Drag Detents: not much for detents but the knob is stiff enough that it won’t get knocked off easily. Despite the Hardy Ultralite’s 19th place finish, (mostly due to a narrow range of drag) we are still very excited about this reel. Currently the Hardy LRH Lightweight is fully machined in South Korea from high-grade aircraft aluminum. Their expertise and experience is in product design; they are committed to the highest standards of domestic manufacturing. Otherwise it makes more sense to fish the 4/5 which weighs .7 ounces less when fully loaded with the correct amount of backing, line, and a leader. We like this reel so much that it is now part of our “Best Buy” packages, including the 4-weight, 5-weight, 6-weight outfits, 7-weight, and 8-weight outfits. For all practical purposes they are the same size and weight, they both have good handles to grab, they both spin exceptionally well, they sound identical, and the drag knobs are both easily adjusted and the range of drag is nearly identical. Even though Tibor calls this a 5/6 weight reel, we have found that it is much more of a 6/7 weight reel. With one whack on the edge of the spool, the spool revolves about 4-5 rotations, which is unique for a reel that makes sound while reeling in. The handle is longer than the CFO and the LRH, but it tapers down instead of swelling out. At 2.25 revolutions between .25 and 2 pounds, you have a lot of room to fine tune your drag to the exact setting you like. Extra LRH spools retail for $99. The Tibor Light Series comes in two standard colors: Jet Black and Satin Gold. On the first versions of the Tibor Signature, sand and grit could work their way into the back side of the reel and jam the sealed drag. The Rush Light reels are precision machined and assembled in Sonora, California by the Galvan family. Just like rods, if you fish hard and long enough you may eventually run into problems with your reel. When fishing fine tippets like 6-7X, this becomes critical. Had the drag range been better, the Ultralite would have easily been a top ten finisher. (Much easier to turn than the NVG spool caps). The main reason for getting a big fish “on the reel” is so that my line doesn’t get tangled around something and break me off. Perhaps the biggest downside to the Zero is that it isn’t going to be as durable as fully machined reels. Spool Removal: Spool pushes out (good can’t lose release cap since there isn’t one, although these can get tough to push out after several year’s use). Out of Stock Quantity: This item has been discontinued and is no longer available. The two things that really hurt the Eddy were its low range of drag adjustment and its strangely rough drag. We weighed each reel several times and then rounded up to .1 of an ounce to make it easier to read on our charts. It will certainly last a lifetime…. The drag sound could be louder, and the Hydros doesn’t spin nearly as well as some. As of October 2019, Lamson charges a $30 reel warranty shipping and handling fee. Strangely enough the range of drag adjustment on the Remix wasn’t nearly as good as the Liquid. And if you are fishing with any of these reels in saltwater it is important to spray them off or give them a quick flushing in fresh water at the end of the day. Our sample had two or three blemishes where extra metal remained stuck on the spool and frame. Reels like the Hardy LRH, the Orvis Battenkill, Orvis CFO, the Douglas Argus, Pflueger Medalist and Loop Classic 46 all use metal clicker pawls that make a pleasing sound when the fish are running, or when you are retrieving line. The handle is easy enough to grab, although it has no swell like the Speedster, Lightspeed, and Force. The Lamson Remix is a half machined, half cast reel with some very nice performance figures for an inexpensive reel. Porting on the arbor helps to dry your backing and the special porting on the foot does what it can to lighten the reel. We also like how the full frame design offers the LRH more rigidity and durability if dropped. Spool to frame tolerances are very good. Retrieval Sound: Nice retrieval sound compared to other 5-weight reels, but nothing like the Everglades, Rip Tide, Gulfstream, or Tibor Spey. Obviously the number one factor here is the tippet size and what you can get away with. The smoothest drags didn’t move the needle at all. The drag is easy enough to adjust (although there is very little difference between full choke and wide open). This rod is in excellent condition. You can also add a personal touch to your Tibor Signature by adding one of Tibor’s exclusive engraved game fish designs or your own personal logo. As such we are always facing equipment problems, the same kind every angler