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Islander Reels

Islander makes high quality standard and large arbor fly reels for everything from a 2 weight line up to 15 weight lines rods.

That covers everything from an ultra light trout setup to marlin and tuna. They are my friend Loomis' favorite for stripers and blues on Cape Cod, very popular for bones in the Florida Keys, and offshore as well.

I first encountered them when they were first being produced in the early 1990s at Sandy Moret's Florida Keys Outfitters in Islamorada. They are manufactured in Victoria, B.C., Canada, by the J.S. Foster Corporation, a production precision machine shop. Besides Islander fly reels, they also make mooching reels.

The "IR" Series are designed for fresh water fishing, have an adjustable click-pawl drag, and handle 2 to 8 weight fly lines.

Standard arbor models include the IR1, which takes a 3 weight fly line and and 70 feet of 20 pound backing, up to the IR4, which takes a 7 weight fly line and 150 feet of 20 pound backing. Large arbor models are the IR3LA which takes a 4 weight fly line and 60 feet of 20 pound backing and the IR4LA which takes a 5 weight fly line and 75 feet of 20 pound backing.

The LX Series are all large arbor reels with a cork disk drag. The rage from the LX3.2 which takes a 5 weight and 75 feet of 20 pound backing (just like the IR4LA but with a superior cork drag) to the LX4.8 which takes a 13 weight line and 550 feet of 30 pound backing, designed for monsters!

Notable in the range are the LX3.8, great for bones, blues, and stripers, which takes an 8 weight line and + 200 yards of 20 pound backing, and the LX4.0, and excellent light tarpon and offshore reel also great for stripers, which take a 10 weight fly line and 200 yards of 30 pound backing.

The FR2, FR3, and FR4 fly reels are standard arbor reels with a cork disk drag, and I'm most familiar with these (excellent) reels. Think of the FR2 as bonefish, FR3 as tarpon, and FR4 as offshore, and you get a handle on these reels.

The only problem with Islander is that they are not as widely available as some other high end reels. They certainly are kick-as, take no prisoners, excellent reels.

You can get more info (and find dealers) at their Web site: Islander Reels.