Good steelhead reels?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Jake Bannon, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. Don Freeman Freeman

    Posts: 1,252
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +204 / 0
    Don't be afraid to consider an Okuma, including the Integrity if your budget constraints keep you in that price range. I used the 7/8 for several seasons, and the only problem was on a 19 degree morning on the Clearwater, when it iced up and free-wheeled, but then what didn't?

    I have since sold it to a friend , who continues to abuse it in saltwater. The Helios, their top of the line isn't bad for the price either, I use a 5/6 for SRC's and coho as well.

    I have also caught lots of steelhead on my Ross Cimmaron (standard arbor) which I found used for under a hundred bucks, and it's still strong years later.

    All that said, I'm really stoked over my Ross Momentum for most heavier use, but it's way past the price you're looking for. Find something serviceable and save your change for a top notch reel. Back in the 80's I caught plenty of steelhead on an old Martin click and pawl by palming the rim. I didn't know what I was missing, and it never cost me a fish, even when I could smell the hot metal on a good Deschutes summer run..
  2. synister370 New Member

    Posts: 88
    pittsburgh pa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    i was given a orvis batenkill iv reel gold this summer as a present...

    i have to say this is my favorite reel....i useed it all the season and still am for steel head the drag adjuct is very easy to use...and hold great for big steelhead...handled perfect to a 13.5 lb erie trib steelhead this year buddy had a bogo grip with a scale on it...released to be caught another day...


    but i love this reel and i use it from lil brook trout up to the steelhead or erie and new york tribs...

    i have my eye on the loop classic and saving pennies for it but that will be along way off...but for now the orvis batkinell is awsome and u can pick one up fairly cheep!>>!
  3. Steelie Mike Active Member

    Posts: 1,600
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +24 / 0

    Sounds like love!
  4. Big Tuna Member

    Posts: 1,958
    Wenatchee, Washington
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    I have both the Orvis mid-arbor and a Teton Tioga. Just got the mid-arbor because I needed a reel for a 6 weight I only use occasionally. I've not been real (or is that reel) impressed. I frankly like the Tioga better. I tend to agree w/ Rick. Buy something serviceable used or get something cheap like a Pflueger and then save for a nicer reel. You can get the older model Lamson Velocity for about $150.00 brand new. Just go to mrfc.com and go to the bargains. I'm pretty sure they still have some 3.5's. I have a 3.0 and a 4.0 and they're a pretty decent reel for the money. Same drag as the Litespeed, just a little heavier.
  5. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,458
    .
    Ratings: +434 / 0
    I agree, "rods break, reels are forever". I can't imagine what kind of abuse it would take to wear out or damage a fly reel short of wildly overmatching reel and fish (such as using a Pflueger Medalist for marlin) or simply ignoring the simplest maintenance procedures. Fly reels are among the most overdesigned (and overpriced) consumer items on the market today. Given minimal maintenance I would expect nearly any reel available today to last a lifetime or two.

    For that matter, come to think of it, rods don't just "break", rods are broken. The overwhelming majority of rod breakages are the result of operator error.
  6. Will Atlas Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've got a teton tioga that is pretty sweet and fairly close to your price range.
  7. myflysdown Member

    Posts: 97
    Long Beach, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    All said above; the Venture-7 by G. Loomis, is hard to beat in that price range. Second season Salmon fishing and Steelhead fishing. 15+ fish over 35lbs. and no problems with the reel or the drag!!! VM.
  8. Mark Speer It's all good.....

    Posts: 393
    Clarkston,WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You can get the older model Lamson Velocity for about $150.00 brand new. Just go to mrfc.com and go to the bargains. I'm pretty sure they still have some 3.5's. I have a 3.0 and a 4.0 and they're a pretty decent reel for the money. Same drag as the Litespeed, just a little heavier.[/QUOTE]

    :thumb:I picked up one of the Velocities a month ago, they call it a Hybrid..last years spool with current ported frame. If you don't mind the mis matched colors ( which I don't) it is a sweet reel. $170 for the 4.0. My son has a litespeed, and Lamson has been great to deal with on parts.
  9. Peter Pancho Active Member

    Posts: 1,747
    Gig Harbor,WA
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    It is hard to find a reel that has a lifetime warranty that costs between 80-100.00, although they do exit.

