The word pinnacle can be defined as ‘the highest or culminating point, as of success, power, fame, etc.’; and at this moment nothing can better describe the new line of Pinnacle Fishing’s tournament class casting reels. Their new Optimus series is a workhorse series of reels starting at $129.99 for the Optimus X and topping out at $249.00 for the Optimus XiHS which is entirely hand tuned! I recently had the pleasure to check out the Optimus XT ($179.99 retail) and I can honestly say it is well worth the price tag.
First let’s check out some of the specs.
10 Double-Shielded Stainless Steel Bearings, Plus Roller Bearing
X-Bone Metal Frame Construction
Available in 7.3:1, 6.3:1, and 4.7:1 Gear Ratios
Carbon Fiber Drag Washers
Tandem Cast Control
Precision-Click Cast Control Knob
Before testing the Optimus XT I spooled it with 14# Gamma Edge fluorocarbon and mounted it on a 13 Fishing 7’1” MH Envy and I have to say it balanced perfectly and made a great set up for lighter 3/8oz jigs. I first put the reel to use at Philpott Reservoir in Martinsville, VA while pre-fishing for the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championship and the reel performed above and beyond all of my expectations.
The spool on the Optimus XT is super free, and made for easy casting and pitching to the abundant cover on the reservoir. The tandem cast control using both magnetic and centrifugal braking is an excellent option that allows for more casting adjustment and is a feature near impossible to find on reels under $200. I got to try out the drag after hooking into a nice 2.5lb fish in a laydown and the carbon fiber drag was silky smooth and consistent.
One of the features I was skeptical of at first was the QuickFlip™ button, but after using it for a day it became second nature as an easy way to engage the reel. It is an incredibly efficient way to engage the reel when fishing a jig vertically when a fish takes your bait on the fall. The QuickFlip™ button was actually responsible for allowing me to engage the reel on my personal best smallmouth when I saw her take my jig on the fall when fishing the New River. The only downside to the QuickFlip™ feature is once you get used to the button you wish it was on all of your reels.
In all seriousness though the new line of Pinnacle reels are nothing short of excellence and I would recommend the Optimus XT to any serious bass angler!