Galvan Rush and Galvan OB Reels
Well, I finally was able to fish not only the Galvan Rush 4, but my freshly overhauled Galvan OB-4 today. The Rush is much more quiet on the water than it is while sitting at my desk, and performed flawlessy (albeit as a line holder today). I was able to catch two stocked rainbows (Whoppee... ), but didn't need to get either fish on the reels: 3X tippet with a #10 Wooly Bugger.
Notes: The OB has a completely silent retrieve, and the Rush is louder coming in than going out. That's not saying the Rush is noisy at all, and is a little more quiet than a Ross Evolution. The OB has a nearly silent drag. Both reels are smooth to the point where I wouldn't need any more smoothness. While they share the same outside diameter (3.25"), the OB has great capacity. The OB's spool is about 1/8" wider than the Rush, and it's arbor isn't as large as the Rush's. While both reels are listed as 4/5, I was able to comfortably get a 4wt on the Rush, and a 5wt on the OB. A 5wt line on the Rush 4 would limit the amount of backing to nearly nothing. I like narrower spool reels, so the Rush works fine for its intended purpose. Both reels are well built and light: Rush 4 is 4.85oz, and the OB-4 is 4.95oz. The Rush has a much larger and easier to reach drag knob than the OB, but the OB's knob is not difficult to use at all. They're both fine reels, and I'd be hard pressed to have to say which one I like better. Both reels have a matte black finish, but not a chalky matte. More of what I'd call an eggshell finish, and it's very attractive. The knob is an hour glass shaped type, and very comfortable to use.
Drag: Both reels will easily free spool at their lightest settings. The drag knob on both reels is detented, and turns 3 full revolutions, allowing for very slight changes in drag. Both reels can be set for stop a train breaking, and that stopping power remains very smooth. I can't say how they perform when dunked, as it's cold here right now, and I haven't wanted to dunk anything in the water. Both reels have a set it and forget drag, very much like any good disc drag system. The exposed spool on both reels will allow an angler to easily palm the spool if desired. They are both supposed to be saltwater safe, but I've read reports that say the Rush/Torque drag is a little safer. The Rush lacks the ball bearings found in the OB, and I suppose that might be one area to watch. When I sent my OB in for evaluation, Carmen Galvan told me that they would add any of the upgrades they've made to that reel's drag system. I didn't ask what had been changed, but they did rebuild the entire drag. The drag was functioning very well when it was sent in, but maybe they incorporated new materials for the discs. I don't know.
Galvan Customer Service: The OB-4 was sent in for evaluation a couple weeks ago, and they replaced the bearings, spindle, clutch ring, spool release button, and re-built the drag..all at NO CHARGE!!!! Not even a charge for return shipping. I spoke to Carmen Galvan on the phone twice, and she was very helpful, patient, and friendly.
I'd highly recommend either (although the OB has been dicontinued, they are still available new if you look around). The Galvan Torque and Rush same the same drag system, but the Torque is more machined to save weight. The weight savings is minimal, however, and the difference is .3oz in the #4 size. The Rush was on my 8'6" 4wt Sage ZXL, and the OB on my 5wt Z-Axis. Both reels were noticeably lighter than the reels I've been using for the past several months, and I wouldn't need any less weight on the butt end of either rod. Just keep in mind that you might want to consider line ratings for the Rush very carefully. I have a minimum amount of backing on the reel, and get 1/8-1/4" of clearance with a 4wt weight foward line. That amount is what I consider safe with a wider spool reel, and would prevent jamming if not overly careful while retrieving line. A double taper 4wt would require a single layer. Once again, not a problem. I bought this as a 4wt reel, and use weight foward lines.
The Rush and OB look very similar. The original Rush frame had a series of holes cut out to lighten its weight. The new Rush LT has the same 3 spoke frame as the Galvan OB. I don't have a preference either way, and my Rush is the original design. I like it because I saved $90 buying it on close-out, and it reminds me of the Ross Rhythm. Oddly enough, Ross seems to have taken the design of their new Evolution LT directly from the Galvan Torque. I've owned both versions of the Ross Evolution, and prefer the Galvan Rush and OB reels. They are more rugged in terms of material thickness, and lack the plastic escapement that the Ross's drag system uses. While I never experienced any problems with the Ross escapement, I did ask them to mail a few extras (which they did). The spool to drag disc engagement on both Galvan reels is much more solid, and will never slip or break. It doesn't rely on a one-way bearing, although the OB does use a one-way spring housed within a ring for its drag/spool engagement. The OB's spring is stainless, and a wonderfully simple design. It does require a couple of drop of oil, with a six month interval recommened. Sooner if dunked or used in saltwater.
This is a stock image, and the spool is not as wide as it would appear in the photo of the spool's edge. The other images are representative of the Galvan Rush. Galvan's website provides dimensions for spool width and diameter, along with weights.
Re: Galvan Rush and Galvan OB Reels
I just used my new Rush last week, the drag was excellent when I brought in a 16in Brown trout. The drag was easy to adjust. I was very impressed with it, I dunked the reel once and it held up really well.
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