My Bonefishing Reels

Since I was talking a bit about reels, I figure I should let you know what I actually am throwing out there…

My primary bonefishing reel is the TFO LA 375.  It is a good, solid reel with a composite disk drag.  I used this on my last trip to the Bahamas (Jan. 2010) and had no complaints (and only compliments) on that reel.  It retails for about $290.

I also have a Ross CLA that I tend to have my 9 wt. line on.  I have not hooked that many fish on this reel and haven’t really given it a real test in the salt.  It retails for about $230.

If I’m going lighter, I tend toward my Okuma Helios.  It is the least expensive of the group and cost me about $173.

I’ve had two spectacular reel meltdowns… the first was a Redington, I don’t even know the model number.  I was on Kauai and the drag just… well… stopped working and I couldn’t figure out  why.  I didn’t even send it back.  This was bought about 8 years ago and wasn’t even a large arbor reel.  I recall it doing well on the Babine River for big steelhead, but after 2 days in the salt it just crapped out.

The other reel implosion was a Cabela’s large arbor something-or-other that chunked out on me down in Mexico with a decent jack on the line.  I landed the jack and tossed the reel.  It was TOAST.

Recently I got to play with a Nautilus NV and Orvis Mirage down in Belize and both are just fantastic pieces of fishing art.

There are so many reels on my wish-list… that Nautilus was just damn sexy.  My friend Shane loves is Galvan Torque 8.

The number one reel I’d like is probably a Zane Ti from Hardy… since it sells for $8,000.  I’d like it so I can sell it and buy a Nautilus and a Galvan, a Sage Xi3 and Orvis Hydros and have enough left over to head to Andros South for a week (and leave a big tip).

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  1. $8,000 ??? Wow. I have been fishing Ross Canyons, 5, 6 and 12.
    The 5 has a high pitch metal on metal sound when I have a larger fish running out a lot of line. Need to get back to Ross and have them look it over. There is a lot of great stuff in the past 10 years that is affordable in the TFO line…..rods, reels,……..I was part of a guide program so there was a real (pun) discount on the Ross reels…..and offer I could not refuse….

  2. merry christmas to you and your family.

  3. Cheer Chris, and you you and yours.

  4. Eight large is a bit crazy, but I bet they don’t sell many of those… feels like a proof of concept kind of thing. There are a lot of affordable reels out there these days, for sure. I have to remind folks that people used to catch bones on Pfleugers.

  5. My favorite bonefish reel remains my Galvan Torque 8’s. They remain as solid as the day I bought them. The purr of the drag is one of the sweetest sounds ever. I also use Okuma Helios 8-9, and though not the same solid feel as the Galvan, it nonetheless served me well for bonesfish as well as stripers, bonito, barracuda, etc. It is a LOT of reel for the price. I think that is what attracted me to it in the first place; a super lightweight design, quality drag, and awesome looks for less than $200.

    I also use on ocassion G. Loomis East Fork 7-8 reels for 6-7# line but they don’t retrieve as much line per crank as I would have preferred plus that tiny wood handle is uncomfortable. Super smooth drag but not quite the reel I hoped for. I have the 9-10 but it is too big / heavy for bones. I suspect an 8-9 would have been perfect!

    Happy Holidays all,


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