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FREELINE REELS
Post 22 Aug 2007, 09:46 • #1 
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i keep seeing these on ebay. on another thread (on spinning rods) one of the guys mentioned the use of a free line reel instead of bothering with a spinning rod. i bet the use of mono would make nymphing interesting. no drag and great "feel".

what do you guys think and who makes a good freeline reel?


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Post 22 Aug 2007, 10:43 • #2 
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I wouldn't think the idea is nymphing, but using your fly rod to throw spinners, jigs and tiny rapalas.

Johnson 80A
Magic
ummm,umm,ummm
there is a somewhat long list of Colorado makers of these reels.


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Post 22 Aug 2007, 10:43 • #3 
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Hi, Ipirrone. I'm the guy. Yes, there out to be a law against fishing a nymph with a Fre-Line. The best possible way to present one. Murderous! "Fre-Line" was the name given to a sidehole spinning reel manufactured by The Wright & Mcgill Company. They were quite popular out here when I was a kid, and you still see an old-timer using one now and then--me, for instance. This type of reel was originated in Denver just post-war. The first one was called the Humphreys reel. The Phillipson Heywood Zepyr was designed for it. They were the world's first closed face spinning reels. These sideholes crank just like a fly reel so you don't have to go through a re-education process to familiarize yourself with them. I hesitate to reveal much about this kind of nymph fishing, and I don't do much of it because it's too darned effective.


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Post 22 Aug 2007, 10:48 • #4 
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here we go:

www.fishing-reel-research.org/Mfg.byState.htm

Edco Cas King
Fre-Line
Good-all
Hansen
Humpal
Humphreys
Loveland Reel
Magic
Spinn-X
Wright & McGill


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FREELINE REELS
Post 22 Aug 2007, 11:09 • #5 
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I have always believed that nymphing with mono would be very effective due to the lack of drag and the almost direct connection between line and nymph. but doing that with a fly rod and conventional fly reel is difficult. you would have to use a spinning reel, or a fre-line. the closest thing i guess is float rod fishing using a center pin reel and float. again, casting is a pain with those. the fre-line seems line something in between except it may not have the same kind of free spin as a center pin float reel.


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Post 22 Aug 2007, 11:54 • #6 
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This solution isn't as retro or elegant, but you can do the same thing with a Zebco triggerspin reel. They sell cheap at places like WalMart and Target.

You hold the fly rod normally and control the reel with your pinky. Reel with your left hand.

Tom


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 02:22 • #7 
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Nymphing with mono: Joe Humphrey used to do it with monofilament wound on a conventional fly reel. The sideholes allow you to avoid tangles better, though.


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 04:21 • #8 
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lpirrone,

Have to agree with Bulldog's first entry- fun with itty-bitty spinners (especially anything too small and frustrating for a spinning rod on a windy day).

The neat thing is, if you're a flyfisherman, you can cast things you don't use much that are in the bottom of an old tacklebox- all the French stuff- Mepps, Martins, etc. I've fished an inch-long jointed Falls Inch Minnow on a Fre-Line. Try anything and everything, just keep it small.

I have an old W&M Fre-Line 10-BC I'm not using, send me an EZBoard PM and I'll get it to you free. Just let us hear back when you fish it. If you don't use it- pass it on.


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 04:54 • #9 
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Yes, originally designed for stuff too heavy to cast with a conventional fly rod setup. What they were mostly used for in Colorado was drifting salmon eggs and worms. Just deadly. The rigging and technique used when fishing these baits translate easily to deep nymphing.


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 05:06 • #10 
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Definately.

But,

Uh-Oh- back to nymphing! Thoughts, Bulldog1935? ;)


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 05:09 • #11 
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Most of the folks who fished Fre-Lines back then had never heard of a nymph.


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 05:28 • #12 
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LS, you're right- just referring back to Bulldog1935's post for a response.

I've never fished a nymph off a Fre-Line-type reel, just bounced small lures on mono that are more typically used with a spinning rig. I'm definately curious.


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 05:50 • #13 
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One of the more appealing aspects of nymphing in this manner is that you don't have to build a new leader if you get yourself hopelessly foozled up in a snag. Your "leader" is 150 yards long!


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 05:58 • #14 
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middlemac, i sent you a PM.

thanks, larry


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 07:15 • #15 
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Quote:
Uh-Oh- back to nymphing! Thoughts, Bulldog1935? ;)

If I went to this for nymphing, I wouldn't have anything left to do with a floating line.


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 08:31 • #16 
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Not wanting to start competing bidding among readers here for Ebay items, I don't always post examples, but the Fre-line is interesting, and the start bid and B-N price are so close the price can't be driven too high anyway:
Eagle Claw - Fre-Line - Antique Fly-Cast-Spin Reel *NEW Item number: 320149456410
Is the fishing method a variant of some of the English techniques usin a center-pin reel?
The Fre-line isn't something I would want, but I guess if somebody wants to check the listing, you can see what's being discussed, and if still interested, I guess for under $30 you could satisfy the curiousity.


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 09:18 • #17 
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when i nymph fish small streams and pocket water i usually have my fly line out of the water and just have the furled leader and tippet in the water going straight down from my rod tip or i slightly lead the fly with my rod tip. i guess they call that a tight line technique. there are times when i fish fast water with deep troughs and it is hard to get the nymph down with a floating fly line. i just thought this fre-line reel might offer another arrow in my quiver. also, if i had a hankering to throw spinners i would not have to change rods, just reels. of course fly rods with conventional lines can be adapted to do just about anything so maybe its(fre-line) a solution without a problem.


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 10:25 • #18 
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No, whrlpool, nothing like the English technique; I believe that involves a float. A bunch of maniacs have driven a run-of-the-mill boxed 10BC over $100 recently--may still be active. Utterly ridiculous. These are $35-$45 reels at best, boxed or not. There are no "rare" Fre-Lines.


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 10:41 • #19 
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lpirrone, When fishing deep, it's pretty easy to lose some or much of your conventional leader to snags. It's a pain to have to retie a new leader section or replace an entire leader. As I mentioned earlier, you break off your terminal rig while fishing spinning line out of a Fre-Line and it's a simple matter to get back into action PDQ. Gads, it sounds like I'm promoting this method of fishing; I don't really condone it at all. I'm in agreement with Lee Wulff when he said that "trout should be allowed the sanctuary of depth."


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 10:53 • #20 
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No, whrlpool, nothing like the English technique; I believe that involves a float. A bunch of maniacs have driven a run-of-the-mill boxed 10BC over $100 recently--may still be active. Utterly ridiculous. These are $35-$45 reels at best, boxed or not. There are no "rare" Fre-Lines.

Ron's Rods is listing some for $40 +/-


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 14:40 • #21 
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Fun vintage ad on eBay for the Fre-Line which the seller dates to 1952. Copy describes spinning and baitcasting setups but flyrod rigging works just fine as folks have mentioned.

Item # 230163450388 closes Sunday the 26th.


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Post 23 Aug 2007, 15:05 • #22 
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i saw that freeline going over 114.00. right below it in the list is another for 26.00 or something. i hate to be the guy who won that one for 114.00.


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Post 24 Aug 2007, 03:01 • #23 
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$114 for a Fre-Line? Cripes! Wright & McGill stamped out mountains of 'em. And, they were, literally, stamped out. I can go to one of our local indoor flea markets and be pretty sure of finding one any time, maybe not in great condition but useable (not much can be wrong with them because there's not much that can go wrong). Maybe just a regional thing, though.


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Post 27 Aug 2007, 09:09 • #24 
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Of course anyone who has a fre line has to have the proper accessories. found these on ebay.

220144326379


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