Nautilus Reels


Prior to going Cuba, Jim T. and I had the opportunity to swing by Nautilus Reels in Miami, Florida.  Kristen Mustad was available to give us a tour.   “Made in the USA” really means something when you see the manufacturing capabilities of this outstanding fly reel company.

Seventh generation metal mechanics manufacturers that have been in the fishing industry for all seven generations, Nautilus Reels emerges from 6x grandchildren of Ole Mustad, founder of O. Mustad & Søn — a metal mechanics company founded in 1832 in Norway.

The Mustad family has a history of impassioned dedication to the development of revolutionary technologies for the production of small metal parts and the redesigning of existing products and processes to make them more efficient and effective.  Our tour  through the Nautilus Reels factory revealed this history is in full effect now, as Nautilus continues to to improve reel parts for increased function, strength, and weight.


CNC machines, programmed to cut raw aluminum bars into individual rounds to be fully machined into reels, abound in the Nautilus facility.


Recognizing the significance of the environment.  Nautilus reels places a heavy emphasis on recycling all of its machining waste.   


We fly anglers have a propensity for asking that “special color” be available and Kristen has stepped up to the challenge by providing very striking custom colors.


We were very impressed with the assembly, repair, and packaging area.  Yes, all in the same room!  



Having visited a few suppliers in a previous career, the real measure of product reliability or quality often lies in the percentage of defective product or customer returns.  I asked the question, “So, show me your repair or return area.”  Kirsten smiled and pointed to the above picture.  “That’s it!”  It seems that small stack of a dozen or so boxes was the returns for about a month.   Bottom line;  Very few Nautilus reels come back.   Jim and I took three Nautilus reels to Cuba and all worked flawlessly.


Laser printing is done in the same area as well as repairs.


Nautilus fly reels are one of the finest reels made and are the product of 180 years of family tradition, innovation, and excellence. 

During our visit we could understand how the employees are amplified by passion, family tradition, and tons of experience with machinery.  Experience, Tradition and Excellence are the banners held high in a company that prides itself in producing very innovative and cutting edge designs for fly reels.  Kristen shared new designs on paper of what products are in the pipeline  from Nautilus….stay tuned…

Thanks to Kristen, Jesus, and all of the employees we met.  Made in USA and “Tested on Animals”…yep, we understand it now!


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1 Response to Nautilus Reels

  1. Erik Brudvig says:

    Lou, the million dollar question, though is… did you put a tarpon on one of those reels?? Looking forward to hearing more about your adventure.

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