Patriarch XT 2016 – By Adam Royter


I’ve been using these reels since their inception in 2010, and I still have those original reels today. Testing a reel’s durability and longevity against the elements is something that I’ve gotten down to a fine art these days, and being that I still own and use the 2010 XT is a testament to their build quality.

Like most things in fishing tackle, there comes a time to upgrade and so, upgrade they have! The new Pflueger Patriarch XT for the 2016 season is the flagship reel of the fleet – and let me just say, from the inside looking out, this is going to be one hell of a reel!

The very first thing I hear when handing this reel to anyone is “…that is so light!!” to which I answer “…and that’s with 10 bearings too!” A reel that weighing in at 156 grams with 10BB’s (ball race bearings – combined being one of the heaviest parts of your reel) really killing it in the weight department!

How do they do it? With cool materials and finely tuned machines that’s how. The body and rotor of this featherweight spinner are made of magnesium – a steel material so incredibly lightweight yet extremely rigid – which serves two purposes. The weight property being next in line to that of Titanium and is included into the largest two components of the reel, the body and rotor – this goes a long way to reducing the overall weight. The rigidity of this material (stiffness) is key to keeping the gears in line with each other and helping to eliminate gear wear. The tolerances are so fine in the gearboxes of these reels, that any slight change in angle will create substantial problems. This problem is solved on both accounts having magnesium in the mix. Lightweight steel that’s rock solid!

Clever matching using super high spec CNC’s throughout the gearbox and rotor areas, and the use of carbon to fill the voids not only works from a weight saving perspective but also makes this reel look the business. The spool is light in weight without feeling like you can crush it like a coke can and again, the use of porting and filling with graphite has been the winner in all regards.


Digging a little deeper into the guts of this reel you find little boxes ticked all over the place. Starting with the main shaft. More than likely a first in spinning reel technology, this reel is fitted with a Titanium main shaft. Titanium is one of the lightest metals on earth and is totally non-corrosive and very durable. In the drag system, graphite washers can be found along with some stainless ones and a funky looking graphite lid. Sliding back down into the gear box, the gear set touches the scales at some incredibly light amount of grams being a result of the combination of both materials used and having skeletal properties. The handle, as was the case with the last model is carbon shafted and a comfortable, double bearing, EVA knob awaits your grip.

Making most of the internal parts and several of the external parts such as the bail wire out of high grade aircraft alloy, goes a long way to making this reel saltwater safe. Match this with corrosion resistant bearings and you have a spin reel that’s just as much at home in the mountains as it is in the estuary.

For the 2016 season, you’re mad as a cut snake if you don’t race into your local tackle store and demand to see one of these reels in person. Don’t take my word for – go and hold one! And just feel for yourself how light and how smooth these reels, and will be for years to come.


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