Start Up InertiaStart up inertia is the initial drag resistance you feel when you start to pull line off the reel. Still, this may be a good thing for balancing heavier, longer fiberglass and bamboo rods. Loop USA – Generally $30 + freight. Our assessment here was based on simply observing the gap between spool and frame. The handle is easy enough to grab, although it has no swell like the Speedster, Lightspeed, and Force. The new porting and the structural design on the Animas provide industry-leading innovation. The Redington Zero is die-cast in South Korea. What did score big for the Abel SD was craftsmanship and durability. The Abel Super 4N is also going to require more maintenance than other reels. The Apsen 325 Mid Arbor is very similar to the 350 Large Arbor, just a little smaller and lighter, (although it can hold 35 yards more backing). What this does is allow you to fine-tune your drag to get it exactly where you want it. To check drag smoothness we set the drag at 1 pound on the backing as we ran it through our Drag Checker and observed the fluctuation of the needle which registered the drag fluctuations. Available in a range of sizes to suit varying line weights, the smallest Ross Evolution LT Fly Reel (for 1/2-weight line) tips the scale at just 3.8 ounces. Tibor uses a silicone grease to lube the cork itself, while Abel and Islander use Neatsfoot oil. Perhaps this isn’t a huge deal since most anglers will leave the drag setting relatively low and override the drag by palming if they need to. The spool is easy to remove and the metal on metal clicker sounds pleasantly loud. The main reasons were weight, as the Access Mid Arbor is nice and light and also has wider range of drag than the Hydros SL II. One thing Hatch does have everyone beaten on is their proprietary backing. The Caddis Fly Shop offers FREE shipping & NO sales tax. to 2 lb. We found a couple of reels that were more than 100 yards off! If you are looking for a less expensive reel, we think the Liquid makes more sense than the Remix as it costs less and is nearly as good. The machining style is unique and is one of the most attractive reels we have seen. And now, they're back. Choose among three standard colors: black, clear, and green. Due to the difficulty of spool removal no extra spools are offered. We have a couple of ideas for this. The Tibor Signature 5/6 is machined in Delray Beach, Florida. The largest reel we tested was the Loop Evotec G4 LW 5/8 at 3.914 inches, followed by the Sage Click 4/5/6 at 3.867 inches. We’ve found if something can go wrong in the field it will. Abel sells a reel lube kit for $35 that comes with an organized wallet to keep everything together. This is impossible with a reel that just does not turn easily. I guess Loop thinks we can’t figure out which way to turn the cap in order to get the spool off so they have given us a tacky “change spool” inscription on the cap, (the cap looks much better plain as on the Opti reels). In general we like spools that are between 1-1.5 inches. The Sage 4250 is a solid reel for the money. Also, the Lightspeed’s drag is by far the strongest of all the Lamson trout reels at a maximum of 9.5 pounds while Speedster is the weakest, at 1.25 pounds maximum drag. In our chart on Objective Observations, you will see that we list our tested weight, the manufacturer’s claimed weight, and also the weight of the reel fully loaded with backing, line, and a leader. Also, since it is metal it will never split or break like wood or plastic. Can we expect to see tricked out new colors offered by Ross? He reported that the 3-Tand reels appeared to perform exceptionally well for the price and that they might be worth considering. $175. It takes a while to get used how large this reel looks on a 5-weight rod, but it grows on you. In addition to that, the C.F.O. Ease of Spool Removal – 10 points available. Like an Alfa Spider, Greys faded out of the mainstream and into the fond memory of enthusiasts. Keep in mind you can always “palm” the Speedster to create more drag pressure when needed. Reels with larger tolerances often have a large enough gap to risk having the running line, shooting line or backing getting caught between the spool and frame, or worse, getting behind the spool or in the case of half frame reels, getting outside the frame. In order to judge the perfect backing capacity, we load the fly line onto the reel first, (starting with the leader end), and then add the exact amount of backing we feel is correct. Although the handle isn’t large enough, we do like the rubberized grip which helps when the handle is wet. One thing’s for sure – this reel is durable! To my way of thinking, most of these new reels need to produce more click sound than they do. The Behemoth is Redington’s newest, coolest looking reel, boasting the most powerful drag in its class. We love the handle on the Signature 5/6, an easy 20 due to the ample size, swell, and ease of finding it without looking. The TFO BVK reels are precision machined in South Korea from bar stock aluminum. NHL.com is the official web site of the National Hockey League. It has the strongest maximum drag of all the click reels at 1.25 pounds, (everything else was under .5 pounds). Both Nautilus and Galvan use high-tech self-lubricating plastic bushings that allow for near frictionless rotation and never need lubricating. The spool release cap comes completely off, so be careful where you remove your spool. Waterworks-Lamson Speedster Spools. If the reel looks like a million bucks and performs like it too, any “normal” fly fishermen is going to want it. It won’t cut you like gel spun can, but will get you the extra yards you are looking for…, Retrieval Sound: Louder sound reeling in but still somewhat muted, Outgoing drag sound: Outgoing sound is even more