How well does a fly reel need to work? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: How well does a fly reel need to work?


josko
04-18-2008, 11:29 AM
I have a mid-level bonefishing reel from a large, well-known company. The reel's got 300 yds of backing, a large arbor, a synthetic disk drag, and works well enough in that it's never obviously cost me a fish.
However, I'm now getting bothered at watching its' stick-slip pulsing action whenever it's giving out line. While it's easy enough to compensate by lifting or dropping the rod slightly, and it really makes no difference as far as the fish is concerned, it seems to detract from the overall experience, and I'm thinkign of upgrading.
At one level this is silly, as the reel works fine and it's not compromising my ability to catch fish in any way.
On another level, it's not performing as well as more expensive reels. I can even tweak it up to minimize this 'sticktion', but as soon as it gets wet or any of many other things happen, it's back to it's usual self.

I've been ruminating for months now about whether I'm being unreasonable or whether flawless reel performance is part of the overall flyfishing experience. It would seem gear performance is more important in fly fishing than in virtually any other form of fishing, and I wonder if it's become an end in itself, transcending its role as a tool to catch fish.

For many years I fished with a Sci Angler II, which had its limits. I liked it a lot, partly because of the limits and because I knew just how to get around them. Now I've passed it to my son, and can't seem to get the same rapport with the replacement. When I look at these posts about Charltons, Abels, and such, I really wonder what performance to expect out of fly gear. We don't need those reels to catch fish, so there's got to be something else here. Maybe you can help me define just what it is.

Adrian
04-18-2008, 11:50 AM
I guess a well functioning drag becomes important when the fish of a lifetime inhales your fly and heads for the next time zone :smokin:

That said, a lot of early s/w pioneers did pretty well with modified Pfluger Medalists. I too am a Sci Angler II fan and fished them on my first bonefish trip to CXI. Once I got used to the drags tendency to occasionally disengage and go into freespool :whoa: they were fine. I still resurect them from time to time.

I have had a lot of dissapointments with so called 'sealed' drags until I got my Danielsson. I have to say it has been rock solid and I would take it anywhere with confidence.

Bottom line is if a reel had a drag, it needs to be reliable, otherwise no-drag would be better imho.

fishordie
04-18-2008, 05:36 PM
I'd say that your reel is not working well, if it sticks when giving out the line. My Tioga 12 and Lamson Velocity developed this problem in the last year or so after being used on the flats many times. The Tioga's sticking problem costed me a large fish and the butt section of a strong 10wt rod. The manufactures considered it as a problem and told me to send the reels in for repair. After having them serviced by the manufactures, the reels are working well again. Still, I found that these reels have a very small window of knob adjustment between a very strong drag and complete lock-up. When they develop the problem of sticking, it gets so tricky to tighten the drag beyond a pound or two.

I have been also using Danielsson LW6/9 and LW8/12 since last fall and feel that their design is superior to many other "sealed" drag reels. Their drag is super-smooth though not so strong. I hooked a large bonefish (probably one of those 30"+ fish) recently on my 12wt Horizon with a 25lb tippet. I tightened the drag to its max (about 4 pounds off the reel) and palmed the spool, but the fish kept taking the line out and cut the leader clean on a coral rock. I really wished then that I were fishing with one of those Makos, or Danielsson HDs. I'm now waiting for my Makos to do the job. I'm sure that Tibors and Abels would be just fine, too. I picked the Makos because I like the idea of smooth and strong drag working consistently at the calibrated strength. We have a realistic chance of catching a world record bonefish on the Oahu. So, I want to be ready if/when I hook one of those monsters. On the other hand, most of the bonefish I catch, 3 to 6 pounds, don't require any heavy drag at all, and can be delt with without drag and by just palming the spool.

If you have a good chance of hooking a fish that really requires a reel drag, I think you will be better off investing some extra $ in a better reel to improve the odds of landing the fish.

salmo
04-18-2008, 08:03 PM
fishordie,

If money is not a consideration, get anti-reverse Danielsson Control 7-12. See:
http://www.flyfishingforum.com/flytalk4/showpost.php?p=181549&postcount=15

for pictures, description and pdf files with spool capacity. In one of the files you can compare Danielsson LW, HD and Control using spool volume ( mL), which will help you to compare them on relative basis.

As for your LWs, you can increase the drag tension but not very significantly.
If you need any help with this regards drop me an e-mail and we can discuss it by phone.

