New for 2020 is the budget friendly Emeraldas LT 3000 which supersedes the Emeraldas 2508E that was released in 2016. Many anglers will appreciate it is now $20 cheaper at $249 and is a great entry level option for anglers wanting an egi specific reel.
It comes in two versions: the C with a gear ratio of 5.3 and the CH with a gear ratio of 5.6 which is a vast improvement on the previous models gear ratio of 4.8 which we at Hooked Up always believed was far too slow for an egi reel.
With the larger double handle you’re retrieving that bit more line per crank, however, I recommend the CH (5.6) for those that like to use an aggressive rod technique.
This model features the same DigiGear II as the last model. It has been upgraded with a screw in handle which is a vast improvement and aesthetically it’s a much nicer looking reel. It’s only marginally lighter than its predecessor at 245gm but a fair bit of that weight is attributed to the double handle.
Double Handles are one of those things where you either love them or you don’t, there really isn’t a middle ground for most egi anglers. They offer greater balance at the cost of extra weight and when designed as well as this one is, they make for a comfortable egi outfit. This comfort is aided by nice long EVA grips that are very well designed.
Whether or not it’s more comfortable than a single handle with an ergonomically designed knob that suits egi angling down to preference, so I highly suggest playing with one in store prior to making a purchase online.
The ATD drag is as smooth as its always been and the all over feel of the reel is solid with zero playback in the handle or any other unsettling movement anywhere on the reel. Line management is good and the reel offers good fluidity when operating under load or in general use, however, there is a discernible difference between this reel and the LT Air or other more expensive Daiwa reels when it comes to smooth operation- it’s by no means rough, but it certainly isn’t that buttery smooth feel that Daiwa is known for in reels in the range that starts around the $350 price point.
If you’re after a double handle reel that has all the basic attributes of a good egi reel, you’re not going to find much else at this price point.