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Shimano Twin Power FD

When I was sent the new Twin Power FD to review, I wasn’t expecting to find anything I didn’t like. I’ve been using Shimano reels since I was a kid, I’ve had quite a few Twin Powers and they’ve always been an awesome option that put anglers in touch with a reel that was almost as good as a Stella but was that bit cheaper. The Twin Power is a high-end Japanese-made reel and there isn’t much in the market that compares to it. With the new FD and the Stella FJ the disparity in price sits at around $500, which is a larger gap than it’s ever been, but the gap in quality and features is now far smaller.

Aesthetics & Features

I’ve always loved a black and gold aesthetic on reels and Shimano has done it beautifully with subtle gold highlights, a light blue sparkle through the gun metal grey body and grey chrome plates on the rotor and base plate. The FD features the new Long Stroke spool design that I’ve been using for a few years now on the Stradic FL and it does offer better casting performance – you can cast just that bit further and more accurately, with less effort. The 2500 is equipped with nine bearings, 9kg of drag and a 5.3:1 gear ratio. It’s the perfect reel for bream, bass, flathead, golden perch and estuary perch. Chasing big bream in structure and flathead in the estuaries was where I planned to test it out until Covid lockdowns here in Vic put a dampener on that idea. I spooled the FD with the new Kairiki 4 in 12lb, which is the perfect line for targeting fish in structure as it offers better abrasion resistance than an 8 carrier. As soon as things opened and snapper season was upon us, I took it for a spin on the reds where it was really going to be tested out.

In the Field

Shimano’s Compact 3000 size of reels is the ultimate size for chasing snapper; the handle is that little bigger, which is better for heavier drag pressures, and that extra line capacity is there when you need it. While a 2500 is fine for pinkies, it’s a little small for a 4-6kg rod and larger fish. My aim was to target fish in the shallows and tangle with fish around the 1kg-2.5kg size.  My idea went exactly to plan and after boating a few fish around the 1.5kg size I was loving the Twin Power. It’s buttery smooth in every way you can imagine yet oozes solidity. It’s exactly what modern manufacturing and design should be offering anglers in 2020, handling like a Porsche with performance like a quality 4×4 when you need it.

It wasn’t long after catching a few undersize fish that I felt a big tick, the line came up tight and the drag started to scream. I was in 7 metres of water over reef that came up to 4 metres and I knew I was on to a solid fish. I tightened the drag a little and the fish got angry, taking four big runs that worked my light 2-4kg rod way beyond its limits. A lesser reel and a lesser drag system would have spelled the end. At around 4kg it was no trophy snapper but it certainly would put lesser bream gear to shame and the Twin Power handled it beautifully. The infallible drag system and a super-solid yet highly finessed build was made to handle situations like this.

The Twin Power is not a cheap reel at $725 but it’s one of the best reels in its class and has few, if any, peers at this price. It’s a joy to fish with on a long day of 1000 casts and will last years into the future of hard use. I highly recommend it and consider it in the top echelon of light tackle spin reels.  I must also praise the Kairiki 4 – just by chance I had been sent the new 4 carrier for review and it turned out to be the perfect line for tangling with a fish that was too big for the outfit I was using over a shallow reef.

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