Gear Review: Nautilus FWX Fly Reel

Feb 15, 2011

Author: Tucker Ladd

I had the opportunity to test this reel on a ton of 10lb + fish in the past few weeks (in January mind you!!!) in both fresh and saltwater, and it performed flawlessly.

What We Say:

As a big fan of the now discontinued FW series from Nautilus, I had high expectations for this redesign. I had the opportunity to test this reel on a ton of 10lb + fish in the past few weeks (in January mind you!!!) in both fresh and saltwater, and it performed flawlessly. In freshwater, this reel slowed down numerous chunky carp, which is no small feat when a 14lb carp gets into a swift downstream current! This reel is also very saltwater capable. In the marsh of Louisiana this past weekend, the FWX put the breaks on countless bulldogging redfish and black drum, keeping them out of line slicing oyster beds, and getting them to the boat quick. My only complaint about the reel is that the drag system does max out a little to soon, if you were able to get a few more turns worth, this reel could be a great light bonefish or baby tarpon reel.

Last Minute Thoughts:

Great, American made, performance and durability, at a great price!

What They Say:

The FWX series replaces the FW series that has successfully satisfied fly fishers for the last 5 years. The FWX reels differ from the FW series in that they are almost a half ounce lighter due to their new spool design, making them the lightest machined aluminum disc drag fly reels in the market. Like the NVG reels, the FWX has a Giga arbor design that promotes faster line pick up and backing drying. In addition to the advanced spool designs used in these reels, we have added a new stainless steel 1-way clutch that is housed in our proprietary TORQ-X® clutch drive that ensures instant drag engagement with no slack, allowing the retrieve direction to be easily switched, and we have converted the new reels to be push on and click tab release. Finally, one of our newest creations to come out of the Nautilus think-tank is an industry first LaserID® line identification system: We have laser etched a white spot on the back of each FWX spool so that you may write the line type and weight that you are using on that spool. Write it on with a permanent marker and wipe it off with alcohol when changing lines. Also good to use to write your name or phone number in case you lose the reel. No more washed out or lost line stickers! To come close to this quality of workmanship and performance you will likely have to spend twice as much as what these reels cost. Fresh Water Light, Salt Water Safe!

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