There's a lot to like about Ross Reels. They're made in the USA, have made quite a name for themselves in the trout fishing world, and stand behind their products. The Ross F1 fly reel is their flagship model and we were excited to get the inside story.
7.7 ounces. Not bad.
The Ross F1 is advertised as having (near) zero start-up inertia. It lives up to that promise and then some. It's got one of the smoothest drags we saw in the test, as well as a "constant pressure" drag adjustment knob, which is a fantastic feature and all of the testers commented on its ease of use. Unfortunately, the Ross F1 only has 3.4 lbs of drag, which had it taking a big hit in this test.
DRAG TEST GRAPH
I didn't care for the sound of the F1... it's just a little too loud and metallic. If you're looking for a click-pawl type sound, you might be more impressed. Definitely not a saltwater sound. Check out the Momentum LT!
SPOOL & RETRIEVAL RATE
While the spool was a little on the small/wide side, the retrieval rate on this reel was amazing! The spool was one of the easiest to change in the test.
LOOK & FEEL
Like the villain "Two-face" the F1 seemed to have two very different personalities. On the one hand, you have a great feeling reel, with carbon fiber accents that look great, and on the other... well we weren't a fan. The drag-adjustment side seemed a little too machined for no reason. A simpler ported design (again, see the Momentum LT) would have gone a long way here.
Lifetime to the original owner + $20 fee.
No reel in the Challenge had a more love-hate relationship with the testers than the Ross F1. On the one hand, it's got a top notch spool design, amazingly smooth drag, and a great price. On the other hand, the look and feel could be further refined. Ross, we'll be on the lookout for a Momentum/F1 hybrid to win this test in a few years.
If you were to take one reel with you when you chuck streamers with Kelly Galloup on the Madison, this would be the reel you would want. For freshwater, its performance is second to none.
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- Amazingly smooth drag
- Retrieval speeds that would make The Flash envious
- Sealed Drag
- Not nearly enough drag power for this test
- Looks, feel, and sounds... well try them for yourself