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Fly Guy Eat Pie
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at some different 8wt's for steely, salmon, and saltwater use. the Nautilus FW has a different drag system (SCF) than the Nautilus NV which is much more expensive. Anybody have any experience with the nautilus SCF drag system? Does it hold up to the hype of Nautilus NV's?
 

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I have a Featherweight (5+) that was purchased with the intent to target salmon, sea runs etc... from the beach where lots of casting is involved. I love the dimensions of the reel. Nice wide spool, lightweight, lots of backing, quality construction.

Couldn't be more disappointed in the drag. When I got home I played around with it and realized I should have done more homework in the store before I took it home. The first several revolutions of the drag knob did nothing- not enough resistance to keep the spool from over-running. Only the final quarter turn created any real drag, and even in the tightest, lock down setting there wasn't much there. (my old Plueger Medalist has 10X more drag)

I took it back and exchanged for a new one, certain it was defective. The replacement is better, but only marginally so.

Normally I'm a Ross guy, but got the FW to try something different. I want my drag knob to have a wide range of settings- from free spool to lock down tight. I want the range adjustment knob to need at least a full turn between the two extremes so I don't need to worry about a micro adjustment while fighting a fish.

My FW is the opposite of what I want. It has no drag for the first couple of revolutions, and then only tightens the last bit. I don't consider it a drag to be adjusted while fighting a fish like I can do with my Ross or Abels. I set it while fishing and then leave it, forced to palm if I need more pressure.

At least for me, I found the drag to not be worthy of a $300+ reel. Perhaps the 7 series has more guts, but I would check it out closely to see if it meets your needs.
 

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Fly Guy Eat Pie
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Tom. I'll definitely be looking out for that. I'm definitely looking for something with a good drag system and haven't heard too much about the Featherweights...perhaps, i'll look more closely into Galvan Torque and Ross Evo's.
 

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Joe Streamer
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My experience has been different. I have three FW's, and they are all I use on my heavier trout and light saltwater rods (5-7wts).

The drag is definitely tuned for trout. I used one of the reels this September on pinks on my 7wt, and it was at its limit for fish-stopping power, though palming the rim during fast moments in the fight sufficed.

Overall, they are the best reels in this class I have ever used. I know a few other people who agree.
 

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Hi Lugan,

It sounds like our experiences are very similar... it's our expectations that are different.

Like you I found the drag to be limited to "pink salmon" type encounters. I expected it to handle chums and ocean coho. I was wrong.

Used in trout type settings it works fine. Skagit chums? No way!
 

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Joe Streamer
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Hi Lugan,

It sounds like our experiences are very similar... it's our expectations that are different.

Like you I found the drag to be limited to "pink salmon" type encounters. I expected it to handle chums and ocean coho. I was wrong.

Used in trout type settings it works fine. Skagit chums? No way!
Right, the FW is just not a reel for heavy fish -- it's got a trout drag. I wouldn't use a Ross Evo either for the same reason. The Evo in all sizes has a trout-sized drag system.

The Nautilus NV is supposedly awesome, but the lower-priced CCF is also supposedly good. Someday if my still-new Ross Momentum breaks I'd likely replace it with an NV.

The Momentum a great heavy duty reel though. You can find the old Momentum (from roughly 2005-2008?) on sale these days. Just do a web search. I just got a Momentum 5 for my new switch rod for around $245 from these guys: http://www.mrfc.com/MadisonRiverShopping/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=4 . This was a month ago, but there were many deals out there, including on Ebay. Or this cheap price for a Momentum 4: http://www.wyomingflyfishing.com/Ro...-Size-4-Black-Only-Closeout-Sale-P957C17.aspx
 

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Fly Guy Eat Pie
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
the new ross evolution lt has almost the same specs as the featherweights but i dont know much about the drag other than its the same as the old evo's from what i have read
i was actually playing around with the new 2010 model Evo yesterday, extremely light weight and very very smooth. Looks like a Galvan Torque twin at a cut price...

Sounds like the Nautilus FW is not the reel to go with for an 8wt. Looking for something with good drag. Back to the sketchboard!

Some others I've been looking at are Galvan Torque, Ross Evo (2009 model if i can find one) or the 2010, Lamson Litespeed or Velocity...

who knows, the list can go on and on.
 

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There have seen other members post positive reviews about the Ross CLA reels. You might want to check those out.

Orvis Bar Stock Battenkills or Battenkill Mid Arbor reels may be another good choice.
 

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I have a FW 7+. I use it on my 6 - 8 weights. I have not had anything on, big enough to test the max drag setting.....yet! ;-) After reading this subject, I checked the max setting on my reel. You're right, I think it could use a bit more top end stopping power. The first 1 1/2 turn doesn't do much of anything, other than engage to bottom setting. The subsequent turns(approx 1 1/2) is where all the actual adjustment comes. The big plus is, it's seems very linear. Even at the max setting with the knob turned down tight, the drag remains smooth. I called Nautilus and they said they can add more drag to the FW. Approximately one day turn around. :thumb: From what I read elsewhere(except for one), they have good customer service.

I hope to be checking out a few of the NV and CFFs in the near future.

briansII
 
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Your using a trout reel for large game fish and shouldn't expect it to do what it's not designed for. I would hold your shop more accountable then Nautilus...When I bought my fw for my baby switch it was exactly as I was told it would be...but better in the elements then the evol...If your looking for a reel for the 8wt look at the ccf at a lower price point then the NV...Those drags are allot better then ross..they are bullet proof, water proof and made for larger game fish...

I have this horrible fetish for reels...I like my sarricones etc. but the nautilus is my ass whooper...CCF and NV...
 

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Does it hold up to the hype of Nautilus NV's?
To answer your question, no it does not, nor was it ever suppose to. They are two completely different reels, and the price reflects this. I have a FW 3 and 5 and they are more than adequate for trout...but for some reason, I never fell in love with them like other reels and I'm not sure why. I still use them all the time because I have them.

The CCF is a workhorse but too heavy for single-hand rod use. The NV is amazing...probably overkill for 95% of freshwater situations but they are very nice...and expensive.
 

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The featherweight is a remarkably smooth reel. However when fishing it in salt rinse it well in warm water, I mean more than you do any other reel! Salt does a number on the brake like no other reel I own.
 

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Jumpin Jersey Joe
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I have the CCF8 on my 8 wt set up and love it. Have had many PNW steelhead, salmon, and 4 Atlantic's on the reel w/o any problems. I'd buy it again but it is a bit more money than say a Lamson Velocity which is also an excellent reel which I have used.
Hope this helps.....
 

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Looking at some different 8wt's for steely, salmon, and saltwater use. the Nautilus FW has a different drag system (SCF) than the Nautilus NV which is much more expensive. Anybody have any experience with the nautilus SCF drag system? Does it hold up to the hype of Nautilus NV's?
Does your reel have the black, or red backplate on drag?
 
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