By Samuel Moore
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Whether it is a new advancement in rod making, a new line of crankbaits, or a breakthrough in soft plastic scents, anglers are always looking for that extra “something” to give themselves a competitive edge. For many anglers, this means burning a hole in their pockets and getting the newest and hottest product they can find, without knowing that they have the next big thing sitting right in their garage, waiting to be unleashed.
Last year, 13 Fishing came out with a reel the called the “TearDrop,” a revolutionary reel that most had to look over at least a few times before realizing what exactly it was for. Never before has a low profile casting reel ever been designed for ice fishing. This reel took the industry by storm because of its unique idea of having a casting reel actually built to fit a spinning rod. The ice fishing community was stunned, but was the reel built just for the ice?
If you can throw aside all of the norms of what people conventionally think about when fishing a drop shot, you can try and pick apart what exactly you want in the “perfect” drop shot reel. Typically, most anglers rely on spinning reels for this, but what if there was something better, something that if you tried, you would not want to change. After all, we are all out there to become better anglers right?
Upon first look, putting the reel on your favorite drop-shot rod is going to look flat out weird but once you hear what it will bring to your drop-shotting bag of tricks, I think most will grow accustom to the idea.
For starters, your line comes straight from the spool to your guides. There is no bail where the line has to do a 90 degree turn before it goes through your eyelets. This gives you direct feel from the spool of the reel, all the way through your eyelets giving you enhanced sensitivity.
Secondly, I have to mention the drag. No more will you have to try and adjust the drag on your reel by reaching though the screaming line coming off your spool because the drag was not set right. Just like a conventional casting reel, the teardrop has a heavy-duty carbon drag system that is refreshingly smooth and easy to adjust on the fly with the five star crank on the side on the reel.
Last but certainly not least, the Teardrop creates no line twist! The single most frustrating thing about spinning reels no matter how you spool them or how fresh on line you have on, is the line twist. When most anglers are fishing somewhere between 6-10 fluorocarbon while drop-shotting, every little twist and kink in your line can make a big impact on the strength of your already thin line. So not having to deal with line twist at all is a major plus not to mention a headache reliever for many!
Now I know what people are saying, what about casting this reel. The teardrop was certainly not designed to make long and powerful casts or cast at all for that matter. It has been my experience that when I am fishing a drop-shot, I mainly fish one particular piece of structure, or a break line. Most of the time, I am never casting more than ten to fifteen feet and for this.
After a day on the water you can master the dexterity of casting this reel and I promise after you land your first fish while drop-shotting with the TearDrop, you will not want to take it off. It is comfortable, sensitive, easy to fish, and has the guts and drag system of a casting reel to back it all up. If you consider yourself a drop shot expert or maybe you are someone who wants to add drop-shotting to you arsenal of techniques, dig your TearDrop out of your ice bucket in the garage, put it on your favorite drop-shot rod, and throw away the “conventional” ways you thought you had to follow.