Re: Ported vrs solid reels ?
I totally agree with Pete, one of my steelhead rods is a Sage Moderate Action graphite from the 80s. This is a pretty heavy rod to begin with and lashed to it is a Lamson Saltwater Series "Bonefish" reel. These reels were made for a short period of time and were very similar to an Abel in terms of drag.
Anyhow, the reel weighs in at 342 grams or just over 12 ounces, spending a few days casting for steelhead or striper and that 12 ounce reel is going to beat you up. For comparison the current Abel Super 9N is 8.4 ounces, about 9.5 with line and backing.
On the smaller rods- an Abel Pt.5 is 5 ounces and the ported version is 4.6. There have been times where this would make a difference for me, but that is likely personal preference.
As an example- years ago I purchased a Sage 7'11 4wt LL and put a first generation Lamson LP 1.5 on it. Good reel, but solid frame and spool back and I noticed that the weight had an impact on how I felt about the rod's action. I swapped the reel out for the new fully ported version of the 1.5 and the rod took on a different feel- more lively.