I have recently purchased the E-S-P Onyx big pit reels and for a reasonable price there are several key features that are missing on similar products in the same price bracket. These include two drag dials, a spare spool, slow oscillating gearing system and a folding handle.


The two drag dials are fine drag and rapid lockdown; I personally use rapid lockdown because it allows me to have the drag set loose when the rods are on the alarms. When I get a bite the rapid lockdown allows me to adjust the drag to suit the size of the fish with half a turn of the dial. The fine drag is also great however, I like to have the fish under control within the half turn. The fine drag allows greater precision when playing your fish.


When purchased, the reels come with two spools. This is a bonus feature as most reels are now only sold with the single spool and it allows you to have the option of having one of them loaded with lighter or heavier line or braid to suit the waters you fish.


Another key feature is the folding handles on the reels. This is a benefit because it allows you to adjust the positioning of the handles if you want to use small buzz bars meaning that you can use three rods if you wish. Additionally, it also means they can be packed away and stored much neater due to the handle not poking out.


Finally the slow oscillating gearing system gives the reels a very neat line lay. Poor line lay can affect the casting ability of your reels. This however is not an issue for the Onyx reels.


I would recommend these reels to anyone looking for a big pit reel for distance fishing at the £150 price bracket. When playing a fish the reels have a very smooth and quiet drag system which makes the fight enjoyable with fish of any size.

Recently I have been out on two very successful fishing trips. I had a 24 hour session on one of my local club gravel pits and a 48 hour week end trip to a well known ticket complex ‘Todber Manor’, where I have been able to test the Onyx reels to their full potential. Whilst fishing the local gravel pit I had six runs and landed four fish. I had two carp, the largest of which went 23lb on the scales and tench up to 9lb.



Fishing at Todber Manor was manic, I had four carp and two catfish during the session. For the third time this year I was fortunate enough to set a personal best carp of 28lb 8oz! The two catfish I landed were only small, the largest being 8lb. Unfortunately, I lost a much larger one at the net. Despite them being small they still put up a good fight which made me think they were much larger than they were when landed. Although the reels didn’t contribute to me hooking the fish, I do feel that they were a significant factor in me landing so many over both trips. The beauty of the rapid lockdown drag system cannot be overstated, especially for speed and ease of adjustment when fishing close to snags. I believe this feature was one of the reasons why I banked the most fish on both lakes over the two different sessions.

See you at the waters edge,