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Old 03-12-2012, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

There is a lot of good logic in this thread: Hardy Reels says, "stick with what works and be aware of future parts availability", Burke remarks on "good design and large surface area".

While it is hard to argue that the classic Hardy-type pawl and gear design is appropriat for most trout fishing and I too have and still do use such reels, I have come to the decission that a smooth, fine tunable drag is an advantage in that it alows a good trout to be brought to hand somewhat more quickly. This results in a fish being released in greener condition making it a happier, less stressed animal. Most of the popular American-built small surface area drag reels and the majority of the hub drag Asian reels will handle this just fine but if quality and aesthetic values are being considered, my prefered reels are the Hatch and Nautilus with a nod to Hardy's new Ultralite Disc model.

If you graduate from Nautilus FWX to NV, stick with terrific Hatch and add in the great Abel Supers, Tibor and Islander draw-bar cork reels you can cover the #7 - 12 range thoroughly. Of course there are countless other good reels that are more esoteric like HR's beloved Orvis Oddesy but these (good as they are) are flash-in-the-pan or limited production reels - Charlton, Catino, Ari't Hart, Alutecnos, Magla, Danielson, Vosseler, the list goes on and on - good luck finding parts for many of these decades from now! I still use reels like these because I like them and they achive a perfect weight, performance or aestetic mating with specific rods...I'll take my chances and I always have back-ups.

I have included both "sealed" drags and user maintainable designs in my list intentionally. Sealed is the new cool thing and reels like Hardy's powerfull Fortuna (which I have not fished) show their porential. But I have no problem lubricating cork and springs and could strip, lube, re-assemble and return to its case an Abel in less time than it takes to compose this post. Strength, reliability and quality performance are the important factors.

There is one popular design trait that I rail against and detest; the too wide, too shallow aspect ratio intended to maximize line retreaval speed and maintain drag uniformity. Such reels simply do not fish well in that requisit uniform line retrival requires undue attention. PLenty of reels like the Nautilus and New Hardy Ultralite have very large arbors for rapid line pick up but make a point of touting their NARROW spool width to promote intuitive uniform retrival. Abel, which has uniquily and long offered clients the choice of wider (but not too wide) or narrow spool width is in the process of reproportioning their model line up to be narrow accross the range. They understand what anglers need.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post

Light = CFO & Hardy spring and pawl reels. These have been the most reliable because I know exactly what to expect. There are no corks, gears or other parts that can malfunction so they are favorites. I also use an old Cortland LTD Graphite #60 that has a mechanical disc drag on light rods sometimes.

....
Hardy reels- just picked up a Cortland LTD graphite reel in real decent shape.. I found your post on a google search. I can't find anything about what cleaning and lubrication they need. Would appreciate any info along tha line

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandguy View Post
Hardy reels- just picked up a Cortland LTD graphite reel in real decent shape.. I found your post on a google search. I can't find anything about what cleaning and lubrication they need. Would appreciate any info along tha line

Thanks,

Dave
I would just clean, rinse, get the old grease off and lubricate with Quantum Hot Sauce. I've heard Frog Lube (a gun lubricant) is good but I haven't tried it.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

A long time user of Hardy and Hardy-built CFO spring and pawl reels, I still use some on little rods on small streams. They are not failure proof; I have had cracked leaf springs and, being castings, the frames can crack too. These things are rare but have happened to me. I was an early adapter to mid/large arbor disc drag reels for trout. My experience was and remains that larger trout are brought to net incrementally more quickly (thus released in better condition) by anglers of all skill levels, with a light, smooth, adjustable drag than with an over-run check + palming as in spring and pawl reels. My carry on bag, packed and ready for imminent departure for my annual month-long Western trout adventure, includes; Nautilus FWX, Hardy Ultralite DD and, new and not yet used, Galvan Torque. All these reels feature subtly adjustable drags, aspect ratios featuring reasonably narrow widths and quality, machined from bar-stock construction. #'s 4, 5 & 6 - weight are covered here.

For the salt half or my pseudonym; I have long favored draw-bar, cork, disc-drag reels. Starting with Catino's, I progressed to Abels and Islander. Keep the metal parts oiled and the cork lubed lightly with neatsfoot oil and these reels put the brakes on anything that eats a fly and will last indefinitely. Time marches on and, though I will never head out to the flats without a draw-bar reel in my kit, synthetic, stacked drag systems have earned a place among my outfits. Low maintenance (not that I mind keeping reels clean and lubricated) and lighter in weight, they have a place with today's lighter rods. Hatch, Nautilus NV and my newest winner, Hardy Fortuna X have all proven top notch on both tropical flats and NorthEastern rips.

For the larger line size, bigger game fish reels, large sweep area of drag surface(s) and stout reliability are paramount whereas for lighter line trout rigs, low inertial start-up and fine tunable, linear and consistent drag setting is most relevant. In all fly reels; narrow width for intuitive backing/line uniformity of retrieval and aesthetically pleasing looks, feel and sound are important characteristics.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

I have a number of different designs in my aresnal.

I use Abel cork draw bar drags on my 3-8(my largest) weight reels. Why, because I like them. It's rare that I need a true drag on my trout reels, but it's nice to fish with them and it's there when called upon. That said, I have other reels that I use, some more often than not.

Galvan Standard is used for me in the trout range. Nice smooth drag reel and currently an option for me in a 4 wt. set up, only because that's the only spool that I have filled right now. I also use a Loop Opti Creek that is a sealed drag on a 3 and 4 weight set up. Not necessary the majority of the time, but a fine reel to fish.

Click/Spring and Pawl reels. My first two fly reels were of this type, an old Cortland made in England and a cheap Sage clicker that came with a St. Croix imperial combo I purchased a decade ago. This year, I decided to go back to click and pawl reels and went crazy buying the Sage 500 series of reels made by Hardy U.K. These are lovely easily maintained reels and more than effective for my trout fishing in the Midwest. When I fish larger western rivers, I will give one a try, but I can assure you I will have an Abel in my pocket in case I don't like what I'm feeling. The thing about these Sage reels is that they do have a palming rim, which give me some control when I get a fish that's really running - I like that.

And about that palming rim, I purchased a Sage 508 and Sage 509 that I plan on using on some larger lake run Steelhead this fall. I see the Sage 508 for use on low and clear conditions fishing Lake Erie on a 10' 7 weight rod. I typically fish a draw bar Super 7 but when I'm down to 5x, which is required sometimes, I have it tuned so light that I may as well be using a click and pawl because any pressure that I've applied on the Abel in those situations, I'm doing by palming anyway. The 509 is for use on an 8 weight for Steelhead in Wisconsin. It's got quite a bit of "drag" and the rivers are big enough that I can let the fish run quite a bit. I want to try out how that works for me before I even think of fishing for Kings with it. I fear for my knuckles on a King with an 8 wt and palming a Chinnock is really not something I'm man enough to do I will have my trusty Abel Big Game 3N in the pack just in case my 509 doesn't work out. But I really want to hear that thing scream - it's significantly more robust in the gears and the pawls than that 508.

I have a Lamson Velocity that I take with me in my pack in really cold weather because I've heard of Draw Bar Cork Drag mechanisms being prone to failure. I've not experienced it, but I do pack it just in case.

In short, I like them all. Click/Pawl & Draw Bar for their simplicity and effectiveness. I can break them all down in a minute and put them back together if necessary. The Galvan, Loop and Lamson are different animals, I don't break them down and wouldn't know what to do with them if I did. But they're fine reels that have a place in the quiver for various reasons.

Cheers,
Mike.
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