best 6-7wt. reel in this price range? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: best 6-7wt. reel in this price range?

04-05-2006, 08:51 PM
for my 6 weight, maybe with a 7 weight

uses: mainly for bigger alaskan trout, but maybe for smaller steelhead and bones

my ideas:
ross rythym 3 or 3.5
lamson velocity 2 or 3
ross evolution 3


04-05-2006, 09:46 PM
I would hold off on the bones... the WW reels have proven to have serious vulnerability to saltwater use. Although they have recently awakened on this issue I would hold off to see if the fix is going to work.

Freshwater use should be ok but I would probably still remove the spools between uses to prevent locked in moisture from eating the spindles and mating hardware.

Have you looked at the Danielsson 6/nine for this application? I am thoroughly satisfied with mine and recommend it highly.

04-06-2006, 05:41 AM
i would also take a look at bauer jm and the old florida reels for those price points. all of the lamson reels #3 and up now have stainless clutches to combat the saltwater issues, this happened last season so anything new now likely has the ss parts. lamson, bauer, old florida and danielson all overshadow ross's build quality, compare them side by side in hand.

04-06-2006, 06:53 AM
Good call Nick, my bauers have been flawless and are lightweight as well as smooooth. Good looking too.

I like the Ross reels overall but for saltwater the BG series has a problem with corrosion within the chamber inside the drag adjustment which makes it impossible to reduce the drag beyond a certain point (relative to the amount of corrosion). It will not stop you from landing a fish but if you swab a qtip with oil on it into the chamber it will come up rusty red and there is no way for owners to service that. They know about it, I've had a long discussion with them as have others here. It's still a usable reel and I have not sent mine in yet although I should.

I hope the changes on the WW reels make them what we all hoped - machined reel w/ super smooth drag, lightweight large arbor at a working man's price.

04-06-2006, 08:16 AM
Tibor Light Backcountry would be perfect for that setup. I put 35#GSP on mine and it fit a 7wt bonefish line nicely. Plenty of smooth drag and few parts to corrode.

I will also put in a vote for Bauer - but I would spend a little more for the McKenzie Superlite.

04-06-2006, 09:55 AM
the bauer mckenzie SL seems like a great reel, but is the spool side drag knob a problem? I often tighten the drag while the fish is running, but if the drag were spool side you risk getting your fingers knocked off when you adjust the drag. the bauer xtreme has the traditional frame side drag, but is much more expensive. Anyone have a problem with this on their bauer SL?

i think the ross evolution 3 fits my situation the best. A lightweight big trout, and occasional light steelhead/bonefish reel (I have a ross BG4 on my 8wt that is for the big fish). the ross doesn't have the saltwater problems that the WW reels have had either. thanks for the advice all!

04-06-2006, 10:06 AM
The SL does have the drag on the spool side but you can easily adjust the drag with one finger while the fish is running. I have used mine on Albies, big Bass, Bonefish and Permit and it has always performed flawlessly. I'm not a beleiver in fiddling around with your drag while fighting a fish anyway. More importantly the drag is smooth reliable cork and the reel is very easy to maintain.

The Ross evolution IMHO is not an appropriate SW reel and even the BG's have a reputation for corroding in the SW. Check the archives of this forum and you will see what I mean.

I would definitely not consider Lamson/WW if you are doing any serious amount of saltwater fishing.

04-07-2006, 05:44 AM
since we seem to be blowing the budget anyway look at the Bauer MZ. it has the same clutches and drag as the rest but in a sealed cartridge. it also has the drag knob on the back of the reel.
Big Dave- i couldn't agree more about the ross, nice enough reels but compared side by side they are not in the same class.

04-07-2006, 05:47 AM
at the risk of being called a Danielsson bigot the 6/nine comes in at like $295 and is heads and shoulder above anything else in this price range

Of course there are many great reels on the market and I want to own many different brands but I can't say enough about my evotecs.

04-07-2006, 07:00 AM
If your budget is in the $300 range why not buy 2 Orvis Battenkill Mid-Arbor reels?

