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#13412777 - 01/01/19 Reels and Reel Technology  
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Rodell Online content
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Wet side of Washington State
I'm getting back into fly fishing after a 30+ year absence. Is there somewhere I can learn (on-line) about what would make a fly reel worth $850+? Clearly, technology has advanced quite a bit over the years but I'm at a loss to figure out what I need (or want)>


Last edited by Rodell; 01/01/19.

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#13412808 - 01/01/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Rodell]  
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Use your head and do your own due diligence. Checkout
https://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/

You can buy an excellent fly reel for ~$150.


"There's more to optics than meets the eye."--anon

"...most of us would be better off losing half a pound around the waist than half a pound on our rifle."--dhg

#13412907 - 01/01/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Rodell]  
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I have a lot of expensive reels, 3wt thru 11wt, and in hind sight I could have saved a lot of money buy purchasing mid priced reels. The high end Tibor, Nautilus, Abel, Hatch, etc. reels are wonderful pieces of equipment, and their better anodizing and higher grade aluminum that is forged vs cast, along with sealed bearings/bushings, show there worth for salt water and salmon/steelhead guides who spend 200 days a year on the water. I fish 50+ days a year for various species from bluegills to tarpon, which I would bet is more that the average fly fisherman, and have some reels who see use once every two years.

Buy yourself $150 to $250 reels, with the high end of that reserved for larger reels for steelhead and salt water, and save yourself a lot of money you can spend on fishing trips.

On a positive note, my grandson who loves to fly fish will get some of the best available and some of it used very little.

#13413224 - 01/01/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Rodell]  
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1minute Offline
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Unless one is angling for serious reel stripping species, which is almost exclusively a saltwater endeavor, just pick up something that will hold the line and about twice it's length in backing. Kings, and large steelhead are probably the only freshwater exceptions.

My major gripe with even high end fly reels is their freezing up when one is out in icing conditions.


1Minute
#13414066 - 01/02/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Rodell]  
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Sitka deer Offline
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Lots of old school reels are no longer worth the money, but Lamson has reels to do about everything and all have the same sealed bearings and rarely fail. Ross has completely failed to keep up.

I have many high end makes and models... Lampson or TFO BVK reels is what I buy for serious fish. I know a guide (Ron Hyde) with tons of time guiding king salmon fishermen that swears by the TFOs.


Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.
Alpha

#13417160 - 01/03/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Rodell]  
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gnoahhh Online content
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My 35 year old Hardy Perfect and 100 year old Hardy St. George are working as sweetly as they always have. But then again brookies and browns don't present the same challenge for a reel that a lot of "big water" fish do. Regardless, they suit me just fine and are the ideal mates to my split cane rods.


"You can lead a man to logic, but you cannot make him think." Joe Harz
#13421191 - 01/04/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: gnoahhh]  
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Sitka deer Offline
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Originally Posted by gnoahhh
My 35 year old Hardy Perfect and 100 year old Hardy St. George are working as sweetly as they always have. But then again brookies and browns don't present the same challenge for a reel that a lot of "big water" fish do. Regardless, they suit me just fine and are the ideal mates to my split cane rods.

Where balancing is an issue old school rules! I have a pretty big drawer full of Hardys. My son considered it child abuse when I made him use them! Too loud on the click and pawl... I have ruined more than several big Hardys on salmon.


Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.
#13422300 - 01/05/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Sitka deer]  
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GuideGun Offline
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Originally Posted by Sitka deer
Lots of old school reels are no longer worth the money, but Lamson has reels to do about everything and all have the same sealed bearings and rarely fail. Ross has completely failed to keep up.


Have you had a chance to use the Ross Evolution R, Evolution R Salt, and Evolution LTX? All are wonderful sealed drag units with stacked carbon elements in them that perform wonderfully. Then there is some wonderful click pawl reels in the reintroduced Gunnison and award winning Colorado LT. Ross is ahead of the game right now, not behind. Their merger with Abel has certainly influenced their designs on current reels for the better. Abel/Ross has won more reel awards the last couple of years than anyone else.


