A limited choice

When we had to choose a reel for serious salmon fly fishing, there were basically 3 types of reel-systems on the market:

  • The majority of fly reels offered were direct drive reels. They usually score with being lightweight and at a reasonable price. However they bother with a backspinning drag knob and a clumsy drag adjustment, especially between casting and fighting mode.
  • Since 1906 antireverse reels appeared to offer a non-backspinning handle. The cost for this small improvement came with a higher price and a typically higher weight. In addition, the retrieve control of this system depends on the drag, thus further enhancing the problem of instant and precise drag adjustment.
  • In 1994 dual mode fly reels were revived t cure the retrieve control problem of antireverse reels by automatic switching to direct drive when reeling in. The clumsy drag adjustment and imposibility of instant drag change between casting and fighting mode remained unresolved problems. The complexity, heaviness and expensiveness put this drag-system last on our list.

So, no matter which reel we would have chosen, we had to compromise on operating comfort and safety. But what bothered us most, was the distraction in those very seconds of a fight. Moments that decide whether you land the catch, or don‘t. Moments of joy gone by performing hand-tricks on the reel.

Let's wish for a fly reel

While the market was stuck, we went from scratch. Searching through patent history we analyzed hundreds of solutions in fly reel history. The idea was to put all the pros in one reel system that would come without the cons. So, how would an almost ideal retrieve and drag system work like? Here is what turned out to be the hypothetic ultimate function of a fly reel:

  1. One hand intuitional retrieve and drag control
  2. Intelligent drag limit setting for tippet safety
  3. Instant switch between striping drag and fighting drag

Just 3 wishes that seemed at first almost impossible to fulfill. Regardless, there had to be a way. Many months passed. Nights of drawing, calculating and designing went by before everything fit together. The result was a concept for which in January 2006 we filed the basic one of two patent applications concerning a new retrieve and drag system that we called later: