REAL PEOPLE, UNREEL TESTIMONIALS
"Not having a reel creates
the space needed to enjoy
the feeling of line in hand."
"Within a few minutes, you
forget that you are not using
an ordinary fly reel."
"One worry that I had going
into using this outfit was
one of line twist, which
never materialized during
it's weeks of use"
After several weeks of fishing with the lo-fli system I am happy to comment on the product. A reel with no moving parts is unbreakable, freeing the mind of the user to never worry about debris, drag being wet, or any other possible mechanical problem. They simply don't exist. There is beauty in this simplicity. The actual fun part is fighting fish via hand line, which is more fun than through a reel. Not having a reel creates the space needed to enjoy the feeling of line in hand. Within a few minutes, you forget that you are not using an ordinary fly reel. One worry that I had going into using this outfit was one of line twist, which never materialized during it's weeks of use.
The rod is truly excellent. A full flex fiberglass fly rod that loads easily with the supplied line, it is enjoyable to fish with for hours and hours. Both shape and quailty of the handle is very good. There are a proper number of guides with correct spacing and general build quailty is high. With four sections,
it can be packed in a suitcase, or simply split 50/50 for a short ride in the trunk. Testing included small and large waters, which the rod handled well. It is not a noodly two or three weight only suited to small trout or panfish. I have coaxed sizable pickerel out of matted weed bottom with this outfit with no worries.
This rod was tested on flys from size 14 wets to 6 streamers, and casted all well. It is unusually well suited to fishing for panfish poppers, with the power to cast them, and set the hook, yet soft enough to be fun to fight panfish with. While not perfect for an open saltwater flat in windy conditions (as no 6’ fly rods are), it has done well with close quarters dock fishing for jacks, mackerel, and small bluefish. This was very fun, and the durable nature of a the glass rod was obvious, as there was no fear of breakage when swinging a one pound fish to hand.
"...simple, nuanced and effective"
"...you will be able to land
a fly on the nose of any
fish within range"
"I can sense every turn and
twist of the fish as it flops
and fights and while adjusting my finger pressure around the line, I can truly
'feel' the fish in my 'reel
I’m one of the few fishermen who have had the chance to test the lo-fli and I’m here to tell you about it. First of all, this thing is light - much lighter than any fly rod I’ve used. It seems like it would be too light to throw line more than a few yards... I quickly found that this assumption was wrong.
Easily reaching the rod tip, I pulled the line through the eyes, until I had a couple yards of dry line out. As I began to cast, the line flowed off the spool, through my left hand, down the rod and out into the water. I did not need to stop to pull line or rip line off the drag to get the amount I needed. I just kept casting until I had the amount of line that I wanted laid out in the water.
After decades of fly fishing, I am good at casting, but not a maestro or big haul tosser by any means and the distance and accuracy of this rod was as good as I needed it to be in the environment I was using it in (more on this later). You’re not going to “reach out and touch someone” with the lo-fli system, but you will be able to land a fly on the nose of any fish within range.
Now, my line is in the water and I’m waiting. Any concerns that the line would be unmanageable were silenced
almost immediately. The line I’m stripping in and re-casting acts just as any other rod I’ve used, falling easily into my casting basket.
A rise! The first thing I notice is I can feel the action of the fish much quicker than on a larger rod. The time between “splash” and tension is cut in half, so I have to act quickly. I can sense every turn and twist of the fish as it flops and fights and while adjusting my finger pressure around the line, I can truly “feel” the fish in my “reel hand”. My first thought is that this is much closer to how fishing must have felt a millennia ago, a direct contact between predator and prey. Catching a fish with a lo-fli outfit enhances this primal connection, which is one of the reasons I’ve continued to fish throughout my life.
The design of this “reel” is simple, nuanced and effective; it presents me with another way to fish. Because it’s smaller, getting to hard to reach spaces is painless and, again, fun. I look forward to many years of taking a break from my tried and true rod that I’ve had since my youth, picking up the lo-fli and getting after it.
Maybe I’ll see you out there.
"...spent most of the day
taking turns with it"
"...ideal for the tight
brookside trails we tend
My good fishing buddy was visiting from out of town. It was the perfect time to test drive the lo-fli system.
I also brought my usual spinning setup, and my traditional fly rod just in case I couldn’t really figure out the lo-fli, or if it just wasn’t any fun to use. Well, we quickly figured it out, and it was a lot of fun to use.
We spent most of the day taking turns with it. It was ideal for the tight brookside trails we tend to hike. Moving around and spot casting was easier than usual with the shorter rod.
I will definitely be adding the lo-fli to my arsenal.
"the usability of this system
"For the spot we were fishing it did everything I needed a
reel to do and yet was not
a reel at all."
A couple of months ago had the opportunity to test run a demo set up of the lo-fli system. I don’t try new things very often so I was excited and skeptical all at the same time.
Putting my standard set up aside was an uneasy feeling and a little something was whispering “waste of a good spot” in the back of my head as I stepped into the water.
After a few careless flicks of the wrist (the type where you’re kind of throwing and internal hissy fit) I hit it with a real cast. “Oh... that was nice.” Ok maybe there’s something here.
After a while I found the reel or rather unreel, well.... rather unreal. For the spot we were fishing it did everything I needed a reel to do and yet was not a reel at all. With an extremely small learning curve I was casting into tight little spots effortlessly. And ended up using this set up for the rest of the trip and had a great day.
With literally zero moving parts the usability of this system is great! Easy to grab and go, it would be fantastic to throw in a backpack and bring along on hikes or camping.
The lo-fli would/will be a great addition to my collection of everyday use rods.