I am re-posting this from the "General Discussions" tab as it got little attention there. I probably should have put it before you reel afficianados to begin with:
I have often railed against wide (anything over an inch), shallow aspect ratio fly reels in this Forum. This puts me at odds with the some of the most popular reel brand choices used and recommended by my fellow contributors. Of course I appreciate that there is scant comparison between a small stream trout outfit and one intended to tackle tropical flats species, however, on the theory that there is trickle-down technology form a manufacturer's highest performance gear to their smaller, lighter weight products, I am going to relate a recent fishing camp tale.
Last week my wife and I enjoyed our annual adventure to a bonefish lodge in a remote, out-island Bahamian locale. Upon our arrival, there was but one other guest in camp, a tall, athletic, very hard core young (30's) man from Colorado. He had been bonefishing on another more southerly island with a friend and when the friend needed to return to the States, he ventured to this camp, on the doorstep of a spectacular fishery, on his own for two more weeks of pedal-to-the-metal fishing. We were pleased to meet this charming fellow flats fanatic who tied beautiful, imaginative flies and gave serious consideration to all his equipment. He was particularly enamored of his ultimate in light weight brace of rods. On the front porch rod rack he had a Helios #7 & 8 each mounted with a Waterworks reel loaded with gelspun backing to provide adequate capacity on their shallow/wide spools behind tropical floating lines. Picking up the 8-weight really felt impressively like holding a 6. He had caught multiple dozens of bonefish up to large sizes on these rigs and was very enthusiastic. On the last day of his epic trip his skiff and ours arrived back at our home dock simultaneously and, as we slowly motored in, he held aloft a handful of broken rod sections. He had landed several fish and then, battling a particularly good one and regaining line, something happened. He had neglected to pay enough attention to the uniformity of distribution of the re-spooling line and, as it is prone to in wider/shallow designs, line built up unevenly to one side and jammed against the reel frame pillar. This is common and the usual result is a fish swimming off with a fly with or without a tippet trailing behind it embedded in its jaw. In this more extreme case, the angler tied good knots and used strong fluorocarbon material and rather than knot failure, experienced catastrophic rod failure...the abrupt reel lock-up caused by the line jam made the rod break in two places, mid and upper butt section simultaneously.
Now, plying a high country stream with a diminutive outfit rigged with a gossamer tippet, you are unlikely to explode your rod if your line jams as the jewel-like cutthroat darts toward a dead-fall. Never-the-less, take a lesson learned the hard way from our bonefish camp companion and take the fishability of the aspect ratio of a reel into consideration when acquiring new tackle. You should be paying attention to the fish not the uniformity of line retrieval on you reel when, ultimately a fine fish takes your fly.
I have had the same problem with my line overloading due to uneven line spooling while playing Atlantic salmon on the first-generation Battenkill Large Arbor V, which is similarly very wide and very shallow. Those very shallow large arbors don't leave room for much (if any) margin of safety -- especially if, like me, you try to cram as much backing as you can into that limited spool depth. Most of them are rated for significantly less backing than a comparable mid- or standard-arbor, yet it is on the larger line weights, for stronger fish where more backing is necessary, that the large arbors and their faster line retrieval really make a difference in playing the fish. Fortunately it happened to me only while I was bringing the played fish to the net and reeling in the very end of the line, so there were no disasters and I landed the fish. But you do have to watch your spool and the fight simultaneously -- which isn't always possible, and is always at least a distraction.
i never noticed this on my reels before but I guess my Lamson Guru overloaded with backing and it pinched the welded loop right off brand new line.I took probably 30% of the backing off to make this problem go away. Good thing is it is on a 4wt rod so probably didnt need 60 yards of backing.
On the positive I now have 20 yards of green backing I use to tie up bushes when I do backyard landscaping
I know this has little to do with situation you described with the reel but your story caught my eye. Forgive me for side tracking things here a bit but it brought back what I was told by a Alaskan Fishing Guide last fall.
He works out of a camp with other guides so his observations are not just from his direct involvement. He claims that Orvis Helios rods break much more often than anything else. Substantial more often.
Regardless that little tidbit I don't see how the rod would break before the tippet unless he was using something very substantial as a tippet. 20lb tippet or more? Or if there was a flaw in the rod to start with.
For what it's worth, the Waterworks ULA Force and Lamson Litespeed are the ONLY reels I have ever had issues with line bunching and locking the reel as was referred to in the original post on this thread. I find it interesting that the person the OP was talking about had the same issues as me with a Waterworks fly reel...
I don't know what it is about those two reels "only Waterworks/Lamson reels I have ever used", but they were really bad about it where other wide spool reels I have used "Galvan Torque, Nautilus CCF/NV, etc..." simply do NOT have these issues. I also had issues with the drags slipping on both those reels, would never buy a Waterworks/Lamson reel again...
Good post. I never really gave this much thought since probably 90% of the time I am chasing trout. I own a Lamson Velocity which I used to use for Steelhead and is now relegated to backup duty in favor of a Galvan Torque. Since you brought up the issue I seem to recall having a couple of occasions where the line bunched up and jammed against the reel though I don't think this happened when I had a fish on. Apparently I am lucky.
I am much more a fan of the taller more narrow profiles of reels but own both variety. My preference for this is that the line just seems to load onto the reel easily. I never really made the connection before your post. Thanks for the enlightenment.
I don't like the overly wide spools for the same reason. 1" might not sound like much, but after reading your other thread I measured my 3.5" Ross Rhythm and Evo LT spools: 1" wide! I thought they'd measure wider than that. My wife pays ZERO attention to winding line on a reel, so she gets little backing, and the biggest reels (Ross) we own. She can still come close to having all the line on one side of the reel, but no big problems so far.
My wife wanted a Sage 4540 last summer, so we ordered one from a shop out West. I was amazed at how shallow the spool was, and didn't think it could hold a 4wt line. After winding on a few feet of backing, I barely fit a 4wt line onto the spool...winding carefully. It was at the post office an hour later, on its way back.