We graded each reel on a 1-5 scale in three areas:
1. Price
2. How the reel felt and reacted as the motorcycle sped away
3. How we like handling the reel

Then we made “judges deductions” for any beefs we had about the reels.

$295 in the Featherweight model, which intentionally does not include the CCF disc brake drag element of the larger saltwater models.
Score: 4.5 out of 5

How it “Met the Street”
Pretty darn good, especially at the startup. There’s nothing jerky about this drag, and at trout speeds, it’s plenty muscular. Very impressive, all around.
Score: 4 out of 5

Functional Review
Nautilus reels are great values, throughout the range of weights and classes offered. It’s easy to pop the spool on the move, and frames are very light. This is a “thinking man’s” reel.
Score: 4 out of 5

We’re scratching our heads here. The price isn’t cheap, but it is pretty fair. We like the quietness, and really like the resistance-free forward cranking. Why don’t more people know about Nautilus?
Deductions: 0

Total Score: 12

Watch More Reel Tests:

Trout Reels Hatch 3-Plus Nautilus 5 Abel Pt. 5 Ross Evolution Orvis Battenkill Mid Arbor Scientific Anglers System 2L Model 45L Bauer JM2 Bonefish Reels Sage 3400 Nautilus 8 Bauer MX4 Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor **Big Game Reels ** Orvis Vortex (VO2) 8-11 Nautilus 12 Hatch 9-Plus Abel Super 10