For the last two weeks, we have been traveling through British Columbia fishing some incredible spots and testing out the new Animas reel from Ross. It’s tough to know where to begin when reviewing a reel, but I will point out a few highlights that we saw while in BC, and then we are going to sit down with Ross’s sales manager Bart Larmouth to ask him some questions about the new Animas.
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The first thing I noticed about the new Animas is the weight. It felt extremely light but at the same time I could see the amount of effort that went into the machine work, the reel is downright beautiful. We spooled up the 5/6 Animus with a 6 weight SA amplitude line and then paired it with a 5 weight T&T Zone rod. The rod balance was awesome, and we couldn’t have asked for a better reel to match with a great rod. The drag was awesome for fighting big rainbows on Roach lake, and held up like a champ through some wear and tear in the sand and rain along BC’s coastline. To get into more technical details we sat down with Bart from Ross:unspecified-18Flylords: What is the main update from the old Animas?
Bart: The new Animas has a sleek new design with more intricate machining that yields a big weight reduction and increase in structural strength. The new release mechanism and improved drag components are also big improvements on the original. unspecified-10Flylords: Tell us about a few highlights from the technical side?
Bart: A fully-redesigned frame and spool are highlights of the new Animas. The spool shows off the cutting-edge manufacturing techniques Ross Reels has developed, delivering a design that is incredibly strong and visually stunning. The Animas also re-joins the family by incorporating an ultra-light canvas phenolic handle which gets tackier when wet. A new trouble-free spool release yields zero-maintenance performance, allowing the Animas to be ready for any fresh or saltwater excursion.unspecified-16Flylords: How are you able to offer that quality of machining at such a low price point?
Bart:
We have invested heavily in both new machinery as well as personnel, which enable us to design and manufacture products more efficiently, driving down our costs. This allows us to offer a reel with amazing features like the Animas at an easily obtainable price. unspecified-14Flylords: How does this reel hold up in harsh conditions like cold temps and the salt?
Bart:
Fantastically. It was designed specifically with harsh environments in mind, and will perform in just about any situation someone can put it in. We torture-test these reels in both saline and below-freezing conditions to ensure this. unspecified-8Flylords: Tell us a little about the Drag System.
Bart: The drag is based on the original CLA drag system, which has around 75,000  units out in the wild (between the CLA, old Animas, and Cimarron II) with only 5 recorded failures. While not fully sealed, the ability to flush the system helps to make it one of the most reliable drag systems designed. The drag material has been upgraded to a stainless steel carbon composite interface to yield even more power and smoothness. unspecified-9Flylords: Anything else you want to add that you think makes this reel special?
Bart: Just value – for the money, there is not another reel out there with comparable aesthetics and features. Right now, you cannot beat the US-made quality that Ross Reels continues to offer.unspecified-11The new Animas will be available at local retailers shortly, so keep your eye out for them!