Zb

fishordie
04-19-2008, 12:25 AM
salmo,

I have jacked up the drag tension on my LWs to the max usable range (the strongest setting that still gives me perceptible changes in the drag strength in one turn of the drag knob), and get about 4 pounds off the reel. I hear that the max usable on HDs is about 8 pounds off the reel. (Could you test this yourself and give us a report sometime? I'm curious.) I don't know about the Control, but Mako 9550 and 9600 have a range of 0.5 to 18 pounds in just one turn. I'm sure that the Controls are wonderful reels, but am not convinced that they can match the Makos. So, after extensive research, I decided to put my money into the Makos. The time will tell us how good the Controls are. To be honest, HDs seem to be more than enough for almost all saltwater fishing, except for the heaviest pulling you might do. If someone can land a 70lb tuna (Sean did), it's pretty darn impressive. I sold it, but wish that I could have kept it.

fishordie

salmo
04-19-2008, 01:22 AM
As you know the LW was design for fresh water fishing, but is adaptable to salt water fishing.

The two lightest Control 7-12 and 8-13 I have shares the same drag ( total of 8 composite carbon plates interacting with each other).
On the handle ( anti-reverse) side there is large drag knob with the adjustor under the knob. You can removed the drag know in a similar way as on HD and adjust the min/max of the main drag. With the minimum drag tension set about the same as factory set HD, the max is ( I will check out it out more specifically later as I don't have around fish balance)
about 20% stronger then HD, but you can adjusted minimum/max upward to keep min at usable level

However at this point it gets interesting. When you move the handle just 6-7 degree forward to retrieve the line or backward ( you will feel resistance when pressing backward) the power convertor will increase the drag tension substantially.

I have not seen the two largest reels , which have even stronger drag system, but was told it is much stronger and was designed to fight the largest ocean swimming creatures.

If what you claimed is true and HD max usable is around is 8 lb, then the 8-13 for example ( line/backing capacity ca. 10% larger then HD 11-14) would be around 10-12 lb, and I guess both 9-fourteen and 11-infinity would go substantially higher as their drag is described as an extra strong compare to 7-12 and 8-13 Control.

Lets say for example you set up the main drag to tension equal 70% of the LW max. for fish you are catching. Suddenly you have some hot fish running. You don't even have to adjust the main drag which is on the same side as the handle . By pressing handle forward or backward 6-7 degree you tension will near double.

So if HD can handle 70 lb Tuna, then Control 8-13 will do it even easier and 9-14 or 11-infinity at max usable drag set-up will probably challenge the sperm whale:hihi:

As for drag system it is not the overall size of the drag disk but rather total surface of all disks and the strength of the cap springs which all affects the drag tension.

Like LW and HD , a Control is fully sealed and drag knob makes only one turn.

Zb

nmbrowncom
04-19-2008, 05:49 AM
back to josko's question. there is a lot of bs and excessive compulsiveness when it comes to fly fishing gear-rods and reels particularly. that said, i'm of the mind that if you're concerned that the reel may not hold up and/or your fishing experience is diminished as a result, then for god's sake get rid of it. at the end of the day, it's all about the experience.
myself, i've fished with nautilus, sci angler systemII and danielson.
the danielson surely looks the best and is the lightest, but has an awkward spool changing system. also it's a bit sloppy in that the spool has lots of play when in the reel. that, however may be a result of the awkward and unusual spool changing system.
the nautilus seem to be the smoothest and also looks great, but once in a while the line somehow slips out from, or gets caught between the reel and spool. also, it's a bit on the heavy side.
the systemII is a workhorse. i've had it for 8 years and used and abused the hell out of it. it's all banged up and the paint on the rims has all warn off. but, it just keeps on going without a problem. however, changing spools on the systemII is a maddening chore. it's an art just to keep the line out from between the spool and the reel when changing spools. and it's an art that, after almost a decade of working at it, i have not quite figured out, let alone mastered. trying to change the systemII spool while on the flats would be an "experience" killer of the first order. i will only use it on my boat where i have a number of rods with different lines on them and thus do not have to change spools.
one of my regular fishing buddies is a former hot rod builder. he's enamored by all things mechanical. he buys the cheapest knock off rods and low end lines that he can find and uses the highest end able reels made, until his bogden's finally arrive. go figure. but that's what he values in his experience, and i cannot feel anything but admiration for the fact that he allows himself the leeway to maximise his experience and thus enjoys the fishing to its fullest..........
at the end of the day, my preference is for the nautilus. the reel changing stuff is far more bothersome to me than the extra weight or the line catching. but that's me and my experience. probably most guys would choose the low weight, high tech, danielson. i doubt many would choose the systemII-a workhorse without refinement. however, i'm pretty sure most decisions would be made based upon each persons individual taste and what they value in the experience.

salmo
04-19-2008, 09:55 AM
the danielson surely looks the best and is the lightest, but has an awkward spool changing system.

