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ia_trouter 10-04-2013 03:29 PM

Pflueger Medalist reel advice needed
I would like to get a few old school fly reels. The Medalist seems like a good place to start. I remember them as a kid, but never touched one. I have seen a few of the websites and have just a bit of introductory knowledge. I'm uncertain if I should buy a 1492 or a 1494. A few facts bearing on the decision....

1. I know it is an old reel with limitations. I spent 6 long years building a 53 Ford F100. The heater stinks and I had to add turn signals. I like nostalgia, don't need every convenience to be happy.

2. Intended use is light action. Something in the 3-5WT at the max, and I am thinking 3WT is more likely where I am headed with this. Small trout and panfish. I have modern equipment to chase bass and such.

3. It may go on an old school glass rod eventually, or maybe a low end modern rod, I don't know for sure how this package ends up.

4. I have powder coating equipment and auto painting equipment, I can make whatever I buy pretty, and I very likely will.

5. I reel right handed.

6. I don't want a new medalist reel, I see no point in that.

7. This very likely ends in me buying a much more expensive Hardy reel or something similar. I don't want to jump into that yet as I am too new to flyfishing to make an intelligent good choice.

Any more info needed? I guess what I am really asking is what reel is best for what weight range, rod types etc. I have read some stuff on the net but I trust the opinions here much more.

Rip Tide 10-04-2013 04:30 PM

Re: Pflueger Medalist reel advice needed
Medalists as a tough as they come... so don't worry about their "limitations"

The 1492 is about a 3-4 line-weight size and they're right hand wind only.

I have 6wt lines on my 1494s

It's not that easy to find a "new" one as they don't make them any more, but if you're looking for a "made in USA" but still fairly inexpensive, look for reels marked "DA" after the model number


ia_trouter 10-04-2013 04:49 PM

Re: Pflueger Medalist reel advice needed
The Medalist is no longer manufactured, or just the old models?

Rip Tide 10-04-2013 04:54 PM

Re: Pflueger Medalist reel advice needed
They stopped manufacturing the Pflueger Medalist a year ago.

ia_trouter 10-04-2013 05:15 PM

Re: Pflueger Medalist reel advice needed
I guess 70+ years for a reel is not a bad run. :) I can only think of a few fishing products that lasted half that long without major revision. I believe most folks fished with a tree branch when that reel was introduced.

caseywise 10-04-2013 06:08 PM

Re: Pflueger Medalist reel advice needed
i think an American made 1492 DA would fit the bill nicely;)
if your gonna go up to a 4 wt. line the 1492 1/2 would
probably be a better choice.
both pop up on the big auction site now and then, but if
it were me, i'd wait till one comes along in nice shape.


itchmesir 10-04-2013 10:00 PM

Re: Pflueger Medalist reel advice needed
1492 would be a great reel. And J.W. Young reels are really nice. can be found for around $50-100.

charged 10-30-2013 05:32 PM

Re: Pflueger Medalist reel advice needed
I pulled up this old post for you. (Note: It was pulled up from a few years ago........... That's why why you see the snow reference.)

__________________________________________________ __________

Winter is starting to get too long, it took me three hours to shovel my driveway this morning, and once I got done with that I didn't have much left to do today. With all this snow, It doesn't look like Ill be able to get out fishing this week, so I figured why not convert my 1492.5 Medalist over to left hand retrieve.

I ended up re-shaping one of the springs, and flipped one of the paws. I then removed the other paw, and all of its hardware in an attempt to lighten things up a little, (I don't think it needed two anyways, one is enough). next I drilled out the frame so the reels line guard could be moved over to the other side..

Since I already messed with the reel and it was no longer original, my thinking was why stop now? Next, I drilled out the foot and removed some of the excess aluminum.

They all come right hand wind. Here is a detailed photo, and I'll try to explain how to change over the direction of the wind over to the left hand.

The photo is color coordinated with the steps.

Step #1 Push this pin down (not out, just down) with a small punch.

Step #2 Remove this spring, and bend it so it looks similar to the one in the photo, then re-install it.

Step #3, Rotate the Paw to this position. Notice how one of the paws three tips is truncated. This truncated tip will need to be pointing to the left.

Step #4 You will have to play with the spring a little bit, to get the ideal bend, to maximize the paws performance. The blue line represents the axis that I used. (If the "contact tip" of the paw points strait at the spindle, the retrieve will be close to neutral. The more the paws "contact tip" points towards the left of the spindle (See Picture), the easier it will be to retrieve in a left hand wind configuration If you bend the spring too much, and the "contact tip" of the paw points to far towards the left, it will eventually not make contact with the cog, and it will stop engaging. The closer you can get to this point without exceeding it, the easier your reel will be to retrieve.

Step #5 Push the pin back up from the backside of the reel.

If you have any other questions, let us know.

pszy22 11-01-2013 03:54 AM

Re: Pflueger Medalist reel advice needed
You simply can't go wrong buying a medalist reel. It's an iconic reel. It will look and work great on any vintage fiberglass rod with which you may later pair it up.

A fishing reel like a medalist is one of the few things in life you can buy, pretty much use on a daily basis for 50 some years, and sell it for more than you originally paid.

I personally think the 1494 is the most versatile size.

buddhist_palm 11-01-2013 06:42 AM

Re: Pflueger Medalist reel advice needed
This is a very timely thread for me as i have just purchased 2 vintage rods

one is bamboo and one is fiberglass and am looking hard at what style and sized reel might work well with these

are you guys saying that these are only right handed retrieves?

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