Length of reel life in saltwater [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Length of reel life in saltwater

12-11-2003, 04:06 PM
With the average cost of fly reels for saltwater use still somewhere in the realm of $350-$450, I started wondering how often anglers replace their reels. The idea was that if a reel has to be replaced due to normal wear and tear during the course of seasons on the water after only a few years, wouldn't it make sense to purchase relatively inexpensive reels that offered features present in all high-end models. Replacing a lower-priced every few years would obviously be less expensive than replacing a much more expensive one. So the question is (and this is directed towards those on the forum that feel they really spend an appreciable time out in the saltwater environs, i.e. at least 90 days a year, preferably more), how long do your reels last before they require complete replacement? Please limit your responses to normal wear and tear, and don't include "incidents" that prematurely destroy the reel (such as being backed over by the SUV).

12-11-2003, 05:03 PM
I've still got my '97 SA II as my primary reel. It's in year-round use, and shows no signs of giving out. It gets rinsed whenever I get around to it.

12-12-2003, 12:52 AM
To be fair you would have to consider the amount of regular maintainance given the reels. I have a partner that strips and washes the lines and reels after every trip, I on the other hand still sand in my reels since April. I should think his will outlast mine. Even at that 6 yrs. is not a long stretch for a quality reel. I have a couple of Cortland 140 D magnums that are at least 15 yrs old and still would be fine if I hadn`t upgraded.

12-12-2003, 07:03 AM
For 2 1/2 years in Alaska I fished almost evers day of the salmon season in the Salt. I had a St.Croix (cheap) that I bought as a package for my time up there and never ran into any problems. I'm still using the combo for reds here in Louisiana, but not as often. I think it all boils down to maintance.

Tight Lines

12-12-2003, 08:12 AM
I did a lot of work on corrosion technically and professionally.

Basically, it all boils down to materials of construction, and maintenance. Salt, salt water , and other electrolytes are the chief causes of corrosion. (So are dissimilar metals in contact with each other.) First off, you don't have them exposed to salt and salt water continuously. As long as you flush out with clean fresh water after use, dry the reel well, and give it proper lubrication, there is no reason why it would fail from corrosion.

Now for "erosion" from sand, that's another story. But as long as you don't throw the reel in the sand, or use it in a sandstorm, and give the reel the same maintenance as for corrosion, it should give many years of good service. Just be sure you get all traces of sand off the reel.


12-12-2003, 09:11 AM
For the less expensive reels a little mantainance goes a long way. More expensive reels need little (Abel lube drag disc and rinse a couple of times a year) to none (Tibor rinse at end of season).
For the price of a Tibor reel and spool, you could get a life times supply of Okumas. I would rather fish with a Tibor for that same period of time.

12-12-2003, 09:57 AM
I've seen fi$cally responsible guys hook into their fish-of-a-lifetime only to have the reel/drag go South while the critter goes North...
The reel...CHEAP...
The look on their faces...PRICELESS!:hehe:

Dble Haul
12-12-2003, 10:48 AM
90 days a year? I wish....;)

I rinse my reels after each use in the salt, and then soak them overnight in fresh water.

An ounce of prevention.....