I have never used a Tica reel before and when the distributor handed over the new DynaSpin GH over I was keen to give it a go. The 3500 size retails at $149 (you’ll probably pick it up cheaper) and features an alloy spool, alloy frame, polycarbonate side plates, 6kg of drag, 6 RRB (rust resistant bearings) and a bearing in the line roller. It’s a Chinese made reel sitting in the low-price point category but on paper has the features of a good snapper reel. When I took the reel to my local Compleat Angler store to get spooled Don who works there mentioned that he’s used many Ticas and always found them to be reliable and great bang for buck.
We generally don’t test many reels in this price range, but I thought at this price and with these features, and it being snapper season, these are well priced for someone getting into snapper fishing and looking for a fleet of 4-6 combos. Putting together a set of snapper outfits can be a costly exercise when you need multiple combos and the Tica may just fit the bill.
I had recently been out at the start of the snapper season catching fish in that 1-3kg size range and so took the Tica out on a solo session thinking that’s a great test species. I just had the one reel to test in a spread of four but was confident from my previous session that I’d get enough fish that one or two would hit the Tica. Baits were in the water for about 10 minutes when first cab off the rank the Tica’s drag screamed and the rod buckled over- this was a good fish and not the 1-3kg fish I was expecting.
The first thing I noticed before I picked up the reel was what a great and loud drag sound which is perfect for this style of fishing. The fish took another two big runs and I noted consistent and smooth drag thanks to the Carbon drag washers and the bearing in the line roller, a great feature rarely found on reels at this price point.
As the fight went on, I started realising I was on to a good fish, big head shakes, stubborn short runs, and more long runs. He started going under the boat and I realised I needed a bit more drag, I was surprised to experience zero body flex, however, there was a bit of flex in the handle. The other thing I noted was the handle knob was a little too small, on smaller fish, it isn’t an issue.
I took control of the fish and safely netted him and had him on board. It pulled the scales to 7kg, not the fish I was expecting but a very welcome start to the season and a great test for any reel. Realistically you’re not going to encounter fish of this size that often and while the DynaSpin got the job done, it was under gunned. If you’re an ambitious angler I would opt for a larger size where upon discussion with the supplier the 4500 and 6000 experience this handle flex to a far lesser extent.
I used the reel on a few more sessions catching smaller fish to 2.5kg without issue. The handle is a jointed screw and pin style handle, and you need to keep that join clean as bait and salt can get in there. I did notice that the chrome paint on the handle near the join has started to scratch off a little also.
In closing the DynaSpin GH has some great attributes for the price such as a solid frame, excellent line management, a great drag and drag sound, and a bearing in the line roller but could be more refined in some areas.
Distributed by: Juro Fishing