Yesterday we looked at a baitcasting modification that was marketed to get around some of the inherent issues with that type setup. In today’s segment, a similar look at a modification to a spinning rod and reel by one of the major players back in the 80s.
The company was Ryobi, and there will probably be future posts about some of the many creative ideas they brought forth to the market with their models of rods and reels. Today’s look though focuses on one particular spinning modification they unleashed to the public called the Ryobi Dyna-Fight.
One of the largest causes of line twist and tangles with a spinning reel is when a fish pulls drag against an angler, especially if that angler is also trying to reel in the fish at the same time. Ryobi flipped the tables on that scenario by locking the spool of the reel so it remained stationary, and instead, allowing the bail to be the component affected by the drag pressure. When a fish pulled against the drag, it was the bail that would rotate and allow the line to unwind off the fixed spool in the same direction and orientation that it went on, thereby minimizing line twist.
Another interesting “twist” to this setup was that the drag control was actually on the handle where it met the reel’s sideplate, as opposed to being on the rear or the front of the spool like most every other spinning reel on the market.
Finally, they even had a matching set of spinning rods to go with the reel. Again though, a unique setup was that the rod handle was both curved and inset so that the reel’s spool was almost directly in line with the first guide on the rod. This was said to minimize line slap and friction, and increase casting distance. And while this alignment seems like it might work fine for a shorter ultralight angler, the placement of the reel seat into the handle makes the rod fish more like a fly rod, with almost no counter-weight effect from a longer handle. At first glance, it would seem like this might create a balance issue, and hinder any type of long casting ability, especially for bass anglers trying to throw conventional weight plugs.
Like yesterday’s product, I don’t believe this ever caught on in the marketplace. Regardless, it serves as another reminder of the creativity of companies in trying to solve angler issues and make fishing a more efficient endeavor, an endeavor that carries forth even to this day.