Fin-Nor Marquesa Review: Single & Two Speed Lever Drag Reels

Fin-Nor Marquesa Review: Single & Two Speed Lever Drag Reels

Noble in her title, she stands among the high heritage reels that frequent sportfishing vessels. The Fin-Nor Marquesa collection is both striking in appearance and effective on deck. With models in single and two-speed lever drag options, Anglers can put them to use against the strongest saltwater species. Marquesa reels excel with spools that are full of braided fishing line. They have the drag to take on fearsome finned giants and the torque to bring them in. Hook into the heavy details in the following review.

Fin-Nor Marquesa Lever Drag Reel

Fin-Nor Marquesa Two Speed Reel
The Fin-Nor Marquesa Two-Speed Lever Drag Reel

Product: Fin-Nor Marquesa Single & Two-Speed Lever Drag Reels.

Overall Ranking: 90 out of 100.

Price: High middle to lower high range.

Company/Owner: Zebco Brands / W. C. Bradley Co.


Intro To Fin-Nor Marquesa Reels

Using a compact design and lightweight 6061 aluminum, Fin-Nor manufactures the Marquesa with precision machining. The intent of the Marquesa is to handle large gamefish on a small size reel. What makes this possible is its smooth carbon fiber drag backed up with both ratchet and a one-way roller bearing anti-reverse.

Fin-Nor Logo
Fin-Nor Company Logo

Superlines such as Daiwa J Braid or Sufix Performance Braid put on that extra length so necessary when using smaller spools. They allow the Fin-Nor Marquesa to fish its full potential. Whether dropping back on the troll or running bait with a stand-up boat rod, Marquesa reels stand up to the challenge.

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Fin-Nor Marquesa Models, Specs, & Features

Marquesa Single-Speed Models

– MA12B   – MA16B   – MA20B  

– MA20TB   – MA30B   

Marquesa Two-Speed Models

– MA20IIB   – MA30IIB

– MA40IIB   – MA50IIB

Fin-Nor Marquesa Single-Speed Specs

Marquesa conventional reels give anglers size options starting as light as the MA12B. It rates at 270-yards of 15 lb monofilament or 270-yards of 50 lb braid. One size up to the MA16B gives 290-yards of 20 lb mono or 400-yards of 50 lb braid. In the middle are the MA20B and the MA20TB (Top Bar) which each hold the same 300-yards of 20 lb mono or 530-yards of 50 lb braid.

Moving up to the largest MA30B single-speed Marquesa will provide 320-yards of 30 lb mono or 670-yards of 50 lb braid. Fin-Nor Marquesa single-speed reels all turn on a 5 bearing system plus the anti-reverse bearing. Their gear ratios are fast and consistent among the models at 6.1:1.

As for drag ratings, the smaller two models have a strike resistance of 15 and max of 23 lbs. Larger Marquesa single-speed reels have a strike resistance of 18 lbs and max of 40. Compact and light in the hand, weights start as low as 20 oz and get up to 27.4 oz in the size 30 model. Last but not least, inches per crank come in at 43 on the smaller two models and 51 on the larger 20 & 30 size reels.

Fin-Nor Single-Speed Reel
The Fin-Nor Marquesa Single-Speed Lever Drag Conventional Reel

Fin-Nor Marquesa Two-Speed Specs

For both high-gear cranking quickness and low-gear grinding ability, Fin-Nor makes the Marquesa two-speed reels. Line ratings on the 20 and 30 size models are exactly the same as the single-speed versions above. The 40 and 50 sizes don’t come in single-speed and they hold even more line. MA40IIB reels wrap 440-yards of 30 lb mono or 700-yards of 50 lb braid. The largest size 50 holds 355-yards of 40 lb mono or 1000-yards of 65 lb braid.

Like their single-speed counterparts, Fin-Nor Marquesa two-speed reels operate on 5 bearings and a one-way anti-reverse bearing. They too feature a dog style ratcheting anti-reverse system as a backup. Gear ratios on the two-speed models show the obvious split ratings. The smaller 20 and 30 size reels are actually faster in high gear than the single speed models at 6.3:1. They drop into a low gear ratio of 3.1:1. Marquesa two-speed sizes 40 and 50 slow a bit with a high gear ratio of 5.2:1 and low of 2.8:1.

Drag resistance moves up on two-speed Fin-Nor Marquesa reels in comparison to the single-speed models. You’ll get 25 lbs at strike and 45 max with the smaller 20 and 30 models. The two-speed sizes have roughly the same strike drag and 55 lbs at max. More gears mean a heavy reel and so their weights range from 28.7 to 34.2 ounces. Finally, inches per crank depends upon which gear you’re in. The two smaller reels turn 53″ in high or 26″ in low gear. The larger models crank 50″ in high or 27″ in low gear.

Fin-Nor Marquesa Two-Speed Reel
The Fin-Nor Marquesa Two-Speed Lever Drag Conventional Reel – Harness Lugs Up

Spotlight Features

6061-T6 Aluminum Frames

Fin-Nor Marquesa reels are incredibly strong yet keep the weight down because of their 6061-T6 aluminum frames. Often found in use within the aerospace industry, 6061-T6 aluminum provides durability and strength to the compact design of Marquesa reels. It resists corrosion, warpage from heat stress, and you’ll never experience frame twist while under load.

