Regarding specs, there isn’t much that a reel needs to make it a good egi reel. The main three features are size (2500 or 3000), a high gear ratio (6.0:1 or faster) and a handle with a suitable knob or a double handle.
The Banax Ionix Light is an egi-specific reel and it ticks all three boxes and has a price of around $450. We haven’t reviewed any Banax reels and to be honest we weren’t expecting a lot from it, but we were very pleasantly surprised with how well it performed. It’s important to note we used the Banax across almost all the days of testing for this issue (because it was great) and so we can only comment on what we experienced through this period. We obviously can’t comment on its durability long term but nothing in the specs gives us reason to doubt its build or durability.
The Ionix comes in an amazing plush case, which is a very nice touch and something that is missing from even the most high-end reels on the market. It features a double handle and it’s the best we’ve seen (that comes stock) on a reel. It’s a machined alloy that balances perfectly with the reel, looks great and is very, very comfortable to use. We did note before we even got on the water that the handle has a slight bit of back play but it wasn’t noticeable when fishing, nor was it ever an issue.
It’s a smooth reel to wind, both under load of a capture or just while retrieving a jig. The drag is also smooth, and the reel is very solid while in use. Aside from that slight bit of back play (which, again, it must be stressed had no negative affect on the reel) at this price point you really can’t fault it – it’s an outstanding egi reel.