The eagerly awaited Scora 80 fixed spool reel from Akios is here. Steve Souter got his hands on one of these mid price-point reels and subjected it to bashings on the beach and boat before delivering his verdict.
In what seems like no time at all the Akios brand has become synonymous with top-flight, highly engineered multipliers. Following this meteoric rise the company has firmly moved into the area of serious fixed spool reels with the introduction of the eye-catching and eagerly anticipated Scora 80.
Image-conscious anglers will fall head-over-heels for the Scora on sight. The sporty black, gunmetal grey and red bodywork will instantly perk male hormones. Weighing in at a modest 22ozs, this is a substantial reel but it is not a giant. Compact rather than cumbersome, sporty as opposed to industrial, the reel has a strong ‘engine’ and is crammed with specifications and considered features uncommon on a reel that retails for under £125.
Specifications and Features
An impact-resistant composite body, tough stainless main shaft, titanium-coated roller and anti line-drop system are supported by a battery of 9 stainless shielded bearings. The 4.6:1 gearing in conjunction with the neat spool size dictate that the rod does not need to be painfully pumped to recover line under normal circumstances.
A crank rate of 94cms is achieved per each full turn of the handle when fully filled with line. Winding operation is gorgeously quiet and velvety smooth. The slimline handle is fitted with a high-density foam ball-grip and can be set to left or right side orientation. The grip’s symmetrical shape is particularly comfortable and serves to eliminate those ham-fisted moments that users of fixed spools with elongated toggle or bean-shaped grips will be familiar with.
A chunky dial works the Scora’s front ‘Powerdrag’ system, which can be screwed down to a full and un-budging 22lbs of pressure. The PD function allows drag/spool tension to be thrown from maximum to slack and vice-versa in a blink with less than one full 360-degree turn of the clutch dial. The mechanism ensures moving backwards with the incoming tide is unflustered and, there’s further comfort in knowing that drag pressure can be relented instantly in response to any headstrong resistance from a large fish.
What I’ll tag the ‘speed-drag’ concept is certainly not unique to the Akios reel, but it’s a classy and practical function that I believe should be standard on all larger fixed spool reels.
The reel comes with two aluminium spools, one being large capacity for mono, while the other is shallower and better for braid. Each spool has a robust sprung-tensioned line clip, and a profiled edge to alleviate friction and assist with clean line disposal.
Bail arm engagement is automatic, but my take remains that it is always better to open and close the bail manually on any large fixed spool. The bail locks well for casting, and I could not simulate unsolicited bail arm engagement despite my persistent trying.
The Anti Line Drop System is essentially two spokes that protrude from the spool cradle and ride up and down channels set on the inside of the rotor head to prevent line from being sucked under the spool. At first glance this is a good idea but it should be noted that the actual spool sits above the cradle and there is still an opportunity for particularly thin braided lines to be drawn underneath the spool and churned during moments of inattention.
There’s no ‘left or right?’ fumbling confusion with the rear-mounted anti-reverse directional switch. The 12 o’clock position is the anti-reverse engaged, while at 3 o’clock the ant-reverse is released for the purpose of back-winding should it be required.
From Mundane to Mad
A quick twist locked the drag solid for casting on the beach. The bail clicks open positively, and I could not encourage it to prematurely trap shut despite deliberately placing the handle and rotor in various opportune positions. Both 0.35mm Tubertini Ski-Blue and 30lb braid flew cleanly off the profiled spools, and confidence to put some real meat into casts came instantly.
The retrieve is more than fast enough, and presents a good balanced rate of line recovery suitable for both clean and rough ground fishing. The speed of the retrieve is not critical when fishing over sand or mud, but it is often the difference between success and repeated frustrations over snaggy ground.
An increasing number of shore anglers are moving to tough fixed spools and braid mainlines for proper rough ground fishing. In this more challenging scenario the retrieve needs to be brisk enough to lift tackle and fish up over rock and kelp snags, but not so aggressively fast when partnered with a quick arm as to actively tear hooks from fish. The Scora gets this crucial balance right for those inclined to the more extreme end of shore fishing.
Indeed, the solid build, compact size, easy-pace retrieve and negligible weight make it ideal for competition boat fishing and uptide purposes. It won’t sweat at whisking likes of multiple bream, whiting and dabs, while there’s ample grunt in reserve for slinging bigger leads. Drag strength is formidable and with the ‘Powerdrag’ facility at my fingers tips, I would confidently pit the Scora against such as double-figure cod, smoothhounds, bull huss, rays and even angry tope.
The maddest situation the reel confronted on the boat was vertically hauling up to 1lb of lead in over 300 feet of water. As a rule, I detest working extreme depth with any fixed spool reel because it is such hard work; much better suited to a multiplier. But in this case, the measured retrieve proved a surprisingly comfortable constant, and I was able recover line each time without having to pump the long rod. Even decent spurdogs were easily controlled and did not tax the reel or strain my arms.
The modestly priced Scora 80 is an excellent all-round casting and fishing reel that’s neither complicated nor temperamental. Suitable for shore and boat fishing, it purrs contentedly with each slick stroke of the handle. There’s growling power in abundance whenever it’s needed, and line lay is very good in the case of both mono and braid. Beginners and experts alike will quickly warm to a reel that looks set to live up to pre-launch hype.
- High strength composite body/rotor
- 8 + 1 stainless shielded bearings
- Instant anti-reverse bearing
- Two aluminium spools included
- Long cast angled spool lip
- Dual strength stainless steel main shaft
- Titanium coated line roller
- Anti line drop system
- Rapid Powerdrag
- Gear ratio: 4.6:1
- Weight: 625g / 22ozs
- Crank rate: 94cms / 37 inches
- Max drag: 22lb / 10kg
- Deep spool capacities: 320yds of 12lb (0.32mm), or 210yds of 17lb (0.40mm)
- Shallow spool capacities: 210yds of 12lb, or 140yds of 17lb