I've been looking at them pretty hard myself. FTU is only carrying the 12 and 16, and said they probably won't carry the 8 and 10 because the smaller lever drag reels don't sell that well. They also said the 8 and 10 aren't available yet, but any of them are readily available online although I'd prefer to do business locally. I'm sure they would be available to FTU in the near future should they choose to carry them. I stopped in to inquire specifically about the Talica and quickly learned that they just don't yet have any experience with them. They are rather new to the market. I, too, would love to hear from anyone with hands-on experience. There is a lot of hype about them. It wouldn't be a cheap exercise, but I think I'm going to get a 10II, spool it with 50 or 65 braid, and see what happens. Any feedback on these would be greatly appreciated.
We fished them hard for two seasons on long range trips out west. They performed flawlessly. The 10II is perfect for 50 pound Power Pro with a 30-40 pound leader. It's roughly the size of a Trinidad 14. FTU can order the reel for you if they do not have it in stock. The reels can flat our cast better than any other lever drag I have ever fished (in stock trim).
The last trip I took was an 8 day trip to Alijos Rocks. We caught over 250 yellowfin tuna from 40-60 pounds and twice that in yellowtail from 15-65 pounds. We had customers on the trip using the products and everyone seemed very happy. Inside Sportfishing filmed the trip and aired the show last year. I ended up catching the jackpot fish for the trip. Here is the fish that I caught. I was using 40 pound Power Pro backing and a 30 pound leader with a prototype Medium Light rod. It took me about 40-45 minutes to land and almost spooled me twice. It was one of the toughest small yellowfin I have ever caught. I killed 50 pound class fish in a few minutes. This one was determined to live. You can see all the line cuts on the gill plate.
I kept thinking of the analogy never bring a knife to a gun fight while I was fighting that fish haha!
Thanks, Bantam1. In considering "castability", I noticed you compared it to other lever drag reels. I was under the impression it was designed to compare very well even against the best strag drag reels. What is your take on this? I will be using it strictly in the Gulf, out of TX/LA. Thanks for your insight!
They cast similar to a Trinidad but the Trinidad still casts a little better. The spool is still lighter in the Trinidad because it has less parts. You have to remember that you have a drag washer and some other extra parts in a lever drag reel. Freespool is not an indication of how well a reel can cast either. A light spool will not spin as long as a heavier spool. Then add the weight of the line to the spool and it will become difficult to cast because of the energy needed to get the spool up to speed. This is why we lightened the spool in the Talica.
With that being said the Talica still casts really well. I had no problem casting a live sardine 50' or so. A sardine probably weighs about 1/2-3/4 ounce depending on the size. I have fished live anchovy as well and had no problems casting them. They weigh even less.
The 12 and 16 sizes have a little harder time with the lighter bait, but it is still very possible with some practice. If you are good at casting then you will appreciate the Talica.