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Pflueger President Review
The Pflueger President reel was completely redesigned and re-released in the fall of 2011. This reel although inexpensive still provides a lot of quality features at a price point that is very affordable starting at around $59. While the Pflueger President would not be my first choice for someone who is looking to put together their first saltwater fishing kit, it is certainly not a bad choice if you have a very limited budget. The main reason that I say it would not be my first choice is that none of the components are sealed and thus this reel is going to need to be meticulously maintained if used in a saltwater environment.
With that said if you do have a limited budget of say $100 for a rod and reel combination, I would recommend that you pair the Pflueger President Model 6930X with an Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Model USSP702M in a 7′ Medium Fast for a good all around setup that is going to cover most of your inshore fishing needs and will cost you just about $100.
The first thing that Pflueger did when the redesigned the President was to reduce the body weight by about 10% making for a lighter weight yet still durable reel. The advantage to having a lighter weight reel is that you can fish longer without wrist and hand fatigue. Speaking from experience when I switched from a heavier reel that I love, the Penn Battle II in a 3000 that weighs in at 12.3 oz. to the lighter weight Shimano Stradic FK 3000 that weighs just 8.3 oz. in the 3000, I was shocked at how I did not have any forearm fatigue after 4-5 hours on the water. A few ounces might no seem like much but in this case it was a third lighter and made a huge difference.
The Pflueger President reel comes in 5 sizes ranging from a size 20 to a size 40, it just so happens that the size 30 actually weights the same 8.3 oz. as my Shimano Stradic FK 3000 series.
10 Bearing System – Corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings are used in the 10 bearing system which has not changed and still . provide a very smooth retrieve. Note that this is not a sealed bearing system so you will want to make sure you rinse your reel after every use in saltwater.
Graphite Body and Rotor – The lightweight graphite body and rotor are at the foundation of this reel and make it both durable and light.
Braid Ready Spool – The braid ready spool is made out of solid aluminum and is ported. This spool allows braid to be tied directly to spool by using a series of vertical rubber grommets that allow the slippery braid to grip the spool and not need to have mono backing.
Sure-Click™ Heavy Duty Aluminum Bail – Pflueger’s Sure Click™ bail is constructed of heavy duty aluminum and should prove to be stronger that in previous models. The Sure Click™ provides a nice audible click that lets you know the bail is open and ready to cast. As I have said in other reviews I recommend that you use you hand to close the bail after you cast to provide a longer lifespan for the reel.
Stainless Steel/Oil Felt Drag – Consistent drag pressure, and corrosion resistant.
Soft Touch Ergonomic Knob – The soft touch ergonomic knob just makes it easier for you to grip the knob. I like the way Pflueger has used this simple but effective dimpled knob design to make it easier on the finger tips, it just fits well.
Aluminum Handle – Aircraft grade aluminum, extreme durability
Features at a Glance
- Instant Anti-Reverse One-Way Clutch Bearing
- Sure-Click Bail System
- 10 Bearing System
- Graphite Body & Rotor
- Stainless Steel oil Felt Frag
- Backed by Pflueger’s Limited One Year Warranty
In the lightweight fishing reel category I think that the Pflueger is a very smooth reel. When checking out the drag system I was impressed with the smoothness for such an inexpensive reel. The drag can be easily adjusted in micro increments which seems to make it fairly precise. I have not owned the reel for very long so I will be interested to see how this reel holds up over time especially after being fished in saltwater. I can honestly say that this reel was more than I expected for a reel in what I would classify as the cheap category.
Pflueger also offers the President in a combo package for around $79.99, the rod is not bad but I would prefer to spend a few more dollars and get the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Model USSP702M in a 7′ Medium Fast for about $20 more.
For those of you who want all the details I have provided the chart below.
|Reel Model||Braid Capacity (yds./ lb. test)||Mono Capacity (yds./ lb. test)||Bearings||Max. Drag (lbs.)||Gear Ratio||Line Recovery Inches/ Turn||Weight (oz.)|
When taking a look at what other fishermen had to say about the Pflueger President on Amazon, it is quite apparent that most people feel that for the price point that you get your moneys worth. 76% of reviewers gave this reel a 5 star rating followed by 15% with a 4 star rating leaving only 9% that gave it a 3 or less. This is quite impressive for a reel that falls into the cheap category, starting at under $50.
“Great bang for buck quality reel. Smooth and works great. Fit and finish are very nice and the reel looks great on many rods.”
– Mike L.
- Price point
- 10 Bearing system
- Good third party reviews
- Easy to switch left to right hand retrieve
- Cheaper look and feel
- Reported drag issues
- Not sealed for saltwater
Personally if you can stretch the budget a bit I would recommend that you check out the Penn Battle II which can be had for about twice the price (typically $99). The reason I say this is that while the Penn Battle II is a heavier reel it is sealed and that is important for saltwater fishing gear if you want it to last. Read the Penn Battle II review.
Overall if you have a very limited budget or are just getting started and do not want to spend a lot of money on a reel then the Pflueger President is not a bad choice. As I said earlier in this review it would not be my first choice as this is a freshwater reel and is going to have to be extremely well maintained if you expect to get any life out if it fishing saltwater. If you do choose to get this reel make sure you read our article on Caring for Your Saltwater Fishing Gear.