Saracione Islamorada #8 Fly Reel
The first reelmaker I contacted when I tried to get this business going in mid-1992 was Joe Saracione. I was
already a proud owner of a bunch of his reels and thought the world of all of them. Quite honestly, I thought that
if I wasn't able to land Saracione I probably didn't have a viable business idea in mind. I have been a Saracione
dealer ever since, except for a brief period when Joe retired from reelmaking. During 2010, Joe decided to
reintroduce his Deluxe II reels as he really missed doing the bench-made type of reel. Just Reels is one of just
a handful of Saracione dealers that has access to the Deluxe II. Like the original Deluxe II models, these have
gorgeous Ebonite hard rubber sideplates that appear to be rich wet black paint.                                                   

The rims are 18% German nickel/silver and the counterbalance and other trim on them is 12% German
nickel/silver. The Trout models have a non-adjustable gear and pawl system while the Salmon models have
Joe's famous cork disc drag featuring a nine position detent lever on the backplate. I've fished reels that have
the multi-shoe drum drag and find the disc drag smoother and the reels themselves quite a bit lighter. I also find
that the drags don't ramp up as quickly as most drum drags do. All of Joe's Salmon models are single action. I'm
trying to keep a few of the trout models in stock. Of course, as a Saracione dealer I can also set you up with
Joe's CNC Mark IV reels which also come in Trout, Salmon Gear and Pawl, and Salmon Disc Drag models. I
will not be keeping these in stock, but can usually get whatever you need within a week or so. I'd much prefer
to use the resources available to keep a few of the Deluxe II models on the shelf. All orders of Deluxe II models
require a 20% deposit and a quoted waiting time of 60-90 days. My experiences thus far have been that the
wait will likely be longer than that, but not the year plus that it could end up taking twenty years ago.
In August, 2012, Joe announced a new high-end saltwater reel called the Islamorada. In three sizes to match
up with the very popular bonefish, permit, and tarpon, each would of course serve many other purposes
including some in freshwater. The drag is actuated by a lever and has strong detents in each position. The
drag itself features three carbon fibre discs bearing against heavily anodized aluminum washers. It has a very
strong maximum drag and is designed and lubricated with the intent that it will eventually get wet. Even though
it's an open drag design, this should eliminate any hydroplaning. The bearings used are massive compared to
those used in most fly reels. That's one of the reasons for the slightly higher weights than many of the other
new reels on the market. These reels are intended to be serious gear that will stand up to the rigors that
saltwater fishing often provides. They are available in black, gold, silver, or any combination (frame/spool) of
those colors. I will, for now, be stocking them in all black. After the initial startup these should be available with
virtually no wait. That would mean ordering different colors should add only a few days to the process. All parts
are made by Saracione Mfg. in their shop in Oregon. Nothing is made overseas. Joe even does his own
anodizing. Call or e-mail me for more information on them.
Single action direct drive. Materials used: Precision machined 6061-T6
aluminum for frames, spools, side plates, and reel foot. Screws and reel
spindle are stainless steel. Bushings and bearings are made from
silicone-aluminum bronze. The trout models cannot be converted from right
to left hand retrieve, and must be ordered according to individual needs.
The salmon models can be easily converted from right to left hand retrieve
and have a super smooth disc drag made up of Rulon impregnated cork.
Spools can be quickly changed on all salmon models. Each reel is
individually numbered and carries a lifetime warranty for the original
purchaser. A warranty card is provided with each reel and simply needs to
be filled out and mailed to Saracione Manufacturing.
Lever Drag?

Lever drag systems are well
known to conventional anglers in
the saltwater world.  The idea is
fairly simple – a lever mounted to
the reel allows the angler to
quickly and predictably adjust the
drag setting during the heat of the
battle, in a much more consistent
way than can be done by twisting
a drag knob.

Joe has taken this concept to a
super high end saltwater reel.  
Here’s an example of how it might
work when you’re, say, tarpon
fishing in the Keys.
◾It’s your shot, so you hop up on
the bow of the boat.  Set the lever
in the middle position, and then
adjust the drag knob to the level
you typically want the drag when
you’re fighting fish.
◾Pull the lever to the ‘full off’
position, which backs off the drag
and makes it easy for you to strip
off line.
◾Move the lever back to the
middle position, and the drag is
right back where you initially set it.
◾Hook a fish (it’s that’s easy,
right?).  Fight the fish.  When he’s
right next to the boat in the final
stages of the fight, you might slide
the lever up to ‘full on’ position for
the mega-drag that helps end
things quicker.

So that’s the idea – you can
change the drag setting quickly,
and be confident in the amount of
drag you’ve got at each position of
the lever.
The drag on this thing looks and
feels extremely burly, employing 3
carbon fiber discs and aluminum
washers.  It comes in three sizes
corresponding to 8, 10 and 12
weight lines.  The #8 has a 4″
diameter; the #10 and #12 are
both 4 1/2″ in diameter, with
different width spools.

As you can see above, the reel
has a simple, classic look, and
having played with one in person
we can tell you that it’s got the
same super high-quality, weighty
feel of any Saracione reel.  You
can imagine passing this baby on
to your kids.

These new reels have a lever-lock drag adjustment. Now you just don’t see
this in a quality fly reel, but Joe has broken this barrier in astonishing
fashion. The idea behind the lever (kind of like a gear-adjustment handle on
and older-style ten-speed bicycle) is to give you the ability to change your
drag tension very quickly and precisely. The lever allows you to cover a
broad range of settings, while the smaller knob allows for fine tuning.

Fishing is so situational. While hunting big fish, there are times when you
want a very light drag and there are times when you want it really cranked
down. When peeling line off your reel for a cast you would prefer that the
line came off easily. However, while presenting a fly to say a Tarpon or
Giant Trevally, you had better be sure that you’re cranked up to deal with
the impending battle. The lever can get you from one end to the other in no
time. Furthermore, after learning the exact setting you need to be on for each
situation, you can go there and rest assured that it is accurate.

The Islamorada has an open drag assembly stacked with floating carbon
fiber and anodized aluminum discs. Joe is a firm believer in Carbon Fiber
and its ability to stay smooth and true even while wet. These discs equal out
to a lot of surface area, which is why they have such big-time stopping
The new Islamorada fly reel by
Saracione Manufacturing Co. is
designed for the extreme; Big
Bonefish, Big Permit, Big Tarpon
and Giant Trevally. Each reel
features a large multi-disc carbon
fiber drag system, treated with fresh
and saltwater impervious grease for
smooth action wet or dry. The drag
system is controlled during the play
of a fish with a repeatable lever
action control arm. The drag control
is enhanced by an engraved
position indicator around the
circumference of the reel frame.
Drag settings are strong and
positive in position, and repeatable
time after time during adjustment.
Further drag refinement is
controlled by a preset “Range Set”
knob that controls the lever drag
range. This knob allows you to
preset the entire drag range of the
lever for the precise drag settings
for tippet strength prior to fighting a
fish. By setting your preferred drag
load setting with the lever in the
(1/2) drag position the reel allows
you to increase and decrease drag
load during the fight; resetting each
drag position and load precisely
without question.
The reel features a large arbor
spool with a large easy palming
rim for added control, and a large
counterbalanced handle knob.
Each reel is labeled in the target
line class specification as a
designated model; #8, #10 and
#12. Line specifications are listed
in 20lb micron for the #8 and 30
lb micron for the #10 and #12
models. All components are made
from aircraft quality 6061-T6
Aluminum Alloy are anodized with
a beautiful corrosion resistant
finish while all other components
are polished stainless steel with a
black Delrin handle knob for
absolute durability