There comes a time when every angler starts peering at some of the most expensive reels at the reel counter. Many of us start out with entry-level equipment and work our way up to tournament grade gear. It has taken me a few years to get to that point, and now I understand why some prefer the best over the rest.
Pflueger is a reel and rod manufacturer that has been in business since 1881. Age often correlates to a successful business strategy, a smart team of innovators and a product that excels at satisfying its owner – Pflueger has excelled in all of these areas and I would like to discuss their top of the line spinning reel; the Pflueger Patriarch.
With a $200 price tag, you can expect the best components, the smoothest bearings and a drag that is so smooth, even Country Crock would be jealous. The reel is built with an ultra-lightweight Magnesium body, rotor and sideplate. So why is Magnesium better than Aluminum? Mg (Atomic Number 12) is less dense, therefore, it is lighter and renowned for its strength. Don’t believe me? Compare auto materials and see which manufacturers prefer Magnesium or Aluminum when it comes to safety components, custom wheels and engine blocks. True performers in every sense of the word.
The carbon arbor also adds another dimension of weight to strength ratio. From aerospace to sports such as golf, fishing and hockey, this material is the perfect choice for high-end reels such as the Patriarch. In keeping with the theme, Pflueger makes it known that their lightest, most powerful reel only entails eye-catching details. The engineering and planning of components is truly remarkable in my opinion. The XCR bearings are proof of that – they are near frictionless. This reel drops the jaws of any customer who comes across its dark blue looks. It is one…bad…reel.
The Sure-Click bail audibly alerts you to the opening and closing of the bail, which helps anglers not take their eye off of their line while finesse fishing with shaky heads and dropshots. Like most other models of Pflueger reels, the Patriarch comes with a bigger diameter bail wire to help prevent accidental bending when dropped. Add in the Carbon handle, the EVA grips and the Titanium main shaft, and you have a recipe for success. This is the product that satisfies its owner – talk to anyone who owns the Patriarch; this reel is simply amazing.
So how about on-the-water performance? My Patriarch has easily handled up to a 5 ½ pound largemouth on 6-pound fluorocarbon. The drag handles the pulling power of both largemouth and smallmouth bass without breaking a sweat. Casting distance, throwing light lures and hauling in big fish is child’s play for the Pflueger Patriarch. Matched up with my Abu Garcia Veritas Dropshot Rod, this combo makes for a very lightweight and top-performing combination. The level of sensitivity cannot simply be described with words.
Pflueger adds a neoprene protective cover, a spare aluminum spool and backs up their product with a (1) year warranty. If you’re in the market for an elite spinning reel, be sure to give the Pflueger Patriarch a serious look because many competitive reels in the same class don’t even come close to the look and feel of the King.