Fred Crouch Truepin Trotter
by Ray Whittaker
by Ray Whittaker
I have recently bought one of these; the almost perfect centre pin reel.
A 3.75" diameter trotting reel which, on its first outing, caught a handful of feisty chub using sweetcorn under a wire stemmed stick float in about a foot of very fast water on my local River Teme. The next two outings I changed to maggot (the same venue) and had 8 grayling to 1.5 pounds and a further 20,000 minnows. or so it seemed. Couldn't have wished for a better start for a new piece of tackle.
Being 3.75 inch suits my small hands and it can be used one handed most of the time, the only exceptions being during the cast and undoing tangles. (it is a centre pin after all) The finish is black anodised and is very consistent over the whole surface and far nicer than the coated finish on my Fred Crouch Jet. Having said that it does show up as blue in certain light conditions but this is not a negative observation.
There is no drag adjustment on this reel and I have found no need thus far. It runs true and smooth but not so easily to allow the float to go galloping off at the speed of flow, just enough to allow easy Wallis casting. If you need it to hold back more then a few deft touches on the rim do the job. Nine times out of ten the bites come just as it's held back. There must be something about the way the bait flicks up off the riverbed that make the fish grab at it. Having thought about that a bit more I've had the idea to add some thicker grease to the spindle and try to slow things down a touch.
I'm not sure if there is an optional line guard but some folks may want one fitted. Personally, I'm happy with the way it is. The rim is without knurling, something I have always found to be a bit of a pain with centre pins. It does nothing for the operation of the reel but can abrade the line in cases of tangling.
So, there we have it. Look no further, an excellent trotting 'pin for around Â£150 which represents probably the best value for money for this type of reel at the moment. It does everything as well as any centre pin of three times its price. The only criticism I can give is that the ratchet lever could do with shortening slightly as it can be knocked on and off accidentally if you're not careful but that's about it.
I will try to add more to this review over the coming months after trying it on a slower river.