What do you mean by saying that ? There are two ways to change the spool
The long way: to completely remove the remove the cover cap ( the one which squeeze the retention spider) . Note the cap has o-ring which seals the drag.

short way: turn the cover cap 2-3 revolution, lift the spool retention spider outwards and rotate a bit in either direction to disengage form star-like flanger.
If you turn the reel with handle pointing downwards it is Extremely easy.
After doing this a few times, it take me approximately 5-7 seconds to remove the spool and about the same to put it back.

Since we don't chance the spool every hours or so it is not a big deal.

The Nautilus is a very good reel !!!. When you put the spool back it is not automatic ( you have to watch to adjust position) and one design element I wish was different is that when the spool is remove form shaft, it has lots of surface it is holding on which is greased ( at least the early models when they used sealed cork drag , 2004 or so) which can easily catch some dust during windy condition when fishing in land ( first water fishing).

The No 10 model I had ( I think 2004) had small knob which require a lot of fingers work.

As for weight of Danielsson reels , the HD 9-13 and 11-14 weigh in 10.5-11.6 oz . These are noticeable heavier then LW .
It does not look sloppy to me, but it is extremely reliable:)

Jim Miller
04-19-2008, 09:55 AM
Hey Josko
Knowing how fussy you are w/ maintainence, I'm wondering if those reels are at the end of their life cycle. ;)
My take on reels & drag. I think a drag with minimum start up inertia is most critical for lighter tippets and faster fish. (bonefish, steelhead, albies , tuna etc). I don't think it matters that much with brutes like stripers, bluefish, etc. As long as it doesn't bind up completely. Lots of shock absorber in a fly rod.....

That being said I have been swapping out my older reels for Tibors and Abels.
Some great deals to be had buying used .... from people selling on these forums and on E-Bay. Maybe I've been lucky... but I've gotten some "almost new "and "new" reels for 1/3 to 1/2 retail.
I also like the reel bodies that accept different spools. I've got an Abel 4 that accepts the deep spool and the Abel Super 10 spool. Covers me from 9 wt to 14 wt. I also like a Orvis Mach reel I bought. Very light with a nice smooth drag... my go to steelie reel! I've got 3 Tibors now.... love them all!
Give me a call if I can help .... or maybe I can let you try out the reels at the clave or before....

nmbrowncom
04-22-2008, 07:06 PM
josko, i think a little correction is in order regarding my comments concerning the "awkwardness" in changing the danielson spools. a friend of mine on the forum gave me a call and pointed out that i was not inserting the spool properly and that is why it seemed loose in the reel. he showed me how to do it correctly. while the method for inserting the spool into the reel is a bit strange, once you get it down it is quite simple and the spool will not be "sloppy" in the reel. that said, and for whatever it's worth, i would give the danielson the edge over the nautilus. but you must be shown how to insert the spools. you'll never figure it out otherwise and it could lead to more diminished experiences.

shotgunner
04-23-2008, 07:01 PM
but you must be shown how to insert the spools. you'll never figure it out otherwise and it could lead to more diminished experiences.

I disagree. The spool change is quite simple. Back the retention knob off 2.5 turns, rotate the spider 1/8 and spool lifts right off, no loose parts to drop in the drink. Slight Attention to proper spool placement is the only difference from removal before rotating the spider back into position and tightening.

nmbrowncom
04-23-2008, 10:44 PM
danielson reel-back the retention knob 2.5 times-rotate spider 1/8. that's hardly simple? . hold reel and insert spool-now that's simple. unless you are schooled on the nutty danielson system, and have it down pat, you're in for lots of frustration. you can just look at the others and figure it out in a second. good luck trying to figure out the the danielson puzzle on your own. granted, once you've got it figured out, the reel is a reel dream.

Warren
04-24-2008, 05:23 AM
Apparently Neil you are mechanically challenged. Like the others, I had none of the problems you describe. I looked at it & said to myself this is simple pure genius. No spring catch to break, simple positive locking & no lost parts. As a matter of fact you are the first person I have heard that has had problems.

juro
04-24-2008, 05:59 AM
My take on this is the design maximizes gripping power while minimizing weight BUT I see two things that would make the exchange easier -

1) if the gripped lip went all the way around the inner circumference it would be a pc of cake

2) if the inner surface of the lower equilateral had a different finish it would be more obvious which is the base visually, e.g. "rim on black"

however, 1 adds weight and 2 cost

I agree with both sides. It's not the most obvious to figure out on one's own, however once understood it's pure genius.

It's no secret I love these reels and for what I do (steelhead, stripers, bones, tarpon, small tuna, etc) I don't bother wasting my time or money with anything else.

nmbrowncom
04-24-2008, 07:13 AM
warrren, you're exactly right, i am mechanically challenged. hell, i have trouble figuring out a zipper. my only point is that changing spools is not odvious like other reels. that said it took my friend all of 3 minutes( if that) to show me how.. i don't think i, or most people would ever figure it out on their own. but once you get it , it is simple and, in fact it's elegent. i agree that once you get it, the system and reel is perhaps without peer.

