"Center Pin" reel vs. a regular level wind?


Active Member
I've been tossing around the idea of getting a center pin reel, long float rod, etc., for on river 'giggles.' A good CP reel can be far pricier than I would have ever thought (shows you what I know:confused: ). But given what the reel 'does-used for,' why not just use a 'smallish' level wind ... which are cheap as dirt?
I have a J. Austin Forbes Reel Center pin which is 3" I use mostly for nymphing it is an amazing reel. here is the site where you can see them. http://www.jaustinforbes.com/millbronze.html yeah the price will make you choke but you can get them on e-bay every once in a while for 1/2 the price.

super Dave have you ever tried one of these? I don't use my for bait.


Joe Streamer
I don't get it: I looked at the Austin Forbes website and it just looks like a regular fly reel. What is functionally different about a center pin reel?
Lugan said:
I don't get it: I looked at the Austin Forbes website and it just looks like a regular fly reel. What is functionally different about a center pin reel?
At a minimum, the clicker can be turned off. When the clicker is off, the spool rotates with extremely little resistance.
99% of the state police and wardens in the country would not be able to tell a center pin from a fly reel, even if it was agains the regs, if it were mounted on a fly rod. I just don't see a big difference except for the free spool capability. Now a levelwind on a fly rod...that would be a funny sight to see!
A centerpin reel would be legal in flyfishing only waters, as it would easily satisfy the legal requirements of what "flyfishing gear" is defined as in the regs...why someone would want to put one on a flyrod would be beyond my understanding, however!

Fish on...

Lugan said:
I don't get it: I looked at the Austin Forbes website and it just looks like a regular fly reel. What is functionally different about a center pin reel?
I don't get it either...what would be the reason it makes such a nice nymphing reel...i guess i've never heard of them before and am curious. 99% of the wardens and troopers couldn't tell the difference, and neither could i.
somebody please enlighten me(us)


Fred, nice troll.:thumb:

I'd say go with the levelwind. Shimano 201DHSV to be exact.:p Centerpin seems like too much work.

Not that I'm advocating this, but think of a 20-foot mono leader, floating thin-daimeter running line or amnesia, a couple #7 split shot, and your glo-bug of choice. You would be able to cover the deep slots on the fly water that aren't reachable with a regular fly presentation. It would be a deadly setup for a "float" as well (i.e humongous indicator). In those terms, although I'm not personally interested in using that type of outfit, I can in an instant belive why somebody would.

I don't think Fred is trolling he's not the trolling type. Besides, for trolling he'd need a completely different setup.
you have to try one to see, just looking at it doesn't give you an idea of how it works. there is little button on one side of it that takes of any resistance you have on the reel, which allows the nymph to float freely along with the current with no resistance allowing it to look more natural moving through the water, believe this makes a difference when you nymph on a regular fly reel you only have as much movement as your line allows with the no resistance it just peels right off no striping at all. but you really need to tend to the line cause it can get away from you and then your sitting there with a big mess. to each his own I say, I like it and it performs nicely and is a good quality reel.
I've got a Milner CP on a custom Sage rod that I use for fishing in BC. If you are using a bait caster up there without a float they thing that you're a bottom bouncing snagger. Once you learn how to cast and use a pin its a very effective way to thoroughly cover the water. The learning curve on casting one is about as much fun as (what I assume) a do it yourself vasectomy would be like.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Wolverine has it right about learning to use a centerpin. Man, talk about horrendous backlashes.

Hmmmm, most centerpins I've seen don't have a drag. But, they are pricey because of the ballbearing system and the exact tollerances used to make them work. With a centerpin, they will spin forever (and SUPER SMOOTH) with the slightest touch of the handle. Personally, if you're going small I'd get spinning reel setup. But to get the "flyfishing" look, the CP would work. Only problem would be the flyline issue (since I assume most fly only waters require a conventional flyline on it). I'd say a CP is about the toughest reel to learn on (and I mean a true centerpin, most are in the $400+ range without thinking twice). Islander has a nice CP if memory serves me right. I tried making a CP by taking the guts outta a flyreel. Didn't work even remotely the same.

Oh, and SuperDave. Levelwinds aren't just for baitcasting. ;) They're for "gear fishing". I almost exclusively use levelwinds for all my gear fishing. When I'm casting spoons or jigs, I'm not fishing bait. ;)

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