There are a number of good reels available from any brand now, that will serve you well and perform the task at hand effectively when it comes to anything from slow pitch and light jigging, right through to chasing the bluefin out of Waihau Bay. Not all reels are created equal, and each have their strengths and weaknesses depending on the price point parameters you are working within.
If doing the job is only part of the requirement, and you are looking for something with a little more sex appeal, then you just might want to take a look at the rather stunning reel options offered by Italian craftsmen, Everol.
Now, an Alfa Romeo or Ferrari is not everyone’s cup of tea. But those that own them love them, for a reason that is not based on performance alone.
It’s about the product’s look, feel, sound, and intangible soul. Qualities that more than make up for any other shortcomings and go a long way to putting sheer enjoyment of ownership at the top of the specs list.
Everol is an Italian company that started building finely machined trolling reels by hand in the late 1950’s, specifically to target the big bluefin that once were abundant in the Mediterranean.
Today, the company builds a much wider range of reels, still catering for the biggest gamefish the ocean presents, right down to smaller species targeted with light jigging, Inchiku, and slow pitch techniques.
The immediate impression you get when you hold an Everol, is that it is a thing uniquely crafted and solidly built to do a job, but also quirky and distinctive in its style. Smooth, compact and finished in a range of in-your-face anodised colours that scream avant-garde designer heritage.
Like an Alfa Romeo, the look is not for everyone’s taste, and that is precisely the point.
THE REEL RANGE
Everol make a range of products starting with their VJ (Vertical Jigging) range.
Yowser! Just another colour option that you can customise if that's your desire
For more information regarding exactly what models are in stock or available for import, try contacting the NZ distributor and retailer, Greg at Go Fish Tackle http://www.gofish.co.nz
The smallest being a VJ6, a PE2.5 reel perfect for hunting snapper and lighter game, and easily capable of handling some good sized kingfish if you can keep away from too much structure.
Next in line, the VJ8 and VJ8 Light, a PE4 reel that is extremely versatile and perfectly suited to most NZ jigging applications where the kingfish are generally sub 30kgs.
I have purchased, owned and tested a VJ8 Light and after several months have given it a very good thrashing, and am absolutely in love with the reel. I’ve landed some cracker kingfish and have always loved the action and smoothness of operation of this wee weapon mated to a Jigstar Katana Nano rod.
The author with a couple of nice fish jigged up on the Everol VJ8
Ed Note, I paid for the reel and am not sponsored in any way so all opinion is unbiased and independent.
Main features and benefits of the VJ reels
1) Build Quality. These reels are tanks. They will take the knocks and stresses of hard fishing no problem, and keep on giving solid feel and security under load.
2) Smooth palm surface. Where you hold the reel while jigging is smooth as an Italian pick up line. The reel just nestles into your palm with a nicely rounded edge design and is comfortable as can be jigging all day long.
3) Narrow, deep spool. The narrow spool width means less thumb work required to level wind, particularly good when working a big fish under load. It also means less torque twisting the reel whilst in action. The deep, machined alloy spool is also very robust and holds a good amount of line.
4) No plastics here. She’s all highest grade marine alloy
5) Ratchet not spool lock. Many of the Japanese brands have now replaced the ratchet switch with a spool lock. This is designed to help lock up the reel to release snags etc, but is not much good if you are trolling for skippy and albacore etc, and want to know when you hook up.
Also, accidentally engaging a spool lock when playing a decent fish usually means immediate game over.
The Everol reels have a very ‘custom’ sounding ratchet lever that you won't miss if you're trolling and get hit.
6) Long lever drag lever throw. Firstly, lever drag, not star. Secondly, the ‘Light’ versions of the reels have a full 270 degrees of drag lever throw (and a strike stopper) which means more control under the stress of fighting a fish and less accidental nudging of the drag up too heavy.
7) Needless to say the looks are pretty killer if you want to turn a few heads when you turn up with your gear.
Everol Two Speed Series
Designed for game fishing, where Everol started in the market, the Two Speed series consists of an eight model range designed to accommodate anglers fishing 12, 20, 30, 50, 80, and 130 pound line
The two speed series, as the name suggests, engage either a high (3 : 1) or low (1.6 : 1) ratio stainless steel gears assembled on seven, double shielded, stainless steel ball bearings and two self-lubricating bearings.
Everol 6/0 waiting for an owner
Immediately notable regardless of chosen reel colour, is the anodised green graduated scale adorning the side of the reel.
When a big fish runs out a lot of line and starts to empty the spool, drag is progressively increased, and if an angler is not careful too much drag and increased side load of all that line in the water can, and does, lead to bust offs.
The Everol system allows a quick reference to keep the drag level at a safe maximum at any stage during the fight, matching up lines visible on the spool as it empties, to the correlating drag figures on the side of the reel.
Affinity charters in the Coromandel getting into the action
This is the favourite feature for charter operator Roger Boese, who owns and operates Affinity Charters out of the Coromandel. A beautifully appointed 12metre cat catering to a high customer standard. https://affinitycharters.co.nz/
Roger has been running a full complement of Everol reels on board the luxurious Affinity charter for some time now, and is happy to attest to their solid performance in commercial environment.
If you are looking for a game reel to tackle whatever fish New Zealand waters can come up with, the Two Speed Everol series provides a refreshing change from the typical go-to Shimano Tiagras, and also holds more line (an Everol 6/0 holds almost 50 metres more 50lb mono than a Tiagra 50)
Everol T-Shot range
If you’ve moved into the braid department for your big game fishing needs, Everol also offer the option of the T Shot range.
A reel designed specifically with braid in mind so the overall bulk of the reel is reduced without compromising strength or performance.
Retrieve ratios are also a bit faster to cope with quicker moving species and the speed that braid cuts through the water.
Reels can be made to order from the factory, feature Ferrari clutch material in their drag systems, look, feel and sound awesome, and are simply a bit special to own.
Cost-wise, the reels range from around $749 - $900 depending on model, so they are competitive in price to higher end models from mainstream manufacturers considering they are a boutique manufacture and can be customised to some degree if required.
For more information regarding price, availability, or if you just want to have a look, get into Go Fish Tackle and talk to Greg. https://www.gofish.co.nz/