South Bay Sesh 10/13...and a used reel recommendation.

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing' started by CraigSmith, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. CraigSmith

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    South SD bay session with Tomáso this morning. First Tim out for me for about 4 weeks due to various reasons.

    On the water by 0700 and off at noon. A little fall chill to start the morning but warm by mid morning.

    Tomáso started with a plastic and was on bass immediately. I started with a fly and was immediately on nothing. Tomáso caught 7 or 8 fish before I got a grab. Since we knew they were chewing curl tail grubs ( when don’t they) I opted to stay with the fly. Besides, I was too lazy to reach down and grab my bait caster.

    Anyway I started to get my share of grabs. There were a few periods where grabs came easy on the fly but not at all on they fly. There were plenty of periods were the fly got bit nearly every cast. I stayed with the fly all morning while Tomáso switched back and forth.

    Well over 2 dozen to the boat for me (3 dozen ish) and more for Tomáso with his alternating combo of fly and plastic.

    Bass ranged from 6 to 14 inches.

    Exactly 1 corvina each.

    I fished and orange/white clouser minnow all day. When Tomáso was on the fly he used a light grey (almost white) fly which the bass ate heartily.

    A couple of images just in case no one has ever seen a spotted bay bass or shortfin corvina.



    Reel in image below is a Scientific Anglers System 2 model 67 reel. These were made from the late 1980’s to about 2010. At different times the cosmetics of the reels changed. The earliest ones had solid spools and frames. Later they ported ( put holes) the spools. The last versions had ported frames too. There were also slight changes in the finish. The 67, 78, and 89 versions are great bay and surf reels. I use all three versions on my 6 and 7 wt rods. The exposed drag is very easy to clean and service. Frame is a very durable cast aluminum and is a full frame or full cage design. I have used the 89 and 1011 models around the kelp beds. The 1011 even for yellowtail, skipjack, and yellowfin tuna.

    There was also a 2L design that was slightly lighter. It has the open frame design used on most reels today and smaller drag pads but still fine for bay and surf.

    The 2 and 2L spools are not interchangeable. For the System 2 reels the spools from the older reels fit the newer reels, at least every one I have checked. For the System 2L reels I think there was some variation in spool size over the years.

    You can usually find these reels in pretty good condition on eBay from $50 to $100, often with an extra spool. Original retail was $130 to $200. Great reels 10, 20, and 30 years ago. Not large arbor and not sealed drag. Just a great product.

    They are perhaps the best bang for buck you can get in a used reel that will hold up in the salt.

    Typical bass for the day.

    9104B8BD-78A8-4121-8F3E-4E3E1E2550BE.jpeg

    average corvina
    20D8F3FA-CE2D-4631-B6A6-C8AC9CA5B8B2.jpeg
     
    #1 CraigSmith, Oct 13, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  2. CON KSO

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    I must have just missed you guys - I got a bit of a later start (8am) because I couldn't find my phone. I launched out of Pepper Park and went directly to Zuniga and kelp off Point Loma. At this point I'm having more fun joyriding in my new skiff than I am actually fishing... plus I have to figure out this whole boat fishing thing. Got a few fish at the jetty, nothing out at the kelp.

    Thanks for the tip on the reel - I'm going to keep my eye out for those big versions of that reel. I need big, cheap reliable reels that hold at least 100 yards of backing to leave down in Southern Baja. Currently, I buy up everybody's used 11-12wt sized Behemoth reels (frequently with nice backing and lines on them... usually for around $100!) and leave them so that I don't have to check any lines or reels etc. when I fly Volaris to Baja. The Behemoths are nice reels but I find them to be easily bent, very susceptible to incidental damage that bends them out of commission.

    I'm finding the marketing push for big, burly drags kind of amusing... I have these Behemoths down there with these beefy drags and find that I never crank them down to max stopping power - much easier to put a palm on the spinning reel (gloved! and keep your fingers out of the way of the damn handle) with moderate drag on a hot fish... and let them run.

