Originally Posted by sweetandsalt
I have asked this same question too and have found no one on this Forum who owns one. Recently there was a best reel thread: 2013 8-Weight Challenge: Fly Reel Review / Trident Fly Fishing in which the F1 was very highly rated. Also Deneki Outdoors blog tested this reel in South Andros lavishing high praise on it too...but these were for 8-weight, bonefish applications. There are few trout fishing situations that require the drag strength and bop about in a boat durability that flats fishing demands. Though I have not fished one, F1 is far and away the most interesting reel that Ross makes today and, in guide finish, would be a great match for my Scott S4s #8's similar finish reel seat and they are built in the same Colorado town. Hatch and Abel Super are two of my favorite reels but also exceed the performance requirements of most trout applications (though both are more scalable than the majority of high performance reel designs and both are very attractive in all sizes). Light weight reels with fine tunable smooth drags that are large arbored and narrow like Hardy U DD and Nautilus FWX, neither one of which I would use bonefishing are superior trout reels to scaled down, heavier versions of reels with big game design features. Of course if your outfit was going to bang about in a drift boat regularly, fishing big water for big fish with a stout 6-weight...
I have a Scott S4 in a 6wt and had the same thoughts regarding the guide finish. But as others are pointing out, it seems that the although the F1 is a nice reel, a similarly priced Hatch or Abel is a better value. Admittedly, I own a Hatch 3+ and love it. The only time I played with the F1 I was disappointed with the slop between the retrieve and drag engagement, although it wasn't a major issue. I just wish it didn't look so good or I would own a Hatch 5+ already!