Mykiss on the Dean
Mykiss Centerpin Float Reel
Last Update: 11/05
Tackle Type:
Over all score:
Centerpin / Float Reel
Mykiss Reels
Mykiss I & II
Brian D.
Manufacturers Description:
"Born on the shoulders of the legendary Hanson, the Mykiss centerpin represents the results of 1000's of angler-hours refining Mr. Hanson's original design. Incorporating the feedback of the regions most passionate and accomplished centerpinners and tested on the Steelhead waters of the Great Lakes and British Columbia, the Mykiss I & Mykiss II are a smooth-starting, light weight, workhorse reel designed to withstand the rigorous demands and abuses of serious Steelhead fishermen."

  • Machined from solid 7075 bar stock aluminum
  • Titanium hub
  • Bomb-proof hard coat anodized finish
  • Sealed ABEC 7 stainless steel bearings
  • 1 year manufacturers warranty
  • Available in solid backplate (Mykiss I) and ported (Mykiss II) designs

First Impression:
A redesign of the Hanson, eh? I was skeptical that a reel could improve upon the original. Boy, was I wrong! After discussing the refinements with the reels creator, comparing notes between the two designs, and fishing them side-by-side, I am now convinced the reel has meet it's lofty goals. While the introduction of the Mykiss was rocky, the final product is now the "go-to" reel in my Steelhead arsenal.

Ratings: (out of 10)
CriteriaRating # 

Excellent! All of the hype seems to be warranted. While the heavier spool (than the Hanson) has slightly increased the reels startup, the top-end bearings and increased mass have produced a reel that's still silky smooth and pull-casts or swing-casts (B.C. style) much better than the original. While the bearings do seem to make a little noise (bearing rumble) which is more pronounced on the solid backplate model (the solid backplate acts like a drum, amplifying the sound) it clearly does not affect the reels performance and I'll chalk it up to aesthetics. The issues of line piling and premature wear to the clicker mechanism have also been resolved.

While a $450.00 (USD) price tag is obviously on the spendy side, a top-end custom reel for a price not to much higher than manufactured reels like the Islander or Bob James keeps it's rating well within the acceptable range. I definitely feel I got what I paid for.

The tolerances on the Mykiss are as good as it gets. It should be noted that on the reels initial release, some reels suffered from a slight distortion of the palming surface, evidently caused by hand-buffing the reels finish. While the issue was almost unnoticeable on most reels, the finishing process was altered to correct the problem and all of the affected reels were recalled and reworked. The reel features the same durable hard coat anodizing as the original Hanson, but with a low-glare matte finish. The new titanium hub design may or may not help the reels start-up, but it certainly fixes the problem of premature clicker failure the Hanson is prone to.

The matched sealed stainless bearings were also upgraded from ABEC 5 to ABEC 7. While the break-in period on a Mykiss may be even longer than the Hanson, it's a smooth runner right out of the box.

If you're used to fishing a Hanson, the first thing you'll notice is the newly centered reel foot eliminates the line piling the original was prone to. The Mykiss has also kept the recessed tapered handles and pocket washers of the original. While initially I disliked the design, I've found that it does a better job than any other design of preventing fouling and becomes quite natural very quickly. You can also take advantage of the large finger holes if you prefer, with or without removing the handles. The unique clicker mechanism remains, which is the most glove-friendly design I've seen to date.

Aesthetically, the new matte black finish is good looking while maintaining the durability of the Hanson's. The fully ported model is very true to the original, but with a more elegant looking recessed titanium hub cover. While the solid backplate Mykiss I (the model I have) is definitely not the same "looker" as the ported model and a touch heavier, it does serve an important purpose - keeping the reel free of debris. Anyone who's fished a Hanson knows how touchy a high-tolerance reel can be, and the solid backplate certainly makes a difference.

I LOVE this part. How many "features" can a centerpin possibly have! It's got everything you'd expect for a high caliber reel, like extremely low start-up and a smooth high quality bearings. The intelligently designed anti-fouling knobs, oversized finger holes, and easy yet unobtrusive clicker mechanism are nice touches.

Plus / Minus:
Smooth BearingsPrice
Thoughtful Design 

I've beat on my Mykiss for half a season now, and have fished it from the Great Lakes to B.C., down to Florida and back without an issue. The Mykiss is definitely a top performing centerpin and I find myself choosing it over my Hanson frequently. I know, rough life! It's certainly attained what it set out to do.

Where to Buy:
The Mykiss is available in the US directly from the manufacturer:
Mykiss Reels
67 Madison St.
Coopersville, MI

or by phone at 616.837.1464

Canadian Orders
Canadian distribution is through J.C Custom Tackle.
Contact John Collina at 905.765.8336

Manufacturers Information:
The Mykiss Reels website is being redesigned and is not available at the time of review.

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