A great looking reel for under $200? On the surface, the Taylor Enigma looks like a winner. Read on to see if it lives up to its looks.


8-Weight Shootout Full Results



At 5.5 ounces, the Enigma is one of the lightest reels in the test. In my opinion, this is almost the ideal weight for today’s super light rods.





Bottom of the pack. With a mere 3.6 lbs on the top end and only a pound that’s actually usable. Even for a 5-weight reel this wouldn’t be very much. Oh, and if you turn it all the way down, it free spools :-(.


Drag Test Graph




No incoming click, and muted sound on the way out. Not great.


Spool & Retrieval Rate

Other than the fact that it’s narrow, there’s really not much to talk about here. It’s slow on line pickup and tiny.


Looks & Ergonomics

Aside from its nearly ideal weight, my favorite part about this reel is how it looks. The Taylor design team really hit it out of the park. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but it's minimal and cool.

Unfortunately, while the reel looks great, it also suffers the Revolution’s fate of having one of the worst drag knobs in the test, and it’s paired with a thin and obviously designed-for-freshwater handle.

Finish and durability



Where the bigger, heavier Revolution excelled, the ESD didn't fair as well, but not by much. As you can see, it got beat up a little more than big brother.


Lifetime to the original owner + $50 fee.


Price: $189



The Enigma is a reel that we probably shouldn’t have tested. It’s just not a saltwater reel. Even at its price point there are much better options.



  • Light weight
  • Great looks



  • Not-so-great ergonomics
  • Pretty much everything else