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I am in the market for a couple of new saltwater reels to match an 8 wt. and 11 wt. They will be used for both boat and wade fishing for bones, permit, triggers, etc. for the smaller reel and tarpon, GT, etc. for the larger reel. Curious to hear opinions on the Abel SDS and Nautilus NV-G specifically.

Main criteria is a sealed drag that can stand up to being exposed directly, i.e., submerged, to saltwater for several days without the facilities to provide more than a rinse off, and confidence of performance in places where replacement is not an option. For background, I have Hatch (Gen 1 with Gen 2 upgrades) currently, and am going another direction on the new reels. Also, have Abel and Tibor in unsealed versions—obviously awesome reels, but not ideal in the South Pacific or Seychelles due to the exposed drag (if you’ve ever experienced a hydroplane, you understand my situation).

Anyway, thanks in advance for recommendations.
 

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Nautilus makes a beautiful reel. In fairness, I've never owned an NV- only studied them in shops. I did have an older Nautilus for a couple seasons, but had some issues with it and moved on. Like you, I have owned a number of Hatch- love the Gen 2s I have now. I picked up 2 of the SDS last year and am really impressed with the attention to detail and drag capabilities. I dont believe you would regret going the Abel SDS route.
 

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While nobody here would likely have any experience with this option, you might also consider Nautilus' new GTX coming out soon. I had a chance to chat a bit with Nautilus' founder -Kristen Mustad- at an Expo last weekend and I believe he said this new reel is due out in March....dont hold me to that, but you might check in with them on this if you are feeling the Nautilus pull.
 

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I have both. The 8wt bonefish rod has the NV-G and recently the 11wt has the Abel SDS. I like both equally well for fishing and use, and would say it is preference and you should consider price, in your decision.

My Nautilus has seen a lot of use, little on the Abel.

Last, I would add .... if I had to buy today, if it is 10wt or less, I would buy a Danielsson. If I was jumping big fish in small areas - tarpon in the mangroves and not believing I needed miles of backing, I would still buy a Danielsson.

https://raspberryfisher.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/fly-fishing-reels-imho-post-4/

If I believe I need backing and not burden myself with weight on a 12wt, then either the Nautilus Monster or Abel SDS. The former is lower cost, so if new, it is the better purchase, but take heed that Nautilus is not into supporting spools years later, so like some fly rods they do obsolete their reels faster than Danielsson, Abel, Tibor, et cetera.

https://raspberryfisher.wordpress.com/2018/07/28/tarpon-reels/
 
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