Warren
04-24-2008, 05:42 PM
Neil,
I Just looked at the instruction booklet. It does address changing the spool and what to do if the spool is loose like you described. But I must concede, a line drawing explaining the procedure for the not so mechanically inclined would be helpful. I tend forget that not everyone works in engineering or mechanically related fields. So what is apparent to me, probably is not so to others.
Never the less, The Danielsson Reels are a work of art to someone like me who is a machinist and metal worker by trade. However, It is different than any other, shall we say, standard set up for sure.

nmbrowncom
04-24-2008, 06:33 PM
if it could've been talked on, i would have had a leg up. but when it comes to actual knowledge,like how stuff works, i'm screwed .

shotgunner
04-24-2008, 09:05 PM
"danielson reel-back the retention knob 2.5 times-rotate spider 1/8. that's hardly simple? . hold reel and insert spool-now that's simple. unless you are schooled on the nutty danielson system, and have it down pat, you're in for lots of frustration. you can just look at the others and figure it out in a second. good luck trying to figure out the the danielson puzzle on your own. granted, once you've got it figured out, the reel is a reel dream"

Whats not to get? and no, it's not a push detent.. but it is simpler [and safer, no loose parts] than many reels. Browsed the brief instructions in seconds.. had it.

salmo
04-25-2008, 09:13 AM
Warren,

Despite its rather limited application, the Control reel by Danielssons is a true peace or art and one step above LW or HD.

Zb

josko
05-11-2008, 11:47 AM
I finally summoned enough courage to grease the drag, and it's made all the difference.

FishHawk
05-12-2008, 05:53 AM
I own both Tibors and just got a Nautilus for yak fishing. I have never had a problem with my Tibors. Simple and rugged . The jury is still out on the Nautilus.
All my reels are made here in the USA so there is no problems with maintenance or repair if I should ever need it. FishHawk

chromedome
05-13-2008, 01:41 AM
I've been following the Danielsson aspect of this thread. While I bought what was then the Loop Evotec 6-9 for a song in 2002, I really don't know that much about Danielsson reels. I bought it as part of a russian fishing trip and the reel was supposed to be adequate for salmon. I immediately liked some aspects of the reel, particularly the mini design of its workings - Neat!! But it had drawbacks for a salmon reel. Due mainly to the large arbor, I couldn't get enough of the 30 pound dacron backing on the reel for my comfort level. (I just reviewed the backing data on the D website. I don't think what they state comes close to matching the lower capacity I found. And I certainly wouldn't use it for the spey casting I mainly do now.) And the width of the reel made it more difficult to achieve uniform line loading. I didn't know about the width factor till I got to Russia or I probably wouldn't have bought it. After that russian trip I hardly ever used it which I now think has been a mistake since it would probably be ideal for smaller species. Nevertheless, I tried using it for steelhead but found I couldn't get the drag tight enough so sent it to Ron Larson. He was able to tighten it up some but I'd prefer it even tighter for insurance.
I guess mainly what I'm trying to say is while I love the brilliant open, light design of the reel with the intriguing drag mechanism, for me anyway, the large wide arbor negatively offsets these attributes.

salmo
05-14-2008, 08:49 PM
A LW 6-9 in not the reel for spey applications , except for trout spey rods, and definitely not for Salmon where 30 lb backing is used.

For what you described LW 8-12 ( Long Delta 8/9 65' head + 170 yards of 30 lb Dacron) with plenty of dragging power for any fresh water fishing except very large Kings or Atlantics.
If you would like to stop largest swimming Kings or Atlantics HD 9-13 is perfect ( the same capacity as LW 8-12) . HD 11-14 allows you to load extra 100-150 yards of backing depending on the line size

And the width of the reel made it more difficult to achieve uniform line loading


I own bunch of LW and HD reels and have never experienced the problem you have just described.
In fact some reels like Waterworks/Lamson are even wider.

LW 6-9 takes 20 lb wt.8 WF ( SH) + 180 yards of 20 lb Dacron.
Generally, white backing requires 15% less space then colored one, and SA white backing take 15% or so lass space then white Dacron.
Cortland micron ( regular backing ) needs 10% more space then Dacron.

So depending which ( not GSP) backing is used and if it is colored or white there can be 20-30% difference in the capacity, not to mention the effect of the tension which is applied when reeling in a backing.

formula1
06-05-2008, 03:21 PM
Wow all this discussion about how to change a spool on a Dannielson.

