The Nautilus FWX is the little brother to the much-loved NVG. The so-called 'FeatherWeight eXtreme' is deigned to be lighter weight, but still heavy on performance. It's also more geared towards the freshwater market, so we expect it to be a hit in this test. Read on to see how it does.


5-Weight Challenge Full Results


4.5 ounces - one of the lighter reels in the test, but no where near as light as Nautilus claims (3.75 oz).



At 4.5 lbs, the FWX doesn't turn any heads, but is plenty for the trout angler to get excited about. As with all Nautilus drags the FWX is EXTREMELY smooth and exhibits virtually no startup inertia.





While the FWX is an upgrade over the NVG in terms of sound, it's still way too muted for our tastes.


The FWX doesn't quite have the same specs as the NVG, but they are pretty close. It's about average in terms of spool design and retrieval rate. It picks up line at 7.3 inches per turn - a little slower than the NVG - but it's also a little narrower.


Nautilus makes a great looking reel. It's very well machined and we like the ability to choose between custom colors and parts. They've also added some great features like a fully ported spool so your backing dries extra fast. Nautilus didn't cut any corners with the FWX.


Handle: The handle is excellent, just like the NVG. It's long enough to be comfortable and has a curve in just the right place.


Drag Knob: The drag knob was a little too small to be easy to grasp. Definitely a slip up in the design.


Spool Change: The spool is very easy to change.


Average. Though this Nautilus was black, it fought off scratches quite well. It didn't do so well in the divot category, with some fairly large gashes. No Damage.


Lifetime to the original owner + $20 fee.


Price: $275



Third Place!


The FWX is an excellent reel. Smooth Nautilus drag combined with a light weight design check two of the three key design points. That makes for a very good reel. Further, the Nautilus FWX combines that with good looks and great Nautilus build quality at half the price of the NVG. Highly recommended.


Keep us reviewing. Buy yours here.


  • Silky smooth drag
  • Solid erognomics
  • Supurb Nautilus craftsmenship


  • Drag knob should be bigger