Solar Flare

Pflueger is known for its classic fly gear, but its new Solara spinning combinations might change all that. I tested a Solara PFL SOL66 combo, which consists of a Solara 5735 spinning reel (235 yards of eight-pound test, six ball bearings, 5.2:1 ratio, 14 ounces) matched with a medium-light IM-8 graphite rod with cork handles, stainless-steel guides, and Fuji reel seats. Tossing crankbaits to bass, pickerel, and perch, I could feel every wiggle of the lure through this rod. The reel is smooth and has an instant antireverse. I like that Pflueger includes a spare aluminum spool. Since it's classified as a freshwater reel, I wouldn't take it into the brine. But at $80, it's a steal.

Contact Pflueger at 800/334-9105, www.pfluegerfishing.com.