I'm sure they are fine reels but I doubt they can compare to a Mako. The Makos are an improvement on the Charlton reels and feature a much simpler design to change the spool. I've handled pretty much all the high end reels on the market and fished many of them, and I am on the waiting list for Mako. I've used the Charlton's extensively on triple digit fish and there is no doubt in my mind they have the finest fly fishing drag system on the planet.

As far as anti-reverse, most fly fisherman prefer not to use them on big fish. I know I do not like them on big fish at all, I like the positive retrieve of DD when I have a big fish on.

salmo
06-05-2008, 04:51 PM
I'm sure they are fine reels but I doubt they can compare to a Mako

have you had a chance to see and fish Danielsson DH for example??
if no your statemement is a pure speculation

As for Control, it is like anything else to date. Just look inside and then we can talk further. At least read the description.
I have Control and whatever they said is real!

BTW, both reels are great.

Zb

formula1
06-05-2008, 07:43 PM
No I have not had the chance to fish a Control reel but I am aware of their features from the time they were released - I've read about them before. Of course it is not possible for me to fish every reel out there (well, it is, but then I could not make the investments I do in the hope that in 10 years or so I don't have to work anymore and can fish 300 days a year) so I use the time honored method of looking at objective data. The best objective data I have are IGFA world records and although Makos have yet to set any their predecessors set big game fly records far out of proportion to the number of reels out there and knowing Jack Charlton I trust that the Makos (which I have handled) will exceed the abilities of my current Charltons. I know the arguments about IGFA records but they are the one set of universal objective criteria out there and despite the presence of stunt fishing records these examples are much more rare with the flyrod records - the 197 blue fin tuna record on a Charlton record was pure stand up fighting with no stunt gaffing involved.

The control feature is interesting but personally if I were to get an AR reel it would be a Henschel. The Control web site indicates a use for the control feature referencing a jumping tarpon and I'm not sure I agree with that at all. In almost no case do I see the ability to let go of the handle instead of bowing to the fish being an advantage (they reference a tarpon 250 meters away jumping and indicate that bowing would be of minimal effect which I beg to differ as I've never lost a tarpon due to excess tension when I've bowed to a jumping poon - all fish I lost from jumping were from a thrown hook that obviously had never gotten a good hold on their mouths, none ever from breaking line from excessive tension). I also don't like the wider spool aspect of the Control reel - they used a smaller diameter and greater width which makes it more difficult to wind on line evenly and sacrifices faster retrieve. Certainly the Control reel is an interesting reel but I'm not convinced of the merits of it.

Bob Reynolds
07-21-2008, 08:54 PM
I'm now waiting for my Makos to do the job. I'm sure that Tibors and Abels would be just fine, too. I picked the Makos because I like the idea of smooth and strong drag working consistently at the calibrated strength. We have a realistic chance of catching a world record bonefish on the Oahu. So, I want to be ready if/when I hook one of those monsters. On the other hand, most of the bonefish I catch, 3 to 6 pounds, don't require any heavy drag at all, and can be delt with without drag and by just palming the spool.

If you have a good chance of hooking a fish that really requires a reel drag, I think you will be better off investing some extra $ in a better reel to improve the odds of landing the fish.

So I'm curious :

(a) Have you received your Mako reel?
(b) How is the drag performance (did it live up to or exceed your expectations)?
(c) Is the engineering and machining all that it is touted to be?
(d) How would you compare a Mako to other reels you have used?
(e) How is the Mako company to deal with?

Many thanks.

Penguin
07-23-2008, 10:18 AM
Have you received your Mako reel?
YES
How is the drag performance (did it live up to or exceed your expectations)?
BRILLIANT...as good as it gets!
Is the engineering and machining all that it is touted to be?
ABSOLUTELY
(d) How would you compare a Mako to other reels you have used?
SUPERIOR
(e) How is the Mako company to deal with?
Jack gets VERY busy...When you email MAKO you WILL receive a reply from the man behind concept and the artist engineer who makes it happen!
If you plan ahead and don't mind waiting for the very best (IMHO) you won't be disappointed.

Sorta' like watches...
Some folks prefer Timex and others prefer Rolex...(I prefer Sinn)
They all tell time but there's something about the fit and feel and mechanics of the real deal...

Some prefer Redington and others prefer _______...(I prefer Charlton)
My Charlton experience goes back to the early 90's...NO REGRETS!

Regarding the original question: How well does a fly reel need to work?
I was fishing with a guy who bragged about how much he saved on a certain set of reels...
He had some drag issues and sent the reels back for "service"...(twice!)
So...We're fishin' the Outer Banks...
I caught and released 5 Albies and my friend (with high expectations) hooked and broke'off 3 out of 4 due to continuing drag issues...
But he got a GOOD DEAL on those reels!

