The Shakespeare Catera comes in front- and rear-drag models.

The Shakespeare Catera comes in front- and rear-drag models.

In the past few years, several tackle makers have introduced top-of-the-line spinning reels that cost $200, even $300. That's a sizable price tag for bass and other freshwater anglers to swallow.

However, the technological advancements of recent years have transformed spinning tackle into reliable, durable gear, justifying such a hefty retail price.

Give Shakespeare credit. The 103-year-old South Carolina manufacturer recently introduced an affordable spinning reel with a construction and features similar to those high-priced open-face reels.

The Catera spinning reel line-up is loaded with enough features to make it Shakespeare's high-end spinning model. And its suggested retail price won't require a bank loan. At a price of less than $30, this may be the best reel deal in the tackle business.

The Catera features a five-bearing design; large titanium line roller; smooth, six-disc drag system (with stainless steel and oiled felt washers); machined aluminum spool; and choice of right- or left-hand retrieve.

Impressively, the Catera is available in either a front- or rear-drag system. That is a choice not often found with one product line.

Four models of front-drag Catera are available, ranging from light-freshwater to medium-freshwater in size. The rear-drag models include three reels of similar size.

The Catera appears to be a versatile, high-quality spinning reel that won't hurt the wallet too badly to own.

For more information, contact Shakespeare at (803) 754-7000 or visit