Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel Review For 2021

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Customer feedback suggests the PfluegerSupreme XT is well-liked and reasonably popular with Pflueger fans. The Supreme certainly looks the part.

And a glance at the specs, showing 10 bearings and a sealed carbon drag system, is more than enough reason to stop and take a serious look at the Supreme.

For many, a quick turn of the handle will be all that’s required to seal the deal. It feels nice in hand, presenting a good argument for purchase.

But do the headline features and fancy looks reflect performance and endurance? Does the Supreme XT represent good value for your money? 

It’s a popular price point, but it’s not exactly cheap, sitting at the highest end of entry-level.

Is the beauty skin deep? Or is there substance in the Pflueger Supreme spinning reel? 

Let’s take a look.

Pflueger Supreme XT Review – 2021

The Pflueger Supreme XT covers a substantial number of inshore applications land-based and afloat, saltwater, and fresh. 

The sizes include 25, 30, 35, and 40. With a 40, you have a little more scope for exploring surf applications, as well as rock walls and piers.

Pflueger SUPXTSP30X Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel

The headline features are the smooth crank, thanks to 9 +1 bearings, a lightweight feel, and a sealed carbon drag. 

Spool and drag capacities are adequate, considering application, but nothing to write home about.

In terms of aesthetics, it’s a fine-looking reel. Slick lines and geometrical spool porting deliver a pretty dramatic look. 

While this is all good, how does it fish?

By and large, the Supreme offers a pretty cool fishing experience, and most will have little if any serious criticism. 

It’s smooth under load, casts well enough, and the gear ratios (speed) are probably one of its better features; so many reels at this price point are a little slow, which compromises versatility.

Pushing through the $150 carries an expectation of some level of fishing longevity. And this is where anglers might have to take a bit of a punt on the Supreme. 

The Pflueger Supreme doesn’t scream robust. The lightweight feel is nice, but it doesn’t help sell rugged endurance.

A full complement of bearings certainly helps internals, as does sealing the carbon drag system. 

My question lies with the handle and bail arm and the anti-reverse. 

These components are often the most vulnerable, and I’m not completely confident they’ll cope with heavy treatment over the longer term.

But this is the thing about feature-laden reels at this price point. 

A sealed drag system, 10 bearings, and a mag construction usually result in a higher price. 

Has there been a compromise with other components to add these attractive features to the Pflueger Supreme? And is it hidden by its head-turning good looks?

I can’t answer this question, I’ve not come close to the research required to assess its robustness over time. 

Experience tells me that it has some of the key hallmarks of great on-the-shelf, awesome fishing for a while, but maybe not the longevity of other reels.

The question then becomes, is it worth the gamble if you’re looking for a reel that will last a lifetime? 

I’m conscious of not sounding confident here, but it’s very important to note, there are plenty of reels I have felt this way about, and they’re still in the arsenal and working fine.

If you have the cash, then no problem. Try out the Pflueger Supreme, you might find the 2500 a perfect option for cranking bass. 

The 3500 is also an excellent allrounder.

The Pflueger Supreme will appeal to your average weekend angler, as well as budget-driven enthusiasts persuaded by its looks and credentials, to use it as their main reel.

Pros

  • Excellent bearing count
  • Sealed carbon drag
  • Good casting manners
  • Lightweight feel

Cons

  • Question mark over the durability of certain components
  • Line twist might be an issue with frequent long cast and fast retrieve. E.g. working metal slices
  • Only 4 reels in the series

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Main Features of The Pflueger Supreme XT

  • 10 Bearing System
  • Magnesium Body and Rotor
  • Braid Ready Spool
  • Sealed Carbon Drag
  • Carbon Handle
  • EVA Knob
  • Slow Oscillation Gearing

10 Bearing System

9 + 1 bearings is a generous count, even in the top-shelf models punching well through the $500 mark. 

They’re stainless, which they should be, and are the reason behind the Supremes’ lightweight crank.

The other benefit of the bearings is they take the grinding load off rotating parts, providing better distribution of loads, increasing overall durability. 

