SixGill Rebel Baitcaster Reel Review


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Mar 28, 2024

SixGill Rebel Baitcaster Reel Review

SixGill is a company I was ignorant of until this past year. Back in March, about 5 months ago from the time of writing this review, I had them send out a sampling of their rods and reels and I’ve had

SixGill is a company I was ignorant of until this past year. Back in March, about 5 months ago from the time of writing this review, I had them send out a sampling of their rods and reels and I’ve had them rigged up ever since, including the Sixgill Rebel Baitcaster Reel.

On the whole, I’ve been really pleased with their rods, impressed by how light they are despite having more traditional guides as opposed to the micro guides used to cut weight by many rod manufacturers these days. I reviewed their Fenrir Casting Rod. And I’ve liked the reels I’ve used from Sixgill as well.

Here are my thoughts on the Sixgill Rebel Baitcaster reel.

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When this reel arrived, it was very apparently built in Texas, with pride. There was clear labeling on the box stating as much, but one really cool detail on the reel itself that jumped out at me right away was the molded depression of the state of Texas in the thumb bar. Irrelevant function-wise, but a pretty cool design element I must admit.

Personally, I’m a big fan of fishing products being made throughout the world as well as the US, as the diversification in the market leads to lower costs and even better quality at times. But, if you’re a big “Made in the USA” kind of guy, this reel will be right up your ally. SixGill acknowledges that some parts are manufactured and/or sourced globally as well as from other parts of the US, but that the reel is a “product of Texas”. Pretty cool.

The Made in the USA deal is cool, oddly nostalgic even at this point, but that really doesn’t carry a lot of water if the reel doesn’t compete with the likes of those built internationally. So, I put the Rebel to work. I’ve had this reel spooled up with 15-pound Seaguar Basix Fluorocarbon since I got it back in March, paired with a Jenko Fishing DCVR High Roller Rod.

I paired this setup primarily with small baits, even though the product description of the Rebel on SixGill’s site points towards using this reel for power fishing. At the time the reel came in, I had serval others already rigged with braid. So, I stuck this on the 7-foot Jenko rod and did some shallow cranking with it. I also used it some with a 1/4- ounce Nichols 33 Mini Double Willow Spinnerbait and a 1/4- ounce Z-Man Chatterbait Mini Max

It did really well with all these baits, casting the lightweight small Yo-Zuri 3DR-X Series SR Squarebill Crankbait exceptionally well. I used this particular bait, rod and reel combination to wade a large creek one day here in Alabama and was able to bomb cast this little bait across the whole creek. I remember being thoroughly impressed by the casting with such a light, 1/4- ounce crankbait. That’s the day I was really sold on this reel.

I kind of got out of order with this review, often laying out the features of a product before talking about my personal experiences. But that’s where the flow took me this time, so let’s look at the particulars of this product now.

The Rebel is again constructed in Texas, “molded and assembled in house”, per SixGill’s website. The reel is super light, weighing only 6.7 ounces. The weight can be credited to the use of aluminum parts through much of this reel. The side plates and frame are coated with Cerakote (a durable ceramic coating), which is a nice design touch and makes the reel a little more rugged for the throw-and-go angler.

With the Rebel comes 18 pounds of drag, 10 + 1 ball bearings and an oversized crank handle. Available in 6.5:1 and 7:1 gear ratios and at a price point of $177.60, the Rebel is a strong competitor with other reels in this price range.

The Rebel is easy to use, with a simple external brake adjustment on the side of the reel. Turn one way for more brake, the other way for less. One thing worth noting here though, the + and – are a little counterintuitive. I assumed it meant more brake (+) and less brake (-). But moving towards the minus sign actually increases the brake. So, think of + and – as more free and less free and you’ll be fine.

The Rebel casts really well and has plenty of drag. On one trip testing this reel, it hauled in the biggest bass of the day, weighing around 5- and 1/2- pounds. Again, if you’re feeling patriotic, this one will really tug on your heart strings with its Texas thumb bar and made-in-America vibes. A solid buy at $177.60 and another reason I’m glad I was put onto SixGill Fishing.

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