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Played with a couple of reels today (at Bears Den)

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Since these reels all looked/felt nice while brand new, I was looking for some input from someone who's owned any of these reels for a fair period of time (want a size that is appropriate for a 7 weight):

 

Bauer Rogue

Hatch Finactic

Nautilus NV

Galvin Torque

 

As mentioned, looking for a 7 wt reel but thinking about a good solid amount of backing (just in case)...The Hatch and the Nautilus were on the higher end of the cost scale while the Bauer and Galvin's price were a bit easier to swallow. The rod it will be matched with is a G Loomis Crosscurrent GLX 9' 7wt.

 

I had already inquired about the Hatch, but at the time I was thinking about the size 7 plus. If I were to get the mid arbor version, how much backing could pack onto a Hatch Finatic #5?

 

While a 7 weight would be too small to be my primary go to rod for bigger blues, albies or even medium size stripers, I'd hope that the outfit I'm trying to put together could handle one of those in a pinch (should I be caught short handed)...It's more so going to be a schoolie rod, something to chase beach snook as well as spanish macks, small jacks, and spanish macs I encounter in FL, and for some specs and small redfish during visits to my dad's place in VA Beach...also some freshwater use when I'm throwing bugs that may be too big for my 5 wt. They say that a 7 weight is a cross over rod and I truly plan on using it as such

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Not to get too deep into your selection decision ... but as a gear junkie I've got an opinion about most of those models you've mentioned & handled at the Bear's Den. In trying to get the "right reel" for your lightweight GLX 7wt ... I would look at how much the reel weighs (without backing) and then mount it to the rod in question if possible ... to see how the rod balances in hand with a given reel attached.

 

Most reels today all have outstanding drag systems ... been that way for almost 20 years ... just improving of late with these various sealed systems. So the difference mainly is in the "true" weight of the reel (not necessarily what the manufacture advertises it at). Bauer specs are spot on. Recently off of eBay I had the Bauer Rogue in hand (sold it) and the Nautilus NV (sold it too). No bad dogs really ... just a price performance thing or I needed some dough at the time ... chasing some other deal on gear (sad I know ... but true).

:confused:

 

Anyhow. I recently got a deal ($215 for a $385 MSRP reel) on a MacKensie CFX #4. Light weight (as light as one would want to go) with a drag system identical to the Rogue. With Hatch Fly Line Backing / GSP Super Braid, it will hold 200 yards of 68lbs test line and a WFF 8wt fly line. Plenty for most any fish you might catch. I really like how it's made and the drag system is definitely an improvement over other good Bauer drag systems of the recent past. It balances perfectly with a 9ft 7wt T&T Horizon I got here at SOL (less then $200 bucks). A great rod & reel combo!

 

If you really want to kick around ideas on reels ... go to Yellowstone Anglers 8wt reel shootout. Pretty informative ... but in the end only you can make the decision as to what you'll truly enjoy! ;)

 

Good luck in your gear hunt!

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Thanks a lot for that info - btw, just to update, I have an Abel Big Game 2 (solid frame) that I had been using as my 9 wt reel. I put it on the 7 wt and it balanced nicely...So now I could go either way of sticking to the plan of looking for a 7 wt reel to match the rod mentioned above, or bumping that Abel down to '7 wt service' and instead, looking for the new lg arbor to match my 9 wt...Pretty much the same reels I mentioned above except in 9 weight...(9 weight rod is an NRX...yes, I stumbled into a couple of deals where I got both the NRX and GLX - new - for little more than the full retail cost of just the NRX...I paid well under $100 more for the two rods than if I just splurged on the full retail price of an NRX )

 

I'd like to add one more reel to the mix, however - the now discontinued Van Staal C-Vex (comments regarding both 7 wt and 9 wt versions)

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I can't comment on any of the other reels, but the Galvan Torque has worked well for me in the salt.

I use it primarily for coho and chum salmon. No issues in over four years of use.

I also have used it for steelhead as well.

SF

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I have the nautilus nv. It is sealed and you can put the brakes on a big fish. I like it. However I can only really compare it to lesser quality reels I've had. I do have a small galvan 4 wt reel and it's straight up quality. I actually used my nautilus as a dual rod reel and just had two spools. If your able balances nice you could do that as well. I had one spool for my 9wt NRX and one for my 6 wt T&T switch rod.

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It certainly feels that way - but I think the fact that I packed on something close to 225-250 yards of backing (20 lb dacron) w/ a 9 weight line led me to believe otherwise. But to your point, the idea dawned on me yesterday and if felt like a perfect match (I then put the reel onto my 9 wt and went fishing...LOL)

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Albie - if you are going to load that new Sci Anglers Striper line on your new reel, remember that these are 120' lines, so you will not be getting quite the same amount of backing on your reels as with a 90' line. So for these lines, something like a Nautilus FWX 7/8 reel though sexy and very light will not cut it. You would want a reel with more backing capacity -Killie

 

P.S. For the fish you mentioned, I think only the bigger jacks might be a concern for the amt. of backing on any modern, mid-sized reel (for use with typical 7-9 weight lines). Also you don't say how much you are willing to spend on a reel. If under $175 my recommendation would be the Allen Alpha 3. Holds ton of backing and the drag is very adjustable (from 0 to full stop) and with very smooth start up. I have two of them in size 3 (basic black) with extra spools and they are killer. Much better than all the other lower priced options. I would take this reel over any other reel under $200. I use these on rods from 7+-10w. They balance a bit heavy on a couple of my 7-8w rods, but if you are using 120' lines they would be exactly the right arbor size and dimensions for ~250+ yards of 50lb spectra - overkill for any but the biggest (30-50lb) jacks.

