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, October 26, 2011

• The New Addition: Patriarch XT

Ever since the Patriarch 71WLP joined my arsenal, I've been in love with it. When Pflueger came out with the more expensive and lighter Patriarch XT, I knew I had to have one. Well, the opportunity revealed itself recently by way of a discounted listing at Cabela's. Unfortunately, this opportunity came with the news that Pflueger is probably discontinuing the XT.

I'm glad I got mine. That's all I'm going to say.

As I've mentioned in the past, I do not like to pigeonhole my combos, so one reel always covers more than a few techniques and presentations. I've got my 71 Patriarch managing much of the heavy lifting and fast fishing, including cranking, spinnerbaits, and topwaters. My 64 Patriarch does a little bit of that too, but paired with a medium rod, it's a good soft plastics setup. My two Summits both handle jigs of all sizes, weighted plastics, and occasionally, the drop shot. The Curado E5 is set up for cranking, probably the only rig that is truly technique specific. The medium light fiberglass/graphite rod gives me the room to throw very light lures and even some different kinds of topwaters requiring a slower retrieve of a 5:1 reel. The Curado E7 does a lot of the same things the Patriarch 71 can, admittedly with a completely different feel. When I'm on the water, I have plenty of options ready to go thanks to each of these combos.

The only rig left to discuss is my finesse setup. I use it to throw soft plastics, finesse jigs, light spinnerbaits, inline spinners, and sometimes, even tiny crankbaits. Although the reel I paired that medium light rod with has served me well, it has not held fish in a fight. The drag had a tendency to slip on occasion. Replacement drag washers were an option, but it would stand to reason that now is the time to retire said reel in favor of a more robust and reliable option.

That's where the XT fits in my lineup. It's my new finesse reel. I've caught so many gutsy fish on the previous finesse setup, so there is no doubt I'll be using my new XT on every outing, sometimes almost exclusively. The Patriarch XT will be catching all of those fish from here on out. The lightweight design is perfect for finesse fishing. The mag braking will help with pitching and the familiarity I have with Pflueger reels only lends to the already comfortable Patriarch XT.

Now, if only we could get some rain so I can actually use this new reel.

Capacity Mono: 100 yards / 12 lb
Capacity Braid: 110 yards / 30 lb.
Max Drag: 20 lb
Gear Ratio: 6.4:1
Inches-Per-Turn: 26
Weight: 6.8 oz
Spool Type: Standard
Hand Retrieve: Right
Bearings: 9/1

Rigid aluminum frame with titanium coated aluminum sideplates
Ultimate Brake SystemTM combines centrifugal and magnetic
brakes for a limitless range of cast control
Machined, ported and double anodized aluminum spool
Main gear applied star drag system with carbon fiber washers
Precision cut aluminum gears
Lightweight carbon fiber handle
Lightweight EVA knobs
Ultra lightweight design
Titanium line guide
Soft touch thumb bar
Neoprene reel bag


mdtolic said...

How do you like that handle? I contacted Pflueger over the summer about a replacement for one of my older reels. It was way too expensive though.

BassFishingDem said...

The handle has been a popular customization for a lot of different reels. TackleTour forumites seem to enjoy buying it. It's a good mod.

I admit I will have to adjust to the softer paddles, but I like it. The paddles themselves do have a ridge instead of a smooth tapered surface. I'm not sure if I'll simply adjust to the different sensation as I engage the reel or if I'll notice that edge every time.

The reel feels balanced, but I'm still not convinced the "lighter" carbon fiber handle makes much of a difference compared to the older handles. Aesthetically, it is pleasing to the eye, but that might be all it amounts to.

From a maintenance perspective, it's more straightforward than the older handles where we have to tighten the drag, press down on the drag star, and turn the handle backwards. On the other hand, now you need a screwdriver to fiddle with that side. Sure, it's probably a moot point, but at least the old method didn't require anything other than your own two hands.

Angler Gang said...

Good write up... I'm a fan of Pflueger reels

Bobby Dale Viverette said...

How is the water now? Are you catching any bass?

BassFishingDem said...

Bobby, the water has come up quite a bit thanks to some much needed rain, but it's going to stay cold for a while. There isn't much shallow vegetation to work with, so I'm going to be left scavenging around cypress trees in my usual spots. I haven't really been fishing in some time, so I'm hoping to get out later this morning. I went on a scouting run a while back and I didn't see much activity, but the water was much lower then.