"Affordable" big, fast, fish reels?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by SilverFly, May 27, 2008.

  1. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    So in your experience the drag actually hasn't failed, but the frame flexes too much for "fish that really pull". I've had that happen myself on big salmon on a short line, and at moments thought I might bind the spool up because of frame flex, but the drag has never ever failed. So your assertion about the conical drag is an opinion or preference rather than a fact, as is mine. When I reach the limits of my tackle I adjust and compensate. I think there is a brand of fisherman who simply tightens drag when fish pulls hard...puts on heavier tippet when he breaks himself off, etc...I think that brings up the very valid question of fish fighting style and rigging. I personally feel you can max out a 20 lb tippet with a Litespeed 4 without undue cage/frame distortion, and if Silverfly needs more than that, especially for one trip, he should heed your caveats.
    To answer you last question: Chinook yes and recently. Albacore, not on the fly, but I do know the fight on other tackle and they are rockets. And I think it would be OK with an L4, a handful, challenging, and very sporty. From your last post, with your fish fighting style, I wouldn't recommend this reel though. 'Course I was posting my opinion in answer to Silverfish's question...I wasn't expecting a passive/agressive point scorer to be lying in wait.
    Get a grip man.
     
  2. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    iagreeiagree

    I agree big time. The Litespeed has many good points, but IMHO, Lamson machined waaaay too much out of the frame and there is substantial frame flex. With that said, I don't have any experience with the larger Litespeeds, but in hand the design concept seems similar for the LS4 as it does for the smaller models.

    My Brakewater frame flexes and will have some slight spool bind when I'm pulling really hard and winding down. My Abel reels don't have that issue; but they're obviously a whole lot more moola.

    Hey, I think someone mentioned it already on this duplicate posting in the general forum, but the TFO Hayden reels are a great buy, bulletproof with a simple drag engagement and drag system that is proven. They are a bit on the heavy side relative to some of the other offerings out there, but they are a built like a tank. The TFO 425, the next price point down, is a very nice reel, particuarly for the money. These should be on your list of reels to consider.
     
  3. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    Richard, question about the Galvans you mentioned earlier-
    are those cork composite drag, Rlon, what are the disks composed of?
    I noted many Mid/low range reels out now have drags that seem destined to begin skreeking after a couple seasons...my main objection to cork.
     
  4. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    I concur with Alpine on the Lamson...and I easily give in to the my Ross BG for bigger fish.
    I have been really impress with the Galvan T-6 I recently picked up, but have yet to put it through a real test.
     
  5. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    That's cute. Passive aggressive? Hardly. Come back when you have some experience to back up your theories of what you "think" might work.

    Shortly after it came out, I had problems with the TFO 425 flexing to the point that the spool was grinding against the frame. I reported the problem back to TFO and I believe they made some slight design changes to beef it up based on similar feedback from others, but haven't had a chance to give one of the newer models a shot.
     
  6. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    Yeah, quit using them on makos and use class tippet 20# and lighter . . . just kidding (about the class tippet, that is). :)

    I also understand the frame as been stiffened.
     
  7. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    chinook, bones, tarpon if lucky, and an albie charter. that's what this string started with. I believe you guys aren't talking about what this string started out on.
    trolls.
     
  8. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    You're right, except for the bones - no one's mentioned those until now. You've got to admit that "Dudes, don't agonize. Spend the 400$ and get a Lamson Litespeed 4" is a pretty bold statement to make after so much good advice had already been offered up by people who knew what they were talking about.

    As for your troll comment, don't you have some offs to fuck?
     
  9. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    keep it clean, jerkytrout.
    nothing wrong with making bold statements (look up forum in the dictionary), and there's nothing wrong with debate or even being corrected by civil and knowledgeable brother fishermen of misconceptions, but doing it in a rude and condescending way, or appearing to do it in such a way as to score points or amuse onlookers, is the online equivalent of a snagger on a salmon hole. or a troll under a bridge. off, yourself, and set a better example.

    Interestingly, I don't disagree with what you or others have to say about reels, and yet I noted a couple of my questions have been ignored or points not addressed. Maybe you could answer the question I asked Richard about drag components in the Galvans-or the point re spool flex vs drag issues. I think Richard said a mouthful about machining all the way to the edge of flimsiness. You were too busy scoring points...
    I may not have your depth of experience in the salt in your specific field of interest, but I bet I know a few things you don't. You sound to me like an overblown sport who's made a few Caribbean trips and maybe Cabo a couple times and now you're the be-all of the sport, and you have license to thump on newbies to plump up your fragile ego. Bad form.
     
  10. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    Wow...a real SPAZ on the forum

    IGNORE ALL SPAZES :thumb:
     
  11. SilverFly

    SilverFly Active Member

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    Alrighty then. I appreciate the renewed interest and input but my dilemma has been resolved by a friend who's selling me one of his Ross BG7's.

