Pflueger Purist Spinning Reel Review For 2021

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Pflueger is one of the brands hailing from the Pure Fishing Inc. stables. There’s a production line economy to Pflueger reels, which makes some anglers skeptical.

While the quality of components and construction is critical, so too is affordability for countless anglers and fishing-loving families.

And it must be said that Pflueger does an admirable job of offering the reel features anglers appreciate while balancing the price point and durability.

The Pflueger Purist fishing reel series is the epitome of this market segment. It has some great features, but it’s no Stradic or Saltiga. 

But nor does it purport to be. It’s an entry-level spinning reel offering a cool fishing experience and performance for an accessible price.

Pflueger Purist Spinning Reel Review in 2021

The Purist is an affordable entry-level spinning reel series, suitable for salt and fresh applications, both land-based and afloat. 

The sizes are 25, 30, 35, and 40. With these sizes, the Pflueger Purist is an inshore reel that covers a very broad range of fishing applications.

Given a 40 size is available, the Purist has some access to surf applications as well as some rock wall, break wall, and pier applications.

The Purist sits at the budget price point, yet has features more in keeping with more expensive reels. 

The two standout features are the 9 bearings and the sealed carbon washer drag system. In that regard, many compare it to its stablemate, the Pflueger Supreme XT. 

The Supreme, however, is well over twice the price, promoting ask to ask why the Purist is so much cheaper, yet similarly appointed.

I can only assume that this comes down to the hybrid alloy/carbon body sideplate and rotor, where the Pflueger Supreme XT has a magnesium body, sideplate, and rotor.

In my opinion, budget price segment shoppers aren’t looking for reels with cutting-edge technologies, unbreakable strength, and lifetime performance. 

These features cost a bomb and aren’t really necessary for a huge number of recreational anglers.

The Purist has a lightweight crank that feels great and maintains its integrity under load. The drag system is smooth, and has the endurance benefits of carbon washers and sealing.

Bearings are responsible for the lightweight cranking, and ensuring internals maintain sync, mitigating flexing and slop.

When moving parts and rotating components are supported by bearings, they endure heavier punishment and last longer. The bearings are stainless, providing a level of protection from corrosion.

Anglers can use their Pflueger Purist to chase a long list of targets, from lake-dwelling trout to bass, walleye, panfish, and more. Salties can point it at flounder, whiting, and modest drum, stripers, and bluefish.

Drag and spool capacities are adequate, but those battling a monster they weren’t necessarily chasing, might find themselves a little underpowered.

The Purist is fine with both braid and mono. Your selection will depend on technique, conditions, and personal preference.

Casting manners are OK, with enough distance possible in the right hands, and with a well-balanced rig.

I like the 30 size purist as an affordable, versatile inshore general purpose lure and natural bait fishing reel. Those who cast lures rapid fire will be pleased with the lightweight feel.

It delivers a good fishing experience, and it will last if it’s maintained with a simple clean after each session. 

Those who tend to be a little heavy-handed on their fishing gear will need to be a little more cautious. 

Construction inconsistencies that are becoming more prevalent these days, are an unwanted random feature in reels coming from the big corporate manufacturers. 

Always check your warranty.

Pros

  • Excellent bearing count for a reel in this price segment
  • A fully-sealed carbon washer drag system
  • Lightweight feel
  • Stainless internals, including bearings and main shaft
  • I like the alloy handle

Cons

  • Limited size choice. Inshore applications only
  • Durability may be an issue due to construction inconsistencies

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Main Features

  • 9 Corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings
  • Hybrid Aluminum and graphite body
  • Aluminum Spool
  • Sealed Carbon Drag
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum Handle
  • Aluminum Bail
  • Sure-click bail
  • Titanium coated line roller

9 Bearing System

A lot of anglers will appreciate the support of so many bearings, particularly at this price point. 

The bearings are responsible for an enduring lightweight crank. While stainless, it only provides a modicum of corrosion resistance. 

The bearings aren’t sealed, so it is in the best interest of longevity that anglers prevent water and dirt ingress.

Bearings prevent premature and accelerated wear in moving and rotating parts. The higher the bearing count, the better the protection. 

It should be noted that the longevity of the bearing performance is based on the quality of the bearings, which is difficult to ascertain

Hybrid Aluminum and Graphite Body

This is an interesting approach you might find a little difficult to read. Why not all alloy, or all graphite? 

Strength is not such a big thing in these sizes, although rigidity is important in all sizes.

