Theseus Elegance Centrepin
Ian Welch reviews a budget centrepin which may raise a few eyebrows.
Let me start off by saying that although I use a centrepin regularly throughout the winter months when my small river trotting is in full swing I am by no means a ‘pin connoisseur and most certainly not one of those annoying centrepin ‘snobs’ who frown upon anyone not trotting with a pin – and a ‘proper’ ‘pin at that.
The truth is that not all trotting conditions are best suited to use of a pin and there are times, particularly when the river is sluggish, or when you want a bait to run through a swim at the pace of the current, as opposed to just off pace, when a ‘pin is not the first choice. I use what’s appropriate on the day and if that’s a fixed spool or a closed face then so be it!
I’m also not one of those anglers who sit behind a ‘pin (or ‘pins) for their barbel fishing; I’ve got no problem at all with those that do – in fact I’m sure it’s great fun - but I’m a properly-tensioned freespool barbel angler as it suits the way I usually choose to fish.
I do however own a couple of half decent ‘pins – well, three if you count my Ray Walton Rolling Pin – one a Young’s 4.5in and the other a Fox 5in; I know them both well, they know me and they do the job I ask of them and they do it very well.
Although I’m not a ‘pin worshipper I appreciate the quality of engineering required to create a good reel and so when a model retailing at £89.99 and currently selling for under £30 landed on the FishingMagic desk I was rather sceptical. I’ve no problem with budget kit, and there are some cracking examples of it on the market these days, but budget reels always make me nervous as I’ve seen some horrors but a budget ‘pin...it could all be so very wrong.
OK, so what did I find in the box?
A bronze-coloured 4.25in model, which weighed in at 245g – a shade lighter than both of my larger diameter models but certainly not on the heavy side for its size and it felt perfectly balanced with my usual 15ft trotting rod. A stainless, one piece, machine cut spool and frame was fitted with twin wooden handles which, although I rarely if ever use, did look rather fetching. I wasn't overly taken by the bronzed finish, and would have preferred a nice gunmetal, but that is personal taste and aesthetics don't detract from performance.
The spool was unguarded, which I personally prefer, and the ratchet was in the form of a round dial on the reverse of the frame rather than the side-mounted lever to which I am more accustomed but it was easily switched across with a single finger whilst the reel was on the rod. The ratchet itself was a real ear-splitter though; an ‘in yer face’ raucous wake up call which would certainly get the adrenaline pumping if you were sitting behind one on a barbel session! Not a bad check in any way – just loud!
I took it apart to have a look and the machining looked OK, a drop of ‘Rocket Fuel’ on the spindle before a spin and off we went.
Centrepins are not so much about how long the spool will spin for when you set it in motion but rather the amount of inertia that is required to set it in motion in the first instance and this one wasn’t at all bad. Not quite up to the standard of my other models but not far off and for something costing the best part of ten times less it certainly wasn’t ten times off the pace! As far as the actual ‘spin’ is concerned give the spool a hefty bat and it will run smoothly for over 90 seconds time and time again.
With the rivers currently closed I did not have the opportunity to use it in anger but I did string it up with a Drennan Loafer and take it down to a section of my local River Wey and ran it through several swims, sans hook, just to see how it performed and it did OK. It needed a bit of help to get going in the slower sections – but many other models would have done too – and it performed sweetly in the streamy water where there was enough pace to pull the float through.
Did it perform as well for trotting as models costing ten times as much, no it didn’t. Did it impress me for the price, yes it most certainly did, and as a ‘pin for donkey work on a static barbel rod or for stalking carp it will hold its own with most models. If you are looking for a first pin for occasional trotting, or a pair for barbel work, I think you will struggle to find better value anywhere.
The Theseus Elegance retails at £89.99 but is currently being sold for £29.99 HERE
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