Now this is something I am intrigued about, for various reasons.
I've been using closed face reels on and off for years, since the old fella gave me his 1970's 506. As all of the original, Swedish built, Abu's this is a solid reel, built to last, and great for trotting a stick float. I still use it now. It's not perfect though - the drag / clutch system was useless, and most have had the anti reverse dog removed because of this. It's great for bagging up on dace, but quite often I would hook up on a decent chub and that's when difficulties arose. For some reason, I struggled to control them, couldn't back wind quickly enough or wasn't comfortable putting loads of strain on the reel. I usually landed them, but with difficulty. I've also tried a 501 which, for all intents and purposes is the same reel.
Abu then brought out a modern looking 706 - built quality was very plastic, but it performed, same issue with the drag though. The 506 MK II came out a couple of years ago, performs very well indeed, and incorporates a quarter turn mechanism to reduce the drag when playing a fish close in. The drag still wasn't up to scratch though.
So today I noticed out of the corner of my eye when in the tackle shop, this 507 MK II.
First thing I noticed was that's it's bigger than the 506 and felt more solid. Second thing is that it has a rotating drag on the bottom, that feels very smooth (when turning the spool by hand and altering the drag). You could feel the subtle increase in drag with each turn. I've not tried it yet, just bought it, but I think that the drag could, for the first time, be useable. When a fish takes line, the cup and pin remain stationary and the spool rotates, exactly how such a system should work. The older versions were just odd, the cup would rotate to give line, akin to back winding....
It comes with 3 shallow spools and 1 deep spool. I honestly believe that this well cover most of my river float fishing needs, perfect for trotting a float. The true test will be to see how it copes when dealing with a bag of chub on the river Swale, and I intend to try it out in the next week or two.