Tern 400/500 review, good and bad

Fishdood

Fishgistics
Sep 30, 2012
468
1,189
San Marcos, CA
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Name
Austin
Boat
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*Disclaimer* I'm not Pro Staff for anyone, I buy all my own stuff and I will tell you if something sucks or doesn't. No favorites.

Started out with a Tern 400 (first batch available in stores), the engage/disengage lever felt very weird and wasn't engaging the spool for a few cranks sometimes, also it was making excess noise, something was not right. Accurate offered to replace it right away and they did.

Second Tern 400, first trip out 3 casts later hook a bonito and the drag freezes and then is all notchy. Got the fish to the boat and tried to mess with it a bit but the drag was done. Talked to Accurate again and they replaced it with a Tern 500 for me right away.

The 500 has been good so far, taken it on a few trips, caught decent size YT and even a 60lb BFT on it. Drag seems good and smooth still although it seems super light for what they claim, have to have the star very tight to get a decent amount of drag. Also the spool seems very loose even with the tension knob all the way in. So I guess it is what it is.

I like the other reels they make (I own Valiants and ATDs) but personally I wouldn't buy another Tern as I feel its a little too "cheap" and not what I would expect from Accurate, but for the price I get it.

Customer service is great and they always offered to fix or replace instantly.
 
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abj5150

Service Manager, Advisor and Customer Support.
Advertiser
  • Sep 18, 2012
    445
    274
    USA
    Name
    Al
    Boat
    Whatever I can get on
    *Disclaimer* I'm not Pro Staff for anyone, I buy all my own stuff and I will tell you if something sucks or doesn't. No favorites.

    Started out with a Tern 400 (first batch available in stores), the engage/disengage lever felt very weird and wasn't engaging the spool for a few cranks sometimes, also it was making excess noise, something was not right. Accurate offered to replace it right away and they did.

    Second Tern 400, first trip out 3 casts later hook a bonito and the drag freezes and then is all notchy. Got the fish to the boat and tried to mess with it a bit but the drag was done. Talked to Accurate again and they replaced it with a Tern 500 for me right away.

    The 500 has been good so far, taken it on a few trips, caught decent size YT and even a 60lb BFT on it. Drag seems good and smooth still although it seems super light for what they claim, have to have the star very tight to get a decent amount of drag. Also the spool seems very loose even with the tension knob all the way in. So I guess it is what it is.

    I like the other reels they make (I own Valiants and ATDs) but personally I wouldn't buy another Tern as I feel its a little too "cheap" and not what I would expect from Accurate, but for the price I get it.

    Customer service is great and they always offered to fix or replace instantly.
    I can certainly offer a fix for the additional issues you mention here. If you send your reel to my attention (Al), with a note about our conversation on BD, I can fix and turn it around pretty quickly.
     
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    GotMojo

    Almost A Member
    Jul 25, 2010
    139
    15
    Los Angeles, CA
    Just returned from a 3 day and had similiar issues with my recently purchased Tern 400. Had a 30lb yellowfin on 20# going, the drag would completely back off on it's own. I had to keep tightening it throughout the battle. I've previously mentioned the same engage/disengage matter on this forum. Hoping to have it replaced, or upgrade as you did.
     
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    PezGallo21

    Advertiser
    Advertiser
    Jul 2, 2014
    369
    320
    Name
    Will
    Boat
    Golden Domer 21' Angler
    Just returned from a 3 day and had similiar issues with my recently purchased Tern 400. Had a 30lb yellowfin on 20# going, the drag would completely back off on it's own. I had to keep tightening it throughout the battle. I've previously mentioned the same engage/disengage matter on this forum. Hoping to have it replaced, or upgrade as you did.
    Give us a call and we will get you taken care of!
     
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    alwaysbendo

    Member
    Jun 28, 2007
    858
    73
    El segundo
    Name
    Vinnnnn
    Boat
    23' seacraft
    I like my 400s.. caught a good amount of fish on them. There pretty light and smooth.. wouldn’t fish anything more than 30 thp
     
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    solid72

    "Fishhard"
    Aug 27, 2010
    170
    218
    49
    Torrance, Ca
    Name
    Dave
    Boat
    Anyone that takes me
    I know it’s an old post, but have these Tern issues been fixed? I don’t want to buy something, just to see what needs adjustments as I notice this quite a bit on here and from a couple folks I personally know that bought them last year. I do want to give them a go, but again has the QC been handled? Thanks
     
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    shooter21

    Member
    Aug 30, 2014
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    Bakersfield
    Name
    Shane
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    Someday
    I have both of those Terns and a couple more and they have proved excellent to me. Only star drag capable of handling bft and turn around and use for yt. I wouldnt hesitate.
     
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    shooter21

    Member
    Aug 30, 2014
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    I pulled my 80# off my penn trq40n because I dont fish it and put it on my 600n and it took it all with room for a top shot so I think your golden on line capacity. The ball is ok if you roll your hand up top and not to the side of the handle. Took me a minute to figure out. You just dont want the holes touching your skin or it will blister. You actually have more turning strength with your hand positioned up top to push down when you crank
     
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    politadisa

    Newbie
    Apr 30, 2020
    19
    2
    25
    FRANCE
    Name
    poliha
    Boat
    Boat
    I fished them all last weekend and didnt have any problems.
    Started out with a Tern 400 (first batch available in stores), the engage/disengage lever felt very weird and wasn't engaging the spool for a few cranks sometimes, also it was making excess noise, something was not right. Accurate offered to replace it right away and they did. Kodi nox
     
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    Tunatamer89

    kill fish
    Aug 17, 2008
    84
    11
    NP
    Name
    Kyle
    Boat
    some
    Just had a chance to fish my new 400. First fish i got bit on, tried to engage the reel and it sounded like the clicker was on and couldn't engage. The only way i could get the lever to engage properly was putting pretty good tension on the spool when line was ripping off the reel when bit. continued to use the reel regardless of issue and managed 4 nice grade tuna on it, but wondering if this is a ongoing issue? or can something be done? never had a issue with any reel engaging from freespool when getting bit before, no too stoked currently..
     
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    abj5150

    Service Manager, Advisor and Customer Support.
    Advertiser
  • Sep 18, 2012
    445
    274
    USA
    Name
    Al
    Boat
    Whatever I can get on
    Just had a chance to fish my new 400. First fish i got bit on, tried to engage the reel and it sounded like the clicker was on and couldn't engage. The only way i could get the lever to engage properly was putting pretty good tension on the spool when line was ripping off the reel when bit. continued to use the reel regardless of issue and managed 4 nice grade tuna on it, but wondering if this is a ongoing issue? or can something be done? never had a issue with any reel engaging from freespool when getting bit before, no too stoked currently..
    Definitely not normal. Needs some checking out to determine the issue. Possibly an upgrade to prevent problems in the future.
     
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    J blair

    Almost A Member
    Jul 6, 2019
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    J blair
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    Charter
    Just tested an early model ser. 8x. Got 15lb off full spool. I haven't really used it. Will drag increase after it gets broken in?
     
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    abj5150

    Service Manager, Advisor and Customer Support.
    Advertiser
  • Sep 18, 2012
    445
    274
    USA
    Name
    Al
    Boat
    Whatever I can get on
    Just tested an early model ser. 8x. Got 15lb off full spool. I haven't really used it. Will drag increase after it gets broken in?
    Drag won't increase after broken in. You should be getting more drag, but you really have to tighten the star. If you can bring the reel to Accurate I can set it up to get more drag. It is an easy fix.
     
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