Dedicated To The Smallest Of Skiffs banner

41 - 60 of 76 Posts

·
I Love microskiff.com!
Joined
·
1,025 Posts
I'm sure it was due to mass production & the availability of the Medalist. I think Pflueger got a patent on the Medalist in 1930. Lefty was always a big fan of doing more with less and convincing people to spend as little as possible to get into the game. I remember seeing a couple of those old customized Medalists at the Big Pine Flea Market back in the 1980s.

I think Fin-Nor came out with the Wedding Cake in 1967 and then soon after, Capt. Mac introduced the Seamaster.
Yeah, you're correct about the Wedding Cake in 1967. I was reading something else at the same time and 1962 came up.

I like vintage gear and have a couple old Medalists from the early-60s but I wouldn't try to tackle anything bigger than lower-slot reds with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
For most people a Allen Kracken or Lamson will do just fine for redfish and bonefish. That being said I have locked up two krackens and seen and heard of the spool fly off a lamson more than once when a big bonefish takes off. Some of the "high end" reels also have their issues. I was a shop rat for close to 4 years and still work in the industry. The only reels I never saw come back to the shop were the classic tibors, abels, and makos and personally have blown up some other brands or seen them fail first hand on redfish at that. I only own tibors now and have a riptide thats nearly older than I am. I fish less than I ever have now and honestly knowing my reel isn't going to let me down when I fish maybe 2-3 days a month means way more than it did when I fished 3-5 days a week. I also like not having to send it off for warranty if something happens, can call up Maryanne for parts, take the reel apart with a penny and fix it in 3 days if you account for shipping.
 

·
I Love microskiff.com!
Joined
·
1,208 Posts
That may have been due to their availability. Also, any serious saltwater guy using those Medalists would upgrade them. I forget the guy's name but there was a guy in Florida who made hand-machined replacement spools and upgraded some drag parts. Guys also used a small grinder and cut out a little window in the frame where they placed a piece of leather or shammy as an additional brake where you'd apply pressure to the spool with your thumb (@texasag07 did this on one of his vintage Medalists). So these weren't exactly stock reels.

Additionally, I'm a little surprised Lefty would say that because I seem to recall one of Fin-Nor's marketing points was that their fly reels were responsible for most world records beginning with their early-60's "wedding cake" models up really until Ted Jurascik introduced his "Billy Pate" reels in the 70's. I could be wrong though.
Yeah that was me, I modified the reel about 10 years ago and still fish it a decent bit in saltwater and fresh.

Mine started out as 50-60’s era reel that I chopped and used with the leather patch for years and it worked well. Then after that I added a newer rim control spool, but left the original metal latch.

It mainly gets used for my fiberglass and bamboo 7-10wt as the weight balances good. I went through a phase where it was the only reel I used for nearly a year. With normal washings and a couple drops of shimano spinning reel oil on the spindle its keeps ticking. It’s caught everything from bream to small tarpon, big jacks, bull reds, and a healthy amount of bonita.

That said I like my tibors and other high end reels a lot as well. But they all serve their purpose.
173048
173050
DFCAA4F1-AFF3-4FDC-AE79-2E6A97312AA2.jpeg
3D9E5DCF-B36B-4A42-84B1-75D3240FAD5D.jpeg
6478D193-C5B8-40D8-ACDF-AC9A3128CF12.jpeg
173052
 

·
I Love microskiff.com!
Joined
·
1,791 Posts
Yeah that was me, I modified the reel about 10 years ago and still fish it a decent bit in saltwater and fresh.

Mine started out as 50-60’s era reel that I chopped and used with the leather patch for years and it worked well. Then after that I added a newer rim control spool, but left the original metal latch.

It mainly gets used for my fiberglass and bamboo 7-10wt as the weight balances good. I went through a phase where it was the only reel I used for nearly a year. With normal washings and a couple drops of shimano spinning reel oil on the spindle its keeps ticking. It’s caught everything from bream to small tarpon, big jacks, bull reds, and a healthy amount of bonita.

