Elbow of the Cape Report [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Elbow of the Cape Report


doogue
05-23-2004, 12:46 PM
Stream of consciousness style...

Went to work at 5 AM on Friday morning. Hustled and took off for the Cape at 6:07 AM. Feeling good - Friday action items under control.

Rolled down to Orleans to meet my Dad and Jeff B (seuss) on Friday morning. Donned the waders in the parking lot at Nauset Angler and took off oversand in Jeff's Jeep.

Gulls and busting fish and whales on the ocean side but they were out of reach. There were terns everywhere but these gulls had fish under them. The terns most likely did not. I learned that lesson last May. The wind was blowing the fish offshore so we headed out to the honey hole. Honking wind in our face and some herring chuckers with long faces.

Rolled back to land and headed to the Light. Nice Rip out in front of the light but no bass. Fished around the corner at the Light. I finally hit for a decent fish around the Narrows and Jeff B started seeing fish. He landed 2 twinks and I broke my RPLXi on a forward cast (man can I haul). I fished with the top of the rod like I was Lefty Kreh and got a nibble from a twink. Guy we met sighting from the dunes had not seen many fish. Saw a guy hooked up with a 2 hander out there as well. He lost the fish.

Jeff caught one more on the way back as we fished drop offs and holes. Some R&R and food back at ground zero and off to Pleasant Bay for the evening drop. I hook a good blue (bit me off that fat bastard) and Jeff hooks a bass that boils on top and says goodbye. Guy next to me scores and we head to another Pleasant Bay rip.

Fishing in the dark with Great Gatsby types behind us and we do not score. Tide is fully low.

Sleep and do it all over again. Oversand trip and less wind at the Honey Hole. Herring chuckers and chunkers doing nothing. We all fish hard - slow and low and fast and on top and nada all around.

My Dad needed to head back and we head to talk to Harry and chat about the crappy clutches on Lamson reels. We head to a schoolie spot and get some twink nibbles and then head to another Pleasant Bay rip. Twink city. Yellow was the color of choice and we lost count of the fish. I like that spot. Jeff B got schooled by a little kid tossing herring to the cows there last spring. Final score: Jeff nothing and little kid had tons of cows to shore. That was last year. This year we both filled our dance card with twinks and more twinks.

Off to the light. Fishing the rips and one schoolie to be had. Some guy was letting his 5 yr old swim in front of the light. I warn him about the cranking current (I could not walk out 10 feet without fear). He looks at me with the "Thanks but no thanks" look and keeps taking pictures of the little guy. That kid was within 20 feet of real trouble.

Off to Morris Island. Twink, twink and more twinks. Lots of guides there and some guys on the other side of the Tub saying that they were into 25 inchers. We bail and go back for grub. Misting rain and no sight fishing.

Back out for the drop at night and our twink spot was fairly barren. Me in full wader garb in the rip and Jeff B standing on the shore in corduroys hooking up with the spinning rod. It was funny. Then I grab the spinning rod and Jeff casts my Winston BL5. He likes the rod. He uses my super secret sliding night fly - The Blind Baron. He hooks up with that too. We laugh. We sleep. We go back to our normal lives.

On the way out of the hotel office we see a blitz in the cove near our hotel. I go to the Red Top on the way off of the Cape. The guys slayed the bass in the canal this morning. I also heard reports of countless fish on the Brewster flats at dusk.

Back to life - back to reality. The dream continues.

Peace out.

Chris
05-24-2004, 12:11 PM
Doogue,
Enlighten me on the " crappy Lamson clutches"'? I have the V4 and have had no trouble at all with it, in fact I love it. Great reel for the $$.

doogue
05-24-2004, 12:18 PM
Ahhh, a discerning reader!

Basically, Jeff B has a Lamson Velocity and there is a clutch in the sealed drag. Actually, there is no longer a clutch in Jeff's drag. His drag is 100% useless.

Harry was telling us that he has seen lots of folks bring in their Lamson and Ross reels with the same issue. I have 2 Ross big game reels and they have performed well for me over the years. Time will tell for those reels though. I have not needed the drag as often as I would like to report!