    If you are hard pressed to not go beyond that 100.00 dollar mark, look for used, say a used Orvis BBS ie;http://cgi.ebay.com/Orvis-6-8-wt-Ba...ryZ23818QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    here is another great deal:http://cgi.ebay.com/Tioga-fly-fishi...ryZ23818QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Deals like these come all the time on Ebay. All the Okuma,Phluger,etc reels have only a 1 year warranty. Why waste 30-50.00 dollars on something that after a year, you are SOL if it breaks. Hard earned money in the garbage.:ray1:
  10. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,422
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +511 / 0
    Ross Cimarron ....sometimes you can get a deal on these, still 150 bones.

    Redington has a nice CD reel ...approx 139.00

    Orvis options :thumb: watch for deals from store

    Tioga ...solid

    and there's the medalist which is tried and true for many, it works.
  11. Jim Kaiserman Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've used a Pflueger Trion on my 8 wt rods for two years. Absolutely love it. I don't believe that you'd regret buying one. Like most of you I own a number of reels from Pfluegers to a couple of Hardy reels. If they cost the same amount of money I'd still buy the Trion. Excellent reel for the dollar.

    Woodfan
  12. hendersonbaylocal Member

    Posts: 966
    Seattle WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    :thumb:I picked up one of the Velocities a month ago, they call it a Hybrid..last years spool with current ported frame. If you don't mind the mis matched colors ( which I don't) it is a sweet reel. $170 for the 4.0. My son has a litespeed, and Lamson has been great to deal with on parts.[/QUOTE]

    Or the radius... mrfc has them as well for a bit cheaper... same drag as both the velocity and litespeed I believe
  13. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,046
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    For where you are in life, and your budget, the venerable Pflueger Medalist, hands down. You can get a reel and at least one extra spool, with a few extra bucks left over. Tons and tons of feisty and hard pulling fish have been caught with Medalist reels, and they just take a licking and keep on ticking . . . I have gobs of reels, and still have my old Medalist reels.

    If you stay in fly fishing, you will soon be ready for a move-up reel. So, don't get caught up, at your age, with the 'spend more money and buy it right' approach. Heck ,you'll find that you'll be wanting that next best and greatest item, so expect that you'll be buying new gear throughout your fly fishing career. Get what you need to get the job done, and just 'know' that you'll be getting something different in the not so distant future. ;)
  14. mike doughty Honorary Member

    Posts: 10,179
    the uinta's
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    that's what i was thinking.

    i had both the adventure 5 and 7 and although the 7 worked decent for chms i didn't think it was overly smooth, not compared to the 5 anyway
  15. mike doughty Honorary Member

    Posts: 10,179
    the uinta's
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    my roommate has the csr and had no problems with it landing the one steelhead he caught on it, but how long it will last, who knows
  16. LD Active Member

    Posts: 1,059
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +81 / 6
    There is an Orvis battenkill mid-arbor IV with a spare spool on ebay, worth following.
  17. MotoXmg New Member

    Posts: 61
    Hood River, Oregon
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    ..I have a Teton Tioga and a Cortland Endurance LA and I enjoy both of them. I know they are not the most expensive ones out there, but since I bought the Cortland, 1 month ago, I have landed 5 Steelhead on the Hood River.:p
  18. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,473
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,616 / 0
    Jake,

    As expected, you've received a ton of recommendations that basically list people's favorite reels. For trout and panfish, there are no bad reels. Anything will do. Almost the same goes for steelhead. I've caught steelhead on $3 reels I got from Goodwill, but they don't last for long. The best value for $ is the often mentioned Pflueger Medalist. I have three; they never wear out, and they are not my favorite. My favorites are Hardys, but they're expensive, and they also last a lifetime. If you're interested in something more nicely made than a Medalist, but less than $100, look for a discontinued Ross Colorado on Ebay. I bought a couple for $65 each, but as they've become less common, they are going for more. The Colorado is well made like a Hardy, and also spring and pawl drag system, and more affordable.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
  19. Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

    Posts: 2,051
    Washington
    Ratings: +53 / 0
    I don't have an older medalist to verify, but I just picked up 3 new ones and the rim control 1500s have a plastic ratchet and plastic ratchet spring cover. I think I remember the old ones being metal. Not 100% sure on that so hopefully someone can chime in there. I also have a couple Trions and they are great for the money. The only thing I don't like about it is the handle washer. It is a biatch to get sand/dirt out from inbetween the wood handle and the washer. Replacing it with a washer that is a hair wider would probably do the trick but I'm lazy.
  20. P-FITZ98 Member

    Posts: 257
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    I agree with Freedon, for the money(under a bill), the Okuma integrity is damn hard to beat.I own several 8/9 and 10/11s.I also use mid-arbor orvis reels.The money saved can be spent on other spools and lines.If it goes to shit,you arent out a fortune.In fact I use Okumas more than my battenkills.