Old Florida fly reels [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Old Florida fly reels

03-12-2004, 10:21 PM
Ive been reading some good things about Old Florida reels. Anyone have any practical experience with them, good or bad? I was considering a purchase. Any input appreciated!

03-13-2004, 11:26 AM
Old Florida makes a very good reel. I looked at them this past winter. I found several of them on ebay that were quite reasonable. I was looking for something that would hold 11-12 wt lines, old florida, lamson, islander, bauer all seemed to be in my price range, when looking at the used/good condition market. Like alot of the reels, you need to maintain the cork drag. I ended up getting a used bauer, but would have had no problems with an old florida.
Good luck.

The French guy
03-15-2004, 01:47 PM
I guess that you came accros my posts if you were looking for an old Florida reel feedback over the net.
I only own Old Florida reels for 2 years now and got rid of my other high ends reels such as Tibor Pate and Islander LXs.
Old Florida is a fast growing company and about 3 years ago, nearly nobody knew them.
They make high end reels at a very affordable cost that are 100% made in the US (coming from a French guy, you might enjoy this) :hehe: . They use lazer cut cork drag with the draw bar design. A system that works for years and that is really reliable. They are made with a CNC with tolerance as high as 0.001" and use bar stock destressed aluminum T-6061 (aircraft grade). They use type III anodizing in black, silver, champagne, red and blue and sometimes (on their new line of reels) a double type III anodizing.

Their reels are very similat to an Abel, but they are lighter and have a larger diameter for the large arbour ones. So the retrieve is faster. They aslo use the very convenient system: one frame fits three spools of different diameters. E.g. a number 6 frame will fit a #6 spool (for a 12 wt), a #66 large arbour spool (for a 10) and a 6SA spool for a 9wt line.

I use their reels for five years now. Had only one bad bearings on the drag plate that failed... but this did not prevent me of catching bones in the Keys. The bearings rust because I do some deep water wading and fish from my kayak. I do not have any corrosion on the reels I have (5SA, 6SA, 7SA, 8SA) and they see the salt every week ends in the Keys and more.

Recently, I purshased the NAutilus that fits me well as it has a sealed drag. So I can submerge it and service it rarely.
It has an unbelievable strong, yet silky smooth drag. The reason is that the piece of drag floats in a drag cylinder, used aslo as the spindle of the reel (now, this is smart), so the clutch mechanism is improved. There is no ingoing click when you reel in so you really enjoy that fight fight, yet, there is a slight sonor outgoing click that let you love the screaming of the reel when a fish takes off. Add to that, that this is one of the lighest reel on the market and also the one that has the largest backing capacity for its class range. Spools are easy to change. Moreover, it is really nice looking! You are gonna love Old Florida reels.

I hope this helps.
Serge in Miami

03-16-2004, 05:31 PM
I don't own an Old Florida...yet. However, I can tell you about their customer service. I e mailed them off of their web site with question regarding the Nautilus. I received a phone call the next day at my office and ended up having about a 10 minute conversation with the owner of the company. He didn't have all of the answers when we talked...so, he found the answers and called me back!

The only reason I didn't purchase a Nautilus was it's newness on the market. If it proves "bomb proof" I may purchase one down the line. Also, living 500+miles from the nearest dealer kept me from getting to feel and examine the entire reel didn't help.

This level of service and attention to customer needs is really impressive to me.

03-17-2004, 08:46 AM
Thanks for the input, its been helpfull. Sounds like these are pretty good reels. Just might have to pick one up!

03-21-2004, 10:32 AM
Sorry to be the lone dissenter, but I think they are inferior to almost anything in their price range - especially the Nautilus. I was ready to buy the Nautilus sight unseen - except on their website. Lucky for me my local fly shop had one in stock and he showed it to me - he agreed that it left a lot to be desired in the quality of materials and workmanship area.

03-22-2004, 08:01 AM
Any specific concerns re wokmanship or materials that you can share? Havent seen these concerns raised till now, but I havent actually seen/held one of these reels yet either.

The French guy
03-22-2004, 12:00 PM
I do not know what you are talking about. Check the Dan Blanton's bulletin board for feedback about Old Florida reels. Check also the flyfisherman web site forum (flyshop.com) and the Florida sportsman's web site. There are only good comments about Old Florida reels.
I know for sure two friends of mine who like me dropped their tibors to go to Old Florida.
Lots of guides in Florida use them and even invested in the company because they are good reels... They receive a good test on the big three there.

But there are always one of two people who do not like them. That is good as it maintains a good reel divertsity on the market.

03-22-2004, 12:37 PM
Dear HNL,

I am very sorry to hear that you were/are disappointed about the OF product lineup, and I was extremely concerned when you mentioned your local dealer had expressed displeasure in our product (materials and workmanship). I can honestly say that I have never heard such statement before.

I called your local dealer (one you identified in one of your earlier posts) and spoke with Darren at Ole Florida who said that he was disappointed to hear such a thing and that he hough very highly of the Nautilus and the OF line of reels. His words were:"if I did not like the product I would not have it in my shop."

Ole Florida Fly shop (561) 995 1929 is a relatively new dealer for us and they are doing extremely well.

HNL, I would appreciate if you could call me at your convenience since I am intrigued to know what exactly it is you dislike about our product. I asked Darren to relay my phone numbers to you as well in case you do not get this post.

Since you are an area local, feel free to stop by the factory any day of the week. We will walk you through all of our manufacturing processes, as we are always seeking customer approval and input.

For anyone else out there, that includes gaffurp4752, feel free to call us, our shops or our guides to receive feedback on anything and everything about our reels.

Best Regards,
Kristen Mustad
Old Florida Fly Reels

04-08-2004, 09:24 PM
I had an Old Florida #4 that I absolutely loved. The drag was wonderfully smooth, smoother than most reels twice as expensive, and could stop a truck. I sent the reel in for a new drag screw and it was shipped back to me the same day they received it. Now that is what I call a great turn around time. No waiting for weeks like some rod companies.