Take one now legendary reel – the Fox FX11 – melt all the goodness of said reel into a smaller, more compact body and the result will be a lightweight reel that’s a force to be reckoned with. And that’s exactly what we’ve got here with Fox’s new FX9 Reel – a baby big pit which has been designed for more intimate venues where long-range fishing isn’t required, but looks and performance still is.
The big questions
Err, how’s this come about then?
Through lots and lots of requests from thousands of anglers across Europe. Why own a set of huge bucket-sized spooled reels when something that little bit smaller will do the job just as well but means less mass to carry around? And that’s the reason the FX9 was born.
Straight out of a Chinese factory, huh?
Actually, no. Unlike many of their competitors who simply pick a reel off the shelf, change some of the cosmetics and then box and sell it – the FX9, just like its brother, is a completely bespoke reel; created and built from the ground up.
It looks beautiful…
It sure does. Cast from a hardwearing graphite body, the FX9 isn’t just lightweight – a mere 560g – but a scorcher too when it comes to looks, thanks to its minimalist matt black styling and discreet silver trims.
But what’s it like on the inside?
Tough. And clever. It benefits from all the great features of the FX11, such as super-slow oscillation (80cm of line retrieved per handle turn) for impeccable line lay and a Quick Clutch on the front of the reel. And to ensure your line remains in tiptop condition there’s micro line lay adjustment, rotor line guard, twist-free roller and a pro-cast lip on the spool which aids casting and line life.
So it’s pretty good, then?
Hell, yes. Just like the FX11, this new mini model is destined to become a future classic. The balance, the tech, the cosmetics all combine to make one of the neatest – and cheapest in its sector – reels around. So once again we have to high-five the designers and engineers at Fox. Top work.
“GIMME”: £149.99; additional spare spools: £19.99 each; foxint.com
Also new this month
More gadgets and gizmos which your life needs right now
These scales are built to weigh big: up to 132lbs in 1oz increments. Simple zero button ensures 100% accurate weighing, whilst the backlit screen makes for easy night work. Takes 2 x AA batteries and supplied with a protective hard case.
A dual-purpose weigh bar that comprises three parts: two handle sections and a ‘hook’ section which can be used as a standard weigh bar or can be screwed into a pole to create a weigh crook. Supplied in its own protective neoprene carry case.
Camo Square Buckets
When it comes to owning a proper carpy bucket, these three new ones leave all other buckets cold. Based on a square, robust design with heavy-duty metal handle, it means they can easily be stacked. Available in 5, 10 and 17lt sizes.
“GIMME”: £4.99, £6.99 and £8.99
The original FX200 boat has now been replaced with this new upgraded version that features a hard back with plastic mounting points for your engine and echo sounder, along with additional grab handles, fully adjustable rail seat and two black oars.
Multi Purpose Backlead
More cleverness, this time with their terminal tackle range. These new backleads can be used as a quick-change flying backlead or converted into a traditional ‘clip-on’ backlead within seconds. There are three sizes available: 5, 10 and 15g.
“GIMME”: £5.99 for four
Powergrip Multi Pouch Catapult
The curved ergonomic handle on this new ‘pult not only increases comfort, but control too. And the all-new pouch is pretty darn awesome too: non-slip grip for easier use with wet and cold hands and it can be used with a wide variety of baits.
Camo STR Floatation Weigh Sling
Based on the original STR Weigh Sling design (i.e. sculpted to house and fully support fish centrally during weighing), but it now comes in that camo pattern you’ve seen slapped across most of this new collection. Supplied in a nylon sleeve/stink bag.
Camo Water Container 5l
Here’s a better way to carry your water. Styled in Fox’s new bespoke camo pattern, it comes in a robust design and features an easy access handle, wide spout for easy pouring, and as it’s product name suggests, it’ll hold up to 5lts of water.
R-Series Camo Bedchairs
Set to replace Fox’s old Royale collection, the R-Series, with its dashing new camo pattern, has three beds – R1 (Compact), R2 (Standard) and R3 (Kingsize) – and comes with many new features: fold flat, cam-free and full lumbar support.
“GIMME”: £139.99, £149.99 and £169.99