I don't know about knowledgeable or gentleman - but I do have this reel. It is my favourite, it is beautiful and a serious piece of machinery. Someone else will have to jump in with actual capacities, but I have 200yds of 50lb gelspun backing on the reel. In addition, I can fit a 10/11 Accellerator on it, it's a tight fit - but it fits. If its mid-spey type lines or short bellies you will have more room than you need.
Actually 8/12 LW has the same capacity as HD 9-13 ( despite what LoopUSA says). I have them both.
The capacity is 8/9 MidSpey + 180 yards of 30 lb Cortland Freshwater Micron (Dacron gives similar capacity).
With 200 y of 30 lb Micron I was able to spool 7/8 Scandinavian Head + 0.030" floating powerflex core shooting line.
It is 8/12 LW.
BTW Cabelas capacity number are wrong by big marigin.
For example for LW 6/9 ( smaller reel) they have 90 y of 20 lb micron + wt 6 line .
I have on my LW 6/9 ( used with 10 foot wt. 8 Sage xp )
wt. 8 RIo Steelhead line which has long 65 ', head 150 y of 20 lb
There is both an Evotec LW 8eleven and an 8twelve. The 8twelve was added to the LW series before the introduction of the HD series so that people who needed a little more capacity could have it. The only difference in the models is the depth of the spool. In other words the arbor is smaller on the 8twelve. The HD, which Loop refers to as Hi-Drag but I like to think of as Heavy Duty, is more expensive due to its considerably more rugged construction and signficantly beefed up drag system. I've landed sailfish with my 11fourteen HD and believe it is easily capable of anything an Abel, Tibor, or similar reels can do and is not susceptible to the hydroplaning that many of those reels experience.
"disc drag" reels that lack sealed drag systems (like my old System 2L 5/6 trout reel, which I love) will often hydroplane--or free spool--when wet because water will make its way onto the drag surface. Until the water dries the effect is like walking onto my frozen driveway this morning with rubber soles--slip slidin' away! Usually a few good pulls will dry things out, but I rarely remember to do this after I dip my reel, so that's why I stay away from those lacking unsealed drags when I fish steelhead.
This is not a problem with click drags like the Hardy Marquis though, or tension systems like the Loop Traditionals. The Loop LW and HD reels all have sealed drags, so it isn't a problem with them either.
Ok, happened to be near a shop yesterday that has the Loops and made the mistake of asking to look at the HD 11-14. Now I see what all the fuss is about. Wish I could afford the 3/4 of a grand, b/c that is one fine piece of equipment. I'm not surprised that Juro keeps his Evotec on his desk to admire. I console myself by thinking that I'll never have to suffer the indignity of hooking myself in the ass with a lousy cast while sporting a $750 reel on a $775 spey rod. Cold comfort, I know.
Dana explained hydroplaning probably better than I could. There was a thread several months ago about some fishermen not liking Abels due to the hydroplaning they've experienced. It's always been my experience that applying a reasonable amount of drag before one enters the water pretty much eliminates the space available for the water to get into. Some have also said that condensation can also cause the problem, but again I think that having some drag tension would minimize, if not eliminate, that likelihood, too. No doubt about it, though. With sealed systems like Loop, Charlton, and Harris Solitude one is almost assured of never having the problem.
One of my favorite steelhead memories was a fish I hit just before dark at Roadside Martel. The second run kicked the pawl over on my Marquis Salmon #3 and I fought the fish with a freespooling reel. Somehow I managed to keep my wits about me and land that fish.
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