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23 Jun 2017
by CARPology
10 classic carp reels you wish you owned
Join the cult!

Want to improve your street cred? You’ll need a set of vintage Daiwa’s then. Here’s CARPology’s guide to navigating the shadowy world of cult classic reels - all rated with their rarity. For more inspirational reel pics, check out Jon Mitchell’s Instagram page: @mitchellsreels

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1. SS3000 Whisker

Still the undisputed king of cult! The original Square Drives are highly sought after, and the newer re-release Hex Drives gave a new generation the chance to own the reels that the likes of Terry Hearn, Kevin Nash and Rob Maylin made famous.

The slightly bigger SS5000 model is scarcer and as such commands a higher price tag.

RARITY: Square Drive: 5/10; Hex Drive: 6/10

2. Tournament-S 5000T

A similar reel to the SS3000 but a lot less scarce. For many, these reels represent the most accessible way into the cult-reel club. You can still buy brand-new ‘Tournies’ that look just like the original models, and Daiwa has recently released a slick, black model that looks set to be every bit as collectable
in years to come. The ultimate workhorse winches.

RARITY: 2/10

3. SS2600 Whisker

A small reel that’s found a huge following in recent times, helped no doubt by the likes of Alan Blair, who teamed the smaller vintage Daiwa’s with his Scopes for many of his urban exploits. They make awesome stalking or floater fishing reels and originals have an admirably reliable clutch, despite their age (Daiwa still makes a re-released version). Look out for other smaller models like the SS1600, or even the rare-as-hens’-teeth GS1000, GS850 or GS600.

RARITY: 5/10

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4. SS9000 Millionmax

These stunners are the biggest and boldest of the SS range, with their trademark long, coned gold spool. They’re extremely sought-after in the UK and hugely admired in Europe. You don’t often
see these reels come to market, for good reason!

RARITY: 7/10

5. Emblem S 5000H

These are the famous ‘baboon’ Emblems, whose renown is largely thanks to a certain Terry Hearn (they get their name, thanks to the red detailing on the rear of the reel, just like a baboon’s backside!). They might not have quite the bling of some reels featured here, but they’ve acquired true cult status over the years.

RARITY: 6/10

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6. GS3000 Whisker

Along with the slightly bigger GS5000 Whisker, these reels are considered by many collectors to be the ultimate ‘Unicorn’ (the rarest of the rare). The GS stands for graphite spool (as opposed to the SS, which is stainless spool). Lay your hands on a set and you’ll be the envy of the cult reel scene…

RARITY: GS3000: 8/10; GS5000: 9.5/10

7. GS3000H Longbeam

We couldn’t pass up the chance to include a reel from the beautiful Longbeam range. They’re similar in many ways to an Emblem, and should you decide that they’re the cult reels for you, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding a mint set on-line as they often come up for sale.

RARITY: 6/10

8. GS 35 Procaster

Built for tournament casting, the Procasters need to be converted before they can be used for carp fishing, because they have no clutch! This can often put people off, which is a shame because they really are the definition of a cult reel! You won’t find many sets of these for sale, in fact, it’s estimated that there may be as few as 500 in Europe!

RARITY: 8/10

9. Emblem Z 5500A

Not classically beautiful compared to many of its stable mates, this Emblem found cult status nonetheless. The reverse-tapered spool was a big hit with long-range merchants, like Frank Warwick, when it came to market in the early 2000s; an acquired taste, yes, but with plenty of admirers.

RARITY: 7/10

10. Tournament-S 6000T

The big daddy of the Tournie range. They hold a massive amount of line and you can still buy them new from Daiwa. Original 6000s seem to be a little rarer than the other models in the range, the 5000 and 5500Ts, so you can own something a little less ordinary by plumping for the big ‘uns!

RARITY: 3/10

Footnote: Thanks to Jon Mitchell @mitchellsreels on Instagram and Oli Davies for their help with the images

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