Qualifly Razorback 4/6 Fly Reel Review
Updated: Apr 14, 2020
If I was never a user of social media, Qualifly Reels is a label I may not have discovered yet. Though smaller in size, the brand offers a similarly small but very intriguing lineup which currently includes their Carbontech, Maverick, and Razorback reels. For our first Qualifly review to date, I selected a Razorback 4/6 reel because of a particular out-of-the-ordinary design feature. Keep reading to discover what that is...
Reel Size: 4/6
Measured Weight: Approx 6.66 ounces
Diameter: 3.5 inches
Spool Width: Approx 1 1/8 inches
Backing Capacity (20lb): up to 100 yards
Tested Max Drag: 20+ pounds
Spool Release: No Tools Needed
Color Options: Black/Silver, Olive Green/Silver, Burnt Orange/Silver
Reel Pouch Included: Yes
Spare Spool: $133.99
Reel Price: $209.99
Besides the can't-miss-it color scheme, something else that caught my eye immediately was the generous porting throughout the spool and frame. There's holes and slots just about everywhere (except the foot) which adds visual appeal but more importantly shaves off unnecessary weight. It's got an interesting aesthetic, that is for sure.
The fit and finish of the entire package was good. Inside and out, there were no glaring issues in the machining and the reel offers up a high-quality look and feel. The only little thing I noticed was the spool counterweight could be moved back and forth with my fingers ever so slightly, but that may or may not be just part of the design. Regardless, 99.9% of folks likely will never even notice it.
Another note, though not really having to do with quality, is that I couldn't find any line weight markings on this reel. I already knew it was the 4/6 model, but if someone just handed it to me without saying anything, I'd have no clue what specific line sizes it was made for.
The reel is on the wider side for its size, measuring about 1 3/4 inches from outer frame edge to outer spool edge. It also weighed in at about 6.6 ounces on my scale, in contrast to the 5.5 ounces that's advertised.
One key design feature of the Razorback is the cone drive which is the cone-shaped spindle/housing at the heart of the reel. Qualifly says that "It eliminates the effects of torque and shock by providing additional surface contact and by locking the spool into place on a conical cylinder. The drive cylinder is grooved to prevent taper lock and provides for easy removal of the spool."
I filled my Razorback with WF5F RIO Bonefish line and paired it with a custom EDGE Gamma Beta 5 weight rod.
The drag system uses carbon discs and a reverse bearing which are all fully-sealed from the elements. On the performance front, the drag was quite smooth. Even at higher settings, it engaged with no detectable startup inertia and fed out line with good consistency.
Earlier I mentioned an out-of-the-ordinary design feature, and here it is: the drag adjustment. Rather than a small knob like we're all used to, the entire back of the Razorback's frame turns to adjust the drag. It's an interesting concept, but one that may take a little getting used to at first. I often found myself blindly reaching for a knob when the drag needed adjusting; a product of pure muscle memory!
There's a little dead spot or bit of "play" between each setting, but the rotation of the drag dial felt nice and smooth. The patterning along the rim offers a tad more grip, however I'd like to see it a little more aggressive for better use with slimy, wet fingers.
Going from zero to max drag takes just about two turns of the dial and there's soft clicks throughout but no real defined detents. The first one and a half turns or so don't do much to alter drag pressure, but after that it starts ramping up more noticeably with each click. Get this...after eeking out the last few clicks of the dial, I was able to register over 20 pounds of pressure! That's more drag pressure than many saltwater-specific reels offer.
The spool/frame and handle/spool connections felt quite solid with no wiggle or play here. Because of this, the reel offers a satisfying feeling when cranking in line. The clicking sound while both reeling and pulling off line is on the mellow side but sounds fine.
Spool removal is done in a straightforward way by unscrewing the center cap. It's got plenty of texturing for a sure grip and the knob sticks out past the edge of the spool slightly which makes it even easier to access. The spool comes off and goes on in the simplest of ways and the cap stays connected the whole time so it doesn't plop in the water and end up getting swept a mile downstream.
The Qualifly Razorback impressed with sleek craftsmanship and very capable all-around performance. I think any potential buyers will be pleased by how the Razorback looks and operates and feel the $209.99 price is very fair for what you get.
Razorback reels are saltwater-safe and a larger 6/8 size is indicated, but at the time of this writing (April 2020) I don't see one available for purchase on the website yet.