We graded each reel on a 1-5 scale in three areas:
1. Price
2. How the reel felt and reacted as the motorcycle sped away
3. How we like handling the reel

Then we made “judges deductions” for any beefs we had about the reels.

Retailing at $210, this reel is a pretty solid all-around deal, in terms of drag performance, functionality, and price. Bauer has a loyal following of reel aficionados, with good reason.
Score: 4.5 out of 5

How it “Met the Street”
Listen to that thing. It purred, quietly, and evenly when we hit the gas, then leveled out for the stretch run. Fairly consistent, all in all. We felt a tiny bump or two mid-run, but not much. (There are so many variables – rod, line condition, hand steadiness… no reason to deduct).
Score: 4 out of 5

Functional Review
Seemed like a pretty nice total package. Light, ported, easy to get at the spool for changing over. The reel seat is solid. You have to be a fan of the overall design to appreciate the aesthetics of the reel, but the performance is solid. Combined with certain rods, the balance isn’t quite optimal; with others, it’s nails.
Score: 3.5 out of 5

Not many knocks. You either like the way Bauers look or you don’t … We’ve heard mixed reports from owners; some won’t ever change brands, others aren’t 100% satisfied. But that’s to be expected. In the trout context, it’s hard to imagine being very disappointed.
Deductions: -.5

Total Score: 11.5 out of 15

Watch More Reel Tests:

Trout Reels Hatch 3-Plus Nautilus 5 Abel Pt. 5 Ross Evolution Orvis Battenkill Mid Arbor Scientific Anglers System 2L Model 45L Bauer JM2 Bonefish Reels Sage 3400 Nautilus 8 Bauer MX4 Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor **Big Game Reels ** Orvis Vortex (VO2) 8-11 Nautilus 12 Hatch 9-Plus Abel Super 10