greenmtnman

A Reel That Will Survive: My Experience So Far

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If you didn't see my original post, you can find it here

 

In short, I wetsuit the surf 120-150 nights a season with fly rod and spinning rod. I want to catch 30-40lb on fly rod in surf, in wetsuit, finally. I've broken a ton of reels and rods. I wanted something that would stand up, and was sick of supposed high-end stuff breaking.

 

So I ended up buying a Colton 1012 Terrapin after two very long conversations with Bob, owner of Colton. I talked with several companies, and the owners of most. Bob was the only one to take me seriously, and completely guarantee the reel would do what I was asking. I was still nervous. It's a lot of money, and I don't have much, and I have ruined so much equipment supposedly "rugged" enough to do what I ask of my gear.

 

In short: I could not be happier. This is not a BS review. I paid for my reel. In short, I have over 180 fish on it this year so far to 21 pounds so far this season. I fought but ultimately broke off a fish that would have definitely been a personal best. I had a night of 55 fish in heavy current and moderate surf, four straight hours of catching fish mid-20" to low 30". Talk about going home tired, I could barely steer my car on the way home. I fished with the reel three times in waders all prior to May, and since all use has occurred in my wetsuit. It has been underwater many, many, many times. Full submersion. I carry the extra spool in my waist pouch. It is underwater more, depending which line I'm using. 

 

I rinse it at the car after each trip, thoroughly. That's it. I fully and completely admit- Bob don't read this please- that I haven't even serviced it yet. I have pulled it apart to look for water and found none. It's still silky smooth and powerful. Actually...it's total overkill if I'm honest. The drag is INSANE. I fish an 11wt and 30lb straight leader and it's way too much for either. I'm not sure how many clicks the drag knob has, but let's say it has 25. I'm using like 7 to 10 clicks then, and pushing my 11wt to the max. Bob told me it can do full drag for hours running at 55mph...I laughed when he told me, but I believe him now. I'm really excited to pair this up with a 14wt and really get after jumbos in the heavy structure I fish. I'm running it with 50lb gel spun braid and it holds 300yards with my SA Sharkskin floating 11wt line with room to spare, and with my intermediate Rio outbound I'm sure it could hold 400yards (currently 300).

 

I have noticed a little rust spotting on the balance weight on one spool, which I rubbed off and is now gone. The little o-ring on the inside of both spools broke and is gone now, because I'm making in the field changes in the dark without a light (because I'm hiding from all of you trying to steal my spot). I notice no effect on performance? Here's hoping long term. Those are the only things that have happened, and if you've seen how I use my stuff you'd understand why I'm tttooottttaallllyyyy OK with it.

 

I think it's a little weird for me to post this up here, I'm not trying to push this reel. I'm simply trying to provide some data for anyone else that's like me. For maybe the other 3 guys that are doing what I'm doing hahaha. Yes, this will hold up to the wetsuit 100 nights a season or more and balance out a 11-14wt (I haven't tested it with less than 11wt). You mileage may vary, but so far so good for me. After destroying at least 6 reels, this is the longest I've gone without locking one up, bending the spool, breaking something off, or freezing it up.

 

Maybe I'll update this at the end of year.

 

Edited by greenmtnman

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I had an early colton, believe it was a crg2 years ago, and it didn't hold up well to surf dunkings. Glad to hear the Terrapin is up to the task,eventually  I'll need to replace an old tried and true Bauer M5 that I use for heavy surf work on a 12wt. It is old school cork drag but can disassemble, clean and lube in 5 minutes without tools, has served me well but I damaged a spool in a jetty spill and down to one spool with shooting heads. Gonna have to look closely at the Terrapin. Thanks for the evaluation...

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2 hours ago, greenmtnman said:

 I had a night of 55 fish in heavy current and moderate surf, four straight hours of catching fish mid-20" to low 30". Talk about going home tired, I could barely steer my car on the way home. 

:theman:

 

i cannot imagine such a night here in florida, or day for that matter....

 

2 hours ago, greenmtnman said:

... because I'm making in the field changes in the dark without a light (because I'm hiding from all of you trying to steal my spot).

Aint that the truth for structure-oriented striper fishing. 

 

 

2 hours ago, greenmtnman said:

I think it's a little weird for me to post this up here, I'm not trying to push this reel. I'm simply trying to provide some data for anyone else that's like me.

Real world experience, whether this or Scooby's reviews, are worth more than any YouTube video, etc. 

