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Akios Reels

Akios are a UK based company and it's great to see someone taking on the big boys and beating them at their own game.  They appear to be concentrating on giving the angler what he wants, a quality product at the right price and being able to do the job it was bought for.  The reels look quite a bit like one of their competitors on the outside but there is nothing wrong in that.  On the inside you can see they are made of quality materials, are robust and will stand up to the rigours of a good old english winter!  Put one in your hand and you immediately feel the quality and solid build of these reels.  You know you have a reel that is going to last the ravages of time, built to a high specification and performance.  On some of the forum's guy's are already saying this reel is going to be their casting reel of choice this year!

                        Akios S-Line 656 CTM (image)

Akios reels have only been around since last year but are already making an impact on anglers.  They are getting talked about on the internet, in forum's and of course on the beach and in the boat.  Akios reels are not a copy of a successful series, these reels are based on a succesful concept but have been improved on where competitors have tended to drift away from quality and live on their reputation for far too long now.  A few reel manufacturers have gone down the route of making their products from inferior, cheaper materials and having them made on license away from their own premises from which they probably made them a few years ago and so quality and service have suffered.  I've always believed that a man will find the money to buy a top product for his hobby as long as it does what he wants.  This S-Line (as they are known) range of Akios reels are very reasonably priced.  It won't break the bank to get your hands on one of these beauties!

Simon Bradbury decided to create a new company after being made redundant.  He was prior to that with the world's largest fishing tackle company and has over 33 years in the industry so certainly knows his trade.  He actually came up with the name 'AKIOS' which in Japanese means "New Beginnings" - "New Life".

At the moment there are two ranges of reels available to the angler, the Akios S-Line 656 reels and the Akios S-Line 757 reels, both series are multiplier reels and are comparable to the Abu sizes of their 6500 and 7000 range of reels.  Both sets of reels certainly look the part, smart yet not over the top in colour and design.
The range consists of the:

  • Akios S-Line 656 CS - level wind - centrifugal braking system
  • Akios S-Line 656 CSM - level wind & magnetic brakes
  • Akios S-Line 656 CTM - tournament frame & magnetic/ centrifugal brakes
  • Akios S-line 757 CS - level wind - centrifugal braking system
  • Akios S-line 757 CT - tournament frame - centrifugal braking system
  • Akios S-line 757 CTM tournament frame & magnetic/centrifugal brakes
  • Akios Sportcast Shuttle 656 SCM - One Piece Extruded Open CT Cage & Magnetic/Centrifugal Brakes

I will let the review below tell it's own story, it was written by a guy off one of the forum's who goes by the name of Matt Minter and who kindly gave his permission for it to be used on this website.  Always better to have an independent review or article I think.  Thanks Matt.

"I now have 2 of them, below is a review i did of the first one i bought a few weeks back.  Have really thrashed them now and cant fault them,

Firstly, the build quality seems very solid, the reel has a chunky feel to it and sits well in the hand.
The reel has the familiar 3 screw take down to get at the spool, the bearings are easy to get at via the usual circlip set-up and the 2 brake blocks sit on pins above the spool for instant accses.  It was nice to get spare brake blocks in the box in addition to the pair fitted to the reel.

All gears were of solid looking bronze and every internal mechanism was protected by grease, but not the bucket load that the penns seem to have at the moment!  In comparison the internals looked at least as well engineered as my ABU 6500 c3ct.  A big bonus is the inclusion of a ratchet line out alarm.  This worked very well on the beach with it holding well in a tide but releasing smoothly on the huge bites from the floating weed rafts that the dredging of the nearby pier had seemed to release.  Overall the reel would be best compared to the Abu high speed with the gear ratio stepped down as many have done and with the stronger brass end plates.

The MAG adjust is much better for practical fishing than the Abu slider.  The Akios has a click dial adjuster which clicks very positively into place and can not be moved by accident.  Loaded up with 0.33 nite crystal and strapped to a century C3LD a few gentle lobs with the mags on full and into a slight crosswind the reel released line smoothly and with no odd noises and all felt solid enough.  Straight away the retrieve felt very smooth with no hint of wobble or pause.

I then started to cast harder off the ground with a 170gram lead having backed the mags off to half.  The reel worked very well with no hint of lift on the spool even when the lead was allowed to land without thumbing down. The harder I hit it the better the reel felt.  I backed the mags down to just 2 clicks and hit it as hard as I could.  The lead went as far as I have ever cast and try as i might the reel just would not backlash.
I paired up my other C3LD with my trusty mag elite and cast a 170 gram lead and marked up with tape the distance and then paced out the cast which was 111 paces.  I then did the same with the Akios, 131 paces!!

Now I have upgraded my mag elite with ceramic bearings and put in rocket fuel and the Akios hit it for six out of the box with no playing about with it.  There was no movement on the handle during the cast so no problems with the dreaded crackoff.
The reel was just a happy when I added a whole squid and lug cocktail to the 170gram lead and the 4 dogfish I had were cranked back with no sign of spool slip or wobble, as were several weed rafts at the top of the tide.

Sadly I hooked nothing that would test the drag system but it feels smooth and I see no reason that it will not perform when required.  From a fishing point of view this reel is fantastic having all the bells and whistles I need and its solid feel gives confidence.
The only bad thing I can say about the Akios is that my one had a tiny imperfection on the chromed left end plate, so small you could not see it but you could feel it when running a thumb over it.  No major problem and having stripped it this is not indicative of the overall build quality.

Overall the reel has performed so well that my Abu's may well find themselves relegated to back up status, only time will tell if they have the reliability but I see no obvious weak points."

As Matt has just stated in his fine article, only time will tell if this new brand of reel stands the test of time but all the indications point to it being a favoured reel of many an angler yet to find the delights of this solid bit of kit designed and built by Simon Bradbury.  

These are just some of the comments lads have made on some of the forum's etc when commenting about the Akios reels:

  • put the reel to the test in every situation i could think of and it has performed admirably at all times
  • straight out of the box 210 yards no bother
  • they feel absolutely solid
  • great piece of kit for the money
  • these are serious reels

One very important point, as Matt says in his review and this seems to be the consensus across the board, these reels can be cast straight out of the box, which has to be an enormous advantage for the less experienced angler, giving them more confidence in their casting ability right from the off!
So there you have it, the new range of Akios reels, a great new reel introduced onto the British market that in most opinions is one that is going to make the headlines and quite a few fishermen very happy!

After finally getting a fishing trip in you can read my own Akios Reels Review.

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