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Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning crime-thriller novelist and outdoors writer. "The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water" is endorsed by Lefty Kreh and Angelo Peluso~online at Amazon.

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December 01, 2014

Shimano's Flagship Stella SW Spinning Reels Versus Eposeidon's Ecooda Hornet for Surf Fishing

by Bob Banfelder

Comparing a pair of Shimano's high-end spinning reels to Eposeidon's Ecooda Hornet series model 6000, but for a fraction of the cost, proved no contest. All three spinning reels offered ultimate performance for the suds this season. However, if price is a serious consideration, weigh the following information most carefully.

Weighing in at 20.4 ounces, Eposeidon's Ecooda Hornet 6000 falls between the Stella 5000 SW at 14.3 ounces and the Stella 8000 at 23.7 ounces. Weight can tire you out quickly while walking and working the surf, yet the serious surf angler needs a stalwart outfit that can deliver top performance. Hence, I found a happy medium among three winners. Shimano's two lightest reels in the Stella SW flagship series are by no means lightweights when it comes to getting the job done, for they can tackle virtually anything that swims in our waters. So, too, does Eposeidon's Ecooda Hornet 6000, but at a remarkable savings. Donna and I cast these three winners wielding a 10-foot rod with the Stella 8000 SW model, a 9-foot rod with the Ecooda Hornet 6000 model, and an 8-foot rod with the Stella SW 5000 model.


Top to Bottom: Shimano Stella SW 8000, Eposeidon Ecooda Hornet 6000, Shimano Stella SW 5000

By way of analogy, so as to give you some idea of how age slowly takes its toll, I went from shooting a compound bow for many years with a draw weight of 70 pounds, down to a bow of 50-pound draw weight. Consequently, on the fishing front, I put my 12-foot surfcasting rod to rest, and now wield a 10-foot medium-heavy action two-piece Shakespeare Ugly Stik married to a Stella 8000 SW. Donna swings her medium-heavy action two-piece 9-foot Stik coupled to a Hornet 6000. Both rods handle 12- to 30-pound test monofilament line. When we're out there on the beach long enough that Donna does finally tire, she switches to her BWS 1100 medium-action SIGMA two-piece, 8-foot rod favorably fashioned to a Stella SW 5000.

Point of info: Shakespeare Ugly Stik rods are tough as nails and very affordable. Through the years I have told folks that the money they save by purchasing Ugly Stik rods should be to put toward buying top-quality Shimano spinning reels; namely, Stella SW, other Stella models, Sustain, and Stradic—and in that order. Now, I'm strongly suggesting that you give some serious thought in considering Epoiseidon's Ecooda line as I review them. You'll have a better understanding as we move ahead, together, through this report.

First, let's have a look at the many features Eposeidon's Ecooda Hornet model 6000 spinning reel has to offer:

O-ring sealed waterproof body and rotor to prevent saltwater intrusion; certainly needed protection against a pounding surf.

Computer-balanced aluminum rotor.

Lubricant service oil port so that you don't have to break down the reel in order to properly maintain the reel through a busy fishing season. And, of course, the reel comes with an adequate supply of lubricant (oil) in a tube to take you through several seasons. Soft reel case also included.

A beefy bail wire with a ceramic bail bushing—not a stainless steel bushing that would still be subject to a harsh marine environment, which could become marred through pitting and corrosion.

Seven precision shielded stainless steel ball bearings and one anti-reverse roller bearing.

Its gears and shaft are all machined stainless steel; that is, pinion gear, drive gear, and main shaft.

A curvilinear-type lip of the anodized spool is probably best described as a ball-shaped edge in lieu of a flat plane and is specifically designed to launch line for long-distance casting. This technological configuration is found on high-end spinning reels such as Shimano. The Hornet reel's specifications indicate that its spool holds 260 yards of 40 lb. test, 185 yards of 45 lb. test, and 140 yards of 50 lb. test braided lines. For the surf, Donna employs 20-pound test monofilament line, so specs should be close.