I have trouble understanding why people spend so much on reels. I have to admit I don't do much saltwater fly fishing but I see enough pictures of saltwater guides with big fish and reels like the the Orvis Mid-Arbor. These guys fish all the time so you'd assume they would choose something that works?

04-07-2006, 07:24 AM
Are you looking in the Orvis catalog :hihi:

(I hope for a better reel when I pay a guide to tell the truth)

04-07-2006, 07:38 AM
Hi Geoff -

From my perspective, I think of a reel as an investment that is worthy of some cash outlay - depending on purpose.

For instance, someday I want a reel to put into a wooden box where the leather pouch took more effort to sew than some cheap reels took to slap together in an assembly line. I don't have that now, but I can see it. How out there is that? :)

For providing to my clients, I want them to think "nice reel I've heard of these" instead of "hmmm my reel is better". But I don't have $1000 or more to spend on the reels (plural) I need to buy for clients use. Now no matter what I buy they might have a better reel, they might even fish with the reel in the wooden box for all I know.

For myself, I prefer the balance of price / performance where the design, durability, aesthetics and reliability meets or exceeds the price. You can see where I am going with this, it's a simple fact.

And yes, saltwater is the proving ground as are large fish like salmon, stripers, tarpon - or very fast fish like bonefish, inshore tuna, etc. I agree for freshwater fishing one does not need to spend a lot of money, and there are many great reels for $100-200 out there for streams and ponds.

(BTW we are starting to plan out the Forum Nor'easter Spey Clave if you are interested)

I have trouble understanding why people spend so much on reels. I have to admit I don't do much saltwater fly fishing but I see enough pictures of saltwater guides with big fish and reels like the the Orvis Mid-Arbor. These guys fish all the time so you'd assume they would choose something that works?

04-07-2006, 07:42 AM
I use a Tibor Back Country Wide on a six weight for the salt . It has been a great performer..However, now that I am also a Danielsson owner for a ten weight, I would opt for the Danielsson if I made the choice today.

04-07-2006, 07:46 AM
JF -

How is the backcountry drag when wet? I heard it freespools.

I have a bunch of old Lamson LP's that if I fit with a bigger caliper would still be the meat-and-potatoes battle axe reel of the century but with that microscopic pad (despite a full disc) they freespool when wet.

I love my Danielsson reels too (as you know).

04-07-2006, 07:48 AM
Not to give you sticker shock...but you can not beat an Abel.... and if you go on e-bay they are have great sales on certain models in the range you are looking at and, even in a tight bidding atleast 50% off the retail which puts them at or below some of these other real prices.... these are all New unused reels, with warrentiees... Never had any issues on drag with those....JMO.

04-07-2006, 07:49 AM
John -

What is your maintenance procedure for the Abel drag? Do you have to loosen it between trips?


A personal thing but I can't handle the silent drag :o ... Dave17's Tibor sure sounds nice though, I heard it a lot in Acklins. Not as loud as Bills HARDY

Cork drags are high maintenance although among the best performers on the market. Neither are in the price range being discussed.

04-07-2006, 08:29 AM
Juro... I lossen the drag all the time, especially when not in use.... always wash it out with warm water and if I remember...I soak the reel in warm water for several minutes..followed by a light hosing.......let it dry outside Then treat the cock with a cock oil...lightly.... but the oil treatment is dependant on what I see and feel on the cork. When I store for the winter I also oil to keep the cork from getting dry...I beleive many guys forget to loosen drags and it is a must especially with cork...otherwise the compression can cause problems...a well oiled cork drag is very smooth and reliable. It is that the prices for these basically overpriced reals is more affordable and well worth the money if you know where to look....if you do go to e-bay there are at least three pages devoted to these reels for all species and waters..... I got a nice super 2-camo- new with a cork drag for the price I would have paid for a high end Orvis CFO...and no cork around. PS.... I don't change spools...I usually will simply carry an extra reel.... so the spool chaanging is a problem since it requires you to unscrew to remove...but so are the Tibors, Pates, Islanders as well.... the quickness of spool removal does not effect me since I just put on the other reel and still have to rig the rod... no more than anyone would have to do with the quick change spools on the market.

