Well after my lovely wife bought me 3 Fox Stratos FS1200e’s I had to just get out there and use them. This review is a little late in coming as I have been busy using them.
The Reels, well 1st thing you notice is that they are super smooth. There is no sense of wobble when you reel in fast with them that is common with other big pit reels. the clutch is smooth as silk and the bait runner is as positive as you could ever wish for. When I was debating what to ask for as a present I was considering the magnesium versions but after seeing Ian “Chilly” Chilcott cranking in a big conger with the graphite versions my mind was made up. Regarding the clutch, a lot of people back wind, I am not one of them and believe that the clutch is there for a reason. In France this year the clutches were tried out to their limits with carp to 39lbs being landed and several times the clutch saved me when a fish made an unexpected turn. On previous reels I had been used to a “grabby” clutch and so had the clutch set far far lighter then I normally would, not so with these reels, it is set dead on as I have that much confidence in it.
The Stratos 12000FSe’s are not only silky smooth but thanks to their graphite bodies they are super light as well. For any of you that doubt the long term durability of graphite in reels I draw you attention to a set of old graphite bait runners which are 18 years young and still going strong and are used today for lure fishing. Casting is a dream with large coils of line looping up the rod with every cast and there is a little rubber “wiper” between the rotor arm and the spool that stops any line causing a nasty tangle should it ever get loose. One thing you have to get used to if you have been a shimano person is that on the fox reels the baitrunner lever “goes the wrong way” ie it is against the reel body when disengaged and popped out when engaged. This seems non logical at 1st but then you realise that it is better to have the lever out of the way when playing fish !
Over all I love these reels, out of the box they will add a huge amount to your normal cast allowing you to explore areas of the lake that were impossible before. The build quality is second to none and they are available at a price that must make other reel manufacturers wince.
Rating : Good solid buy.