Precision Setting Lever Drag Dial

Marquesa Lever Drag Dial
Click By Click Settings On The Lever Drag Dial

Part of the attraction that anglers find in Fin-Nor Marquesa reels is drag resistance from free spool to striking range.

While many lever drag reels operate smoothly and efficiently from strike to max drag, the settings aren’t always accurate from free spool to strike. Fin-Nor Marquesa reels fish with precision drag settings, even in the range of lightest resistance.

Smooth Carbon Fiber Disc Drag

Layers of dense carbon fiber discs pile on top of a metal drag washer to provide a steady, smooth peel of line. The slightest push forward of the drag lever out of free spool will engage the washers All the up the dial to max drag, you’ll hear each click as the drag tension mounts. Use the small dial at the base of the handle to fine tune resistance in free spool so your casts will come out flawless.

Dual Anti-Reverse System

Fin-Nor Marquesa reels utilize two separate anti-reverse systems that work in conjunction to help put the brakes on fish. You can hear the clicking of the pawl as you retrieve line due to its ratchet-like design. An area of complaint on smaller models, many anglers would prefer to see only the anti-reverse bearing instead of both systems.

Marquesa Reel Trademark Logo

The fact remains that two anti-reverse systems support the drag and gears better than one. Consider the dog gear as backup support while the stopper bearing imparts an instant hook set. If you don’t mind some mechanical work, you can remove the pawl of the dog gear so disabling the noisy system.

Centrifugal Cast Control (Single-Speed)

Presenting another advantage to jig throwing anglers is a built-in centrifugal cast control system on all open top single-speed models. This type of spool control slows the speed as your cast reaches its apex, helping to prevent line overwrap that leads to bird’s nests. It uses tabs that protrude as a result of the centrifugal force and touches the spool, thus controlling the speed of rotation.

Easy Press Gear Button (Two-Speed)

At the base of the handle on the two-speed Fin-Nor Marquesa models is an easy to reach gear shift button. A simple tap or press of this button switches the gears from high to low, or vice versa. Changing gears requires that you stop reeling for only the moment it takes to tap the button and get your hand back on the knob.

Ergo Knob On A Crank Shaft Handle

Marquesa Ergo KnobSpeaking of handles and knobs, Fin-Nor Marquesa reels feature an oval palm-fit style knob with an ergonomic rubber grip. The strong aluminum handle uses a cutout design in order to help reduce weight. It turns towards the frame of the reel as it nears the knob to increase cranking leverage.

Clicker & Metal Rod Foot

For trolling or still rod holder placement, all Marquesa reels come equipped with a loud clicker on the side opposite the handle. On the bottom of each reel is a sturdy metal reel foot securely attached with high-grade set screws. Note that the size 40 & 50 Marquesa two-speed reels also come with inset harness lugs.

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Pros & Cons 

Pros Of Fin-Nor Marquesa Reels

Marquesa reels reduce the size and weight of your offshore setup but offer the same power as many larger clunky brands. Durability is their strong suit as their physical material can withstand the toughest forces of nature. They include every feature necessary for success against powerful sailfish, tuna, dorado, and similar species. A super smooth drag resistance, cast control system, and a 6061 aluminum frame combine to make the Marquesa a high-performance reel.

Cons Of Marquesa Reels

Fin-Nor Marquesa reels match up with other premium brands like the Accurate Boss series, but with poorer availability in parts. Reports from anglers suggest that Zebco takes quite some time to ship replacement parts for certain model reels. The Marquesa appears to make that list. One fisherman reports having to wait over a year to receive parts needed to repair his reel. This is an issue much less likely to occur with brands like Penn Reels, who makes their parts widely available.

Best Fishing Use / Application

With single-speed models as small as a size 12 and two-speeds up to size 50, Fin-Nor Marquesa reels cover a lot of saltwater fishing grounds. From light inshore use on Spotted Bay Bass and California Halibut to larger pelagics such as tuna or King mackerel, Marquesa reels cover it.

Anglers can fish the Marquesa with monofilament line, though it’s compact stature makes it better suited to braid. Whether casting, deep dropping, yo-yo style iron fishing, or fly-lining live bait, Fin-Nor Marquesa is up to the task.

Fin-Nor Customer / Reel Support

Despite the reports of lagging shipments on required parts, Zebco does its utmost to provide quality customer service. All reels come with the backing of a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. This, of course, does not include wear or breakage due to neglect or misuse. Anglers can visit the Fin-Nor website to read up on FAQ’s, find Contact Info, or the location of their nearest service center.

Final Thoughts

90 out of 100 anglers approve of Fin-Nor Marquesa reels

Fin-Nor Marquesa reels make a fine addition to any offshore arsenal. Whether it’s lagoon-style fishing or deep ocean drifts that call them into action, they have the power and endurance to finish the battle. At a cost right in line with similarly constructed name brand reels, Fin-Nor scores a straight 90 percent. Better availability of parts and inclusion of more advanced technologies would move the Marquesa up to top tiered status.

What are your thoughts or experiences on Fin-Nor Marquesa reels? Don’t hesitate to ask a question or leave an observation in the comment section below. Until next time; keep your lines tight, hooks wet, and your smiles full of salt. Thanks for reading,



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