04-07-2006, 08:30 AM
The Bauer McKenzie Superlite is about $330 depending on the model. Abel/Tibor you are looking closer to $600...talking retail price here.

BlackFrancis that MZ is a bad-ass reel. Very comparable draw-bar system to Abel/Tibor plus you don't need a tool to change spools. I put one through the paces at Harker's and was quite impressed. However the Riptide is still king on inshore tunoids :lildevl:

Regarding the Backcountry: you will lose some drag pressure if you really dunk the reel (which I did many times in belize) but there is still plenty of drag for bones or whatever else you expect to target on a 6wt.

04-07-2006, 08:50 AM
Are you looking in the Orvis catalog

Well, no. Pointers to websites from the Saltwater section of the fly fisherman board. They were guides bragging about good fish they'd caught.

The latest fly fishing radio podcast features Lefty Kreh. He recommends going to Bass Pro and buying a $169 reel for Saltwater fishing because it works just as well as the $700 ones.

For instance, someday I want a reel to put into a wooden box where the leather pouch took more effort to sew than some cheap reels took to slap together in an assembly line. I don't have that now, but I can see it. How out there is that?

Hi Juro,

I have trouble with that but then I've fished with Pflueger Medalists my whole life. My fancy reel is a Scientific Anglers System 2L. :D

On the other hand I am currently awaiting the arrival of my very first bamboo rod. :eek: So I can understand the desire to own something nice. For me it is a rod rather than a reel.

My wife got me a 9wt Winston rod for Christmas. When I finally save up enough pennies I'll be getting a Battenkill Mid-Arbor for it. I'll use it mainly for throwing big bass bugs but I'd like to get out and try for stripers this year with it. I think the Mid-Arbor is a great value. (Plus, you can buy two for the price of the other reels mentioned. :D )

(BTW we are starting to plan out the Forum Nor'easter Spey Clave if you are interested)

Yes, please.

Grrrr.... Smilies shouldn't be treated as images... I like lots of smilies. <--- insert smilie here.

04-07-2006, 09:42 AM
Yes that limitation is not intentional - I will try to separate the smile quota frmo the image quota somehow.

I knew you there was a catch - so you are a rod glut ;)

04-07-2006, 11:09 AM
I knew you there was a catch - so you are a rod glut ;)

Yeah, I am. :D

I got laid off in the fall and took a nasty pay cut so I can't afford much in the way of rods now. (I had to scramble to pay for the bamboo.) On the other hand I'm enjoying my job now.

04-08-2006, 07:53 AM
Waterworks and Ross are tough to beat. i use them every year from maine to mexico and have had no problems with them at all. Besides its hard to beat Ross in the service dept, after the trip just send it back to them and they will inspected it and clean it for free. No worries

04-08-2006, 08:40 PM
who here has really fished in the salt?

04-09-2006, 07:10 AM

The good solution for you would be Danielsson ( Feather Weight) 5-7 for $235. This reel weights as about the same as Evolution 3.5, has similar size and capacity, but most important !!!, like all Danielsson Reels, has fully sealed, extreamlly extremely reliable drag system.
I use one on my Winston BIIX wt.7 , 9’6” for large Rainbows in SW Alaska when fishing in wind with mouse patter or sink tips. The set-up will also very good for silvers.

The reel is salt proof and the grag is smooth like a butter. At max set up the drag has similar stopping power ( if you would like to use it in salt water) to the LWs.
One more notice, FW reels have no clicker.


04-09-2006, 07:27 AM
who here has really fished in the salt?

What that a trick question?

A significant percentage of the membership here has extensively fished the salt from the north pacific coho to the tropics to the northeast stripers to down under etc. In fact the membership of this site has a higher saltwater FF population than most 100% flyfishing websites on the web which are often much stronger in trout (as is the general market) or really gear / bait sites disguised as flyfishing sites. It is also well represented by spey casters and river anglers for salmon and steelhead as well (although is the web's top site for Spey).

