It seems to me that there are more reel brands and models in the fly fishing market today than at any other point in the long history of our sport. The unique thing about reels is that they are the only tackle item that you can extract from a drawer in your home in the middle of a cold Winter, spin the handle, feel the smoothness, listen to the incoming or, pull the line and the outgoing sounds, put a drop of lubricant on it....well, increasingly reels don't need to be lubed. Reels have that special mechanical property that is appealing to men. So many designs from last century "S" handles to skeletonized super large arbors and every manor of drag design from spring and pawl overrun check to stop a tuna strong. To penetrate this over stuffed market a new brand best hit as many bull's eyes as an Olympic Triathlete. Five year old Cheeky Reels, headquartered in Connecticut is the brainchild of progressive, young, totally committed types who fish with what they produce. These reels are of the type that do not need lubrication. A center mounted module contains stacked disc elements composed of alternating stainless steel and an advanced Teflon composite material for a maintenance free, large sweep area, infinitely fine tunable drag sealed with an aero-space grade "O" ring. Bull's eye #1. #2 is a very large arbor for rapid retrieval that avoids the too wide pitfall that can result in counter-intuitive uniform line retrieval with line building up toward the side of the spool. The #7/8 weight appropriate Mojo I fished is 1.1" wide with a diameter of 4.25" and a light weight of 7 oz. Because of an indented, tapered interior diameter of the line holding portion of the spool, enough backing can be mounted for heavier line weights but the reel's weight makes it balance better with lighter rods. More bull's eyes: The reel features differentiated sound for out going and incoming, both are pleasant, distinct but low volume clicking sounds that will not scream "fish on!" but are audible for the angler's pleasure and your guide's reference. The unbreakable industrial plastic handle is long enough to find blind, the drag adjustment knob is larger in diameter than average and is finely knurled for grip as is the captive lock cap for quick spool removal...a no spring, failure proof superior design to levers or push buttons. The spool is so ventilated that water entrapment in the backing and line are minimized and quick to dry. The housing of the reel where the reel foot is screw mounted is fared out in a broad curve for added frame rigidity and the single pillar opposite the foot is radiused on it edges to reduce line wear should the angler errantly strip line off against as opposed to away from it. Can I find a design flaw? Well it would not be "sweetandsalt" if I couldn't; the cylindrical counterbalance on the spool protrudes too much risking a grab point for an errant coil of slack line. In fact, that did not occur while bonefishing with this reel but it theoretically could! Lets flatten and broaden the counterbalance, Cheeky and make it black to match the handle. Black, that is a color which brings up an important feature I have yet to mention; all five Cheeky reel models spanning trout to tuna sport a model unique, boldly anodized, two tone color scheme. OK, if you happen to be an aesthetic conservative but require advanced performance product, Cheeky hears you and offers each reel in a matte, clear silver anodization.
Following the description of Cheeky Mojo's fine points you may be bracing yourself for a price you have to save up for. Cheeky found an Asian shop capable of executing refined computerized machining, there is not a machine mark on this polished reel inside or out and the anodized colors are uniformly flawless. The off-shore, carefully moderated sourcing results in a $380 price for a reel that provides features and performance commensurate with more upper echelon price point reels.
Mojo is fun to fish on the bonefish flat and, back in camp, has a totally Cheeky presence on the rod rack festooned with ordinary silver and black reels.
Mojo 425 | Cheeky Fly Fishing