Piscifun Sword Series Fly Fishing Reel Review
Written by Jason Lighthall from Sparks NV
As fishermen, we easily develop a fondness and bond for our gear and with the wide variety of colors, styles, sizes, and weights of the many different reels available today, it can be easy to become lost as to where to start when selecting that first (or next) reel for your collection.
For a more budget-minded fisher, one fly reel that may have come up during your late-night searches is the Piscifun Sword. Sporting a nice looking, hard anodized finish, and fully machined aluminum spool and frame, all while coming in at less than $60 (for the 5/6wt.), it’s easy to see why this reel has become so popular on Amazon. But let’s take a deeper look into reviewing this reel.
The reel is constructed of fully machined 6061-T6 aluminum. The machining is very nice and smooth. Tolerances are tight, and the reel retrieves silently very smoothly. The hard-anodized corrosion resistant finish is flawless and beautiful, and as a bonus, is offered in a selection of different colors (gunmetal with green highlights, black, and gold) to match your set-up and suit your mood. The finish is one of the most durable I’ve used. I’m hard on my gear, dropping, stepping on, and setting the rod and reel on rocks on a regular basis, and even after a full season, the Sword reel hardly shows any wear.
The O-ring sealed multi-disk stainless steel and cork drag operates smoothly and efficiently. The drag knob is large and knurled, and I had no problems operating it even while wearing heavy gloves in the winter. It operates with nice, positive clicks that can be both felt and heard. Drag adjustment ranges from basically free spooling to start worrying about breaking your leader, and anywhere in between.
The spool, like the frame, is made from fully machined aluminum, and features a mid-arbor design. Piscifun claims it can hold 100 yards of 20lb backing plus the fly line, but in my experience that’s a bit on the conservative side if anything. 100 yards of backing plus a full run of SA GPX 5wt line still left a bit of room on my reel. It comes standard in left hand retrieve, but can be converted to right hand with the flip of a bearing. Extra spools are available, making quick work of line changes when switching from floating to sinking line, for example.
On the water, the Piscifun Sword fly reel fishes just as well as it looks. I’ve drug the reel through mud, sand, ice, and snow. I make a bad habit of fully submersing my reels when unhooking a tricky trout or changing flies. Fishing full time in the high deserts and forests of the Sierra Mountains, it’s been subjected to full days in 108-degree heat and brisk -5 degrees’ winter mornings. Through all that abuse it hasn’t missed a beat, hasn’t complained a single time, and has no problems dealing with the 30 inch browns of the Walker and Truckee.
Putting the reel in a comparison group with competitors is tricky. In my mind’s eye there really isn’t any comparison in the price range. In all honesty, this price puts it in with the cheap end of big box store branded fly reels, of which this would absolutely blow out of the water. The fit and finish of the anodizing and machining of the reel is easily in line with the level of a Sage 3200 series reel, though the Sages carbon drag is better. But the Piscifun drag is easily in line with that of reels like the Allen ATS or the Lamson Liquid. So you have a fly fishing reel with the beautiful machine work of the higher end reels, matched with a sealed disc drag found on a lot of the mid-level reels. All for a price well below most of the competitor’s low-end reels. At around $50-$60 (and often found lower during sales events), this Piscifun Sword fly reel is an absolute steal, and makes an awesome reel for the beginners and experienced alike.