Innovators in two-handed saltwater flyfishing visit here often. People on this site have been direct contributors to development of new rods and lines expressly suited to saltwater flyfishing. We have organized sorties' into remote islands in the tropics where fresh water is a commodity and we're just scratching the surface. So I think many people here really know about the products that can pass muster in the salt, and those that can not - especially those who fish for stripers in the northeast as that becomes about all the fishing they do (it's so much more exciting than the trout fishing if you live near the coast). There are almost 46,000 posts in the saltwater section of this board.

Why do you ask?

04-09-2006, 08:41 AM
You can purchase the graphite lube along with the reel and reapply to the cork when necessary. Depending on how much use the reel gets, you can reapply every year or after three to four years. Some guys even reapply after each trip but it is generally not necessary. You can tell by looking at the cork to see if it looks dried out.
This is what Tibor recommends on maintaining the cork drag. They also said not to use Neet's Foot oil as it tends to dry out the cork. The spool changing problem has been solved with the QC model.
This was part of my research in buying a reel . FishHawk.

04-12-2006, 08:53 AM
I have been looking at reels in a similar price range and I have about decided on new the Sage 2580D. Its very light weigt and highly corressive resistant. Holds plenty of line for bonfish. I know of tests at Cape Lookout where it was used for Flase Albies and the drag took it even when tightened way down. Sells at $370. Plan to use it for those long walks on the flats with a 7wt. They also make a 6/7 for a bit less but I like more line for bonefish.

04-12-2006, 09:28 AM
What would be advantage of $ 374 Sage over
Danielsson LW 6-9 ( $ 295) or Danielsson FW5-8 ( $ 235), both reels have super smooth and reliable sealed drag system?


04-12-2006, 12:58 PM
It always amazes me that there more expensive traditional cork drag models require the least maintenance. My Billy Pate marlin is about 12 years old and has had plenty of abuse. It still comes out of its pouch and "purrs". :smokin:

It seems that the more expensive the reel, the less complicated the drag and, hence, ease of maintenance.

I wonder why that would be? Lower manufacturing cost to install a sealed unit vs sticking a piece of cork (or suitable substitute) to the frame? :confused:

Wee Hooker
04-12-2006, 05:52 PM
Find a used Cimmeron and never look back. Indestructable reels with bulletproof drags. Got 7 of em?

04-12-2006, 06:14 PM
" wonder why that would be? Lower manufacturing cost to install a sealed unit vs sticking a piece of cork (or suitable substitute) to the frame? "

Seems to me that you don't know what are you talking about:confused:

Before Danielsson split with Loop HD reels cost around $700.
Tibor reels for example are offer to shops and guides ( trust me…..) at 40 -45% discount.

Since Danielsson sells its reel directly ( no Loop middle man ) we can all buy for what fly shops or guides used to pay.

The drag system is sealed and based on multiple carbon and steel discs ( similar material used in formula 1 cars).
Look at HD, FW or LW disck and you will know what I am talking about!
No hydroplaning effect.

see pictures

The drag works smoothly in all situations, regardless of high or low temperature, without changing brake torque.
To design a drag that maintains the chosen torque setting, the drag material cannot be flexible. (If the dimension changes with temperature etc., the torque will be changed). Neither can the drag be lubricated, since lubrication introduces inevitable friction changes as temperature, load and rotation speed change. Cork was therefore completely inconceivable.
Our experiments led to a carbon composite, stable up to 2000° C and extremely wear resistant. The advantages of this choice are obvious: the brake torque stays invariable independent of rotation speed and temperature. This decreases the risk of breaking a leader, fatigues the fish faster and gives you better control so you can concentrate on the fish and not on adjusting the drag.

It's impossible to design a good drag system without sealing it. Reels with drag systems that aren’t properly sealed can be used in dry conditions, but when the drag comes in contact with water the friction changes dramatically. Water planing can be the result and with that you lose control of the fish. Since Danielsson reels are completely sealed they still maintain all their functional qualities when wet.

