Monday, 2 August 2010

A bargain reel


The new Flextec Aerotec (couldn’t be anything else could it) 3/4 #

Got one, only because it looked nicer than the excellent larger Caimores that are very similar and not available.

Now I can start to speak from experience. With a modern rod you can not really look into the engineering. Sure, you can look at the quality of the fittings, spec etc. But you have to take it out for a test drive or two. A reel is a bit different.

In coarse fishing, I used most modern reels. The Shimanos were without a doubt the best and I foolishly sold them in favour for some high tec reels that had obviously never been field tested but had nine million bearings in them and gold plated bail arms. The worst design but the best engineered and looking reels I have ever owned. Make this a lesson folks.

Now I’m going to make a very controversial comment about fly reels. In all the years I have been fishing I have only had two fixed spool reels break. One was an Intrepid and the other was an original Cardinal 66. But they were relatively complex compared to a fly reel which is based on a simple centre pin after all. Surely fly reels can’t let you down.

Well! Either stick to cheap sub £20 models that will never let you down or be very careful.

In the last year I have had so much trouble with top aluminium jobs, not one but two that I have finally got rid. Daft faults to do with the reel removal mechanism. But lost me fish on the reservoirs all the same.

About 8 months ago I bought two Caimore aluminium reels to replace the rubbishy expensive ones. I have to say they are faultless. I then bought a small version, once again; faultless.

I also had problems with a medium priced reel from a well known manufacturer. No it did not go wrong but once again poor design let it down. Line trap this time.
I was with someone recently who was using a faulty top of the range reel and the clutch had gone. Fancy that, you have worn out the clutch on a reel! Oh bliss!  Sadly, this again was a manufacturing error.

So, I needed a new reel as a backup to my 3/4Caimore. Actually not a back up. I had 4# line on the Caimore and had just had my little 6 footer off Steve Parton for the Manifold that I needed a 3 weight for. I had no intention of using the line trap model anymore.
I was going to buy another Caimore or spare spool but my model had been discontinued.
I then came across the Flextec Aerotec which seemed to have the same spec but with spare spool.
Bought it off EBay for £51 including postage. Very twee, very well made just like the Caimore but smaller. Great clutch if you use one, and I do! Showed it to an engineer friend who was amazed at the quality. Had to use mono for backing as this is a little reel but what the heck.

On went a 4# on one spool and a3# on the other. Clutch had a great work out at Bakewell and it is quiet too.

Brilliant reel for the price.

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