|MH: I roll my own blanks and have used Sage blanks exclusively since RP...since you have already purchased your blank my suggestion is somewhat tardy. I would not have suggested Sage since their price point is higher than yours but I would have suggested St. Croix...you indicated all lined guides...not sure what you meant...but if you meant Al Oxide or SiC Fuji(type) strippers plus lined single foots in lieu of snakes...I would suggest REC Recoil Titanium snakes and strippers because of your "safari" destination. They flex but do not break whereas the others do, that is the ceramic liner, with proper impact. Thus leaving you with a sharp edged frame. I use two ceramic lined strippers( 16 and 20 both single foot) on my 8wt; same on 9wt except the 20 is double foot); 10 wt 16, 20, single foot and 20 double; and Recoil Ti snakes thereafter...but my "safaris" are in the wilds of Keys and Biscayne Bay with two 8s, a 9, two 10s, three 11 so if I should lose a liner there's back up...|
As for reels I buy used or discontinued Abels all solid backs...best buy/function IMO are Big Game 3...they have a 3.91 in diameter spool...not the trendy 4 plus diameter large arbor ultralites...but neither is their ebay pricing; can be low under 325 US and the other would be Big Game 3N 3.74 spool diameter using 30 or 40 Braid backing and 7 or 8 wt line you will have 225-250 yds backing...you will have to crank fast to uptake with those spool diameters but if I can do it with me arthritic 70 year old hands, bad shoulders, and knee... wobbling on the casting deck you can do it.
And if you should get an older Big Game 3 or 3N with a solid back during your off season you can send it to Jeff at Abel and have them lazer the Skull and Bones on the backside...quite appropriate for your roots as all the notable pirates and privateers were Britain's.
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