    On another note, does anyone have input on TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Series Fly Rods? In addition to a new 12wt I need to gear up with 4pc travel rods in wts 7,8, & 10. These rods seem to fit the bill based on cost and reputation.
     
  12. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    The Pro series wouldn't be my first pick for a 10 or 12 weight. I have that rod in 12 weight and it has less backbone than my 10 weight TiCrX. Also, I've found it throws an 11 weight line best, as the 12's seem to overload it considerably. The TiCr or TiCrX are the way to go if you're looking at the TFO lineup.
     
  13. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    Where are these newbies that I have supposedly thumped on? If you interpreted my explanation that my opinions of gear are based on on-the-water experience rather than lofty theories of brand enthusiasm as bragging about my angling achievements, you're dead wrong. You spoke up without any facts to back your opinion, wouldn't admit that you were wrong, and now you won't let it go. Who has the fragile ego?
     
  14. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Someone organize an ass-kicking contest and didn't invite me?:p

    Seriously though, nothing wrong with the conical drag concept. I have a pair of ULA 4s, one that's only been used in fresh, and one that I've used in salt. I've landed a bunch of Dorado, and lots of yellowfin up to about 22 lbs on it. Nothing bigger, but you get a sense of a reel with those two species. The drag just plain works, very adjustable and no stutter.

    However I do treat that reel differently than I treat my abel, tibor, and especially my Pate reels. I trap the line against the cork more and cup, but don't lock down on the reel when I'm lifting. With my "real" big game reels, I put the death grip on them when lifting. I never saw the reel flex, but it just looks like I can't trust it to take the same abuse the others do. And the ULA is light-years beyond the light speed (get it?!) in engineering and structural strength.

    The bottom line is confidence in your gear. As Richard noted I wouldn't put the death grip on a redington either. I had a client, who was an old dude, and he used to fish the august Dorado fest (this was when they actually had big returns) with a 15 weight rod and when the Brakewaters first came out he got a big one of those. This dude used that outfit like a Penn senator. Just reel 'em in like he was in a fighting chair. No rod pumping. That thing was shaped like pumpkin the first night. I had to unspool it and respool, and it mostly regained it's shape, but I told him I wasn't doing it again. By the third day he had to rent an outfit because they wouldnt' rent him just a reel. Now that was pure reel abuse and no fly reel is designed with that fishing approach in mind, but an abel, pate, tibor would have survived the trip.

    If you're fishing in your own backyard I'd use a redington. In other words, for Chinook I'd use it. How much does a Albacore trip cost? Close to $400? Gonna run all night and have your reel freeze up on the first fish? I'd never rely on a redington or similar reel on a trip that costs $1200 to $6000. I'd take one as a backup, but count on it? Nope. When it comes to big salt water fish, If you can't afford appropriate gear you can't afford to go on the trip, because gear failure can cost you the whole trip. I've seen tons of two piece spools, which all the SA IIs I had used, split. I've used the crap out of Lamson LP3.5s off the beach in baja with zero failures. But that's not the same as albacore.

    So there really isn't an inexpensive reel that can handle back yard chinook, AND those big bad saltwater boys because reliability becomes THE most important factor when you're flying for 5 hours or more, but there are tons of inexpensive reels that can handle back yard chinook because if your gear craps out you can head to the Denny's and laugh about the fish that blew up your reel. Anything beyond that is a hell of a crap shoot. Repeat after me "If you can't afford the gear, you can't afford the trip..."

    That my Noob Whompin' opinion anyway...
     
  15. SilverFly

    SilverFly Active Member

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    Good points, particularly considering the cost of the trips I'm taking. However, I don't think the Ross BG 7 is considered "inexpensive" or mediocre quality, even though I'm getting it used (very well cared for though). New it was around $475. My friend is a well traveled angler and has caught big chinook and GT's on this reel.

    Yeah, I probably can't afford the trip, at least this year anyway (just bought a house, got remarried, + lots of bad country song material previously). However I'm doing the trips anyway even though I'm cashing in some stock options to pull them off. The Belize trip isn't "technically" about fishing anyway since it's our honeymoon. So if I blow up a reel on a big tarpon it will simply provide visual justification for "quality equipment" with my new spouse (insert evil grin icon here). My fishing goals in Belize are to keep things simple and fun. We have only scheduled 2 days of guided fishing the week we are there along with Mayan ruins, snorkeling, booze-cruises and "other" activities.

    The last thing I want to do is indoctrinate my lovely wife into fly fishing, with extremely challenging, technical, and frustrating experiences (i.e. no permit!). I will be asking our guide to put us on the easiest, most enjoyable, fishing available at the time. I'll be happy to get my first bone, but personally I won't care if we're catching 1lb snapper on the reef. We will also have kayaks available for DIY fishing. That said, August IS the peak of the tarpon migration when the big boys show up, - so I definitely want a 12wt rig handy if a monster school shows up in casting range. And if I do lose a big fish to gear failure, - hopefully it will happen in a very spectacular manner. My wife is a fun and adventurous gal. Anything that demonstrates how exciting fly-fishing can be is a success in my book. Hopefully that will translate to return trips in the future :D.