04-13-2006, 05:22 AM
Seems to me that you don't know what are you talking about:confused:

You are probably right :roll:

04-13-2006, 06:03 AM
Salmo -

The traditional high-end "unsealed" cork drag has been a staple of many anglers and Adrian makes a good point - he certainly does know what he is talking about. The drags in Abels, Tibors, Islanders, etc are very reliable if cared for. Combination drags like Bauer, Gilmore, use both traditional cork material and modern synthetics together, which makes them easier to care for.

I am an ultra-satisfied Danielsson reel owner and love the sealed drag, in fact I can't think of many other reels that have a "real" sealed drag despite having owned most (if not all) of the ones who claim it. They turned out to be kinda sorta sealed which doesn't cut it. The LW and HD have ended my search. The aesthetics suit my tastes to a "T".

However the traditional cork drag is a proven system and with care as effective as any system on the market and some people understandably prefer it. I think these reels have proven it's possible to make a good drag without sealing it, the difference is the amount of care each requires.


04-13-2006, 08:25 AM
[I]It's impossible to design a good drag system without sealing it..

Salmo since you're such an expert maybe you can explain why Tibor and Abel, with their non-sealed designs hold more IFGA records that all other reel companies combined. Also I am also curious why they are the top choice of big game anglers worldwide and considered the benchmark of quality and craftsmanship? Why do people still buy them, considering they use a draw-bar design that hasn't changed in nearly 30 years?

Maybe they need to use more parts from formula 1 cars to catch your interest :rolleyes:

Let's see how your forumula 1 drag design stacks up to this track record in 25 years...if they are still around :razz:

04-13-2006, 10:36 AM
Conversely, I have no doubt that the drag designs on the Evotecs could have set these same records. Danielsson reels have passed the test of time and performance over the years and are a much evolved reel.

Reputation has driven your more traditional designs for decades and word of mouth is probably one reason why you chose them too. Hard-earned reputation indeed, but evolution is inevitable.

I know firsthand how much time owners put into care of these traditional designs verses what my newer reels require. Cork is nice but over the course of the reel's lifetime more work than I feel is necessary especially when options like the Evotec drag are available at half the price. When factoring in the maintenance, price - just not my everyday choice.

However I want to get some real classics for my collection and I don't care how much care they take. Maybe a Bogdan someday.

04-13-2006, 10:43 AM
I may be wrong but I thought that all sealed drags are mesured by the Charleton Reels

04-13-2006, 11:19 AM
All good points and don't get me wrong - I like the design of the Daneilsson and it looks like a good value for most inshore applications.

Frankly I thought Tibor reels were over-priced until I had the opportunity to use them on big fast-running pelagics. This is where they shine. My purchase was based on first-hand experience, not reputation or stuff I read on the web.

Not sure what maintenance you are referring to. You only need to back off the drag, give the handle a spin under running tap water and let it dry. Mine looks/works like brand new despite taking a beating on big fish, dunks in the salt and drops in the boat.

Regarding Adrian's post about price/durability/maintence: IMHO this is a proven combination of few moving parts that are very high quality, overbuilt, and hand-assembled in the USA.

I don't mean to start a pissing match about who has the better reel, but to claim that exposed draw-bar cork drags are inferior is ridiculous :smokin:

04-13-2006, 11:56 AM
Sorry bro, not meaning to cause a pissing match either just trying to bring some balance to the discussion / pros cons.

You have to back off the drag? :lildevl:

04-13-2006, 12:00 PM
Hopefully we can do a side-by-side comparison on legal flats bass in a month or so :devil:

That way everybody wins...

04-13-2006, 06:42 PM
If you haven't found quite what you are lloking for, you might want to check out the Islander reel company. they are located in victoria bc in canada. They have been around for quite a while now and manufacture top notch reels. Single action is their game. I know a few outfitters on the west coast that use them exclusively for their depndability and toughness. It will be worth your while to check them out.

