Perfecta DCH5 and Optimus 10 LTE ReviewPerfecta DCH5 and Optimus 10 LTE Review
Pinnacle Perfecta/Optimus LTE review
By Clayton Westgate
Recently I had the chance to try out a rod and reel from Pinnacle. I opted for the Perfecta DCH5 7’ 6” MH/F casting rod with an Optimus LTE HS 7.3:1 ratio reel. With a limited timeframe I had to test this combo, I selected a setup that I hoped would work well for dragging a jig in cold water I’d be encountering.
When I received the products in the mail, they were opened with similar anticipation as a kid on Christmas morning opening presents. I opened the reel first and was pleased with what I found. The reel was lightweight, and aesthetically pleasing to the eye with its flat slate color frame with metallic red spool and trim. A few turns of the handle felt very nice. The large handle knobs were easy to grip and comfortable while the spool turned very smoothly and had zero back play. The reel weighs in at 7.4 ounces and retails for $159.99.
I noticed the secondary button on the right side (handle side), of the reel frame and found that it was a Quickflip button, similar to a flipping switch. I’ve never been a fan of flipping switches so I was a little disappointed when I saw it. I felt a little better about it once I realized it was a button that had to be pushed rather than one that was turned on and off. I was still concerned that it may be in a location where I would accidently push it during normal use, but that had to wait to be seen when I got it on the water.
The first day on the water turned out to be on a small, city lake. The lake is notoriously tough to fish when the water is cold due to heavy stain the water carries. I wasn’t optimistic about my chances of catching fish, but at least I could used it and get to give it a little better test than the cast I’d made in my backyard.
I started out with a homemade 7/16-ounce finesse jig and planned to drag it down a very steep rock bank that I thought might be holding some fish. Despite very cold hands (water temps in the low 40’s, air temps in the high 30’s), I was still able to cast with ease. I was very impressed with how far out the rod and reel casted the little jig. Once I began dragging the jig, I realized how much I was going to like the rod. While I inched my bait along, I could clearly feel the rocks and limbs it was moving over, even as it began to reach the boat that was sitting in 25-30 feet of water. I was even able to find a large tree with my bait in 25 feet of water that I never knew was there.
While I was finessing my bait through the limbs, I was met with a familiar mushy feeling on one of my lifts. My hookset struck pay dirt, and soon my first fish on the combo was in the boat. The fish was no monster. The catch revealed that this rod is sensitive and powerful. I felt like I could have moved a much larger fish out of the tree without issues. As I continued onward, I stumbled onto what was probably the best situation I could have hoped for to really give both the rod and reel a test.
I’d moved my boat up to the shoreline and was fishing uphill when I got smacked hard but stuck my jig in a log when I set the hook. When I went to retrieve it, my depthfinder exploded with fish all over the bottom. Having seen it before, I quickly removed my jig and switched to a jigging spoon. After just a couple hops, I had a solid thump and was tethered to a much bigger, harder fighting fish. Despite the power and moxie of the fish, it was no match. During the next four days I spent each morning after work sitting over that large school of fish. Each fish would test the reel’s drag and rod’s power, and it handled all of them as good as I could have asked for, especially with stout fish up to nearly 7 pounds.
Once the catching frenzy died down and the surface of the local lakes began hardening, I switched gears toward the power plant lakes and back to fishing like I’d planned on doing. I made a good number of trips to two different power plant lakes, a majority of the time one of my best techniques was dragging a soft plastic beaver bait on a ¼-ounce swinging football head through the rocks. I was able to land dozens of fish, including a good amount over 3 pounds. Both the rod and reel continued to perform well and were both a joy to fish with. After several trips, I was also struck with the realization that I had not once accidentally hit the Quickflip button, nor had I ever felt that it was in the way. So despite it not being a feature that I desire on a reel, it hadn’t been a nuisance like I was afraid it might be.
With my testing complete I have to say I am impressed. I’ve only ever owned one Pinnacle reel, and that was a low end baitcaster when first started fishing baitcasters. I’d heard the negative talk and hadn’t really given any of Pinnacle equipment a chance to prove it wrong. Throughout my time fishing them, neither the rod nor reel had a single hiccup. I fished with several other anglers during this time and let any that wanted to, use it as well. All of them liked what they felt. For me, the only thing they really have left to prove is longevity. I can say that I’m looking forward to future use of both the rod and reel. Pinnacle has put its name and products back on my radar when it comes time for me to make my next rod and reel purchase.
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