Mar 23, 2015

Nautilus Fly Reels - Then and Now!

In 2003 7th generation fishing industry Kristen Mustad brought to life a vision to that would forever change the fly fishing reel industry. In that year Kristen bought out the small company of Old Florida Reels and in 3 months showed the fly fishing industry the first Nautilus CCF #8 Fly Reel. Since its introduction Nautilus Reels have become the benchmark that all sealed disc drag fly reels must be measured against and most reels in this class today still fall short of the standard that Nautilus Fly Reels established on this day in history. 


Ten years after the introduction of the industry changing CCF(cork and carbon fiber) fly reel, Nautilus unveiled a completely new version named CCF-X2. Besides stunning new looks the X2 doubles the drag strength (20lbs+) while being smoother and with less start-up inertia than the former CCF. If you were familiar with the former CCF reels you want to know that a major change in this model is that the retrieve is now switchable without need of replacing the complete drag hub. Not only is this a good feature for the new angler trying to determine what retrieve is best for them but also a huge help for the dealer to maintain and provide reels without concern of what retrieve they are.

The New CCF-X2 Silver King
Spey Rings
New for 2015, The addition of The Silver King completes the CCF-X2 lineup with a true large arbor 5 inch reel designed to tackle all things Silver. Each crank of the big game handle can retrieve up to 14" of line per turn. Like the smaller CCF-X2's it's packed with features like Sealed drag, hybrid ceramic bearings, TPX bushings and an over-sized drag knob capable of dialing up more than 20 lbs of drag force.
Two hand enthusiast will be glad to know about the Silver King innovation of Spey Rings. Spey Rings eliminate the need for a fully caged reel by reducing the tolerance between spool and frame to stop thin shooting lines from escaping between the gap.

FWX (Feather Weight Xtreme)

Feather Weight Xtreme
FWX - Technologies
The second series of reels to come out of the Nautilus factory was the FW (Feather Weight) Series. These lightweight Trout to Bonefish sized reels became an instant success. The SCF (Sealed Carbon Fiber) drag system provided unparalleled performance in a small scaled down version of the award winning  CCF and NV series reels. An FW revision took place in 2011 and Created the FWX. Since then its sales have proved to be one of the most popular reels of all time. With additions like Giga Arbor, Torque X and the wildly popular LASER-ID for easy write your own line identification on the spool has pushed this reel into history changing status.



Conceived in 2007 the NV has won many awards over the years.  At the heart of this reel is a NVCCF Drag Hub capable of taming any beast you pursue. While the original NV has seen many changes over the years the guts and frame remain the same today as the first NV that rolled off the production line. Some things are better left unchanged! 

The list of technologies in the NV-G Reels is impressive to say the least. 

Starting with the heart of the reel is the sealed NV-CCF drag hub. Inside this hub is two ceramic thrust bearings ensuring the smoothest drag on the market. The Cork Carbon Fiber hub fits over a titanium shaft and sealed by the Nautilus exclusive Activseal
which perpetually repels water and contaminants from entering the system creating a reel that is impervious to the elements. Moving out from the heart of the reel is the  G-Spool design that transformed the original NV reel to what Nautilus has defined as Über Arbor fly reels. The G-Spool (Giga spool) is what puts the "G" in NV-G and enabled a design that significantly reduces weight
and generates faster line retrieval. The G-Spool also allows for your backing to dry much faster than traditional spool designs by allowing air to circulate through the open arbor all of which helps reduce corrosion cause by prolong wet backing. Your backing almost appears to float on the arbor.

LASER-ID standard on all Nautilus reels

In addition to these high tech features are some really awesome user friendly stuff you won't find on other reels. LASER-ID is one of my favorite features. Simply use a sharpie to write on the spool what line it is. No more tacky stickers that fade and fall off leaving sticky dirt trapping spots on you fly reel. If you need to change the ID just dab a little spot remover on the laser etched area and its ready to go again.

Hooker comes standard on NV-G reels and is available as an optional add on to all Nautilus fly reels. This little peg comes off the reel seat and lets you wrap your line on it or hook a fly to it.

NV - Spey

NV - Spey
Within the NV Series is two sizes of spey specific reel sizes. Using the existing NV-G 8/9 and NV-G 9/10 frames Nautilus has created two Spey specific spools. The Spools feature tighter tolerances for the use of thinner running lines. Capacity is also increased to accommodate the larger size of Spey lines.  The great feature of this design is the same reel you are using today for Permit or Bonefishing could be fishing Steelhead tomorrow in the Northwest with just the change of a spool. Instead of just increasing the spool size to match spey angler needs Nautilus also gave these spools their own unique look and intentionally made them a bit heavier to aide in balancing two hand spey rods.

NV to NV-G changes

As I mentioned earlier the NV to NV-G has seen many changes over the years while the heart of the reel has remained unchanged. Any NV no matter when it was purchased still is 100% compatible with today's available spools. So if you have an older NV and you wish to purchase an extra spool or gain the benefits of the G-Spool or purchase a Spey spool than you're in luck. These charts can help sort it out. The easy way I have found to match past to present is think about it in term of reel diameter. (IE; If you have a past NV 8/9 this is a 4" reel. Today's 4" reel is a NV-G 7/8) Measuring the outside of the spool rim will tell you what the diameter of your reel is.

5/6 Frame
6/7 Frame
7/8 Frame
Compatible with
8/9 spool
8/9 Frame
Compatible with
10/11 Spool
SPEY 400-550 Spool
9/10 Frame
Compatible with
11/12 Spool
Spey 450-750 Spool
10/11 Frame
Compatible with
NV Monster

Specs for all Nautilus NV-G series reels as of 3/18/2015
Model Line Capacity Weight Diameter
NV G-5/6 5/6 WF6+(125yds20#) 5.1 oz. 3.50"
NV G-6/7 6/7 WF7+(150yds20#) 5.7 oz. 3.75"
NV G-7/8 7/8 WF8+(200yds20#) 6.6 oz. 4.0"
NV G-8/9 8/9 WF9+(200yds30#) 7.2 oz. 4.25"
NV G-9/10 9/10 WF10+(200yds30#) 8.3 oz. 4.50"
NV Monster 11/13 WF12+(350yds30#) 9.9 oz. 5.0"
NV Monster
10/11 WF10+(225yds30#) 9.9 oz. 5.0"
550gr head with .030 running line
8.1 oz. 4.25"
750gr head with .030 running line
9.1 oz. 4.50"

About the only trouble you'll experience with a Nautilus reel is getting one. Really this is a good problem. What I mean is since becoming known Nautilus reels have been in high demand. The Nautilus factory runs two shifts in order to keep up with this high demand. Day after day Nautilus reels perform in the most demanding extreme conditions you can give them. After all they are "Tested on Animals!"

"Tested on Animals!"


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

No comments :

Post a Comment

Stay up to date: Free Newsletter Sign Up

  © 'and' Mike Prine 2009-2014

Back to TOP