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.
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.
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.
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
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