Ross San Miguel thoughts?

hatidua

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(update: I think I'll go with a Galvan G-5 on this quest)

I've used the search function and all of the threads that seem to talk about the Ross San Miguel reel are from before the new version was released (unless I searched wrong). The various online reviews are almost 100% done by shops that have a vested interest in my buying one, preferably from them.

Does anyone here have one of the new San Miguels that has fished it a fair bit and can offer a semi-objective review of it? I've toyed with them in shops, I'm not sure how I'd feel about the no-click retrieve but I'm open to the idea of matching one of them with an Asquith 4wt.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, warts and all ;)
 
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osseous

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It's a beautiful reel, for sure- and would make an excellent match for the Asquith. I ended up going with a Vaya- following my "simple is best" philosophy with reels. I don't see a need for push button spool release, and I wasn't a fan of the small spindal design they used. Having said that, I wish the Vaya came with a screw down spool configuration- but at some point you've gotta make a decision.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

hatidua

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I was looking at the 4/5, entirely due to its weight - which was the only reason I was even considering that reel, balance is a significant factor for me. That said, I loaded up a Galvan Grip-5 this afternoon with backing and a Rio Gold 4wt line and it mates beautifully with that rod in terms of balance so I'll give the folks at Galvan a ring on Tuesday and sort that out.
 

sweetandsalt

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I have neither new San Miguel not Grip...I'll look forward to your comment about the Grip.
 

cooutlaw

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I will add my two cents for whatever it's worth. Without much room for argument the original San Miguel was well ahead of it;s time and a very highly regarded reel in it's day and still yet currently. BUT....it was an anomaly of weight and size and was tricky to match to just the right rods. The SM1 needed to be on a sub 7' 2 or 3 wt, the SM2, although designed as a 5wt reel was best placed on an 8' 4wt +/-. The SM3 was too big for 5 wt and too small for a 6 or 7wt. I was really, really, really, (did I say really) anticipating the release of the new versions for awhile with fainted breath....I had great hopes and aspirations that they would correct the slightly challenging size/weight issues of the original. But...they got even heavier than the originals in some models. The new versions SM 3/4 is 2.95" diameter and 5.4 oz dry....this reel is perhaps the heaviest modern day 3" diameter reel produced...so it takes a rod like GS8'8" 4wt for it to balance....and then you have a 3" reel, arguable small diameter by todays standards and it's still heavier than most. The SM 4/5 is 3.27" diameter and 5.8 oz. which requires a heavy 5wt- nearly 6wt rod to balance by weight....but again diameter is 3.27" whic dictates 4wt or light 5wt matching....I can maybe stretch and say a Radian 9' 5wt or heavier GS905 would be a potential match, but again it would be heaviest in class reel for the rods. NOW, SM 5/6 is where we get right into the meat....3.52" diameter and 6.0 oz dry....it's directly in competition (size and weight wise) with most all 6wt class reels in current production.....almost dead center in it's class. The SM 5/6 is the reel in the series that makes sense and is a competitive offering. The reels are beautiful, super high quality in an Abel-ish way...but perhaps even notched up...they are heirloom pieces (once again).....I only wish they would have deviated from the originals and made a Ross Vision type move and ported the back cover....which would have reduced the weight and created a VERY compelling offering....they are absolutely beautiful reels and many will purchase them because they missed the originals or simply for nostalgia's sake....I will own one (5/6) and perhaps 4/5.....but I can't see myself needing a 5.4oz 2.95" diameter version for anything in my quiver.
 

WNCtroutstalker

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Not much to add to cooutlaw's excellent overview of the original and current series, but I will say that the weights of the new ones make me wonder if Ross may have been targeting the bamboo crowd. On the one hand that would be strange as it would be a fairly narrow target audience (obviously lots of people fish bamboo, but still just a small fraction of all fly fishermen, with most fishing graphite), but if looking for someone willing and able to pay $600 for a trout reel then I can see looking to those who spend more than $1K on a rod.
 

sweetandsalt

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I agree with the above. The new Abel/Ross that has my attention is the VAYA but the weights of the 5|6 and 7|8 have me wondering which #4 or 5-weight rod they might go with. If my LTX 5|6 at 4.65 is a little too light for my new SKY-G, VAYA 5|6 at 5.45 is likely too heavy. VAYA 7|8 might sound like too much reel for a #5 but at 5.6 oz. it is just right for my Igniter #5 but it already has a Sage Spectrum MAX at 5.5 oz. So, if I want a VAYA, I may have to go buy it a new rod.
 

hatidua

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I think the quandary I'm in is somewhat due to the grip shape on these Asquith rods: they tend to favor the hand being a bit further back than on some of my other rods, which (for me) necessitates a heavier reel to get the balance right. As I may have opined in a different thread there seems to be a consistent gap in reels between 5.5-6oz, regardless of manufacturer. there are plenty in the 3-5oz realm and then it picks up again over 6oz but there's just not that many American made reels in the 5.5-6oz range and I've not jumped on the Asian-made reel thing yet in spite of there being some nice ones in existence (Some of the Sage reels fall squarely in the weight range I'm after).

Although I've owned the larger Galvan Grip reels for years now, I just put a Grip-5 on a ASQ-5 rod and it's a perfect match in terms of balance. I thought it'd be a bit much for the ASQ-4 but I took the 5wt line off the reel and put a 4wt line on it and the 4/5wt rods are so close that the G-5 reel would be perfect for both so I think I'll just get another Grip-5 reel for the ASQ-4 rod. Yeah, that's all pretty confusing, sorry about that.

I briefly played with the Ross San Miguel reels in a local shop and there's much to like about them from what I saw. The lack of incoming clicker would likely bug me as it did with my early Abel "big game" series reels that only had a clicker in one direction (those were click on the incoming as I recall).

I appreciate the insights that have been offered, I hope they help others who may be interested in that reel series.
 

sweetandsalt

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Did you consider the Nautilus NV-G smaller reels? G-Loomis has a thing for Nautilus reels and generally mount them on their Show rods. I don't believe there is any relationship other than a fine personality match-up. I have an NV-G on my NRX#8 and they are very happy together.

NV G-5/6WF-5+125 yds #205.1 0z.
NV G-6/7WF-6+150 yds #205.7 0z.
 

hatidua

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The weight on the NV G-6/7 would put it in the ballpark for the rod I'm looking to pair a reel with.
 

cooutlaw

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Not much to add to cooutlaw's excellent overview of the original and current series, but I will say that the weights of the new ones make me wonder if Ross may have been targeting the bamboo crowd. On the one hand that would be strange as it would be a fairly narrow target audience (obviously lots of people fish bamboo, but still just a small fraction of all fly fishermen, with most fishing graphite), but if looking for someone willing and able to pay $600 for a trout reel then I can see looking to those who spend more than $1K on a rod.
I thought exactly the same thing....if I fished Bamboo I'd be all over one of the smaller models at their weight point. That 3/4 would be perfect on about a 7'6" or so 3-4wt boo.....classic daisy porting pattern and all. That would be a fine set-up. Even Glenn @ Sweetgrass I believe would approve.
 

jayhawker

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I thought exactly the same thing....if I fished Bamboo I'd be all over one of the smaller models at their weight point. That 3/4 would be perfect on about a 7'6" or so 3-4wt boo.....classic daisy porting pattern and all. That would be a fine set-up. Even Glenn @ Sweetgrass I believe would approve.
I just messaged Glenn this weekend about a reel to match a 7'6" 3/4 wt of his. He suggested I look at Hardy's and/or Hodge & Sons. But, I do love Ross and I've been looking for an excuse for a SM... decisions, decisions...
 
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