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Tackle Tuesday… ESP Onyx Reels

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Tackle Tuesday… ESP Onyx Reels

Reviewed by Total Carp Fishing Magazine…


It’s been a little while since I was this excited about a product launch, but finally, after a couple of years of testing, the new ESP reel is here.

I’ve seen a little bit of the process of the Onyx because when out on features with ESP-backed TC contributor Kev Hewitt, he’s been using several prototypes. In fact, I remember being on one particular shoot when he actually had three different reels on his banksticks at once, such was ESP’s desire to make sure they were absolutely spot-on.

The result is a reel specifically designed by carp anglers for use in carp fishing - unlike a fair few big-pit reels that hail from the sea/spinning market.

At first glimpse they look nicely understated but not necessarily anything special. However, they are really quite unique in several ways, as well as maintaining the functionality that we all expect from modern carp gear.


First up, the spools have been created to not require backing, so making it possible to fill three from a single bulk 1,000m spool of line. This saves a fortune in line and also helps create better line lay, which is further enhanced by the reels slow oscillation.

Secondly, each reel has two drag options, namely FD (Fine Drag) and RL (Rapid Lockdown) so you can tailor your clutch exactly to the fishing situation on the day. This could be a game changer for lots of anglers and I can’t wait to try each of them out.

Finally, ESP has incorporated a folding handle, making pack-away and setup quick and easy, as well as, of course, allowing for super-snug rod setups. This will definitely appeal to the carpy brigade or tackle tarts, of which I am definitely one!


In all, first impressions of the new Onyx are extremely good and I genuinely look forward to testing a set later this year. Genuine testing and development, I think, will lead to that being a pleasurable experience all round.

Key Features - Machined, anodized long cast taper spools - Shallow - for 300m of 15lb (0.37mm) - Ultra-Shallow - for 300m of 12lb (0.33mm) - Slow oscillation ensures exceptionally smooth line lay - Which helps distance casting and accuracy - Two interchangeable drag adjusters - Can be used with either the FD (fine drag) - Or can be used RL (rapid lockdown) - Quick fold handle for speedy setup and pack down - Stainless steel line clip for secure damage free clipping up - 7+1 stainless bearings, machined gears and a 4.3:1 gear ratio - Rotor brake and front drag grit guard - Easily accessible large anti-reverse lever - Stylish matt black finish with subtle red decal - Every reel thoroughly QA checked by expert in-house staff in the UK

Buy The ESP Onyx Reels Blog-Buy-Now

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