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In The Red Corner

As the fishing has been slow this past week or two, I would look at some tackle I have been meaning to review for the past while and in particular some reels. I really like to put my tackle through its paces before making judgement and over the past 12 months I have certainly done that.

The reel I am going to look at is the Spro Red Arc 10400. I got a pair of these at the start of the season after hearing numerous good reports from UK match anglers along with spinning enthusiasts from the continent. I wanted a reel that I could use for a multitude of fishing situations from float fishing to spinning and jigging.


I have been a shimano user for as long as I can remember and always looked on with scepticism at other brands. With that in mind, it was a bit of a leap of faith for me to buy these bright red shiny reels from a company I had no prior dealings with. There was no real logic behind heading off in a different direction, however every time I read another glowing report on the reel the closer I was drawn into getting one.

First impressions when they arrived were that they were a lot more compact than my 4000 Stradics and I did doubt they would have the same Shimano toughness to them. My worries were short-lived though when I gave one its first work out feeder fishing on my local lough. Whacking out decent sized feeders and cranking them in from distance was a doddle and it balanced up nicely with a 12 foot feeder rod. There was no wobble or looseness and it felt really solid and robust.


They would not be my first choice for heavier feeder fishing at distance as I feel more comfortable with a 5000 sized reel, but this isn’t a problem as I have specific tools for that job. My primary use for them was to be float fishing for tench, and I was looking forward to seeing how the clutch coped with some angry tincas ram-raiding through dense beds of lilies and potamogeton.

I managed to get four spare spools with them which was important to me as I don’t have the luxury of owning an army of reels, and this meant I could chop and change their uses in a heart beat. I decided to match them up with 4lb, 6lb, 8lb and 10lb mono and fill the other two spools with braid and nanofil.

Float fishing for general coarse fish with lighter strength lines is a delight as the excellent line lay means casting smaller floats is effortless. I am really looking forward to using it stick float fishing for roach in the coming months as it should be perfect for controlling line coming off the spool with my finger. It’s lightness should also work in my favour when holding a long trotting`rod for the day.

My float fishing for tench does not include too much finesse and would shock most match anglers. I use 8 or 10lb mono with a beefy power float rod and a decent size waggler depending on weather conditions. The main task is to get the fish turned and up in the water before it smashes head first into the nearest weedbed. When fishing tight swims surrounded by lilies it can be quite precarious and believe me tench know every trick in the book.


A decent drag is a must and the Spro has one of the best I have used and matches reels of twice the price. I don’t like to give much line away in a fight but when needs must you want it to come off as effortlessly and controlled as possible so not to give your opponent the upper hand. The front drag on the Red Arc is silky smooth and has not let me down so far after some proper epic tussles.

I have also put the reel through its paces for various spinning scenarios. I matched it up with a light Abu Vendetta rod for sea trout fishing down the estuary and the smooth retrieve and casting ability made handy work of flicking out small Tasmanian Devils. It also helped with my light plastic jig work for perch and getting small baits out good distances was a walk in the park.

Are there any downsides to the reels ? Well yes, the colour is a bit garish for my liking, however this problem can be negated and you can quell your inner tackle tart by choosing one of its sister reels like the Gold Arc or the Zalt Arc. Another gripe I have is with the measly line clip on the spool which isn’t up to much. Although I don’t use the reel so much for feeder fishing, I would like something a bit more robust and line friendly.


Weighing up the pros and cons of the Spro Red Arc after taking the plunge with it last year, I have to say I am mightily impressed with the little red reel. It packs a lot more punch that its looks give it credit for and still feels as tight as when I first took it out of the box. I have abused it in saltwater and bashed it around many a bankside and it shows no signs of wear and tear.

If you fancy something a little different then I would suggest having a look at the range. At a cost of around €100/£90 depending where you shop I think it is as good as any mid priced Daiwa or Shimano reel in its class.

If you want to check out more about these reels you can find more details on their website :

I am not sure what shops stock them in Ireland, but Fishing-Mart do a wide range of them and postage is reasonably priced.

Here is the tech spec from the side of the box:

  • 9 Ball bearings + 1 needle bearing
  • One-way clutch anti-reverse system
  • TuffBody aluminum design
  • Wormshaft oscillation system
  • Extra strong bail system
  • Super stable support for the Twist-free line roller
  • 2 Aluminum spools with line clip
  • Balanced rotor
  • CNC aluminum handle with aluminum handle knob
  • Finely adjustable multi-disc Front drag system
  • Special protection cover for the dragwashers
  • Comfi-cover for handle knob