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Fly Fishing Reels – IMHO – Conclusion

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I seen in 20+ years an evolution of reels and I would argue reel (pun intended) improvements. But with these gains, we seen companies leave you stranded or push the “greatest” innovations at you.  With my desire to continue and expand my fishing, my portfolio of rods and reels is exhaustive. If I was starting afresh today, I would keep it simple.

For Trout, you do not need complicated and focus should be on rods and lines for presentation, so stick with a reel that is readily available and spools that are readily available, where the reel weights less than 4oz.

For this, I recommend the Hardy LRH or one size larger, the Princess (which I am using).

princess_DSC0209

I recommend this, knowing that Pure Fishing (who bought and now owns Hardy) is sending out signals they are going to cancel this product line that is generations old (and stop providing spare pawls, springs, et cetera).  Never-the-less, given its presence for decades, old reels should be easy to find.

The alternative is the Danielsson Nymph.

loop-nymph

For everything else, except for long spey rods, look to Danielsson L5W and H5D series.  As Danielsson is producing a great product at a great price, with a Swedish sense of support! (versus disposable product lines).

Danielsson_DSC0205

And what about long spey rods?  Sorry, I cannot recommend any current solution in production.  It might be there, but I have not put my hands on such a beast where you get the weight to balance, spool that you can palm and fast retrieve. Closest solution is from Hatch (and it has a closed base), but I have never handled one and always surprise why on the boards the number of used Hatch are up for sale (leaves me suspicious)!

Be prepared to spend some time at a store with some inventory, with a known weight required for you take action.

The alternative is to add weight into the rod or onto the spool.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/05/27 at 06:09

Posted in Fly-Fishing

Fly Fishing Reel – IMHO – Post 5

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If there is one theme across the multiple posts, there is no singular answer, and you must look at the requirements for the use.

Spey Reels

There is a lot of similarity between Saltwater Reels and Speys, with a few notable differences – drag and weight.

  • Drag: Supporting pressure for 8-20# tippet is nice, and it will assist you in landing a fish, but it is a not absolute.  As takes are often strong, so a soft (low) startup is nice, but not critical. To be clear, I usually keep the drag setting light, and if necessary, I may increase.
  • Noise: Still do not care, but it appears there are many who like a noisy reel and will define this as the only requirement.
  • Rate of Retrieve: High rate of retrieve with a minimum of 150m of 30# backing. Given manufacturer’s boastful claims, make sure the reel is specified supporting 200m of backing.
  • Weight:  A standard reel works weighing less than 10oz can work for spey rods of less than 13′ in length, but long rods need a heavy reel to reduce fatigue.
  • Problem Free in a Harsh Environment: If you are only fishing freshwater in summer, this is not a requirement, but it you like me fish in the estuaries and in winter, a seal drag is a good thing.
  • User Maintenance: Not critical, but nice to have.
  • Cross-Functional: Nice to have, as these reels can provide good service for streamer and saltwater fishing
  • Spool Changes: Nice to have for cross-functional use, but as many spey lines are now shooting heads, this is not critical.

So priority is rate of retrieve with backing that has the weight to balance the rod.

Nautilus

Sadly Nautilus has moved away from this line and stopped supporting their older (heavier) reels suited for Spey Rods.  In affect they dropped me, so I have decided to find a new company.

  • Drag: A. and easy to palm it.
  • Noise: NR
  • Rate of Retrieve and Backing: A
  • Weight:  A for the Older Discontinued Reels, D for the new line up.
  • Problem Free in a Harsh Environment: A
  • User Maintenance: A
  • Cross-Functional: D, given move their move away.
  • Spool Changes: D, given their lack of commitment to support their old product lines and show no interest in maintaining forwards-backwards compatibility.

The now discontinued and unsupported 12S. Fortunately, when I realize they were abandoning this segment, I got spare reel and spool.

12s_DSC0228

Danielsson – Traditional

  • Drag: B
  • Noise: NR
  • Rate of Retrieve and Backing: A
  • Weight:  D – only for short spey rods. I use them on 10′ rods.
  • Problem Free in a Harsh Environment: B
  • User Maintenance: A
  • Cross-Functional: C
  • Spool Changes: A

Danielsson_DSC0221

Danielsson – L5W and H5D

  • Drag: A.
  • Noise: NR
  • Rate of Retrieve and Backing: A
  • Weight:  A
  • Problem Free in a Harsh Environment: A
  • User Maintenance: A
  • Cross-Functional: A
  • Spool Changes: A

My new standard for Salt and Spey

Danielsson_DSC0205

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/05/27 at 05:38

Posted in Fly-Fishing

Fly Fishing Reels – IMHO – Post 4

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Saltwater Reels

When I started these series, I missed one important criteria – backing capacity.  With saltwater and spey rods, I believe backing capacity is important, especially with saltwater.

