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Semi automatic reels

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CraigB
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:58 pm

Semi automatic reels

#1

Post by CraigB » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:30 pm

I fish with a semiautomatic reel (Vivarelli) because I have one arm. I also can use a conventional reel because I have a Rexfly harness. (Anyone you know who fishes or wants to fish with one arm please have them get this piece of equipment. It was a game changer for me. Available on Rexfly.com). I have found that for saltwater when I need to strip to catch a fish that the automatic reel works best because I can strip with it. (For trout in streams when you are just drifting and mending a conventional reel works fine for me). I’m looking for a large arbor reel that can hold an 8wt line and maybe even a nine wt if I can go Tarpon fishing some time. I’m looking for advice on a good reel for this type of fishing. I did discover the Peux reel and the manufacturer said the reel is large enough for an 8wt. It is a freshwater reel but they said it should be fine if it’s rinsed after fishing. I’d like some feedback on that also. Can you use a freshwater reel for salt water fishing. I’d be using it a few weeks a year at the most.

Finally, does anyone know is the Franco Vivarelli reel still being made? Are they still in business? I haven’t been able to reach them or find their website.
Thanks everyone.
CraigB

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Paul Arden
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Re: Semi automatic reels

#2

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:38 pm

Hi Craig,

I tried contacting Vivarelli some years ago and also had no reply - they were in business back then apparently! I would think that a freshwater reel should be reasonably ok in the salt so long as it is cleaned and oiled religiously. Most quality freshwater reels are anodised, so it's really about the drag and components. Mind you, in the case of an automatic reel this will be more difficult to clean.

I'll send a few emails.

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Magnus
Posts: 308
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Re: Semi automatic reels

#3

Post by Magnus » Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:22 pm

Hi Craig
Peux know their stuff IMHO - better made than Vivarelli which could be rough and fragile. I think Vivarelli have closed.
By the way the place to research this is FlyReelMania website which lists almost all reel makers ever. Most of the makers of Semi-Auto reels they list are 'off' meaning closed, but older reels may still be available second hand. JMC also make semi-automatic reels, two models, both too small for your purposes. BAM and a very few others still seem to make semi-auto reels but all tend to be small.
I have dim memories of a clockwork reel, lever operated to pick up line, which was big enough for seatrout fishing - line size would be enough for bonefish? Anyone recall?

"It is a freshwater reel but they said it should be fine if it’s rinsed after fishing. I’d like some feedback on that also."
Yes reels for freshwater can be used in salt, they may not last as long as a reel designed for salt. The Peux reels I have are anodized, meaning they have a hard coloured surface anodized on to the aluminium, that is as much as any saltwater reel has protecting the main parts from saltwater. Scratch that surface and saltwater gets to bare aluminium and corrodes. (I've one semi-auto Peux and one geared - both far too small for your purposes - fine for river fishing. They list a Fulgor for a #6 line, that capacity is far too little for a saltwater #8 and backing. Did they point you to another semi-auto?)
All reels, including reels designed for saltwater, should be washed with fresh water after use to prevent grit and salt buildups. Most lodges have you hose down rods and reels at the end of the day.
Peux reels are complicated geared gadgets, water, salt and sand can get inside and cause problems. Good saltwater reels tend to be designed so sand and water are kept out (sealed drag) or are easy to wash out and or disassemble and wash out, and they tend not to have fine gears or fine tolerances between moving parts - so grit can't simply jam them up. Short version - I think the Peux could do your job - it's not ideal.

And finally, personally I would not tackle tarpon with an #8, even baby tarpon. Bonefish, yep sure.

Magnus
"Actually I can't because you are right! " Paul Arden 8/6/2019

Magnus
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Re: Semi automatic reels

#4

Post by Magnus » Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:36 pm

That clockwork auto reel is the Pfleuger 1195 - discontinued long ago but some secondhand are around. Still too small for saltwater.


"Actually I can't because you are right! " Paul Arden 8/6/2019

CraigB
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Re: Semi automatic reels

#5

Post by CraigB » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:01 pm

Yes the reel that Peux recommended was the Fulgor 03. The person who answered my email inquiry sent a picture of the reel with a #9wt line on it. It didn’t fit backing but I figure if I get something that takes all that line we’ll lets just say that be a first! So it looks like that the Peux Fulgor would work. Before I spent the $ was just wanting to get feedback on the Peux reels. Also Boldfish and ATP make semiautomatic reels. Wondered about their quality and if they would be big enough. Are you familiar with those? I was impressed with how quickly Peux answered my inquiry and their follow up in general. Thank you for your help. CraigB

CraigB
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Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:58 pm

Re: Semi automatic reels

#6

Post by CraigB » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:06 pm

It’s a Thinkfish reel not Boldfish. That website has quite a few semi automatic manufacturers on it. I’ll check it out. TU!!

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Paul Arden
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Re: Semi automatic reels

#7

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:34 pm

One way of dealing with the backing problem, Craig, would be to shorten the line. Most flylines are 90 or 100 feet. Most sight fishing shots are considerably less than that. You could probably cut the line back to around 70ft and instead of running line have backing. It’s still not perfect of course!

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Paul Arden
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Re: Semi automatic reels

#8

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:02 pm

Incidentally I don’t think it would be impossible to have one custom made. There are a few small reel manufacturers who basically build reels in their sheds - but I don’t know any who build automatics. I’m not sure about where you live but a small machine shop might be able to build one, perhaps by modifying an existing reel. The spring concept might be difficult but a lever action shouldn’t be that complicated. There are a few small machine shops where I live - and man these guys fix anything. If we can find some plans I could knock on a few doors. Not promising anything but happy to ask around. I think it would be quite fun actually :) They already think I’m a bit mad!

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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CraigB
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Re: Semi automatic reels

#9

Post by CraigB » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:10 pm

Well educate me. What’s the difference between having backing vs fly line?
I live in the US (Ky) and although making one sounds interesting let’s see what the feedback is from everyone. I think I could give the Peux reel a try. I’m curious to hear if Vivarelli is still in business. They made a model that says could handle an 8wt line. But if they aren’t in business I wouldn’t want to get one unless it was a really good deal. There is a place in England that I saw sells them.

Magnus
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Re: Semi automatic reels

#10

Post by Magnus » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:26 pm

Thinkfish is not trading any longer. They made a reel with about enough capacity the Bold was for 5 to 7 lines, more 5 than #7 if you want backing. For fast fish, saltwater fish are faster and stronger than freshwater fish, you want a fly line and backing - usual think for bonefish is a flyline an 200yrds of backing. I've had bonefish take a full line and a lot of backing in one run, never 200yds which is the point of having that length of backing loaded on a reel.

I have the Fulgor 3 here - I'll load an #8 line now.

Magnus
"Actually I can't because you are right! " Paul Arden 8/6/2019

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