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Composite fly reels
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William
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Posted on 12/05/2005 at 10:57 PM.Send to a friend Send a Private Message View Profile Quote this User
I now have nine fly reels made of composite / graphite materials and I've ordered two more (have to put new flylines somewhere ) I'm using them from 2wt up to 8wt. I started using them more 18 years ago when Okuma first produced a lovely light reel that suited my 7wt fishing in Africa for bass (introduced American largemouth and smallmouth black bass). The exact same reel is still available for sale in America to this day. The quality continues to improve and some are starting to sport rather sophisticated drags and LA designs. They can handle anything up to a large aussie salmon / rat kingie with total ease - I've never used them for anything more demanding and probably never will (except by accident) until their capability lifts another notch. I would certainly not deliberately target anything like a tuna or a milkfish with one - that's where you start to need precision balance, fine tolerances, and a proven drag with plenty of structural rigidity to keep it operating smoothly - a machined bar stock aluminium reel is the only thing that currently meets this requirement. I'm talking about a quantum leap in lesser demand - which is 95% of the fishing I get to do on a regular basis - bream, bass, EPs, tailor, salmon, flatties, etc

For light/medium weight saltwater use I find them just perfect. They are incredibly light, knock-about reels that can handle salt, rough treatment and most fish I target with up to say 12lb tippet. The best thing is that they are completely corrosion proof - a blast under the tap is all they need - the few metal components (on my newer ones) are all stainless steel. And even if one did self-destruct they are generally well under $90 so who cares. Some of the one's I'm using for mullet / bream / bass only cost $29.

I've had graphite spools on threadlines pop after a big tussle on mono line - but so far none of my graphite reels have suffered this fate " I think low stretch backing reduces this risk significantly - and in any case I would generally be using a Felty or something similar once I'm operating with the possibility of big fish.

The technology of composite material is advancing rapidly - aircraft parts, racing car parts, yacht rigging and even gun parts are being manufactured with extremely tight tolerances and massive strength / weight advantages over aluminium. I reckon it's just a matter of time before we see high-end composite reels for heavy saltwater duty too.

Any experiences out there? - in particular I'm interested in any horror stories where composite graphite reels have not made the grade in light / medium fly-fishing applications.

Cheers
William




The highest form of existence is play
Message edited by William on 12/05/2005 at 11:01 PM
William
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Posted on 12/05/2005 at 11:09 PM.Send to a friend Send a Private Message View Profile Quote this User
Just occurred to me the Alvey fly reel is maybe the first one of it's kind leading the way. A bit clunky but reasonably capable. Perhaps with a more high precision drag and a slight face lift it could be right up there with some of the best.

Cheers
William




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jono shales

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Posted on 12/05/2005 at 11:58 PM.Send to a friend Send a Private Message View Profile Quote this User
Hi William
I've seen one of those Alveys in action up North. The bloke I was paired with for a few days had one and I watched him catch queenies, tuna and even a permit with it. They're big, heavy and strong. But damn they're ugly reels - a face lift would do it wonders.

Interesting topic William.
Regards

Jono




Message edited by jono shales on 12/05/2005 at 11:58 PM
outtacontrol445
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Posted on 13/05/2005 at 09:00 AM.Send to a friend Send a Private Message View Profile Quote this User
As you say Jono - the biggest problem with the Alvey reels is the weight factor, they're just too damn heavy!
D.




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William
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Posted on 13/05/2005 at 02:06 PM.Send to a friend Send a Private Message View Profile Quote this User
You guys are right about the Alveys - here are the weights of the two Alvey fly reels intended for line weights 10+:
- 425B 363g
- 425BE 355g

Similar line weight models of Hayden reels (bomb proof):
- Persuit 4 (10/11) 389g (AR model)
- Striker 4 (10/12) 340g (DD model)

The Felty 9/11 is just 218g (what a sweetie )

The TFO 425 (10wt) is about 258g (9.2 ounces)

The Abels:
- 3 A/R is about 313g (11.2 ounces)
- Super 10 is about 244g (8.7 ounces) (DD model)

So the Alveys certainly don't come with any weight advantage.