With the former (spey), where you are likely casting to steelhead or salmon on a river that wants to move and has a river to help it run, but often you are bound by the river  – whether it is bends, trees or other structures – and I have found 150m will usually suffice – or be prepared to break-off.

With saltwater and open horizons and fish that live to run, you will need 150m or more.

Sadly, many reels are optimistic on the backing capacity they have, and please take caution and be prepared to include gel-spun.  In a later post, I will discuss backing solutions.

If backing capacity is important, you can imagine I also believe a fast rate of retrieve is also important.  So running against of requirements, what do I see as important and good attributes.

  • Drag: Supporting pressure got 8-20# tippet is an absolute, and if there is one occasion you may wish to adjust drag during a fight it is with Saltwater. As previously posted, if you want to address drag during a fight, consider a reel where the drag setting is on the reel hand, as you would see on anti-reverse reels. (Oh yes, while I will start with a heavier drag setting in salt, I am not putting a lot of pressure).
  • Noise: Still do not care.
  • Rate of Retrieve: High rate of retrieve with a minimum of 150m of 30# backing. Given manufacturer’s boastful claims, make sure the reel is specified supporting 200m of backing.
  • Weight:  A reel under 10oz will serve you well.
  • Problem Free in a Harsh Environment: Yes, so look for anodized solutions and sealed drags. Unfortunately, what typically rusts is the small things – rivets, screws and parts of the drag. After every daily outing, wash your reel!
  • User Maintenance: Reliable sealed drag has been one of the great advances that has happen, so exploit it. The previous generation of drags, such as my graphite-cork drag on my Islander is very good, but suggest you consider the recent evolution to see drags.
  • Cross-Functional: Nice to have, as these reels can provide good service for streamer and spey fishing.
  • Spool Changes: Nice to have for cross-functional use, but many saltwater reels have spools locked in and require tools to remove.

So the priority is a reel with a fast retrieve and backing that is durable-reliable in a harsh environment (sealed drag) and provide resistance when a fish runs in open spaces.

Good news, all the reels I present here are suitable for Saltwater – at least light duty – but some are better than others.

Nautilus

Saltwater reels is their root, so you should expect them to excel here, and they do.

  • Drag: A. I have hammered Nautilus for abandoning support for their earlier product lines and support for long-rod Spey, but I will acknowledge their drag in this transition migrate from excellent to better. Any yes, I can palm it.
  • Noise: NR
  • Rate of Retrieve and Backing: A
  • Weight:  A
  • Problem Free in a Harsh Environment: A
  • User Maintenance: A and with the open frame, enables a good rinse at the end of the day.
  • Cross-Functional: D, acknowledging they walked away from supporting spey.
  • Spool Changes: D, as stated earlier, as you do not know when they will abandon their product line, eliminate forward-backwards compatibility and obsolete your reel-spool. If you buy a Nautilus, budget for a spare spool.

nautilus 10 2_DSC0224

nautilus nvg_DSC0201

So it may seem harsh my position with Nautilus, given it is a very fine reel, but I value support. If the company chooses to abandon me and my investment in their product, I do respond in kind. My response, is a just a reflection of their action.

Islander

Another company whose eye is to the sea.

  • Drag: A, solid and with the discontinue AR version, I can adjust the drag without much distraction.  And yes, I can palm it to!
  • Noise: NR
  • Rate of Retrieve and Backing: B – stated supported backing was optimistic. Be prepared to go one size up or use gel-spun.
  • Weight:  A
  • Problem Free in a Harsh Environment: B – See User Maintenance.
  • User Maintenance: C – you do need to occasionally lubricate the drag AND the closed reel spool base will reduce the ease-effectively of any wash.
  • Cross-Functional: C
  • Spool Changes: D, now, I have not called Islander to see if they can produce a spare spool for me (and they might), but otherwise getting  spare spool is not likely. Add to this limitation and the need for tools to change spools and involves loose parts – screw, washer, et cetera, this is not a task to do in the boat or on the bank.

islander_DSC0208

No qualms with using this reel, but additional care in maintenance and setup needs to be taken.

Danielsson

You can use the traditional reels in saltwater, but I would restrict them to light usage. I would not use them for sharks, tuna, tarpon, et cetera. So my focus is on my L5W, and will note that Danielsson has a heavy duty model as well. If targeting tarpon, tuna and the like, I would use the H5D 11fourteen.

