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Reel Review


Mike G
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OK I had to admit that my fly reels were looking dated. The Martin I use for panfish looks like a kitchen drain cover. The Medalist 1598RC I use for my 9 wt would work on my basement drain. Since chicks dig only cool reels, I had to get something that looked more 21st Century while stlii keeping food on the table. Fortunately I found the WR1-3 series from Cabela's. Through some lucky mistakes, I wound up getting a look at all three.

 

Cool Eifel Tower design.

 

cabelas-wind_river_fly_reels_p1_.jpg

 

The wide V arbor spool absorbed 200 yds of 20# backing and an 8 wt line. It works good, but don't expect it to work like an $800 Tibor. Get one before the Mayan Calandar runs out. (BTW that is a good pick up line to use with chicks.)

http://reviews.cabel...=rating&dir=asc

 

I see that Cabrela's has these

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Love the Cabelas reels. They are a good value, and do 95% of what the expensive ones do.

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I have 3 Tibors. I bought them back when that was about the best you could get. I was fishing for Striper & Salmon. Worthy of the reel, but expensive. Since I have a contract with Montana Fly, I can get their reels, that are new to the scene. They are fully machined, FORGED aluminum reels. Anodized in many different variations. But, my gripe is, all kinds of trout pattern anodizations, and no smallie skin anodization?!?! Anyway, light olive, is my favorite, as of now. Kind of a bronze look. The drag is FAR better than Cabela's. I can get them for wholesale if anyone is interested. $125, my cost, is your cost!

 

I have two Cabelea's reels. Thery are OK. But, I have not used them much. I suspect that if I used them as I use the MF reels, they would NOT hold up! Their drag is very limited. I get the drag I need at MAX drag adjustment. Not sure how long THAT will last.

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I have a Cabela's Wind River and a Prestige. The Prestige has been a good reel for me. I've had it for the 15 years or so that I have been flyfishing. It's drag has held up fine and still runs smooth after landing numerous fish in the 10-40 pound range. The Wind River was bought this year and has handled some nice smallies, hybrid stripers, and an Asian carp that went 45". It is not nearly as smooth as the Prestige but handled the fish well and it holds a lot of line. As far as the chicks go I cannot comment.

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These days all I look for in a freshwater reel is that it is lght,not expensive,holds a good amount of backing,and is aesthetically appealing.i'm not a fan of ultra modern radical looking reels.They look cold, sterile & have no sense of history.I don't much care about a reels drag. For one thing the advent of the open rim design allowing for applying drag with your hand made the reels drag largely unimportant.For another reels that can "stop a freight train" would only be salient if the tippet & rod could do the same w/o exploding.Even for fish capable of taking you into your backing the drag has to be set light for the tippet's sake. If needed additional force can be applied by hand.In that light settimg any reel with just a decent drag should hold up ok.The classic Marryats I own have terrible drags( really inexcusable for such an expensive reel.) But thanks to the open rim i've used them successfully on steelhead,salmon,& even big bonefish.Their wide arbor design makes them extremely light for the large amount of backing they hold.And in either gold or bronze they sure are pretty.

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I agree with Ron on the drag thing. The most important thing in my mind is that it runs smoothly and does not bind up. I keep my drag a bit on the light side. The time the drag is most important to me is when I have a larger fish close to hand. The drag allows me to free a hand to land the fish easier while still keeping some pressure on it.

 

Ron, your reels are pretty. I like the way they bring the colors out of a smallie or a brown.

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Even if I got decked up with a shiny machined Abel Fly reel with a fancy anodized pattern most chicks would not be impressed and they would still consider me to be a fishing geek. I'm fine with that.

 

http://www.abelreels.com/store/Limited-Edition-DeYoung-Brown-Trout-Flank.html

 

I do like fly reels that are light, durable, and able to work well after being gunked up with sand or grit. That is more important than a super drag system for fishing around here.

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New to Fly Fishing, I must admit I have never had to use the drag on my reels. Not sure why, but have always hand stripped my fish in, never even reeled?

 

For smaller fish, the reel is just a line storage mechanism. For saltwater fish over 12", you want your drag to work. Even the first run of a steelhead will cause a bird's nest on a fly reel if the drag doesn't have a certain amount of tension on it.

 

Ron, do you always use light tippet? I find with a locked-down drag I more often pull the fly out of the fish's lip than break the tippet.

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Even if I got decked up with a shiny machined Abel Fly reel with a fancy anodized pattern most chicks would not be impressed and they would still consider me to be a fishing geek. I'm fine with that.

 

http://www.abelreels...rout-Flank.html

 

I do like fly reels that are light, durable, and able to work well after being gunked up with sand or grit. That is more important than a super drag system for fishing around here.

 

That is some serious Bling there!

 

deyoung_header_2012-01.jpg

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New to Fly Fishing, I must admit I have never had to use the drag on my reels. Not sure why, but have always hand stripped my fish in, never even reeled?

 

So, Jim, by now you see that it does not matter whether you strip the fish in or get it on the reel as long as the reel looks cool. :D

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Jim, nice catch. Even that 3" model at 5.4oz seems to allow for enough backing for my needs and I'm sure it will do everything my Orvis large arbors will do at 1/4 the cost or less.

 

BUT let's get serious here, these are definitely NOT Chick magnets so buy at your own discretion.

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Orvis, horrible customer service, will never deal with again. The elitist attitude was too much for me.

 

Fortunately, haven't had to make use of their customer service but I'm sure the day will come, and now much sooner after stating this in public! As far as the elitist attitude, that pretty much represents most of the fly fishing industry, though you're right, some are worse than others.

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Fortunately, haven't had to make use of their customer service but I'm sure the day will come, and now much sooner after stating this in public! As far as the elitist attitude, that pretty much represents most of the fly fishing industry, though you're right, some are worse than others.

 

I resemble these negative comments on my thread. All I am saying is give "O" a chance. They may resemble my "Bubba" attitude too. But we are all God's children. And it has got to be tough running a world class shop and getting undercut at every turn.

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