Best Bang for Your Buck... 3 wt Reel

Brookie_Hunter

aka Dave Hoover
#2
Pflueger Medalist 1492, a new or old version. Or find an old Martin 62 ($10-15) or Martin MG-3 ($45-50) reel off Ebay. The 62 is a basic, light reel to hold line which is all it'll be doing with a 3wt. The MG-3 is a sweet, very light reel and is often referred to as a Poor Man's Hardy. A Martin LM45 is also a nice older reel to consider...looks like a Orvis CFO.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#3
I like the Sage 3100, Sage 3200, Orvis BKLA I and II that I've got. Hold the line well. BKLA has a nice drag. Capacity of a line and some backing. Some good deals can be had on the 3100/3200 from time to time on the web via closeouts and the BKLA's pass through the classifieds from time to time too.
 
#4
Loomis Ventura will work well. Don't spend more than $100 bucks on a line holder. You'll be fishing for smaller fish and probably won't ever get into the backing. Expensive reels with expensive features will be like "teats on a boar."
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#8
I got me a Martin a few years back. Not to sure on the model as the reel is outside and I ain't going out to look at it. But it fits my 3wt rod like a glove. Oh, and I paid $29.95 for it and it also has a drag, but I doubt if I will ever need it on small fish.

I've always been on the cheap side and always look for a bargain if it could be had.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#11
Best bang for the buck could be a Ross Colorado size 0. They are discontinued but are often found on Ebay for less than their original price of $100. Light, simple spring and pawl reel, extremely well made, better tolerances than a Hardy Lightweight and half the price. Lower on the scale is the Reddington CT model I think it is. It was their only spring and pawl model that I've seen, also discontinued, but occasionally found on Ebay for around 60 or $70. Tolerances similar to Hardy. Otherwise any cheap small fly reel should do for a 3 wt, but since longevity is part of value, I don't know which ones are good, other than that Pflueger Medalist 1492, but it's clunky IMO.

Sg
 
#12
I bought a Ross Flywater. It's pretty smooth but they do not make it anymore. My best bang came when I bought a Marryat fo $50. Not much drag but then what would you hook on a 4 wt. anyway. Oh, wait a minute. That's the reel I caught my last steelhead on.
 

Plecoptera

Active Member
#15
For a 3wt think simplicity. You likely are not going to be catching fish on it that will make line burning runs, so any well built inexpensive click-pawl should do. Basically all the reel needs to do is hold line. Other things to consider would be cosmetics and weight.