The original Evolution R has a braking system derived from 7 stacked stainless steel and carbon fluoropolymer disks. What’s better than a little cowbell in a great song? How about more cowbell? The new Evolution R Salt has a 16-disk drag system that produces nearly 30 pounds of drag. The large frame-integrated drag knob makes it easy to turn up the volume. Instead of one counterbalance, the Salt R has two smaller offset counterbalances to reduce vibrations when line is being ripped from the reel, and a reel handle machined from canvas phenolic rod. It comes in diameters of 4.08″, 4.43″, and 4.75″ to suit 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12 fly lines, $600. rossreels.com
To find out more about why the spine of a rod is important, and to learn how to find the spine of your rod black, see the 2018 Fly Fisherman Gear Guide (On Sale now nationwide).