In this day and age of reels that cost more than your first car, can the $50 Diawa Regal 2500 Xia really compete? I mean, seriously? After all, I’ve spent more than that for a spool of braided line…
Features & Specs
• 11-bearings (10 + 1 roller)
• DigiFear™ drive train
• Infinite Anit-Reverse.
• ABS Metal spool
• Locomotive Levelwind
• Gyro Spin® balanced rotor
• Tangle Guard™
• TwistBuster II™ Lifetime® Bail Spring
• Spare aluminum spool
• Gear Ratio: 5.3:1
• MSRP: $49.95
On the Water Test
At first glance, the Diawa Regal 2500 XiA doesn’t look like what you might consider a “cheapie” reel. It looks pretty rugged and has nice lines…
But can it fish? Well, I decided to give her a go while steelhead fishing in Oregon on a couple cold mornings that turned into nice days. The first thing that I noticed was it seemed a bit on the heavy side…11. 5 ounces (compared to the 9.7-ounce Shimano Stradic, for example). Of course, a new Stradic is about 120 bucks, so I figure that — in this economy especially — a couple ounces heavier and $70 less expensive is probably a trade most folks could live with.
Diawa claims that the Twist Buster II and ball bearing line roller helps to virtually eliminate line twist and I didn’t experience anything to dispute that…
Though a couple days does not a good bail test make, the Regal 2500 XiA’s bail remained open on every cast and had a positive click over without any issues. According to the manufacturer, that should always be the case because of the lifetime bail spring.
I was a bit concerned by the 5.3:1 gear ratio at first, but the thing really didn’t seem all that slow. And with 10 ball bearings, the Regal 25000 XiA was quite smooth with no noticeable wobble.
So, the thing casts nice and feels good on the retrieve…but what about the drag? Well, luckily, 4 or 5 steelies were kind enough to partake in our little test. The first thing that was a bit strange was the fact that the drag is very quiet. When a fish ran, I really had to listen hard to hear the drag playing out.
No biggie for me, but I would have a tough time using this reel when I guide customers because the sound of the drag is very useful in helping to let less experienced anglers know when to reel and when not to.
The Regal 25000 XiA is not stuffed with a giant drag system, but it was still very smooth when I hooked hot fish.
Again, I only had a couple days to put the Diawa Regal 2500 XiA through the paces, but she preformed well. And hey, an 11-bearing reel for under $50…how can you go wrong??