– Mies van der Rohe
We set out to engineer the best drag system possible: Zero start-up torque with adequate range. Smooth operation. Sealed from the environment. Reliable and maintenance free. Plus compact, light and technically simple. No sweat, right? We imagined a mechanical solution for a reel that probably seems obvious today: storing line on a large-circumference spool supported by a lightweight frame. But typical drag systems of the time were based on flat counter-rotating discs. Counterproductive. It occurred to us that the same surface area of discs could be configured into a pair of matched cones machined with angular precision. This resulted in a significant reduction in the diameter of the assembly, making it small, light and easy to seal. We also found proprietary friction materials that produced zero start-up torque and could run without lubrication.
Due to our proprietary conical drag, we set out to develop a distinct and efficient frame. The Power Arm frame design is a way of aligning the structural support for the spool along the primary load path. The primary load path for any fly reel runs from the center of the drag core to the reel foot. It’s logical to put most of the material along that load path. Any distribution of material not aligned with the primary load path will result in either a structure that’s too flexible—or heavier than it needs to be. The Power Arm design uses the least amount of material to achieve the maximum stiffness.
Another structural theme built into our reels: integrated counterbalance. Why hang a piece of hardware on a spool if there’s a simpler way? But simple isn’t always easier. Our earliest spools required a fair amount of trial and error to build the precise bias into the spool to counter the weight of the spin knob. For us, the elegance of eliminating a component and then using the resultant asymmetry as part of the design made all the effort worth it. This simple, logical, but often difficult feature became essential to the personality of our reels.