So, the Lamson reels are not bad reels but we heard reports of clutches going out on many customers that have crossed the threshold at Harry's shop. Harry recommended that you keep a spare clutch on hand just in case yours craps out. Easy to change out if the clutch breaks.

That was all I can recall of the conversation. I wasn't really listening to all of the details.

Jeff had this happen on 2 Lamson reels despite following all maintenance requirements to the letter of the law. The 1st reel was replaced but only after many frustrating calls to Lamson.

Hope that helps,

Mike

seuss
05-24-2004, 03:13 PM
basically, this is the second time the clutch has crapped out in 2 years. and i'm no ninja catching machine.

first time around, they weren't as accomodating as i would have liked. claimed i had opened the drag, which i hadn't. and required a few too many calls and a few too many weeks before implementing the fix.

in the end, they fixed the reel for ~ a $20 processing fee. i chalked it up to a fluke. until this past weekend, when i found myself sans drag again. not good. not happy.

just got off the phone with lamson/waterworks. and they were quite friendly this time around. inline with harry's comments, lamson confirmed this reel does, in fact, have clutch "issues".

so back it will go again for a new clutch at ~ $20. although, i may opt to have them simply send me a new clutch (or perhaps a few) for $5 a pop. far be it from me to be the loan frugal flyfisher, but $40 in two years for maintenance on a defective design and what probably is a 10 cent part is excessive in my opinion.

in the end, my $30 "junker" orvis backup, with drag in fine working order, saved the day yet again.

BigDave
05-24-2004, 03:41 PM
Bummer about the Lamsons.

I have 2 and had a similar problem with one of them...corrosion inside the cylinder. Started keeping my extra spool in a ziplock so the spindle stays moisture/salt free...I think that is where the corrosion was coming from for me - swapping in wet spools.

Look on the bright side - for $20 of maintenance/year, how many years will it take you to break even on a Tibor? :D

Smcdermott
05-24-2004, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by BigDave
Bummer about the Lamsons.

Look on the bright side - for $20 of maintenance/year, how many years will it take you to break even on a Tibor? :D

Yeah, but how many cows and fishing time will you have lost in the process. An inexpensive reel should be maybe heavier, not large arbor and not have fancy engraving or color schemes but a defective drag that you may need to fix on the water seems unreasonable. Aren't there reels that fit those criteria? SA System 2, some of the redingtons etc...

BigDave
05-24-2004, 04:14 PM
Smcdermott,

That comment was made tounge-in-cheek. I haven't lost any cows or fishing time...just learned not to get the spindle wet and it hasn't been a problem since.

Greg Pavlov
05-24-2004, 04:23 PM
This is partly anecdotal but I believe that Lamson got rid of their main support person and replaced her with someone who is much more responsive & friendly.

SageBoy
05-24-2004, 06:56 PM
T dawg,

Sounds like it maybe time to come over to the dark side and pick up one of those Bauer's!:chuckle:

Chris
05-24-2004, 07:27 PM
... With mine. Knock on wood. I will say the S.A. 8/9 has been a workhorse. Going on ten years and the only problems I've had are from falling on it or having it roll of the top of my ve-hickle fleeing a thunder storm- DUH! and then it was just a bent rim on the spool that I bent back. A little wobble adds character.

Nothing wears out if it stays on display- but hey shouldn't just fail either. I guess I should pick up a couple clutches too.

BTW- Did they seize-up fail or free spin fail??

FishHawk
05-25-2004, 04:43 AM
I have a Lampson LP3 and the clutch has failed me twice. I have put lithium grease on the clutch and spindle and washed them after each trip. In the old days Lampson would send you the clutch for free. I have three backups. Now they charge $10. Was told at my suggestion that I could put WD40 on the clutch and spindle but not to overdo it. So here's what I do now. Spray the clutch with WD40 before the outing and then after wash the reel and make sure that I take the clutch off to get rid of the salt build up underneath the the clutch. The problem is that the clutch housing is made of a high carbon steel that rusts out. The WD 40 seems to do the trick. The only thing to watch out for is not to get the WD40 on the drag pad. Hope this helps.
FishHawk
:D

Paxton
05-25-2004, 07:28 AM
Fishhawk....I'm a new owner of a Lamson Velosity....obviously this interchange of comments is upsetting....where exactly is the clutch....where do you spray the WD40...inside or drag knob or elsewhere?
Thanks,
Ron

BigDave
05-25-2004, 07:51 AM
Ron,

The LP3 is a totally different design from the Velocity. Velocity has a sealed conical drag. LP uses a disk (not sealed). Call lamson if you're concerned about it...I did and they explained that when moisture/salt gets past the O ring and into the drag chamber, corrosion will occur.