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa176/Phracas/Mako9600-1.jpg
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa176/Phracas/Mako9600-2.jpg
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa176/Phracas/Mako9600-3.jpg
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa176/Phracas/KineticSculptures.jpg

fishordie
07-23-2008, 06:27 PM
Yes, I have put lots of hours of fishing on my Makos and been really impressed! I have used them for bluewater and flat fishing and have nothing but great things to say about them. Their drag system is superior to anything that I have used before (Tibor, Abel, Danielsson, Teton, Lamson, Ross, Orvis, Redington, and SA). Extremely smooth, reliable, easily to control, and reproducible (that is, it can be calibrated and set at desired strengths to play the fish close to the limit of the tippet strength). I really like the fact that I know how much pressure I'm putting on my line and leader system. The Danielssons are similar, but do not have the strength comparable to the Makos. Tibor and Abel are really nice, too, but their drag systems are not reproducible. Their drag knobs turn many times and harder to control the strength while fighting a fish compared to the Mako and Danielsson. (I hear that Sage reels have a 1-turn drag knob as well.) There is one thing that I really like about the Tibor, though. It's the sound that it makes when the line is going out. But, I'm selling my slightly-used Gulf Stream, because I like the Mako much better.

I give you two examples of the Mako's drag working in actual fishing situations from my recent fishing. When I hooked a GT (a bit shy of 20 pounds) on the flat with a Mako 9550 (on a 16wt rod because I was after BIG boys), I had 50 pound backing, 60 pound core fly line, and a straight 80 pound leader. I had to stop the fish quickly before it took the line into the hazards. So, immediately after the fish was on the reel, I tightened the drag all the way down in a half turn, from 5 pounds to 15 pounds. The fish ran 10 yards or less and was in my hands within well under 3 minutes.

When I hooked a fairly good size bonefish only 30 yards away from the edge of the coral flat on a 17 pound tippet, I tightened the drag from 2 pounds to 6 pounds, only to find that the fish was still running fast toward the bluewater. So, I went to about 11 pounds on the drag, which was probably damn close to the limit of my leader system, and managed to stop the fish after a bit more of a run without breaking the tippet. The bonefish, 26" in fork length and weighed about 8 pounds, was in my hands within a few minutes.

The workmanship is superb! The finish and build are better than all others I've seen before. I had a really minor blemish on one of the reels which I noticed after a month or so of using it (a small hidden area on the frame was not dyed black properly). Jack replaced the frame for me free of charge within one week. OK, you do have to wait rather long to receive a reel once you order one. But, it's well worth it. I tell you. He is a perfectionist who wants to make great crafts - fly reels in this case. After many exchanges with him, I consider him as an artist/craftman with superb engineering skills. He is not willing to compomise in any aspect of his works and wants to provide the best to his customers at reasonable prices. After talking with him about what it takes to make these reels in detail, I find the current prices better than reasonable. So, after buying a 9500 and a 9550 with extra spool and using them for a month, I'm buying two 9600 and a 9700B (when it is ready).

salmo
07-23-2008, 06:50 PM
Their drag system is superior to anything that I have used before (Tibor, Abel, Danielsson, Teton, Lamson, Ross, Orvis, Redington, and SA). Extremely smooth, reliable, easily to control, and reproducible (that is, it can be calibrated and set at desired strengths to play the fish close to the limit of the tippet strength).

I you saying that Danielsson HD's or Control's drags are not smooth, reliable or reproducible? :whoa:

This is not what users, like myself, are experiencing !!!!!
Have you ever used Danielsson Control reel ?

Tight Lines
ZB

fishordie
07-23-2008, 08:53 PM
salmo,

No, read carefully what I wrote. The only aspect of the Danielsson's drag that I put lower than the Mako's is its strength. Remind you, I like Danielssons only second to the Mako. The Danielsson's drag is as smooth, reliable, and reproducible as is the Mako's, as far as I can tell. I have not had a chance to play with the Danielsson Control. I know HD's drag has max usable of 8 pounds or so, which is about half of that of Mako's. Mako 9550 has the max at 15 pounds, while the 9600 has about 18 pounds of max drag. I would love to know the Control's max usable drag.

Please set the Control's drag to the max usable range (a reasonably wide range from the minimum to maximum), turn the drag knob all the way to its max, then attach the end of the backing line to a bucket of water and measure the least amount of pull that rotates the spool in kilograms or pounds. When doing this, I want all the fly line out, but all the backing line on the spool, so that we are talking about the drag strength at the start of a fish run. I would really appreciate it if you could let us know this number for the Control.

