Shimano | Ultegra 14000 Xtd
RRP: £149.99 | shimanofishing.com
Let me put this reel into perspective for you. I’ve been lucky to have one for a couple of days, and I showed it to a very good friend. He played with it for a while, sighed, and said, “It’s beautiful, what a bit of kit, look at that line lay, how much?” When I told him £150, his answer was unprintable, and he revealed that he had expected me to say £600 or more. This reel really does look and feel like something very special, and it was an absolute joy to use. The super-slow speed oscillation is mesmerising to watch, as the spool creeps up and down at a snail’s pace, painting the line on as it goes. On a technical note, the reel has Aerowrap II (50 lays of line per oscillation), which is usually a feature associated with very high-end reels. This feature drastically slows the movement of line on the spool, which reduces the tension when pulling the lead back on the cast, and ultimately gives an increased casting distance with less effort – and less effort means better accuracy.
A new, sleeker spool design and line guard ensures the reel looks great, and the full matt black cosmetics with fine silver accents make it look stunning. And it doesn‘t stop there, with the addition of many new top-end features that benefit the carp anglers. Parallel body is an adjustment of the angle of the nose of reel points, with butt rings moving further away from the reel to aid distance, and it reduces line slap on the blank during the cast. X-Ship is a feature that cannot be seen, but offers a huge advantage in terms of winding power and durability. This gives confidence when fishing to snags or on heavily weedy waters. There is also a massive 103cm of retrieve per handle turn. It comes supplied with an extra 14000 black spool with four line reducers (two 10000 and two 3500), which gives a choice on capacity, whether boating at distance in Europe or using fluorocarbon on small intimate UK waters.
I used this reel extensively over a couple of days, and found it stunning, not only in looks but also performance. It feels really tight and well-engineered, the clutch is superb, and the line-lay is to die for. Couple this with the fact that Shimano are virtually giving these reels away, and you’ll understand why I’ve already placed an order for four of these babies at my local tackle shop.
- Super-slow oscillation (50)
- Aerowrap II
- Instant drag (1 Turn)
- AR-C spool
- Parallel body
- Ball bearing 4+1
- 20kg max drag force
- Weight 645g
- Gear ratio 4.3:1
- Line ret 103cm
- Line cap (mm/m) 0.35-550/0.40-400/0.45-300
- Line reducers (two 10000 and two 3500)
- One spare spool
- Also available in silver as an XSD version