Jan 23, 2012

Bauer CFX Reel Review

With the introduction of the CFX, Oregon based Bauer Reels has reinforced their growing position in the quality reel market.

In hand, they weigh like a reel should – Not too light and not too heavy. This is what quality materials and quality machining feels like.

Turning the reel knob reveals a seamless relationship between spool and housing. Revolution occurs naturally, and offers no sound for those who prefer a more subtle presence on the water.  (A slight click can be heard as line leaves the reel)

The aspect that really blows me away about all of Bauer’s reels, however, (The CFX is no exception), is the smoothness of their drag systems. It engages immediately – free of any noticeable bumps that often accompany initial drag system startups.

Unlike Its predecessor, the MSL, which had a cork disc, the CFX utilizes an encased carbon fiber disc drag system. What this move accomplishes for us is less time spent on cleaning and general maintenance and that can be a “Reel Drag”…

One more note on the drag system: I love the design of the knob but my thoughts remain mixed as to the location. It is shaped like a star and it is easy to adjust with only one finger. This is actually brilliant! However, like all other reels, it is centered but it is centered on the spool-side, NOT ON THE BACK HOUSING.

So what does this mean? Well, being on the same side as your reel hand, it is quick and easy to adjust, especially when you only need to dedicate one finger to the cause. But, if that spool handle is spinning wildly at the mercy of some reckless quarry, sending your finger into that lion’s den might be a tricky maneuver. I suppose that decision rests on your own personal dexterity and your ability to stomach the sight of your own blood.

Personally, I often like to palm the reel in the heat of battle and only adjust drag when there is a pause in the run. In this case, there is no trouble unless your quarry lives in the salt and takes a one way ticket to the horizon. For fresh water species, undoubtedly trout and bass, I think the drag knob location is great – allowing for quick adjustment.

Oh yea, unlike the MSL, the drag knob does not completely release from the spool, so the chances of losing it in the river drop down to zero.

A few other notes: The CFX is a fine looking reel indeed. Its style seems to embrace a blend of yesterday and tomorrow thereby making it a wholesome fit for any day. The housings are all black and folks have the choice of a wide range of spool colors. The spools are V cut allowing for added capacity.

By balancing out a stick with a CFX you not only quench your thirst for quality, but you also aid in the wellbeing of American families. Every Bauer reel is manufactured at their facility in Ashland, Oregon.

Bauer CFX (Free Fly Line)

Have a good time out there,


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