The Ross Evolution R reel drops jaws, Greys Jacket makes sense and Columbia shirt is enviable
Although it’s made in smaller trout sizes, the Ross Evolution R’s price and technology suggest this is a reel that will mostly attract salmon and saltwater anglers in the UK. Its drag is remarkably powerful for such a light reel, with 30lb resistance in the 11/12 size. Lightness and power are its most striking features, but look closely and there are several satisfying, clever details. The sealed drag is adjusted with a wide flat wheel, rather than a knob. It has been designed for use with a gloved hand and also reduces the chance of line becoming snagged. There are two-and-a-half turns from free spool to locked up. Power is derived from seven alternating steel and carbon-fluoropolymer discs in the smaller reels and a whopping 16 discs in the big Salt versions. The handle is made from a unique cloth-and-resin material, which makes it more grippable when wet. Two small counterbalance weights in the Salt versions, rather than the standard one, reduce vibration when a powerful fish runs, ensuring the spool rotates smoothly. The large arbor means line is retrieved quickly. The asymmetric spool base encourages line to lay evenly. Frame and spool are built from aerospace-grade aluminium and are strong and Type II anodised – “salt-safe”. To change winds, unscrew the brake housing and flip a bearing. To release the spool, unscrew a captive nut, which seems flimsy, but is made from stainless steel and has a machined (not engraved) Ross logo. You’re left with the thought the engineers at Ross enjoy sourcing new materials and being a little different. This is an impressive reel, a genuine contender beside others in your tackle-shop’s glass cabinet. Sizes: 4/5, 5/6; (Salt) 7/8, 9/10, 11/12.