I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

• BPS Prolite Review

If you've read my Summit review, you'll know that lighter lures don't go over well with it because I paired it with a MH rod. I needed something to do the light work. Well the BPS Prolite does the job and it's also made by Pflueger if I'm not mistaken. Whether it's a small soft plastic, a beetle spin, or a Mepp's aglia, this thing can toss them. I've also thrown the small rattle traps, Mini King spinnerbaits from Strike King, smaller minnow baits from Rapala, and even my go to bobber and plastic worm rig with a split shot for bluegill. There has only been one small lure I could not throw. I don't have the weight, but it's some tiny crankbait that is probably made by Bomber. Of everything I have thrown, soft plastics seem to be my favorite on this reel. We are talking about a finesse rig though, so I should expect it to perform well with soft plastics. That being said, you could pair almost any reel with a lure weight appropriate rod and do just fine.

With 7 bearings, a 6.3:1 ratio, 28" per turn, 10lb drag, and weighing only 7.9oz, the BPS Prolite is hard to differentiate from a couple other BPS reels. It's definitely lighter. I've heard of people throwing light lures with the Rick Clunn model and I believe one of the Extreme reels is meant for light stuff too. Like many other BPS reels, it has a magnetic brake adjustment design that I prefer over most others. It doesn't take much effort to turn the dial, whereas other reels take a bit more force to change the setting. Not much force, but enough to get on my nerves. Try a adjusting a Browning reel and then try adjusting a BPS reel and tell me if you feel a difference. I do.

The cast control knob does not have an audible adjustment click and is a little on the stiff side. Adjusting the brakes is still straightforward and does not require much tinkering between lure changes. Still, I would have appreciated an audible click. The star drag does have audible adjustment and and has held its own against a couple of fish I'll mention in just a moment. The side plate stays on just fine. I don't accidentally bump the release button. The plate still requires you to turn it after pressing the button. I have no fear of losing the side plate over the side of the boat.

I paired the BPS Prolite with a medium light action 6'6" BPS Finesse rod and bought it at the combo price. The rod handles 1/16oz to 1/2oz lures and 6-14lb line. When you catch a 4lb 6oz largemouth on this rod, you might worry, but I got it in and then pulled a mean ole bowfin off the same tree a little later. So far, I love the finesse rod. However, I caught what felt like a small catfish on a tiny jig while fishing for bluegill and it took me into thick hydrilla. I didn't have the power to pull it out. The 6'9" ML rod or the 7' M action rod might be better choices to pair with the reel.

There are two things I dislike about this rod. The first is the foregrip. I don't palm a reel with my left hand while fishing. I hold the foregrip and thumb the line. My fingers rub against the bottom edge of the reel and also rub against the cork. At the end of the day, my fingers on my left hand have sore spots. I've wrapped the cork with electrical tape and it's much more comfortable now. The second thing I don't like is the trigger. BPS rods seem to have a different trigger than other rods. After casting a while, I'll get a blister and later on, a callus on my index finger. I've remedied the situation using silicone gel which adds a little bit of cushion to the trigger.

The one thing this reel has that most do not is a lube port. It is situated on the hand crank side at the bottom. Undo the screw on the medial side and it pops right open to expose the gears. I still need to figure out the best way to get at those things to lubricate them. It will definitely make for easy maintenance. I just don't know how I'm going to apply the grease to the gears via the lube port. Any advice? I sure could use some. The manual that came with this reel had bare bones instructions.

The drag itself can feel mushy. Sometimes it slips on 2lb or 3lb fish. If you have this problem, open the reel up and inspect the drag washers. I took a Q-Tip and wiped off some of the excess grease on the flat surface. After that, the drag seems to hold up fine. I read somewhere that Abu Ambassadeur washers can be swapped in, but I'd like some confirmation from anyone who has made the modification. I'd love to have a stronger drag on this particular reel. My confidence in the factory drag is wavering.

If you read my shakey head blog, you'll also know that I have been using Gamma fluorocarbon line and P-Line Halo on this reel. All in all, this combo has served me well since spring time. If you like finesse, this rod and reel combined with some fluorocarbon or light line will make you very happy.

Do you own this reel/combo? What do you think?
Post your comments.

Here's a pic of that 4lb 6oz bass

Edit - 11/19/2009
I've one-upped my personal best on this combo with a 5lb 6oz pig.

Please go here and read that post as I no longer support nor shop at Bass Pro Shops.

1. ProLite Finesse. [Online Image] 29 December, 2006. Basspro 2007 new reels. Tackletour. 14 August, 2007. Available < http://www.tackletour.com/images2/picbps2007reel4.jpg >


Angie T said...

Incredibly thorough (and good) review. Thanks for putting it out here.

Anonymous said...

I picked up one of these reals and REALLY love it. I'm not using it as a finesse real put for my "finesse pitching" setup. 12-14lb line 7'6" MH Johnny Morris Elite.