eventually encounters if they are stupid enough to fish year round. Handle: Great shape but could be a tad longer. If you can afford the Guru series II reel ($209) then get it instead. of straight-pull drag pressure. There is no additional cost for their many hub colors which include: Sunset Orange, Royal Blue, Neon Pink, Aqua, Jet Black, Lime, Crimson, Graphite, and Violet 3D. Retrieval Sound: Loud metallic sound reeling in, Outgoing drag sound: Similar loud metallic sound going out, Counterbalance: No counterbalance weight – more wobble than others. The Abel SD 5/6 is identical to the 4/5, just a little bigger with more backing capacity. It also brings a solid amount of performance, scoring a perfect score in five categories: Craftsmanship, Spool to Frame Tolerances, Start Up Inertia, Ease of Spool Removal, and Weight. Retrieval Sound: Pleasant “plastic purr” retrieval sound (like the Cimarron), Outgoing drag sound: Louder outgoing plastic purr (like the Cimarron), Spin: Great spin (5-6 revs)? Extra 325 spools retail for $195. Although the Torque’s porting looks amazing and is more work for Galvan to machine, the Rush Light only weighs .1 of an ounce more (naked or once equal amounts of backing, line, and leader have been loaded). The Lamson Liquid was designed to be a high performance reel at a more affordable price. Brand Lamson. At least the clicker keeps the reel from free spooling, the rest of the drag is going to be left up to the angler. The X Series reels are fully machined in Miami, Florida from the highest grade aircraft aluminum available. Machined in Boise, Idaho from high quality aluminum and stainless steel, Lamson also adds a “Hard Alox” finish to the Speedster, which has proven to reduce scratches. The two things that hurt the Loop Classic 46 the most were the price and the difficulty in removing the spool. Retrieval Sound: Plasticky but pleasantly loud sound reeling in, Outgoing drag sound: Even louder out going plastic but pleasant sound. If you are looking for a lightweight reel, with a large arbor (and excellent retrieval rate), the Lamson Lightspeed Series IV size II is an excellent option. Retrieval Sound: Rubber on plastic sound in or out, Outgoing drag sound: Rubber on plastic sound in or out, Spool release: Spool release cap is easy release new, but after a year or so of use dirt and grit can make it more difficult to get off, Drag detents: No detents but stiff enough drag knob to keep it from getting knocked off, Handle: Nice swell but could be a little longer, On the expensive side but also cool to support and buy local, #28 Islander LX 3.2 $565 – reel, $282 x/spool. Who else is making a 5-weight reel that weighs 3 ounces and costs only $89.00? The machining style is unique and is one of the most attractive reels we have seen. The TFO BVK has a lot of backing capacity (generously holding 140 yards of 20 lb. At the lower drag pressures for normal fishing, differences in smoothness are going to be negligible. This means the Liquid will scratch much more easily than Lamson’s other reels that are fully machined with a hard alox finish. One thing Hatch does have everyone beaten on is their proprietary backing. Counterbalance: Not quite as good as others. ), unfortunately, when they did this on the Guru, it caused it to get a little sticky and it exhibited .6 lbs of startup inertia, which is about 19% of total drag strength. Tibor – Generally $35, (including minor parts, servicing, lubrication, and shipping). Drag detents are small divots machined into the drag system into which fit tiny spring-loaded ball bearings or plastic clickers. We found this reel was one of the few with a lot of start up inertia, especially at higher drag settings. We used 20 lb. Spool Release: Cheap spool release cap: can come off with too much pressure, Drag Detents: No detents, drag could possibly get knocked off setting, Handle: Nice rubberized coating for easy grip, could be bigger and use a little more swell at the end, #27 Bozeman Reel RS 325 $410 – reel, $195 x/spool. The spool release cap comes completely off, so be careful where you remove your spool. We did note a small amount in reels like the Tibor Signature and the Abel Super 4N, both of which use older style cork disc drags. For example using a NRX LP 9 foot #5 rod and a Galvan T-5 reel. For many, the most expensive reels are perhaps a status symbol even if they aren’t the best in performance. When I’m fishing, using 5X tippet, I am only using .25 lb. Of all the reels the Tibor Signature gets our “Diesel Truck” toughness award. Outgoing drag sound: Silent sound going out – however you can still hear the metal hum a bit on higher drag settings, Spool Release: Easy to get off but spool