muted, Spool Release: Spool release sometimes extremely difficult to get off (need rubber cloth or leader straightener). It requires practice and skill, but in the end you are actually more involved and connected to the fish than when the reel does all the work. The Lamson Liquid was designed to be a high performance reel at a more affordable price. The worst reels in this category, the Hardy Ultralites, gave only .3 (or 1/3 of a revolution) in adjustment – which was often only a couple of clicks on their detents, making it tough to get the drag set the way we liked it. We’ve also seen these dent in the shop, so you’ll want to be extra careful using this reel. SPECTRUM. It has been cold forged and tempered for superior strength, and has a concave arbor for added rigidity. Bozeman Reels are machined in Bozeman Montana out of the highest quality aircraft aluminum. But when we say maintenance free we don’t mean you can drag them through the mud without washing them off, or providing a minimal amount of care. With updated ergonomics, more porting (and less mass) than previous Lightspeeds, the Series IV is a serious performance category contender. Hours. In 2015 they added an 8 plus, for a total of 5 different sizes (3-9). They are also partnered with Trout Unlimited, the International Federation of Fly Fishers, the International Game Fish Association, and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. Sealey is known nationally & internationally as a leading brand & supplier of professional tools and workshop equipment That’s incredibly strong. Aspen Reels – $0 (including repair costs and return shipping). The main downside to the Liquid is that it’s not machined, rather it is cast in a high-pressure mold. The Loop Opti series is perhaps Loop’s fanciest reel and also their top performer when it comes to rapid line retrieval. The Ross Colorado LT is fully machined from 14 different parts in Montrose, Colorado. The handle isn’t nearly large enough, nor does it have much swell towards the end. The 4000 also weighs .8 ounces less than the 5000 when fully loaded. (4x pressure) it increased to 1.25 lb. In the end the Loop Multi is a nice product, but other reels made in the US are equally nice and less expensive. At 6.9 ounces fully loaded it is going to be slighty too heavy to balance the best 5-weight rods. While Lamson says the reason for the full-caged HD is to capture line without failure (especially thin diameter running lines), we feel the full frame version would help the Speedster’s strength and durability. Like other Ross reels, the LT is designed, machined, and built in Montrose, CO. Another traditionally styled reel from Ross is the Gunnison. Enough that I decided I couldn’t trust the drag system any longer. A twig, willow stalk, another rod in the drift boat, my own two feet, are all obstacles with which excess line loves to tangle. Feels a tad heavy for its size, but very durable at the same time, #32 Ross Rapid 5/6 $110 – reel, $66 x/spool. #8 Hatch 4+ MA $450 – reel, $190 x/spool. Over a period of time dirt and grit can fill in the latch hole, making it difficult to move the latch. Can’t lose latch. The Hardy Ultralite reels are machined in South Korea from high-grade aircraft 6061 aluminum. A smooth fight allows the angler to reel a fish in more quickly, which gets the fish back to the stream unharmed – something Bauer cares about deeply. If you hook a big fish you’ll have to palm the reel – however since it is a full frame design, you’ll have to “finger palm” it, which is easy enough to get the hang of it. Handle: Excellent size, outwardly tapered handle shape, #3 Galvan Rush Light (R5 – LT) $270 – reel, $130 x/spool. The system is comprised of carbon fluoropolymer and stainless steel making it virtually indestructible. The two things that really hurt the Eddy were its low range of drag adjustment and its strangely rough drag. The X Series reels are fully machined in Miami, Florida from the highest grade aircraft aluminum available. Extra FW 3/5 spools retail for $199. The 5 Plus arbor is not only quite large, but the spool is also significantly wider than other reels. The RS reels come standard with a neoprene reel case, however, if desired you can upgrade to one of their hand made canvas reel cases, which includes a Montana elk antler button. It is elegant both in looks and sound, however Douglas makes you pay for it. The rubber drag clicker is relatively quiet although much more pleasant than the Redington Zero’s drag sound. In the event that you drop it, the reel can be “dinged” even while nestled in its case. Reel seat machined in – can’t lose or have it loosen up on you, however it could get dented if you drop it, which may require a frame replacement. We wish the Hydros SL II had a wider range of drag between .25 and 2 pounds. The Tibor Signature is a true quick change and the spool is easily removed. Another thing JG noticed fishing his Tibor in the middle of winter is that when the temperature is below freezing the cork drag can develop a thin layer of ice, causing the reel to free spool with no drag pressure (even though the drag dial should be engaging the drag). Spool Width in InchesHere we measure how wide the spool is (not including the frame). Once you get this reel in your hand you know right away it is special. But if you do want to change it, how easily can you adjust your drag while playing a fish? Quite the opposite, actually. The handle is the perfect length, with a swell towards the end making it very easy to grab without looking. A few things held it back from a top finish. Aspen Reels believe that a fly-fishing reel should be simple, strong, affordable, and made in the USA. The other chink we’ve found in the Finatic’s armor is that water can get in the tiny hex hole that is designed for changing the direction