Innovator Inshore 789 Fly Reel
  |  First Published: December 2005

Innovator tackle offers many useful items for the fly angler and their new Inshore 789 reel with superb finish, weight, performance and price features is poised to rank in the realms of their other celebrated products.

The Innovator 789 is one of the large arbor-style reels so popular today. Two advantages of LA reels include lighter weight and extra fast retrieve. The new 789 weighs a modest 155g, yet is strong enough to take a 10 fly line plus one hundred metres of Dacron backing.

On a fine morning, with just a hint of mist lifting from the Awoonga Dam I tested the new tackle in a previously successful shallow bay. I was keen to really test the reel out so I had set it up with a Scientific Anglers Tarpon WF 10 Horizon series floating line that allowed me to work my silvery Deceiver in the very shallow edges where the barra often hide.

During the first couple of casts I had noted that the 789 Innovator reel was extremely well balanced and as smooth as silk when retrieving line. The Cross Current ten weight was a good match for the reel and line and the slick Tarpon #10 line eased the fly gently onto the water right next to four small twigs protruding just above the surface. A barra was obviously resident at the drowned bush and on the third strip the white fly line whipped hawser tight. A small clump of lilies was sacrificed in the battle but the smooth drag of the Innovator Inshore took the fight out of a 12kg barra.

Built from bar stock A6061-T6 aluminium the Inshore 789 features top quality construction throughout with tolerances between frame and spool absolutely minimal. An exposed outer rim makes palming the reel simple, and I used this tactic in conjunction with the drag while playing my fish.

Other useful features include a drag system involving cork/Teflon discs face to face and a decent counter balance knob on the spool. Plenty of surplus material has been removed from both spool and frame without sacrificing strength and I noted that changing a spool is as easy as undoing a central knob eliminating the potential lose of any screws or other parts.

I would certainly give the Innovator Inshore 789 the stamp of approval as a barra or light game reel given the obvious quality and top shelf construction. Colours are green, blue, and titanium silver. Two smaller models, the LA 345 and 567, are also available.

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