The Cheeky Limitless earned praise from everyone who used it – I especially appreciated the reel’s durability and toughness. I tend to bang around a bit when I’m wade-fishing, and my gear gets bumped, bashed, and ground into river grit on occasion. The Limitless took ample abuse and still performed flawlessly. The drag offered smooth control of the line even after being ground into a sandbar, and the large arbor hauled in line quickly. However, the Cheeky did weigh a bit more than others in the class, and it was the highest priced as well. But all in all, the Cheeky Limitless proved it is a solid performer in the trout reel category.
The Cheeky Limitless 375 provided great performance and outstanding toughness during testing. The Limitless features the largest diameter arbor in the class, meaning fast, efficient line retrieval. But the Cheeky is 33 percent heavier than the Sage Spectrum, and those extra ounces add up after a long day of casting.
Weight & Balance
The machined aluminum body and spool of the Cheeky Limitless 375 are burly and durable, but also a bit heavy. The large sealed gasket drag system also seems to add a bit to the weight. Though the difference between the Limitless and the lightest reel in this class is just a couple ounces, I felt that weight differential throughout a long day of casting.
Spool Size and Line Retrieval
The sealed gasket drag system allowed fine adjustments to line tension and there was no ‘drifting’ in the drag setting after repeated use. Additionally, the ultra-large spool of the Limitless grabs line rapidly, pulling in upwards of 11 inches per full rotation. That helps get fish on the reel faster than most of the other reels, meaning it’s easier to control the fish and get them safely into the net. Since one of the basic rules of catch-and-release fishing is to minimize stress on the fish, less time fighting them during retrieval increases the fishes’ survival rates.
Durability and Drag Performance
Cheeky designers integrated the reel foot into the reel body – the foot is machined out of the same aluminum stock as the body – for added strength and stability, and that design works perfectly. The reel sat rock-solid on every rod it was mounted on. Scrabbling around riverside rocks, through brambles and thickets, and pushing over boat gunnels and raft frames did not affect the reel’s performance or appearance at all. The sealed drag system showed no sign of wear or loss of effectiveness after several weeks of use. The large sealed drag system operates silently – no click on line pickup, nor ‘zing’ on line output – and that put off some testers.
Fit and Finish
The simple design of the Cheeky Limitless has a classically elegant feel. The open spoked frame appears robust, yet airy. The spool’s frame features a wide, exposed rim for easy palming when big fish take off on a run. The large knurled drag control knob can be adjusted with a simple push of the finger for one-handed control.