-Matt

"The proof of the whisky is in the drinking, the proof of the rifle is in the shooting."
#13424490 - 01/05/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Rodell]  
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Originally Posted by Rodell
I'm getting back into fly fishing after a 30+ year absence. Is there somewhere I can learn (on-line) about what would make a fly reel worth $850+? Clearly, technology has advanced quite a bit over the years but I'm at a loss to figure out what I need (or want)


Not much. If you're on the wet side of WA I assume you're interested in Salmon/Steelhead level of gear and I caught quite a few up there (88-95) using a single action Ross on an 8 weight Powell. I would not hesitate to look for something of that era on E-Bay. I would part with mine as I inherited my Grandfather's Fin Nor but other than a trip for stripers on the bay here I have little use for the Ross.


Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. - Winston Churchill
#13425091 - 01/06/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: GuideGun]  
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Originally Posted by GuideGun
Originally Posted by Sitka deer
Lots of old school reels are no longer worth the money, but Lamson has reels to do about everything and all have the same sealed bearings and rarely fail. Ross has completely failed to keep up.


Have you had a chance to use the Ross Evolution R, Evolution R Salt, and Evolution LTX? All are wonderful sealed drag units with stacked carbon elements in them that perform wonderfully. Then there is some wonderful click pawl reels in the reintroduced Gunnison and award winning Colorado LT. Ross is ahead of the game right now, not behind. Their merger with Abel has certainly influenced their designs on current reels for the better. Abel/Ross has won more reel awards the last couple of years than anyone else.


Sorry, too many new Ross reels have been toasted around me and in my hands to accept anything they make now. Click and pawl reels of yore were well-made and solid, but lack serious bearings (and drags obviously) and were fine for light duty fishing. That would never include salmon and steelhead. I believe the Vexsis was the real laugher proving the point. The instant switch from RH to LH and vice versa often happened as soon as one put a little tension on the reel. It would then pop into free-spool and knot everything up in incredible fashion. It did not last long but is indicative of much of their current production. I was being encouraged for several years to use them and got a lot of hands-on time to develop my opinion.

Ross is struggling to see industry taillights, IMO&E.


Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.
Bravo

#13425419 - 01/06/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Sitka deer]  
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Originally Posted by Sitka deer
Originally Posted by GuideGun
Originally Posted by Sitka deer
Lots of old school reels are no longer worth the money, but Lamson has reels to do about everything and all have the same sealed bearings and rarely fail. Ross has completely failed to keep up.


Have you had a chance to use the Ross Evolution R, Evolution R Salt, and Evolution LTX? All are wonderful sealed drag units with stacked carbon elements in them that perform wonderfully. Then there is some wonderful click pawl reels in the reintroduced Gunnison and award winning Colorado LT. Ross is ahead of the game right now, not behind. Their merger with Abel has certainly influenced their designs on current reels for the better. Abel/Ross has won more reel awards the last couple of years than anyone else.


Sorry, too many new Ross reels have been toasted around me and in my hands to accept anything they make now. Click and pawl reels of yore were well-made and solid, but lack serious bearings (and drags obviously) and were fine for light duty fishing. That would never include salmon and steelhead. I believe the Vexsis was the real laugher proving the point. The instant switch from RH to LH and vice versa often happened as soon as one put a little tension on the reel. It would then pop into free-spool and knot everything up in incredible fashion. It did not last long but is indicative of much of their current production. I was being encouraged for several years to use them and got a lot of hands-on time to develop my opinion.

Ross is struggling to see industry taillights, IMO&E.

HAHA don't ever try to enlighten Sitka with FACTS. He already knows it all. Just ask him...


"Faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money." -Tom T Hall

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#13426066 - 01/06/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Rodell]  
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If one faces periods when a drag is seriously needed to sustain a fight with huge fish, then likely he should spend the big bucks for something like a Fin Nor. My extremes are salmon and steelhead where, with an exposed rim, I pretty much use a drag or pawl to prevent overrun that might happen if I'm inattentive and get a reel stripping strike. For salmon and steelhead, I do want 175 to 200 yds of backing capacity and that can require a larger reel if one is using a double taper or maybe a long belly line on a Spey rod. With exposed rims and tippets in the 8 to 20 lb range, I can easily hold fish or break them off with friction on the rim.

If I ever go after tarpon or billfish, I will step way up, with most of the concern being hundreds of yards of backing capacity.

In near 40 years of fly angling, I've been cleaned out once, and I suspect it was a king or Idaho steelhead I snagged in the tail. Simply a down stream run I could not stop, and it made the rapids before I could reach the bank for pursuit on land. Did not truly clean me out, as I grabbed the reel with about 5 turns left and snapped the leader.

