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 blank, see the 2018 Fly Fisherman Gear Guide (On Sale now nationwide). Along the tangled shoreline of Brazil's Rio Marié you need a reel that has the power to stop fish before they are snared by submerged lumber and other structure. The Evolution R Salt has the drag to stop anything in the jungle including fish like this Chichla temensis, and the large frame-integrated drag knob lets you add immense pressure even with sweaty, slippery fingers.