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Old 03-03-2012, 02:59 PM
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Question Drag style, material and rating factors?

Most of us have preferences when it comes to fly reels and I find it fascinating as to the what, why, etc drives our choices. I know for instance that the fine reel comparisons that FlyfishAmerica used to feature aren't on the web any longer so no help there. They did and in depth comparison looking at total drag available, start up inertia, minimum drag, drag design, cost and much more. I also was reading a bit, and if you prefer a results based comparison, here's one from the IGFA which shows that these are the tops when it comes to World Records. (1. Abel 2. Tibor 3. Tie between Ross and Orvis 5. Fin-nor 6. Tie between Lamson and Loop 8. Tie between Redington and Sage.) Of course that would be tilted a bit toward the heavier duty reels since records are involved.

So for discussion purposes let's divide reels into three categories or under 4 weight, 5-6 weight and 7-12 weight. My choices are in part based on value in the heavy weight category as a Tibor and Bauer have many similiarites but the Bauer is a better valued reel in my estimation and it rates lighter for nearly identical capacity. So Bauer is my first choice now that Old Florida is no longer turnign out their once superb reels. In that mid category, value still counts and the SA Sytem Two has a nice drag, very smooth, great capacity and will not break your bank. For the lightweight category I have a bit of two worlds a P-1 from Waterworks, a pricey little delight and a Simple Click Pawl in a their dimunative smallest size from RimFly.

I do favor cork, drawbar drags as do many fishing the salt and will change to other drags as needed for fresh (the fish just are not as hot) and as I go lighter with my outfit.

What's your delight in each category and what was the primary factors driving your decision?
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

3, 4, and 5 - I use click drag reels. These reels are generally lighter to their disk drag counterparts. Also it is hard to beat the tippet protection of the click drag system. Plus the sound of outgoing drag sounds awesome.

6 through 12 - I use draw bar cork drags. Tippet protection is not one of my worries since my tippets are generally heavier. As long as the system is maintained properly, a disk drag reel will start up smoothly and have plenty of adjustment range. Also, they do not fail.

I draw the line between a click and a disk drag at the five and six weight. Both of these are trout rigs for me. I use my five weight when I feel that tippet protection is necessary. I rarely go below 4x tippet on that rig. When I feel like trying to hook up Homie, the six weight comes out. The flies are generally larger. Same thing goes with the tippet. I'm more worried about using a strong braking system with the butt end of my rod to subdue Homie quickly.

I also have a couple of Waterworks/Lamson reels. They utilize a cone and bearing drag system. I use them on a six weight rig. I like the light weight of these reels. The drag system is very smooth although it does not have the high end braking power of my Abels. On a six weight, the Waterworks/Lamson reels have enough braking power that I need just in case Homie decides to play.

Dennis
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

I have a good fishing buddy that has one of those ultra light weight Lamsons and as you said the drag was a bit light. Worse yet banging around the guides boat he found that spool bends quite easily and is the dickens to get straightened out.

I'm with you, in large part, about the cut off on click awl drags. My largest is on a 7 wt outfit I use for Farm Pond Bassing.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

I used to own a Waterworks Purist 1, F2, F2x, and an F3x. I bent a few of them. When I made the choice to go with lighter line Abels, I sold all of them. I kept my Lamson Litespeed 3, since it is a bit more durable.

I also own a brand new F3x SL. I still have not put line on it yet.

Dennis
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

I have been using Ross Cla's for several years now and they use a Delrin drag thats teflon impregneted and is super smooth. I fish 90% salt and they are not a sealed drag but if you soak them in warm water a few times a season it cleans any salt build up out. They have been pretty much trouble free and they are very reasonably priced and American made. I purchased all of my Cla's before 3M/SA bought them out so i dont know if they have changed any. I uses the larger sizes and the drag range is easily adjusted also. I am happy with them after several years of hard usage.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

I have rods from 4-9wt and use Bauers from their smallest, the MSL .5 on my 4wt to my original M4 on my 9wt. I do own two Abels(super 5, super 6) that sit on the handles of my 6wt rods. I have been tempted to pick up a Super 9 for the 9wt and use the M4 for a spey rod when I get one in the future. I like cork drags over anything else just because it's worked for me so far so why change it.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimw View Post
I purchased all of my Cla's before 3M/SA bought them out so i dont know if they have changed any.
Jim,
3M/SA just infused money into Ross. There were no changes to the current lineup of Ross Reels.

