8 Best Trout Spinning Reels In 2024 Tested And Reviewed

Written By Shawn Lentz

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From the bow of the jon boat to the banks of your favorite stream or river, a good spinning reel is essential for any successful trout fishing trip. In this article, we'll help you navigate the top-rated reels on the market by narrowing it down to the eight best trout spinning reels on the market today.

Best Trout Spinning Reels

From budget-friendly options like the Pflueger President to high-performance reels like the Shimano Stradic FL, we've curated a selection along with a detailed buying guide to help you choose the perfect reel.

These are the exact trout reels that our staff of experts use day in and day out.

What Is The Best Fishing Reel For Trout?

The best fishing reel for trout is the Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel. We love how smooth this reel is and the Propulsion Line Management System drastically minimizes line twist. If you have ever fished fished spinners and spoons for trout, you know how much the line gets twisted.

The only downside to the Vanford is the price. It is a premium trout reel and as a result comes with a premium price.

If the price of the Shimano Vanford is out of your budget, we have some high quality trout reels for you below that will not break the bank.

What Size Spinning Reel For Trout?

The best size spinning reel for trout is 1000 to 2500 size reel, which is lightweight and ideal for trout in various environments.

A 1000 size spinning reel is ideal for throwing small spinners and lightweight spoons in small rivers and streams.

A 2500 size spinning reel is better for larger rivers and lakes, which require longer casts and heavier baits and lures.

Best Trout Spinning Reels At A Glance

8 Best Trout Spinning Reel Reviews

Below you will find in-depth reviews of our top 8 favorite trout reels, complete with what we like and don't like about each one.

You will also find links to the best prices online for each of the best trout reels.

Best Overall: Shimano Vanford

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

Taking the top spot as Best Overall Trout Reel, the Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel offers anglers an unparalleled combination of performance, durability, and precision. Known for their innovation and high-quality fishing gear, Shimano has once again exceeded expectations with the Vanford series.

The Vanford showcases a sleek and modern design constructed with premium materials for optimal performance. Its rigid HAGANE body ensures precise alignment of gears, providing a stable platform that enhances casting distance and power. The cold-forged HAGANE gear further amplifies the reel's durability, offering consistent smoothness and long-lasting performance.

Delivering exceptional performance on the water, the Shimano Vanford is a favorite among professional anglers and beginners alike. Its MicroModule Gear II technology enhances gear alignment, providing unmatched smoothness and reduced noise during retrieves. The SilentDrive feature reduces internal friction, resulting in a quieter and more efficient reel operation. Whether casting light lures or battling larger rainbow trout, the Vanford excels in both finesse and power applications.

Designed to handle a wide range of fishing techniques and species, the Shimano Vanford is a versatile tool for anglers of all skill levels. X-Ship technology ensures precise gear engagement, maximizing power transfer for more efficient retrieves. With a wide range of available sizes and gear ratios, anglers can choose the perfect Vanford model to suit their preferred fishing style.

The Vanford also boasts a reliable and smooth drag system that allows anglers to exert consistent pressure during the fight. The Cross Carbon Drag offers exceptional stopping power, preventing line breakage and ensuring a secure hookset. This feature is especially crucial when battling powerful fish, making the Vanford an excellent choice for saltwater and freshwater anglers alike.

With the Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel, casting precision is taken to new heights. The Long Stroke Spool design promotes longer and more accurate casts, allowing anglers to reach distant targets with ease. Combined with Shimano's Propulsion Line Management System, the Vanford minimizes line twists and wind knots, enhancing overall casting performance.

What We Liked

  • Advanced Technology: The Vanford features MicroModule Gear II and SilentDrive, providing smooth, quiet, and efficient reel performance.
  • Versatility: With various sizes and gear ratios, the Vanford adapts to a wide range of fishing techniques and species.
  • Durable Construction: The HAGANE body and cold-forged HAGANE gear ensure long-lasting performance and reliable gear alignment.
  • Powerful Drag: The Cross Carbon Drag offers exceptional stopping power to handle aggressive and powerful fish.
  • Enhanced Casting: The Long Stroke Spool and Propulsion Line Management System enable longer and more accurate casts.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Premium Price: The Shimano Vanford falls into the higher price range, making it a significant investment for some anglers.

The Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel is a game-changing reel. With its advanced technology, durable construction, and versatile performance. Anglers can trust Vanford's smooth and powerful operation to elevate their fishing experience to new levels.

Here's a great video showing the features of the Shimano Vanford while fishing for trout.


Best Trout Spinning Reel For The Money: Abu Garcia Revo3 X

Abu Garcia Revo3 X Spinning Reel

A re-engineered favorite, the Abu Garcia Revo3 X Spinning Reel provides anglers with a winning combination of performance, features, and affordability. Renowned for their quality fishing gear, Abu Garcia has created a reel that is lighter with a rock-solid frame.

The Revo3 X boasts a sleek and compact design, crafted to withstand the rigors of trout fishing. Its lightweight X-Craftic aluminum frame offers excellent corrosion resistance, making it suitable for any freshwater body you want to use it on. The Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system provides smooth and consistent drag performance, essential for handling the spirited fights of big and small trout alike.

Delivering impressive performance on the water, the Abu Garcia Revo3 X AMG-2 gearing system ensures precise gear alignment, resulting in smooth and efficient retrieves. The Rocket Spool Lip Design promotes longer casting distances, allowing anglers to reach elusive trout in various fishing environments.

As a dedicated trout reel, the Abu Garcia Revo3 X excels in delivering exceptional performance for trout anglers of all levels. Its compact size and lightweight construction allow for extended periods of comfortable fishing without sacrificing strength and durability. The reel's excellent line capacity and retrieval speed provide versatility in handling various fishing techniques and tactics for trout.

The Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system offers reliable and smooth drag performance, ensuring anglers can exert consistent pressure during battles with trout. The drag adjustment is precise, allowing for easy fine-tuning to match the preferences of different trout species and sizes.

Abu Garcia Revo3 X Spinning Reel offers excellent value for money. It provides anglers with top-notch features and performance at an affordable price, making it a practical choice for trout enthusiasts seeking a high-quality reel without breaking the bank.

What We Liked

  • Affordable Excellence: The Revo3 X offers high-performance features at a budget-friendly price, providing exceptional value for money.
  • Lightweight and Durable: The X-Craftic alloy frame ensures a lightweight yet robust design, suitable for various fishing environments.
  • Precision Gearing: The AMGearing system ensures smooth and efficient retrieves, enhancing overall reel performance.
  • Versatile Casting: The Rocket Spool Lip Design promotes longer casting distances for effectively targeting trout.
  • Smooth Drag: The Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system delivers consistent and reliable drag performance during intense trout battles.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited to Trout: While ideal for trout anglers, the Revo3 X is not specifically designed for other fishing styles or species.

For trout enthusiasts looking for exceptional performance without breaking the bank, the Abu Garcia Revo3 X Spinning Reel is the ultimate choice. Its budget-friendly price, lightweight construction, and versatile performance make it the Best Trout Reel For The Money.


Best Ultralight Spinning Reel For Trout: Shimano Stradic FL

Shimano Stradic FL Spinning Reel

The Shimano Stradic FL  emerges as the Best Ultralight Spinning Reel For Trout, combining cutting-edge technology, lightweight design, and precision engineering. Shimano has redesigned the Stradic FL for a whisper-quiet reel with exceptional finesse and sensitivity.

The Stradic FL showcases a durable, sleek, and compact design. Its Flex-free HAGANE Body ensures rigid construction and precise gear alignment, providing excellent stability during retrieves and casts. The X-Ship technology enhances power transmission, resulting in smooth and efficient reeling.

As an ultralight reel, the Shimano Stradic FL shines in delivering top-notch performance for trout fishing. The MicroModule II gear system reduces gear noise and vibration, offering unparalleled smoothness. The Long Stroke Spool design enhances casting distance, allowing anglers to reach skittish big trout without spooking them.

The Stradic FL offers remarkable versatility, making it a valuable tool for trout anglers of all skill levels. Its lightweight construction and comfortable grip ensure fatigue-free fishing, while the reel's precise drag system provides the finesse needed to handle delicate trout fishing situations.

