You Have to See the Straightcast Reel – The hottest, newest, and just plain cool and odd from ICAST 2014

The hottest, newest, and just plain cool and odd from ICAST 2014

The Straightcast Reel defies description. It casts like a spinner and retrieves like a baitcaster. Pretty clever.

The Straightcast Reel defies description. It casts like a spinner and retrieves like a baitcaster. Pretty clever. YouTube capture, Kendra Gear

By Paul Lebowitz

The Straightcast Reel from Kendra Gear is pretty crazy. It straddles the line between spinner and baitcaster. It defies easy description. This thing casts like a spinning reel from either side of the spool. Left or right, it makes no difference EXCEPT to line twist. By alternating, designer Mike Kendra claims you’ll reverse the tendency for the line to kink and twist.

But wait, there’s more! The retrieve is straight onto the spool like a baitcaster. The reel is underslung like a spinner, but I believe this makes fingering the line to pick up the slightest bump a realistic expectation. Just watch the video already! The reel close-ups start a minute in.

This is one of most clever engineering tweaks I’ve seen pop up at ICAST, but the proof is in the fishing. If there’s any reason for concern, it is in the open construction and exposed gearing. Without further investigation, I can’t tell if it is saltwater approved. Still, amazing.