I note this is my newest reel, and has not seen the decades+ use that the other reels have seen.

  • Drag: A.
  • Noise: NR
  • Rate of Retrieve and Backing: A
  • Weight:  A
  • Problem Free in a Harsh Environment: A
  • User Maintenance: A
  • Cross-Functional: A
  • Spool Changes: A

Danielsson_DSC0205

The traditional reels, suitable for light saltwater fishing.

Danielsson_DSC0221

Yes, the new Danielsson are my goto reels.

Waterworks Force

Beautiful sculpture, but an okay reel.

  • Drag: C, nice sealed drag and the most rough in my collection, but a plastic clicker?
  • Noise: NR
  • Rate of Retrieve and Backing: B – rate of retrieve is great, but backing capacity is understated. I have choose to use gel-spun.
  • Weight:  A
  • Problem Free in a Harsh Environment: A
  • User Maintenance: B, but the lack of an open spool base degrades the rating to a B
  • Cross-Functional: C
  • Spool Changes: D, easy to change, but replacement spools are impossible to locate now.

force_DSC0206.jpg

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/05/25 at 03:01

Posted in Fly-Fishing

Fly-Fishing Post – IMHO – Post 3C

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Anti-Reverse Fly Reels

islander_DSC0208

This is another subject in the forums that seems to generate a lot of negative comments and I will say inappropriate bias.  The usual theme is “real men do not use anti-reverse reels”. Never-the-less, I have one, evaluate it and see some benefits, as well as issues that I will lay out.

If we truly believe the macho references that real men do not use AR, then maybe they should be using CP reels with no drag or tenkara with no reel at all.
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The attitude is silly, decide on need and merits.

What do you gain with Anti-Reverse Reel?

  1. If you are slow to release the spool when the fish takes off, this provides the protection from breaking-off, when the tippet is light to the fish you are fighting.
    1. Q: Is it an advantage when I am using 12# fluorocarbon on a bonefish? A: No.
    2. Q: Is it a real advantage when I am searching for Pike? A: No.
    3. Q: Is it a real advantage when I am using 20# for large Tarpon? A: Yes
  2. The drag control is on the handle side, the “free hand”. This means you can set-change drag in the fight, without much distraction, fumbling et cetera.

What do you lose?

  1. Complexity of design is higher than most, but the manufacturers who build these solutions are at the top end. So complexity is higher than most reels, but I do not believe the actual durability is any less.
    .
    There is a very true principle, more parts, more risk to failure and with this, you could associated AR reels as less reliable. But I believe the practice applied by those making the reels, is to counter with strength, such that durability is that of a Direct-Drive reel.
    .
    As a result, the reel is typically heavier.
    .
    And spool change out is usually a multi-piece affair and requires tools. Not a good thing if you want to change your spools out in the ocean.
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  2. As this “only Direct-Direct” fad has been pushed, the number of products has disappeared. A quick survey of what is or was out there:
    1. Abel – discontinued – cork drag, standard arbour, strong but require user maintenance. I did like this reel, but I found the Islander easier to “palm” and it had a large arbour.
    2. Islander – discounted – cork-ruflon drag, large arbour, strong,  and requires some greasing of the drag – which requires tools and disassembly. I found the finish great, easy to use and it was the reel I bought.
    3. Billy Pate – proven with time as a durable solution. I did not buy this, as the reel was difficult to palm and had a standard arbour.  Like the above required tools to change spools (and maintenance?)
    4. Danielsson Control – Dynamic Braking with a sealed drag with a large spool. As I have not handled it, so I offer no more comments.
    5. Henschel – Large arbour sealed focus on saltwater fishing. Another reel I have not touched, so I offer no additional comments.

So this Islander reel has landed me some nice steelhead in winter, and have no qualms about using it, but I think it is best suited for large saltwater fish  or anyplace where the tippet is fine relative to the fish.

An AR reel can provide value, it is a question is this value worth something to you.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/05/22 at 19:08

Posted in Fly-Fishing

Fly Fishing Reels – Reel Weights – Post 3B

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A survey of actual weights of my reels associated with Streamer Fishing and those associated with Two-Hand Rods. Weights taken with flyline on, but the line head has been pulled off, as if casting or added 20 grams for rear line.

