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Old 10-28-2011, 11:52 AM
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Default Is there are reason for this?

Most things about reel design make perfect sense; they have evolved into precision user friendly machines that maximize you ability to use them with the fewest worries or mishaps possible. One thing that I can't understand is why these fly reel handles are SO DARN SMALL! I understand that a small 3" reel for a 2-4 wt rod is a tiny machine, but that doesn't make my fingers any smaller. The Lamson Velocity I had on my 5 wt for a while had the most miniscule little nub of a handle, that was both short and thin. It was miserable to try to fish with that in cold weather. It was annoying in any weather really; I was always falling off of that little nub when I tried to frantically reel in excess line. Reeling in 70ft of line almost always brought a curse word up to breath level or better because I couldn't keep my normal sized fingers on that stupid little nub of slick polished plastic. I think it is even tapered! Most are a little larger than this, and at least have a bulb on the end to keep your finger from slipping off, but I still find them undersized for the job. It makes no sense to me, Is there a sensible explanation that I am missing here?

I have see one reel that I wish would be copied by the others; the Old Engish made Orvis Battenkill LA reels. They have a HUGE paddle handle made out of rubber with knurled traction on it. Why don't they all do this?

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Old 10-28-2011, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Is there are reason for this?

I think the manufacturers are all about aesthetics...they like to make the reel look good as well as functional, yet don't take into account that most users of their equipment don't have the hands of a 5 y.o. girl

I guess its not something that's gonna change though....we just have to suck it up, use handwarmers or god forbid, quit fishing....
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Is there are reason for this?

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Old 10-28-2011, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Is there are reason for this?

This bugs me too! I'm a fairly big guy, but don't have huge hands. My fingers are rather long however, and since I've gotten older, with a little Arthur Right-Us residing in the joints, gripping those small handles has become more difficult. I don't know why they make them that way, but besides the aesthetics, it could also be to reduce weight. Seems like everyone has become so concerned about what rods & reels weigh these days, and everyone wants them as light as possible. Add bigger handles, that means you add weight, and the counter balance has to weigh more to get the correct balance. If a reel maker adds 1/10 of an oz to a reel with larger handles, and the competitor's reel weighs less, would that make a difference to potential buyers? I don't know, but I would guess to some folks it might!
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: Is there are reason for this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gt05254 View Post
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Ok, so I'm griping a little... you have no gripes because all you use is these old BLA's! Just try one of those ill-concieved slick little Lamson nubs; it's enough to make a bishop swear!

I really don't get it...every other tool in the world that has a grip on it is knurled to the hilt, and made out of super sticky 3m/dupont or whoever space age technology, but MOST fly reel handles are both too small, and unknurled. They are constructed exactly as they were 80 years ago.
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Is there are reason for this?

Y'know....you're right! I just bought a Lamson Konic, and it DOES have a very small handle. Didn't notice it when I bought it, I guess I am just conditioned to seeing small handles on the newer reels. Does anybody make aftermarket handles? Maybe a real business niche to fill here!
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Is there are reason for this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
This bugs me too! I'm a fairly big guy, but don't have huge hands. My fingers are rather long however, and since I've gotten older, with a little Arthur Right-Us residing in the joints, gripping those small handles has become more difficult. I don't know why they make them that way, but besides the aesthetics, it could also be to reduce weight. Seems like everyone has become so concerned about what rods & reels weigh these days, and everyone wants them as light as possible. Add bigger handles, that means you add weight, and the counter balance has to weigh more to get the correct balance. If a reel maker adds 1/10 of an oz to a reel with larger handles, and the competitor's reel weighs less, would that make a difference to potential buyers? I don't know, but I would guess to some folks it might!
Those Old BLA's were the lightest of their time; that rubber handle is a negligible fraction of the reels weight; probably nowhere near 1/10 of an ounce difference. I tend to think it is aesthetic, or negligent oversight. There is no reason practical reason for any of them, wood, plastic, or rubber to not be knurled regardless of the shape and size.

---------- Post added at 01:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:48 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfzx View Post
Y'know....you're right! I just bought a Lamson Konic, and it DOES have a very small handle. Didn't notice it when I bought it, I guess I am just conditioned to seeing small handles on the newer reels. Does anybody make aftermarket handles? Maybe a real business niche to fill here!
Good idea, though they are all probably different specs; both the bore and the thickness of the spool etc. It could work though you would be off balance with your spool counterweight by some amount
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Is there are reason for this?

Hi Jason,

I have pondered this for quite some time myself but have became adept at spooling the Hardy knobs. I guess they seem normal to me although when I bought an old Orvis Odyssey IV and found the handle to be tapered and way too short; I fought back. I contacted the Orvis reel shop guys and they sent me 2 paddle knobs like the reel in your photo has on it. With a little work I drilled and tapped the 2 spools and threaded a nice big paddle onto each. With that done the reel now will suffice as a big game tackle item.

You could do this to some other brands that you own I would guess, all you need is an extra paddle and to figure out how to remove the existing handle. Then you check to see if the threads either match or (best case scenario) the threads on the paddle are bigger. If so and if the knob and bushing that it rides in will work on the spool in question you drill & tap. I had a break because I already owned the correct tap and therefore had no expense related to doing this modification because Orvis provided the paddle knobs at no charge.
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Is there are reason for this?

The counter-weight point is certainly a valid one. Most reel handles I have seen is black plastic of one sort or another...and a few are fancier like rosewwod. I'm thinking some spaceage material with the density of thick smoke may be the answer. Hmmmmm...now the wheels are turning...

Of course the handles would have to be brand/model specific...maybe including a counter weight to match would be the answer???
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: Is there are reason for this?

ausablebrown, you may certainly be correct in your thought here! I only used that 1/10 oz number because seems like weight specs are only listed to the nearest 1/10 oz, I don't know what the actual weight difference might be. Still, seems to me like some folks are anal about any extra weight these days!

mrfzx, sounds like the start to a new venture, all you have to do is buy every reel currently made, several models of the most popular previously made reels, and provide the appropriate larger handle & counter weights for each of them!

Sounds simple enough!
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