So recently I was in the market for a fly reel.  There are many fly reel tests and shootouts out there, but I couldn’t find any owner reviews or long distance tests (ala car review style).  So we hope to do a series of these “honest” owner reviews, reports of reels that are fished hard in the worst possible conditions for anything with gears and teeth.  The first is one of mine:

Tibor Riptide QC

Tibor Riptide QC

Angler: P Coetzee
Make: Tibor
Model: Riptide QC

Rod weights: 9-12
Years fished: 5
Frequency: 50+ days a year
Failures: yes (drag bearing x3)
Manufactured: USA

Price: $700 retail
Parts replacement cost: 3 x $37 (drag plates), 2 x $5 (clutch dogs), 1 x $1.75 (teflon washer), 1 x thrust washer (to be replaced), 1 x drag knob (to be replaced), 1 x quick change hub (to be replaced)

Pros:
-sexy
-interchangeable parts (riptide and gulfstream)
-parts availability
-pedigree
-customizable
-perfect size and capacity
-good drag strength
-good parts price & order process
-USA!

Cons:
-rust
-drag bearing failure (bearing type has recently been changed, still however the weak point)
-fading and scratchable anodizing
-drag smoothness goes before bearings when been in sand
-handle works loose due to thread direction when palming due on RHW due to thread direction.
-small drag knob

Comment:

The above may seem negative, but this reel is part of my family. Ted Juracsic made the reels my childhood hero (Flip Pallot) fished, so it was an image I inspired to.  And I do think if I fished less like I did and more like the everglades boys do, the cons list would be far leaner.  Many of my problems arise from using the reel in a way it wasn’t designed.  The Tibors were built for flats boats, but we South Africans like fishing on foot, so my reels spend as much time in the sand than in hand.  so for me fishing a tibor is like owning a land rover, you’re forced to be mechanic and owner.

Today I travel with a zip lock filled with parts.  drag assemblies, clutch dogs, springs, etc.  Unfortunately I use it.  This last trip to Farquhar cost me a drag plate, and two loose handles.  The clutch dogs also wore to out tolerences.

What does irritate me is the lifetime warranty.  not that it exists, but that the reel would only last a lifetime if used a few times a year.  I do more than the required maintenance, but corrosion , parts replacements and bearing failures are common practice if you fish hard.  there are certain parts that would last a lifetime, but not in its original packaged form. Not in the salt at least.

But Tibor need not worry, the design is beautifully simple, workmanship is usa solid and im still in love with their products.  I feel like a third party bearing supplier may be letting them down… And I would love to see some type 3 anodizing…and sealed drags, but they’ve just done that.  As far as cork v carbon, I’m yet to wear a Tibor cork down, so ted has stuck to his knitting, and I like that.

Sand, sand, sand

Sand, sand, sand

Sand, sand, sand

Sand, sand, sand

Some examples of the failures:

Bearing failure (after clicker failure)

Bearing failure (after clicker failure)

Showing the new type of bearing, this one broke out the plate (see shaft)

Showing the new type of bearing, this one broke out the plate (see shaft). Note the wear on clutch dogs.

Corrosion:

ishot-426 ishot-429

Wear

Wear

ishot-422

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The rebuild:

Clean and scrub all parts with Benzine or suitable alternative

Clean and scrub all parts with Benzine or suitable alternative. note the faded anodizing

Put together using graphite lube, loctite & silicon spray

Put together using graphite lube, loctite & silicon spray

complete

complete