  • Danielsson-Loop 2W with an Airflow MT 7 – 201grams
  • Danielsson-Loop 3W with OPST 350gr – 255grams
  • Nautilus NV-G 8/9 with RIO versatip 9wt – 284grams
  • System 2 89 with Airflo 40+ 9W – 286 grams
  • Danielsson L5W 8twelve with + 20 grams for line – 298grams
  • Waterworks Force 3.5 with RIO Bonefish Quickshooter 9wt – 302grams
  • Islander AR LA 4 +20grams for the line – 328grams
  • Nautilus CCF-X 10 with an Airflo 40+ – 335grams
  • Nautilus 12DD with a Guideline PT Scandi – 363grams
  • Nautilus 12Spey with Skagit 600 – 455 grams

. Nautilus CCF-X2 10 appears to be about 40grams lighter than the X, putting the X2 slightly heavier than the NV-G.

Why did I not list my trout reels? As long, the reels – empty – less than 4oz – I believe you will find it balance, with the exception of high-stick nymphing.  With high-sticking, the answer should not be in a heavy reel, but a butt-weighted rod (custom).

With single streamer or saltwater rods, weight can be an issue, but most reels are fine. Most will gravitate to light side, which is nice, but not critical.

12S red_DSC0196

For spey rods, especially large line / long rods that are greater than 13′, a heavy reel is a good thing to keep fatigue in the wrist down, as you let your fly fish. This is where the discontinued Nautilus 12Spey shines.  Fortunately, when Nautilus discontinued their true Spey line, I did pick up a spare, so I currently holding onto 3 Nautilus 12Spey and a spare spool, all for long rods.

What is available with similar to Nautilus 12Spey?  Sadly, the answer is little, so you are likely need to revert to the old standby of adding weight to the reel or make other comprises.  Never-the-less here is a sample look of 2017 options, referring to the manufacturers specification for unlined reels:

  • Nautilus 12S  – 13.5oz
    • actual measurement – 14.8 oz
  • Nautilus X2 King (the replacement) – 9.1 oz
  • Nautilus NV Spey – 9.1 oz
  • Danielsson H5D 11fourteen – 272 gr – 9.5 oz
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    In alphabetical order …
    .
  • Einarsson Invictus 10-12 – a little light, but very nice modern reel – 11.5 oz
  • Farlex 4″ – traditional, but nice – click-n-pawl – 14 to 16oz
  • Hardy Fortuna  XDS – maybe? – 12.3 to 13.5oz
  • Hardy WideSpool Perfect – click-n-pawl – 11.0 to 11.3oz
  • Hatch 9-12 Finactic – best match, but sealed spool base – 11.1 to 15.6 oz
  • Olsen Disc Drag – traditional and beautiful – 4.0″ – 13oz
  • Olsen Disc Drag – may need tools – 4.25″ – 14.5oz
  • Saracione 4.25″ Salmon – difficult to palm – 13.5oz
  • Tibor GulfStream Pacific – tools required to change – 11-14.5oz
  • Waterworks Speedster HD – plastic clicker – 9.38oz

Fortunately, I am not seeing the need to add another heavy reel into my “tool-kit”, thus requiring to comprise on my requirements.  If I had to, I would start off looking at the Hatch or Einarsson.

The Olsen is a very nice traditional style reel, but expensive with a waiting list that is nearly 2 years. I would not use this reel in the ocean, but then again, a 14+oz reel is for the sole purpose for use on a long spey rod.  The closest it comes to the ocean would be in a delta.

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Last comment: I have found manufacturers’ specifications usually optimistic on weights (list them lighter than they are) with more backing capacity than is practical.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/05/21 at 21:48

Posted in Fly-Fishing

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

Fly-Fishing Reels IMHO – Post 2

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Consideration for Bass and Pike

In continuation of my assessment of needs and reels, I move to the next use – big freshwater fish – Smallmouth and Pike – from a single hand rod.

I find both fish can put good pressure on, can run into deep cover in a short distance away, but never run long.  Given the waters I fish, sinking heads are not a major need, but throwing large wind-resistance flies a distance is.  So the emphasis in on graphite rods with front loaded lines, such as Airflo’s 40+.

And what rods do I use:

  • Goto – GL Loomis GL3 9′ 7wt 4pc – no longer made and after 20 years of fishing, it shows it ages, but keeps fishing well.
  • Scott Meridan 9′ 8wt 4pc. This was my backup rod for bonefish, but it is a great rod, such that I now have two for Judy and I.
  • Winston BL5 9′ 9wt, 5pc.

There are other rods that could be used …

  • TVO BVK 9′ 8wt 4pc – another rod made for bonefish.
  • Scott ARC 10′ 7wt 4pc – a great single hand rod for smaller spey/wets flies

Given this, what am I looking for, in terms of requirements.

