Originally Posted by Felizondo
As MarlinMate1 mentioned, I have BFC's on my boat. I have a set of eight for trolling for white marlin and sailfish.
When I first bought them I thought I might be out of my mind because of the cost, but you could not make me go to another reel now. They are fantastic. The drag is smooth as silk and the reels drop back to fish better than any other reel I ever used, because of their very light weight spools. More than adequate capacity for 20-30lb. Extremely fast retrieve.
The weather conditions in Mexico last spring were horrendous many days, a lot worse than typical and while we were circling up sea for a second or third hook up the boat was being blown toward the hooked fish. Too many anglers were having trouble keeping a tight line, so I bought the BFC's for their lighting retrieve speed. Solved the issues and we were able to catch more multiples and release a single a LOT faster with the BFC's with the anglers being able to keep up with the boat. We had the same great experience with the BFC's fishing for white marlin.
Some fishermen don't like the drag lever detent between free spool and drag, but I like it and so do the guys who fish with me and my captain too. You get used to it quick. But if you don't like it, it can be removed easily by a competent shop or by yourself.
If they BFC's have a negative it is the lack of harness lugs, which 99.9% of the time is no issue. But it becomes an issue when you end up hooking a blue or big tuna on one by accident, or when the angler is a child or an inexperienced woman. This can be overcome a couple of ways, one is to crimp a small loop of 300lb mono around each reel seat bolt so you can slip the harness hooks or clips into the loops, and, can't recall who, someone makes an aftermarket reel seat with lugs on each side for harness hooks.
I bought the reels in February or March last spring and we have caught about 125 billfish on them and countless tuna, mahi, etc. There has been no maintenance other than typical washing required in the time I've owned them.
While trolling for white marlin, we hooked about a 320lb big eye, which we lost at the boat after almost three hours. We had to increase the drag during the fight to make headway and the fish was fought at 16lbs of drag, as tested after the fight. That BFC showed no ill effects and you couldn't pick it out from the other seven on board. FWIW, we crimped on 300lb mono loops so the angler could use a harness an hour and change into the fight. If we had done that earlier I think we would have landed that fish. The angler did a great job and gave all he had, but was too beat at the end to avoid making a fatal mistake, which was to lean too far back, trying to rest, and making the rod angle too high, which parted the line with the fish just out of gaff reach. The reel was spooled with 25lb Suffix Hi-Vis, for white marlin.
Another possible weakness might be a tendency for the drag to back off it's preset while either being shuffled into the cabin or to the cockpit or while in the rack awaiting the next trip. I'm not sure on this, but a couple of times we would find that one of the reels had a lighter than typical drag. We use a 7lb strike drag. I'm not 100% sure if it is a trait of the reel or if it is occurring because of handling by my crew or others on board. My crew does store the reels (read: are supposed to and usually do) with the lever backed off.
Like I wrote earlier, I wouldn't own a different reel now that I used the BFC's.