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Listen close, you won't hear me say it often, I was wrong. I have often been asked for my opinion on the H2O reels. The reel in question is the H2O Mettle. It has a list price of $49.00 and has been on sale for as little as $29.00. While I always stated that i had not actually held one or torn one apart, my opinion was that it had to be junk. I based that opinion on the fact that it was a 10 bearing reel for $49.00 and was on sale for $29.00. I also based it on the dozens of other low priced reels I had torn apart before. Reels such as a Shimano Calyx, the Abu max reels or dozens of other low price crap reels. The calyx is a stamped metal frame With lots of plastic parts and just a few bearings. The max reels are plastic frame reels with plastic covers. The only low priced reel I have ever seen that was decent quality was the BPS Extreeme. The extreeme is an aluminum frame reel with aluminum covers and is built pretty decent, but it lists for $69.00 and goes on sale sometimes for $59.00 Thats still quite a bit more than the H2O reel. I also thought it had to be junk because how could they possibly sell a reel with 10 bearings in it for that price if the bearings were even of decent quality? Well, I was wrong. I got a H2O mettle reel in for service this week and I was shocked. The reel is an aluminum frame with aluminum sides. Not only that but they are smooth and have a great fit, unlike the Skeet W&M reels that have rough casted frames that didn't even get deburred decent. The spool shaft is of modern, low contact, design similar to reels that cost hundreds. The spool is lightweight drilled aluminum. The bearings are actually good quality and after they were cleaned they had a free spin that was as good as any stock bearing I have seen. The internal parts are even more impressive. the engagement clutch is a one piece design similar to a Daiwa clutch. The yoke has a metal insert to protect from the pinion cutting into it. The crank shaft has a bearing on the bottom and one on the top for a very stable and smooth feel. The gears are cut brass and look to be top quality. The drag is a little weak with just the standard two washers. A carbon fiber upgrade would help a lot. The worm gear seems to be smooth, but looks to be the lowest quality part on this reel. The line guide tube is plastic with no bearings, but so are lots of reels that sell for a whole lot more money. The mettle has a 6 pin centrifugal brake that has steel pins. It's very similar to a Curado brake. Because this reel is only built for Academy sports, I have no idea about parts availability. The reel looks like it should be very durable, but it might need a worm gear or pawl at some time, just like most reels will. If they have parts available, I can't see any reason not to buy these reels. They do look a little generic compared to more expensive reels, but that has nothing to do with performance.
 

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GReat review!! thanks, I take your opinion and review of reels seriiously because of the nature of your business you are very familiar with many reels......Thanks... :thumbup01:
 

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Thanks for taking the time to talk about it, now if academy would just utilize the internet or put one up by me I would be in heaven. They make some nice stuff and a fraction of the price.
 

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Thank you very much for this great review Kevin! :tu

ace45102 said:
Thanks for taking the time to talk about it, now if academy would just utilize the internet or put one up by me I would be in heaven. They make some nice stuff and a fraction of the price.
I agree John!! They need a website that we can buy off of.
 

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Thanks Kevin. That is a wonderful review. :thumbup01:
 

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Pro Reel said:
You can only get them at an Acedemy sports store. Thats a chain store similar to Gander Mt, Cabelas or BPS, but they don't have on line sales.
They do now. Check 'em out.

http://beta.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/TopCategories_10151_10051

Nice review on the Mettle. I've got two of them myself. I thought the side plates were plastic though. At least they appear to be on mine. Either way, they're a dang good reel for the money.

Steve
 

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Do you know who makes the H20 for Academy? Seems Academy is retiring this reel from its inventory since I just bought one 3 months ago for $6,99. It was the last one there. The salesman was a professional fisherman at one time whom told me about it being much better than others that are more expensive
 

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Do you know who makes the H20 for Academy? Seems Academy is retiring this reel from its inventory since I just bought one 3 months ago for $6,99. It was the last one there. The salesman was a professional fisherman at one time whom told me about it being much better than others that are more expensive
 
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