That said I like my tibors and other high end reels a lot as well. But they all serve their purpose.
Wow this is awesome. Ted Williams did this mod back in the day, right? And didn't the owner at Pflueger get all pissy about it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
That may have been due to their availability. Also, any serious saltwater guy using those Medalists would upgrade them. I forget the guy's name but there was a guy in Florida who made hand-machined replacement spools and upgraded some drag parts. Guys also used a small grinder and cut out a little window in the frame where they placed a piece of leather or shammy as an additional brake where you'd apply pressure to the spool with your thumb (@texasag07 did this on one of his vintage Medalists). So these weren't exactly stock reels.

Additionally, I'm a little surprised Lefty would say that because I seem to recall one of Fin-Nor's marketing points was that their fly reels were responsible for most world records beginning with their early-60's "wedding cake" models up really until Ted Jurascik introduced his "Billy Pate" reels in the 70's. I could be wrong though.
I used a Medalist for stripers for most of the 70s and 80s. I forget the Florida guy's name too but I got some parts from him, he sold a brass ratchet to replace the plastic one, machined counterweight (nicer than gluing an old nut to the spool). There was one other thing we did with leather for the drag, didn't cut the spool and now I can't remember it, crap I'm getting old.... For stripers and bluefish it was totally adequate and I still have one for shad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Yeah that was me, I modified the reel about 10 years ago and still fish it a decent bit in saltwater and fresh.

Mine started out as 50-60’s era reel that I chopped and used with the leather patch for years and it worked well. Then after that I added a newer rim control spool, but left the original metal latch.

It mainly gets used for my fiberglass and bamboo 7-10wt as the weight balances good. I went through a phase where it was the only reel I used for nearly a year. With normal washings and a couple drops of shimano spinning reel oil on the spindle its keeps ticking. It’s caught everything from bream to small tarpon, big jacks, bull reds, and a healthy amount of bonita.

That said I like my tibors and other high end reels a lot as well. But they all serve their purpose.
View attachment 173048 View attachment 173050 View attachment 173048 View attachment 173050 View attachment 173051 View attachment 173052
That is very, very cool.
 

·
I Love microskiff.com!
Joined
·
1,208 Posts
Dan at one pfoot has been making medalist bling parts for a long time. While it looks like his website has changed and isn’t as easy to order from any more he makes some nice parts.


@K3anderson I’m not sure who the first was to do the mod, the article I saw it on was written by lefty in the 70/80’s I believe.

Here is one of lefty’s reels from a museum I saw recently online.



173068
0F380E04-2DD3-4CAC-B6AA-0BAAE4CF44A8.png
 

·
I Love microskiff.com!
Joined
·
335 Posts
Dan at one pfoot has been making medalist bling parts for a long time. While it looks like his website has changed and isn’t as easy to order from any more he makes some nice parts.

I've got a Medalist that I sent to OnePfoot back when Bill owned the company. Sent him a brand new Medalist (1494) and he did the whole makeover with sculpted pillars, line guard, reel handle, and drag parts. It turned a $35 reel into a $200 project - kinda like puttin' fancy wheels and tires on a Yugo. But it fishes great and looks good on a Granger bamboo and vintage Fenwicks. Never regretted it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Another true story.

