RE:Help me choose a reel...
Bigcat - tell me more... cork or delrin drag? any loose parts when swapping spools? How simple is the swap? Conversion to left hand?
Does the reel body have a full ring on the open side (like the Tioga, Teton, SciAngler) or does it just have the partial top/bottom braces (like the Lamson, Waterworks, etc). With the Open sides you never have to thread the fly line thru the hole; just put the spool on from the side and the line is ready. This is especially convenient when you have some line out and you want to remove, clean out, or swap spools.
Pate's aesthetics are top notch, I just love the way they look.