Akios just announced on their Facebook page that 4 new Shuttle reels are planned for launch in the coming weeks. Exciting news. The original Akios Shuttle reel was well liked by us, sea anglers and tournament casters alike.
The new additions for 2011/2012 see a narrower CT version, a wide CT version and the first Shuttle reels featuring level winds.
The Akios Shuttle 555 SCM pictured below appears to be a straight forward narrow cage conversion on the original 656 SCM Sportcast. But what an addition! We’re sure this will be hugely popular with anglers and tournament casters wanting to fish lighter lines on a 5500 size multiplier. The same beautiful CT frame is present and the 555 inherits the orange spool, handle and star of the original. From the picture, it would appear that at least some reels are uniquely numbered. I guess we should expect limited stocks of this special reel.
The Akios Shuttle 666 SCM W is the new wide edition in the premium Shuttle range. Again, it would appear to utilise all the parts we loved in the original. The frame doesn’t appear to have needed any modification to be widened. The extra spool size will appeal to top end casters and perhaps anglers wishing to fish with line thicker than the average 0.35mm used by most shore anglers. The most striking difference is of course the blue parts that have been used on the 666. Can see this one filling a real gap in the market – almost a unique off-the-shelf reel.
And perhaps the most mechanically interesting of the new reels are the two LSi versions: The Akios 656 LSi Shuttle and the Akios 555 LSi Shuttle. While mag’ed level wind reels are not unique, the LSi reels appear to benefit from a machined cage with levelwind mechanics bolted in. I guess there’s an argument over whether a machined frame has real benefits on a reel with a level wind as the level wind bars add their own strength, but if nothing else, this reel looks stunning. And of course you get the excellent Akios mag braking system, the custom handle and compact star. All in all, from the limited info we have available at this time, I think this is the most desirable level wind casting reel available today – but no prices yet!
As we’ve said, very limited information at this point. Undoubtedly these reels will be available through your current Akios stockist, including the mail order companies, but I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if initial numbers are limited due to their niche nature. A ballistic 5500 casting reel, a super wide 6500 reel and uber-premium level wind multipliers will not be commonplace, but they sure are very welcome additions to the options every sea angler has to choose from. Well done Akios. Home run.