Durability would be enhanced if the bearings were sealed.

Magnesium Body and Rotor

The mag body and rotor reduce the weight significantly. The 2500 is only 6 ounces, which will impress those looking for fatigue-free fishing. 

Light is good. But it comes at the cost of rigidity, strength, and impact resistance. This is a very common balancing act manufacturers face. 

The magnesium body and sideplate have made it into some pretty upmarket reel series, and I’m curious to know if there are significant differences in quality. 

I would have to assume it does. I would expect that the magnesium construction is responsible for punching the price up.

Braid Ready Spool

I like the braid-ready design on the Pflueger Supreme XT, but it’s not a feature I seek out. 

Fine for a while until the rubber wears, and it will. 

It provides some convenience and does mitigate line slip when spooling up. I would never select a reel based on having a braid-ready spool. 

It’s a handy feature but has zero impact on the reel’s performance and fishability.

Sealed Carbon Drag

This is a good feature and doesn’t seem to have impacted the smoothness of the drag. 

Carbon washers last much longer than oiled felt and require far less maintenance. Keeping the water and dirt/sand out will ensure the washer lasts even longer.

Carbon Handle

I can only assume the Carbon handle has been included to keep the weight down. 

I expect it also keeps manufacturing costs down, without harming aesthetic appeal. I’d prefer alloy or steel any day. But it does contribute to lightweight cranking.

EVA Knob

It has a nice feel in your hand, but not one of those things I’d highlight as a feature. Pretty standard, nothing to look at here.

Slow Oscillation Gearing

The Supreme casts reasonably well, and the slow oscillation is likely responsible. 

I don’t think that there are a significant number of wraps per turn, but it’s a pretty tight line lay. 

A uniform and tight line reduces friction when casting. I’m not sure the Supreme is in the Shimano class of slow oscillation, but few are.

 Pflueger Supreme XT Reel All Models Overview

ModelMonoDrag LbRatioWeight
25220/2 110/4 90/685.2:16.00
30255/4 145/6 130/8106.2:16.80
35230/6 185/8 155/10126.2:18.00
40285/8 230/10 195/12146.2:18.70

Alternatives

This is where you hit the problem of value for money. This is a hotly contested price segment, and anglers have got some great choices.

Anglers looking at the Pflueger Supreme XT can also consider the PENN SPINFISHER VI and the PENN BATTLE III.

There’s certainly more. And there’s one more that is so good, it makes it a very tough choice. 

The DAIWA BG, which is significantly cheaper than the Supreme, is a far better build, stronger, and delivers more versatility.

The Daiwa BG is one of the best value reels available. No, it doesn’t have 9+1 bearings, but it does have 6+1 bearings, and they’re sealed. 

It also has a selection of Daiwa’s best tech, and the build of the BG is excellent, hence durability and longevity are superb.

This is where trade-offs and relativities become very difficult. 

The best way to narrow selection is to be as true as you can to your applications and your fishing styles and techniques.

The Verdict

I have no doubt there are countless anglers for whom the Pflueger Supreme XT is not only suitable but a joy to use.

It has a great list of features, it’s lightweight and very comfortable to hold, so long as you match it up to the correct rod.

10 stainless bearings and a sealed drag system with carbon washers provide anglers a taste of the top shelf while remaining reasonably priced.

The gear ratio is perfect for a wide range of techniques, making it a pretty versatile reel across inshore applications.

I’m a little puzzled as to why the size range stops at 4000. It has pretty reasonable saltwater credentials, and I expect a 50 or 60 would be snapped up by pier anglers, surf anglers, and those who frequent rock walls for striper, drum, and bluefish.

(and regardless of my reservations about longevity due to component quality), I think the Pflueger is a solid punt for most weekend warriors. 

It looks great, and fishes well, and what else do you need at this price, right?

While I prefer others in this price segment, I know there are plenty of Pflueger fans that will disagree with me, and enjoy every moment of their Pflueger Supreme XT.

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