Fly Fishing with Doug Macnair:
A Product Update©
Scientific Anglers System 2LA Fly Reel
Smoooooooooooooooooth -- that’s the only way to describe the functioning of Scientific Anglers System 2 Large Arbor reel. The one I had the pleasure to review is the one at the bottom of the picture … It’s the 2LA 456, meaning that it is designed for line weights 4, 5 & 6.
For those of you who are really into the large arbor concept, this is a reel you cannot afford to miss. And, make no doubt about it -- this is a true large arbor reel, not one of those that’s half this and half of that and nothing much when you put the two together. I mean --
If you are going the large-arbor route, go all the way, not with a compromise.
The 2LA is an absolute delight to handle. As I said in the opening, it’s smoooooooooth. In fact, this reel is so smooth you will enjoy just playing with it as you ponder the fire, the beauty of the evening, or the sun as it just crosses the horizon … There will never be a doubt that you hold in your hand anything less than pure quality.
The System 2LA is extremely light in weight rivaling, if not beating, so many others in the weight race. And believe me -- a light reel makes a tremendous difference over the course of a day on the water, given the wear and tear of sun, wind, and wave action. I really don’t see how anyone can contest that weight is not an issue unless you have a very strong reel-bearer to accompany you.
Machined from barstock aluminum, the System 2LA enjoys tolerances uncommon to comparable reels. The finish is superb. It’s beautifully anodized against corrosion and I have no doubt it will last for years, given nothing but reasonable care.
And so you ask, “What about the drag?” Damned good! On the 456, it’s a single caliper stainless steel disc drag. On the larger models the caliper disc drag turns into a combo of stainless steel and carbon fiber pads. From experience, I would suggest this is an unbeatable way to build a great drag. For years, Scientific Anglers has continued to improve and refine the design. Think of it this way: If caliper-disc brakes can stop your Porsche, it ought to be good enough stop a fish.
Considering the fact that I do not plan to face Jaws, The Great White, with a reel loaded with a 4, 5, or 6-weight line, I believe the System 2LA will take on all comers within its range and then some. I’ve already taken it into saltwater with my Legend Ultra 6-weight (SW) and came away with what I call, “fly fishing satisfaction.” That means it works and works very well – in fact, it was superb. Best of all, coming off the Salt it’s easy to clean and maintain.
Today, there are many good reels available, but in the large arbor business, the System 2 LA has to be ranked as one of the best and perhaps the best value of them all. This is a reel I enjoy playing with at my desk -- just spinning the spool is fun as I contemplate what words come next. As I spin the spool, I would suppose I’m waiting for something bad to happen … It never does… Trust me; this is a great reel – a reel you can pass down to the next fly fisher up.
For more information regarding these and other fly fishing accessories, visit http://www.3m.com/scianglers/
or telephone: 1-(800) 430-5000.
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© Copyright: Douglas G. Macnair, 2005.