A new centrepin on the block.

Last week I visited one of my local tackle shops, Thatcham Angling, and the first thing I saw when I entered the shop was a new centrepin reel on display. It was not a type I recognised so I picked it up and began examining it. I am very enthusiastic about centrepins and one of my many failings is I tend to fish swims that are suitable for ‘pins rather than those that hold fish. Guilt prevents me from actually counting the number I own but those of you who have met me know that I am a bit of a tackle tart and the shop owner obviously knew as well. He asked me what I thought the price was and surprise, surprise, that was the exact thought that had been preoccupying me.

My reputation at stake, I considered for a while, thinking that the reel was similar to the Lewtham Engineering Leeds reel which can be picked up on Ebay for about £60 in mint condition. The reel was quite free running, certainly free enough to trot all but the slowest rivers, much better than the reels that Shakespeare used to produce, which I always thought to be too expensive.

The reel is called Shadowlanda and is a ball bearing type centrepin, six inches in diameter which makes it larger than most, and seems to be made of some kind of pressed alloy, making it very lightweight for its size and more suitable for trotting a float on rivers for medium sized fish than margin fishing for carp.

Reel with box

Rear view of reel

On the back are two knobs, the black one at the top switches the ratchet on and off but the silver lever type applies an anti-reverse mechanism similar to a fixed spool reel. The reel also has another innovation – the two handles seem quite small and while this is an advantage when “batting” the reel with the fingers on the rim to achieve a fast retrieve they might be difficult to grip with cold hands when playing a fish. However, on closer examination they are telescopic in construction and when pulled out they double in size. Now that is clever and something I have never seen before!

My estimate of the price proved to be way out… I bought the reel and got change from a ten pound note. Yes, a large diameter centrepin reel for the price of three pints of casters. It is not the same high quality engineering as the Youngs reels but it does the job.

I have since discovered that that a five inch version is also available. Thatcham Angling is now out of stock but the owner assures me he will be getting some more in.