J.W. Young
Bob James Centerpin Float Reel

Last Update: 03/05
Tackle Type:
Over all score:
Centerpin / Float Reel
J.W. Young & Sons
Bob James
Mike D.
Manufacturers Description:
"This reel is based on our classic designed range of 'Purist II' centerpin reels and has been developed with the help of Bob James. It features a low inertia take-off spool with a ventilated barrel, making it ideal for 'Wallis" casting."

Size4 3/8" Spool Diameter
Weight8.4 Ounces
MaterialsAluminum barstock body and spool, Stainless Steel Spindle
BearingsStainless steel bearings
FinishGrey anodized
Capacity180 yards of 20-pound Dacron backing, and 150 yards of .011 monofilament
DragOn/Off Click
Made"Assembled in England"

Removable KnobsFor Quick Spool Retrieve
Nickel Silver SpokesFor looks, don't wind by these!
Grub ScrewsFor Float Adjustment
Quick Release SpoolFor Convenience
CastingDesigned for the Wallis Cast

First Impression:
I purchased the reel because of JW Young's reputation for quality, and also because I liked the styling. Additional, I liked the spool tension adjustment feature, which is not even very commonly found on other top of the line 'pins.

Ratings: (out of 10)
CriteriaRating # 
Performance:  7
Construction/Quality:  8

Performs well. Easy startup, even in slow flow conditions and winter, and it's very smooth spinning once rolling.

A bit pricey. On the high end side, but is a high end reel.

Very well constructed. No major mechanical problems, but see my notes in the next section. Tolerances are not machined as tight as possible, but I look at this as a plus in that slight debris does not affect free spool as easily. Very scratch resistant tough anodized finish. The reel is a good size for steelheading and is lightweight...but not TOO lightweight.

The placement of the clicker engagement lever gets in the way when setting the hook or fighting a fish if you are right handed (would be well placed if you are left handed!). Also, the clicker drag is particularly weak and constructed with a spring component that is on the thin/wimpy side.

A good looking reel, with all the features you would want. Well constructed and tough (tougher than it looks!) and is a good size for Great Lakes steelheading. Spins well. The abundant porting on the reel is nice in that it yields a lightweight spool, yet allows plenty of spaces for the collection of debris or snow in winter. On the plus side for winter steelheading, the back plate is solid (non-ported). This reel is on the pricier side of production 'pins, but is top of the line.

Plus / Minus:
No Backplate PortingSpool Porting

I've beat on this reel on the Great Lakes tribs for 3+ years, and it still looks good and performs pretty much like new. I would recommend it overall.

Where to Buy:
Check out www.flydepot.com for this reel as well as quite a few other items of interest.

Manufacturers Information:
The web addy listed on their literature (jwyoung.co.uk) is dead. If anyone happens to have a good addy for JW Young please pass it onto us.

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