I owned a set of original Biomaster reels, which I used and abused for years on end before I finally upgraded them. They were still going strong when I retired them and over the years Biomasters have been built on this reliability and durability.

This new XSB 8000 is built like a tank. It’s not the lightest of big-pit reels, but a 4.6:1 ratio, smooth winding, silky-smooth front drag and stylish looks ensure that you get a lot for your dosh. While not a Baitrunner spool, the drag is micro adjustable. Half a turn of the drag knob takes you from a free-spool-type tension to a fish-playing tension, with one full turn being all you’ll need to use.

The 8000’s metal spool with the AR-C, tapered-lip design has been designed to aid casting, and it really does make a difference, allowing line to flow easily off the spool. The two supplied spools have the same profile, but they are plastic. This makes a great fishing reel that’ll last for season after season, covering most situations you’re likely to encounter, both home and abroad. That said, its durability also suits it to spodding and marker work. In fact, I recommend it for any demanding situations.

Jon Bones

SHIMANO BIOMASTER XSB 8000 REEL
Price: £134.99
www.shimano.com