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Old 03-10-2013, 01:30 PM
wjc wjc is offline
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Default Re: 2013 8-Weight Challenge: What's the Best Saltwater Fly Reel?

From the two fly shops I frequent in Florida - one up by Mosquito Lagoon, the other in Islamorada - the biggest (by a lot) selling reel is the Nautilus in all sizes. Second is the Tibor.

Up until last year, the best buy in salt water reels I think, was the Mako - which sold for very little more than the Abel. Unfortunately, the wait for a Mako was at least a year, as they could not keep up with demand. The only one I saw, used, on ebay sold for more than a new one. Last year Mako upped the price about 40%.

I would have to take issue with this statement about drag settings.
For bonefish, that means at least 8lbs. Baby tarpon or big stripers 10-12lbs.
Here are some quotes from an interview of Jake Jordon, who's caught more billfish on fly than anyone ever, on drag settings. He uses Makos.

The angler has the rod stretched out pointing at the fly, in the case of a Sailfish, white marlin or striped marlin the drag is set at 4 to 6 pounds of pressure (6 for sailfish), for Blue and Black Marlin the drag setting is about one pound.
Question: What differences are there between hooking & playing a sailfish & a marlin.
Answer: From the bite of a Sailfish i use the full 6 pounds of drag until the battle is over, With a big Marlin it is necessary to use one pound or less drag from the bite until the fish has run and jumped, for a period of time determined by the fish and the angler. On most big Marlin this at least 20 minutes before increasing to two pounds, by the time that the fish starts to tire (usually up to an hour) I am still under 4 pounds of pressure. after we get onto the fly line for the second or third time I bump it up to 6 pounds and the fish usually is finished soon after that.
Jake does say in the article that the reel should be "capable" of putting 10 lbs of sustained smooth drag on blue marlin (200-400 + lbs).

Question:Anything else you want to add?
Answer: I love my job, 70 years of age, over 1400 Billfish on Fly, and still catching and teaching, most of the improvements have been during the last five years.
Full article here: Welcome to Jake Jordan's Fishing Adventures

In short, I think the emphasis on max drag capability is basically hogwash, and that anyone using 8 lbs of drag on bonefish is asking for a breakoff one way or the other. The emphasis should be on sustained smoothness and the ability to smoothly change settings during a fish fight. On an 8wt., it normally does not need to be for hours either.

To get an idea of what a 4 lb drag setting is, tie the running line around a half gallon jug of milk orange juice or whatever, and lift it off the floor with the line coming straight off the reel. And if you can get high enough off the ground, do the same with the line strung on a rod. Most people have no conception of what pounds of drag feels like.

Personally, I don't think price or looks should have anything to do with equipment reviews - though the manufacturers' suggested retail prices should certainly be listed.

But then, I have never paid much attention to reviews and rarely read them anyhow, as I have my own criteria.
__________________ Cheers, Jim
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