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Old 04-01-2012, 05:01 PM
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Default Question about Reel setup (mostly Ross related)

Hi, I have a few questions and am looking for advice or suggestions about whether or not to upgrade my reels. Background info, I mostly fish for bass, panfish (rivers, creeks and ponds), redfish (flats), and about 5-10 days a year of trout fishing. Have rods 4wt-9wt, and currently use 3 reels with multiple spools.

I haven't purchased a reel since 2002, and own almost all Ross reels: Ross Gunnison 2 and 4, and Ross Canyon BG 4 as my only saltwater reel. Overall I have been very pleased with the reels and have gotten great use out of them, but am basically getting more and more into saltwater fishing and from what I read, the Big Game design has its downsides...while overall very solid, just enough to keep it out of the top tier category. I do thoroughly soak and rinse after each use, but am starting to see some signs of wear and the salt taking its toll. I have multiple spools on all my Ross reels, and am fairly invested, but basically I'm wondering for my primary saltwater reel (7-9wt's) should I go a different direction for my next upgrade?

Are there any suggestions for a specific reel that is extremely durable, has a great drag system, and holds up best against the elements inherent in saltwater fishing? It would also be a bonus if I could use the same reel for my 7wt (spool swap) for bass fishing, and potentially down the road for a steelhead trip.

I have 6 rods, and I'm just trying to avoid having 6 reels...

On another note, I am willing to buy any post-98 Ross Gunnison spools for either the 2 or 4 for reasonable prices and have zero complaints about the Gunnison for freshwater fishing.

Thanks,

Pete
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Question about Reel setup (mostly Ross related)

Hi Pete,

Welcome to the forum, it would be nice to add a fellow who fishes the diverse species that you get into to our group as a regular poster. When thinking on the reel question I was leaning toward a salt water reel but then looked back and saw that you would like to use it on the 7 weight also........... I buy big game reels often for use here in alaska both fresh and salt water and many are old reels. I like the older ones.....

I'm going to wait to see what the Ross Reel / Salt Water guys have to say before I start off on one of my advice columns

Ard
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Question about Reel setup (mostly Ross related)

not really a ross guy, but i'm pretty sure they came out with a "saltwater" model a while back.
i'm sure an online search would help you find one that may meet your needs
good luck.

casey
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: Question about Reel setup (mostly Ross related)

Hi Pete,
For saltwater usage, I am a big fan of the drawbar style reels. Study up on Abel, Tibor, Islander. They don't fail.

As for Ross, I tested the original Momentum on Striped Bass. The reel held up well. It also survived a Baby Tarpon fishing trip. In the lighter sizes, I am confident with the design.

Some anglers carry spare triple ring pawls for the larger reels. Large Tarpon and billfish have made those fail.

Dennis
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Question about Reel setup (mostly Ross related)

Thanks for the responses. Again, I want to to reiterate, the Canyon Big Game 4 has been a great reel and it's not an issue of it failing on fish, I love the drag system and I've gotten a ton of use out of it in the last decade. I'm just ready to treat myself to a "nicer" saltwater reel, and want to prioritize durability and the reel's ability to handle lots of exposure to salt, and to maintain performance with sand/saltwater in the reel.

Maybe for larger game, failing on fish is an issue, but for me, unfortunately that's not the case. I'm more concerned about diminished performance due to the elements... Hopefully one of these days I'll get to hook a tarpon or something that really puts my reel's drag to the test... But right now with just redfish and trout the reel's not really being pushed by the fish.

My preliminary research led me to Abel and Tibor, and it seems I keep hearing more and more recommendations for Islander. I guess I was looking for anyone to chime in about the merits/quality of the higher end reels and how they compare to a manufacturer like Ross. A reel that would be great for an 8wt and redfish, but also be versatile enough to tackle something a little bigger down the road without having to go out and buy another reel.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: Question about Reel setup (mostly Ross related)

If you are considering reels in the Tibor and Islander price range, take a look at Henschel Reels. The big anti reverse is on my wish list, the #5 with standard foot. Made in Germany and at a very fair price when considering the engineering. Just search Henschel Reels and you'll find them.

Ard
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: Question about Reel setup (mostly Ross related)

The draw-bar drag design which originated (for fly reels) in Florida in the 1950's, is a stout, very low failure and user maintainable drag mechanizim. Abel, Tibor and Islander (+ lesser known alternatives) are popular for big game fishing and are hard to beat. They share the same design just executed a bit differntly but they are objectivly equal in quality.

More recently reel designers have been addressing what is percieved as these reel's shortcomings: they can be effected by water, the cork drag surface must be kept lubricated with neatsfoot oil and they have inherent "shake" due to the drags engagment of spring loaded "dogs" into the gear teeth of the drag plate. Multi-surface sealed drags activated by one-way bearings have made substantial inroads among big game reel users. There is consderably more variation in design among these reels which, in my opinion, are still very much in in the sophmore stage of their evolution. Leaders currently are the above mentioned Mako, Hatch Reels and Nautilus NV and a new contender from an old name, Hardy Fortuna X.

Being you are a Ross devotee, they too have a new contender in this arena, the F1 #4 is for 7 - 9 lines. I have not fished this interesting reel nor have I read anything about it in this well informed forum...has anyone had any experince with this top-of-the-line Ross?
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