Today we offer our review of the Piscifun Alijoz 300 Baitcasting Reel. Baitcasting reels offer an alternative to spinning reels and come with several advantages over most spinning reels. A few of the advantages are less line twist (a common issue with many spinning reels), improved casting accuracy and increased power for landing bigger fish. Reduced weight and small sizes also lend to a better day of fishing with less fatigue.
Let's start this review off with the disclaimer that this is the first baitcasting reel I've ever owned. Over the years it seems like the most experienced and best anglers were using baitcasting reels. I've tried them and always came out looking foolish. Time and time again I'd make a cast only to watch the live bait fly off the hook while the line came to an abrupt halt as it lashed up and formed a huge birds nest right before my eyes. It seemed like no matter what techniques and advice were offered and demonstrated I wasn't going to be able to cast one of these reels.
After a bit of research it was decided that the Piscifun Alijoz 300 would be the baitcaster of choice. To begin with let's take a look at some of the specs and technology built into this reel. For starters this reel weighs in at 11.3oz making it slightly lighter than the Shimano TranX 300 (11.6oz) and the Daiwa Lexa 300 (12.3oz). The Piscifun Alijoz 300 is equipped with 8 double shielded stainless steel bearings making this a very smooth reel. This is also a very powerful reel boasting an amazing 33lbs. of drag force. For comparison purposes the Piscifun Alijoz 300 bests both the TranX 300 and the Lexa 300 in max drag force and total bearing count.
The Alijoz 300 is available in two gear ratios. Choose from the 5.9:1 ratio that retrieves line at a rate of 26.8" per crank of the handle or the blazing fast 8.1:1 gear ratio that retrieves line at a rate of 36.2" per crank. The 8.1:1 is the model that we bought. The different gear ratios are color coded making it easy to grab the right reel for the situation at hand. The 5.9:1 reel is Black & Red while the 8.1:1 is Grey & Gold. Both models are available in a Double Handle or Power Handle variant. We are using this reel primarily for a saltwater application so we chose the Power Handle.
This reel is packed with other high quality features like reinforced Japanese Haimai Cut Gears, a sturdy and lightweight aluminum frame, a double shaft line guide support system adding stability and an 8 Magnet Braking System. The Braking System is what we loved the most. There are settings from 1 to 10 in the braking system. We tested it first in the highest setting of 10. We couldn't cast as far as desired in this setting but we also didn't experience any backlash. Eventually we settled in at a brake setting of 3 which allowed a nice long cast and almost no backlash or line overruns.
In addition to reducing backlash the braking system allows for more accurate casting without the need to control the spool with the thumb. Although that is still an option. What we realized right away with this reel is that we can put the bait exactly where we wanted. The quality and effectiveness of the braking system kept us looking good and gave us more fishing time by virtually eliminating backlash. We spooled our reel up with 50lb. Tuf Line XP Braid. The narrow diameter of this line allowed us to pack 320yds onto the spool. Whether your casting into the kelp for Calicos or tossing surface irons at the Yellowtail this reel offers the durability and performance to land fish and reduce fatigue.
Overall we love this reel. It comes with a lot of really nice features and won't break the bank to own it. We were able to make long and accurate casts time after time. No backlash or line overruns. The reel looks nice, casts smooth and has plenty of power and stability for landing the hardest fighting fish. We are looking forward to many years of fun with this reel.
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