Over the course of the year, we see a lot of quality fly fishing gear put to the test in some of the most demanding conditions possible. That means we often get a first hand look at which gear is up to the challenge, and which gear is, well, not so much.
How can we tell when a piece of gear measures up? When we see a consistent trend with the gear our guides choose of course! Such is the case with the Loop Opti Megaloop Reel, and today our own Jason Whiting gives us a rundown on why several of our guides have reached for the Megaloop when doing battle against Kanektok king salmon.
LOOP Opti Megaloop Reel
As our king salmon season winds down here at Alaska West, it’s time to reminisce on all of the big, bright, freight trains that have been both landed and lost, and looking back over the season, there is one thing that has truly been verified.. Big fish fight hard!
As a result, when fighting these fish, you need a quality reel with a drag that can match the intensity of the fish. Over the past two years on the water, one reel that has impressed us is the LOOP Opti Megaloop. As with most high end reels, there is a lot of detail that goes into the smooth workings of its design, but here are a couple main points that really won us over.
- ‘Mega’ Large Arbor for Quick Retrieve. Aptly named, by far the most unique attribute to the Megaloop is it’s extremely large arbor design. Big fish can swim away from you extremely fast, but they can also swim just as fast right back to you. Therefore, a large arbor is crucial to maintaining pressure on the fish at all times. Coupled with a ‘V’ shaped spool design, the ‘Mega’ large arbor of the Megaloop picks up line faster than any reel we’ve ever used, allowing you to keep the heat on no matter which way he runs.
- Silky Smooth Drag with Serious Stopping Power. It seems a common phrase said here on the Kanektok is, “let your reel do the work for you.” King salmon are very impressive fish with the ability to go from bulldogging you deep to screaming full speed downriver in the blink of an eye. The brake system is made up of carbon disks, and gives a super smooth transition from zero to hyper speed, which is often underestimated by most devout chinook anglers. Even when we had the drag set to “stun mode” for some of those really big fish, it was very impressive to see how smoothly the drag would engage.
- Look Good, Fish Good.. Right? Well LOOP must have had this in mind when making this reel, because, let’s be honest, it definitely adds a few style points to any rack of rods.
So in the end, with a progressively designed large arbor, a huge breaking system, fully waterproof drag, and the bonus of being saltwater compatable, this is truly a reel set up for big fish! And even with a price tag of $732.00, this reel has earned its place amongst our king gear here in Alaska.
For more information on the Megaloop, or other sizes in the Opti reel series, check them out on Loop’s website, here.