TPE Reel Power Handle: A Lightweight and Durable Option for Anglers


Fishing reels have come a long way in terms of technology and innovation over the years. One key component that has seen major improvements is the reel handle or knob. Reel handles need to be comfortable, lightweight, and durable to withstand constant cranking and torque applied by anglers. Recent advancements have led to reel handles made with technologically advanced materials like TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer).

TPE handles offer anglers an excellent blend of comfort, grip, and strength at a lighter weight than traditional metal or hard plastic handles. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at TPE material and the key benefits TPE reel handles provide to anglers.

What is TPE Material?

TPE stands for Thermoplastic Elastomer, a mix of plastic and rubber properties in one material. TPE has the flexibility and soft touch of rubber but can be melted and remolded like plastic. TPE is also sometimes referred to by brand names like Santoprene.

Key properties and advantages of TPE:

  • Flexible like rubber but processed like plastic
  • Soft and comfortable tactile feel
  • Excellent grip and anti-slip even when wet
  • Lightweight - less hand and arm fatigue than metal
  • Durable, absorbs impacts without cracking
  • Resilient, retains shape and performs across wide temperature range
  • Cost-effective alternative to expensive composites

TPE can be injection molded into just about any part or product. It's commonly used for seals, gaskets, grips, sporting goods, tools, and medical devices. The material has excellent properties that make it ideal for fishing reel handles.

Benefits of TPE Reel Handles

Here are some of the key benefits TPE reel handles provide anglers compared to traditional materials:


TPE has an elastomer soft rubber-like feel that's much easier on the hands than hard plastic or metal handles. The material contours to the hand, reducing pressure points and hand fatigue that can come from cranking metal handles all day. TPE absorbs impacts and vibration better than other materials.


Even when wet, TPE provides an excellent non-slip grip. The soft rubber coating has more "stick" than hard plastics that become slick when wet. TPE handles make it easier to grip and crank your reel all day long in any conditions.

Light Weight

TPE is much lighter than metal handles. Less weight reduces inertia, making it easier to start and stop the handle. This lessens fatigue on hands, wrists, and arms. Lighter handles paired with modern reel technology also increases cranking power.


While a softer rubbery material, TPE is extremely durable and withstands flexing, twisting, and torque forces applied when fighting powerful fish. TPE won't crack or chip like lower quality plastics. It holds up to sun, saltwater corrosion, and years of use.


TPE can be injection molded into an infinite number of handle shapes, sizes, and colors. Anglers can choose length, thickness, finger grooves, and other ergonomic features. Custom options like personalized engraving are also easier with TPE than metal handles.

Popular TPE Reel Handles

Many major fishing tackle manufacturers now offer reels with TPE handles stock or as an upgrade. Some popular models include:

  • Shimano Ultegra Spinning Reel
  • Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
  • Penn Battle II Spinning Reel
  • Abu Garcia Revo X Low Profile Baitcast Reel
  • Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel

While more expensive than baseline models, reels with TPE handles are still reasonably affordable. The handles are often upgradeable options on mid-range reels. High end reels designed for tournaments and intense fishing often come stock with lightweight TPE handles.

Angler Reviews of TPE Handles

Anglers that have used reels with TPE handles praise them for their comfort, grip, light weight, and durability. Here are some first-hand reviews from popular fishing forums:

“The TPE handles on my new Shimano reel are so much nicer than the hard plastic handles I'm used to. They have a soft rubber feel that's easy to grip and a lot easier on my hands when cranking all day.”

“I upgraded to a TPE knob for my baitcast reel and immediately noticed how much lighter it felt, while still being rock solid when I put the crank down fighting a big fish.”

“Even with sunscreen and water on my hands, I can still easily grip and turn the TPE handle on my spinning reel. It's got a tacky grip that metal handles lack.”

TPE handles have become popular upgrades for their blend of ergonomics, grip, and light weight. Anglers report the handles provide performance advantages while reducing hand strain.


TPE material has revolutionized fishing reel handles with its unique blend of soft-touch rubber grip, light weight, and unmatched durability. Compared to traditional materials, TPE offers anglers major advantages in comfort, control, and reduced fatigue when battling fish for hours on end. Major reel manufacturers now commonly use TPE handles on mid-range to high-end reels. Look for these lightweight, ergonomic handles if you're in the market for a new reel that will give you an edge on the water.

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