The primary ways water gets in there is by rinsing with the spool off (O ring seal is lost) or inserting a spool with a wet spindle.

Mark F
05-25-2004, 07:53 AM
Doogue,

Loved your writeup! Your discussion of a couple of those spots brought back some fond memories when we were tight to fish down there. A group of us will be up there staying in Orleans starting on Sunday and fishing until 8 June. Hope my hands are busted up and sore when the fishing is done.

Mark

Roop
05-25-2004, 08:06 AM
Nice write up. It's only going to get better!

Good luck,

Roop

Paxton
05-25-2004, 08:59 AM
Whew! Thanks Dave, I feel better now. I never change spools in the field as I have my Tioga lined with sinking line(change reels instead). Then when home, rise with spool on, let dry overnight and then take spool off and clean. Gill at the Natick Store, where I bought it, advised a little grease at top of O ring, it works it's way into cylinder and adds a bit of protection (clean with Q tip after use).
Caught a keeper last week and can't say how pleased I was with the drag on the Velosity....fish made multiple runs and drag was smooth as silk!
Ron

Eddie
05-25-2004, 09:10 AM
one point: the Ross and Lamsons have totally different clutches, so while both may have issues, they are not the same one.
the Lamsons have a one way roller bearing that is used on many reels. Some Orvis, Shimano, Sage reels come to mind. This bearing should be a five dollar item (not twenty). I suspect that they could be found else where.
The problem is that the "sealed" drag on the Lamson might not be a perfect seal. I do not own one of these reels, so I'm not sure. Jeff, is the clutch bearing getting wet through the gasket? I wonder if rinsing the bearing and spraying with WD40 and then a drop of tri flo would prevent problems? Sounds like a lot of work. Maybe a handfull of spares instead. Did I recomend this reel befor you got it?:whoa:
Sometimes the simple mechanisms are still the most dependable. It is funny that the most expensive reels still use the basic pawls against a gear clutch. In most cases bombproof.

BigDave
05-25-2004, 09:16 AM
Ron if you keep doing that you'll have no problems and I agree the reel performs as well as any reel at any price point.

FWIW one thing Lamson will tell you is DO NOT put anything (wd 40, grease, etc) on the moving parts.

Chris
05-25-2004, 10:24 AM
I'm thinking that religeous cleaning and drying of the clutch AND regular replacement of the rubber O-ring that seals out the elements will be the best preventive maintainence for these reels.

You'll only want to use a very light grease or a even a fine machine oil - a couple drops of sewing machine oil perhaps- to keep anything from binding to the lubricant and excellerating a failure.

Checking with Waterworks/ Lamson to find out what lubricant the seals can tolerate without deterioration would be prudent as well. If I remember correctly the flyer that came with my reel specifically stressed not expose the drag system in the field because of the tight tolerances of the tapered post and clutch drag systems vulnerability to any contamination.

I remove and clean my clutch with a q-tip and solvent each time I come in and the shaft with a rag then put 2 small spots of clear lithium grease on the post and rub it to an extremely fine film over the entire surface of it.

seuss
05-25-2004, 05:42 PM
to BigDave's point, as far as the Velocity is concerned, Lamson is adamant about following their maintenance directions. no more, no less. with special emphasis on no additives (WD40, grease, etc.) and being sure to clean/rinse the reel with the spool in place. Problem is, those maintenance directions haven't exactly worked for me. And I have been religious.

