Pflueger Patriarch Spinning Reel Review For 2021

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There’s a lot to like about the Pflueger Patriarch Spinning Reel, and this is about as high-end as Pflueger gets.

I’ve no doubt it will appeal to Pflueger loyalists and may well draw the attention of brand drifters looking for some value.

It’s hard not to stop and look at the impressive list of features, what’s more, a stylish stealthy design is going to turn some heads.

The problem I see with the Patriarch is that it is priced at a point that puts it in competition with some pretty big brands and models.

The Patriarch breaks into the low end of mid-priced spinning reels. 

It’s not really the dominant market for Pflueger, as the bulk of their models sit firmly in the entry-level segment.

Let’s see if the Pflueger Patriarch can compete with some of the other status brands.

Pflueger Patriarch Spinning Reel Review For 2021

The Pflueger Patriarch undoubtedly looks the part. There’s a high-tech stealth look to the reel that is becoming more prevalent in reels at this price point.

Heavy spool porting, stealth colors, and geometric focus provide a futuristic look that is currently popular.

 

Pflueger Patriarch Spinning Reel, Left/Right
  • REEL SIZE 25
  • GEAR RATIO: 5.2:1
  • MAX DRAG LB: 5lb - 2.3kg
  • MONO CAPACITY YD/LB: 230/2 110/4 90/6

Last update on 2021-11-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The porting, cutaway rotor and overall small size meet the weightless, fatigue-free fishing demands of many modern anglers.

I still criticize manufacturers’ relentless push to reduce the weight by that extra gram, as I’m convinced once a reel dips below 6 ounces, it really doesn’t matter.

At 5.3 ounces, the 25 size is particularly light. The 30 is 6.2 and the 35 is 7.3. This is lightweight fishing, but in this case, it doesn’t seem to come at the cost of reduced rigidity.

The magnesium body can take a lot of credit for the reduced weight without compromising strength. With 10 bearings on board, the weight savings had to be made somewhere.

The magnesium body is also at the heart of the higher price tag and may well be the driving factor behind many a Pflueger Patriarch purchase.

The carbon handle and minimalist knob all make contributions to keep the Patriarch at pace with the lightweight imperative.

But there are more goodies to partner with the flashy lightweight body. 9 + 1 bearings deliver a very light crank. 

The machined aluminum gear and titanium main shaft keep things particularly smooth.

The bearings also add to the durability of the Patriarch. Bearings are good! Where friction is reduced, wear is reduced. 

The more you limit wear, the longer your investment will continue to work at out-of-the-box peak performance.

It should be noted the bearings are advertised as XCR. One has to assume this is extra corrosion resistance. 

I don’t know anything about this, or can vouch for the veracity of their claim, but at least you have a commitment from Pflueger that there are good saltwater credentials.

Spool and drag capacities are pretty standard for an inshore range. Nothing to write home about, but useful, nonetheless. 

The sealed carbon drag system is an excellent feature that will appeal to many anglers seeking durability as well as a smooth drag.

The Patriarch series will cover a huge range of inshore applications, both freshwater and saltwater. The 5.2 ratio is well suited for inshore angling, and the crankers will love it.

Main Features Of The Pflueger Patriarch Spinning Reel

Here are the standout features of the Pflueger Patriarch:

  • 10 Bearing System with XCR Ball Bearings
  • Machined Aluminum Main Gear
  • Carbon Arbor Skeletonized Spool
  • Sealed Carbon Drag
  • Carbon Handle
  • Titanium Main Shaft

10 Bearing System with XCR Ball Bearings

The huge bearing count lies at the heart of the Patriarch’s lightweight crank. A dedicated anti-reverse ensures hook-ups are more secure with more forgiving miss-strikes.

As they are corrosion resistant, you can expect water ingress will not be so devastating. Nonetheless, it should be avoided.

Importantly, the bearings reduce the friction on all moving and rotating parts. 

This ensures your Pflueger Patriarch will handle heavy battles and constant deployment as a go-to reel.

Magnesium Body and Rotor

This is probably the flagship feature. With both the body and rotor being magnesium construction, the weight has been kept down significantly while ensuring rigidity has remained, moreover enhanced.

No doubt this feature is behind the bulk of the price tag. But with weight, corrosion, and strength benefits, it is worth it.

Machined Aluminum Main Gear

This is another big weight saver. I’m not sure if strength is compromised, as that will come down to the quality of the metal. 

