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Thread: What reels can handle tarpon?

  1. #11

    Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

    Burk, I don't believe enough of us have had experience with Fortuna X to have an opinion about it yet. Mill has made a superlative case for it at the shows and its proportions are right. I plan on bringing a Proaxis/Fortuna 8-weight loaner outfit to the Bahamas with me next month and I will post my impressions.

    I am a Keys tarpon sophomore and come from the draw-bar Abel, Islander, Tibor school but stacked multi-disc drags are the happening thing. Jewel-like Makos have a funny anti-counter winding resistance built in that I find disconcerting (OK I'm pickey but there are a LOT of reels), Vanquish is cool looking but its aspect ratio, like all Waterworks reels is lousey wide, I don't know about (for tarpon) accesable one-way needle bearings and relativly small hub drags like Waterworks, Galvan...there is no substitute for a large sweep area. Nautilus NV has worked very well for me bonefishing as has Hatch...in its tarpon size, rock-solid Hatch has two ball bearings inside the handle assembly for smooth smooth and smoother. And, on paper, Fortuna has the most powerful drag of any fly reel and between Andy Mill's input on this side of the pond and the stellar design team in England who ventured to the Keys repeatedly for field test purposes (a nice job if you can get it) it could be the new era champ.

    Rods and reels for our largest fly rod fish, tarpon and school tuna have dramaticly different demands placed on them than on tackle for other game fish. Even excellent striped bass, bonefish and salmon-steelhead designs might lose thier cool with the heat of battle with the big boys. It is unusual that what makes a great trout to steelhead reel design translates effectivly into a big game reel. It is no coincidence that the lion's share of big game IGFA records have been set with Abel's and Tibor's with large drag surfaces, stout springs and no one-way bearings.
    Last edited by sweetandsalt; 03-21-2012 at 08:49 AM.

  2. #12

    Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

    I am selling my Orvis Odyssey IV for $225 including shipping and paypal. Certainly tarpon capable and rated for 11-13wt. rods. There are pictures on the reel love thread, post #266, if you are interested.

  3. #13

    Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradyb View Post
    I am selling my Orvis Odyssey IV for $225 including shipping and paypal. Certainly tarpon capable and rated for 11-13wt. rods. There are pictures on the reel love thread, post #266, if you are interested.
    Nice reel! I would probably take it had I not just found another great deal on a TFO Hayden H2. Large cork drag, draw bar, seems to be high quality materials, etc... Got a near pristine used one for half the cost of a new one, so I couldn't pass that up.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

    Shane,

    If price matters and it's a one trip deal...........provided you have time to shop I have an Orvis Odyssey IV that I have no doubt will handle about anything I could ever get hooked to a fly. The old Vortex reels in size 11/12 sell rather at a bargain on the auction site also.

    As far as what will work; guys like Tom McNally fished for Tarpon using Pflueger 1498 reels and some smaller. Myself since advanced drag systems are available I use them but the truth is that if your reel will hold the line and has any drag at all, or a good palming edge, you can make it work.

    The suggestions given for reels are all great.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  5. #15
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    Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

    medalist 1499cj big water, medalist supremes 577,578 I still use them..
    sandfly/ bob
    (www.bigmeadowsflyshop.com)
    N.J.B.B.A. #2215

    I did not escape.....they gave me a day pass!
    from the outer edge of nowhere
    fly tying and fishing Gillie..

  6. #16
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    Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

    I have one that has not been mentioned yet. They don't make it anymore but you can find one on E Bay once in a while. The Penn 4. I have the 4GAR Gold anti-reverse. It has a submarine stopping drag.

  7. #17

    Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
    Shane,

    If price matters and it's a one trip deal...........provided you have time to shop I have an Orvis Odyssey IV that I have no doubt will handle about anything I could ever get hooked to a fly. The old Vortex reels in size 11/12 sell rather at a bargain on the auction site also.

    As far as what will work; guys like Tom McNally fished for Tarpon using Pflueger 1498 reels and some smaller. Myself since advanced drag systems are available I use them but the truth is that if your reel will hold the line and has any drag at all, or a good palming edge, you can make it work.

    The suggestions given for reels are all great.

    Ard
    True. Folks caught fish before modern technology was invented.

    My dad took some Ross reels to Alaska salmon fishing a few years ago, and the big salmon gutted the reels. I can't remember which models he was using, but the drags didn't hold together. Probably models that they don't even make anymore. Ross repaired them all like new, without any charge. But he sold them after he got them back. I'd like to avoid that kind of experience, of course.

    I bought the TFO Hayden H2 last night. Hopefully it will serve me well. One way to find out!

    Oh, and the seller turned out to be the one and only Tred Barta. Pretty cool.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

    Shane,

    I figure the reel you ordered will do just fine although I have not owned any. Salmon fishing did make me a drag type guy but I managed a lot of them on spring and pawl reels when I accidentally got into salmon while fishing for trout. It's a matter of practice I believe

    Good luck on your trip,

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  9. #19
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    Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

    Quote Originally Posted by txshane View Post
    Nice reel! I would probably take it had I not just found another great deal on a TFO Hayden H2. Large cork drag, draw bar, seems to be high quality materials, etc... Got a near pristine used one for half the cost of a new one, so I couldn't pass that up.
    Keep the cork lubed with neatsfoot oil and the other moving parts with marine grade grease. Your Hayden will last you for quite awhile.

    Dennis

  10. #20
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    Default Re: What reels can handle tarpon?

    The fact that Tred Barta was the salesman is really neat too. Keep us posted on the adventures!
    - A.J.

    Working out a way to convince my university to allow me to hold my TA office hours on the nearby creek...

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