Dennis
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wishiniwerfishin View Post
I have rods from 4-9wt and use Bauers from their smallest, the MSL .5 on my 4wt to my original M4 on my 9wt. I do own two Abels(super 5, super 6) that sit on the handles of my 6wt rods. I have been tempted to pick up a Super 9 for the 9wt and use the M4 for a spey rod when I get one in the future. I like cork drags over anything else just because it's worked for me so far so why change it.
Love those Bauers as they are light enough but strong and have a great drag.

Mosca--I still have my P1 but cringe when I use it for fear of bending it!
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

It's time I joined in this thread, I'm actually pretty simple when it comes to reels. Over time I've learned what works and once I found these things I stuck with them.

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.

Heavy = I've went through a bunch of reels looking for the 'just right' one for salmon fishing. I bought a Hardy Cascapedia 8/9 made in England that has been the best drag I ever used. There are a couple Orvis Odyssey reels (cork draw types and now a Vortex 11/12 that will be tested this season. The odyssey reels are good so I suspect the Vortex will be good.

I did buy a Tibor Billy Pate Marlin to use here but found that there are 'no parts available' for this reel any more. The reel was discontinued 6 years ago and they do not have any replacement parts for them. This was enough to convince me to stick with my Orvis and Hardy reels. Whether we talk about my 1978 Hardy Featherweight or the 1998 Orvis Odyssey IV, both of these companies have provided any part that I have ever needed. Although you may not consider availability of parts a factor when buying a reel, if you happen to keep that reel for a few decades it's nice to know that you can fix it when the time comes.

My advice for anyone who wants their reels to remain in tip top condition is as follows. Treat your reels like they were expensive; I can buy a new sewing machine for less money than a fly reel and a sewing machine seems to have a lot more moving parts. Although a fly reel is fairly simple by design they are quite expensive when compared to some other items you may consider buying. Don't beat a reel around in a boat whether it is a guides boat or your own. Don't get in the habit of dunking them into rivers or tossing them onto the ground just for the sake of taking a fish picture. Treat the reels like they cost between 200 - 800 dollars and whatever brand they are they will give you long and trouble free service. If you take care of a good reel they retain (in some cases) their original sale value even after 10 or more years but if you beat the snot out of them they aren't worth much....................
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:30 PM
 
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

I find myself to be a Click and Pawl guy on everything 6 weight and under and anything I fish for in cold water conditions up to 8/9 spey. I've taken really hot AK Silvers (which certainly pull as hard as bonefish) with C & P reels. I like the reliability and the control.

In larger reels as far as materials (with the right applications and Start up bearings), I'd rank them like this:

1) Avacab: It's a Carbon fiber Hardy uses that is also used for F! race car brake pads. It has a cross weave that dissipates heat and moisture better than other carbon discs. The new Hardy Fortuna reel produces 32 pounds of tension with zero start up. Hardy also used this material in the last model Gem and the Zane reels.

2) Cork: (Abel, Tibor, some Fin Nors) It's a great material if good quality cork is used and it is well maintained. Cork can dry up and must be lubricated. It also is susceptible to issues in cold water environments. But the biggest hang up with Cork is availability. As any rod builder knows good grade cork is getting harder and harder to come buy.

3) Conventional Carbon Fiber (Bauer, Nautilus, Sage) This stuff is very good, especially if its used with the right design. Seems to be great stuff if like cork its kept relatively clean.

4) Rulon ( Hardy UL DD, Hatch) Great stuff when used with a larger braking surface. It really has only one drawback, it can take a set if tension isn't eased up after each usage. I would hesitate to use Rulon on the real big SW bruisers but I have a customer that just got back from Belize and he had a ball on quality Tarpon with a Hardy UL DD and a rulon drag. He didn't even rinse the reel for 9 days for field testing purposes.
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