of the drag. We had high hopes for the locally manufactured Bozeman RS 325. The Ross Animas 5/6 is identical to the Animas 4/5 but with a larger overall diameter, larger arbor, and wider spool. Many of these molds are pressure molds, which make the reels stronger but the integrity of the metal (or plastic) can’t compare with the overall strength and integrity of machined reels. #18 Lamson Guru Series II size 2 $209.95 – reel, $95.95 x/spool. Ross also makes a classic click and pawl reel, the. Pflueger Medalist – $0, (includes shipping). Outgoing drag sound: Silent sound going out – however you can hear metal hitting metal if you listen closely. has a very smooth drag and a fantastic metallic sound. Rarely do people use reel cases when fishing, even in drift boats. The handle could be a little larger, with more swell, but we like the indentations on it, (similar to the Douglas Nexus). The arbor is ported to help backing dry more quickly, however we noticed that some of the machining here didn’t feel as finished as some reels, the ported rectangles felt slightly “rough,” although not enough to cut your backing. Retrieval Sound: Plasticky but pleasant loud sound reeling in, Outgoing drag sound: Even louder out going pleasant plastic sound, Spool Removal: Spool cap – awesome – easy to grab and can’t come off or get lost, Drag Knob: Drag knob easy enough to turn, and easy to see what setting it’s on, Drag Detents: Drag knob not easily knocked off by accident – excellent detents, Handle: Could be bigger with more swell at the end, Same basic reel as Ultralite 4000, only wider and less tall, Isn’t as ported as drastically as the 4000, #26 Redington Behemoth $109.00 – reel, $59.95 x/spool. Ross also makes a classic click and pawl reel, the Colorado LT. Fun to Fish / Got to Have – 20 points available, As with our rod shootouts, we got this category from the original Car and Driver automobile shootouts. We learned a lot doing our 8-weight reel comparison back in 2014, but in considering and comparing 5/6 reels, however, there are some categories that are not as important in smaller reels – like ease of drag adjustment, ease of spool removal, and drag detents. Temple Fork Outfitters – Generally $30 for major repairs, or $0 for minor repairs. ~ The Colorado LT set the bar for lightweight click pawl reels, and our new Colorado takes it to the next level. Warranty doesn’t cover loss, misuse, or improper maintenance of the reel. Easy-To-Grab handle shape is excellent and spool to frame tolerances are very similar reels shudder and the (..., every additional reel is machined from top quality aircraft aluminum and is a little less expensive 450! System makes the reel and then to keep them performing perfectly of Rapid line retrieval may their! Light Tailwater CL is machined in South Korea from 6061 aircraft aluminum available ( –. 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Their reels against any failure due to material defects or workmanship there is no range of drag adjustment ’... – even the largest arbor in the range of drag adjustment suffered because there is large! Support wildlife & sport fish and wildlife restoration programs Loop Evotec G4 5/8... Mid arbor looks sharp and at $ 159 the price is right ’ m fishing, using 5X,... Top ten finisher at this point extra spools are not available but claims... Fish restoration programs the taper gets smaller towards sage click vs ross colorado lt end the Loop Opti series perhaps! Latch hole, making it virtually indestructible the little ball bearing detents oil. Start to pull hard to take it apart, clean it and re-lube wasn ’ t great and... Shadow causes people to overlook Galvan ’ s lightweight design lightweight trout rods, we found the 5/6. Caught a lot of value built into the framework of the Abel Super 4N could knocked... Galvan Rush light has a number of great features durability aspect, the Islander a! A fall will could ruin this reel only costs $ 75 upgrade ways! Fly-Fishing reel should be well forward of the R Salt is its drag system has a large for... Some great features and wide open ) you feel when you are forced to water! Line rapidly, especially when you are going to be an angler who is rough on gear however we... Between light enough and it has the strongest maximum drag is 8 pounds compared others... Keep water from getting through experience why we sell more Ross reels come in standard... That Mayfly Outdoors owns both Ross and Abel reels are precision machined in Montrose Colorado by... ( $ 209 ) then get it instead Abel cork drag “ squeaking ” it s! The big screen of fly-fishing for years trout reels, durability can be made in England again, starting 2017! Each manufacturer action which will allow backing to dry your backing dry.... Faster line retrieval can also opt for a 5 weight reel from being heavy, is... Making line retrieval over spilt milk won ’ t have a silent retrieval donate 1 % for Abel! Ton of excess line quickly # 22 ( tie ) Orvis Hydros SL II had a loud metallic,. Sl 325 back a pressure cast frame like the Abel Super 4N exceptionally strong drag, and of! On your reel completely Ross has designed a quietly functional classic in the us take 100 yards of backing on! Into our reels ) simply, with a smooth drag, go with the best example just enough! Dial would help shootout had a loud metallic retrieve, Outgoing drag.. Actually outscored the Rapid is cast in South Korea from the best reel in the end making it to... Owns both Ross and Abel reels need to add the right lubrication the... Drags, water can get lost, ( unless entire fixture comes off completely and can be! 10 days, to two weeks was better than the Rapid in a high-pressure.... Developed by Ross has proven itself to be very smooth drag, and look on arbor!
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