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Akios Reels Review

Waited with anticipation for this fishing reel, (Akios 656CTM), to arrive to have a gander at its build quality and performance.
First impressions, looks the part and the feel of it is rock solid. you get a feeling of real chunkiness about it.

My favourite reel up to now has always been the Abu 6500's, especially the green mag elite, which I had converted to a Knobby mag but with the Akios it does have a far chunkier and solid feel to it than my Abu's.

On the outside the handle looks and feels as if it will stand up to the rigours of pulling in a good fish, it's made of stainless steel, nice design and a decent thickness about it, a good POWER handle!

Akios Reel Handle side view (image)                             handle design (graphic)

The one piece CT cage uses the usual rounded cross bars and not the flat bars used by the likes of Abu.

Akios Reel CT Cage(image)

The one thing that did stand out was the mag control on the side of the reel, a knob dial which clicks into place as you adjust it.  A far better idea than the slider control by other makers of multipliers.  The Akios is not dissimilar to an Abu reel in appearance and that is not unexpected seeing as Simon Bradbury, the boss at Akios Fishing Tackle, spent 16 years at Abu in charge of product development here in the UK.

Akios Reel Side Plate (graphic)                               Akios Magnetic Brakes (picture)

The side plates are made from anti-corrosion chromed brass.  Also, which is a good bonus compared to a lot of other makes is the inclusion of a ratchet line out alarm.

On the inside it looks just as good; you have the usual 3 screws to release the end plate. Inside it has machined brass gears and a carbon multi disk drag system which provides for a very smooth line release when under pressure.  I tied the line off onto a garden post, set the drag and walked backwards; the line released without any jerkiness, very smooth.
Easy access to the 2 brake blocks sat on pins inside the end plate; these really do compliment the magnetic brakes when in use.  The bearings are easy to get to; it uses the usual retaining circlip system.  Plus this reel has a nice solid spindle which is probably one factor why this reel casts so smoothly.

reel bearing (image)                               akios reel spindle (graphic)

The Akios 656 CTM is able to be used straight out of the box as testified by others but I found and I know others have, that the reel doesn't spin as fast as it possibly could with the greased bearings.  So before using it, I did the usual trick of using lighter fuel to clean the bearings and then when dry, used a couple of drops of 'Yellow Rocket Fuel' to lubricate them.

It did then spin a lot faster after that, so now all I had to do was get onto a beach and give it some 'wellie'!
Took the reel to Deal for its first session and to be honest, my first session of the year too!  Used it on my 14ft Century rod alongside my other set-up, same rod but with my beloved Abu 6500 Elite attached.

I decided to have a few good casts with it first before actually starting to fish with it.

Not wanting to get controversial but I use braid on all my reels now, not everyone's cup of tea I know but I certainly prefer it over mono in most cases.  I use Berkley 'Whiplash' 100lb braid, yes that's correct 100lb braid on all my beach rods!  The thing is, it's ONLY 0.28 diameter!  I use that strength for a reason but no need to go into that now.  I also use 6oz breakaway type leads.
First cast I set the mag control to 'max', and used an off the ground cast.  Not too much power as I didn't want to get the dreaded birds nest!  It gave a very silent, smooth cast with no hint of an over-run or any fluffing up mid cast.  Well pleased with that.
On the retrieve it is very positive and no hint of anything untoward.

Next cast I set the mag to halfway, again very smooth and no fluffing half way through.
Then the next few casts I eased off the mag one click at a time until I got it down to minimum.
I gave it quite a few casts, ending up hitting it as hard as I could and not one cast felt as if it would over run or start to bunch up halfway through the cast.  The centrifugal brakes obviously doing their job alongside the mags.  I was really impressed with this Akios 656 CTM so far.

I baited up using a one hook clipped down rig and loaded with sand eel having one of the first rays of the year in mind.  It performed great, still no overruns or bunching.

I used my other set up at short distance and the Akios set up at range.  A few of the casts I hit both rods to see how they went side by side and the Akios went as far if not slightly further than my Abu.  Chuffed to bits with that seeing as it was my first outing using it.  I'm not going to say how far I thought it cast because it was over water and as we all know it is so easy to exaggerate.

What I would say is that I have fished on and off for the best part of 45 years so know how to handle a rod and reel, if I don't know now, I never will.  I couldn't test it under pressure as no rays joined the party and all fish caught were small stuff but by the feel of the reel I have no doubt it can handle most eventualities.

In conclusion:

  • For me it has everything I want or expect from a reel.
  • The build quality is excellent.
  • The mag won't be 'accidentally' moved as can happen with the slider type mag controls.
  • It can certainly cast a fair old distance.
  • It showed no sign of wanting to run away with itself.
  • A very big plus is also the price, far cheaper than some of the so-called big boys.
  • And yes, it could be used straight out of the box.

For me the Akios 656 CTM fishing reel provides a lot of reel for your money.

Time will tell on the longevity of this multiplier reel.

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