With trout and such, I will still venture forth with an old Pflueger or Hardy on a glass Fennwick and may spend a week without ever giving the reel a thought.

Regardless of ones choice, the real goal is to have fun, and it doesn't take $800 to do that. Thinking back, some of the best were childhood days with kite string, a bent (straight?) pin, willow stick, and 4 inch sunfish in a warm water creek. Now those were good days, and I got there on a bike with a band aide box of worms in a shirt pocket.

Much like hunting, it's easy to go overboard when one sees $2,500 handmade reels at a clave. I've certainly done it with some rifles like my 1960's 600 Rem that cost $99.95. It's wearing a $400 Leupold.

I still treasure days in/on the water, but it takes a Ford 350 crew cab to get me and all my gear there now.

Have a good one.

Last edited by 1minute; 01/06/19.

1Minute
#13426225 - 01/06/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: nemotheangler]  
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Sitka deer Offline
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Originally Posted by nemotheangler
Originally Posted by Sitka deer
Originally Posted by GuideGun
Originally Posted by Sitka deer
Lots of old school reels are no longer worth the money, but Lamson has reels to do about everything and all have the same sealed bearings and rarely fail. Ross has completely failed to keep up.


Have you had a chance to use the Ross Evolution R, Evolution R Salt, and Evolution LTX? All are wonderful sealed drag units with stacked carbon elements in them that perform wonderfully. Then there is some wonderful click pawl reels in the reintroduced Gunnison and award winning Colorado LT. Ross is ahead of the game right now, not behind. Their merger with Abel has certainly influenced their designs on current reels for the better. Abel/Ross has won more reel awards the last couple of years than anyone else.


Sorry, too many new Ross reels have been toasted around me and in my hands to accept anything they make now. Click and pawl reels of yore were well-made and solid, but lack serious bearings (and drags obviously) and were fine for light duty fishing. That would never include salmon and steelhead. I believe the Vexsis was the real laugher proving the point. The instant switch from RH to LH and vice versa often happened as soon as one put a little tension on the reel. It would then pop into free-spool and knot everything up in incredible fashion. It did not last long but is indicative of much of their current production. I was being encouraged for several years to use them and got a lot of hands-on time to develop my opinion.

Ross is struggling to see industry taillights, IMO&E.

HAHA don't ever try to enlighten Sitka with FACTS. He already knows it all. Just ask him...

If you have nothing of value to add to a discussion go ahead and attack the person, classy!

Having guided fly fishermen for many years in both salt and freshwater and having fished with many folks from the fire I honestly think my experience is worth adding. Very few Ross reels get sold in Alaska. Echo reels are another tough inexpensive reel. They outsell Ross. The only guide I personally know here that uses any Ross reels has retired. She specialized in teaching women to catch graying.

I know the Ross representative in AK and know even better the fellow he replaced. I have been hands-on with Ross plenty.


Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.
#13426297 - 01/06/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Rodell]  
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My fly reels are mostly Hardy's, along with an Orvis CFO. The most expensive is not worth more than $200-$300. Some of my salt water, lever drag reels cost much more.

Have caught 32-1/2 lb and 34-1/2 lb salmon on a steelhead rod with 16 lb line. And have caught 100+ lb marlin on 20 lb line.


"There's more to optics than meets the eye."--anon

"...most of us would be better off losing half a pound around the waist than half a pound on our rifle."--dhg

#13428889 - 01/07/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Sitka deer]  
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Originally Posted by Sitka deer
Ross is struggling to see industry taillights, IMO&E.


Then you're not paying attention to the world outside of AK.

The Mayfly group (Ross/Abel) is doing more than most in the last 2-3 years. Ross was indeed going downhill before the merger with Abel. But since the merger they are turning out quality reels as well as winning awards and anglers. Almost a 180 degree turn around of the company they were before. It's sad that you are writing them off due to past experiences instead of evaluating current offerings in present time.

In full disclosure I don't work for Ross either, but I have used their innovative current designs with much success for the angling that I do. Albeit not against the mighty salmon/steelhead of the AK rivers. But I'm willing to wager Ross Evolution R would handle that angling just fine.


