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Discussion Starter #1
Began flyfishing for trout in 1988 and my transitioning to spey began with Derek Brown/Kaufmann's intitial course in MaupinOR about five years ago. Before Sage and Abel found out my local fly shop was selling me Abel reels and Sage rods at "cost+30" and shut the shop down, I had purchased my trout rods and reels for the duration. Not surprising when I bought my two first spey rods--Sage 16'10wt/15'8wt, I bought the the Abel 4. Nooow for my question: Why do I hear almost no mention of the Abel reel on this forum? Have yet to hear anyone trash the reel, just no mention of it. Is there a personal/political problem? I have recently purchased the CND Custom 6/7 and 8/9 and will get another reel(not an Abel) because I don't want to depend on one reel on any given trip. What gives with Abel?
 

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Good question ...

I'm looking forward to reading what the fellows have to say. I've never had an Abel reel but understand that they're very well made, etc.
fae

Good stuff follows.
:>)
 

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If you can afford them, and don't need to change spools (or can afford a few) they are about as good as reels get.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My query was a little long winded but evenso should have added something: I love these reels! Because of the aforementioned good deal I got on purchase I own the naught, point5, l, 2 and the four with a few extra spools. They are as much like well-made jewelry as they are fish-fighting equipment. Pricey to be sure, but since I didn't give up golf and take up fishing 'til I was 58, felt I didn't have any time to screw around with marginal equipment. Furthermore, the reels mentioned frequently on this site aren't exactly cheap. My best fish has been a 21", 5 lb rainbow(a little 'tuna) out of the San Juan River(near the dam) in Oct/02 on 6X using the point5("o.5") with frequent admonishments from my guide not to touch the reel unless retrieving and let your "big money reel do the rest". He was right. . . but anyway back to the question posed.
 

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I love my abels, I have a super 8,10,12 that I use for all my saltwater fishing. I am just starting to try and learn spey casting
and I ended up putting my line on the super 12 and I found that it balanced out the rod perfect and has probably close to 200 yds of backing. The reels are well made, solid and the people at abel have always been helpful to me. Never had a reel problem yet.
The only downfall is the cost, and extra spools are a little pricey as well.
JohnP
 

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clyde olson

For me the answer is a simple one, the cost.

Being retired on a pension and social security and of a Scottish lineage, I refuse to spend more for a reel than I do a rod or the same amount.

I have Loop reels, Battenkill Large Arbor reels and Reddington reels for my two handed rods. They all work great and never caused me a problem. I have 2 old style Gunny three's for my one handed rod and Bob's 7/8 with none spey lines.

I have a new Reddington Brakewater 9/10/11 coming. It will be my reel on my Sage 1510 and Bob Meiser's 9/10 two handed switch rod. It will cost $300. My son and Dan Blanton approve of this reel for salt water fishing and on the California Delta.

Now a question for you.

Would you own Abels if you had not been able to get the big discount that you got?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Abel reels

Yes. My personal philosophy is buy the best I can afford providing the cost is commensurate with value... and hold on forever. Just as the suits and sportcoats I bought 20-25 years ago are still being worn to work, so I hope my rods and reels will carry me into a hopeful long retirement. No question for the vast amount of trout fishing I do(which isn't that much---perhaps 2 1/2 weeks a year) I am way over my needs in spending that much for a trout reel. On the other hand, for salt water fishing(which I don't do anymore) and specifically for steelhead fishing(which I plan to do a lot more of), I feel the reel is very important. That having been said and back to my original question(and as I'm looking at a well known fly shop catalogue) the Sage-3500D, Ross-Canyon8, Bauer-Xtreme, Waterworks-Force, Tibor, Loop and Pate Large Arbor reels are all priced pushing 600 clams. .. same price range as the Abels....but very little mention of the Abel reel at this site. I do plan to get a large arbor reel(not an Abel---just for diversification---and besides they look like they belong on the long rod). So far the answer to my question seems to be price.
P.S. I have absolutely no connection with Abel other than a huge fan of their product.
 

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Hooked on Salmon
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There is one flaw with Abel that makes them not that good for river fishing. The brake goes out when wet. That is unacceptable for a reel at that price.

Per
 

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the drag goes out if it gets wet? not in my experience, but tell me about yours. why do you suppose this happened?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We'll now we are getting somewhere! Per, in layman's terms, are you saying that the reel fails when the cork gets wet? Another frequent poster here suggested to me in passing that he did not like the Abel because there was no sound when line was going out. I think they have changed their new reels to address that point.
 
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The Abels made for the last several years have had outgoing clicks. As far as the drag is concerned, any cork drag will hydroplane when it gets wet. The secret is to not let the drag get wet in the first place. Of course, with all the ported backplates on reels today that gets to be harder and harder to do. There is one secret. The cork cannot get wet if the drag is engaged. So, engage your drag before you even put the reel on the rod at the beginning of the day and don't back it off until you're through. And that includes rinsing a reel down with freshwater at the end of the day. Too many of us forget to engage the reel until after its spent time in the rain or has been accidentally dunked in the river. If you can change your routine to keep it engaged (just a half pound will do it-you want the cork seated against the back flange of the spool.) If it is, there is NO way water can get on the cork.
 

