Ultimate Fly Reel

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by hilltop, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. I'm intrigued by the number of retail fly reels on the market, design, function, etc, etc. So many to choose from that offer any number of performance and design features. I've thought about building my own reel as a hobby project and have access to equipment that might allow me to do so and I'm looking for input.

    Curious, if you could have someone design and build you a custom fly reel, for game fish situations (salmon, steelhead, bonito, albacore, stripers, etc), to cover your ultimate performance criteria, what are the list of must have features you would like to see, in order of importance.

    Some that I would consider:
    1. Strong smooth drag (5lb) off the reel
    2. Comfortable, slightly larger than normal handle.
    3. Over sized palming rim
    4. Zero to full drag in under 1 knob turn.
    Also, larger arbor (most reels today) or the more conventional smaller profile reels. Porting? Most new reels seem to sacrifice durability to eek out every last gram of weight. Anyone ever have a reel fall off the tailgate onto the pavement and end up with a non-functioning reel ?

    Your thoughts if you don't mind.

  2. Wide arbor is more important to me. I can fill a small arbor with backing, but a wide arbor allows consistent line pickup and less coiling.

    ...If I drop a reel off the tailgate then I deserve to pay the price.
    Ricardo likes this.
  3. if a reel than balances with your rod chocie and holds line effectively it is the perfect reel.

    Drags are for sissy's and the equivalent of power bait
    little rod, RogueBum, Salmo_g and 3 others like this.

  4. :D
  5. Get a Nautilus.
  6. drags are for people who catch big ass fish. Anyone who says drags are for sissies has obviously never caught a 40lb chinook or a 25lb bluefin on a fly rod.
    golfman44 and Darthmonkey like this.
  7. there may be some weight to this.

    Chum and under drag are for sissies
  8. All my reels have good drags, and they are usually left where I my spool stays under control. I've caught some big trout on them, and never needed any drag. A nice click sound is important to my fishing experience, which is why the Orvis Bar Stock will always be my favorite reel, followed closely by my Medalists and Konics.
    Chris Johnson likes this.
  9. there is a HUGE difference between catching a trout without a drag and catching a fresh from the ocean chinook or other huge fish.
    Also, I think a really good drag system has a better control over startup inertia than your palm does.
    Medalists are NOT what Id call reels with " smooth" drag or low startup inertia.

    I guess the " perfect reel" really depends on what youre doing with it. Single digit weight steelhead on the Grande Ronde are easily controlled with a palmed reel, but youd never try to stop a roosterfish or Giant trevally with your palm and no drag
  10. I don't think having a disc drag or just a clicker makes any positive or negative difference as far as ability to land a fish like a trout, bass, etc. Huge fish, yes. But for the rest, he notion that having a disc gives some advantage is BS because if you crank down a drag to stop a fish, you'll likely pop the tippet anyway. I use both kinds of reel drags and all of them are set to light tension. If I need to add pressure, a finger on the spool edge does the trick.

    Back to a perfect reel: I have to ask what the reel is going to be used for in terms of species, fly line size, etc.?
  11. On most of the lakes up here a clicker is a dinner call for the loons.:D Got rid of the click pawl on all my reels.
    sroffe likes this.

  12. My thought was more in line with larger game fish ... 20 lb and up Salmon, Steelies, Stripers, and the occassional trip for Bones. Not necessarily the beasts like GT's , etc.


    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    stilly stalker likes this.
  13. steelhead are a bitch to get in with zero drag, you only let your knuckle get in the way of the knob once on a ocean fresh fish.

    Apparently we have alot of Drag Queeners in here
    stilly stalker likes this.
  14. I will probably never buy a reel other than nautilus again. The drag is amazingly smooth and strong- sealed drag is so damn nice. The FWX would be a solid choice for freshwater situations and big fish.

    I have a Ross CLA 5 that's a pretty nice reel, with a pretty good drag. It hasn't failed me yet, and is my winter steelhead Spey reel. They aren't too expensive and are built well, but I wouldn't buy another one when the nautilus aren't that much more money.

    I have heard good things about the Allen Kraken as well, but have not personally ever used one
    golfman44 likes this.
  15. For larger fish, it's hard to beat any of the Nautilus reels. Flawless function, a step less expensive than competing US made reels.
  16. I love the old style click and pawl reels. Don't need anything more then that.
  17. I have several of those for stream and river fishing, they never see a lake for the reason I posted above.:D The perfect reel for that purpose.:D My reels that you can palm all are missing the noise maker.
  18. I don't believe there is a perfect reel for all situations. If you fish small streams and lakes, a larger, heavier reel doesn't balance well with lighter rods. If you fish the salt, you need something that has a drag and will hold up to big fish and the salt. If you fish for really big fish like Tuna, Dorado, and Sailfish/Marlin, you need something that holds a lot of backing and has a reasonable drag. The Nautilus is a great reel though I've never owned one. I like Tibor reels for big fish and I have a plethora of Ross Gunnison reels for smaller fish. I suppose it all depends on what you fish for.
  19. That`s what God invented slingshots and JuJubes for .
    Chris Johnson likes this.

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