I recently bought a 656CTM and was really looking forward to using it for distance casting. However, I found the spool release lever took *far* too much force to activate. I’m a carpenter by trade and have strong hands but my thumb began to cramp after only a few activations of the spool release lever. Not cool. Abu Garcia reels I’ve used with an identical-looking release lever do not have this issue at all.
I returned it to Carolina Cast Pros with a note of explanation and they refunded my money promptly- but there was no “you must have a defective one and we’ll send you a replacement” or “sorry you’re having an issue with this reel, here are some possible cures...” call or email, just silence. This leads me to believe this may not be an isolated problem and/or there’s no fix. Highly disappointing in any event.
Anyone else experience this problem with a 656 or did I just draw the short straw?
Have 4 akios 2, 666 and 2, 656. Never had a problem. Last year I upgraded to a pair of seigler sm's had the drag lock up on one first time I used it and the bail lever on the other one was a little funny. Took them back to seigler, and had them back in less than a week better than new. Both have been flawless since. Cannot speak higher of there customer service, or of Will gill their service guy. He also builds hot rodded reels. Going to have him mag a sg reel for me after the tog stop biting this winter.
Is it possible you were holding tension on the spool while you pushed the button? If I don't create just a tiny bit of slack with my thumb before I push the release button it's nearly impossible. So far my 2 Akios reels have been flawless.
30 miles from OBX as the crow flies, or 80 miles by Jeep!
Tommy (Carolina Cast Pro) is a first class person and an honorable business man. I didn't see where you asked any questions when returning it to him. You may have, but didn't write that in your narrative above. That said, if you notify Tommy of what was going on and asked him for suggestions, repairing the reel, or a replacement, I have no doubt he would accommodate your request. He has been doing this for a long time and has an impeccable reputation. I would suggest reaching out to him and asking about these things and I don't doubt you may be pleasantly surprised. I personally have a 757 CTM and have had no issues, so this sounds like an anomaly that shouldn't be too hard to correct to your satisfaction. Good luck!
Joe Moore with One More Cast would be another who can answer any questions about akios.
agreed, sent my 757 to Joe he fixed it and had it back in 6 days, a minor problem with the clutch release, tighten the screws up on the side plate cover and the button would not release to put it in gear, works flawless now.
I'm the kind who likes to void warranties and open up my reels for repairs, servicing and alterations (the thought of losing a reel for a few weeks makes me nauseous). There's a Youtube channel called Pimp My Reel - a Scottish guy who does customization and servicing. He'll show you how to strip down an Akios 656. Once you do that once or twice yourself and see how everything works, solving a problem like you're describing just becomes a matter of finding a part.
Sorry for the slow reply, I just got home from my annual fall trip to the OBX.
Just to clarify, I did indeed refund your money. When you first contacted me about the push button issue, I suggested that you send it to the USA importer/distributor/service technician so he could take a look and see what the problem was. When the reel arrived here shortly after without any additional communication and a note asking for a refund (not a replacement) my assumption was that you had made up your mind and wanted a refund. No problem. I checked the reel out. I operated it (button) multiple times. It may have been slightly harder than some other Akios reels but IMHO it was not out of the ordinary. Since it was a used reel at that point, I put it into my fishing rotation and it performed fine during my trip. It is possible that it may have broken in during the times that you operated it combined with the multiple time I operated plus hours spent fishing with it.
I'm sincerely sorry that you are disappointed. The 656 CTM is and has been a top seller for me since they arrived here in the USA. I believe that it is important to make sure the customer is happy. The USA Importer/distributor shares the same feeling. I wish you had just asked for a replacement instead of a refund. We would have worked it out. I do my level best to make sure each customer is happy, that is how I stay in business competing with companies many times larger than mine.
Sorry again for your disappointment. let me know if there is anything I can do in the future for you.
Thanks for the feedback and ideas, folks. It is encouraging to know what I experienced isn’t a common “feature” of the 656 and that apparently I just drew the short straw.
Tommy- with respect, apparently you are confusing me with another customer. We did not communicate before I returned the reel but I sent a note along with the reel when I returned it explaining what the problem was and why I was returning it. I would gladly have accepted a replacement instead of a refund had a replacement been suggested. As I said in my initial post, you did indeed refund my purchase price promptly (startlingly quickly, in fact!) but your post dated yesterday is the first time I’ve heard from you since returning the reel over a month ago.
Thanks again for taking the time to offer suggestions and share ideas, everyone.
Again, my apologies for your disappointment. I suppose confusion with another customer is a possibility but in all honesty I haven't had another Akios push button issue in years. As stated, I try to make sure each customer is happy, even if (as in this case) I take a loss on the deal. So, when I received the reel with a note asking for a refund within a week of communication (with someone) on the exact same issue on the same model reel, well I just refunded the $$ and move on. I saw no reason to delay the refund, so yes, it was fast. If you had wanted another reel, the easy solution would have been to just ask. I would have covered the reel and shipping.
Again, my apologies on what appears to have been a communication breakdown.