04-13-2006, 07:40 PM
Yes.... The Islander... another well known cork drag.... as in all things too many movable part cause problems sometimes and repairs can be difficult.... if you have a problem with the cork, and if you did not use the "minimal" maintanance... Abel and the other companies can "simply" send you another cork drag...or you send it in and they replace the cork.... I agree and most will as well that the cork is always been the smoothest and least maitanance and historically the best... if the sealed drag locks... and they do.... well... and... I do know what I am talking about. PS.. What did Fulflex mean...I would like to know!!!!!! just "where did that come from"

04-13-2006, 08:08 PM
have a corroded old CFO V that sees light salt duty 6-7-8. It hasn't let me down yet. It's a timeless design, rendered ugly by corrosion, yet it still sings. I like that. I also use a Loop/Daniellsson when I'm feeling more space age.

The CFO V can be had used, cheap, because most everyone these days seems convinced that you need a strong drag on a 7 wt

04-14-2006, 12:03 AM
I have the old CFO 1, 2 and 5...Clic and paul... a great reel... actually made by hardy.... a CLASSIC... one that will out lve many reels today... but can't use in it salt ... ask one of the posters if it can? after all I don't fish in salt....!!! Adrian.. I have known you for years and You do know what you are talking about.

04-14-2006, 05:34 AM
i guess the point is that there are tons of great reels out there and there is probably one that you like the best. danielson doesn't have the market cornered on sealed drags. don't get me wrong, they are great reels. from a fly shop perspective especialy in the USA they are a real pain in the ass. going direct to the consumer is great for them but bad for shops. you won't find many shop folks that will talk well of them because of this. i also like to support american companies, since there are so many good ones around. one more nail in the coffin of fly shops that we all claim to love so much, but support so little.

04-14-2006, 07:00 AM
This one seems to bring out some real emotional responses :)

John - As a regular fishing partner I know you've played the field as broadly as anyone but you've never tried one of these reels so you really don't have the whole picture with reliable sealed drags worthy of SW. I've played the field pretty broadly myself (albeit not as many designs you have) but I have tested this drag design extensively and can honestly say this is the only sealed drag I can stand by for SW wading and beach use based on ownership of several other designs I will not badmouth here. I do not own a Charlton.

Nick - I buy everything from flyshops, even when it costs a bit more because the wisdom is priceless. I make a concerted effort to educate people who have gear and no clue why they don't - because they bought from warehouse catalog stores instead of shops.

In fact other than a few things at craft stores like knotting needles this is the ONLY thing I do not buy from fly shops because I can't. I can't feel like I am 'nailing any coffins' here.

Also, if there is another sealed drag of this level of saltwater reliability please let me know which one and I will gladly evaluate it in the field this season and provide a truthful report.

04-14-2006, 07:43 AM
Juro, reels are always in the top 5 in terms of fly shop profit. they account for a large part of the picture. have you used a nautilus ccf? have you used a bauer mz? believe me i understand that danielson is a sponsor but saying their sealed drag is the shiznit while not having used the others is a tad one sided. i will gladly provide you with a demo to put to the test. i don't fish salt water, so i would really apreciate a side by side comparison. the price thing has danielson ahead by a long nose but i don't believe their reels are any better than nautilus ccf or bauer in the sealed drag market. i have a bauer mz 7 ready to take the test anytime.

Jim Miller
04-14-2006, 08:05 AM
My go to reel is my 16 year old Tibor Everglades. With maintainence it has been superb.
Last Spring I picked up a Orvis Mach III at our local Orvis Outlet store for $130. So far I have caught Bonito, Bluefish, Stripers, Albies, king salmon & steelies on it. I like the light weight and simple design. It has been up to the task w/ good stopping power and smooth drag..... I have been very pleased.

Next I hope to use it with my 7 wt. for Eleuthera bonefish in late June. I'll have the Tibor on the 8 wt. ;)

BTW: my first reel was a Lamson .... it's 18 years old and still works fine! I've landed some pretty nice Lake Ontario salmon & steelies on it.
FWIW: Unlike my buddies Ross reels..... the Lamson has never froze up on me during winter fishing.

Hope this helps!

