Large arbor reel....hell

Hi guys!
I posted a couple weeks ago about travel rods...Finally bought one, a Redington wayfarer 5 piece, 9' 5-weight. Got a great deal on ebay...
Anyway, I want to upgrade my reel. I'm currently using a Orvis and a SA, on the cheaper end, not sure which models off the top of my head.
I really want a Large Arbor reel(5-weight). Of course I'd love a sage 3000, but I think my rent comes first, lol.... Are there any decent large arbor reels in the under $150 range? I've heard only negatives about that Scientific anglers large arbor which runs about $65 and I've had terrible luck with their products, so I'm not considering that one.
Anyone have a suggestion?


If you don't want to spend to much on a reel. Try or check out the Okuma fly reels. I got one for winter steelheading for under 40.00 bucks. Large arbor. :BIGSMILE
I saw some Redington Large Arbors for a 5-weight that were around 130. G Loomis Adventure Series reels are well built at about 100 (but not large arbor). I think the Tiogas by Teton (or the other way around?) are between 100 and 150. You might also check and see what Ross has. If your Orvis is an old Battenkill, check what they've come up with since, a lot of different models at a lot of different price points.

At the price you're looking for, you have a bit of choice and should still be able to find something of reasonable quality and cache. I don't want to dismiss the Okumas, as I know nothing about them, but I also don't think anybody should dismiss the role of vanity in equipment choice. This is flyfishing after all, and you want to be able to hold your head up if you wind up in a boat with some swell and his Abel.
Redington has some great new reels out for around the price that you want. I highly recommend the GD series. The large arbor version is the AL series and it is a little more expensive


New Member

I don't think you can go wrong with the Teton Tioga. I don't use a large arbor but there standard is a very good reel at a very reasonable price. I like the fact they don't charge an arm and a leg for additional spools. I can also say that their service is good. Had a problem with the drag after two seasons. They fixed, no charge.
I've been at this long enough to qualify as a curmudgeon, so my two cents worth is, if you buy a standard spool type reel, and get one just a little bit larger than you might think you need, and then fill up the excess with backing, then you suddenly have a 'large arbor' reel and since dacron backing weighs very little, at no sacrifice of weight. And hey, you've got an extra 75 or 100 yards of insurance to boot! A used Hardy Princess, or a nice old Pridex or Beaudex in the 3 1/2" size is a great 5wt reel. And you've avoided being a victim of the latest trend.
Like cantcatchem66 I bought an Okuma 7/8 large arbor reel. Although I haven't been out with it yet I have done some practice in the yard. haha It seems pretty good, especially the price! And it has a 1 year over the counter guarantee. If for any reason just take it back where you got it. Good Luck
Jim J.
I also now own an Okuma Integra in 8/9 ($42.50 at the Puyallup show), and it worked flawlessly on a steelhead last month. I bought it as a backup reel (for my wife, or as a "loaner" to friends), and have not been disappointed with the quality, at least not yet.

Besides the Okuma, I own a Hardy Princess and Marquis, a few Lamson's (LP-1, LP-2, and LP-5---I used to get Lamson's wholesale), an old Pfluegger (still tickin), a Martin (piece of junk, but for $10 including a floating line, it was a deal), and an STH (good reel for the money). I used to own a Ross Gunnison, which I thought was a fine reel as well, but it made a nice graduation gift.

It's true, I have to admit that my Hardy Princess is my favorite (for a 5/6), with my Lamson LP-1 coming in at number two. The Princess is about 25 years old now, and has worked flawlessly on everything from chinook to bluegill---the only drawback is the drag adjustment.

I must say I agree with Thardy, that you should buy a size larger than you think you'll need, and end up with a "large arbor reel". When you're talking about a 5 weight rod anyway---it's not like you'll be going after tarpon or chinook, right? For the $$$, the Okuma gets my vote.
Redington RS2 or Teton Tioga. both under 150
I use RS2 7/8 for salmon/steelhead kind of fishing
Drag is superb and easy to adjust when playing fish
Don't buy Okuma Airstream it's cheap but drag is terrible and quality is a crap