The Wave Keeps Rising

Wavespin1In a past blog and in Outdoor Life’s Fishing August ’07 Fishing Column (See: Radical Reels) I reported on Doug “Bass Professor” Hannon’s new Wave Spin (then called Wave Cast) reel, the one that eliminates 99.9 % of line loops and bird nests as well as adding distance to your casts.

Hannon hasn’t been idle on this project. As you’ll recall this reel with the funny tooth-like spool lip was improved with a maintenance port and no-tool quick-strip spool that allows you to slip off (for replacement) the entire amount of line on the reel without tedious stripping. One pluck and all the line is off in one clump. Now there’s this:

Aiming to turn a reasonably priced reel into a weapon with big-game capabilities, Hannon went to work on his drag system. Along with something like an incredible 12 discs (alternating stainless steel and matted, condensed fiber washers), he had one of those “eureka” moments after gabbing with a friend in the CIA.

The talk got around to lubrication and the special stuff being used on moving parts of underwater assault rifles like the Russian ASM-DT and now US Seal iterations. Hannon came up with his formulation of such a lube. The goop impregnates the microscopic pores of the stainless steel drag washers and packs the fiber discs rendering them slick smooth while the stuff is water tight to 10,000 psi. That means a waterproof drag system without sealing. Hannon jokingly refers to the stuff as blue peanut butter paste. “What you get is virtually a lifetime drag,” he says, “and a drag that unlike most smaller models is totally smooth even at an unbelievably high setting.”

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What’s high? “My engineers building the reel wouldn’t believe it until they ran their own tests,” says Hannon. “So they did. They got 24 pounds of drag on the smallest 3000-size reel, and it was dead smooth. Typically, reels of this size get maybe 5 pounds of drag and often it’s jerky at high settings. The larger, 4000-size Wave Spin got close to 60 pounds of drag. That’s like a big-game reel.”

Hannon tells how he whipped a 70-pound tarpon on 20-pound braid using the smallest 3000 model, then set the reel at 12-pounds of drag, spooled up with mono, fixed the reel to a stationary frame, tied the mono to his truck and roared off a good ways. “Drag held just fine,” he says, “but the mono was so hot it was near melting.”

And yes, for you bass anglers, you can lock the drag down to “no.” No-slip that is.

In 2008, Hannon hopes to build a larger surf-oriented model that, if successful, sounds to me like it’ll find its way onto some blue water boats. Meanwhile, you can learn more on the product by visiting the website. The Wave Spin site is under construction so you’ll have to use the old address: www.wavecast-reel.com. Hannon says you can purchase the reels at Cabela’s.

I’d like to hear from any anglers who get to put the wood to some nasty fish using one of the new models and what you found.