Feb 11

Saltwater Reel Testing – It is ON!

Have you ever wondered how the different reels really stack up?

Sure, I’ve read field testing reports, but that is a very uneven way to really test reels.  Even if you had a great day of fishing, how much of a workout did the reel really get?

What happens when you get the reel wet or drop it in the sand?  Will it still handle the big pulls after you drop it off the table after your 7th Kalik?  All reels work great on the first pull.  How about the 100th?

Well… I figure I’m going to find out and I’m going to tell you all how it goes.

I’ve begun soliciting reels to undergo a battery of tests, all off the water, and I’m going to create a page for those tests and their results.

I’m still working out the kinks, but the initial response from reel makers has been really good.  So far I have positive responses from Sage, Redington (they pulled out, which is a bummer), Orvis, Nautilus, Able, Allen, Tibor, Okuma and Loop (add Ross to the mix) with a flood of other emails and phone calls in to just about every reel maker I could think of with a saltwater reel suitable for an 8 wt. (Hatch Reels became the first to decline today… bummer)

I have zero qualification to be doing this.  I’m just curious and I have this blog as a platform so I’m going for it.

None of the reels will be kept by yours truly, sad to say. I imagined it would be easier to get folks to send me reels if they didn’t know I was just trying to score free gear it didn’t look like I was just trying to score a free gear.

I’m putting the finishing touches on exactly how I’m going to carry these tests out so when the first one gets here I’ll be ready to roll.  I put together the set-up for doing the mechanical pulls and this is the first trial run with my newly acquired Lamson Lightspeed 4 (which is really mine).  I think this is going to work.

In the immortal words of Eric Cantona… “Watch this space”

My wife was quick to point out that not only am I not keeping any of the reels… I won’t be making any money by doing all of this work and I’ll get to foot the shipping to send all the gear back.  Such is life.  I’m still excited

Yeah… I’m going to enjoy this…


I should note, for the reel makers – mechanical pulls with the drill will be done in the range you might expect from a big bone or big Jack… 100-200 feet at a time (I won’t run the drag for 10 minutes straight or anything like that).

Feb 11


OK… things…

Looks like things are maybe not so bleak in Aitutaki and I hope that is the conclusion I’ll have when things are all rolled out…

Bjorn hi

There are detailed criteria, weightings and conditions outlined in the regulations. Much of the vetting and decision making will be the responsibility of the bonefish management committee, including what limits to put on the number of guides (the number recommended was 5). Obviously the regulations  weren’t designed to fit around individuals or the bonefish association but if applied properly it can lead to a fair and sustainable industry for the guides.

The core requirements for guides are (1) CI Boat Master Certificate, (2) Red Cross First Aid Certificate and (3) CI Tourism Accreditation. MMR has funded all these courses and others e.g. guide fishing training and small business management, although just 2 persons have completed the requirements so far.

Regards, Ben

There remain some questions about who exactly is on the committee and how they get there… but, this is a start.

Another thing… I like art… at least when it comes to fishing/fish art.  I’m still wondering how I feel about Bonefish Gyotaku for which, I think, the bonefish likely gave its life.  You can buy this on Etsy.

Bonefish as art

Another thing… speaking of fishing art… there is a new member to my little family… a Lamson Lightspeed 4… destined to tangle with cuda’s and I hope some tarpon, Dorado and other beeg fish swimming out in the ocean.

Isn't she beautiful? Pretty girl.

I’ve never caught a big cuda.  I hope to change that in March down at Andros South and that is the reel I’ll have on… well… a rod to be named later.