this was 2 weeks ago, for me this looks like the last fishing trip of 2017, perfect time to try out the new reel and see if it becomes into a keeper or better put it for sale while is still new ;D Well, meet some guys at my work that wanted to go fishing before the xmas and new year parties so, I contacted one of my friends with a panga charter service and went fishing on dec 16th, the weather was expected to be bit windy, cloudy and chill but I couldnt said no cuz I wanted to try my new makaira 15, it was my early xmas present to myself. so, I was more into checking the reel on the water, switch speeds, handle it, etc and having a good time with this new friends than expecting catch lots of fish. I can say the Mak-15 feels lot better than my fathom 40ld2, I know this is something expected when comparing a $300 reel vs a $500, but still I was afraid to find it not much different but still $200 more expensive, for my luck and without getting into details of the quality of the parts, etc, I found it better for my use because its smaller and easier to palm on the rod so, you have a better overall grip and control of the reel that for me and my small hands its a great plus over tall reels, the high speed with 33" per turn let me fight the fish better than 42" per turn on the fathom 40ld2, so you can keep preasure on the fish at every moment. this time I use only 20# at strike and the fish I caught were on the small/medium size so, drag was never a problem but it feels great to know that I have a small tank that have the powa to fight anything on this waters if needed, well too much about the reel, sorry its my first $500 reel , hopefully on my next trip I catch something bigger to put it on a test, now lets see some pics. Going to our destination, Gonzaga Bay, plenty of road still to drive on the water we go weapons of choice for the day, Mk-15SEa on a phenix AXIS 820H and a Baja Special on a seeker 6460XH, I didnt use the Baja combo at all this time, wanted to force myself to test the mak15 on inshore trolling and bottom fishing. fishing was as expected really low, mostly because the wind was stronger than expected on the weather forecast and we couldnt troll near from the rocks or cast lures, it was until it was getting later by 3pm when the wind stop blowing and the sun appeared for a short time, sun woke up the fish and they were hungry, we managed to get some on the last hours of daylight. first one was a nice Cabrilla grouper then I caught this decent YT then my friend got his YT, look at that big smile after spending 5 hours with no fish and finally found them few moments later a beautiful grouper came to the boat the bite got stopped and we tried some jigging, casting and bait this beautiful fish ate a small swimbait, it fought really nice for its size, I though I had a grouper, but it was a mexican hogfish. at the very end of the day and actually when we already called a day, we were going in out way to the ramp which is located inside of a small bay, but because of the windy conditions the captain was driving the boat really slowly so I decided to throw a trolling lure on our way out, well just before 5 minutes from the ramp this beatiful grouper came to play and thats how the fishing trip ended, happy with finding this new fishing friends, happy from a nice day on the water, happy to had a 2017 with more time on the water and happy to have a reel that I found it great for my needs. feliz navidad amigos and wishing you a great 2018 year with lots of fishing trips.