The Stradic FL boasts a sensitive and responsive drag system, allowing anglers to apply the right amount of pressure. The drag is easily adjustable, enabling seamless transitions between light and heavy settings for different trout species and sizes.

Built with high-quality materials and meticulous engineering, the Shimano Stradic FL Spinning Reel is designed to withstand the demands of fishing for trout. The Coreprotect technology provides excellent water resistance, ensuring reliable performance in various fishing environments.

What We Liked

  • Ultralight Design: The Stradic FL is exceptionally lightweight, enhancing finesse and sensitivity for trout fishing.
  • Smooth Operation: The MicroModule II gear system reduces noise and vibration, delivering smooth and precise retrieves.
  • Excellent Casting: The Long Stroke Spool design promotes longer casting distances, critical for reaching elusive trout.
  • Versatility: The reel's comfortable grip and precise drag system cater to various fishing techniques and tactics for trout.
  • Durable Construction: The Stradic FL's HAGANE Body and Coreprotect technology ensure long-lasting performance.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Higher Price: The Shimano Stradic FL falls into a higher price range compared to other spinning reels, which may be a consideration for some anglers.

The Shimano Stradic FL stands tall as the Best Ultralight Spinning Reel For Trout, excelling in finesse, sensitivity, and durability. Its cutting-edge technology, lightweight design, and precise engineering make it a top choice for trout anglers seeking unmatched performance. Though it comes with a higher price tag, the Stradic FL's smooth operation, excellent casting capabilities, and versatile performance justify the investment.


Best Daiwa Spinning Reel For Trout: Daiwa Regal LT

Daiwa Regal LT Spinning Reel

Daiwa Regal LT offers anglers a winning combination of performance, affordability, and reliability. Daiwa has designed the Regal LT to be light but tough.

The Regal LT features a durable yet lightweight construction. Its graphite body and Air Rotor ensure an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, reducing fatigue during extended fishing sessions. The Digigear technology ensures precise gear meshing, providing a smooth and efficient reel performance.

As a Daiwa spinning reel, the Regal LT excels in delivering consistent performance on the water. The ATD drag system ensures smooth and powerful drag, which is crucial for handling aggressive trout. The Air Bail and ABS spool minimize line tangles and improve casting distance, enhancing the overall fishing experience.

Designed with trout in mind, the Daiwa Regal LT is versatile enough to handle various fishing techniques and conditions. Its balanced design and comfortable grip enable effortless control during finesse presentations or fighting larger trout.

The Regal LT features an Advanced Tournament Drag (ATD) system, providing anglers with precise and sensitive drag adjustments. This drag system allows smooth pressure application during trout battles, preventing line breakage and ensuring secure hooksets.

Delivering impressive features and performance at an affordable price point, the Daiwa Regal LT makes an excellent choice for budget-conscious trout anglers seeking a reliable and high-quality spinning reel.

What We Liked

  • Budget-Friendly Performance: The Regal LT offers exceptional features and performance at an affordable price.
  • Lightweight and Durable: The graphite body and Air Rotor provide a lightweight yet robust design for extended fishing comfort.
  • Smooth Operation: The Digigear technology ensures precise gear meshing and smooth, efficient reel performance.
  • Versatile Casting: The Air Bail and ABS spool enhance casting distance and reduce line tangles for trout anglers.
  • Sensitive Drag: The ATD drag system enables precise and sensitive drag adjustments during trout battles.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited Saltwater Use: The Regal LT is primarily designed for freshwater and may not withstand harsh saltwater conditions.

For trout anglers seeking a reliable and budget-friendly spinning reel, the Daiwa Regal LT is the top choice. Its lightweight yet durable construction, smooth operation, and sensitive drag system make it a worthy contender for trout fishing enthusiasts.


Best Budget Trout Fishing Reel: Pflueger President

Pflueger President Spinning Reel

The Pflueger President earns its spot as the best budget spinning reel for trout , providing anglers with an exceptional blend of affordability and reliable performance. Pflueger, a reputable name in fishing gear, has crafted the President Spinning Reel to cater specifically to budget-conscious anglers.

