Then, a few weeks back, it happened. I was finally able to get a Ryoga 2020HL. My first reaction after receiving it? Oh boy, it's a tank!
It's a no-nonsense work horse of a reel. It looks like it's built for muscle fishing, rough and tough, but when you crank it, it's unbelievably smooth and the drag is outstanding. It has a clicker so when a fish runs, you can hear an audible clicking sound similar to a spinning reel. With 12CRBB, a sealed drag, and machined frame and side plates, it's worth every penny spent.
I immediately spooled it with 35lb varivas and tied on a puny 20lb mono for a leader. I realized I have no leader heavier than 20 and I still don't have a matching rod. Heck, even so, I went out to try a few casts and feel how this machine stacks up against my other reels. No salt spot nearby so I had to make do with an old haruan (dalag) spot.
I love the way it casts. It's actually better casting than my Bay Casting Special or my Zillion. It's probably the RCS spool which makes it a awesome casting machine. The power is also amazing. I was able to winch a few haruans from heavy vegetation without any problems. The reel looks bulky but when you grip it, it's actually comfortable to hold, cast, and work my lures with.
Technically, it's an inshore reel and it's a no contest when used on snakeheads. Perhaps when a Toman or a Black bass is on the other end of the line, it will probably show how powerful the reel is.
For my next project, I need to get a heavy flipping and pitching rod in the 15-30lb class, probably 7'6" and can handle up to 3 ounces of lure. I sure hope it balances well with this Ryoga 2020HL. I am not really going to do flipping and pitching for bass (well, maybe I would if I have a chance to go to Pantabangan or Lumot). Instead, I am planning to use this for light popping, heavy swimbaits, spoons/jigs, and even live bait, while on a kayak.
Then maybe a little later, a nice light jigging/madai rod that matches this reel. Something I can use while on a kayak or when a banca.