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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2012, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Best reel

Just for the record and in an effort to be as critical and provocative as I can be: 1. The old Redington Breakwater is a nice reel...but there is a recess behind the sandwiched steel/cork drag assembly that is hard to access unless you are salt water, it gets in there and gets nasty fast. 2. Albright now Sea Level Tempest is a quite good reel, I have caught some major fish with these...but the cork disc is hard to access to lubricate with neats foot oil as the drag can not easily be disassembled (try backing off on the drag and squirting some in then wiping away the excess). 3. The Lamson is an OK trout reel but the small surface area of the conical drag elements plus its too wide and shallow spool render it inappropriate for the salt. By the way, Jackster's point that many "sealed" drags are not actually sealed is...TRUE.

There are almost as many drag designs as reel makers but two have proven themselves in the salt: The classic draw-bar design started in the 1950's (for reels) and is typified today by the excellent and user maintainable Tibor, Abel and Islander and the newer but intelligent (though not user maintainable) stacked washer system as used by Hatch, Hardy Fortuna and now Orvis.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Best reel

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
Just for the record and in an effort to be as critical and provocative as I can be: 1. The old Redington Breakwater is a nice reel...but there is a recess behind the sandwiched steel/cork drag assembly that is hard to access unless you are salt water, it gets in there and gets nasty fast. 2. Albright now Sea Level Tempest is a quite good reel, I have caught some major fish with these...but the cork disc is hard to access to lubricate with neats foot oil as the drag can not easily be disassembled (try backing off on the drag and squirting some in then wiping away the excess). 3. The Lamson is an OK trout reel but the small surface area of the conical drag elements plus its too wide and shallow spool render it inappropriate for the salt. By the way, Jackster's point that many "sealed" drags are not actually sealed is...TRUE.

There are almost as many drag designs as reel makers but two have proven themselves in the salt: The classic draw-bar design started in the 1950's (for reels) and is typified today by the excellent and user maintainable Tibor, Abel and Islander and the newer but intelligent (though not user maintainable) stacked washer system as used by Hatch, Hardy Fortuna and now Orvis.
I agree, with one note. If you ignore a draw-bar style reel for a few years the components tend to seize together (Islanders love to do this) and make it impossible to take apart without sacraficing a part or two. This is no big deal since most of us service our reels regularly but if your shopping for a used one be careful.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Best reel

I agree with about the Breakwater reels except you can EASILY take them completely apart and clean every single component. I do this about once a year. I have extra drag parts and own 4 different versions of the reel (all have the same drag) but I have yet to need to replace anything.

Never had the Albright Tempest apart so can't comment on that.

As for the Lamsons, the "trout" reel comment is completely overblown unless (as I originally stated) you are fishing for LARGE saltwater fish. Stripers, blues, Reds, Snook, small tarpon, albies, etc are all a perfect match for the drag system on the Lamson reels. I will say this though... I don't completely trust the reels and I always carry a backup reel not just a spool. I've had problems with the clutch bearings failing (twice in 5 years) as has others in my fishing group. Only happens with large king salmon or crazy silvers. Lamson always quickly replaces the part without requiring the old part back. Since I have 5 of these reels and they all have the same drag it has never ruined a trip. Call Lamson and request a replacement part. Keep it in your gear bag. I am more than happy to live with this problem because the reels are soooo light and the drag is pretty good for the price of an American made product.

All reels need to be maintained. A quick daily rinse goes a long way in avoiding problems.

Quinn
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Best reel

44runner..... You are correct on the porostiy in die cast al.. If the process in WELL maintained the porosity is all below the surface skin. If the die surface is kept as machined there will be no porosity on the surface as long as the actual casting process in in control. The skin is also where the the strength of a die casting lies. .....I was not aware that there was anodize options but it sure makes sense.

So true about al. oxidizing. It also has an affinity for iron. If one lets an iron tool soak in molten al. the iron will totally disolve.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Best reel

Wilky, If you are interested I'm putting the Bauer M6 in the classified section. It's in mint shape as is the line.

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Old 09-14-2012, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Best reel

Nothing against the other reels mentioned; my personal experince is with Abels and Bauers. The Bauer Jackster has would be a fine choice.

There are also some deals, if you search, for used Abels. It's really hard to harm one of these. There is a reason so many world records are reached using Abel reels - they work. And a few years ago, Abel "upgraded" to a double-pawl system. The, according to marketing, now-outdated single pawl reels are inferior. I can tell you that most of mine are the outdated, single pawl kind and they can be found for fair prices, right at or very near your price point.

If you've never been in a battle with a large fish, in salt water, it's hard to understand the advantage these provide. I know a few big-game fly fisherman very well (who will remain annonymous) and one of them is a real friend. All of these guys share the same opinion about Abel reels - they are the most reliable and bullet-proof reels available for any amount of money. Among their trophies sit some of their fishing partners' other reels that siezed, came apart or otherwise failed while connected to a big marlin, tuna, etc. I will leave these reels un-named as well; their identity would surprise you. None of these high-end fly fishermen have experienced a failed Abel, or know anyone who has.

regards - redleg
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