Reel Question [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Reel Question

10-20-2004, 05:12 PM
I am new to the world of saltwater fly fishing, and i wanted to ask around for a recommendation. I'm used to throwing 4wt line on mountain streams in Virginia, but a recent move to Boston has inspired me to try salt water.

I'm currently building a 9 ft, 9 wt graphite rod for striper fishing, and i'm trying to decide what reel to slap on the pac bay A8 reel seat. I'm working on a very limited budget, and i've narrowed the options down to two options that i've rounded up on-line. Unfortunately, i haven't found a good shop in the area to investigate 1st hand.

1. Redington RS2 Large Arbor Fishing Fly Reel - 9/10 $69.95

i've read mixed reviews, and i know that they stopped making the reel. I know that it's heavy... my reel question (no pun intended) is whether or not it will hold up in saltwater. Keep in mind that i'm on a budget

2. Okuma Integrity Fly Reel Weight 8oz Line Size 8/9 Price $56.95

I own a 4/5 okuma sierra, and i've had no major complaints. The finishes on their reels aren't great, but holding paint isn't as important to me as mechanical reliability. I know that it's not top of the line, but for the price it seems like a good option. Not sure about salt.

Any advice would be appreciated. Go Sox!


10-20-2004, 05:27 PM
Not sure I could recommend either of them for striper fishing. They'd start out as great reels for the task but would not stand the test of time, unfortunately due to the relentless corrosive qualities of saltwater.

If you can find a used SA2 8/9 or 9/10 you would be far better off and you wouldn't have to spend much more than that. Also, a discontinued reel you might consider would be be old Lamson LP 4 (machined) which you can probably find for under $100 second hand.

Other than that I can't offer any good advice except to invest in a reel that will last, it's cheaper than buying two (or three).


10-20-2004, 05:35 PM
I second Juro's opinion on the SA System 2. Great reel for the money. I have sent you a pm with a link to one on ebay.


Arthur Robert
10-20-2004, 07:10 PM
I agree with the advice from Juro. The Okuma and the Reddington just don't hold up. this year my nephew had the drag fail on his then had the spool pop off while playing an albacore. We did land the fish and were able to save the fly line. The spool and all the backing now rest at the bottom of a jetty. I did get two Reddington large arber reels for a song( so I thouight). I did give one to my nephew and I kept one. Within trhee days this year we BOTH had the handle fall off while playing fish. I do have a SA that is about 15 years old and is pretty beat up BUT it still functions, I have also heard a number of srories from other anglers on problems with both the Okuma and Reddington. A used SA might be the way to go.

10-21-2004, 08:29 AM
I agree with Juro about a used Lamson.
I own one which is about 12 years old and since they updated the drag system years ago [free retrofit on mine], I have no complaints. If it weren't for dings and scratches, I'd have no problem selling it with a clear conscience. There's years of use left in it [no, I won't part with it].

You might consider two options of research that I have found useful.
One is to visit a jetty or other location frequented by experienced flycasters and ask a few guys what they're using and how they feel about it.
The other is do visit a flyfishing show and walk from booth to booth and handle every brand represented. Also talk to the rep about warrenty and service issues. You may find spending a few bucks more upfront will actually save you a bundle down the road when a service issue crops up. Lamson has serviced my reel once at the factory and also sent the drag upgrade both at no cost to me.

10-21-2004, 09:24 AM
I wanted to elaborate on why I like the Lamson and give some maybe useful advice in relation to that.

First, as a freshwater fisherman, you may not be fully in tune with the importance of the drag system in a saltwater rig. Trust me, the first time you hook a 10 pound false albacore, 15 pound blue or 25 pound striper from shore [all very reasonable possibilities], you will either curse or bless your reel depending on the drag system. I can't emphasize that enough. DO NOT SKIMP when it comes to the drag system. BTW, that is the kind of info you'd be better off getting in the field from a wet and salty flycaster and not a smooth talking rep at a show.

What you CAN see at a show, and what first attracted me to the Lamson, is the robust construction and simplicity of engineering. Some reels feel like plastic toys in the hand and some are crafted from solid chunks of metal. You should expect to get ten or more years of reasonably heavy use from any top brand reel. If it feels flimsy in the hand, it's doubtful it will stand up to the incredable harshness of saltwater use. That includes not only the obvious salt corrosion but also the bumps and bangs and drops onto granite boulders that are inevitable in our chosen environment.
I've always been a advocate for the KISS concept in any piece of equipment I purchase. The simpler the better. More bells and whistles equates [in my mind at least] with more things to break, fail, fall off, get lost or otherwise put you out of business. I realize in today's market driven infatuation with cool gadgits that is an unpopular point of view. Nevertheless, I have not replaced my primary reel since I bought it 12+ years ago and I have never been left stranded on the water despite very hardcore useage and plenty of large lively fish trying to beat up my gear. I would venture to say that is not the rule in general.

AFTER you have satisfied the two criteria above [plus the warrenty] is when things like price, size, weight, line capacity, cosmetics etc should be considered.
Good luck and welcome to our world!

10-21-2004, 10:46 AM
Super budget is the Pflueger Medalist. One of the oldest and most tested. Palming rim to add to the drag system if necessary and I'd say it'll last you a fair amount of time. I've got one that I used for 4 or 5 seasons and the paint is chipped and AL is starting to corrode, but its just cosmetic. All the internal workings are alive and kicking...

10-21-2004, 02:22 PM
Having been there and done that.....I ditto the recommendation not to cheap out. My first reel was a Reddinton.... after 3 trips back to the factory for drag repair in 2 years, it is now a back-up. For 40 dollars more, I'd suggest a Tioga 9/10.....simple....drop it from a cliff, sealed and smooth drag...though a bit heavy. I also have a Lampson and like it, but it is a bit more$. If I had to do it all over again, I would have simply bought the Tioga initially. $ is always an issue for most of us, but as others say...."buy once"'s cheaper in the long run!

10-21-2004, 05:40 PM
I've used Ross Gunnison's (G4 or G5) for years and have had great luck with them, also the Bauer M4 is super. Watch ebay and you can sometimes find some bargains. I like the drag systems on both of them and they are fairly easy to maintain, just rinse them off every evening after salt water use.
Good luck.

10-21-2004, 08:04 PM
I have a Lampson and don't like it because of the clutch which always seems to corrode. I a;ways wasj off my reel after each time I use it in the salt and take care of my equipment. Its a weakiness of this reel. Lampson sent me three backup clutches and now they charge for them. Something to thing about. Just my experience with this reel. I know other anglers who own this reel and have had this problem. They solved this problem with their new reels. Just a bad design. They should have made the clutch out of stainless steel.