Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Fly Fishing Reels – IMHO – Post 3

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Streamer Fishing – excluding two hand rods

This is similar to the previous discussion with Bass and Pike, but we add into this fish that are likely to make large runs – whether it is trout in the Bow River or Steelhead in any river. It is the later that introduced me to the need-benefit of fast retrieval, and move my reel hand to the dominate side.

As far as drag, you are often battling the fish, but also the current.  So having a drag that applies a minimum pressure, greater than what you get from a g&p (click and pawl reel), when you pull in or the fish runs will lead to greater success in a faster landing.

The drag will also assist you, when you have to run up or down the bank, to regain ground and the best position to fight.

So in my series of discussing reels, this is the first insistence where having a drag will be a real benefit you.

You should be thinking 100m of backing the minimum, and I prefer 150m. I have heard 200+m, but to date, with two exceptions, I have never had a fish push 200m. The first first (King-Chinook Salmon) basically ran all the way back to the bay and no drag-backing or line would have stopped this fish.  The second, in the same spot as the first, but years later, with Tesla on the rod, made the same run down the rapids, but just before it turn around the final bend it stopped.  Tesla was able to get downstream and resume the fight, and eventually landed her biggest fish todate.

So what are the requirements, at least mine?

  • Drag: Good to have, allowing from 6 to 20lb, with a small start-up inertia for soft takes in winter.
  • Noise: Still do not care.
  • Rate of Retrieve: High rate of retrieve (large arbour) is an absolute, when you have 100m of backing out.  This is where most g&p reels fail.
  • Weight: Never found this an issue with modern reels for single hand stream rods.
  • Problem Free in Harsh Environments: Good to have, as these reels often get pulled to second duty or fished in estuaries, et cetera.
  • User Maintenance: Should be considered, as they can be used for Saltwater.
  • Cross-Functional: Should be considered, as they can be used for Saltwater.
  • Spool Changes: Should always consider one other spool, unless you are using shooting heads exclusively.

In short, looking for a reel that can pickup line quickly, with low startup intro with easy spool changes.

Danielsson-Loop 2W and 3W

These represent my original transition to large arbour 20 years ago, and I believe they were the original (successful) market implementation to large arbour.

Considering that Danielsson continues to support these reels, I have returned to Danielsson. It may be the Swedish sensibility, as illustrated by the interchangeability of old Hasselblads to todays’ actions of Sweden for re-use, Sweden does not abandon the old proven solution.

I will note one idiosyncrasy … most drags have a differential drag – tension reeling in is light, but tension with line going out is high, but the traditional reels from Danielsson have an unformed pressure.

In addition, the drag knob is on the reel hand. I will discuss this in another post.

Danielsson_DSC0221

So how does this measure up against the requirements for single hand rod streamer fishing.

  • Drag: B, as it is easy to palm, but as note it is an uniform directional tension. Also note that startup inertia can be high, if you have tension set high. This prevents, the rating being an A.
  • Noise: Quiet, and I still do not care.
  • Rate of Retrieve: A – requirement for fast retrieve is well met.
  • Weight: B – light, which can be desired if you are swinging a fly a lot.
  • Problem Free in Harsh Environments: B, will withstand salt with the usual daily wash. It is not an A, as I reserve this for sealed drags.
  • User Maintenance: A, never had to do this, but it appears any reasonable replacement repair can be done by the owner.
  • Cross-Functional: B, can be use in salt or two handed rods, if you are looking for a light reel.  In fact, I am using it, as illustrated with OPST heads on small (switch) two handed rods.  It has been a durable reel, but not my first choice for saltwater.
  • Spool Changes: B-, but not an A as you need to remove the large pressure arm to change spools. It is large, so it is difficult to lose, but it does present another risk. Oh yes, you can still get spools from Danielsson!

Alternative is the Danielsson L5W, released years (decade) after the “traditional”, which would be a stronger choice.  Never-the-less, I am using my Swedish sensibility – it is a good reel and use it for what it is good at.

Danielsson L5W

Danielsson_DSC0205

  • Drag: A
  • Noise: Quiet, and I still do not care.
  • Rate of Retrieve: A – requirement for fast retrieve is well met.
  • Weight: B – light for a drag reel, which can be desired if you are swinging a fly a lot.
  • Problem Free in Harsh Environments: A
  • User Maintenance: A, but this is also a new reel for me. Limited time on the water.
  • Cross-Functional: A, can be use in salt or two handed rods, if you are looking for a light reel.  Right now I have no heads on it, but it alternates between salt and spey.
  • Spool Changes: B+, but not an A as it is not quick as you loosen the drag mechanism.

Nautilus CCF-X

This is an illustration of cross-functional use.  I have 2 CCF-x with 3 spools, which is rigged for either saltwater (Bonefish 8wt), Streamer (Airflo 40+ sink-tip 3) as illustrated below or on my light spey rod Meiser 1264s-4.

nautilus 10 2_DSC0224

The associated rating:

  • Drag: A
  • Noise: NR
  • Rate of Retrieve: A – requirement for fast retrieve is well met.
  • Weight: B – medium, not as light as the Danielsson’s above, but this is often not a driving issue affecting selection.
  • Problem Free in Harsh Environments: A
  • User Maintenance: A
  • Cross-Functional: A
  • Spool Changes: D, easy to change but Nautilus seems to fall under the trap of updating their line with new and improved, and forget the old. Finding replacement spools is extremely difficult, and it is for this reason why I will not buy another Nautilus again.
    .
    I have also become aware that Nautilus did not maintain forwards-backwards compatibility, so buying an old spool with testing it, is a substantial risk.

If the last issue is not important, I would continue with the CCF-X2 line, versus the NV-G. Both are nice, but the additional cost of the NV-G for the small weight reduction and lower tension in the drag, cannot be justified to me. I also like the fact you can change from left to right on the X2 without having to return the reel.

These are nice reels, I am sadden by the lack of longterm support. For me, this was a make-break issue, and Nautilus did the break!

My vanity Nautilus NV-G

nautilus nvg_DSC0201

Next Post – some reference weights

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/05/21 at 21:10

Posted in Fly-Fishing

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