I’ve been fishing a couple of Cheeky reels for about three years now. I bought my first Cheeky, a Mojo 425, on a fly-fishing forum, second hand, and I liked it so much that I purchased its smaller brother a year later.
The Mojo is a 9/10 and has caught tuna in Hervey Bay for the past three autumns, along with trigger fish at Christmas Island. The Ambush 375 is for a 6/7, and mine has seen a lot of service. Bonefish at Christmas Island, bream and whiting on the local flats; blackfish, carp and salmon.
Both have had a hard life with some strong runs and the occasional dunking in salt water. Nothing has fazed them, and I’ve been more than impressed with their service. The drags are sealed and still as smooth as the day I got them, and for a mid-priced fly reel they really have been outstanding performers.
I recently got a chance to play with the Cheeky Boost 325, which as the name indicates is 3.25-inch diameter and targeted as a 2 to 4-weight reel for fresh or light saltwater use. The Boost Series includes three reels that range from 3 to 8 weight. All are fully machined from aerospace grade aluminium and feature a stacked, carbon disk drag that is sealed against water, sand and dirt intrusion.
The Boost 325 weighs in at a very light 4.3 ounces, which is lighter than most mobile phones. It is built very tough with solid screws holding the reel seat in place and a strong knurled spool cap to remove or swap spools. Capacity is 125 metres of 30 lb braid backing plus a 4-weight fly line.
Out on the water I found the Boost 325 a pleasure to use. It balanced perfectly with a favourite 4-weight rod and looked nice with the anodized green frame and black spool. The knurled drag knob on the back is easily accessed and gives a good range to the drag. There is a very light click as line leaves the spool under drag. Changing from left to right hand wind is as simple as reversing a bearing inside the spool. The handle is well shaped and easily comes to hand, with a chromed counter balance on the opposite side of the spool.
For a retail price of around $260 the Boost 325 is very good value. It’s aimed as a low to mid entry fly reel but from my experience with Cheeky reels it will last many years and be involved in as many fly fishing sojourns as you can fit in. I would back it to last and perform as well as reels double that price.