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Another review, another new reel brand! It’s super cool that we get to see so many new companies and are flattered to test their products. 3-Tand is new to the fly game, but has TONS of experience in fishing. From big names like ZeeBaas and Van Staal comes 3-Tand and as you might expect from that heritage, there’s some serious performance in these reels.
Why are we reviewing 2 reels in one post? Well, simply there’s so much about these two reels that’s really similar that it really didn’t make sense to try and separate them.
Both reels weigh in at 7.7-ish ounces. It’s a really decent weight for an 8-weight!
One of the key differences between the two reels is drag. The TX-80 is a beast. With over 12lbs of drag it breaks into our top 10 for the category. The V-80 is also no slouch with 7.4lbs. Both reels show quite a drop off when you back them off a bit to figure out how much of that drag is usable. That’s when things start to go bad. At half drag, you get only 4% of total. These reels would have been a lot better off if the drag was stopped here, but you can continue to turn the drag another 1.75 steps which brings you to a near centerpin .05lbs of drag on the bottom end. If you’re unlucky to turn it that far, you’ll be looking at a serious rats nest.
Silent on the incoming, muted on the way out. If sound is important to you, these will disappoint.
The other big difference between the reels is the spool design. The V-80 has an awesome super large arbor that picks up line at a blistering 9.7” per turn. The TX-80 is still decent, but quite a bit slower by a full inch per turn. Both reels have tons of capacity.
3-Tand has gone minimal in appearance for sure. All of their reels are grey there’s no fancy colors. I think they are a fine looking reel. Reel manufacturers are super into things like hidden counter weights – I’m not sure it really matters to me. Ditto on the rubber reel foot.
One thing that does matter is the really nice big game handle both reels are equipped with. The drag knob on both reels is pretty small and not that great, but it it’s a little better on the TX-80 as it seems they figured out that trying to turn a dime on a flat surface isn’t ideal….
I don’t know if it’s the color or the finish, but both reels held up really well to scratch, but a little less well to drops.
Lifetime to the original owner + $0. Awesome!
Price: $325 for the TX and $430 for the V-80
Do you want big drag or big arbor? That is the question… All in all, these reels did pretty well. In our test drag is king and the TX-80 came out on top in terms of overall performance than the Vikn. Due to their similarities, I would personally look at the fishing that I was doing regularly and decide if pickup or drag strength was more important and make my decision based on that.
If your price range is $3-400, 3-Tand is definitely a brand to consider. Along with the Taylor Revolution and the super lightweight Sage Spectrum LT, they round out the mid-priced brands to consider.