By the way, the quality of the finish on the Mako is undoubtedly superior to the Danielsson's and others I've seen. I have never seen such beautiful porcelain-like finish on a fly reel other than the Mako and Charlton. The second best I've seen is the finish on the Abel.

salmo
07-23-2008, 09:41 PM
Fishordie,

I did that test on Control 8-thirteen ( 10.7 oz weight) and you need about 10.5 lb to pull the backing with the factory settings. However you can increased the tension of the drag further ( very easy adjustment).

The two largest reels 9-fourteen and 11-infinity have an extra strong drag, according to Danielsson website, so the weight needed to poll the backing must be substantially larger the factory set-up ( 10.5 lb) on the 8-13, not to mention possibility to manually adjust the 9-14 drag further. The two largest reels are design to battle the largest swimming salt water creatures and weight 15-16 oz.

So it is pretty safe to say that you can push 8-13 model to 11-11.5 lb and 9-14 model has to be in 13-15 lb range. ( I have not seen the two largest models, but have no reasons to doubt the Danielsson's claims )

BTW, I had seen Sean's picture here with 70 lb Tuna landed with HD 11-14 and he did not complain about the max. strength of HD drag, at least with 70 lb fish.

So the question is, do you always need the drag stronger then HD?

For any tarpon, up to 70 lb Tuna, any bonefish HD has plenty of drag.

For the rest there are Control 8-13 and particularly 9-14 and 11-infinity with the drag as strong as Mako.

In the case of Control you can additionally regulate the drag with the move of the handle and the basic drag knob is located on the side of the handle ( it is anti-reverse reel) and is adjusted in a similar way as on Abu-Garcia or other fishing reels using the same hand which holds the handle.

Just look at the pictures:

http://www.flyfishingforum.com/flytalk4/showpost.php?p=181549&postcount=15

the basic drag knob is located between the handle and the frame.

Tight Lines
ZB

P.S.

I can do more testing on 8-13 when I'll be back to lower 48 in mid-September.

fishordie
07-23-2008, 11:32 PM
salmo,

Thank you very much for the information.

I can now see that the Control's drag strength may be fairly close to that of Mako's. (Incidentally, the Mako 9700B will be designed to have 21~22 pounds of maximal drag, I heard) I look forward to the update from you on the max drag of the Control.

Frankly speaking, no one NEEDS the super strong drag of Mako reels. But, I WANT IT!!! The 8-pound bone that I caught with the Mako 9550 recently is not a particularly large bonefish in our waters. But, still, the fish was taking the line out so fast at the drag setting of 6 pounds that the fish would have gotten outside the flat and cut the line on the coral/rock even at the maximum drag of HD (8 pounds), I think. Imagine what would have happened if it were one of those 15+ pound bonefish in our waters. No chance of landing it with even an HD11/14 in that situation. Judging from my experiences, Oahu bones can easily run against drag equal to their own body weight. This means that landing a 10 pound bone here can be difficult with the HD11/14 unless one hooks it in a wide flat with no underwater hazards. When there are lots of hazards in the water, I want the capability to put as much pressure as possible within the limit of my hook, line, and leader system. I'd rather land those big fish than letting them get away. I'd rather land a big fish in reasonable amount of time than spending hours fighting them. I'm not so interested in catching fish on 20-pound IFGA class tippet, if it means significantly reduced chance of landing the fish. I don't want to burn my hand and fingers, trying to stop a running fish. These are some of the reasons why I like Mako's strong drag.

salmo
07-24-2008, 12:05 AM
I will try to adjust the drag of 8-14 Control when I will be back home to the practical max., however I don't have the largest two models equipped with an extra strong drag.

When the friction between backing and a rod's guides is added, it takes much more !!! static weight to pull the backing from the spool.
I would guess that with backing running via guides of the rod, 20-25 lb !!! tippet can be snapped easily with any drag set at 8-9 lb of the static weight.
Have you ever measured that experimentally ?

juro
07-24-2008, 12:24 AM
Frankly, I enjoy the use of the "manual drag" on a flyreel.

I assume even if I could afford a Mako I would set it where my 'educated' palm would be the difference between backlash and immediate variable response - that being significantly lower than any of these discussions imply.

Personal preference I guess. Perhaps another reason click-pawl reels remain popular on steelhead and salmon rods?

.02

vtloon
07-24-2008, 10:01 AM
[QUOTE=salmo]I will try to adjust the drag of 8-14 Control when I will be back home to the practical max., however I don't have the largest two models equipped with an extra strong drag.

When the friction between backing and a rod's guides is added, it takes much more !!! static weight to pull the backing from the spool.
I would guess that with backing running via guides of the rod, 20-25 lb !!! tippet can be snapped easily with any drag set at 8-9 lb of the static weight.


Have you ever measured that experimentally ?


