Truth Reels Review – SG & SGN Lever Drag Conventional Reels

Truth Reels Review – SG & SGN Lever Drag Conventional Reels

Wes Seigler, the owner of Truth Reels, first made his name racing bicycles and later became known for designing them. Despite all the time spent in the bicycle industry, Wes never lost his love for saltwater fishing. His passion for fishing eventually won out and Wes created Release Reels (now Truth Reels).

Update: Since the original drafting of this post, Truth has changed names to SEiGLER. The company now goes by the name SEiGLER Fishing Reels. Despite the name changes, the reels are as good or better than ever before. This update builds upon the original SG Reel review with the addition of the SGN (Small Game Narrow).

Truth SG & SGN Saltwater Baitcasting Reels

Truth Reels SG Baitcaster
Small Game Lever Drag Conventional Reel By Truth, Now SEiGLER

Product: Truth SG (Small Game) & SGN (Small Game Narrow) Saltwater Baitcasting Reels.

Overall Rank: 90 out of 100.

Price: Middle range.

Company/Owner: SEiGLER Fishing Reels / Wes Seigler.

Website: Seigler.Fish.

Intro To Truth (SEiGLER) SG & SGN Saltwater Reels

Some anglers might remember the Release reels from seeing them used on offshore trips in earlier days. Today’s models pack even more power while dropping extra ounces of weight than ever before. As Release Reels became Truth Reels and has now changed to SEiGLER, so too have the reels transformed.

The original Release is now the SEiGLER SG. It’s lighter and packed with even more power. With the addition of the SGN narrow spool model, jig casters can take full advantage of the SEiGLER Small Game model as well. Check out the SG in action in the video below:

View SG And SGN Reels On Amazon

Truth Reels – SG & SGN Models, Specs & Features


SEiGLER manufactures reels without offering different sizes as most companies do. Instead, they make different reels that perform for different fishing scenarios. For instance: if you’re fishing offshore with the possibility of hooking larger species, consider the SEiGLER Large Game Reel. Like the SG, it too comes in a narrow spool model. The reels are strikingly similar in comparison as the LG is basically a beefed up version of the original SG Reel.


SEiGLER Small Game Narrow Reel
SEiGLER (Truth) Small Game Narrow In Blue And Smoke

SG & SGN Reel Specifications

I mentioned that Truth SG & SGN reels were light (12.8 oz and 11.8 oz respectively). They’re also extremely tough and durable. Small in stature perhaps, but they’re able to hold onto an incredible amount of force with their carbon fiber drag systems. The strike drag setting on both models applies an impressive 18 pounds of resistance, and full drag maxes at 28 pounds.

Truth reels put speed into the SG & SGN models with a gear ratio of 6:1 and 38″ of line per crank. Expect to use 275 yards of your favorite 20 lb monofilament line or 475 yards of 50-pound braided line to fill up the SG spool. The SGN rates at 375-yards of 30 lb or 275-yards of 50 lb braided line only.

If you’d like to see the full breakdown and maintenance of the SG reel you can find it on He has a great tutorial that shows the step by step process.

Features Of SG & SGN Reels


Crankarm Style Handle
A Strong Aluminum Crankarm Keeps The Handle Close To The Reel-Frame To Enhance Leverage

Offshore anglers love a reel with a powerful handle. During those times when the fight gets nasty, fishermen need to get down and apply a lot of force on a reel.

The crank-style arm design allows fishermen a strong handle when the time comes to put the wood to angry sportfish. The crank arm stays close to the frame giving much better leverage.

Beefed Up Anti Reverse

Dog Gear And Stopper Bearing
Disassembly Of The One-Way Stopper Bearing And The Dog Gear Anti-Reverse Systems

Truth reels put a little more strength into the dog gear and stopper bearing when they designed the SG. Cheaper systems can break down over time and when they do the reel will slip or spin. An anti-reverse system also needs to hold strong on a hot drag fish.

Having a dual system, SG & SGN reels provide instant hook setting stoppage with a one-way roller bearing (aka anti-reverse bearing). As a strong backup, the reels use a ratchet and pawl system known as a dog gear.

Instant Gear Strike Button

Small Game Instant Strike Button
The Instant Strike Button

Don’t worry about having to flip a switch or turn the handle to engage the bail. The well situated Strike Button puts the reel into immediate gear when you’re ready to set the hook.

This rare feature allows the angler to switch the lever drag reel into free spool regardless of the lever position.

Detent Lever System

This term applies to the markings along the arc of the lever drag. It arrests the lever when it reaches each position and anglers can feel it secure into place. The detent lever system makes it easy to fine tune the drag and keeps it in place once it’s set.

Check SG And SGN Reels On Amazon

Pros & Cons Of Truth Reels SG Baitcaster


Anglers enjoy the SG Baitcaster mainly because of its small size and lightweight. After holding a rod and reel for 10-12 hours straight, a lighter reel looks very attractive.

SEiGLER Reels Lifetime Warranty
SEiGLER (Truth) Reels Come With The Backing Of A Lifetime Warranty

For such a small reel the Truth SG baitcaster doesn’t let up under stress. They land the kind of fish you wouldn’t expect to see caught by a reel their size.

For a strong reel built out of durable material (6061 T-6 aluminum), the SG comes at a good value. All Truth Reel parts, materials, and manufacturing are made in the USA with the exception of the bearings. SEiGLER reels also come with the backing of a Lifetime Warranty.


