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When selecting your fishing gear, it can be tough to find the right balance between price and power. It’s very easy for things to spiral out of control as soon as you start looking towards higher end equipment, and if you’re like me, your budget doesn’t always allow you to splurge on super high-end equipment.
That’s why I was so intrigued by this reel when I first saw other Piscifun Phantom reviews. A reel that promises lots of high-end features in an ultra-budget package – is it too good to be true?
I got to try this reel out on the water and I have some thoughts about it. Let’s just say this reel gives you quite a lot, so let’s take a closer look.
Quick Specs: Piscifun Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel
Piscifun Phantom Specifications
- Weight: 5.7 oz
- Drag: 17 lbs
- Gear Ratio: 7 to 1
- Inches Per Turn: 30.3
- Bearings: 7
- Spool Capacity (mono): 120 yards/10 lbs
What I Like About The Piscifun Phantom
As I mentioned earlier, I was very curious what the Piscifun Phantom would be able to offer me in such a small and low-priced package. But within just a few minutes out on the water, I could tell that this was a serious reel with some great features. Here’s what I liked about the Piscifun Phantom.
The single coolest thing about this reel is its weight. This thing is so light it just feels like a feather when it comes out of the box. I’m having trouble understanding how exactly they made all the weight savings they did, as most of the body is the same aluminum I’d find in other reels that aren’t as light.
I can see that on certain pieces like the spool and the handle crossbar they’ve done some CNC milling to just shave away material you don’t need. I’m really impressed by the way this has been done. It’s the kind of attention to detail I’d expect from a much more expensive reel.
The concern, of course, is going to be whether or not this reel can still stand up to the pressure we put on it with it being so lightweight. I’m happy to say that it’s felt really sturdy the whole time I’ve been able to use it. I’ve reeled in two pretty sizable fish and at no point did this thing seize up or feel at all flimsy in my hand.
Nothing else about this reel would matter if it didn’t work well on the cast and it comes up big in that department. I felt perfectly comfortable letting loose any kind of bait rig with this reel. I got good distance each time and the system worked exactly the way I wanted it to.
This is one of those small details that I can certainly live with even if it’s not done right, but in this case the knobs you’ll use to adjust tension are set up really well. They’re in positions where you won’t easily bump anything by accident and even if you did, you get good feedback from the knob so you know exactly how much you’re adjusting each time.
This reel has a truly very solid brake system, with both an internal centrifugal brake and an external magnet brake that can be adjusted. This gives you both a powerful braking system and one that you can really fine-tune to your liking. I found it easy to switch between settings and overall this worked great.
After I’d had some fun with this reel, I took it home and took the time to really crack it open and see what makes it work. I thought to do this just because I wanted to see firsthand if we were dealing with any low-quality pieces or engineering. There are a lot of reels at this price range that cut corners pretty badly, so I wanted to know where this one compared.
I’m happy to say the Piscifun Phantom exceeded any of my expectations when it came to the guts of this reel. Everything was high quality and clearly manufactured to a really specific tolerance. Doing this is how I picked up on some of their little weight saving techniques I mentioned earlier.
Each piece is clearly strong and the whole package fits together great.
What I Didn’t Like
With all of that being said, I did encounter a few things that make me wonder how long this reel will hold up over the long term.
The knob for setting my brake power works well but doesn’t actually do a great job of telling me exactly what setting it is on currently. This isn’t a huge problem as I quickly got to understand the relative positions I wanted for different situations, but it’s not the sort of thing I had expected to have to learn.
The bearings in here are clearly very strong, and I think the feel of the reel action was great. But the bearings themselves were clearly not greased very well on the unit I had, making for a rough sounding noise right out of the box.
I’ll be able to take some time and grease these up myself if the problem continues, but again this is not really an issue I’d expect from a reel straight from the manufacturer. It’s also the kind of problem that could cause major malfunctions down the road if it’s not dealt with, and that’s something amateurs should consider as well.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking at this reel. Let me wrap up this Piscifun Phantom review by summing up what I’ve learned from a few trips out on the water and one deep dive into its mechanics.
First, I can tell you that this is a remarkably engineered and manufactured reel. The lightweight and serious power you get here is just awesome. At any price, I’d recommend this reel to my friends.
But combine all that with the super low price, and you get a reel that gives a whole lot of bang for the buck. If you’re looking to upgrade your current casting reel without having to lay out too much cash, this is the way to go.
You can check out the Piscifun Phantom by following this link to Amazon.com, or through the image below.