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Hatch Finatic all the way- plenty of good reels out there, but that would be my choice! I have a 5+ Finatic on my 7 weight Winston BIIIx and its absolutely perfect. Mine is the large arbor, but don't really need gobs and gobs of backing. If you are concerned about having a lot of backing, I would either get the mid arbor size in the 5+ or step up to a 7+...whatever works for you. I have three Finatics and love them all...very, very sweet reel.

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Thanks a lot for that info - btw, just to update, I have an Abel Big Game 2 (solid frame) that I had been using as my 9 wt reel. I put it on the 7 wt and it balanced nicely...So now I could go either way of sticking to the plan of looking for a 7 wt reel to match the rod mentioned above, or bumping that Abel down to '7 wt service' and instead, looking for the new lg arbor to match my 9 wt...Pretty much the same reels I mentioned above except in 9 weight...(9 weight rod is an NRX...yes, I stumbled into a couple of deals where I got both the NRX and GLX - new - for little more than the full retail cost of just the NRX...I paid well under $100 more for the two rods than if I just splurged on the full retail price of an NRX )

 

I'd like to add one more reel to the mix, however - the now discontinued Van Staal C-Vex (comments regarding both 7 wt and 9 wt versions)

 

The Abel #2 is a tank ... and it's the reel that put Abel on the map back in the day. If I didn't have a couple of Islander FR1s ... I would have that Abel in my collection and I'd be using it on my 6 & 7wt fly rods. So yeah I would use the Abel on your GLoomis 7wt and find a large arbor reel for the NRX which I suppose you might find useful for Fat Alberts, etc.

 

Having said that, I would suggest you look at the Allen Kraken XLA reels. I recently got one (XLA #3) and they are a very cool design ... a lot of reel for the money ($340 MSRP). The Allen reel is largely manufactured in Asia and assembled in the USA (I prefer made in the USA ... but I also prefer saving $300 bucks on a new reel). Their specs are off as well ... the #3 weighs 8.4 ounces ... not the advertised 7.1 ozs. Still it's an extra large arbor (4.5 diameter) unit that weighs what a Tibor Everglades (3.75 diameter) does. I'm going to load that XLA with 65lbs test Sufix braid and use it with an old school G Loomis IMX 10wt (9 foot 2pc) .... maybe the best casting 10wt (true 10wt) ever made (the caveat here is that I'm talking about the two piece version). It's very light weight and casts Wulff line like a dream come true. :)

 

Like I said before there are no bad dogs really ... particularly with sealed drag systems. It's more a matter of cost & performance .... and sentimentality for old favorites. As far as I'm concerned nothing has surpassed the Tibor Riptide as the standard (for me) in saltwater fly fishing. It's not a "prefect" reel .... few things are. But it's the standard I judge all reels by ... old and new.

 

Good luck in your quest!

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As a footnote .... I would put the expensive but silky smooth Hatch Premium Braid on your Abel #2. You'll easily get 200 yards of line on there with 100 foot of Striper Intermediate fly line in 7wt. Or back off a bit on the backing amount (150 yards of hatch) ... and you should get the whole 120 feet of Mastery Striper line on there.

 

Have FUN!!

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Allen Co. reels have come a long way since the earliest versions - some of which were IMO pretty lame. Machining and tolerances are vastly improved, drags are much smoother, and the finish/anodizing actually is very decent now. Not world leading quality of Hatch or Abel but quite impressive esp. for the $$$. Very competitive with Cheeky Mojo, Colton CRG-2 (but IMO not higher end Colton models) etc. Be sure to check arbor width as well as diameter when comparing some of these reels. There is a sweet spot for arbor width in my opinion and the Allen Alpha 3 hits it for me. Not too narrow, not too wide. Many older reels are too wide. Many newer ones are too narrow.

 

Note: Drag systems are different between the Allen Alpha 3 and Allen Kraken series reels. The former is not sealed, while the latter supposedly are. I don't trust claims of "sealed" drags on fly reels that much so I went with the Alpha 3. I was frankly so impressed by the initial quality of the first Alpha 3 reel I received that I went and bought another one with two extra spools. --Killie

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Posting a photo of the Allen Alpha 3 alongside a Colton CRG-2. The reels have the same amount of backing on them - around 220+ yards. Difference is that the Colton has 50lb spectra backing on it (vs dacron on the Alpha 3) and arbor width of the Colton is wider. The line on the Colton is a straight 9 weight floater, while the line on the Allen is a Wulff Ambush -- takes up as much room on the reel as a switch/spey line.

 

The Alpha has a lot more room for backing and line combined, and is a narrower width spool. The Alpha 3 is a bit larger (diameter) and slightly heavier overall (not noticeably so)

 

[ATTACHMENT=12629]Alph3-vs-Colton.jpg (399k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]

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