Product Reviews

Nautilus Reels
By Old Florida Reels

by James Castwell

Hard to believe, only $400 bucks for the reel; and only $120 for a spare spool. Oh, I suppose that may seem high to some of you, but if it does you have not been pricing high function salt-water reels lately. Many sell for a few hundred more than that.

Proof positive

For quite a few years now, I have been very satisfied with my reels for salt. I use one brand for the Pacific Salmon here and another for bonefish in the Bahamas. But like you, I see the ads and read things. Something caught my eye a few days before we went to Andros recently, a reel with a cork disc. Capt. Paul Darby down in Shalimar, Florida had also highly recommended Old Florida reels. Now, I like cork for a drag surface and have it on both my other reels. To be of much value it needs to be fairly big, not some dinky patch thing. You know how it works, a slice of cork is stuck to the side of a plate and another plate rubs against it.

Bonefish on, down to the backing

Not so with the Nautilus. The cork is 'free-floating.' What that means is that it uses both sides of the cork, the disc is compressed between two other plates. Virtually doubling the usable surface of the cork. Now take that whole arrangement and seal it inside a chamber, seal it water tight. Nothing to lubricate, nothing to mess with and nothing to go wrong.

I made arrangements with the good people at Old Florida Reels to take one on our trip and used it on some tough bonefish. Of course there was never a problem. I did notice that due to the width of the spool the drag did not seem to change during any backing-smoking runs. My wife, the LadyFisher, with a screaming bonefish on, commented on the "silky smooth" drag of the reel instead of the bonefish! That says something.

Getting some flyline back

The price is great, the size is perfect for an eight weight, although it comes in several larger sizes, balance could not be any more true and it could not perform any better. Will it replace our bonefish reels? Ya gotta be kidding, right? ~ JC

Nautilus Reel

Old Florida Fly Reels
911 NW 209th Ave. #126
Pembroke Pines, FL 33029
Phone: 1-888-397-7335

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