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Old 03-20-2012, 08:44 AM
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Default What reels can handle tarpon?

Tibor and Abel and........

What reels have drag systems that can stand up to tarpon without melting down?
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

Hatch and Nautilus are both well-known tarpon tamers, though I'll be trying a few more brands this summer, I hope. I'll keep you updated!
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

The Orvis Mirage VII Shallow, used Tibors as well but last season we picked up the Mirage and loved it!!
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

Through our booking agency we have outfitted quite a few Tarpon anglers to Costa Rica. we reccommend two brands. For those who can afford them, Islanders, in size 4.0 or larger. For a more budget minded customer we reccommend the TFO LA425. Both have served us well, and never failed on Tarpon. My father-in-law lives 6 months of the year in Costa Rica, and fishes exclusively for the Silver Giants. He swears by Islander.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

Add Mako to the list.

Sage 6000 series or the older series before that. They have Charlton designed drags.

The new Hardy Fortuna reels were tested on tarpon.

Dennis
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

The best draw-bars and the best sealed drags have been mentioned above. I have nothing to add but a question; has anyone fished Ross's new F1?
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

The Waterworks Vanquish and Galvan Torque are also popular options.

Hatch and Nautilus are probably tops amongst guides in recent years though.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by txshane View Post
Tibor and Abel and........

What reels have drag systems that can stand up to tarpon without melting down?
Seamaster --can you say pricey
Charlton --still pricey
Abel -- top dollar
Tibor --top dollar
Pate --top dollar
Old Florida - hard to find but really great
Bauer -- lighter in weight and not so Pricey
Orvis -- pick a Tarpon Model
Ross -- Pick a Tarpon Model
Galvan -- pick a Tarpon Model
Nautilus -- Gets the job done
Fin-Nor-- works great
Islander -- works great
Harris --works great- rugged

and the list continues--face it folks even the old Pflueger Medalist has accounted for a few of the big beasts and I have a video of Billy Pate whipping a 150lber with a SA Systems reel. From what I've seen and that's looking at folks who can afford what they want, and aren't swayed by advertising giveaways, etc the Tibors rule the roost followed closely by the Abels. A few years back the Pates would have been right in there and they are still built like a tank and a great choice. Of late the Orvis and Nautilus selections have been gaining ground and Nautilus made a huge mistake by discontinuing the Old Florida reels which have an Abel/Tibor style Drag. While mentioning that I might add that the Bauers are superb and lighter than most drawbar reels for similar capacity so get a big nod from me!
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck s View Post
Seamaster --can you say pricey
Charlton --still pricey
Abel -- top dollar
Tibor --top dollar
Pate --top dollar
Old Florida - hard to find but really great
Bauer -- lighter in weight and not so Pricey
Orvis -- pick a Tarpon Model
Ross -- Pick a Tarpon Model
Galvan -- pick a Tarpon Model
Nautilus -- Gets the job done
Fin-Nor-- works great
Islander -- works great
Harris --works great- rugged

and the list continues--face it folks even the old Pflueger Medalist has accounted for a few of the big beasts and I have a video of Billy Pate whipping a 150lber with a SA Systems reel. From what I've seen and that's looking at folks who can afford what they want, and aren't swayed by advertising giveaways, etc the Tibors rule the roost followed closely by the Abels. A few years back the Pates would have been right in there and they are still built like a tank and a great choice. Of late the Orvis and Nautilus selections have been gaining ground and Nautilus made a huge mistake by discontinuing the Old Florida reels which have an Abel/Tibor style Drag. While mentioning that I might add that the Bauers are superb and lighter than most drawbar reels for similar capacity so get a big nod from me!
While I rep Bauer and consider them excellent reels, the Hardy Fortuna has to be considered with the top line stuff too. Andy Mill was really picky about the design and drag performance in particular. The drags are sealed, have zero start up inertia, and are adjustable to 32 pounds pressure. They are a work of art with unbelievable quality machining.

The others missing from your list that I've heard good things about are the Mako (Jack Charltons last product before his passing), and the Lamson Vanquish. The Charltons (on your list) are only available used and go for $2500-3500 on the used market these days.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

Excellent info, guys. I really appreciate your input.

I did find an Old Florida reel on eBay yesterday. It wasn't big enough for 12wt though.

I'll let you know what I find. I'm a trout and warmwater (bass and panfish) fisherman mostly. I don't have a need for a 12wt rig other than this one trip. I'm trying to avoid spending as much on the rig as I'll spend for all the other trip expenses. But if I need to I will. I can always sell it later to recoup. If I can get something that won't melt down without spending a small fortune, then I'll probably hang on to it in case I get to chase tarpon (or something else big) again one day.

I picked up a St. Croix SCIV 12wt blank that I'm going to build up. $75 for the blank, so that'll be a nice rod for about $200 by the time I put a nice reel seat and grip and guides on it. Not bad at all. I've built a couple of 3wts on those St. Croix blanks, and they've made good rods for folks. If the 12wt is comparable (on a much larger and heavier scale) to the 3wts, then I'll like the rod.
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