On the last 50 Campfires Field Trip, I had a chance to field-test the new Zebco 33 reel that will be out in 2020. The most significant change is that it will have a 20% faster retrieval rate. I like this a lot because it makes the reel more versatile. Spincast reels are ideal for bobber fishing but can be a bit sluggish if you want to cast spinning jigs or spoons for larger fish. It’s more practical to bring one rod and reel on an outing, and I found the new model to be noticeably faster compared to the current model.
Most of the other changes are aesthetic, with one exception: the new model has a larger button for casting. This is great for novice anglers, but I liked it myself as well. I’m all for anything that makes a reel easier to operate.
As you can see in the photos below, they made a few other changes as well. The new Zebco 33 reel will have a matte finish on the cover, and it no longer has “33” stamped on the crank handle. It’s also a fully enclosed cover, as opposed to the current model, which has holes.
It was fun testing it out for an afternoon. I had no tangles whatsoever, but that’s the 33 for you – it’s made to function flawlessly for years. No surprise there. I was most impressed with the faster retrieval rate. It meant that I could get more casting in, and I’m all about creating more opportunities to catch fish.