Re: Galvan Rush Fly Reel
Follow up report: Just got back from my trip- spent 3 days floating the upper Kenai and a day on the upper Russian river. I was surprised at how good the fishing was without having to pay mega bucks for a fly-in fishing lodge.
Round trip ticket from Albuquerque was $500. Rental for a full size car was about $300 for a week. Bed and breakfast in Cooper's Landing $80/night. Friend took me drifting gratis.
On the Kenai, many 19-24" Rainbows with Dolly Varden's mixed in. 10-20 fish per day in this size range easy. Slightly smaller on the Russian, which is more of a small-medium stream fishable with a 6 weight. On the Kenai, I used an 8 weight Powell Tiboron II, which broke after several days of large rainbows and foul-hooked Sockeye. One of the 24" rainbows took off skipping across the water and it just snapped. I might have had the drag too tight, or it could have been from damage being jostled around in a drift boat for a few days. The 6 weight was a Loomis Streamdance HLX, and everyone I let fish with it wanted to buy one. They just went on sale for around $350-$400 at Sportsman's Warehouse, presumably being replaced by something new. I personally wouldn't buy another Tiboron, it was just too stiff for my casting style-- never could get the timing down right.
The Galvan Rush worked beautifully-- what a sweet drag. Smooth as glass. More of a mid arbor than a true large arbor, which is fine with me. Used my backup reel for the 8 weight, an Orvis mid-arbor which was terrific. Bought mine new on ebay for about $100 and it has a very good, adjustable drag and you don't feel so bad if it gets a few nicks in a drift boat. Recommed it highly.