Sunday Classic / My Favorite Bonefish Reel

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Bigger is Better Photo by Louis Cahill

Still my favorite bonefish reel.

Best of all it only cost $285

I remember standing on the beach at Andros South watching my buddy Bruce Chard teaching his annual bonefish school. Bruce was illustrating for a first timer what he should expect when he encountered a bonefish. He held the line and let the student feel how hard he should strip set, then he took off running down the beach a fast as he could. The student did a good job of clearing the line and getting Bruce on the reel but I’ll never forget the look on his face when Bruce turned and ran straight back toward him. He stood slack jawed, line piled up at his feet while Bruce and I laughed.

That’s exactly what a bonefish will do to you. They can swim thirty miles per hour and at some point, as they go ballistic and criss cross the flat they’ll head straight for you. You had better be ready to pick up some line in a hurry. The first time it happened to me I struggled. My reel wouldn’t pick up the line and I resorted to stripping it in by hand. My guide told me to, “get rid of that trout reel.” Of course, it wasn’t a trout reel but it clearly wasn’t a bonefish reel either.

The next time I went bonefishing I had to be better prepared. I knew I needed a reel with a really large arbor but didn’t relish the idea of dropping the cash on another new bonefish reel. Fortunately there was another solution. I had a Nautilus NV Ten-Eleven, a great salt water reel. I bought the Nautilus G-8 spool for it. The G stands for Giga. This spool turned my Ten-Eleven into a super large arbor eight.

It’s a brilliant product. The spool is fast and easy to change and really gives the reel some power to pick up line with it’s 4.25″ arbor. It’s highly vented so the line dries quickly, which cuts way down on the chance that you spool will corrode from holding wet line. It’s light (7.2 oz) and holds 225 yards of 30 lb backing with an eight weight line. It lets me take advantage of the awesome Nautilus drag and cuts down on line memory so less tangling on the deck. Best of all it only cost $285. Of course you can buy the reel with the G-8 spool for $670 and it’s worth it. It’s quickly become my favorite reel and I’ve had no trouble out of those bonefish since.

Don’t forget to soak you reel photo by Louis Cahill

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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