Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Many. From NE salt, Russia, Canadian A Salmon, NW Steelhead, Bahamas, Keys. Live in Upstate NY
I couldn't agree more, especially as needed for steelhead and Atlantic salmon. A good click pawl drag with palming rim is all that's needed, and I prefer the control I have with palming for a lot of the reasons you describe.
When I read your post, I thought I'd do an inventory before responding . . . actually, the numbers are pretty embarrassing*. When I started all this over 30 years ago, I bought a Hardy Marquis (actually then, a SA System 5) — a well respected reel at the time — and not considered to be a very good reel by a lot of people now. The Lightweights were a little more expensive (I liked the palming rim on the Marquis) and the Perfects were simply out of my price range. I've always found the Marquis reels to be all I've ever needed (except for tarpon, where I use one of the expensive, super, silky drag, machined barstock, super anodized reels).
As I mentioned, IMHO the Marquis more than up to the task for salmon and steelhead. But I've also used Marquis reels for everything from 4" trout to bonefish, dorado (dolphin), roosterfish, false albacore, bonito, stripers, bluefish, mackerel, etc. No problems, ever. Yes, in salt water, I must be careful, but it's really not a big problem. Yes, I am impressed with the quality of many of the higher-tech reels. They are beautiful, there are several I'd love to own . . . BUT . . . I wouldn't have been able to afford all the options readily available (lines, lines, lines, lines) that I have at my disposal by sticking with reels I can afford.
*embarrassing inventory: Marquis 5 — 3 reels, 8 spools; Marquis 7 — 2 reels, 3 spools; Marquis 8/9 — 2 reels, 5 spools; Salmon #1 — 3 reels, 7 spools; Salmon #2 — 3 reels, 6 spools; Salmon #3 — 2 reels, 5 spools. The other part of the inventory I won't mention is all the fine flyrods and lines (there are even more lines that I use that are stored off of the reels ) I've been able to afford by putting my money where, for me, I feel performance matters.