The fact it is machined is very promising, and a sound mesh will ensure wear is kept to a minimum.

Carbon Arbor Skeletonized Spool

Again, this is all about keeping the weight down, which we have already established the Pflueger Patriarch has accomplished. 

The spool is not particularly generous, but if you use brads it won’t be an issue at all.

The serious porting does allow for water and dirt ingress. If you have a reasonable cleaning routine, this shouldn’t become a problem

Sealed Carbon Drag

While drag capacities are only standard, the sealed carbon washers make this a particularly robust system (or at least it should). 

Discovering drag durability is something that will play out over time. Out of the box, however, you’ll find the drag predictable, smooth, and very reliable under load. 

For my money, it’s a standout feature on the Pflueger Patriarch, so long as it lasts as it promises to.

It’s very pleasing to see that the oiled felt drag has been ditched, as the carbon washers last far longer without the need for replacement or maintenance.

Carbon Handle

The carbon handle is all about reducing weight wherever possible. However, the handle has a great feel encouraging a confident crank.

The knob feels OK and is appropriate for the size of the reel and is in keeping with the overall balance and ergonomics.

Titanium Main Shaft

45% lighter and 30% stronger. Having this sort of rigidity while cutting the weight significantly gives the Pflueger Patriarch the ability to punch well above its considerable lightweight without compromising its balanced lightweight feel.

This is a classy inclusion and another standout feature. It’s this sort of attention to detail that makes the Patriarch far more appealing than its stablemates.

Pros

  • Great inshore reel
  • Excellent feature list
  • Value for money
  • Lightweight crank yet very strong
  • Mag body and rotor
  • Bearing count
  • Sealed carbon drag system

Cons

  • Pricey for a Pflueger
  • Limited sizes. Would like to see up to 5000 size

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Pflueger Patriarch All Model Overview

ModelMono Cap (yds/lb)Braid Capacity (yds/lb)BearingsMax Drag (lbs)Gear RatioLine Retrieve (in)Weight (oz)
PARSP25X230/2 110/4 90/6150/4 110/6 90/81055:2:124.55.3
PARSP30X140/4 120/6 90/8150/6 115/8 90/1010105:2:1276.2
PARSP35X180/6 140/8 110/10200/8 150/10 110/1410145:2:128.87.3

Alternatives

This is where the Patriarch will find some stiff competition. The Stradic FL, the Pflueger President XT, and the Daiwa Saltist all fall into this price range or thereabout.

The XT provides a similar list of features for significantly less outlay. The XT is a pretty good reel, and you could get some pretty impressive lures with the money saved.

The Shimano and the Daiwa are fantastic fishing reels. 

While the feature lists and specs do vary, I would argue that you’ll be working extremely hard to convince loyal Shimano and Daiwa fans to select Pflueger of these iconic brands.

Having said that, if there’s a feature list that might tempt die-hard Japanese reel fans away, the Patriarch has this potential.

The Pflueger Patriarch is pretty well gimmick-free. It’s an honest attempt to compete on features and performance, and may indeed convince a few anglers.

I’m pretty impressed with the Pflueger Patriarch, but I’d find it difficult to select over the Saltist. Others will see things differently, however. There’s no right or wrong here.

Verdict

The only thing that remains a mystery about the Pflueger Patriarch is its longevity and performance over the longer term. 

This would take at least a full year to check, or need checking under charter boat conditions.

The Pflueger Patriarch is an interesting offering from a brand such as Pflueger. This is a pricey reel considering Pflueger’s mainstay target market.

The price point breaks out of entry-level and does it with a very persuasive list of appealing features. 

The magnesium body and rotor, the 10 bearings and the sealed carbon drag, and lightweight yet strong internals make the Patriarch very competitive.

Aesthetics are a stronger driver than you may think, too. And the design team has run with current stealth, high-tech lines, and delivered a reel that looks a lot more expensive than it is.

I’m quite convinced that the Pflueger Patriarch is worth more than consideration, and may even earn every bit of its price tag. 

If drag and spool capacities were a touch higher, I’d say it would seal the deal for many anglers.

The thing I’d find most interesting is to know a little bit about the type of angler that is buying the Patriarch. 

Will Patriarch popularity see Pflueger place some focus on more expensive reels beyond the entry-level?

Performance over the long term needs to be better understood. If it’s good? The Patriarch may well become a big seller for Pflueger.

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