As a big-pit reel under £50, the Sonik Vader X appears to be an unbeatable offering...
THIS REVIEW WAS UPDATED MARCH 2018
RRP: £49.99 | www.soniksports.com
- We like: Incredible value for money
- We dislike: It's fairly heavy
This is what £50 gets you in the modern big-pit market. And if it doesn't, you're looking at the wrong reels.
You get two aluminium spools, two sprung line clips, a total of six ball bearings, a wooden handle and a line-retrieval rate of more than 1m per handle crank.
In short, you get a hell of a lot if you buy a Vader X. It looks good, too.
The sleek aluminium spool sits atop a matt-black graphite body and the wooden handle adds a touch of class.
Unlike some much more expensive reels, the front-drag knob is big enough to grab in a hurry, though it will take you a couple of turns to go from freespool to locked up.
The two line clips are also very neatly executed. They are smoothly machined so won't damage your line and they are spring loaded to cushion even the fiercest casts.
These clips, combined with the 4.6:1 retrieve ratio, which returns well over a metre of line to the spool with each crank, also makes this an ideal spod reel.
We won't pretend this is a top-end big-pit reel, but we are staggered by what you get for your money. The only real negative we can find is the weight - it is quite bulky - but as is the case in sit-and-wait carp fishing it doesn't greatly detract from the overall experience.
The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, and it remains to be seen how the Vader X will stand up to prolonged bankside abuse, but it certainly appears to have a lot going for it.