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Seigler MF Fly reel review

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I recently bought Seigler MF Fly reel (7,8 and 9wt) and fished with it for a little more than a month. It was a case of love at first sight and with very little information about the product I decided to make the investment and evaluate it on my own. 

 

The reel looks like a part of a jet turbine. Every curve, every machined cavity and even the color selection suggest performance. The reels are manufactured in USA by a renowned marine reel company venturing on the fly fishing world for the first time. The expectation for this new reel is for a bulletproof product with superior stopping power which is not necessarily the main feature most fly fisherman are looking for. I don’t own any Seigler casting reels but going through reviews and comments over several internet pages and having no previous experience with their product, there is no question about the brand and the confidence people place on those reels. 

 

Everything is a tradeoff when you are designing a product that has to perform, be durable, innovative and still look good. Fly fishing equipment are very basic making the slightest weaknesses stand out. Below is a quick analysis of the main features and my findings and recommendations.

 

Drag – The biggest innovation on this reel is the lever drag that resembles what is present on off-shore reels. To the fly-fisherman the value of that feature comes from being able to turn drag “on and off” and always bring it back to the pre-set level. I can see the advantages of this feature when fishing for speedsters such as false albacore and bonefish but it is only a “nice to have” on a day fishing for larger Striped bass for example. The drag on this reel is outstanding in parallel with its conventional reels cousins but I am still not convinced the lever is worth the increase in dimensions and weight but it is a very cool feature. Another observation is that it doesn’t have a sealed drag. The drag assembly is comprised of two composite discs and two metal discs sandwiched inside an aluminum case and generously filled with water-proof grease – I believe that could be an issue while fishing in the surf or on salty flats and I can imagine how problematic it would be to maintain that on a week worth of fishing on a remote location. As it is it offers the power of composite drags but it maintains the main downside of a conventional cork drag which is the complex maintenance.

 

Finish – The finish is beautiful and the color scheme really enhances the forms and shapes. The anodized gray that almost resembles a titanium piece is refreshing and different than anything out there. I also like the texture from the CNC machining on the milled aluminum stock but some buyers might see this texture as loose tolerance or suboptimal finish. 

 

Design and Engineering – Coming from the company owned by an ex bicycle designer, many forms resemble a racing machine part - the spool reminds me of a LeMans racing wheel and the oversized knob and the red lever are all very stylish. My first impression suggested outstanding quality on the most complicated milling of the one piece Aluminum stock but the field test and a more detailed inspection reveal that some space gaps are prone to catch line and lead to disaster when you tangle that fish of a lifetime and is trying to clear line before you engage the drag.  The space between the outer reel body rim and the spool is larger than usual and wide enough to allow the leader and some fly line between the drag and the spool and untangling it was a bit of a nightmare especially given the complexity of removing the spool. The reel knob on this reel resembles an engine part and looks comfortable and almost indestructible but the gap between the spool and knob on the inside of the spool was a perfect place to have my fly line caught.

 

 

Overall I feel it is a great reel that needs some small changes on future models. I would like it to have a sealed drag and tighter gaps. A clicker would also be a must as most fly fisherman dream with the sound of a reel screening while line is pulled out - It is so important that the sound of the drag becomes part of the personality of the reel.

 

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This is the first review of the Seigler fly reel that I've seen. 

 

For what fish were you fishing, and how did the reel perform when you hooked one? A striper implies the Northeast; did you take any little tunny or any other members of the tuna/mackerel family on it? 

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24 mins ago, BrianBM said:

This is the first review of the Seigler fly reel that I've seen. 

 

For what fish were you fishing, and how did the reel perform when you hooked one? A striper implies the Northeast; did you take any little tunny or any other members of the tuna/mackerel family on it? 

I only caught Striped Bass with the reel. Did not had a chance to test the drag on any false albacore ... next year maybe. 

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I want one bad, but can not justify the price.  I have several of their conventional reels which are more moderately priced.  Brian and Sara have tons of pics of big fish taken on these reels, maybe they can share some reviews.

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One comment on the picture of the reel spooled with line and backing being weighed: it is not the weight of the reel itself, everything else adds mass. My lamson liquid 4 weighs 6.7 ounces empty, but 10.1 full. 

 

Just something for everyone to keep in mind. 

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Good review. I had a chance to fish a Seigler for a few days and agree with many points you put out there. That lever is a fun addition to a reel, but when you take in consideration the added bulk and weight that system brings with it it's not really worth it. Especially when you can go the Danielsson way and give the user the chance to set the minimum drag by taking the drag knob out, setting the minimum from the screw underneath and putting the drag knob back in place. It's not like you need to change your min. drag setting during the day out fishing. The drag on those reels was very impressive. Like very good.  

Edited by jabster

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Very nice review, I do like the aesthetics  of the reel and the lever drag does not upset at all. I’m not in the market for a reel but if I was I would give this reel a hard look. I also feel when someone does a review that extensive it at least deserves a positive reply.

 

I do hope that you do more pictures of other fish as they requested by will happen, if not an Albie than another big fish to test that drag in Striper waters would be a 15/18 pound Blue will work.

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5 hours ago, RedGreen said:

One comment on the picture of the reel spooled with line and backing being weighed: it is not the weight of the reel itself, everything else adds mass. My lamson liquid 4 weighs 6.7 ounces empty, but 10.1 full. 

 

Just something for everyone to keep in mind. 

Completely agree it should be noted. I did it on purpose and I also compared it with another high power drag reel I own. The weight of the other reel with backing and line was 10.3. The Seigler is not the lightest reel but it comes with those additional features.

Most of my reels are on the heavier side of the spectrum because I tend to like the sturdy drag (Nautilus, VanStaal C-vex, Tibor, Ross and now Seigler) but with rods getting lighter and lighter I am not sure when the weight of the reel might become an issue for casting. The Seigler felt very nice and balanced on the two rods I tested - Scott Meridian 9wt and GLoomis Cross Current GLX Pro 1 piece 9wt (which by the way is a very light rod).

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For those of you that have used the reel, did you have trouble with the handle getting in the way of palming or cupping the reel? I know that the whole point of the lever drag is so that you don't have to palm but some people will still want that option.

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Palming is not an option as the knob extends past the rim. 

On reels such as the VanStaal C-Vex, you have not only the textured rim but also a smaller knob designed to stay out of the way for palming but not the Seigler. You will manage the pressure using the lever. 

I think that palming loses importance on most reels with a powerful drag because you control pressure dialing the drag knob.

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12 hours ago, bonefishdick said:

I’m not in the market for a reel but if I was I would give this reel a hard look.

Never say never, Today I really try to keep in a "just looking" mode.

 

FT

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1 hour ago, Fishin Technician said:

Never say never, Today I really try to keep in a "just looking" mode.

 

FT

It's what keeps us " Young "

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