-Matt

"The proof of the whisky is in the drinking, the proof of the rifle is in the shooting."
#13432497 - 01/08/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Rodell]  
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Ross has two lines. Ross America and Ross international. I agree on the Pacific rim Ross's but the American made ones I have owned were excellent, a true value. Several have stood up to 100s of bonefish being run, wet & dry, clean & dirty. The anodizing was so much better than other entry reels of that era 1980-90s. Have not bought a new one recently and I only wish I had stocked up on extra spools. I have also taken fish up to large Kings with a Pflueger medalists. The early tarpon fisherman such as Lee Wolff, Lefty Kriegh, Flip Pallot and many others used them on big Tarpon and even Marlin successfully.

I would look for type II anodizing first and then for a cork or synthetic drag for salt water fishing. For typical trout fishing the reel is just a place to store the line and not critical.

Last edited by Tejano; 01/08/19.

"When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred." Niccolo Machiavelli
#13432678 - 01/08/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Tejano]  
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Sitka deer Offline
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Originally Posted by Tejano
Ross has two lines. Ross America and Ross international. I agree on the Pacific rim Ross's but the American made ones I have owned were excellent, a true value. Several have stood up to 100s of bonefish being run, wet & dry, clean & dirty. The anodizing was so much better than other entry reels of that era 1980-90s. Have not bought a new one recently and I only wish I had stocked up on extra spools. I have also taken fish up to large Kings with a Pflueger medalists. The early tarpon fisherman such as Lee Wolff, Lefty Kriegh, Flip Pallot and many others used them on big Tarpon and even Marlin successfully.

I would look for type II anodizing first and then for a cork or synthetic drag for salt water fishing. For typical trout fishing the reel is just a place to store the line and not critical.

I have toasted a number of the reels you are touting...

I agree the agonizing is good, but so are many others with much better records for toughness. Salmon are not really that tough compared to many warmwater saltwater fish, but numbers can be such that reels get serious workouts, quickly and long term. An ordinary salmon day count would be an unreal bonefish day.

Sierra Trading Post currently has a half-dozen choices on Lamson reels. All of them have the exact same drag components which have proven themselves for a long time. STP sometimes gets Bauer reels, an extremely tough reel for absolutely any application.


Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.
#13432784 - 01/08/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Sitka deer]  
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1minute Offline
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Burns/Hines, Oregon, USA
Quote
I agree the agonizing is good


What?

Sorry, couldn't help it.

Have a good one,


1Minute
#13434273 - 01/08/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Sitka deer]  
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ribka Online sleepy
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I’m a big Lamson reel fan I have a 27 year old reel still going strong and have spent 100’s of hours fishing salt catching tarpon , snook, striped bass, shark, bone fish, dorado rooster fish salmon. Great reel for the money


Originally Posted by Sitka deer
Originally Posted by Tejano
Ross has two lines. Ross America and Ross international. I agree on the Pacific rim Ross's but the American made ones I have owned were excellent, a true value. Several have stood up to 100s of bonefish being run, wet & dry, clean & dirty. The anodizing was so much better than other entry reels of that era 1980-90s. Have not bought a new one recently and I only wish I had stocked up on extra spools. I have also taken fish up to large Kings with a Pflueger medalists. The early tarpon fisherman such as Lee Wolff, Lefty Kriegh, Flip Pallot and many others used them on big Tarpon and even Marlin successfully.

I would look for type II anodizing first and then for a cork or synthetic drag for salt water fishing. For typical trout fishing the reel is just a place to store the line and not critical.

I have toasted a number of the reels you are touting...

I agree the agonizing is good, but so are many others with much better records for toughness. Salmon are not really that tough compared to many warmwater saltwater fish, but numbers can be such that reels get serious workouts, quickly and long term. An ordinary salmon day count would be an unreal bonefish day.

Sierra Trading Post currently has a half-dozen choices on Lamson reels. All of them have the exact same drag components which have proven themselves for a long time. STP sometimes gets Bauer reels, an extremely tough reel for absolutely any application.

#13434639 - 01/08/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: 1minute]  
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Sitka deer Offline
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Originally Posted by 1minute
Quote
I agree the agonizing is good


What?

Sorry, couldn't help it.

Have a good one,


Friggin' autocorrect!!! LOL!

I deserve that one!


Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.
#13434642 - 01/08/19 Re: Reels and Reel Technology [Re: Rodell]  
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Sitka deer Offline
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Looked at STP earlier today and found a Bauer and more Lamson options than I would have guessed... both are great, really tough reels for the money in tough situations.


Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.
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