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Einar-who? They are made where? You may not know them yet, but you certainly shouldn’t overlook them. Einarsson is a relatively new (to the US) brand that’s made in Iceland. With some very serious anglers there, it should come as no surprise that Einarsson is making some serious fly reels.
The Einarsson Invictus is Einarsson’s top of the line reel and they’ve made some bold claims: “The new patented Shock Absorbing Brake (SAB) ensures that the transition in the brake system is softer compared to leading brands in the reel market.” That’s a bold claim… luckily, we can test and see if it’s true.
10 ounces. 2nd heaviest in the test.
First, let’s talk about what is truly spectacular about this reel. Einarsson has used a complex mechanism of springs to completely remove and startup inertia. Sure, most of the reels in this test have negligible startup inertia, but the Einarsson is on a whole new level. Check out the graph below where we compare the Invictus to the Nautilus NV-G. The drag on the Invictus engages at a different rate than all the other reels and it gives you WAY more wiggle room than any reel we’ve seen. It’s completely game changing and unique. There’s nothing else even close to it on the market.
The rest of the drag specs are not too shabby either. 9lbs of max drag, all of which is usable! 36% of it at the halfway mark and just a little bit too little drag at bottom end with just .11 lbs. Again, we’re looking for about .4lbs to prevent a free spool.
The Invictus sounds great! It’s got a pleasant sound that’s the same on both incoming and outgoing.
Is the Invictus a mid-arbor? More or less. It really lags behind the top competitors in the spool department, except with regards to size. You’re going to be picking up line at a mere 8 inches per turn (compared to 11 on the top reels).
The Invictus is not a reel that is going to jump out of the case. It’s a quiet matte black and it’s well machined. You can feel the quality. But it definitely misses the ‘cool’ factor. From an ergonomics standpoint, the Invictus has a great handle, but we do wish that the drag knob was a little bigger and less… sharp. Not my favorite.
The Invictus is supposed to be a Type 3 anodize so I really had high hopes for it! Unfortunately – and maybe due to its weight – it didn’t perform as well as I would have hoped. Still, it’s not bad, and definitely a reel that can stand up to some abuse.
Lifetime to the original owner + a variable fee. I’m not quite sure what that means, but I would expect it to be a lot.
If the question at the start of this shootout was: “What’s the best reel for your 7-weight Spey rod?” then the Invictus may very well have come out on top. Unfortunately, as a reel to mount on to your Scott Meridian, it’s just too heavy, too mid-arbor, and too expensive. It’s unfortunate because this is truly a special reel from an engineering standpoint. I’m looking forward to seeing what Einarsson can do with the tech that they’ve created – and hopefully they can turn it into a really awesome saltwater reel in the future.
Still, if I was looking for a reel to break the 2lb test tarpon record with, hands down, no questions asked, this would be the one.
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