A free-wheel reel with integrated electronic bite indicator sounds practical for the short seat. This was already available from DAM many years ago, but these reels have not been available for some time. That’s why I once bought the Mitchell Avocet RTE FS Black Edition freewheel roller to test it extensively. The reel came with my Balzer Neo Tele rod, to be always ready in the car, for the frequent short hits on carp and especially tench, which I have been doing with my fishing colleague Basti lately.
The first impression is quite positive for the price. Unfortunately, a spare spool is not included with the reel, but the three button batteries for the electronic bite indicator function are. The bite indicator beeps and an LED lights up, therefore the reel is also available in different colours. The batteries can also be inserted quite easily,
for this only a cover at the bottom of the roll has to be unscrewed and some plastic has to be removed from the batteries. A proper seal is missing here – a dip bath and the bite indicator function should be gone. The roll comes out of the box quite soft and at first sight the workmanship seems to be OK. Both the crank and the reel are made of aluminium, the rest is plastic.
After winding a 0,35` mono, I can judge the winding pattern, which looks quite passable, but doesn`t win any more prizes. Nevertheless sufficient for a free spool reel. But much more interesting is the freewheel function, this can be adjusted at the rear of the reel as usual. Here I must state that the reel does not win a flower pot also for this. Nevertheless the freewheel still runs passably easy when I set it to the lightest setting.
Technique and models
The reel is only available in one size, but in different colours: Green, orange and red and therefore also with different lamp colors. I don’t know if the beep sound of the different coloured rolls is different. I would almost assume so.
All in all I had a good 10 uses of the reel on the water and was able to get a comprehensive picture of the reel. The first few times I have used the reel, it shows that it runs quite well and at least initially (!) has no problem with 30-40 cm of tench.
It starts to get on my nerves
Apparently the freewheel reacts to vibrations and that very sensitively. Actually, that would be positive if the roller didn’t sound the alarm every time I picked it up. It doesn’t matter if the freewheel is on or off. Even in the car the bite indicator suddenly starts to buzz. An on/off switch for the electric bite indicator would be desirable. Maybe there is only a stand-by function, because if I haven’t used the reel for two days, the alarm didn’t go off until I turned on the freewheel once. After a couple of fishing sessions I got the batteries, then
And now the firecracker
It got really annoying after a couple of uses without a big load on the reel: when I had a small stick on the hook, this small resistance in the water was already enough that the gear wheels of the gear box didn’t seem to grip properly anymore and the reel went through. This is not possible at all, because the reel is de facto scrap. It could be that I have caught a Monday model here, but then the quality control is probably not right. You can easily reproduce the spinning of my reel by cranking against slight resistance.
For me the reel I got is already useless after a few uses. The constant beeping and an unclean mechanism make the reel completely useless for me. I can only recommend you to look around my top list of really good freewheel reels >>. The reel goes back to the dealer and then we will see how it goes on. If I get a new reel, it will be tested and I will report how it happened to me.
Meanwhile I got a replacement reel and will write here if it is somehow better than my first model.