Many veteran anglers prefer to use direct-drive reels because they feel they have more control over the fish. While antireverse models protect fingers, you can wind and wind without gaining line back when the fish runs. There are reels that live in between – dual-mode reels – and the latest is Marryat’s Plus.
A dual-mode reel has two main features: 1) The handle doesn’t turn when line goes out (like an antireverse reel), and 2) when you crank, line comes in (like direct drive reels). In the case of the Plus, changing from antireverse to direct-drive is as simple as squeezing the two pads on the handle, and unlike some dual-mode reels, you can switch modes at any time. Despite the extra gearing it takes to make both possible, the all-aluminum reel remains lightweight (only 6.75 ounces) and durable. The design also features a large-arbor spool, and it can be adjusted easily from right- to left-hand retrieve.
At present, Marryat produces one model of the Plus, and it was specifically designed for saltwater use. It holds 200 yards of 20-pound Dacron backing and a weight-forward floating 9-weight line. The reel has a diameter of 33¼4 inches, comes in a gunmetal gray frame with a titanium-gray spool and retails for $850. For more information, write to Marryat, Postfach 1867 / Forchstrasse 59, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland; call 011-41-44-384-93-01; or visit www.marryat.com.