  • Drag: Yes, something that will help to put the brakes on quickly as the bass or pike to turns to hide under the trees, rocks, et cetera. Palming is not as important as with Steelhead, but nice.
  • Noise: As with all reels, I do not care.
  • Rate of Retrieve: I have gotten into the backing, but rarely, so rapid retrieval is not important.
  • Weight: I have never found this an issue with s a standard reel, so little consideration has or needs to be given to this.
  • Problem Free in Harsh Conditions: Place and seasons for these fish eliminate this stress factor. The reels do get wet, so I do not want the drag to fail if it gets wet.
  • User Maintenance: No specific issue, but not looking for complex maintenance.
  • Cross-Functional: Be nice, as a cross-over into Spey for Steelhead-Salmonand Bonefish.
  • Replacement Parts and Spool Changes: As with cross-functional, would be nice.

In short, looking for a simple drag and the ability to interchange spools.

My first real fishing was for Smallmouth and Pike, and my first reel failures came here too – g&p (also known as click & pawl).  So the fly-shop that recommended the reel, no longer gets my business, and I move to a durable reel – the Scientific Angler System 2.

SA System 2

This was the everyone’s drag reel – durable, reliable, good drag, easy spool change out, reasonable cost, et cetera. After 3M sold the company to Orvis, the product line has been dropped, but these are reels that I have been using for 20+ years.

SA_DSC0213

So how does it stack up against the requirements:

  • Drag: A – Good range, easily to set and reliable.
  • Noise: NR
  • Rate of Retrieve: C
  • Weight: C
  • Problems in Harsh Environment: B – with care, you can use this in the salt.
  • User Maintenance: A – after 20+ years of use I can says it does not fail.
  • Cross-Functional: C – there are better choices for other species, but can support.
  • Replacement Spools: C – if there were still in production this would be an A, but there are enough reels are there, you can find old spools out there,. I also have never had an issue with backwards-forwards compatiability.

Not sexy, but functional, reliable, durable and strong! Great value.

And would I recommend the Hardy Princess for this fishery? The answer is no, as it does not have the drag required.

Are there are other of my reels suitable for this fishery? The answer is yes, but these reels have a high rate of retrieve that is a nice to have, but not an absolute requirement for bass and pike. A quick look, but I will be saying more, when I discuss Steelhead-Salmon reels.

Given the System 2 is no longer available, I would now recommend Danielsson.

Danielsson-Loop 2W and 3W

These are the reels I acquired nearly 20 years ago, after steelhead nearly ran away from me and I struggled keeping up. So I move to a rapid retrieve reel. It is not a convenient drag, in sense the pressure in-out is uniform, but it is easy to palm.

The relationship between the original seller (Loop) and manufacturer (Danielsson) dissolved in unkind terms many years ago, but Danielsson has emerged with a product line with great pricing and support for products made 20 years ago.

Right now, these reels are lined for my two Scott ARC’s rods (7 and 9wt) with multi-tip lines and OPST lines for my single hand spey rods – James Green Fiberglass. In effect, these are my classical streamer reels for single hand (or switch) rods – whether it is for bass, trout or small stream steelhead.

Danielsson_DSC0221

Given durability, value and great support, my last purchase reel was a Danielsson L5W.

If future reels are required, I am likely to continue with Danielsson.

Danielsson_DSC0205

I also have Nautilus reels.  When I started looking for a spey reel, I was looking for a reel heavier than my 2W and 3W, that could be easily palmed and with a sealed no-maintenance drag.  After a little handing and playing, I went with the Nautilus CCF line (started with a 12S), as it could be palmed, had low start-up interia, et cetera.

These reels have serve me well, and even have a “vanity Orange NV-G”. After using the CCF and NV-G, if I had a recommendation between the 2 reels, I would pick the updated CCF-2, as the switchable rotation on the CCF-2 is a nice and I cannot justify the cost increase for the slightly lighter reel and lower start-up inertia on the NV-G (as the CCF series is good enough).

Anyway, I have a stable of Nautilus and hope to be using them 20 years from now.

Will I buy another Nautilus?  Probably not, as they seem to dump their old products, and no longer support spools for these old products (and “compatiable” spools are hard to find used given their minor updates where back forwards-backwards compatiabe).

Combined with the push for reels that are “too light” for spey and this lack of willingness to provide support for previous reels is why I move to Dannielsson.

Nautilus CF 10 m4_DSC0240

nautilus nvg_DSC0201

Next post — reels for streamers, in single head rods.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/05/20 at 22:42

Posted in Fly-Fishing