There are not any directions in the documenation re: in the field changes, however, they have mentioned this to me as well. And, at least in my case, it's simply not practical. While I take every precaution not to expose my spare spools to the elements (and have never dropped one in the water or anything even close), I'm standing in the friggin' ocean for godsakes. And if the simple act of exposing the spool to an ocean fog (which presumably has some salt content) is excessive for the reel, then I bought the wrong reel. After all, what's the point of a quick release spool.

In Lamson's defense, when it works, it works quite well.

But I have to say, the more I think about it (dangerous no doubt), the more I agree with Eddie. Forget about all these fancy shmancy NASA-grade "sealed" drag systems. I want to see the parts. And I want them to be simple. Perhaps an Old Florida or Islander as was suggested by Harry this past weekend?

Roop
05-26-2004, 01:32 PM
If you have to worry about what's happening to your reel, they shouldn't be selling it to use in saltwater applications.

Mine take a pretty good beating & just require a fresh water rinse, a light spray of some lube, wipe em off and hang em up until next time.

Jeff- you're welcome to borrow one or two anytime for a test run.

Roop

seuss
05-26-2004, 01:35 PM
roop,

what do you have?

Nick
05-26-2004, 01:45 PM
I'm starting to think the less I take care of mine...the better they seem to work!

Tioga and Ross Big Game.

PS- I think Roop's talkin' bout the Tioga. May not be the smoothest drag out there, but I can't kill this thing.

Roop
05-26-2004, 02:08 PM
Yep - Tioga #10's take a helluva a beating and a they have an awesome customer service/ warranty philosophy when you do manage to hurt 'em.

As far as how smooth the drag is, as mentioned by the recently engaged and soon to be some sort of Masters holder Mr. Nick, ... I've yet to have one fish complain ;)

PM me and we can figure out if you want to borrow one and a spare spool.

Roop

Chris
05-27-2004, 07:15 AM
Seuss, the only reason I suggest a couple drops of anything is because people are seeing moisture in the clutches and failures. It may help to keep it out of the roller bearings. I know of their stance on additives- it's just what do you do if it's already in there? I thought a little insurance, it's not as if the seal is going to fail it's already allowing small droplets of moisture through.

I just heard back from Pete at Lamson/ Waterworks and the guy had tha gall to imply I was the cause for the moisture in my clutch. He also acted as if this were an isolated incident. I gave him an earfull to say the least. Lets see where it goes from here.

He told me to send him my reel so they can study it for the seal failure cause. I suggested he send me a new reel and a return shipping label and he could study it all he wanted and I could still get my fishing in. The reel was touted for the impermiability of the clutch/ drag system design, hmm, not so it would appear.

I made some suggestions as to how he can keep this from becoming a PR nightmare for Waterworks/ Lamson.
Stay tuned

doogue
05-27-2004, 07:59 AM
These days vendors are up the poo poo creek when it comes to handling PR issues like this.

Bad PR is no longer spread via word of mouth - now the net spreads the printed word to 100s of fishing folk.

Look out!

seuss
05-27-2004, 08:47 AM
Chris,

At this point, I'm with you. I'm prepared to start spraying anything in there to make it last a little longer. Heck, ask Doogue, I was prepared to resort to the crowbar this past weekend.

Originally posted by Chris
Seuss, the only reason I suggest a couple drops of anything is because people are seeing moisture in the clutches and failures. It may help to keep it out of the roller bearings. I know of their stance on additives- it's just what do you do if it's already in there? I thought a little insurance, it's not as if the seal is going to fail it's already allowing small droplets of moisture through.

I just heard back from Pete at Lamson/ Waterworks and the guy had tha gall to imply I was the cause for the moisture in my clutch. He also acted as if this were an isolated incident. I gave him an earfull to say the least. Lets see where it goes from here.

He told me to send him my reel so they can study it for the seal failure cause. I suggested he send me a new reel and a return shipping label and he could study it all he wanted and I could still get my fishing in. The reel was touted for the impermiability of the clutch/ drag system design, hmm, not so it would appear.

I made some suggestions as to how he can keep this from becoming a PR nightmare for Waterworks/ Lamson.
Stay tuned

juro
05-27-2004, 09:49 AM
I've got a couple rusted up V4's I need to send back too.