04-14-2006, 08:16 AM
Juro... I can not are right... I don't own a non cork reel... so I only speak from my personal likes.... I just know that the maintenance is easy and they are reliable... this is not to say that sealed drags are not.

Jim, my first reel for salt was a lamson as well.... but after a couple beers, maybe 5 years ago, I traded it to Hawkeye for his reel.... It is one of those reels that is on my mantel at CAC.... he knows why... but it was and is still a great reel.

04-14-2006, 08:35 AM
Nick - I hear you brother on the uphill battle, in fact having visited your shop last fall I have to say we need to keep you open, that is one of the most fully outfitted and well stocked shops I've seen.

Here's my tale...

When another company came out with an affordable sealed drag years back I got very excited about it as did many others on this site. I bought into the dream. A season or two later we all found out the gory truth - the reel could not take saltwater use.

Another reel came out with the same promise, and I got excited about it here as did many others. We all bought into it. A season or two later, we had more expensive and reels with corrosion and functional issues in the so-called sealed drag system.

This was the experience for thousands of saltwater hardcore anglers. I understand your perspective and respect it but you got to respect this too, we already paid the price. I am a consumer who has voted into these other companies with hundreds of dollars. As much as I might care about the shop owner, and I do, I have paid and paid already.

As far as the two you named, I've owned two Bauers and a Nautilus CCF although the Bauers are not the sealed Z's. I love them.

I hope to try the Bauer MZ out this season. By the way the cork / synthetic drags on even the older Bauers is pretty sweet.

Way off topic... what was the original question on this thread? :D

04-14-2006, 08:37 AM
Jim, my first reel for salt was a lamson as well.... but after a couple beers, maybe 5 years ago, I traded it to Hawkeye for his reel.... It is one of those reels that is on my mantel at CAC.... he knows why... but it was and is still a great reel.


That reel, that trade and those good old days will always be remembered. Next time I am at the CAC I am going to take some macro shots of that reel, I'd bet in Hawkeye's hands it landed some BRUTES too. :)

04-14-2006, 09:02 AM
My earlier point was a simple question actually.

I'll try to re-phrase it because I know my English can be difficult for folks to understand at times :lildevl:

When I take apart a top end cork drag reel and look inside I see something of great simplicity and elegance. I own Pate, Abel, Islander and Fin Nor. I also have a Loomis synchrotech that is almost as good. Very few moving parts and hence, not much that can go wrong. Maintenance is a breeze. Ask Lefty and he'll tell you to do nothing more than rinse them down after a hard days fishing.

I own and have taken apart a number of low-budget reels with so-called sealed drags. By the way, I don't consider Danielson a low-budget reel. It looks like a great product and I'll probably own one one day. When I take apart a budget priced reel I see so many bit and pieces it's hard to remember how to put the thing back together.

So here is my question:

How can it be cheaper to assemble a cheap 'sealed' drag than to stick a piece of cork or synthetic substitute on the frame of the reel? And, why seal up the one part of the reel that is going to need some TLC? Unless of course its such a complicated assembly that once taken apart the reel is toast. :confused:

04-14-2006, 09:12 AM
Simple elegance... like music. No wonder you play the guitar so well Adrian!

One point - the reason I have been seeking the holy grail of sealed drag - one should NEVER have to open it, that's the idea behind it. Many have tried...

04-14-2006, 09:52 AM
That is the thing about the loop/danielsson reels. The drag system does not have a lot of moving parts. The drag is actually pretty simple and a doof can take it apart and put it back together again. They key point being you do not ever need to take them apart.

I have been using my loops for 3 years now (I bought all mine before the split from a fly shop) and have never once cleaned them. Drag is as good as new and the reels look new as well. I have full confidence they will stop any fish I go after. These are the HD models which have a way beefier drag than the LWs.

I also own 4 nautilus reels and they have held up so far. I need to send them in to get the updated drag system but I feel they are another great reel in the sealed drag arena.

I also love classic simple elegance. For me though that is the old hardy perfects.

