Monday, July 25, 2011

Gear Review - Elkhorn MA Series Reel, and Elkhorn Fly Line

Well, I finally made it down to Gunnison, and boy was it interesting.  Not only was I amazed by the sheer number of trout in the Taylor River, but their "pickiness" was intense. I do have pictures, but they will be arriving in the email tomorrow seeing as they were taken on a friends camera.  More of the details of my trip will come soon, as well as the pictures. 

The real story behind this post is a nifty little piece of gear that performed amazingly on the Taylor River. I stopped in Elkhorn fly shop on the way down to longmont on friday to pick up the new reel I ordered for my six weight.  I must admit, I was skeptical at first. I was going to be using the Elkhorn MA-3 reel, paired with the Elkhorn house brand fly line.  Everyone worries about having the name brand stuff, so I wanted to prove that Elkhorn can perform as well as brands such as bauer, sage, etc.

The MA series of reels has a sealed disk drag system, making the maintenance almost nothing. The silky smooth cork drag and huge arbor enable swift line pickup, making it the perfect reel for big fish.  The only thing that gets a slight bit annoying is having to loosen the drag completely each night in order to prevent the cork from warping, but hey, it is most definitely worth the few seconds that it takes to do this in the long run.  Other than that, The reel performs flawlessly.  It is also super aesthetically pleasing, which gives some people a special "Warm Feeling" inside.  For a maximum price of only $239, it simply cannot be beat. 

Now, the fly line. I was most worried about how this line would cast, turn over big flies, etc.  Well, after literally abusing the line on all different types of water, I can honestly say that it is the BEST fly line I have ever used. Period.  First off, the line comes in an olive, and buckskin coloration for stealthiness, which is key for some of the larger, spookier fish.  Also, the line has a slick coating, enabling it to shoot through the guides like a bullet fresh out of the barrel.  The big selling points for me on this line were floatation, and its ability to turn over heavy flies. I was able to throw sex dungeon streamers with no problem whatsoever, and was amazed at the line's ability to accomplish such a thing.  Next was the floatation factor. Most floating lines have a tendency to sink under the current, or with the heavy weight of a big streamer. Not this line.  No matter what, it was always riding high above the water, and keeping my streamers from sinking any deeper than the length of my leader.  It is truly an amazing line, and sells for under $70, the typical cost of a name brand fly line.

Overall, this is hands down the best casting rig that I have fished in quite awhile.  The reel's silky smooth, maintenance free drag, and the line's ultra slick coating, drab color, and amazing floatation make  this the best reel-line combo out there.  The fact that every one of their rods, reels, and lines are made right here in Loveland, CO. is also pretty sweet.  All of their rods and reels come with a lifetime warranty, and are handcrafted with exceptional quality.  Check out their awesome website here! I seriously encourage all of you to head down to Elkhorn sometime and check out equipment, stock up on fly tying materials, browse through their excellent collection of fly patterns, and share some of your latest fishing stories!  If there are any specific questions about the reel, line, shop, or anything else, leave a comment, and I will be happy to answer!


(And no, I am not a rep for Elkhorn...just a customer that is very satisfied with his purchase, and wants others to experience the magic of Elkhorn equipment).

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