The Presidentfeatures a sleek and compact graphite body that houses a rugged, corrosion-resistant stainless steel main shaft and components. Pflueger offers a lightweight yet robust design, suitable for extended fishing sessions without fatigue. The stainless steel ball bearings provide smooth operation and resistance to corrosion.

Despite its budget-friendly price, the Pflueger President delivers high- performance on the water. Its smooth, multi-disc drag system provides consistent pressure during battles with trout, preventing line breakage and ensuring secure hooksets. The braid-ready spool design allows for direct spooling of braided lines without needing a monofilament backing.

The President is a versatile option for trout fishing enthusiasts. Its lightweight construction and comfortable grip enable effortless control during finesse presentations or when fighting larger trout. The reel's precise gear alignment ensures smooth retrieves, offering excellent casting performance and handling various fishing techniques.

Equipped with a sensitive and responsive drag system, the President allows anglers to apply the right amount of pressure during trout battles. The drag adjustment is easy to fine-tune, accommodating different trout species and sizes with ease.

Offering outstanding value, the Pflueger President is a high performer while being easy on your wallet. Its affordable price point doesn’t compromise on crucial features, making it an attractive choice for anglers seeking a high-quality trout reel without exceeding their budget.

What We Liked

  • Affordable Excellence: The President delivers remarkable features and performance at a budget-friendly price.
  • Lightweight and Durable: The graphite body and rotor provide a durable yet lightweight design for extended fishing comfort.
  • Smooth Operation: The stainless steel ball bearings ensure smooth retrieves and resistance to corrosion.
  • Versatile Casting: The President offers excellent casting performance, catering to various fishing techniques.
  • Sensitive Drag: The reel's sensitive drag system allows for precise pressure application during trout battles.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited Saltwater Use: While suitable for freshwater fishing, the President is not recommended for harsh saltwater conditions.

For trout anglers on a budget, the Pflueger President stands as the ultimate choice. It offers affordability and versatility in a durable, lightweight construction. With its smooth operation, precise drag system, and reliable build, the President helps ensure successful fishing experiences all season long.


Pflueger President:Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

Looking for a feather-weight rod and reel combo with killer value? Look no further than the Pflueger President/Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Spinning Rod and Reel Combo. Offering anglers an unbeatable combination of affordability and performance, this value-packed combo pairs the reputable Pflueger President Spinning Reel with the Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Spinning Rod.

The Pflueger President and Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Spinning Rod are carefully crafted to provide a seamless fishing experience. The President features a durable graphite body and rotor, ensuring a lightweight yet robust design for comfortable extended use. The Micro Lite Spinning Rod boasts a quality graphite blank with stainless steel guides, offering a sensitive and responsive platform for trout fishing.

The President's smooth, multi-disc drag system provides consistent pressure during trout battles, while the braid-ready spool design enables direct spooling of braided lines. The Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Spinning Rod exhibits excellent sensitivity, allowing anglers to detect subtle bites and react quickly. The rod's medium-light power and fast action make it ideal for handling trout of varying sizes.

Catering to a wide range of techniques and conditions, the rod and reel combos balanced design and comfortable grip allow anglers to cast with precision and fight trout effortlessly. Versatility abound, this combo is suitable for both novice and experienced trout anglers seeking an affordable and reliable setup.

The President's sensitive drag system ensures anglers can apply the right amount of pressure to secure successful hooksets. The reel's drag adjustment is easy to fine-tune, accommodating different trout species and sizes.

The Pflueger President/Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Spinning Rod and Reel Combo offer outstanding value for money. This budget-friendly package provides an excellent fishing setup for trout without compromising on essential features, making it an attractive choice for anglers seeking quality gear that is on budget.

RELATED: Best Trout Fishing Rods

What We Liked

  • Budget-Friendly Combo: The Pflueger President/Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Combo offers top-notch performance at an affordable price.
  • Lightweight and Durable: The President Spinning Reel and Micro Lite Spinning Rod feature quality materials for extended fishing comfort.
  • Smooth Operation: The reel's smooth drag system and the rod's sensitive blank provide excellent performance.
  • Versatility: The combo caters to various fishing techniques and conditions, making it suitable for anglers of all levels.
  • Easy to Use: This user-friendly combo is ideal for beginners or experienced anglers seeking an effortless setup.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited Saltwater Use: While suitable for freshwater fishing, the combo is not recommended for harsh saltwater conditions.

