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Post Info TOPIC: Disc vs. Click and pawl and diameter questions


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Disc vs. Click and pawl and diameter questions

Anyone have a strong opinion on which is the way to go on a 9' 5wt? I'm debating between the Leland Classic Trout reel (2.9" diameter with click and pawl) vs the Ross CLA (3.25" diameter with disc drag).  How important is that extra .35"?  As far as drag...I've been told that the click and pawl has more moving parts (so can break easier), and may be less able to handle that HUGE trout than a disc drag.


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I wouldn't say that a C&P reel has more moving parts since most of them are two pawls and a spring. It's hard to get any more simpler than that. Have you seen the innards of a Bauer drag system?

In terms of reels breaking, how many old Hardy Perfects and Lightweight series reels are still in use today? Any quality product will endure as long as it maintained properly.

In theory taller reels pull in more line. I have noticed the difference between my Abel Creek 2 (at 3.5") versus my Abel TR2 (around 3").

Don't forget that spool width has quite a bit to do with retrieval rates. Narrow spools allow line to stack faster than wider ones.

Let's be honest about things. In most conditions, I'm stripping in my fish and playing it off the rod than playing it off the reel.

Just my opinion. A quality C&P reel is not designed to slow down fish. It is designed to slow down the reel from free spooling.

With that said, I fish my five weight with a C&P reel for most trout situations. If I want additional resistance, I palm the spool.

If I am out targeting trophy sized trout, I use my six weight with a cork disk drag. That's where I am looking for stopping power.

If you plan on using your five weight for every trout situation, you may want to consider a disk drag. The system may be overkill in many cases, but at least you will have the additional stopping power if it is needed.



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Let me add my unbiased .02... haha.

Think of a fly reel as a wheel on a car, bike, skateboard, etc. Lets first start with drag, then go into retrieve.

Drag function - The larger the wheel the more consistent the drag pressure will be. This is why a large arbor reel is important in sal****er or any situation where a fish will take considerable line off the reel. As the line leaves the wheel the diameter gets smaller and smaller. As it gets smaller say on a click/pawl standard arbor it actually increases the pressure as it takes more force to turn that smaller and smaller wheel. In sal****er once you set your drag you don't necessarily want it self tightening when the fish is 150+ yards away. You may break off. However, in a trout reel I actually see some benefits as it's almost self tightening as a fish runs and takes more line. Once again the wheel gets smaller. A larger arbor reel will stay more consistent regardless of the breaking material whether it's a cork disk, synthetic disc or click/pawl.

Incoming retrieve - Similar but different. Incoming retrieve per revolution of the handle is greater on a large arbor vs standard arbor until you have most of the line on the reel in the click pawl then they are near the same. Remember, when the fly line is sitting on the rigged reel it's on the outer edge nearing the frames diameter and performance remains pretty much the same both on retrieve and outgoing drag. The noticeable changes only start to change as more and more line leaves each reel.

Two last notes. 1, although the click pawl is more exposed it's simpler is design than a disc drag. The CLA doesn't have a sealed drag so you have to watch out for corrosion and issues when fishing in freezing conditions. Both rare on a trout reel. 2, A click pawl is usually a set it and forget style drag. You can rip line off the reel and it won't free spool where with a disc drag often you will get tangles or loose line if the drag isn't set up in the sweet spot.

Oh and one last thing. Remember regardless of the drag type and setting your hand on the palm edge of the spool or fingers on the fly line have the best instantaneous drag far beyond any reel. You can adjust so much with those two things.

I say get both!


Leland Fly Fishing Ranch 24120 Arnold Dr. Sonoma, CA 95476

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