I'm going to take this thread back to the OP's original question...
There are a lot of reels out there that meet your requirments - typical Florida inshore fishing....
You don't say where you're located or if there is a local tackle shop/fly fishing shop. If there is, pay them a visit (bring your rod) and explain to them what you are looking for and your budget. They might have a used/demo reel they're willing to get rid of, or another customer may be selling a reel on consignment...
In addition to the Orvis reels, look at Ross Reels. In particular the Ross CLA 4 (Cimarron Large Arbor). Retail is $250. Ross makes a nice reel. Put a 8wt WF floating line and 20lbs dacron backing and you're in business.
You can also go on line and google <Scientific Anglers Sytem 2 reels>. I use a SA System 2 7/8 reel quite often. It's not as nice as my other 7/8 reel, but the drag is smooth and steady; and will handle any speckled trout, redfish or snook around... You should be able to find a tackle shop selling one on line for around $150.
What is your take on Galvan's Torque lineup for saltwater use?
If your going to buy a Galvan to fish a few times a year, in the salt, Maybe for Sea trout, or Redfish which I think or dogs as far as fighters, I guess it would be OK, If you plan to fish for some real azz kickers, I would step it up a notch and buy a full time saltwater reel, hopefully with a big cork drag and one that is impervious to saltwater. There isn't a fine line with saltwater reels, whereas one works and one doesn't, The heavyduty (better made) saltwater reels will do the job in stride, whereas a lesser reel will not, and if it isn't in tip top shape it will fail. the above is only my 2 cents...you might just have to go through a few lesser reels? to learn, I know I did...good luck
I'm really happy you caught a 42 inch redfish, Just about any saltwater fish will take you into your backing if you let it. I don't think that one catch was any kind of a test for any kind of reel. I was in Marathon one year, catching little tarpon and bone fish, we found some redfish and I caught a few (what dogs), of course compared to the bones and poons the reds were a joke...maybe that wasn't a good test either for Redfish? Good luck with your Nautilus
Last edited by Carl Blackledge; 01-05-2013 at 12:38 AM.