Pflueger Patriarch Spinning Review
The Pflueger Patriarch spinning reel is a high-quality reel that I would place at the high end of what I refer to as the Deluxe category of reels between $101 – $250. In this review, we will take a look at what makes the Pflueger Patriarch a solid choice for the inshore fisherman or fisherwoman.
Pflueger is a company that has a lot of history of first starting out as a fish hook company back in 1881. In the early 1900’s (1916 to be exact), the E. A. Pflueger Company was founded and began to expand into all areas of fishing gear. It was then that the first baitcasting reel was introduced to the market. In 1954, Pflueger introduced the first spinning reel. Pflueger products have always been famous for their innovation, dependability, and attention to detail and craftsmanship. Pflueger is also known for firsts to market. The company is keeping an eye on the trends in technology and how they can be used to create a superior fishing product.
The Patriarch is a lightweight reel that is designed for what I refer to as more technical fishing and is available in three sizes to fit this bill –the 2500, the 3000, and the 3500. The Patriarch is the top of the line spinning reel available from Pflueger wth the exception of its bigger brother the Pflueger Patriarch XT spinning reel. It has all of the same features, but upgrades 1 ball bearing, increases the gear ratio from 5.2:1 to 6.2:1.
The Pflueger Patriarch is chock full of features that make this an excellent reel for all your inshore fishing needs. On of the things that make these reels so dependable is the use of high quality components. The reels are very lightweight as they incorporate a magnesium body and rotor combined with titanium for the main shaft. Not only does the use of these advanced materials provide for a lightweight reel, but it also makes it stronger which means that you will get many years of use out of it. I have always been the type of person that takes care of my gear, so I tend to migrate towards higher end equipment as I know it will stand the test of time. I remember making the case in 1982 to spend several hundred dollars on a large Lowe backpack. I still have that pack 35 years later and it is still an excellent pack after many hundreds of miles in the back country (yes, seeking trout).
Let’s take a closer look at the Pflueger Patriarch’s features.
10 Bearing System – The Pflueger Patriarch uses a 9 XCR Ball Bearings that are shielded to provide friction free and silky smooth retrieval. The XCR bearing system is not only sealed but also provided for up to 10 times the resistance of other standard stainless ball bearing systems. There is a 10th bearing that is used in the instant anti-reverse bearing system.
Instant anti-reverse bearing – The instant anti-reverse is a one way bearing system on the Patriarch which is what we would expect on this higher end reel. Your instant anti-reverse will allow you to not have any snap or slop when you go to set the hook.
Magnesium Body and Rotor – Pflueger has achieved a feather light design by replacing the more common aluminum body and rotor with a much lighter and stronger magnesium body and rotor. The lightweight, magnesium body, rotor and sideplate are protected with a proprietary three-step coating to provide additional corrosion resistance and durability against the saltwater.
Machined aluminum main gear – The machined aluminum main gear is precision manufactured for unsurpassed smoothness and durability.
Slow Oscillation – Slow oscillation combined with the titanium coated line roller provided excellent line management for all types of line.
Skeletonized Spool – I am not sure if Pflueger made up this word but I like it “Skeletonized”. What it means is that the aircraft grade carbon arbor aluminum spool has been ported to the MAX, making it Extremely lightweight. I also like the fact that the spool is braid ready with a rubber bushing on the interior so there is no need to back the braid with mono.
Sealed Carbon Drag – The sealed carbon drag system is sealed to always provide you with a smooth drag that will not catch or give you that jerky drag that is often found in the older and cheaper oiled felt drag systems. The other thing is that the carbon drag system will last for many more miles of drag use than their oiled felt cousins.
Carbon Handle – Pflueger has replaced the standard aluminum handles with a carbon handle that is 21% lighter than aluminum. This handle is then topped off with a nice EVA know that fits comfortably in your hand for hours of fishing.
Titanium Main Shaft – The main shaft is constructed of solid titanium and is not only lighter by about 45% but it is also stronger by about 30% making this the perfect combination.
Features at a Glance
- 10 Bearing System with XCR Ball Bearings
- Magnesium Body and Rotor
- Machined aluminum main gear
- Carbon Arbor Skeletonized Spool
- Sealed Carbon Drag
- Carbon Handle
- Titanium Main Shaft
All three of the Pflueger Patriarch spinning reels use a 5.2:1 gear ratio that I find to be just about right for most of my inshore fishing conditions here in SW Florida. Starting out with the 2500 model, we have a maximum line capacity of 150 yards of 4 lbs braid that drops down to 90 yards of 8 lbs braid. This is a light weight reel with a maximum drag of 5 lbs but weighs in at just 5.3 oz. It is literally feather light and is great if you are looking to have a good fight on your hands especially when you hook into a nice spotted trout or smaller snookie.
The model 3000 is probably my favorite and has a maximum braid line capacity of 150 yards of 6 lbs test or 90 yards of 8 lbs, with double the drag capacity of 10 lbs. I love this combined with my St. Croix Mojo Inshore for a super light weight setup that can handle everything that I have caught in the flats so far. This great sized reel is also lightweight at just 6.2 oz.
The largest of the three is the model 3500 and has a maximum braid line capacity of 200 yards of 8 lbs test or 110 yards of 14 lbs, with the drag capacity increasing of 14 lbs and still only weighs in at 7.3 oz.
For those of you who want all the details I have provided the chart below.
|Model||Mono Cap (yds/lb)||Braid Capacity (yds/lb)||Bearings||Max Drag (lbs)||Gear Ratio||Line Retrieve (in)||Weight (oz)|
- Super lightweight
- Pflueger quality
- Sealed XCR bearing system
- High end carbon and titanium components
- Price but you get what you pay for.
If you want to stay with the Pflueger brand name then I would suggest that you take a look at the Pflueger Supreme XT which is an excellent reel with a lot of the same features that you will find in the Patriarch. It is extreme light weight, but still a super nice reel and for about 25% less in cost. Read the full review of the Pflueger Supreme XT HERE.
Switching brands — I would have to say go and take a look at the Shimano Stradic FK with the Hagane body and gears that has a very similar price point. The Shimano is not as lightweight as the Patriarch, but it is an excellent reel and you of course have the trusted Shimano name brand. Read the full review of the Shimano Stradic FK HERE.
For the serious hobbyist or professional angler that is seeking to get a really lightweight reel that is designed to withstand the elements of saltwater and inshore fishing, I think that the Pflueger Patriarch is one of the best reels on the market. I personally fish the 3000 model with 8 lb braid combined with my St. Croix Mojo Inshore in a 7′ Medium Light Fast which is the 6-14 line weight model and it is a great all around rod! It is sensitive for jigging and has a good feel on the retrieve even with a large 5-7 lb fish on the other end.
Great reel you will not be disappointed.