I’ve used this reel now for several or so weeks on both lake & river. My memories of the similarly levered Vivarelli and the spring wind of the Mitchell 710 are all but forgotten so it’s been a delight to test an innovative reel with a more modern appeal.
First things first… here’s a few of the technical specifications
- Construction: Aluminium frame, spool & assembly. S/Steel gearing
- Weight: 6.51 ounces
- Diameter: 8.97cm
- Retrieve Capacity: 1.2mtrs by pull… Ratio 1:5,5
- Drag: Conic Multi Disc / Progressive Inertia
- Line Rating: # 0 > # 7
- Backing Capacity: #5 = 100mtrs … #6 = 60mtrs … #7 = 30mtrs
A nice modern looking lever action fly reel.
Drag is a rim exposed wheel for simple adjustment using either hand.
Spool change is easy with a push button Clip lock/release. Everything well put together and secure so there’s nothing to drop off and lose.
The good folk at thinkfish have already provided a number of video snips with the Bold Reel in action… here’s a spool change
A spool comfortably loaded with 80mtrs of 30lb test Dacron backing and a 90ft Snowbee XS #6 weight forward floating fly line – with room to spare
Lever alignment allows for both left and right hand use.
Reel foot adjustment to fine tune the position of the lever.
Adjust for perfect reach – below with variables for lever position at rest.
Adjust for ease of engagement – below with variables at optimum pull.
So on to its practical use & fishing…
Using a favoured rod, the reel (6.51oz unloaded) balanced my 10ft #2 perfectly without needing the aid of my usual go to attachment ‘the Ross Balance’…
Lever adjusted at the reel foot perfectly for ease of reach & pull with nothing more than a finger
Line guide eradicates tangles during a speedy retrieve – important!
So what feels different about this reel when fishing? in a word ‘nothing’… which is a good thing, you pull the line off the reel to start fishing in the same manner as with any other reel you care to own, nothing about the way you cast or fish will change in any way.
Once you’ve started concentrating on your fishing you’ll forget it’s even there, it’s only once you’ve drawn slack line and hooked into a fish will you almost instinctively bring your hand up and start to strip or reel in ??? only then realising that it’s lever operated.
‘It will happen a few times but you soon get used to it’
The line retrieval of this reel is rapid, no matter how much slack line you have at your feet or trailing in the water, this swallows it up and gets you playing the fish off the reel within a matter of seconds. I was pleasantly surprised as to how well displaced the line was during it’s speedy return, even more so that once returned, the coils of line were not overly slack or unmanageable on the spool.
Here’s a couple of Bold enthusiasts fly fishing to demonstrate
When playing fish it’s important not to do so directly off the lever, don’t be tempted to keep engaging the lever under the weight of the fish, I tried this as an exercise… not only will the lever mechanism become difficult to use, you’ll also here a ‘ping’… you’ve just lost your leader, fly & your fish. Lower the rod whilst engaging the lever to recover the fly line keeping pressure on the fish, then lift the rod to draw your catch ever closer, repeating as necessary.
Here’s another clip from thinkfish showing the method to adopt
The drag system I wouldn’t describe as having any micro adjustment as such, when setting up it almost feels it’s either On or Off, it took a half turn of the drag button to feel any meaningful resistance… once engaged and set it does however come into its own when playing the fish, the progressive inertia improves the more the fish pulls on the line… until of course it finally succumbs.
On the whole this is an innovative & impressive reel, once I got used to the lever system I enjoyed using it very much, especially on the river… I even managed to cajole a few guys into giving it a try with great success, Now for the long term journey to see how robust it is.
Finally… a video from thinkfish that brings it all together
For more information and dealers – thinkfish