 

Thank you. Now I have to sell a couple of reels to fund a new purchase. 

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6 hours ago, greenmtnman said:

If you didn't see my original post, you can find it here

 

In short, I wetsuit the surf 120-150 nights a season with fly rod and spinning rod. I want to catch 30-40lb on fly rod in surf, in wetsuit, finally. I've broken a ton of reels and rods. I wanted something that would stand up, and was sick of supposed high-end stuff breaking.

 

So I ended up buying a Colton 1012 Terrapin after two very long conversations with Bob, owner of Colton. I talked with several companies, and the owners of most. Bob was the only one to take me seriously, and completely guarantee the reel would do what I was asking. I was still nervous. It's a lot of money, and I don't have much, and I have ruined so much equipment supposedly "rugged" enough to do what I ask of my gear.

 

In short: I could not be happier. This is not a BS review. I paid for my reel. In short, I have over 180 fish on it this year so far to 21 pounds so far this season. I fought but ultimately broke off a fish that would have definitely been a personal best. I had a night of 55 fish in heavy current and moderate surf, four straight hours of catching fish mid-20" to low 30". Talk about going home tired, I could barely steer my car on the way home. I fished with the reel three times in waders all prior to May, and since all use has occurred in my wetsuit. It has been underwater many, many, many times. Full submersion. I carry the extra spool in my waist pouch. It is underwater more, depending which line I'm using. 

 

I rinse it at the car after each trip, thoroughly. That's it. I fully and completely admit- Bob don't read this please- that I haven't even serviced it yet. I have pulled it apart to look for water and found none. It's still silky smooth and powerful. Actually...it's total overkill if I'm honest. The drag is INSANE. I fish an 11wt and 30lb straight leader and it's way too much for either. I'm not sure how many clicks the drag knob has, but let's say it has 25. I'm using like 7 to 10 clicks then, and pushing my 11wt to the max. Bob told me it can do full drag for hours running at 55mph...I laughed when he told me, but I believe him now. I'm really excited to pair this up with a 14wt and really get after jumbos in the heavy structure I fish. I'm running it with 50lb gel spun braid and it holds 300yards with my SA Sharkskin floating 11wt line with room to spare, and with my intermediate Rio outbound I'm sure it could hold 400yards (currently 300).

 

I have noticed a little rust spotting on the balance weight on one spool, which I rubbed off and is now gone. The little o-ring on the inside of both spools broke and is gone now, because I'm making in the field changes in the dark without a light (because I'm hiding from all of you trying to steal my spot). I notice no effect on performance? Here's hoping long term. Those are the only things that have happened, and if you've seen how I use my stuff you'd understand why I'm tttooottttaallllyyyy OK with it.

 

I think it's a little weird for me to post this up here, I'm not trying to push this reel. I'm simply trying to provide some data for anyone else that's like me. For maybe the other 3 guys that are doing what I'm doing hahaha. Yes, this will hold up to the wetsuit 100 nights a season or more and balance out a 11-14wt (I haven't tested it with less than 11wt). You mileage may vary, but so far so good for me. After destroying at least 6 reels, this is the longest I've gone without locking one up, bending the spool, breaking something off, or freezing it up.

 

Maybe I'll update this at the end of year.

 

 

When did you get the reel? how many years ?

ive heard great things about that reel, I might get one, but I can’t be convinced the reel, or any reel, is water proof. 

 

But as as long as it can be opened and serviced if and when needed you’ll probably be good. 

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14 hours ago, JohnP said:

 

When did you get the reel? how many years ?

ive heard great things about that reel, I might get one, but I can’t be convinced the reel, or any reel, is water proof. 

 

But as as long as it can be opened and serviced if and when needed you’ll probably be good. 

I also believe that no reel is waterproof. This was my initial issue with putting down hundreds of dollars. I tried to go the really cheap reel route where I spent like $79 and just figured I'd buy 2-3 a season because I have ruined $400 reels in as little as 3 weeks. I've never had a reel make it more than a couple months without starting to not function as new. This is the only one. I treat it like it's very water resistant and try to take care of it, but when you swim with your fly rod, or are fishing with your stripping basket up around your arm pits, it's going to be underwater a lot. I do my best.

 

I've only had the reel 7 months.

 

It's easy to open, it takes just a minute or so. You can service it yourself.

 

I am happy to update this at the end of the season.

