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Pflueger Medalist 1494 1/2 fly reel Fishing Reels

Fishing Reels Manufacturer: Pflueger
Pflueger Model: Medalist 1494 1/2 fly reel
Review Category: Fishing Reels

Purchase: Fishing Reels I bought my first Medalist single-action fly reel more than ten years ago. It's gotten a little banged up, so I recently sprung another $39.95 for a new one. This particular size (1494 1/2), which is suitable for line weights ranging from 5 to 9, isn't carried by the local sports superstore, so I ordered the new one from an online retailer.

Things I like about the Pflueger Medalist 1494 1/2 fly reel Fishing Reels: Fly reels that work well are expensive. Except the Medalist reels. These are no-nonsense reels that put the lie to the idea that fly fishing is a rich man's sport. Throw a Medalist reel on a St. Croix fly rod, add a nice line, and you've got the whole setup for the same price as a decent baitcasting outfit. I like everything about these reels. Similarly priced fly reels have no drag mechanisms and get clogged with dirt and muck in no time. They bend easily, and you can't get spare spools. The Medalist reels take spares, can be used with left or right retrieve, and they hold up in the salt, sand and mud. As a bonus, you can adjust the weight on most of the 1400 series to get a good rod-reel balance. My original Medalist, going on 11 years old, has a bent cage and still works fine.

What I don't like about the Pflueger Medalist 1494 1/2 fly reel: The 1400s are loud reels. They're single action and don't have rim drags (available on the 1500 series). The Medalists definitely aren't as tough as cold-forged reels. So, you give up a few things when you don't pay $250 for a fly reel. My original Medalist got bent when one of the body screws backed out, leaving it vulnerable to a bad drop. My solution: Put a drop of blue Lock-Tite on each of the body screws before you take your reel out for the first time. And check the screws occasionally to make sure they aren't loose.

Fishing Reels Medalist 1494 1/2 fly reel quality: The 1400 series is made of aluminum with the cage enclosing the entire spool. No rim drag. As long as all the body screws are tight, it's a tough reel. The retrieve side can be changed easily by switching the line guard to the opposite side of the body.

Medalist 1494 1/2 fly reel summary: If you want a no-frills fly reel that will work when you need it and won't set you back the cost of a week on the river, you won't regret getting a Pflueger Medalist.

Rating for this Pflueger product: 5

Author of this review on Pflueger Fishing Reels: Hart Matthews

Date: 2004-04-01

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