I've received Emmakites reel about a month ago or so,
I had tested it several times over that time.
Here is my thoughts sorted as PROS and CONS and the bottom line as well.PROS :
- Stainless steel (much stronger than a plastic hoop)
- Got center bearings which allow fast in and outs
- Comes with a kevlar rope, pre-installed (1000f @ 150-200lb)
- Cheap + Moderate shipment cost
- Comes with a carry bag (not really important, but it's a PRO)
- Comes with free swivel head already attached (I can't say if it's a real PRO as I don't know the quality of this swivel)CONS :
- The handle on the reel is d*mn short, I almost lost a finger when I loose grip on the handle and the reel started to spin like hell letting rope out.
- The handle is not strongly attached to the reel and feels very flimsy.
- The handle got a locking position (it collapse into the reel's body) but it's a soft/weak spring which hold the handle in place and I won't be surprised if the handle would jump off from a strong kite's pull.
- There is no brake system which means that if your reel will start to spin fast, you don't have a way to stop it without risking your fingers,
In addition after a stop, you have 2 options :
A. to loose the grip hand and grasp the wire frame instead of the center unit
B. to keep one hand on the center grip and the second one on the handle which doesn't allow much strong grasp when the kite pulls hard.
- After a brake (holding the wire frame) when you want to get back of the grip and handle holds, it's pretty tricky to prevent the reel from start spinning and letting rope out
you need to be twice careful and use your body improvising a brake while shifting your hands to the right holding points.
- The center grip is not comfort for long runs (at least for my big hands).
- One of the plastic handles on the carry bag already started to fall off (after 4-5 flights, not important as it doesn't concern safety at all and the bag can actually be discarded without second thought)
- Long shipment (this is not a direct CON to the reel, but a CON for Emmakite as it took it about a month to arrive)BOTTOM LINE :
On the first hand it's nice as it's all metal and allow you to haul fast
but the handle is just too short and doesn't allow safe grip.
In addition the lack of brake is a very major CON which get me to think twice every time that I go airborne with this reel.
Unless Emma will improve the quality and the features (or that the owner will do some DIY improvements)
I don't recommend it.
Here is a link for the product page :http://www.emmakites.com/95-stainless-steel-reel-with-1000ft-200lb-kevlar-kite-line_p135.html