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May 09, 2007

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Motorcycle Reel Test: Nautilus 12

Total Score: 12 out of 15

We graded each reel on a 1-5 scale in three areas:
1. Price
2. How the reel felt and reacted as the motorcycle sped away
3. How we like handling the reel

Then we made “judges deductions” for any beefs we had about the reels.

Nautilus makes a 12 ($500), a 12T ($565), and a 12S (for $595). For this sized reel aimed at tarpon and above, those are all pretty fair prices. We tested the 12 S.
Score: 4.5 out of 5

How it “Met the Street”
A touch of bump felt at launch, but beyond that, the reel, with a carbon fiber and cork combo in the drag, did a very nice job of paying out line with a grudge against the bike. Jeff felt like he had a parachute dragging behind him as he accelerated. No heat, no stink. No problem.
Score: 4 out of 5

Functional Review
Nautilus is the only brand we tested in all three classes. The functionality attributes we described apply throughout the different series the company produces. Not a whole lot to argue with. Not a lot of bells and whistles; just a “shut up and fish” brand. We’ll give it the same score.
Score: 4 out 5

We will say, at this top end size, the Nautilus is a beefy tostada. It’s a little heavy, but not bad. Honestly, when you’re throwing big flies at mako sharks or sailfish … when that fish is lit up and on the move, who the hell is really worried about the finesse and feel of the rod and reel?
Deduction: .5

Total Score: 12 out of 15

Watch More Reel Tests:

Trout Reels
Hatch 3-Plus
Nautilus 5
Abel Pt. 5
Ross Evolution
Orvis Battenkill
Mid Arbor

Scientific Anglers
System 2L Model 45L

Bauer JM2

Bonefish Reels
Sage 3400
Nautilus 8
Bauer MX4
Orvis Battenkill
Large Arbor

Big Game Reels
Orvis Vortex (VO2)  8-11
Nautilus 12
Hatch 9-Plus
Abel Super 10


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