I spooled each reel with 30-pound backing, an intermediate 9-weight line, and a 30-pound leader. To test the drag, I lashed each leader to the back of a bicycle, peeled some running line onto the asphalt to provide a legitimate jolt, and had a buddy take off down the street. We first did this test dry, and then we soaked each reel in a bucket of water to see how well the drags were sealed. To test the tolerances, I maxed the drags and reeled a 20-pound dumbbell across the lawn 10 times with each reel. Finally, I assessed the overall feel, construction, and design of these bargain reels compared with the many models—of all different prices—that I’ve fished over the years. —J.C.