Gear Review: CS8 Spinning Reel

There are plenty of specialists in the angling world: those who exclusively target a single species. Bass fishermen come to mind first, but there are other culprits. Then there are guys like Anthony Moody who spends over 100 days a year chasing almost anything with fins and scales that swims the waters around his home in Glennville, Georgia. Some days Moody might be found in Lake Murray, Santee Cooper or Clark Hill Lake catching largemouth bass, brim or catfish. Other days he will be prowling the coast, anywhere from Brunswick, Georgia to Hilton Head, South Carolina, pursuing redfish, black drum, seatrout, shark and Spanish mackerel.

Besides our passion for fishing, Moody and I share something else in common – a fondness for CS8 spinning reels by Cadence Fishing. “With the variety of fishing I do, I find the CS8 is a very versatile reel,” notes Moody. “It is my favorite reel that Cadence offers, five out of five stars for sure.”

Premium Components

The Magnesium frame makes the CS8 extremely lightweight yet strong.

I think CS8 spinning reels, with their gunmetal body and rotor combined with machined aluminum components with gold anodized highlights, are one of the best looking spinning reels you can find. Beauty alone is vanity, but the CS8’s impressive list of features and rock-solid performance is anything but vanity. It starts with a strong, lightweight magnesium frame and carbon composite rotor and side plate. Magnesium is common in aerospace applications but is seldom used in spinning reels. It’s 33% lighter than aluminum, 60% lighter than titanium and a whopping 75% lighter than steel.

To further minimize the weight, Cadence incorporates a variety of aluminum components in the CS8 including the pinion gear, main shaft, one-piece bail, handle and spool. As one who makes a lot of casts on a typical fishing trip, I really appreciate the light weight of the CS8 along with its comfortable, oversized, ergonomic EVA grip. I also really appreciate its silky-smooth retrieves thanks to the nine corrosion resistant bearings plus one instant anti-reverse bearing.

The braid ready spool makes it easy to put braided line on the spool.

To be considered versatile, spinning reels should handle a variety of fishing lines and line strengths. Any reel can handle monofilament and fluorocarbon, but the CS8 takes it a step further by incorporating rubber inserts in its machined aluminum, braid ready spool. The rubber provides enough traction that slick braided lines can be tied directly to the spool arbor with no fear of line slippage.

The carbon fiber drag on the CS8 accommodates a wide variety of line strengths and fishing techniques.  I use a 2000 size CS8 spooled with 6-pound braid so that I can cast finesse baits long distances to those spooky fish on the flats. The smooth drag allows to me to play and wear down an oversized redfish with no fear of breaking the light line. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Moody spools up his CS8 spinning reels with 30 to 50-pound braid and cranks down on the drag so he can turn bruising saltwater fish away from line cutting structure. “I can tighten the drag down and winch in a 35-inch red with no hassle,” says Moody. The CS8 drag can develop up to 11 to 20 pounds of drag depending on the size reel you use.

The CS8 gives you all these great features in a reel that will be there for the long haul. “I mainly fish saltwater which is brutal on equipment, and CS8 spinning reels hold up phenomenally,” adds Moody.  “Its dependability, durability and price are unmatched by any other company.”

The CS8 handles light inshore fishing in Charleston, SC.

Speaking of price, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you pull out your credit card to buy the CS8. Cadence offers all of their products, including CS8 spinning reels, at an amazing price due to their dedication of providing performance gear for less.

If buying a premium reel at a great price is not enough, purchasing any Cadence product helps to pass on fishing to the next generation of anglers. Cadence dedicates a portion of their proceeds to providing free rod and reel combos to fishing-based youth charities such as C.A.S.T. for kids!

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