And therein lies the answer. Aluminum does provide much better rigidity and is well placed in the reel stem and body. 

The side plate is not so heavily impacted by torque and twist, so graphite is selected for weight savings.

I prefer continuity, so I would be much happier with an alloy side plate, than the few grams of weight saving afforded by the graphite. However, this really isn’t a major issue.

Aluminum Spool

This is a standard feature on just about any spinning reel over $25. It’s sort of like advertising that your new car comes with rubber tires. 

There’s a lot of porting which removes some of the weight, but it also looks great.

Sealed Carbon Drag

This is a nice feature in a reel at this price point. Oiled felt drag systems, very common at this price, often perform very well, but require regular maintenance and replacement over time. 

They don’t cope with water ingress so well either.

That’s why I’m impressed that the Purist has a sealed carbon system. This should be the standard. Japanese oiled felt drag can have outstanding performance, but it’s old technology and should be relegated if for no other reason than carbon, generally speaking, performs better for longer.

Aluminum Bail

This is a strong-looking bail arm likely to hold its shape nicely. The important factor, however, will be its connection points to the rotor. 

Over time, these points take a tremendous amount of pressure as the bail arm is constantly opened and closed. 

It’s a good idea to remove the bail arm every so often to clean out dirt and salt, lubricate and check corrosion.

Aircraft-grade Aluminum Handle

This is a great feature. Handles are often overlooked, but they’re important. 

While the handle feel and styling are great on the Purist, it adds to its endurance and ability to handle the knocks and bumps. 

It’s a comfortable crank, light, balanced, and ergonomic.

Sure-Click Bail

A bit of a gimmick. You can feel when a bail arm locks into place, even an auto-bail. It’s not a feature I’d look for on a reel, nor would I miss it. 

That’s an opinion, however, I’m sure there are anglers who would appreciate an audible indication that the bail arm is in place and the reel is set to go. 

I never use the auto bail on a reel. I believe it’s always better to engage your bail manually.

Titanium Coated Line Roller

The brass line roller is coated in titanium. It’s pretty smooth and will reduce friction, which is great for protecting fishing lines, particularly under the pressure of a fight.

The only downside is that anything “coated” can wear and chip. In this case, chipping through impact is more likely.

Always keep an eye on it when cleaning or rigging, a chipped roller will damage and snap line very quickly.

Pflueger Purist All Models Overview

ModelBraidMonoDragRatioRetrieveWeight
1325X135/6115/465.2:122.47.3
1330X180/8115/695.2:125.28.5
1335X205/10145/8105.2:127.48.8
1340X260/14195/10125.2:130.211.2

Alternatives

This price point is loaded with great affordable spinning reel potions. This is where it can be very tough to decide. 

Truth is, the Pflueger Purist holds its own amidst the competition, with the only issue being construction inconsistencies and quality control. 

I am often persuaded by reels brands with far fewer features, but more reliable quality assurance standards.

Two brands that stand out are the Okuma Ceymar and the Shimano Nexave.

Shimano Nexave 2500 HG FE, Spinning Fishing Reel, NEX2500HGFE
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, Max. Dragforce: 9 lbs / 4 kilogramm, Weight: 9.0 ounce/ 255 gramm
  • Line Retrieve Per Crank: 35 inch / 88 centimeter
  • Mono Line Capacity (lbs/yds): 6/200, 8/140, 10/120
  • Bearings: 3 Ballbearings and 1 Rollerbearing
Okuma C-30-CL Ceymar Spinning Reel, 5.0: 1 Gear Ratio, 6BB + 1RB Bearings, 13 lb Max Drag, 25" Line Retrieve
  • Multi-disc, oiled felt drag System
  • 7 BB + 1RB for ultimate smoothness
  • Quick-set Anti-Reverse roller bearing

Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

While there are plenty more to compare, I like the Okuma Ceymar. This is a great reel and should be considered when you’re checking out the Pflueger Purist.

Verdict

There’s a lot to like about the Pflueger Purist, and its price point has a lot to do with it. 

You can cover a tremendous number of inshore applications with the Purist and it will be reliable, fun, consistent, and smooth.

I have one caveat on this, however. Inconsistencies in quality are a thing. 

This is by no means unique to Pflueger or the Purist. This situation is creeping into a number of manufacturers.

Having said that, it is arguably far less likely in brands such as Shimano, Daiwa, and Okuma, and several other manufacturers that remain in control of their production.

 It’s important to note, however, that this is my experience and my opinion. I suspect there’s some good science to back me up, but I can’t site it. 

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