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32 mins ago, greenmtnman said:

I also believe that no reel is waterproof. This was my initial issue with putting down hundreds of dollars. I tried to go the really cheap reel route where I spent like $79 and just figured I'd buy 2-3 a season because I have ruined $400 reels in as little as 3 weeks. I've never had a reel make it more than a couple months without starting to not function as new. This is the only one. I treat it like it's very water resistant and try to take care of it, but when you swim with your fly rod, or are fishing with your stripping basket up around your arm pits, it's going to be underwater a lot. I do my best.

 

I've only had the reel 7 months.

 

It's easy to open, it takes just a minute or so. You can service it yourself.

 

I am happy to update this at the end of the season.

 

My first Islander reel held up for more than 20 years of wetsuiting. I just dunked it in FW after each trip and applied more oil on the cork every month or so of active duty. 

 

I have a Van Staal Cvex that went about 6-7 years of underwater action before I had to have it serviced 

 

so happy with my Islander reels I bought two more. I guess my kids will fish with them when I’m gone 

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33 mins ago, JohnP said:

 

My first Islander reel held up for more than 20 years of wetsuiting. I just dunked it in FW after each trip and applied more oil on the cork every month or so of active duty. 

 

I have a Van Staal Cvex that went about 6-7 years of underwater action before I had to have it serviced 

 

so happy with my Islander reels I bought two more. I guess my kids will fish with them when I’m gone 

I'm glad you've had good luck with your reels. I considered a VS, but the design doesn't make as much sense to me. Can I ask how much you wetsuit? I spend 80-150 hours a month in mine from May until November. Also, both of those cost more than the Colton. The islander is a lot more, for the same size looks like it's twice as much money. Are the made in the USA? The Colton is made in USA.

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53 mins ago, flyrad10 said:

Gman

Care to mention the brands and models of the reels you tried?

I'd rather not. It's not my style. Let's just say that three were from major large companies, one who looked me in the eye and said it would be fine. I threw that reel away at the end of one season. Then a couple from other smaller companies, and I've tried some eBay reels just for the hell of it.

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35 mins ago, greenmtnman said:

I'm glad you've had good luck with your reels. I considered a VS, but the design doesn't make as much sense to me. Can I ask how much you wetsuit? I spend 80-150 hours a month in mine from May until November. Also, both of those cost more than the Colton. The islander is a lot more, for the same size looks like it's twice as much money. Are the made in the USA? The Colton is made in USA.

 

I fish in surf and boat. The bass fishing sux so much these days more boat 

i e easily done as many hours wet suiting in years past, but I found the wetsuiting itself was not the problem, it was dunking in various temperatures and getting sand and gravel in there. 

 

It all comes down to O rings and other seals 

 

then how much drag you apply and how often was that drag tested.

 

personally I would never think of a sealed drag as sealed. I’ve generally applied marine grease on the inside of any reel getting dunked. Same stuff they use on bearings of a boat trailer. 

 

If you can open the reel and inspect it and clean it that’s more valuable than a factory sealed drag that will likely need to get back to repairs at some point.

 

the reels I fish with now are all an absolute pleasure to work with. The CVEX has cranked in small tuna that would take a 40 lb bass water skiing 

 

 

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6 hours ago, JohnP said:

 

I fish in surf and boat. The bass fishing sux so much these days more boat 

i e easily done as many hours wet suiting in years past, but I found the wetsuiting itself was not the problem, it was dunking in various temperatures and getting sand and gravel in there. 

 

It all comes down to O rings and other seals 

 

then how much drag you apply and how often was that drag tested.

 

personally I would never think of a sealed drag as sealed. I’ve generally applied marine grease on the inside of any reel getting dunked. Same stuff they use on bearings of a boat trailer. 

 

If you can open the reel and inspect it and clean it that’s more valuable than a factory sealed drag that will likely need to get back to repairs at some point.

 

the reels I fish with now are all an absolute pleasure to work with. The CVEX has cranked in small tuna that would take a 40 lb bass water skiing 

 

 

Have you caught a small tuna in a wetsuit???  ))

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9 hours ago, yarddog59 said:

Have you caught a small tuna in a wetsuit???  ))

 

Ha the only thing you can hook in the surf that moves that fast is a boat or maybe a seal 

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Yep Bob is a hoot to talk to, provides great CS and really great products for the $.  Can's ask for much more....

 

I do have plenty of his products.... just don't tell my wife.

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