    I'm also taking a conventional rig on the Albie charter so I don't come home empty handed.
     
  16. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    good luck on your trip, Silverfly, and best wishes. Sounds like you're the real deal.
    the earlier point of discussion on drags has come full circle hasn't it, personal attacks and curmudgeon-baiting aside. God I love the forum.
    The recommendation I'm forwarding to the managing partners at Lamson/Waterworks is that perhaps they should consider an HD saltwater big game model, because the only real issue that's come out in this string has to do with excessive flex in the spool frame; no reports of drag failure or spool collapse. One additional suggestion I will make would be to increase backing capacity too, although that hasn't been discussed. I agree with Philster's thoughts about the ULA 3.5, hope that doesn't discredit him in any way...
    When I was a deckhand I dealt with guys like alpinetrout every day...thank God those days are over.
    I'm out, will look for a more open-minded corner of the forum.
     
  17. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    I agree. I had (past-tense) the Professional in the 12 weight, and it didn't have much butt section. I have a TiCr, in the 10 weight, that has way more oomph than did the Professional. There's a guy who fairly regularly posts on Dan Blanton's board who indicates he's caught tarpon in the 100+ range on his 10 weight TiCr, with no problems.

    The late Bob Nauheim, the originator/inventor of the Crazy Charlie, would use an 11 weight for tarpon and his big fish. The TiCr 10 weight thinks it's an 11+ weight . . . great stick, particularly if you like to use sinking line or tips. If you use a floating line on it, I would upline it at least one line weight, probably 2. Seriously. It will absolutely rope a 12 weight line, no problem. That rod model likes to be abused. :)
     
  18. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Nothing wrong with the BG series silverfly. It isn't world class, but it's in that grouping along with Bauers where it's just one step short of worldclass, and they will probably handle anything you can throw at them. I used to argue with the Ross rep that I preferred the Saltwater series for every thing other than the drag itself on the reel, as the BG drag is engineered alot better than the saltwaters. Serious gear. You might want to contact ross and see what it would cost to head to toe service it if you have time before your trip. It shouldn't cost more than $35 to $50 and if your friend really did nab some GTs on it might be money well spent since that BG is good enough to be a lifetime fishing investment. If when you back the drag off completely the spool doesnt' turn really easily, it might be a wise move.

    From personal experience I don't think you have to worry too much about a Tarpon big enough to blow up your gear in Belize, although breaking a rod at boatside is always possible. The good news is that what you give up in size you more than make up in numbers. And the biggest one you catch on the trip will still be the biggest one you caught on the trip and one heck of a memory. Belize is awesome. Trophy locations are often a gamble to get a shot at a trophy and possibly never see a fish. Places like belize, while nothing is guaranteed, are just great places to fish with lots of opportunities for really cool species and great numbers of fish.

    Seriously, if you have the time call ross and see about servicing. If it's too much just blow it off.

    And spending money on experiences is always better than spending it on stuff that isn't essential! You'll remember the trip forever. That new IPhone? Not so much...
     
  19. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Actually I was referring to the LP 3.5. The best all around mid sized saltwater reel with a drag originally designed for troutfishing you'll ever find. Ball Bearings? We don't have no stinkin' ball bearings! We don't need no stinkin' ball bearings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  20. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    iagree Phil speaks the gospel.

    The Brakewater has a great drag, and I very much like the reel, but I can't lock down on it like the stouter Abel, Pates, Tibor, Islander, Penn, et al. I don't have any experience with the TFO Hayden reels, but based on their construction and materials, I wouldn't be afraid of including them in that last group of reels. Interestingly, many people focus on the drags for these reels, but there are other aspects of them that (to me) are at least important, such as drag engagement systems, frame construction, one or two piece spools, etc.

    The big SA reels were notoriously known for spool splits (two piece spools) when pulling on big tropic fishies. Some of the Lamson products, same.

    I hate to borrow his saying (really), and I'm quite sure I'm not quoting him exactly, but Dan Blanton says something like "Buy the most expensive reel you can afford and get the crying with over once." In other words, buy a lesser reel, it will blow out, and you'll end up buying that more expensive reel anyway, so buy the better reel the first time. Have your reel blow up on a trip to, say, Baja and you can't just run on down to the local fly shop and pick one up. You can do that in Islamorada, but there will be some crying going on. bawling:

    I was showing my Abel Super 8/Big Game 3 to my 4 year old daughter the other day, and let her know that some day it will be hers, and I'm sure it will last her a long time, too. I (hopefully) will get a lot of mileage out of that item before it gets passed on. :)
     

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