If you’ve ever been in the market for a reel, chances are you’ve read or been told about a product’s drag. Drag is no doubt an important tool for any situation where you might find yourself fighting a fish on the reel, but this feature is too often portrayed in the wrong way to anglers. If I had a dollar for every time somebody showing me a new reel cranked the drag down all the way and handed it to me to test out… I wouldn’t be rich but I could definitely buy a couple extra spools of tippet or something. Anyway, it’s enough to have noticed.
Fly fishing for tuna has always been on my radar. With bursts of speed up to 30 miles an hour, tuna are an exhilarating gamefish. After conducting some research I found out that San Diego is the perfect place for catching schoolie size bluefin and yellowfin tuna on fly tackle. By schoolie I mean 50 lbs and under, which by all means is a huge fish on fly.
Although it can take some time to hook a fish, the battle is no joke. Whenever I hook an albie from shore, I wonder if I have enough backing. The first minute of the fight, I hold my rod as the drag screams, and I pray for the fish to slow down. Any line I can get back on the reel is dumped back out. As my fly reel spins at a million miles an hour, the Albie eventually changes direction and comes right at me. Within a split second, I must regain all of the line I lost to remain tight to the fish. While I usually think it's the end, the fish turns sideways and run parallel to the beach.
Autumn can certainly shake up your trout playbook, but embracing the change is a challenge that can provide fantastic fishing before the cold really sets in. Here’s a few tips I found myself coming back to on this adventure for DIY Maine Brook Trout
So if you ask me, the holy grail of fly reel design is an extremely powerful drag that’s also incredibly smooth. That’s what the Spray has…lock down strength and virtually no startup inertia, ideal for targeting big fish. The drag is also fully sealed with our Gasket Drag System, so it’s protected from the elements and maintenance free. It has a massive arbor for top-end line retrieval rates, it’s extremely light weight and strong, and it holds a ton of line capacity. Top it off with some new smart solutions like a rounded reel foot so you can wrap your line around your reel without kinks, a pass-through hole in the reel foot to serve as a hook keeper, and a flattened out counter-balance to reduce tangling and you’ve got one hell of a fly reel.
Why I Fish Cheeky: I fish Cheeky because I believe in every aspect of their business. They make fly fishing more accessible and inclusive- where you don't have to spend your life savings to get into fishing. They support many conservation and non-profit projects, like Science on the Fly, as they know that we need to protect our resources so that we can continue to fly fish for years to come. Cheeky really walks the walks in all categories and I believe we need more of Cheeky in the industry!
Welcome to the dog days of summer. With constant high temperatures and air so thick you can’t tell when you’ve actually left the river, it’s no wonder why anglers and non-anglers alike begin to look forward to the cooler months ahead to spend their time outdoors.
On the bright side, this often undesirable stretch of the summer months doesn’t mean you have to hang up your gear until the mercury drops. It really gives us anglers the opportunity to diversify our skill sets by targeting different species that do well in these conditions....
Lionel: Cheeky is a fantastic company that not only promotes the sport of fly fishing but also exemplifies the values that I hold dear. Through their bold and unwavering commitment to inclusivity and diversity, Cheeky exhibits the same morals that I stand for. They fearlessly showcase the joys of fly fishing to both men and women of all colors, ages, and backgrounds, making the sport accessible and enjoyable for all.
The Albie Project exists to learn more about an underappreciated species and accumulate a strong base of scientific data and understanding that can drive future management conversations. ASGA has termed the project as “the intersection of passionate anglers, cutting-edge science and precautionary fisheries management”. Albies are a data-poor species. Data drives decision making for our fisheries. State agencies are already stretched thin on bandwidth and budgeting for research. ASGA recognized that our membership loves these fish and values them for their businesses and recreation, so we stepped onto the frontlines of Albie research with much-appreciated support from our community partners, our members and sponsor brands - like Cheeky.