Speaking of lighter reels, about 5 minutes I bought an 11/12 Nautilus. With the 12 wt spool in it, it weighs 8.6 oz. My Gulfstream weighs 11 oz. Both have the same capacity spool.
I just weighed my Gulfstream loaded with backing and line. It weighs 16 oz. even- almost 4 times the weight of most 12 wt rods.
My rods all have high end cork handles. The rod handles last in proportion to the weight of the reel, the lighter the reel the longer they last. One reason is that you need to grip the handle much harder when casting with a heavy reel, especially if you are casting sidearm to keep the rod profile lower to the water.
More fish are spooked by the rod waving than the line landing. So when you have a full pound cantilevered off the handle, you have to squeeze the handle harder to hold it in the same plane as the rod is traveling. That is also putting a torsional load on the cork as well as a compressive one.
The reel I bought has a gaudy pinkish lavender colored spool and drag knob. I'm not kidding either. It is disgusting, and my daughter will likely love it. But thankfully, it's the spool for the "giga" arbor some of you like, and is intended for a 9 wt line.
So I will buy a 12 wt spool for it in a manly color, like Avacado-Lime, so it will match my Guy Harvey cape shirt for after my daughter goes off to where ever she plans on going to next.
I figured you'd think I was just lying again so I grabbed the ebay picture to show you.
I had the reel changed to a right hand wind and shipped back with an extra black spool (full capacity). When I opened it up downstairs it looked like this:
Wayne called about going over to his place for fresh grilled Cero Mackerel and I told him that the reel came, but they screwed up and sent a purple one instead of the pink one. He wanted to see it, so I took it over. While I was fending off his dogs, he opened the case and said "This isn't purple, it's bright red". I went over and sure enough it wasn't pink or purple but bright red.
This thing is like a psychodiillic chamelion or something. Changes colors depending on where its at and what kind light it's in. Actually, it's pretty cool. It's also extremely light and seems very well put togther. Hopefully, I'll put the drag to the test soon, but I expect nothing but superlative performance from it.