We've recently discussed this, and at that point there were many Velocity proponents arguing in favor. I find it disheartening that some of them are in this thread experiencing the same fate.

My strategy going forward is to go with what Motown goes with - car brake systems. Disc brakes are open but serviceable; drum brakes are sealed and the rim bolts to the outside of the drum.

Sage 3400/3500 reels (ironically made by Waterworks!) use the sealed drum / exterior bolt design and have been very reliable since their introduction. The new OF Nautilus is also based on this design and although it's brand new it holds tremendous promise as being a reliable truly sealed system because there is no interaction as in a spindle that becomes exposed to the elements when popped or an o-ring fails. It's the drum brake design.

The Islanders, Abels, etc - are all very reliable exposed drag reels but they do require a little maintenance now and again. Well worth the effort for the performance you get.

All things being equal I would rather have a maint-free sealed drag that is not just kinda sorta sealed but SEALED.

Old Florida / Nautilus has joined us as a sponsor and we will be auctioning a reel within the next few days... so keep your eyes open if you'd like to try a fully sealed drag system in a very nice looking large arbor reel.

I think the lesson to consumers and manufacturers alike is that the truly sealed drag is not a trivial thing to build, and anything short of that is not better than an exposed serviceable drag.

It' great that some manufacturers get it.

seuss
05-27-2004, 09:57 AM
Juro,

Would Forum members be able to get a discount on the OF / Nautilus? What if all us Lamson-ites banded together in a mass exodus over to the OF / Nautilus platform?

JB

juro
05-27-2004, 10:02 AM
That's not for me to answer. Any discount would be negotiated against your peers in the auction. :devil:

Chris
05-27-2004, 10:50 AM
I have so far liked the performance of the reel. I am just concerned now that I have seen a very small amount of moisture in the clutch. Not to belabor the point- I just feel a I'm sure those who have tried to resolve similar issues with the manufacturer that it has been handled poorly by them. Icertainly will be more concious of the likelyhood of this failure and take measures to see that I don't get cought. One of the the things that Pete said was that the drag wouldn't fail all at once, that it would manifest over time and that it shouldn't ruin a trip for anyone. How much time wasn't stated.

Seuss, how was the failure timeline with yours. was it a noticable gradual degredation in performance or didit just seize up?

seuss
05-27-2004, 10:58 AM
both times something mysterious happened in the off-season. i.e. it worked on my last trip just before storing for the winter. then when the new season came around and I reassembled the reel for a first outing, i found i had no drag. spins like a top.

BigDave
05-27-2004, 11:03 AM
When mine froze it was the same deal as Seuss. Worked like a charm through October, spent the winter in the closet. When I took it out for pre-season fiddling around it was so corroded the handle wouldn't turn in either direction.

Didn't have that problem this spring however....

Eddie
05-27-2004, 03:27 PM
don't quote me on this, but I think when they say not to put any lube on the reel, I think they mean the drag cone. I suspect that that bearing wouldn't mind a little lube after some wd40 (to dispel the fresh water). This is with the one way bearing out of the reel. I would ask some one familiar with Shimano reels and see what they say about those bearings. I will post on one of those heathen boards and find out. Those are pretty nice reels, and this shouldn't be a deal breaker.

Eddie
05-27-2004, 06:18 PM
I posted on the main board of stripersonline .com where people are pretty knowlegable about many things. http://www.stripersonline.com/ubb547/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/33434.html
their recomendations are as I suspected.
oh, and I was kidding about the heathen stuff:devil: I'll take any info i can use.

Greg Pavlov
05-27-2004, 06:59 PM
[i]I just heard back from Pete at Lamson/ Waterworks and the guy had tha gall to imply I was the cause for the moisture in my clutch.[/B]
I find it incredible that a reel is not supposed to get wet.

I have a total of 10 Lamson Litespeeds in three sizes. I dunk and immerse them constantly. I periodically clean out and pack the clutch and drag with grease. I haven't had any problems with the reels.