The Hornet 6000 reel's drag is comprised of a series of carbon fiber washers that exert 44 pounds of serious fish-stopping power. These washers are sealed and protected from water intrusion by a hefty rubber O-ring. Carbon fiber drag washers offer state-of-the art performance because they are not subject to distortion caused by heat buildup. Inferior drag washers do, indeed, warp, resulting in poor performance if not line breakage. A great drag system is of paramount importance in fish-fighting ability. When you are into a good-size denizen of the deep, you want the ultimate of smoothness found in a dependable, high-quality drag system. The Ecooda Hornet model 6000 is smoothness personified. Carbon fiber material is used in brake rotors for aircraft, high-performance race cars as well as clutch plates. Need I say more?

A one-way clutch system.

Double backup anti-reverse locking.

A gear ratio of 4.9:1


Eposeidon Ecooda Hornet Model 6000 Completely Disassembled

I spent a fair amount of time this season comparing two of Shimano's flagship Stella SW [Salt Water] series spinning reels (that I designate for the surf) to this salty newcomer; that is, Eposeidon's Ecooda Hornet 6000. It is one fantastic spinning reel for an unbeatable price. Let's compare prices:

Shimano's Stella SW 8000: $829.99
Shimano's Stella SW 5000: $729.99
Eposeidon's Ecooda Hornet 6000: $169.98

The latter would inarguably make a great backup reel for the money. For someone just getting their feet wet, so to speak, this would be a great entry-level reel for the suds. What I've done here, of course, is present a very nice reel, size-wise and otherwise, between two fantastic flagship favorites for the surf. Generally speaking, most of us realize that we get what we pay for. There are, of course, exceptions. For example, Shakespeare's Ugly Stiks are unbeatable for the buck. I could have certainly compared the Ecooda Hornet 6000 to a Shimano Sustain or Stradic model; however, I chose to compare spinning reel models that Donna and I use in the surf.

In terms of top-of -the-line features that the Shimano's Stella series is certainly known for, such as Propulsion Line Management, Paladin Gear Durability Enhancement, SR Concept Design, et cetera, the Ecooda Hornet series holds its own says Tom Gahan, Eposeidon's Director of Marketing. In my July 1st, 2014 report for Nor'east Saltwater, I had asked Tom how the company was able to sell quality reels and many other fishing products at such unbeatable prices.

"Well, Bob," Tom had explained, "we do not have fancy corporate offices. We do not run full-page color ads in prestigious magazines. We do not engage in lavish get-togethers. We eliminate the middlemen. Any idea how many people take a piece of the pie before the product reaches a store like, say, Dick's Sporting Goods? These savings are passed on to our customers because we sell direct. Additionally, we strive to assure customer satisfaction. In short, at Eposeidon, we make fishing fun and very affordable."

You can read my review of the company and the Ecooda (Royal Sea) ERS 3000 spinning reel titled Eposeidon ~ Professional Fishing Tackle: Affordable Pricing on www.noreast.com ~ July 1, 2014 report. Affordable is certainly an understatement when compared to the prices commanded for high-end spinning reels. But will the Ecooda spinning reels I reviewed in July and December of this year stand the test of time? Let me say this. Both Donna and I have put both the Ecooda (Royal Sea) ERS 3000 as well the Ecooda Hornet 6000 through some serious punishment this season. Actually, it was several nice bass and an excess of big bluefish that received the punishment. Because the Peconic River and neighboring bays did not produce for us as well as they had in past years, Donna and I hit our Long Island Sound beaches. Of course, readers want to know what lures we threw at those challengers with our three weapons of choice. The bullets we fired were one-ounce Kastmasters with epoxied eyes as well as Charlie Graves' three-quarter ounce tins, also with epoxied peepers. Those were our two tickets this season.



Robert Banfelder
Award-Winning Thriller/Mystery Author & Outdoors Writer
Senior Editor, Broadwater Books
Co-host, Cablevision TV, Special Interests with Bob & Donna
www.robertbanfelder.com






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