Monday, June 22, 2009

Nautilus Feather Weight Reels, a short review.

Not only do I think that these are the slickest looking reels out there, but they also perform on the water. I have had a FW 5 for about two years now and have put it through a lot of use. I can honestly say that these reels are one of the finest reels made and have one of the smoothest drags out there. Did I mention how good they look?
I have decided to replace all my current reels with Nautilus FW reels. I have the FW3, FW3+ and FW 5 and FW5+. The + system is a unique way to match one reel with various rods and lines. With a FW3 and a FW3+ spool, you can use a 2 or 3wt line on one spool and use the 3+ to hold a 5 wt line with ample backing utilizing the same housing/cage. Instead of having different size reels to match different rods, you can now match them up more precisely. As their name implies, they are lightweight, matching nicely with today's lighter rods. I prefer the Tianium color over the Black as it matches nicely with my Scott S4 rods.

More info from the Nautilus web page.

Compact Lightweight Reels
Pairing the Nautilus FW 3Plus reel with a WF5 line will give you a more compact 5 weight setup, yielding increased backing capacity and reduced weight. These reels are ideal for the fly fisher who is looking for a more compact package, whether driven by need for added versatility or just personal preference.
The Nautilus FW Plus reels were designed to offer an increased range for either backing or line weight allowing you to pair more rods or fishing conditions to your Nautilus FW series of reels. FW Plus spools can be interchanged with regular FW spools for added versatility, allowing you to convert your existing FW 3, 5 or 7 to a FW Plus series.


  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the review!

    I just bought Nautilus FW3 reel. I find few things unusual when compared with my other reels (Sonik).

    First thing is the drag setup - I turn the knob counterclockwise to maximum release the spool and I still have drag.

    Also, the drag knob is moving up and down (part of the millimeter) from the central axis.

    I wonder if all that is normal for the reel.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. I have an FW5+ reel and there's a bit of a slack in the drag knob also....

  3. The FW reel has a little play on the knob but you can contact Nautilus reels, and they can ship you a bigger o-ring for the knob and it will make it tighter, removing the slack...

  4. Few months later and quite some fishing trips - I would say now it is all great now! The reel is superb :-) I got 3 spools for my Z Axis, looking now for 4th for my Sage 99.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! Rods & Reels