Orvis Access or Used Battenkill LA

I'm having a hard time deciding which direction to go! I recently moved to WA from back East where all I needed was my little Click and Pawl, but now, with the opportunity to fish for larger trout and saltwater cutthroat, it seems best to get something with a drag.

The Access has a sealed drag, but is a mid arbor (I'm used to standard arbor)
The Battenkill LA does not have a sealed drag, but is a large arbor.

I currently fish the Cedar River and have planned trips to the Yakima and use a 5wt Trident TLS Mid Flex, and I have a budget of $170.
I have both the Access in an 8wt and the Battenkill in a 4wt. I like the Access better for anything bigger than a 4wt. A 5 is right on the edge, anything bigger and I'd get the Access. I think the Battenkill is better in the smaller sizes


Active Member
If you are talking about the original gold really really large arbor reels that were one of the first large arbors, I would fish it in fresh water only and cherish and take care of it lovingly because you will not get another. The Access will take the salt although I would recommend you remove the spool and wash both the spool and frame thoroughly.

You might be overthinking the arbor thing. Whatever the size of the arbor for the reel you get, you'll get used to it. Based on what you want your "new" reel for and what Leland said, I recommend the Access. I'm also partial to sealed drags.
Hey All! Thanks for all of the great comments, it seems the Access is the winner in terms of versatility. I guess my only concern regarding Arbor size is that the sport seems to be moving towards a Large Arbor in general... I'll probably have to come by and see Leland...

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
My older model black anodized Battenkill LA 5/6 (that I picked up "pre-owned") doesn't hold very much backing. Enough for trout, though. I rarely get into my backing anyway. I had been using in in the estuaries and tidal creeks for searun cutts, and rinsing it well.
Both spools came loaded with 6 wt lines, and I still have the same lines on it. Airflo Ridgeline floater, and a type 2 clear intermediate full-sink, that might also be an Airflo.

I've just been trout fishing with 3 and 4 wts lately, and have a new 5 wt I want to use.


Active Member
Something to think about!

If your trident is 8 1/2 to 9 ft. those rods were pretty heavy, I think at least 3 1/2 ounces. The access 3 reel only weighs in at 4.6 ounces and the access 4 only weighs in at 5.2 ounces. If you bought a 4 I think it would actually second as a steelhead reel being able to put an 8 wt. line on it also. just over line the backing for the 5 wt line and take some off for steelhead fishing and the 5.2 ounces would balance your rod better.

The original battenkill LA 3 weighs almost 6 ounces. the 2 weighs a lot less and what I use on my 3 and 4 weight rods that weigh 2 1/2 ounce and 2 3/4 ounces. but the LA 3 might not be that bad for the heavy trident in balance and you could always use 50 pound tuff line for backing which is way thinner than normal backing and you can get a lot more on a smaller spool than normal 20# backing. also it is twice as strong as your fly line so no backing braking if you hook a silver and have a real fight on your hands.

The access 4 is also 3 1/2 inches a little larger than the 3, I over line larger - lighter reels with backing for trout rods a lot and than can just use them for steel or silvers when needed!

I want to buy a original battenkill LA 3 for my 5 wts. but my 5 wts. only weigh 2 3/4 ounces and think they would just be to heavy. but man do I love those reels! looking at a original LA- 4 right now for steelhead on my single hand 8 wts. although I don't need it - I just want it!!!
Mark has a really good point.. I'll probably go with the Battenkill LA, I can always put 7wt line on it for the Pinks!

Thank you everyone for your input. I'm an avid Forum user for many of my hobbies, and although I've only just joined WFF, you've all convinced me this is the best group of individuals.