I am still searching for a big fly reel. When I say big I'm talking 4.5" diameter and at least 15 ounces. The selection is limited in new reels having a good drag. It seems that there are 2 makers who can fill the bill, Henschel of Germany and Saracicone of America.
If you are familliar with either of these reels or know of another big heavy reel with a drag please let me know.
I am looking hard at this Henschel in anti reverse;
One that comes to mind is a TFO Terry Hayden. Not sure if they are still being made, but the larger one would probably be those dimensions. Not AR, but I think they had a large surface cork drag. milt.
H-R, The Sea Level reel is the "Tempest", previously importred by Albright. I have three of these reels and have plenty of use on them. They are not "draw-bar" reels as descried in both Albright's and Sea Level's literature but rather, "hub" compression designes. They actually work fine but, unlike draw-bars which are so easily dissasembled and lubricated (as in Abel, Tibor and Islander) the small cork disc is sandwiched between two stainless steel (I think) discs and is virtually inaccesable making treatment of the cork awkward. Also the push-button release has failed on a couple of these reels which live on a friends salt water boat. Though Tempest is among the best I have fished with, I am not a fan of the, ubiquitus among Asian-designed reels, hub-type drag assembly. I have no experience with Henschel. I would think a Big Game Abel or Islander would be a great choice.
The reel I pasted pictures of is the one this fellow has, it's called 'Extreme #5' and is larger than the Tempest. Weight is what is propelling this search and the Abel & Islander reels are too light. I am seeking a 15 - 16 oz reel for a big rod. I am pretty sure that whatever I get will be replaced by the Henschel #5 when I can afford to drop 650 on a reel. The re-powering of our boat is going to be expensive and that leaves little in loose funds sloshing around...............
H-R, You will have to inquire of Ray about this but I am confident that this big reel is, by any other name, a giant Tempest. I think he is agood guy and honest and he will inform you about maintanance matters regarding the cork component of the drag. I would ask if the drag is the same design as Tempest. It also might be available sans engravaing - I don't know if that is done here or in Korea.