    So these reels sound great. I'd take them apart, clean them out, dry 'em and them spray the whole thing with some lube and pack 'em away 'til I show up again.

    Gonna be on the hunt for the big versions. Please lemme know if you stumble across any of those big models... oh, and I'm a cheap *** for reels so 100 bucks and below is my sweet spot.
     
  3. Baja_Traveler

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    Confirmed - CON KSO is definitely a cheap *** for reels...

    And how come you didn't tell me you were headed out to Zuniga? I could have met you there in the Solo Skiff...
     
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  4. Mogambo

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    I haven’t done much fly fishing in years, but back when I did it was for nesting bass in the tules with fluffy deer hair bugs. I have an old Martin 72. Is that the size you guys are taking about?
     
  5. CraigSmith

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    We launched at J Street.

    No one needs 20lb of drag on a fly reel. Or even 12. 4lb is plenty, even for sailfish. I have caught plenty of YFT on a Ross Saltwater V reel from the 1990s. It only has a bit over 2lb drag max.

    The SA System II reels are Very tough as long as the spool is on the frame. If the spool is off, the edge of the cage can bend if dropped and it its just right (as I proved to my self recently) If spool is on the frame then the spool edge protects it.

    Switching direction of retrieve on these reels is very easy. The one way bearing that is integrated with the stainless steel drag disc just needs to be flipped.

    The one disadvantage of these reels is that they are smaller diameter than more recent reels. For example the 1011 (10/11 weight) model is about 3.75" diameter - some 6wt reels are that size now. Of course the 1011 System 2 holds a lot more backing. 3.75" diameter was consistent with diameter of a 10/11 wt size reel at the time it was designed.

    The System 2 reels were popular with a lot of folks who could spring for a Billy Pate, SeaMaster, FinNor, Tibor etc. There is a potential for failure in the drag system, but that is the difference between a reel that retailed in the mid $100s compared to something that was 4-5 times as much.

    The biggest System 2 reel is a 1213 size. I think it was 4" in diameter. This size is popular with the Spey crowd so they tend to sell for more than the smaller sizes. Usually a bit over $100 for a use reel and $150-$175 for reel and spare spool.

    Scientific Anglers also made a Large Arbor version for a few years around 2005 but I think that topped out at the 10wt size. They also cost more and were not popular. Also a nice reel. I haven't seen many on the used market, probably because they were not sold for many years and were not sexy new designs with respect to the drag system. These would be listed as the System 2LA model, which is not the same as the System 2L model.
     
    #5 CraigSmith, Oct 14, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  6. CraigSmith

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    Nice reel but on the smallish side for ocean stuff. And definitely wouldn't hold up the big boys out in the blue. Not very saltwater resistant though.

    Cool classic reel though and still perfectly fine for bass fishing in the freshwater.
     
  7. Mogambo

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    Thanks
     
  8. CraigSmith

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    Historically Martin 72 reels were used in Saltwater by anglers who couldn't afford better. It had a good drag but the multiplier retrieve system required diligent care when used in the salt. They were also popular with Salmon and Steelhead anglers. The multiplier function (2.5 to 1 retrieve I think) helped pick up loose line quickly but was a disadvantage when trying to crank against large fish.

    Today people think of gear with the Martin label being low quality foreign made stuff. But Martin, when its manufacturing was based in the USA, made some pretty good gear, including these Martin 72 reel along with other fly and non-fly reels. USA made Martin 72 reels in good condition often sell for well over $150 on the used market. Have seen them at the swap meet for $5 too.
     
  9. CON KSO

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    hahahahaha yep - I put my money into tequila, beer, gas and tacos! Sorry man - I will let you know next time for sure... I got a barracuda, 2 calico and 3 mackeral out there... tough to fish on a boat - easier (and more effective) from a Hobie yak.... but I'm working on it.
     
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