07-10-2008, 10:46 AM
Re: All 'round reel for 8 wt.
I don't have any experience with Bauer, Nautilus or some of the high end well regarded reels like Makos. For 8 wt rods and up, I just use low end old stuff I still use (Pfleuger Medalist 1498 and Valentine 65) which are fine for most FW fish (except Steelhead/Salmon), and Tibors, Pates and an Abel which is overkill for most of the stuff I throw at, but bought for the keys and small tuna here in the NE, so i use them for stripers, blues and steelhead since I have them.
Based on the experience of a lot of the guys I fish with here in the NE salt, I agree that Teton reels are probably the sweetest reels out there in terms of price/performance (particularly the Teton Tioga in terms of bang for the buck).
For FW and most saltwater fish (redfish, snook, striped bass etc) and an occasional trip to the flats a moderate price reel may be all you need. If you were fishing primarily for small tuna, bones, permit and other SW speedsters you might want to bite the bullet and go high end since they blow up reels on a regular basis.
Another bang4buck reel that is worth taking a look at is the Colton CR9. It's a new reel introduced earlier this year, and is sold direct by the guy that makes them in PA. It's really catching on here in the NE for SW (stripers, bluefish and false albacore). It runs about $170 with replacement spools at around $70, which is essentially a wholesale price since there is no retail markup. They're made in the USA, CNC machined out of bar stock, high quality drag and components etc.
If you decide to go premium, and not ever having to worry about a reel meltdown, your 8wt matched to a Tibor Everglades would be a great lifetime marriage.
Just to throw it out there, you might also take a look around for a used Pate Bonefish. They're heavy compared to Tibors since they're built like a tank. New, the price difference at $550 or so compared to $650ish for a Tibor, I'd go for the Tibor. But you might find a used one for $350 or so if you look around.
An Abel 3N would also be up there for a high end choice, but mine seems "fussier" in terms of maintenance (in terms of the drag) than the Tibors and Pates I use.
Good luck with your search.