Chris
05-27-2004, 07:30 PM
That's nice to hear Pavlov. I also feel it can only help if moisture is getting in. I would think that the only issue with lubing the clutch
is that certain types may cause deterioration of the O-ring. Not knowing what it is made of there is no way of knowing what will and won't effect them. I am still waiting get an answer about the gear/o-ring/ cap as a spared part. Since the o-rings fail and they appear to come as part of the plastic cap, unless we are to fish the o-ring out of the cap, they should at least spare those without too much accusations of mistreatment of the reel.

Eddie, that was also positive feedback from your inquiry regarding similar clutches. Again I think the critical issue now is the possible compromise of the o-ring by certain lubes. But, if we make it a habit to check them and do whatever maintenance, for a "sealed drag system", needs to be done to see that it doesn't cause a bummer on the water.

Eddie
05-27-2004, 09:57 PM
the lube on the clutch would be light, and not affect the o ring. I don't think that the o ring is made of anything special. Probably polyurithane.
Also, Lamson is not exactly a manufacturer, but more of a design house. They have all the manufacturing contracted out. Nothing wrong with that, but it might take a little longer for them to get technical information to customer service. It's not like calling Abel and talking to Steve.

seuss
07-01-2004, 01:05 PM
brief follow-up on the Lamson saga. unfortunately, as much a buyer beware as anything else.

called Lamson again. this time requested to have a clutch sent out b/c there wasn't enough time to send it in for repair (had a trip coming up) and b/c i'm tired of paying the cost to ship it back and forth. they resisted a bit, but agreed to send one out. package arrived but with the incorrect clutch. called them back and got somebody different. requested to have the correct clutch sent out, but she wouldn't do it. insisted i send the reel back, which i did. she told me if i sent it in, she would expedite the fix and get the reel back to me in time for my trip. reel never showed. emailed but got no response. called to inquire. they said they never received my reel. too bad UPS had their signature on file. reel lost. they eventually found the reel, changed all it's innards for the second year in a row, another couple weeks go by, and i just received it back today.

on the plus side, they're reasonably nice on the phone, just ineffective. and the don't seem to have charged me the $20 repair fee, at least not yet. that was nice of them.

one footnote: they claim they rarely if ever see any velocities back for drag issues, yet everyone i know has had the same or similar problems.

not altogether positive. hopefully my experience was an anomaly.

striblue
07-01-2004, 01:28 PM
Buy an Abel. pay more but worth it.

BigDave
07-01-2004, 01:37 PM
Suess,

Thanks for the follow up. I am bummin...own 2 of them but the 3.5 has been a gem so far. The guy I talked to there last week was actually pretty pleasant and admitted it was a problem they are trying to resolve. Hopefully what they send back to you gets a little more mileage.

I just bought a new reel for a different rod. Fact of the matter is no one has perfected the sw fly reel yet. Abel/Tibor is great but try changing spools while standing knee deep in the surf. As reported here Ross has the same prob as the Lamsons do. Ended up with Bauer which seems to be the best of both worlds (low maintenance/owner servicable).

Good luck dude.

Smcdermott
07-01-2004, 02:34 PM
My experience for what its worth. I have an Abel, Tibor, Bauer and SA System 2. The Abel is number 1 in my book for all around durability and smooth drag. But to Dave's point I would never change spools on the fly and just carry a full spare reel instead. The Tibor is also bullet proof but the amount of grease they pack in there does accumulate dirt and grime if the reel gets dunked. I love the bauer but did have an issue two years ago with a smoked bearing after catching 4-5 albies in less than a half hour. They were great about the repair and I have not had an issue since but I also haven't caught an albie since (hope they show up this year!). The SA System 2 has only seen limited use but for Bass I think it is more than adequate with a smooth drag and exposed palming rim. Both the Bauer and System 2 are easy to change spools. I think if I was in the market the reel I would look at would be the OF Nautilus. After seeing them in action on some nice Bahamian bones they look like the "Reel Deal" (sorry couldn't resist).

Sean

BigDave
07-01-2004, 02:37 PM
I love the bauer but did have an issue two years ago with a smoked bearing after catching 4-5 albies in less than a half hour.

Good problem to have Sean! :D

slabcandy
07-02-2004, 05:42 PM
twinkle twinkle little twink