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Gear: Shimano Tranx 400

Gear: Shimano Tranx 400

Shimano Tranx 400

Muskie, Pike, Big Bass

Cost: $299.99

Description and Application:Whether the objective is to crank big swimbaits for giant largemouth bass, pulling double blades or throwing big rubber for pike or muskies, a reliable and beefy winch-like reel is critical. This one will stand the test of 10,000 casts—and the battles that follow. The Tranx 400 reels are available in both power and speed models, including a 7.6:1 gear ratio and retrieve 40 inches of line per turn of the handle, and the low gear reels in a 5.8:1 pull 30 inches of line per turn.

The Tranx family features Shimano’s Hagane body for added durability by reducing frame distortion or flex when fighting a giant. The reels also come standard with the company’s X-Ship bearing supported pinion gear and High Efficiency Gearing and the CoreProtect technology provide water resistance without creating a heavy feel during the retrieve. The Tranx family consists of 200, 300, 400 and even a larger 500 size. Whether you’re after muskies, bass, stripers—even redfish—Tranx will handle any abuse you or the fish can dish out.

Staff Insight:Big angry fish can beat lesser gear; I’ve seen it happen personally. Spend the money on a quality piece of equipment like a Shimano Tranx and the paybacks will be memories of battles won. The beefy aspect of the reel can be felt in the palm of your hand, the way the reel handle engages the spool and how easily the drag smoothly provides the cushion between angler and fish. This thing is bulletproof. —TA

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