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broche 02-26-2001 12:47 PM

Hello folks;

The Striped Bass migration is just around the corner. I'm wondering what fly reels my fellow fly-fishers use when chasing Stripers. I have an Islander no. 3 which I think may be a little heavy for my nine weight. Most of the fish I catch are relatively small, but every now and then I get into a larger fish (15-20 lbs) and the drag is needed (however, the line capacity is not needed). The reel weighs 11.3 ounces. Is this to much for a nine weight? Is it possible for the reel seat to be adversly affected? What are some of your experiences with saltwater reels?


Nathan Smith 02-26-2001 01:33 PM

I am the woulds biggest Bauer Fan. There are the low cost reel (teton, Battenkeel, SA) that are usually pretty good but there drags are not very smooth. Then there are the high-ends (Abel, tibor, Islander) then there is bauer right in the middle. They are not machine as nice as the high ends but the still look pretty dang good and there drags are butter. They are also just shy of 300.00 less then a tibor. Also you can replace the spool fairly easy.

grego 02-26-2001 01:51 PM

For $140 the Tioga #10 is hard to beat. Lifetime warranty, very durable, almost maintenance free, good capacity, fairly easy to change spools. On the down side, a little heavy & no palming rim, which can mean bashed thumb from a big fish!

Which reminds me, Does anyone use any anti-reverse reels??

juro 02-26-2001 01:58 PM

The Islander is a brick sh*thouse reel, solid throughout and about the only thing worth questioning is in fact the weight. The traditional cork drag is hard to improve upon although it does require some care, most wouldn't have it any other way. I doubt any of today's reel seats would be affected in any way.

If the weight is a concern to you, your shoulder, or your sense of balance, then there are a number of options to try.

What parameters are you interested in controlling - price? weight?

It would be fun to put together a little product review here based on what you are trying to achieve.

BTW - I am hot on the new for 2001 Ross Big Game Canyon reels this year. Light, good looking, great drag - promises to be what I have been looking for. Too soon to tell, to be honest, but I will be fishing one this year and I hope it's all it appears to be.

broche 02-26-2001 02:30 PM

Thanks for the replies. Juro, I love the Islander drag. It comes in very handy with larger fish and I imagine is helps ensure survival of fish once revived and released. The capacity (300 yards of 30lb) is not necessary for the type of fishing I do. I don't mind the weight of the reel on my shoulder - I can cast it all day long. A couple of years ago, the reel was shifting a little bit when I was casting. I noticed some of the anodization coming off of the reel seat. I'm not sure if this was do to the weight of the reel or the reel not being secured tight enough on the rod. I also use a healthy amount of Boe-Shield on the reel seat - maybe it was over lubricated?

juro 02-26-2001 02:38 PM

I hate when the reel seat and the foot don't match. This is more common than people think. They should come up with tighter controls on how these dimensions are made.

What if reels within a given range of line weight designations used a standard footsize, and the rod makers also stuck to it by line weight? Also, a replaceable reel foot would be nice, anyone ever hear of one?

Most of my reels and rods match up, but some don't and over the course of a day's fishing it can drive you nuts.

FishHawk 02-26-2001 03:14 PM

Here are a couple suggestions. You could mention your problem to Islander and perhaps they could drill some holes to lighten the reel in the off season. Second you could find a machine shop in your area to do the job for you. However, once you modify the reel it might*void the warranty . I would contact Islander and see what they recommend. I too am looking hard at reels. The low end Bauer costs 325 and has the same cork drag as the high end Bauer which costs 415. The Ross Canyon CA-5 costs 335 without a full cork drag. I would go with the Bauer.

juro 02-26-2001 04:38 PM

The Ross does not have a cork drag, I agree - but it does have a sealed no-maintenance drag. You can't get sand in it, although the excessive venting does raise concerns for debris entry in Ross Canyon reels... we'll see.

The cork drag is generally believed to be the ultimate in performance but it requires loosening between trips to prevent compression and periodic oiling and maintenance thru the season. I've gotten used to non-cork drags and like them - although the ol' cork drags are hard to beat for performance when cared for properly. Like everything, it's a tradeoff. I tend to lean toward the low-maintenance solutions.

One little nuance I noticed about Bauer reels - I like to keep my drag pretty tight, and the Bauer reel becomes harder to reel in when the drag is applied. Other than that I love them and would buy one if I had the cash for an MX, which has the drag adjustment on the side away from the crank - a necessary design element for steelhead, tunoids, rip stripers, blues and other fast running fish.

Beautiful reels, all of them! I wish I could try them all

Actually, I still love my ol' Lamson LP series reels!

PeteGray 02-26-2001 06:55 PM

I have an old StCroix 9'Legend 8/9 wt...the reel seat was too narrow and tended to scuff the corners of everything I hung on it...After a few calls to factory ground zero I sent the rod back and they mounted an upscaled and more "standard" reel seat which works just great (looks good too). StCroix was eager to make things right...Something to consider when buying gear.
...just in case anyone is partial to the Billy Pate Tarpon by Ted Juracsik...right AND left hand, almost new $325.

tomd 02-26-2001 09:10 PM

I have a couple lamson 3.5 reels, solid, machined well, smooth drag and the cost is only $225.00 , Tom D

juro 02-26-2001 10:12 PM

To Fishhawk's and Nathan's point(s) - the Bauer not only has a full cork drag but has a matching teflon surface for the cork to work against; the best of both worlds. The MX series reels would get my vote in this discussion but since we are talking $595 w/ $295 spool price, the Canyon got my "toys for 2001" contest at the right price point. Besides I am curious as hell about the reel.

If anyone's interested in trying it out, let me know and we can swap reels for the day on one of the numerous outings that lie ahead. COME ON SPRING!

juro 02-27-2001 10:19 AM

Enter the Lamson Velocity... same sealed conical drag as the Lightspeed, but in a more conservative black machined body and the price is right... $205 for the 3.5; a good match for 8/9 rods.

A great bargain, brick outhouse reel with one of the best drag designs out there. Maybe I need one of these too

broche 02-27-2001 11:10 AM


I looked at the Lamson 3.5 on the website. It looks fine and seems to have a more logical capacity and weight for most striper fishing. I'm wondering about the finish - would it be suitable for the saltwater? Also, is the drag stout enough for the larger fish in heavy current? Please advise - I may grab one and save the Islander for a two-hander or for tarpon fishing (if I ever go tarpon fishing).

broche 02-27-2001 11:23 AM

Was Lamson bought by Sage?

juro 02-27-2001 12:38 PM

Yes, then bought again by Waterworks of Boise ID. They have developed an awesome conical sealed drag system and always take reel technology to the next level (ie: LS).

I have always wanted the LP body with the LS drag, the Velocity goes that way and I am anxious to see it.

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