Cheers
William




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rodkimberley
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Posted on 01/07/2005 at 05:32 AM.Send to a friend Send a Private Message View Profile Quote this User
Hi William,
I use Okuma Air Frame Compo reels On The Tongariro,The rainbows are 4to/6lb+River speed 28to32 cumacs & the fish seem to to very keen to get back to the lake in a hurry,these reels do the job $80.00.I dont think the more expensive reels do it any better,but sometimes it is nice to drive a Porshe Boxster.
Rod Kimberley




Rod Kimberley
DRJFLY
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Posted on 01/07/2005 at 09:16 PM.Send to a friend Send a Private Message View Profile Quote this User
William

I have purchased one of the 3Zone composite reels and I just love the lightness of it - it has yet to be tested on anything with serious grunt though - mind you 3kg's of Tapon turned it over a reasonable rate

It will get a test on something a lot bigger shortly I hope so we'll see how it shapes up (hopefully still round)

Regards
Darren




William
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Posted on 01/07/2005 at 10:29 PM.Send to a friend Send a Private Message View Profile Quote this User
Here's my current collection of composite reels and a few spare spools - yes I'm fully aware that I have a problem

Rod there is an Okuma AirStream and an AirFrame in there somewhere - the AirFrame is the 4/6 model and is especially nice - I use it on my 5wt for light tackle salty fun with kahawai so I would fully agree with your observations on it's capability for the Tongariro. A slight drawback on both Okumas is that the star drag adjustment can sometimes snag the line - but they are robust, light and fun to use with a lovely drag.

Darren the two out on the left are actually echo reels (which I got from Lionel ) and they are exactly the same as the 3Zone (at least the ones I've seen) and all are made in Denmark and otherwise known as Danica reels - but these are the newer models from Danica upgrading what was the number one selling Danica reel in the UK for many years. Quite a novel spool retention system using a compressed rubber O-ring - I'm really interested to see how these go under some pressure from a rat kingie or two this summer.

I honestly would not trust any of the compo reels in my collection on a fast running tuna and don't even think of putting them on anything bigger than an 8wt. But for 8wt and below (probably about 12lb tippet) I think they are very capable. For about three years I used the Okuma AirStream for salmon and it never even came close to it's limits. The little grey one is branded as Juro ( Shakespeare also puts their brand on it in some retail outlets) - it's marked as a 5/6 wt reel but I currently use it on my 2 weight - quite sweet with adjustable offset disk drag and outgoing clicker but I'm looking for something that really pushes the limits on drag smoothness down in the 4lb tippet category. It's a real pity that Danica and Okuma which have superior drag systems amongst the light compos don't have a smaller model in their lineups - there is a very big gap in the market for an ultra-light compo reel.

Cheers
William






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William
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Posted on 01/07/2005 at 10:48 PM.Send to a friend Send a Private Message View Profile Quote this User
Darren here's a better pic of those two echo reels (aka Danica Tekno Large Arbor). Is it the same thing as your 3Zone?

I've yet to test mine but I hear that the salmon are massing outside Sydney Heads so when this dirty water from the big wet clears I'll give them their maiden voyage

Cheers
William






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DRJFLY
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Posted on 03/07/2005 at 08:25 AM.Send to a friend Send a Private Message View Profile Quote this User
William

Yep - exactly the same. When I had a look at the echo rods on their web page I noticed the reels and had a look and thought something was very familiar about them - until the brain engaged

As I said earlier they haven't had a big work out yet but I have been impressed with the start up on the drag on the few fish that have pulled string

Regards
Darren




gcourt
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Posted on 05/07/2005 at 11:44 PM.Send to a friend Send a Private Message View Profile Quote this User
William
The spool retention on the Danica sounds similarto what Lamson use's.I've had a velocity for a couple of years now with no issues .
cheers
Glenn




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