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JR_SPEY,
I agree all the way with the drag method, I dunk mine alot in both fresh and salt when fishing, usually I am right behind the reel going in! I have had no problem with the drag even when hooking up right after the dunk.
As far as not having an outgoing drag clicker I found it a little different at first until I got used to it. Now I really get into listening to the line rip through the water when a big fish starts pulling off line. All in the way you look at things.
JohnP
 

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Abels...

My first year on the Dean I fished Hardy Bougles, first fish - 25lb. salmon ripped the guts out of it. I now fish only Abels, #4, for anything thing that runs. If you're out in the woods and no way to replace broken gear, you best have the best!
 

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Bob,

As Dana says the drag of a Loop Evotech, in my view the best reels around for serious riverfishing, are sealed in. I can leave them in the water for hours without anything happening.

On the thread in general:

I have fished Abels on a few occations and when leaving them in the water while relasing fish the brake went bananas. If you need constant brake pressure to avoid this (I doubt if it help much...) it certainly not is a reel for me. In 99% of all situations I fish with the lightest drag setting possible, relying on palming when fighting the fish. I set the drag deeper only when serious fish are faught in large&deep pools, or when I need to keep one hand on the wading staff to wade ashore.

My reels constanly get soaked when:

---wading deep and I want to keep the rod butt down when fishing the cast out.

---trying to get out of a tricky wade while using the rod as an emergency staff (yes I do that :tsk_tsk: )

---releasing fish along steep banks - it often is safer to dump the rod than to stick it up into the shrub.

----when falling in (I do that, too...)

Maybe the new Abels have improved. They sure are well made - but something tells me they are more at home off a skiff or on a flat than along fast and cold rivers.

Per
 

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Dana re Loop Reels

Dana replied, "Bob, the Loop's drag system is sealed so a good dunking won't bother it."


Dana, does that include the older Loops like my Loop 4 and my son's Loop 3?
 

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GOOD, but maybe not the best

I fish a bunch in saltwater flats as well as steelhead and trout. Been flyfishing for 40 years. My son when working in the west in college was on the guide list at Abel and yes, he got the reel discounts. For the last ten years We used the reels in every conceivable situation from flyfishing except big boat tuna, marlin etc. Here are my opinions ::The .5(point 5) in the finest trout reel out there for fine tippet protection. I have landed a lot of plus 20 in fish(up to 8 lbs) on 6 x and some on 7x with this reel and the truth is that the reel is the key. Silky smooth drag , and as somebody else posted, if you keep your hand off the reel on a run the reel will tame the fish unlessit hits an obstruction. Salterwater flAts: Not Abels, but Gunnsion g-3 and G-4 are without question the reel of choice. Realitively inexpensive, flawless drag and drag is well protected. I have fished BC steelhead with the G-3 and G-4 as well for ten years, and TDF fish too. This despite the ownership of larger Abels. For example, I benched the 3N in favor of he g-3 and G-4 's because of the drag issue I have had with the larger Abels, worst being a 3N. I have lost some nice fish on it because it failed ; some due to hydroplaning or whatever when wet and once it just locked up with a very nice steelhead on the far end of a lot of backing and line. Problem is that the leather in a abel drag must be monitored for lubrication ...it must be just right...not too wet and not to dry. This requires the reel to be dismanteldand the leather to be treated periodically. I do not have a NASCAR crew to keep it running right. Why bother when the gunnison s do not need any of this babysitting. The point 5 is the same way but its a fish stopping machine on light tippet so I stick it out and it s fished a lot on a wekly bassis so this helps keep it momnitored.and I am just more careful about getting it wet and treating the leather..The Abel suffers if it is left onthe sghelf and not re-lubricated after a long time in the closet..but for big fish and reels that are not used daily (like the point 5 might be for a lot of the year) then the maintenace end of an ABel can be a problem...for me anyway.
 

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Loop Traditionals

Hi Grampa Spey!

Nope, the original Loops (the Traditionals) operate on a roller system which has a tension adjustment that prevents spool overrun. The rollers themselves are exposed, but this doesn't have any impact on the tension setting. The only thing you should do is, if you aren't going to be using the reel for an extended period, back the tension knob off. This will extend the life of the rollers.

I have the 3W and the 4 and I fish them a lot for steelhead. Some people want a loud click when a fish runs, but the purr of the Loop Trads to me is absolutely divine.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I also own the 11 fourteen Loop HW... all I can say is amazing. I like a lot of different reels for various reasons, but there is only one reel I store on my office desktop so I can look at it and dream of the next trip to big fish spey country!
 
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