So for the last twenty years I've been a Rimfly-man. In that time I've broken one (the reel seat fell off) and completely knackered two. The only means of lubrication has been spitting on the spindle from time to time or dunking it in the water. Not the obvious candidate for a reel manufacturer, you might think. How wrong you are.
So I've been looking for a sexy reel sponsor for a while, and although Rimfly may be many things, one thing they are not is sexy. Being bald is sexy, bugs are sexy (apparently), hell even salmon fishing is sexy, or so I'm told. Rimfly is boxer shorts with talking penises sexy ie not at all.
And that's when Vosseler came along. We have sexy reels, Paul, da ladies will love you and you'll catch ze Big Fish.
In fact I had a Vossler reel some nine months before Vosseler approached me, courtesy of Flyfishing Brinkoff. Eric took one look at my reel and realised I was in trouble. Over Strawberry Margaritas, he said, Paul, I know your problem, die Rimfly ist nicht sexy. I tell you what I'll do: I'll give you a Vosseler reel if you buy the next round.
I agreed of course, without really knowing what I was getting into it's often like that in Germany; I haven't a clue what's going on, but it's always interesting finding out later.
So I demo'd with one at the British Flyfair and everyone asked about it I said it was sexy and everyone agreed, although da ladies weren't so sure. And then I took it imaginary saltfly fishing which as everyone knows is completely impossible and I caught some imaginary Kahawai with it, which came as a great surprise to me (and an excellent test to the reel's drag).
So why would you want a sexy reel for flyfishing, Paul?
Because I can.
It's also pretty damned practical: for years I've been losing big fish when the reel jammed, and there's been those annoying tangles whenever I've tried to pull out the line quick in an emergency. So something practical, robust and sexy has been a long-term wish of mine.
Vosseler are based in Germany; they've already made a lot of noise in the German market. Known for their high quality of engineering and reels at a great price, I'm honoured to have them as our Sexyloops' sponsor (see? I can write normal stuff).
I met the owner, Ralf Vosseler at the EFTTEX this year; he's young, forward-looking and a great guy that's always important when choosing sponsors (you have to be able to fish with them). Andre Sholtz has played a key part in some of their field testing catching ze big salmon and he's cool too (and a great salmon caster).
So what can you say about a reel?
Well firstly they are large arbor. Large arbor look sexy, although carry less backing, so they end up being larger so long as that's width-larger I don't have a problem with it. I've always had considerably more backing than I need, I have a little less now and I'm curious to see whether that will be a problem in NZ.
The reel I am using (DC3) is a solid machined reel, the sort of thing you can drop when scrambling down rock faces. That's important; believe me.
There are several things I really like. Firstly although it's a caged reel there is no bar where the line pulls out. That's really important if you are a stillwater angler or adventurous river-man wishing to change lines quickly. You can use a loop-to-loop butt section to leader connection, pull the top-dropper into the tip ring and change spools quickly and simply. I've taken a hacksaw to caged reels in the past.
To change the spool you simply loosen the drag and pop the spool off. Inside you'll find a completely sealed drag system. The drag is smooth and has some serious balls to it, but doesn't lock up when fully tight which I think is important not that I've ever had a reel with a drag system you understand so that's all just theory.
Reeling in is the best part; there is little pressure and the sound is light clockwork. I haven't experienced this before, so it's a new toy. I've dropped it in mud, sand and rocks general fishing treatment you understand and apart from the odd scuff mark (which adds character) it functions just as well as day one.
Finally someone's made a reel I can't destroy. It's very very nice and you'll be seeing a lot more from Vosseler.
You can contact Vosseler through their website (they are very efficient as you'd expect). The DC3 retails for 159 Euros and the spare spools for 75 Euros.