Mechanically speaking, there aren’t many negative words to say about SG or SGN reels. For the angler who is just starting or doesn’t fish more than once a season, the cost may be out of bounds. For the avid angler that wants to pair a graphite or composite rod to a small powerful reel, they have plenty of value. But that brings up another point. Matching the lightweight SG with a heavier fiberglass rod could result in an awkward setup.

Who Is Best Suited To The Truth Reels SG Baitcaster?

The SG reel best suits anglers looking inshore for small shark or larger halibut. It makes an effective weapon offshore against strong Yellowtail, Amberjack, or larger rockfish species. If you need more power and line capacity for stronger offshore gamefish, check out the SEiGLER Large Game Reels. For the beginner (or not as frequent an angler), reels like the Penn Fathom, Penn Squall, and Daiwa Sealine provide excellent performance with a lower budget.

Truth Reel Support

Truth Reel Parts
Truth Parts Are Manufactured Entirely In The USA

Support at Truth Reels comes second to none. A big reason I say this has to do with their Lifetime Warranty. Any trouble with any Truth Reel products can be sent in for repair or replacement for a small processing fee.

Interested parties can also download the owner’s manual from Seigler.Fish. The manual comes with helpful information like how to set your lever drag, how to clean your reel, spooling tips, and oh yea, how to register your reel. Registration allows anglers to take advantage of the lifetime warranty but can be done quickly on their website.

Final Thoughts

Overall Ranking: 90 out of 100.

Truth SG & SGN baitcasters make the ninetieth percentile with bonus points for their lifetime warranty. Owners have every confidence in the performance of Truth Reels, East and West Coast alike. Wes Seigler tests the reels in some pretty awesome locations and they go back to the drawing board when he doesn’t like them. It’ll be interesting to see how SEiGLER Reels improves with the next generation of saltwater reels.

Have any questions or feedback about SG or SGN reels? Spend a few seconds and leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and tight lines until next time.



  1. Charles Parsons

    Hi Geoff. I own 3 Release/Truth reels and love 2 of them. The SG that I have is a 4yr old Release. It is an awesome reel to say the least in many respects. It’s tough enough to whip a 72lb AJ. Nuff said about that. The SG from Release makes over 30# of drag at full but you will get some side load. It comes with a clicker which is so quiet that it could never be heard unless it was real quiet and never heard over boat engines. Therefore to me it is by in large useless but not a deal killer since I don’t troll with it. As far as their claim that it holds 500 yds of 50#braid I believe that to be false. Mine barely held 300yds of 65# braid. I know there is a dia difference but not 200yds worth but once again not a deal killer. Ok. Here’s my gripe. The reel feet are enormous. So big that I have found a number of rods that won’t even accept the reel. I’m not sure what the Fuji style of grip is called but it’s the same style on the Shamono Trevala jigging rods. Those types of reel seats simply will not accept the Truth reels at all which really bothers me. Most jigging rods have these exact same reel seats. I live 200miles from the salt so all three of my Release/Truth reels were bought sight unseen which means the rods they’re riding on was bought the same way. I do my research so I know what I want but when my new reel will not fit on my new rod I find that very upsetting. Another area that I feel needs some attention is the rod clamp and the screws that hold it on. The clamp seems flimsy and should be more substantial. The screws that hold the clamp could be at least 1/8″ longer.

    Now having said all that. It’s a good reel if you can find a rod to fit it. The drag is the smoothest I’ve ever seen (glass). It’s an incredibly strong reel that can put the brakes on some hefty fish. It will amaze you for sure.
    Thank you for your interest in my input. I hope it was helpful

    1. Hello again Charles. I wanna start by thanking you for following through and providing that personal insight. I’m sure readers will find your experience with the Truth SG invaluable. Hopefully some other owners will come forward and add their experience as well. It would be interesting to know if other users found the same thing. As to having rod clamps too large to fit on the rods you bought, that’s crazy. Definitely some good information to be aware of.

      I’m going to send support over at Truth Reels an email letting them know about this review and the feedback you’ve provided. I’d like to hear if they’re aware of these issues and have any plans of correcting them. Thanks again Charles for relating your experience. Geoff.

  2. Marco

    For the record, Wes has taken note of the oversized reel footing issue, and corrected it on smaller SGN (narrow SG) and SS versions. Not sure if there’s an aftermarket footing for the SG.

    The handle/knob binding issue is a pain, but an occasional dab of Reel X will loosen it up just fine.

    When it comes to U.S. made higher end reels, you can’t go wrong with Penn Torque, Avet Raptor, and IMHO Seigler (formerly Truth, formerly Release).

    1. Hello again Marco and thanks again for adding such valuable info. Not sure about the rod footing either. Is it a welded footer on the SG reel or bolted on? I like what I see out of Truth reels as well. What causes concern for me is the attempt at communication without any answer. Truth is the only company I’ve had that with. I’ve a feeling if I bought a reel they would answer quite fast, but that’s not the way professional companies operate. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that my messages got lost in the shuffle or something. I also find it interesting when issues are brought up on social media posts only to be erased and ignored. It feels like any negative info is being swept under the rug. Geoff.

  3. Anthony Viscione

    Was looking to buy a Seigler SGN Lever Drag Reel. I am waiting on a custom Rod made with Fuji Standard Trigger Reel Seats TCSM size 16. Will the Seigler SGN fit with clamps and foot on this reel seat? Did they fix this issue yet?

    1. Hey there Anthony. I am aware of the issues with the SGN not matching up with certain rod sizes/makers. I do not, however, know for sure if SEiGLER has come up with a fix. I would reach out via their website
      Their contact info is at the bottom of their home page.

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