The Spheros series of spin reels is an enduring Shimano brand that has been given the full makeover recently. The previous FB series were like work utes — tough as, take ’em anywhere, mistreat them, and yet they kept coming back for more. The new ones are a whole lot prettier, with increased creature comforts for improved fishing performance, but at the heart remain a gutsy, no-nonsense reel. Heading the list of features is X-Ship and X-Shield. The former sees a larger cold-forged drive gear and a double bearing supported pinion gear increase performance under load, while the latter means sealing gaskets have been placed in locations where water could otherwise enter the reel body, delivering a water resistant barrier for the harshest fishing conditions. Depending on the reel model, the Cross Carbon drag can be cranked up from 10 to 18 kilos, which is precisely what hard-core bluewater anglers want when fishing braided super lines like Power Pro. The machined aluminium handle and the four SA-RB bearings making winding effortless — even under heavy load of a maxed out drag setting. Accurate distance casting, even with big, bulky lures and baits, is achievable thanks to the AR-C lip design of the cold forged spool, which prevents wind knots from forming and ensures the line leaves the spool in smaller loops with less guide slap.