It's so new it's not even done yet. They are
still working on which colors will be available.
It's so new that most of the competition has not
even heard of it yet. It's so new that even some
of the world-wide patents are not quite issued yet
either. And there has never been one like it, never.
That's kind of hard to say about a fly reel. We hear
it way too often in fact. But this is a completely
different idea fabricated in Europe into a concept
shattering reel. One of the biggest things to happen
to the fly reel world was the exposed rim, so you
could 'palm' the edge with your fingers to control
the amount of drag exerted on a running fish. Then
constantly engaged drags hit the market along with
anti-reverse and a small host of other features.
Mostly that is what they were, features. This reel
is not a features gadget. It is a whole new concept
in fly reel design.
I can't give you a 'Field-test,' or a 'Product Review,'
now, I have not fished it, abused it, torn it all to
heck, left it on the dashboard for a few months nor
plunged it into a bucket of sand and salt water. But
one thing is for sure.
I have one here right now, a prototype, and I can safely
say, I have never seen anything like it. It is anti-reverse,
or not, your choice instantly. You can palm the rim, or
not, you can reverse it easily, no tools required. You
can adjust the drag with a small twist of a knob on the
back side of the frame. Did I mention that that is just
the drag on the spool? Drag on the spool you ask? Let
me try to explain.
You are after a fish running about eight pounds. You set
the main drag so the fly line comes off the spool just
at the point where the reel will not over-run. That is
what you would do with any reel. Now you strip off some
and set the small adjustment knob on the handle side of
the reel. This will allow the reel to be going out even
if the handle is not moving. This is not a positive
stop, it is easily and infinitely adjustable. You can
set it to slip as little or as much as you might like.
Ok, so now you have a fish on line. You grab the main
knob handle and start reeling. The fish is still going
out and you are cranking and nothing is happening. Gently
'squeeze' the handle. That's right, squeeze it. On
both sides of the crank are two pads which when squeezed
apply pressure on the main side of the spool and add more
and more pressure (drag) the more you squeeze. The fish
makes another run, stop squeezing, or just relax the
pressure some. Complete control over drag for the first
time in fly-fishing history.
Now, you can't get these yet, they will be introduced in
Europe at the EFFTEX show in late June, 2003, then at the
main fly fishing dealer show in the US in Denver in
September. I have read one of the actual 'field-testers'
reports and after catching and landing a whole bunch of
dandy Canadian rainbows from two to six pounds and not
once breaking a tippet, he is sold solid.
Like I said, it is not out yet, but it will be available
this summer and will make a large splash in the trades.
It is of course bar-stock aluminum, extremely well machined,
nice looking, appropriately ported, extremely light weight
and should retail for about $370.
This reel I will be returning soon and it will be replaced
with a production model in time for our 'Idaho Fish-In'
this fall, perhaps the 'International BoneFish Tournament'
in the Bahamas in October and the first ever 'BoneFish-In'
on South Andros in November. I'll try to do a 'Product
Review' as soon as I can get out of here and fish one.
By the way, if you already have a Marryat CMR reel, you
can just buy the spool, that's where all the drag controls
are, they interchange, remember this is the
Marryat CMR ON-LINE...
and you saw it here first!
~ James Castwell