When I first heard that Avet was making an SXJ fishing reel I was a little bit surprised. The SX is very small and I didn’t think a narrower version was necessary. Being a cynic at heart, this looked like a cash grab from Avet. Just take an existing product, give it a small tweak and you’ve got something new. This is something that Apple would do, coming out with the same device only in a slightly different form factor, like an iPad going to an iPad Mini.
A few weeks ago, when I heard that Avet had shipped us the SXJs I was looking forward to getting my hands on one before I left for vacation. Unfortunately the Avet box arrived about an hour after I left for vacation and I had to wait a week until I could hold the reel in my hands. Finally, this morning I got my chance and I was pleasantly surprised. While the SXJ is exactly the same in every detail as the SX except for the narrower frame, the reel is somehow completely different. It fits differently in my hand and while it weighs just an ounce less than the SX is feels much lighter, almost like it is a low profile reel.
I have been touting the positive attributes of the Avet SX to anyone who would listen and converting non-believers that you can get rid of your old bulky reel, buy an SX, fill it with braid and fish for everything you did with your old reel and more! Why buy an MXL when you can have the same saltwater fishing reel in a smaller form factor? But with the SXJ 5.3, the SX seems bulky. It is the new MXL. Too big for inshore fishing. Too big for kayak fishing. The Avet SXJ holds almost 300 yards of 40 lb braid. More than enough line for anything you would fish for from a kayak or inshore.
It’s cliche to say that the future has arrived, but the SXJ and the arrival of more powerful low profile bait casting reels are proof that the future is here. Small, light, compact, braid ready fishing reels are the future and they are here now. New braids are coming out every day with thinner and thinner diameters. Don’t avoid the future of fishing. Embrace it and start by trading in your old bulky reel for an Avet SXJ 5.3 Lever Drag Reel.