bait splashing on the surface. Kite fishing is an incredibly effective approach that can be utilized by anglers fishing from all types of vessels, and no one does it better than the dedicated crews hailing out of South Florida. Anglers are always searching for methods, techniques and tools to improve their efficiency, and for kite fishing enthusiasts there’s no tool more beneficial than an electric kite reel.

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Daiwa Tanacom 1000

Enabling anglers to multitask like never before, electric kite reels truly are a difference maker. While these compact workhorses are fully capable of mid-to-light duty deep dropping, they greatly enhance kite fishing by allowing anglers to retrieve kites faster than ever and also providing the ability to walk away from the kite to tend other lines knowing the reel will do all the hard work. As more and more anglers rely on electric kite reels for continued success, manufacturers develop and release specialized reels that are compact in size, yet powerful enough to withstand the constant strain associated with retrieving a high flying fishing kite.

 

Daiwa

Tanacom 1000
Website: daiwa.com
MSRP: $599.99

Joining Daiwa’s proven family of power assist workhorses, the new Tanacom 1000 shares the same internal construction, winding power, durability and corrosion resistance of the widely popular Tanacom Bull 1000, while coming in nearly $400 cheaper than the previous model. With sealed electronics allowing for a washable design, the Tanacom 1000 is perfectly suited for kite fishing with an oversized guide on the level wind that allows for easy passing of swivels for kite line spacing, coupled with programmable auto stop.

SPECS
Line Capacity:
80 lb. braid 880 yds.
Max Drag: 48 lb.
Max Winding Speed: N/A
Weight: 53 oz.
Power Supply: 12 V

FEATURES
LCD display
Auto stop and jigging functions
Variable speed
Line counter and depth memory
Manual winding option
Level wind

 

Kristal Fishing

XL 605-M
Website: kristalreels.com
MSRP: $939.99

Kristal Fishing has been producing high quality, commercial-grade electric reels for more than 30 years and manufactures a diverse line of electric reels fabricated from marine grade aluminum, stainless steel and composite materials. The low amp draw motors are efficient, quiet, and extremely powerful. The XL 605 with manual override is a no-nonsense workhorse.

SPECS
Line Capacity: 80 lb. braid 1,000 yds.
Max Drag: 28 lb.
Max Winding Speed: 300 feet per minute
Weight: 96 oz.
Power Supply: 12 V

FEATURES
Variable speed
Manual winding option

 

Hooker Electric

Penn V-16 Kite Reel Adapter
Website: hookerelectric.com
MSRP: $1,249 (Penn V-16 not included)

Hands down the fastest electric reel on the market, the Hooker Electric kite reel drive can be outfitted to a Penn International or Shimano Tiagra to retain original drag, bearings and anti-reverse of the most proven conventional reels ever produced. The 2 HP brushless motor retrieves line so fast you actually have to vary depending on wind conditions or risk snapping a kite spar. While there’s no auto stop or level wind, professional crews agree that the lever drag operation makes for the easiest control when letting out the kite. All Hooker Electric reels come with Hubbell plugs, fast blow fuses to protect motors against incorrect polarity and a 12/24 V regulator allowing the reel to be used with either voltage without any modifications.

FEATURES
Manual winding option
Variable Speed
Retains original Penn drag, bearings, anti-reverse, etc.
RF remote

SPECS
Line Capacity: 50 lb. braid 1,870 yards
Max Drag: 28 lb.
Max Winding Speed: 500 feet per minute
Weight: 48 oz. (drive only)
Power Supply: 12/24 V

 

Shimano

Beastmaster 9000
Website: fish.shimano.com
MSRP: $1,699.99

In the development and design of the Beastmaster, Shimano was focused on producing an electric reel with ultimate pulling strength, durability and heat dissipation for unparalleled power assist. The GigaMax brushless motor and Thermo Adjust Drag work together to reduce heat by automatically lowering the rotational speed of the motor when the drag is slipping to reduce unwanted heat and keep the motor from working when it doesn’t need to. Additionally, vented side plates further reduce heat and enhance the durability and longevity of the operation.

FEATURES
LCD display
Auto stop and jigging function
Variable speed
Line counter and depth memory
Manual winding option
Level wind

SPECS
Line Capacity: 65 lb. braid 1,650 yds.
Max Drag: 55 lb.
Max Winding Speed: N/A
Weight: 53 oz.
Power Supply: 12 V

 

Miya Epoch

Command CX-6 GT Pro
Website: technotren.com
MSRP: $1,399.00

While captains around the world trust Miya Epoch bridge teasers, their CX-6 GT Pro is well suited for kite fishing and features impressive attributes like recall stop, slow start and slow stop, a digital line counter and overload protection. With a large 7mm opening eye on the level wind anglers don’t have to worry about the passing of swivels or wax floss used to space kite clips.

FEATURES
Variable speed
LCD display
Auto zero stop
Level wind

SPECS
Line Capacity: 130 lb. braid 300 yds.
Max Drag: 65 lb.
Max Winding Speed: 360 feet per minute
Weight: 64 oz.
Power Supply: 12 V

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