It all comes down to I am a lazy mutha and do not want to do any maintenance on my reel. No question that abels and tibors are obivously kick ass reels but are not maintenance free so not for me.

And the loop/danielsson reels just look cooler :lildevl:


04-14-2006, 10:26 AM
Sean... no disagreement...but does this look cool?:... Caribean Camo... slip it under running water and good for the next outing. :wink: "Ps. Just kidding around pal".... (and... paid $400 on e-bay... from a $850 retail paid $100 more than the other reels in the $300 range... and NO sales tax)... my only point on my earlier post sure to check e-bay for good deals... this is not to say that I do not support our fly shops... but many fly shops are trying to unload these way over priced reels on e-bay... plug in the words on e-bay and see for yourselves. Just consider it... that's all...

04-14-2006, 09:21 PM
points all well taken- great thread.

04-21-2006, 07:15 AM
you might want to look at the abel extreme it has a great price point super smooth drag and its bomb proof at $390.00

04-21-2006, 09:04 PM
How easy is to change the spool in the Abel reel ?


04-21-2006, 11:05 PM
Salmo.... This is always an issue... but you still have to rerig your rod.... Personanlly, I think this "high speed" change is meaningless.... It's a marketing thing... what you want is the best drag on the market........So.... turning off a little screw.... and hoping not to drop in the water... you adjust......

04-22-2006, 04:57 PM
what you want is the best drag on the market

And that is the reason I use only Danielsson reels.
Never have to worry about dirt on the cork. The drag is super smooth and essentially indestructible. The reel construction is simple and is build with typical Swedish precision.
You have to see a drag on HD reel which landed many hundreds of tarpons, atlantics or Kings.
Looks like a new!!!
As far as changing the spool.

“So.... turning off a little screw.... and hoping not to drop in the water... you adjust......”

That’s what we call marketing!!!.

Have you ever been in total wilderness for many weeks….?
Try to loose the screw…..

When fishing non stops for long time, it is so easy to get excited and no been careful when changing the spool (screw).

I think if I can get outstanding reels which use to cost $ 550-750 for now $ 295-425 why buy more expensive ( still very good, ) which requires more maintenance?


04-22-2006, 05:58 PM
changing a spool is easy just remove one screw and take it apart. now ask yourself how many times you need to change your spool while fishing? i bet its little or none. BTW when i go on a trip i bring extra reels not spools

04-22-2006, 06:26 PM
Thanks Spock. I am not here to argue....Wilderness?.... how abour 125 miles offshore.... and I look around and all I see are Abel reels....I am only giving MY opinioin and no one will change my mind... that's all!..

04-22-2006, 07:57 PM
a) Which reel do you think is more reliable, Danielsson or Abel ?
b) Which has more durable and better protected drag, Danielsson or Able?
c) When comparing a similar size reels, which of the two is more expensive?
d) Which of the two reels has faster retrieval rate ( larger arbor)- very important feature whe fighting large, fast runing fish
Both reels have very smooth drag!

Danielsson wins hands down b) c) and d) The asswer to these questions is obvious!

we can only argue about a)


04-22-2006, 08:00 PM
Frankly....who really cares.... and a Charlton is the best protective drag and I am off this thread.... I don't own stock in Abel....What's your story?...I give a harmless opinion and you try to sell me some second rate reel..... which I am sure works quite I tip my hat to Danelson... but your aggesiveness on it is quite puzzelling?????

04-22-2006, 08:10 PM
I own one of these models and plan to own both because each has it's endearing features. Also like the Tibors and old classic Hardy salmon reels not to mention the work that Mr.Bodgan (of Nashua New Hampshire) makes.

Reels are like guitars... you can't just get an acoustic, you have to have an electric. Once you get a nice strat, you miss the Les Paul. And that tele sure has some chops! And then there are amps... I just found an old second hand tweed fender blues deluxe... old as heck and stained with beer but it sure makes the musical equivalent to "love" to my Hendrix-esque all white strat. But the sunburst 62 remake really grabs me by the...

04-22-2006, 08:19 PM
Thanks Juro... my "simple" points well compared.