The Pflueger President/Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Spinning Rod and Reel Combo stand out as the Best Budget Trout Reel and Rod Combo, offering exceptional performance at an affordable price. With its smooth drag system, lightweight construction, and versatile rod design, this combo this budget-friendly combo will elevate your fishing adventures without stretching your budget.


Best Rated Trout Fishing Reel On Amazon: Okuma Ceymar

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

The Okuma Ceymar has garnered widespread acclaim from anglers for its reliable performance, quality construction, and corrosive resistance. 

The Ceymar boasts a durable and lightweight design. Its corrosion-resistant graphite body and rotor provide a lightweight yet robust build, ensuring long-lasting use even in demanding fishing conditions. The Precision Elliptical Gearing system ensures smooth and precise gear meshing for consistent retrieves.

As the top-rated trout fishing reel on Amazon, the Okuma Ceymar delivers exceptional performance on the water. Its multi-disc, oiled-felt drag system provides smooth and reliable drag performance, essential for handling aggressive trout. The reel's RESII computer-balanced rotor minimizes vibrations, ensuring a comfortable and efficient fishing experience.

Designed for versatility, the Okuma Ceymar adapts to various fishing techniques and tactics. Its lightweight construction and comfortable handle enable fatigue-free fishing, while the reel's precise gear alignment enhances overall casting and retrieval performance.

The Ceymar features a sensitive and responsive drag system, allowing anglers to apply precise pressure during battles with trout. The drag adjustment is easy to fine-tune, accommodating different trout species and sizes with ease.

With numerous positive user reviews on Amazon, the Okuma Ceymar has gained popularity among trout anglers for its reliable performance, smooth drag, and exceptional value for money.

What We Liked

  • Top-Rated on Amazon: The Ceymar has received widespread acclaim and positive user reviews for its performance.
  • Lightweight and Durable: The corrosion-resistant graphite body ensures a lightweight and robust design for extended fishing comfort.
  • Smooth Operation: The Precision Elliptical Gearing system delivers smooth and precise retrieves, enhancing overall reel performance.
  • Versatile: The Ceymar is suitable for various trout fishing techniques and conditions, catering to anglers of all levels.
  • Reliable Drag: The multi-disc, oiled-felt drag system provides consistent and reliable drag performance during intense trout battles.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited Saltwater Use: While ideal for freshwater trout fishing, the Ceymar is not recommended for harsh saltwater conditions.

As the Best Rated Trout Reel On Amazon, the Okuma Ceymar lives up to its reputation with its outstanding performance and user reviews. Its lightweight construction, smooth operation, and sensitive drag system make it a top choice for trout anglers seeking a dependable and battle-ready spinning reel.


Another Great Okuma Reel For Trout: Okuma Epixor XT 

Okuma Epixor XT Spinning Reel

Okuma Reels Epixor XT Reel is another exceptional choice for trout, offering anglers reliable performance, durability, and versatility. As part of the reputable Okuma Reels Epixor series, the Epixor XT delivers an outstanding fishing experience.

The Epixor XT is constructed with a corrosion-resistant C-40X carbon frame and rotor that provides a lightweight yet robust build, suitable for handling various fishing conditions. The Precision Elliptical Gearing system guarantees smooth and precise gear alignment for consistent retrieves.

As a top-performing Okuma reel, the Epixor XT excels in delivering reliable performance on the water. Its multi-disc, oiled-felt drag system offers smooth and consistent drag performance, crucial for handling aggressive trout. The Epixor XT's RESII computer-balanced rotor minimizes vibrations, providing a comfortable and efficient fishing experience.

The Okuma Reels Epixor XT is designed for versatility, accommodating various fishing techniques and tactics. Its lightweight construction and ergonomic handle ensure fatigue-free fishing, while the reel's precise gear alignment enhances casting distance and retrieval efficiency.