cap comes off and can get lost, Drag Detents: Pretty good, it would take a hard whack to knock the drag setting off by accident, Max Drag: Weak – palming will be required for larger fish, Handle: Nice rubber grip but no swell or flare towards the end, Smooth feel and Rolls Royce quality build, Very large arbor – good for quick retrieval, #17 (tie) Sage 4250 $299.00 – reel, $150 x/spool. The handle is terrific, with a wide rubberized O-ring for added grip when wet. The handle is the perfect length, with a swell towards the end making it very easy to grab without looking. Lamson guru on close out Click to expand... would that be the Guru Series II ? Still, for the money this is a good option, and unlike the TFO large arbor reels that we love for 8-weights and two handed rod setups, the TFO BVK comes with a reel case. Also, for some reason the arbor is ported on the sides, but not all the way across, which would have been better for allowing backing to dry quickly like the Opti Dryfly or Evotec LW768. In fact, the main reason to get the Animas over the Cimarron is if you like the way it looks, (plus the Animas is ported where the backing sits), otherwise you might as well put the $40 towards some new flies, your next fishing trip, or a fly line. Losing the cap or other washers etc., can render your reel unusable, and turn your trip into a disaster. The max drag on the Galvan T-5 is absolutely insane (and unnecessary) but what is even more impressive is the T-5’s head scratching range of drag adjustment. The retrieval resistance is quite significant with the SC, it is the opposite of a spinner, which makes picking line up quickly more difficult. ... LAMSON KONIC 5wt FLY FISHING REEL w/ SAGE FLOAT LINE Shows little to no light scratching or marks. Abel reels are precision machined in Camarillo, California from the highest quality 6061-T651 cold finished aerospace grade aluminum. Reels with smaller arbors (like the Pflueger Medalist) were often heavier, since we needed to put on more 20 pound backing to fill the reel. Is it just me or does this drag smell funky? They are also partnered with Trout Unlimited, the International Federation of Fly Fishers, the International Game Fish Association, and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. While the visual effects of these harsh moves can be stunning, the result is often a lost fish. There is nothing more infuriating than having a reel loaded with too much backing and line. At first glance the Click doesn’t appear to be worth $300, there’s really not much to it – but after thoroughly evaluating the Click, not having much to it is actually what makes it worth $300! You could also feel it in your hand, pulling backing off the reel. Glad you found us. Here lies the true sleeper of the test. Same resistance when reeling in or going out – not adjustable so you’ll have to “finger palm” it, Drag may not be light enough for 7-8X users. Machined reels are going to be far tougher than cast reels. In fact we see these reels on Tom Morgan rods more than any other reel (many are even have the Tom Morgan logo laser engraved on the back). We wish the Hydros SL II had a wider range of drag between .25 and 2 pounds. We used a range of .25 lb. Guru is our very popular, lowest-priced fully machined reel. With a max drag of 6 pounds the Ultralite has more than enough power to land larger trout. Price is certainly an important factor in deciding which reel to purchase, but higher priced reels are usually worth it in the long run; even if you have to save the money to buy the reel you really want. We have actually gone to visit the factory and the facility is very impressive. 4. Either way, both the Aspen Reels are bulletproof. Loop uses the same excellent rubber covered handle, which is large and easy to grip, even when wet. Balance is a matter of personal preference, but we like the balance point high up on the grip, about where your thumb would rest. Claimed Backing CapacityThese are the specs we get from each manufacturer. With larger fish you’ll likely want to palm the spool since the drag only goes to 1.3 pounds. Keep in mind that a reel with a small arbor may have the same retrieval rate as a large arbor reel when loaded with the correct amount of backing. Slightly bigger (and better) than the handle on the Abel SD 4/5, Feels a tad heavy (due to heavy sealed drag), Excellent machining and quality feel, second to none on color option, #25 (tie) Lamson Force 1 $499 – reel, $219.95 x/spool. While each model Lamson reel may have the same basic style of drag (a conical rather than disk-shaped drag) they differ, both in terms of range of drag and maximum drag. 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