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).