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spaceghost33 09-02-2010 04:29 PM

Straight mono on a large arbor fly reel
Looking for opinions on using straight mono (20 lbs with 8 lbs leader) for steelhead. We run this
set-up alot because Michigan streams tend
to be snaggy and if you get hung up
and can't get to it, you end up needing to
cut your line. Which is why I'm not running
fly line. We're just fishing spawn bags
and sometime yarn flys. A few split shot
and a short underhand upstream cast.

Just wondering if the drag will still work
properly using monofilament on a reel
intended for fly line.

fredaevans 09-02-2010 04:56 PM

Re: Straight mono on a large arbor fly reel
"...on a large arbor fly reel."

There in hangs the question. Why a fly reel vs some thing else, save for that's what 'every one else' is doing? What does that type of reel bring to the Party that another reel would/wouldn't?

A (sorry, a bad pun) 'reel question.'

Sooo bad Fred, soooo bad ...:D

Ard 09-02-2010 05:24 PM

Re: Straight mono on a large arbor fly reel
Welcome to the NAFFF,

Speaking as a fellow who has never handled a spawn bag but handles lots of fish caught on my salmon and steelhead flies, I must agree with Fred. I hope you stay around, read some threads, look at some pictures and determine that your fly reel may be very well suited to steelhead fishing. Nothing quite beats a large fish taken on the fly.



MoscaPescador 09-02-2010 07:49 PM

Re: Straight mono on a large arbor fly reel
Hi Spaceghost,
Some Northern California fly fishermen are drift fishing with their switch rods. Instead of a fly reel, they use a centerpin reel with the corresponding drift fishing monofilament. It may be an option for you. If you learn how to drift (or float or centerpin) fish, you can catch fish very effectively.

Check out the Ross Flow centerpin reel.

You can find centerpin reels from Okuma and Islander, too.


spaceghost33 09-02-2010 09:39 PM

Re: Straight mono on a large arbor fly reel
I guess I should have added some detail. I DO fly-fish for brown and brook trout in northern Michigan (I started when I was 7, I'm 40 now). The reason we fish spawn for steelhead has more to do with the river we fish, much more suited to underhanding a spawn bag or yarn fly. Also, the rods we use are fly rods that have a spinning rod guides. For years we used the old Martin 72 multiplier (my father still does). About 10 years ago, he bought me one of the STH cassette fly reels. It's a great reel, but I was thinking of trying one of the Allen reels (the XL) which has a large arbor. I was just wondering if the physics of the reel (drag, etc) still work correctly with a spool of mono vs. fly line. I'm guessing if I load up 30 lbs test (close to the diameter of fly-line) so it takes up as much room on the reel as fly line would, it should be o.k.

I ordered one of the Allen 3/4 Alpha reels today and if it is as great as people say they are, I might go for a larger XL series for steelhead to replace the aging STH.

Thanks for all the input!

Ard 09-02-2010 09:46 PM

Re: Straight mono on a large arbor fly reel

I won't bust your chops this time, the reel should preform fine regardless of what you use for line. Now and again I have fish get my backing sailing through the guides and there is no change in the drags function. The thanks goes to MP since he didn't bust you for using ----- ---'- I can't even type those words again whoa :D

spaceghost33 09-02-2010 09:53 PM

Re: Straight mono on a large arbor fly reel
That Ross Flow reel looks beautiful! Might not be in the budget (besides a fly-fisherman, I'm also the father to 4 year and 2 year old boys - so THAT's where all my money goes! :-))

I figured the spawn bag comment wouldn't be popular here.:)

Thanks again.


fredaevans 09-03-2010 06:38 AM

Re: Straight mono on a large arbor fly reel
For the type of fishing you're doing straight mono for a 'chuck and duck' set up should work fine. Only thing you might want to consider is backing off on the pound test to something more 'rod related.' 12-15 pound line is damned hard to break~


spaceghost33 09-03-2010 07:29 AM

Re: Straight mono on a large arbor fly reel
Thanks fredaevans, the only reason I suggested 30lb was that the diameter is closer to the diameter of a fly line. I wanted to be sure to use up about the same amount of space on a large arbor reel. I'm using 8 lbs Maxima as a leader so I don't break my rod. I'm using a G. Loomis GL3 10' rod.

Have a great weekend everyone!


sandfly 09-03-2010 07:34 AM

Re: Straight mono on a large arbor fly reel
get an Alvey reel, like a fly reel in the way you reel but can cast also. perfect for what you want. the 45C1 holds around 400 yards of 10lb. mono. I have used them for years at the beach. plan to use it on my pontoon boat.

Cabelas carrys them still I think, I got mine for 45.00 at Dundee Mi.Alvey Reels USA - Salmon & Steelhead Reels

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