When I set out with my sea fishing tackle on an excursion to one of our country’s superb fishing venues, I can’t help thinking how fortunate we are in the UK to have such a long and rich tradition of angling. I often feel that I’m part of a centuries-old continuum of unnumbered anglers who have stood on our shores, seeking to harvest piscine riches from the sea. But enough of the lyricism! I’m serious about fishing, and I like my gear to be serious as well. Since I don’t have unlimited funds to spend, I’m always keen on finding a bargain to add to my tackle box. Recently, I’ve run across quite a nice surf reel, the Shakespeare Tidewater 60. Here are my thoughts on it.
Key Features of the Tidewater Surf Reel
This reel is part of Shakespeare’s range of saltwater-resistant front drag reels. It has plenty of quality features and excellent specifications, including a reinforced graphite body that won’t corrode, and a precision-machined anodised spool. I do like a front drag because I prefer the location of the drag control knob to be on the top of the spool. I’ve found front drag reels to be quite a bit stronger than rear drag models, mostly because there are fewer gears, meaning that less is likely to go wrong, always a good thing! The reel comes with a spare spool, and has a capacity of 130 metres of 20lb test line.
More About the Shakespeare Tidewater 60
The Tidewater 60 also features one ball bearing, and has a comfortable counterbalanced handle. Shakespeare has thought everything — the reel even comes with 210 metres of Stren 17 lb test monofilament line included — which is a significant cost saving. The gear ratio is 4.5:1. As sea fishing tackle goes, this reel is loaded with positive features, including not only the smooth, multi-disc drag system, but also the machined and anodised aluminium spool. It weighs about 550 grams. The reel easily adapts to left- or right-handed wind, a feature I appreciate, because I’m left-handed. Expect to pay about £30.00 for this good quality piece of fishing tackle, but, with some research, you can find it on the Internet for about £20.00.
About the Shakespeare Company
Shakespeare has been a division of well-known Pure Fishing since 2007. Pure Fishing is a global company with an extensive collection of brands, including Ugly Stik, Penn, All Star Rods, Pflueger, and XTools. Pure Fishing is dedicated to meeting the needs of anglers all over the world with innovative products.
Final Thoughts on the Shakespeare Tidewater 60 Surf Reel
My brother, who also is my fishing partner, gave this reel a try at my request. Here are his comments: “Although this is an inexpensive reel, it has all the essentials necessary for superior performance. It’s well-constructed, and although a bit heavy, works flawlessly every time.”
I heartily concur: This is a great piece of sea fishing tackle.