A month or so before I retired I was with the usual group of guys at work having lunch in our cafeteria. Conversation pretty much centered on my pending retirement and getting to do more fishing. One of the guys also was a fishing buddy and he asked me if I had gotten the new reel I ordered. I said as a matter of fact it should be here today. All the group knew I took my fishing pretty serious so the conversation turned to what reel I was getting. I said I was adding another Abel to my collection. So the fishing buddy told the others that they are a "pricey and very top of the line reel." So one of the guys who was a non fisherman asked "do you mind telling us about what it costs." To which I replied well its no secret they retail for right at $900. Well the non fishing guy started to gasp and said 'are you freaking insane.....that much money for a stupid fishing reel." I just chose not to respond but another non fishing guy jumped in and said to him "John how much was that titanium road bike you just bought....wasn't it like $5000? Well John started to explain how that was "different" then realized how stupid he was sounding and finished the discussion by saying its "cool we have the jobs and make the kind of living that enables us to do the things we love." AMEN!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
361 Posts
To me it depends on the application. Need a reel for tarpon, tuna, albies, or some other fish that's absolutely going to be screaming line off your reel? It's going to need to stand up to some abuse. Need a reel for your 2 weight to chase wild brook trout in a stream? All you'll need is a line holder pretty much. So, pick the right tool for the right job. Cost is secondary imo. Will it worth the savings when you're hooked up to the dream fish and your drag blows up? Will you have needed to spend all that money to be able to collect the 30 feet of fly line you've been casting up and down the stream? Up to you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
When I started fly fishing I used pretty budget-friendly gear and often made deals for used stuff. It was fine for chasing bass and slot reds (or under) but the first time I tied into a big jack on what I thought was a pretty good Lamson reel I bought off Sierra Trading Post the thing practically blew up when put to the test. Fortunately about that time I was able to afford upgrades to my gear and I didn't hesitate.

These days I make no bones about being a Tibor guy. All of my primary rigs for 6, 8, 10, and 12wts are all Tibor- Backcountry CL-Wide, Everglades, Riptide, and Gulfstream. Eventually I'll get a Pacific for my 15wt to replace the Allen Kraken but I don't have enough chances to use it to justify it to myself right now. And I've upgrade my secondary rigs too. I'm 100% confident I'll be the point of failure in most fish I'm after (I've broken a few rods on tarpon, mainly through my mistakes but it happens with tarpon) and I know those classic Tibor reels are basically bulletproof and with proper care I know they will last almost forever. Personally, I think the only reels made today that are better than these classic Tibor are the Mako lineup but there's a point of diminishing returns, IMHO. In other words, I'm not sure the difference in performance between a similar sized Tibor and Mako would be something I'm good enough to appreciate given the increased price of the Mako over a Tibor.

And I really like the idea that when the time comes my now 10 & 6-year old boys will likely land their first tarpon on the same Tibor Gulfstream I used for my first tarpon.
This is what pretty much sold me on Mako reels 9500 and talking with Jack firsthand. Lots of good reels/choices even in the affordable options but this one I trusted to take with me when fishing Cuba with the late Captain Phil Thompson (r.i.p.).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
The Chinese are very capable of making extremely high-end quality products, the problem is American businesses wanting to make something cheap, so they can sell them and make a ton of profit

That said a fish with a couple of the max catch high-end reels just sub $200, and they are wonderful reels, But for a little bit more money on sale you can buy last year’s model Lamson, Ross, some of the Korean reels are terrific.. it really depends on what your buying
I do have to say one thing it does trouble me that some of the Orvis reels are made in China, and they retail them For over $200, I think this is a case with those wheels are not worth that money, and it’s more about the marketing then the value equation
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Eff China. A buddy of mine was the US distributor for a well known English company. They had developed some pretty decent reels for saltwater and asked me to do some field testing. They seemed like pretty decent for the price point. So I got three of them and they actually fished quite well. They asked my if I thought there was a market for them and I said yes without hesitation. So they finalized the contract with China to get the first batch built and delivered to the US.

Fast forward a year later. After many trials and tribulations (I think mostly excuses from the Chinese) the first batch of reels showed up. Absolute trash. Cleary they didn't give a shit about the product. Once their test reels passed with flying colors they just made an entire batch of crap. I don't remember how many were in that lot but it was something like a couple hundred. They were so bad they didn't even try and GIVE them away. Thankfully the parent companies contract lawyers were smart and had an escape clause once the first batch were delivered. Just chalked it up as a loss and oved on.
 
41 - 60 of 76 Posts
Top