Nautilus FWX drag...

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Jordan Simpson, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Jordan Simpson

    Jordan Simpson Active Member

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    For those of you who use the FWX, can anyone share their opinions on the drag system. I have searched around on the web and a few message boards have said that the FWX reel is a great one for the price, but the drag just didn't seem like it would be too solid on a large fish, even when dialed all the way down/tight.
    All the reviews said it was a great reel for steelhead/salmon (probably more or less Rezzies) but they all said they would be weary of using it for heavy salt applications, even in the larger sizes.
    Why I'm asking this is because I'm tied between the FWX or the Lamson Guru for my next bonefish trip. These both seem to be the best reels that I can currently afford. That being said, I have heard a couple horror stories of the Lamson reels just sort of falling apart/blowing up randomly from a guide who's blog I read quite frequently from Colorado. He's had issues twice so far.
    I'm just trying to feel out which one of the two reels I should get, as those are the only two I can afford...from the higher-end side of the industry.

    Cheers
    Jordan
     
  2. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    A Lamson reel is not going to explode from fighting a bonefish. A report that says otherwise I would treat as suspect. You simply don't put that kind of stress on a reel's drag system fighting bones as bonefish have soft mouths. Smoothe start up and constant pressure without fluctuation is what is needed for bones, and Lamson's conical drag system reels is well designed to handle that. IMO from ten years of experience, Lamson reels are well matched against moderate size cold water or tropical fish: steelhead and salmon through bonefish, barracuda and Mahi Mahi up to 20 - 30 lbs.
     
  3. Personally, I would pass on both of your reels that you seek. While the drag may not blow up on the Lamson, the drag system is not sealed and with small moving parts that are suspecible to salt water and sand intrusion, leaves much to chance. I don't have experience with the FWX but I did with the FW+ reels, had 5 of them and the drag isn't smooth and a couple of those reels seized up on me. I would recommend looking at a Galvan Torque for about the same money or better yet, search for a nice condition used one with spare spool. I've been on many salt water trips with this reel and landed many different and harder charging species with no hiccups. Oh, and I've owned 6 litespeeds, which I've all replaced with the Torques. Just my 2 cents.

    Oh, and not that it matters in the tropics but the spindle shaft for the lamson is so tight that under freezig conditions it's almost impossible to pop off the spool when it gets cold. There isn't anything as light as the Litespeed and it's a great reel for trout and freshwater, but heed a little caution if your quarry are bones.
     
  4. CC898

    CC898 Member

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    My Nautilus had to go back a few times to get the drag fixed, still not right, but otherwise I like the reel. It is smooth, but I am not sure I would trust it. If you NEED a light large diameter reel, and are not afraid of made offshore look at the new Hardy Ultralite.

    I would agree with the above, pass on both of those, and keep lookin!
     
  5. Mike T

    Mike T Active Member

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    I'd suggest pretty much any reel other than that Nautilus, especially if it's going to see the salt. Mine was in several times. Great looking design but QC is lacking.
     
  6. dms61

    dms61 New Member

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    I agree with the FWX criticisms above. Sure, the FWX is sexy and light, but I returned mine after a few weeks because the drag was jerky and sticky--right out of the box. Traded up for the Torque, and couldn't have made a better decision.
     
  7. Jordan Simpson

    Jordan Simpson Active Member

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  8. T.Vince

    T.Vince New Member

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    I am using Hatch reels for the tropic. Perfect!

    Got a few Torques in the past. They got loose in the spool by time...
     
  9. Casey Hodges

    Casey Hodges Member

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    The 7/8 FWX was designed for up to Bonefish and Snook. Living in the Northwest, I don't target either. Maybe someday. I did hear a local dealer say that the 7/8 only holds 200 yards of backing. Only.

    My 5/6 worked great on pinks this summer. I like the sealed drag design and near lack of plastic parts. For heavy saltwater, you should go for the CCF.
     
  10. Jordan Simpson

    Jordan Simpson Active Member

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    Thanks Casey- I will take your input into consideration.
    I have recently been leaning towards Allen- due to price and customer reviews.
    As for regards to backing capacity, I have found a lot of reels hold quite a bit more depending on the line and backing type combination (gelspun, etc).

    The CCF is just a little too far out of my price range right now.

    J
     
  11. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

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    Jordan,
    I've used a Bauer JM4 for bones, permit, snook, jacks as well as salmon and steelhead and have had absolutely no issues with it. It's smooth with a super smooth start-up too and it may be in your price range. Avid Angler is a dealer and is where I bought mine 6 or 7 years ago.
     
  12. scottybs

    scottybs Active Member

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    Jordan,

    My best friend has the precourser to the FWX, and just fishing water with a slightly higher salinity content has caused the spindal to rust.
     
  13. attack

    attack Member

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    they are good solid reels. there have been many changes to make them better than the fw. get what you like, everyone has an opinion on whats best and the truth is every reel mentioned in this thread is up to the task...
     
  14. Tom Palmer

    Tom Palmer Active Member

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    I have two FW reels. They are light, nice wide spools, fast retrieve... I like the ergonomics of the reel a lot.

    However the drag has been a problem. The first I bought from Kmans back in the day. I had to exchange it when I got home and realized even when I tightened down the drag all the way it was way, way too light. The exchanged model was better but not as good as I was expecting given the price.

    When the FWX was announced good deals sprang up for the old FW reels and I bought a brand new one for a great price over the Internet. When I received the reel, the drag knob would not turn at all. I sent it in to Nautlilus and a month later got it back. The drag works but it's no Ross.

    So two reels, two problems with the drag with brand new reels. I still fish both and really like them for trout fishing, where i set the drag and leave it when fishing. But I would be wary of using them on fast fish. Hopefully Nautilus will redesign the drag because it is not up to the competition imo.

    Tom
     
  15. Jordan Simpson

    Jordan Simpson Active Member

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    So far Tom, that is the general consensus that I have read/received regarding the FWX. As for my new bonefish reel, I think I will head in a different direction away from the FWX.
     
  16. Calico Keta

    Calico Keta Member

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    I have been using my 7/8 FWX in the the salt and fresh with no issues. I have had this reel since it came out.

    How much drag do people really need? I fish for salmon and Steelhead and the drag has not been an issue,maybe I am not catching big enough fish.
     
  17. Woodeneye

    Woodeneye New Member

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    I'd consider looking at and Abel Big Game 3n. If time is on your side, You can find them for around $200-250. I haven't fished bonefish, only salmon and attempts to land steelehead, but it's a solid reel. Abel discontinued it a couple years ago. My friend who turned me onto the reel has fished all over and said it's awesome on Bonefish. I can only attest to the other species. Just something to consider. I picked one up in great shape on e-bay for $195 earlier this year but have seen them regularly in the above price range. I'd second the Bauer m4 too, great smooth drag, but the m5 would probably give you a better comfort zone capacity wise for fishing floating lines I have an 8 wt floating on my M4 and I think it held right around 200 yards of 50lb gel spun.
     

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