Yesterday I picked up my new Nautilus X-Frame and I was immediately taken by its weight. It’s just so light! Even now, after spooling, it almost feels too light to be a serious saltwater reel. But to be honest, once handled you realised what a solidly built, serious piece of kit this reel is. And it looks good too! The lines of the ports and venting to the simple frame; it’s bloody pleasing.
Admittedly, I had a minor panic when I opened the box; I hadn’t read properly about changing the retrieve and couldn’t work it out at first. For a moment or three I thought that it was going to like old Nautilus drag systems where a change of retrieve direction required the posting of the reel back to Nautilus. Scott from Bearsden – thanks again guys for the awesome service – had me on track quickly and I found the allen key hiding in the bottom corner of the box.
And this the beauty of the CCF-X2 and now this, the SCF-X disc drag design; while it is a sealed drag, you can access it. The old CCF drags are the business for the wear and tear I put my reels through but not being able to open them always made me nervous.
The design is sexy. Nautilus has cut away a good chunk of the reel frame – this forms the “X” and also gives the angle exposure to both rims of the spool. One minor concern I do have is about a loose line around the back exposed frame, but time will tell whether this is a problem or not. Under pressure of a fish it should not matter at all but its good to be aware of the potential.
The spool doesn’t run as freely as I expected – but it’s to be expected on a brand new reel when running on bushes instead of bearings. This also will wear smooth as the reel gets abused. It is also one less item to get corroded. Nautilus claim their thermoplastic TPX bushings are “feather light, self-lubricating, inert (no corrosion) and have zero wear. This means that you have the smoothness of a bearing without the weight and with a longer lifespan.” Will let you know how they hold up – they look good up front.
The drag tightens smoothly and has proper brakes on it. I’m not sure of the exact amount but it will more than enough dealing with any species normally targeted on a 7 or 8 weight. If its half the drag of the old CCF, there will be no problems here at all.
I’ve got a lot of fishing coming up over July and Aug – Seychelles, Western Cape and Transkei – and I will post a full review after I’ve given it a proper test!