Epixor XT features a sensitive and responsive drag system, allowing anglers to apply precise pressure during battles with trout. The drag adjustment is user-friendly, accommodating different trout species and sizes with ease.

What We Liked

  • Exceptional Performance: The Epixor XT delivers reliable performance and smooth retrieves for trout fishing.
  • Lightweight and Durable: The C-40X carbon frame ensures a lightweight yet robust design for extended fishing comfort.
  • Smooth Operation: The Precision Elliptical Gearing system provides smooth and precise retrieves, enhancing overall reel performance.
  • Versatile: The Epixor XT adapts to various fishing techniques, making it suitable for anglers of all levels.
  • Sensitive Drag: The multi-disc, oiled-felt drag system offers consistent and reliable drag performance during trout battles.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited Saltwater Use: While ideal for freshwater trout fishing, the Epixor XT is not recommended for harsh saltwater conditions.

Reliable and versatile, the Okuma Reels Epixor XT stands as another one of the excellent Okuma spinning reels for seasoned or beginning trout fishers. With its exceptional performance, lightweight construction, and sensitive drag system, the Epixor XT is a solid choice, offering a seamless fusion of performance and quality for successful fishing adventures.

What You Should Look For When Buying A Spinning Reel For Trout


What Type Of Trout Fishing Will You Do?

Consider the specific trout fishing style you'll be engaging in, whether it's lake fishing, river fishing or stream fishing, to choose a reel that suits your needs.

Smaller streams and creeks will require a small ultra light trout reel, while larger rivers will require slightly heavier tackle to handle potentially larger trout.

RELATED: Best Time Of Day To Fish

Size And Weight

Opt for a lightweight and balanced reel that complements your fishing rod, ensuring comfort during extended fishing sessions.

Materials

Look for spinning reels constructed with durable materials like graphite or C-40X carbon, providing both strength and corrosion resistance for reliable performance.

Ball Bearings 

More ball bearings generally mean smoother operation and reduced friction during retrieves, enhancing overall reel performance.

Gear Ratio

Select a reel with a higher gear ratio, as higher ratios offer quicker line retrieval, while lower ratios provide more torque. I generally look for gear ratios of 5.2:1 - 6.2:1 for spinning reels.

Drag System

An efficient and sensitive drag system is vital for handling aggressive trout fights, allowing you to apply consistent pressure and prevent line breakage.

Budget

Consider your budget and aim for the best value for money, ensuring you get a quality spinning reel without exceeding your spending limits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most expensive trout spinning reel?

The most expensive trout spinning reels are typically high-end models from renowned brands, exceeding $300 in price. The Shimano Stella retails for $799 and is one of the most expensive spinning reels for trout on the market.

What is a good gear ratio for trout?

A gear ratio between 5.2:1 to 6.2:1 strikes a good balance, offering both versatility and smooth line retrieval for trout.

Is spinning or casting better for trout?

Spinning reels are generally more popular for trout due to their versatility, ease of use, and ability to handle lighter lines effectively. Casting reels are better suited for heavier lines and stronger currents but require a bit more skill.

Final Thoughts

When searching for the best spinning reels for trout, factors like fishing style, reel size, gear ratio, and budget come into play. The Shimano Vanford, Shimano Stradic FL and Abu Garcia Revo3X are top contenders. 

For budget-friendly options, the Pflueger President, Daiwa Regal LT and Okuma Ceymar are the optimal value standouts.

RELATED: 13 Types Of Fishing Knots Every Angler Should Know

Whether you are just learning to fish or you are a trout fishing expert, if you are armed with the right reel, you can confidently take on trout waters, improving your fishing experiences and increasing your chances of successfully bringing in a trophy.

Photo of author

Shawn Lentz

Shawn Lentz is an avid sportsman who grows national outdoor brands as a full-time copywriter. A former fish and wildlife professional, Shawn also weaves his passion for conservation, fishing and hunting into stories for publications like Fair Chase Magazine, Wide Open Spaces, DeerHuntingGuide.net, and more. Shawn is an active member of The Outdoor Writers Of America Association. For more info, go to www.shawn-lentz.com

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