When I first laid my hands on the IRT200 I asked myself, what can this reel do for me? Since that day, it has accompanied me everywhere. I’ve used it for nearly every fishing situation I’ve come up against. New situations brought about new permutations of that same question. Practical application provided the answers.
Does it have the guts for snakehead fishing? It sure does. I used to think periodically wrecking the internals of spinning reels was par for the course in snakehead fishing. Not anymore.
The IRT200 is tailor-made for this work. It has a remarkable 30 pounds of drag for bone jarring hook sets, and the power to winch big snakeheads out of heavy cover; all without fear of mechanical failure. Meanwhile, it has the finesse to accurately cast weightless soft plastics into the aforementioned cover without a plague of wind knots. The 200 is built like a tank, yet drives like a sports car.
Would this reel be too heavy for general bass fishing? No, not at all. The 200 has balanced nicely with all of my 7 to 7.5′ bass rods in medium and medium heavy powers. I’ve cast for hours on end with buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, crankbaits, you name it. The IRT200 is a phenomenal bass reel, and certainly not too heavy.
Is it suitable for northern pike or musky fishing? The IRT200 has been an outstanding tool in multiple pike and musky presentations. The reel is sturdy and powerful enough to work big plugs and spinnerbaits. At the same time the 200 can be used for subtle presentations that would be difficult or impossible with traditional musky tackle.
That amazing IRT drag is another asset to Esox anglers. I’ve used it “locked-down” for “no budge” hook sets on a stout, pool cue rod. I’ve also used it with a lighter drag setting on a softer tipped rod when casting smaller lures. That dependable drag has assured that small treble hooks did not straighten or pull out of lunging pike. The 200 brings the best of two worlds to pike and musky fishing.
Sure it’s heavy duty, but is it capable of light line fishing? You bet it is. I use the IRT200 routinely for trout and landlocked salmon. Conditions and lures sometimes require me to fish leaders down to 6 pound test. For these situations, I pair it with a 7′ medium-light power rod. I can fish confidently knowing that the drag will pay out line smoothly to a running trout or salmon.
That’s lots of talk about freshwater fishing, but is this reel appropriate for saltwater use? Of course it is. The salt is where IRT cut their teeth. This is saltwater technology coming inland; not the other way around.
It has 6 internal seals to resist splash, spray, and even the occasional dunking. Add to that, the 200 handles braided line like a dream. Long casts from the sand are no problem for this reel. Once again, let’s not forget the 200’s drag. It’s perfect for hard fighting saltwater fish.
A versatile size, excellent casting and line handling characteristics, a butter smooth drag, a super high drag capacity, and saltwater ready construction all wrapped up in an American made package make the IRT200 clearly the finest multi-species reel I’ve ever seen. I started by asking, what can the IRT200 do? I’ll end by asking, what can’t this reel do?
For more information on the IRT200 or other IRT reels click here.