Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Riverkeeper Frogwater Review
I had followed the introduction and evolution of Robb's reels online via forum chats but aside from holding Harv's Riverkeeper I had yet to fish one. The masses were quick to fall in love with Robb's artisan pin creation and thus it received rave reviews.
Got to busy yesterday for a reply,,,,work,work,work.lol
here a little history on my reels.
I've been making reels for myself since 1991, at first it was an attempt to have a larger diameter reel for fishing larger flows, and retrieving line faster, most reels where 5.5" or larger, at the time there where only 4.5" reels available to my knowledge.
I would use the reel a few times to find out what I liked and disliked, then sell to fund the next, I never did a clicker in those reels, as it was to much work, and I didn't much like the pawl and gear clicker that was the norm.
In 2007, after much discussion with the wife decided to purchase some quality machinery and start making reels as a hobby, I decided on a 5.25" reel to be my first run, but there was clicker problem!!!! After several attempts of recreating the same old clicker, a friend of mine said why not a motorcycle brake, and off we went,,, 8 months later and a lot of empty beer cans we had a very neat clicker design, and it worked well ,but was to big, so we took some weight out here and there, and made things smaller, then it was ready.
I made a run of 25 5.25" reels called the Riverkeeper, and they sold very well, but a lot pinners found them a bit big, and a bit heavy. So next round was to be a smaller reel 4 7/8's in diameter, same clicker, the reel was also called Riverkeeper, and wieghed in at 9.4 oz's I made 2 runs of 25 and again they sold well, but I thought they where missing a look on the back plate, so I ported it, and made 50 reels RK 2 meaning Riverkeeper Ported.
Shortly after I was done that run, a fella that had bought 2 of every run I made, asked if I could make him a reel that looked the same but even more porting and he wanted the reel to weight 8 oz's, he wanted the reel to fish Frogwater,,,,,hence the name, I made only one prototype, witch I still fish today, There are about 80 Frogwater reels in circulation, I'm planning on a run of 20 to take the Frogwater to #100 including the prototype, but i'm not sure what I'll do after that, Life has become very busy 4 kids 2 jobs and a honey do list as long as my arm,,,I call it my hobby that went crazy.
Visually the reel quite aesthetically appealing with current available color configurations of Black, Green, and Champagne. The front face porting and lines take inspiration from the likes of the Mykiss and John Milner Reels albeit different enough to have an identiy of its own. The fixed bearing cap looks handsomely familiar and would make Keith Snary himself smile. The key feature on the front face or spool are the handles.
The back plate porting is attractive and where form really meets function. Much of the reduced weight of the Frogwater comes from this addition that the original Riverkeeper model lacked.
If I had to choose one pet peeve I have with this reel it would be the inability to remove the spool effortlessly while on the river. I'm certain this was a conscious decision on the manufacturers part but there are times when the quick spool removal feature comes in handy. To many this is of no issue and I currently own reels with similar designs and manage fine.
The reel is simply a pleasure to fish and one takes to it readily as if they have fished it for years. Priced similarly to comparable pins in this category one would certainly be pleased with the their purchase and have a quality reel that would be handed down through the generations.
Reel specs as quoted from manufacturer:
-spool and back plate material - 6160 T4 aluminum.
-spool diameter - 4 7/8"
-spool width - .625"
-spool depth - .350"
-316 stainless steel accessories including the clicker disk, that is controlled by 2 stainless steel ball detents
-ABEC 5 stainless steel bearings ( German)
-overall Weight - 8 oz's
-colour options: Black, Green, Champagne
Robb Marquette and Riverkeeper Reels can be contacted via email at email@example.com
or by phone at 1-519-272-9881