What exactly is a click-and-pawl reel?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by msteudel, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. msteudel

    msteudel Mark Steudel

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    Is it a brand name and/or a style of reel? It always seems to be associated with older reel types ...
     
  2. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    Google any of the 'older' Hardy Reels. No drag .... just the worlds best sound with a running fish. Main thing (imho) is the pawl part is to prevent 'over runs' as these reels have no drag system.
     
  3. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    If you buy one, make sure it has an exposed rim spool so you can use your palm as a break. These reels are actually a lot of fun with big fish and it isn't as hard to palm as you may think.
     
  4. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Hi Mark,

    The so-called click-pawl reels represent an early mechanical drag design in which a metal clicker (the pawl) pivots on a small post and engages the teeth in a gear attached to the inside of the spool. A spring pressing against the backside of the pawl produces resistance that must be overcome for the clicker to deflect as the gear and spool revolve. Some designs have an adjuster that increases spring pressure.

    Here's shot of the inside of a classic Hardy Perfect showing all the elements. Note the tension adjuster screw on the left hand frame edge.

    [​IMG]

    The click pawl design was introduced over a century ago and has a proven history of reliability due to its incredibly simple design. That reliability (and the incredible sound of a click pawl drag at full sing) are two of the reasons why old Hardy reels still command such respectable prices. Hardy Perfects such as the one above, typically sell in the $500 range, despite being well used and decades old.

    Newer designs and marketing hype have convinced many fishers that they shouldn't settle for anything less than the latest composite disc drag mechanisms, even when fishing for trout. However many spey fishers know that the combination of a reliable click pawl reel and palming (or other hand-reel resistance) can stop all but the most determined fish.

    K
     
  5. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    Nice one Kent.

    I just wanted to add that the Hardy reel in that pic and many of the Hardy reels don't have an exposed rim that you can palm and this can be tough when dealing with a larger fish.

    Notice in that pic how the rim of the spool is covered by the cage of the reel. This means that you will have to somehow apply extra pressure with the tips of your fingers. I personally find this to be a rediculous way to handle a big fish.

    If you do go Hardy or any other pawl design, make sure it is one with the spool rim exposed, Hardy has several models. I will go try and find an example picture of a Hardy with the rim exposed.
     
  6. msteudel

    msteudel Mark Steudel

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    @kent: Thanks a bunch for the info with an accompanying screen shot.

    @jbuehler: thanks for hunting down a picture

    Click-and-pawl always seemed to be one of those things that everyone just seemed to know what it was. Thanks for the edumacation.
     
  7. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Haven't you ever wondered how people managed to catch large fish before the introduction of palming or disc drag reels?

    Back before the 1970s when most of the first exposed-rim reels and palming hit the market, everyone fished with a closed-cage reel like the Hardys or Pfleuger Medalists. And remember, back then, the fish were much bigger and there were more of them. But famous anglers like Enos Bradner and others still managed to land more than their share, even with closed-cage reels.

    Palming is just one way to introduce additional resistance to a spinning spool, but not the only way.

    The continued popularity of full-cage Hardy designs such as the Perfect, Bougle, St. Aidan and others, especially among steelhead and salmon fishers demonstrates that an exposed rim isn't a necessity.

    So how do those fishers 'palm' their spools? For double-sided designs like the Bougle, a finger or two pressed on the spool side opposite the handle works just as well as palming. For single-side designs, a finger or two pressed against the line on the spool also works.

    K
     
  8. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    I have been with anglers who have done it! I know it works.

    I was just saying I think it is a bit rediculous when a fish is pulling line like that to stick your fingers down in the spool. Seems a little risky to me is all.....
     
  9. msteudel

    msteudel Mark Steudel

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    In the moment I'd probably stick into the reel handle side and get a few bruised fingers and bloddy knuckles. :rofl:
     
  10. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Most flyfishers would be surprised at how well a click pawl reel can slow down a running fish. I've rarely had to palm or use additional hand pressure, even on bruiser trout up to 22-24". Plus, I'm happy to let 'em run for a while. The sound of a screaming Hardy is pure music to my ears!

    I've had my knuckles rapped more than once, so that's one end of the reel I stay clear of!

    K
     
  11. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    It is just another dimension to steelheading. To be able to control a large fish using pressure supplied by your fingers is a skill in and of itself. Some say they have greater control with a click pawl reel over a disk drag reel. It is far easier and more immediate to apply more or less pressure with your palm or finger tips then it is to adjust a drag during the fight. It gives the angler more of a direct connection to the fish and a greater sense of satisfaction when a fish is successfully landed.

    Great descriptions and pictures Kent.
     
  12. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    Yeah I can see it working for that purpose.

    It is those small river 8-15 pound chromers I wouldn't want to fight without being able to palm. The ones that try and dive into the logs.

    I tend to horse my steelhead because I land more of them when I do this (maybe the hook doesn't tear its way out?) and the release is sooner and the fish less spent.
     
  13. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    Technically, Pflueger Medalists are not click & pawl reels (I know Kent cited them as an example of a closed-cage reel, not click & pawl). Pflueger has its own drag system that is not like any other that I'm aware of.

    It wasn't very long ago that any inexpensive reel (except the Pfluegers) were C&P reels, now it seems they are almost off the market and most manufacturers have dropped them in favor of an inexpensive reel with a closed drag system of some sort. For example, I don't think either Scientific Angler or Orvis sell their low-end C&P reels anymore.

    Dick
     
  14. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    I believe you're right. I think the last CP reels were the Ross Colorado and the Able Trout. Both have been discontinued for a couple years or more but they now command far more than their original sell price on eBay where they're highly prized by folks who prefer their simple design.

    K
     
  15. Be Jofus G

    Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

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    SA does, or it did 2 years ago. I've seen them in stores fairly recent. Absolutly the worst piece of garbage I've ever had the displeasure of fishing with.