Add to this the fact that the total resistance (I think both friction and mechanical advantage) increases geometrically as the rod is raised to a progressively higher angle. I'm not sure how or if that can be calculated. Anyone?

jimS
07-24-2008, 01:01 PM
Unloess you are using a broomstick, raising the rod reduces mechanical advantage. A fly rod is a flexible lever that applies more resistance as the angle of the rod is reduced. Maximum resistance is attained when the load is transferred to the butt section of the rod.

salmo
07-24-2008, 01:37 PM
A fly rod is a flexible lever that applies more resistance as the angle of the rod is reduced. Maximum resistance is attained when the load is transferred to the butt section of the rod.


The leverage on the fish will definitely increased with flatter position if the rod, however it will reduce the pressure of the backing on the guides and consequently reducing the friction. This will result in less force necessary to pull the backing from the reel regardelss if someone is using drag only or drag + palm.

Anyway, in a very few cases we need stronger drag then 8-10 lb ( by fishordie test).
What is funny that in many cases the reel bearing will fail with extra powerful drags. I am sure that Charlton, Danielsson or Tibor are fine with that respect.

fishordie
07-24-2008, 06:07 PM
I don't know how much the total drag would be off the rod tip, as compared to off the reel when the backing is going out with the rod bent at some angle. I did, however, checked the static force off of the T&T HS8BW (8ft 14-16wt rod, which is a lovely broomstick that can cast the Rio Leviathan 550gr 80ft easily!) with 5-pound water in a bucket. I just dead-lifted the bucket and checked the drag force off of the reel. It was about 4.5 pound off the reel. So, if I am to try to lift a slow-moving fish with this particular rod, I estimated, I should consider extra 10% force exerted by the rod. Of course, this is likely to increase somewhat if the fish is running fast, even with a super-low friction gel-spun backing (I use Tuf-Line XP). But, when I'm dealing with a strong fish, I keep the rod at a low angle to use the butt of the rod. So, I don't worry about the extra force exerted by the rod much.

On the other hand, the drag force on the tippet (and the fish) would be substantially increased by the weight of the line and friction between the line and water. I don't know of any systematic study on this subject, but imagine that the force at the tippet can be 3~5 times the force off the reel. So, I do worry about this extra force on the tippet when I deal with a fast-running fish. I would love to know the number if someone has actually done tests to come up with empirical formula.

Juro, I'm with you at heart in that I enjoy using my hand and fingers to control the drag as much as I comfortably can. When I started chasing bonefish in Hawaii, I had the drag set very, very light. Well, I had a couple of painful incidents with our local bonefish and decided not to mess with those fast-running strong saltwater fishes with my hand and fingers. Yeah, I know, I could wear gloves...

vtloon
07-24-2008, 06:34 PM
Jim, you're right, mechanical advantage is the wrong term. What I was getting at was the increase in force at a turning point when a line under load is re-directed. I.e. when a 2000# load line changes direction at a block/pulley: if it changes 180 degrees, the load at the block doubles; 90 degress then 1.5 times the load etc. I'm thinking of the tip-top like a turning block, although as you say the rod is not a broomstick.

juro
07-24-2008, 07:13 PM
I think you hit it on the head... sometimes it's not that we 'need' the high end toys so much as we 'want' them. I'd love to own a Mako.

But realistically, the ultra-smooth spool rims of today's modern reels coupled with a palm-up no-fingers touch is and effective and responsive enough solution to get me to keep the extra $600.00-$1100.00 in my wallet.

fishordie
07-24-2008, 09:08 PM
You know what? My spending those extra $ in fishing gear actually keeps me out of trouble, and my wife is convinced!:biggrin:

josko
07-25-2008, 06:52 AM
This gets back to the original question of just how good a fly reel needs to work not to detract from fishing pleasure.
Wears back, I decided to see just how many species i could catch with a Sci Anglers SysII, and i was pleasently surprised that with a bit of practice and few leather drag washers, I managed to boat just about everything I hooked including striped marlin, GT and 80 lb bluefin. It can be done. I still have the reel and a lot of great memories spring up when I look at it.

That said, my bonefishing reel is driving me nutso with its' stickiness. Although it is not costing me fish, I';m out to buy a better reel, ourely because it bothers me to see it pulsing away with a fish running.

I get kind of bemused when I read gearheads ripping apart great reels. Thius thread is a fine example of gearheading for its' own sake, methinks. There's nothing wrong with that - by all means enjoy yourself if you like superb equipment.
...and it's been very helpful for understanding the relationship between $$$$ gear and fishing enjoyment.

Penguin
07-29-2008, 09:53 PM
:Eyecrazy:
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa176/Phracas/Mako_Cover.jpg