is one interesting reel. Previously the only reel targeted towards bass fisherman that could achieve a gear ratio in the 9-10 range was the Abu Garcia Revo Rocket. KastKing emerged out of seemingly nowhere offering the Speed Demon for $70, nearly one quarter the price of the Revo Rocket. Its 13-bearing system and its absolutely killer looks makes this reel seem like it should have a much higher price tag. The Speed Demon weighs 8.3 ounces and comes in one gear ratio, 9.3:1 which can pull in an impressive 37.4 inches per handle turn. Coupled with the 115mm handle, anyone who uses it should be able to get fish out of cover before they can even make an attempt at turning their head. The drag is a little on the lower side though only having a stopping force of 13.2lbs. Spool wise, it’s a little bigger than many reels, holding up to 160 yards of 12-pound test. Convert that to braid and you can get a decent amount on if you’re using bigger line.
This reel features a magnetic brake system located externally on the side plate which consists of 9 magnets. The dial ranges from 1-9 that has 18 different adjustment points. I had never had a problem casting this reel or with line overruns, but I tended to need the dial on a higher side even when using 1/2oz jigs. The sideplate is held on by a small button at the bottom. Many reels have a lever, but this is a legitimate button that only goes in and out. It’s fairly small so accidentally pushing it is out of the question. Also going along with the braking is the tension cap, which does not click and has some of the most threads I have ever seen holding a cap on. It can be tightened down so much that the spool is physically hard to turn with the handle or loose enough to where I do not even think it is making contact with the spool shaft.
Now how does the Speed Demon perform? It felt great out of the box, but that’s really about it. I am not even kidding, but physically the second time using the Speed Demon, the spool bearings were already screeching which meant they did not have any oil, or they were already worn out from being so cheap. Nevertheless, I put oil on them which helped but at the time of typing this article, the bearings and gears definitely have a gritty sound going on. For reference on how bad the bearings are, the magnetic brake is on zero, tension cap is fully off, and the thumb bar is pushed down. So, in other words, there is minimal resistance on the spool. It spins for a solid 2.5 seconds before the bearings bring it to a halt. I’m guessing I got a reel without oil straight from the factory which probably killed the bearings taking until the second outing to notice but at the same time all of us expect a reel ready to fish when we buy it. The bearings are easily replaceable with one in the sideplate held in by a retainer clip and the one on the spool is held on by the pin. One thing to note though is the spool shaft is a little thicker than many so any bearings you have laying around to fit more name brand reels may not fit. Despite those mildly important problems, fishing with this was actually pretty fun because of how fast the gear ratio could get the lure to the boat. On paper it sounds impressive, and in person it is impressive as well.
Overall, this is definitely a budget reel. It looks amazing with a matte black and red accent paintjob but internally is where it is lacking a little. I bought this reel for only $40 brand new straight from KastKing and I can’t really imagine spending any more than that amount for this reel, especially if the bearings on all models are of the same quality of what I had received with mine. Otherwise, I could see myself spending the retail price of this reel if the bearings lasted for years. Many will say, “just change them” but that also adds additional cost that myself and I am sure other anglers would rather put towards a more known brand. There is a newer model called the KastKing Speed Demon Elite which many people are giving positive reviews about. It has two different gear ratios and being only slightly more expensive at $120, I would strongly recommend over this “lemon.” I have not purchased it yet myself to test but if KastKings more expensive products have made their way onto Tackle Warehouse’s page, then they must be getting pretty serious.
BFA’s Score: 7/10. This reel is overall fairly solid but being that the spool bearings are already out the door after only owning this for a year is a little disappointing. Yes, you can replace them easily, but quality bearings can cost up to $10 each and many people do not possess the skill, knowledge, or tools to do this task. One mistake and the spool shaft is bent rendering it useless.
Check out the newer model here:
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