Nautilus X-Series Reels: First Impressions

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by Richard Post, Telluride Angler

Nautilus X-Series Reels Arrive at Telluride Angler

The Nautilus X Series reel comes out of the box for the first time at Telluride Angler.So the Reel Fairy just dropped off a lovely little present from our good friends at Nautilus reels. The X Series reels have arrived! We now have stock of the XM size which is a perfect fit for your modern fast action 4, 5 and 6-weights. Backing capacity is right at 100 yards with a WF5F for the XM. These reels are silly light and the drag is surprisingly meaty for a reel as physically light as this one. Actual weight on the postal scale comes in at 4.25 ounces. For comparison the FWX 5/6 that the XM replaced weighs in at 4.75 ounces. Cosmetically, these reels are on another level. The machining is as complex and refined as I have seen in any fly reel. This comes as no surprise as Nautilus has built their brand around expert machining and creating reels that are very light, very strong and possess strong, smooth, and sensitive drag systems. All of these principles are embodied in the X series.

Nautilus X-Series Design and Features

One look at the reel and you know this reel pushing the envelope of fly reel design. All the components on these reels are machined aluminum except the reel handle. The arbor is designed to maximize capacity and they’ve incorporated grooves into the bottom of the arbor to facilitate expedited backing drying times. The clicker is similar to the FWX series and has a pleasant sound that is neither overpowering nor too quiet. The spool disengages from the frame via a screw cap that requires two turns to remove the reel. A hexagonal nut attaches the spindle to the spool for an incredibly solid connection and the whole spindle is shrouded by an internal ceramic bushing. The drag system is based upon the CCF X2 drag system, which is known for its physical stopping power, extremely low start up inertia, and incredible drag range. The drag system is completely sealed and protected behind a one piece machined aluminum housing covering both the spindle and drag surface. The drag knob is large, deeply grooved, and has 3/8” of relief from the frame, making it easy to find and operate.

This reel is everything you’d expect from Nautilus and more. I’m very excited to have these in the shop and I can’t wait to get one out on the water myself. Don’t hesitate if you have your eyes on one of these hot new reels.  I don’t expect to have this first run in stock for very long. Thanks for reading and good fishing.   [Complete Specs and Images]


Tight Lines,

Rich Post

Shop Manager

The Telluride Angler