Is there such a thing as a good sub $250 reel?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by IveofIone, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. I probably should have mentioned that my primary need is for a reel in the 4/5wt range. And also should have stated that I want a new reel with a factory warranty and readily available spare spools. Although there are some wonderful used reels out there that are real classics they rarely have an abundant supply of spools. My Okuma reel for my 6wt has five spools and my 3 Rocky Mountain reels have 11 or 12 spools.

    That is why I usually buy a modestly priced reel-I need a lot of spools. Five spools for an expensive reel can easily top $1,000 and then you have to buy flylines-ouch! This next reel I buy will be primarily for dry fly fishing as I hope to spend a lot of time in Idaho and Montana this year. A couple of spools should be good enough to start with and then I might want to add more later. The last two reels I have bought ceased production shortly after and left me scrambling to find parts and spares. I hope to avoid that this time.

  2. Everytime i read a thread about name brands etc. I think about the marketing plans of companys and how they get sooo many suckers to buy in. IF it takes an expensive reel for someone to land a fish, then they need that reel, IF you can land a fish on a low end reel then you landed a fish and saved money. Most, if not all people get fooled by price points... i have fallen victim too.
  3. Ive I agree with salmo the colorado is my favorite.However I just picked up a reddington drift as a gift for my son. I cant find anything wrong with it, machined click and pawl mid arbor lifetime warranty 99.00 bucks. Extra spools are about 60.00. Seems like very good quality I'm really impressed with it.
  4. Ive's post states that he WANTS a nicer reel. I missed the part where he states an expensive reel is NEEDED to catch fish. Any suggestions?
  5. Ross CLA 4 ; $230 new, lifetime warranty, bulletproof.
  6. Ive,

    I believe I saw the same episode of Trout TV the other day and it appeared that Chan was using a newer Sage reel. Not 100% certain, but pretty dang close to it...

    That said, I'd rather spend $250-300 and buy a US made Lamson, Ross, or Nautilus versus spending the same for a Korean made Sage reel.
    triploidjunkie likes this.
  7. I don't think you can go wrong with Orvis reels. I have a Battenkill III going on 15 years and it is still performs like new. Another option is the Lamsom lightspeed.
  8. Check out the deals on the Ross Vexsis reels at Madison River. Something like 50% off, meets your budget, a quality US made reel for around $160 or so.

    Go to their clearance section. I got a few Waterworks reels last year off of the them, good deals and fast shipping.

  9. The Reddington Drift does look like a nice reel with affordable spools. But I just noticed something else while thumbing through my 2013 catalogs. Feathercraft is showing a new Orvis Battenkill bar stock click and pawl reel in their latest catalog. I tried to look it up on line but no mention is made of it on the Orvis website. It turns out that it won't be available until March 25 hence no advertising yet.

    This looks like the classic flyreel of yore, is very light for a 3/5wt at 2.9 oz and has the old style tall and narrow spool. This appears to be a return to the more purist reels of pre disc drag days-an utterly simple reel with just one moving part. Reel cost is $98 and spools are $59. It looks like it would be a handsome match for my new CT 4wt. I'll for sure check this out before I buy anything else as the price is right, the guarantee is excellent, spools are affordable and it just looks like a reel instead of something you would see in a TireRack custom wheels catalog. But how does it sound? Some reels are really irritating and put your nerves on edge after just a few fish.

    Fiberglass came back, maybe click and pawl will too. Now if I could just buy another brand new 1994 Ram pickup for $17,823 again.........

    Steve Call likes this.
  10. I had an Orvis Battenkill that was made in England and liked it. But I got caught up the reel game and moved up to a Ross Gunnison 1. The Orvis had a nice sound. The Battenkill has been around for a long time and I think the difference between the new one and mine is the new one is machined...tighter tolerances. I'm sure these new reels will be around for a while and you'll have no trouble getting spare spools (one reason I like my Ross reels).
    I did check out the Able TR/2 reel and it's about $270. When you check out the Orvis, you should think about checking this one out. I don't know much about Abel, but I've heard good things and for some reels, when a new version comes out, I think the old spools fit and it may be that new spools will fit old reels. You'll have to ask someone more in the know than I.

    Good luck. Whatever you buy, I'll look forward to hearing your review.
  11. I'm still using the Rocky Mountain reels for my 4 weight, sorry, I can't replace 'em like you 'cause of the spools. I bought a Allen and spool for my 7, it was a low price deal and I'm completely satisfied with the drag, durability, and most of all the sound. Fix your RM's, and just say no to reels the price of a boat that sound like an untipped stripper....
  12. So far I really like my Allen alpha 2. The alpha 3 is probably better...
  13. Islanders (mostly) .
    constructeur likes this.
  14. +1 on the Redington Drift. I own/owned a few of the older CT series reels from Redington and if the Drift is half as good, it's great.
  15. Ive, if you go down that path, you need to match the reel to your outfit "du jour". A Hardy, say, to match the tweeds & school tie whilst on the beat, Some sort of big salt-water winch for when you stand on your ladder at Rocky Ford-that sort of thing. And then, of course, a Porsche Cayenne to carry it all.:D
    Grayone likes this.
  16. When it does I'm ready!


    Go clicky or go home! :)
    Kent Lufkin and Jim Wallace like this.
  17. If i was going to replace all of my Ross gunnisons with something else it would be Ross CLA series reels. They are american made have great customer service and if they are disconmtinued the manufacturer will have spare spools and parts way longer than my life expectancy. They may not be sexy butr they are bulletproof.
    In addition there are often spools for sale on auction sites.
    I would buy 3 Cla 2's with 3 additional spools and 1 Cla 3 and an additional spool.
    Ivan when you win the lottery and fund my retirement I will order them:)
    Mark Yoshida likes this.
  18. I'd say the list of brand name reels for under $250 that aren't good is probably shorter than the ones that are good.
    aplTyler and formerguide like this.

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