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

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

  1. If you end up with an Orvis BBS reel, machine yourself a better clicker. My drag works great still but the cheap plastic clicker broke last summer fighting a big Blackfoot cutthroat...
  2. I've been around "a while." I fish freshwater. I own "several" reels, rods, flies, lines, guns, cameras, accessories, etc. The reels have this in commom IMHO (worth just that, no more . . . ):
    1) They all hold line & backing.
    2) My fingers have adapted over the years to perfoming as a most-efficient drag system to suit my needs.

    That being said, life is fleeting . . . get what makes YOU happy (my apology in advance to my Kids who will have to sort-out the value of "what made me happy" after my demise, lol.).
    Grayone likes this.
  3. Jesse, strange you should mention the lottery. A few weeks ago when it was about 5.2 million I came so close to winning that my heart stopped for a second. But it wasn't horsehoes and I didn't win. I had some good plans though. I was going to get my best fishing buddies (There's only about 4 of you....) together for a few days at some place like Three Lakes to fish and discuss where you wanted to go in Montana,Wyoming, Idaho or Colorado this summer and then reserve a week on some private water where we could fish our brains out. At the end of the week we would drive over to Dave Smith Motors in Kellog and I would treat everyone to the new rig of their choice. And don't bull shit me Jesse-I know you would accept a Ram Diesel Dually 4wd Crew Cab 3500 Laramie in lieu of that Ford King Ranch you have been lusting for!

    It's nice to fantasize but reality isn't so bad either. Retired 13 years, healthy and financially secure, I'll take that anytime.
    Steve Call likes this.
  4. Hardy LRH is that size and sings a pretty song. Most will hold out for an older English made one but I have heard that the new ones (Korean I think) are actually done very well. I've fingered a couple in the shop and can't tell the difference. Around $260. I can understand and support buying US or English though.
  5. Echo Ion. Disc drag of some kind, clicks going in and out, little bitty trout sizes up to 8/10 (used on my spey/Steel rods) less than $100 MSRP, better on clearance.

    Grease your reels and you'll be pleasantly surprised how it impacts the lifespan.
  6. +1 on the Drift. I have a brand new Drift loaded with a 3 wt DT that I'm itchin' to try out with my Redington CT 3 wt rods. Its clicker sounds like music to my ears. I paid full price $99. Its the most expensive reel that I own, and that includes all types of fishing.
  7. While testing reels for sound its important to remember that the reel will sound different (muffled) when loaded with backing and line. Spinning an empty reel in a store only gives a hint that you have to transpose, based on experience, to arrive at a reasonable estimate of what it will sound like loaded and on the water.

    Also if it is a spring and pawl the spring can usually be adjusted (bent) to change both the in and out tension as well as sound. I've de-tuned a few of my Hardy Marquis from their original loud ratchet down to nice purr. Actually I like the loud ratchet but I wanted to experiment.

  8. Well bullllllpucky. I have lived up there all my life and never had a bear turn his head towards me when the drag started singing. If that were the case, every hoot and holler of "Fish On" would mean "Dinner's On" to a bear.
  9. I like my Orvis CFO's. The new "Click" reels from Sage seem pretty sweet and must be as light as they get. I think they sell for $305 tho. If light is what you like. I think a lot of these new reels forgot what "light" means. Some of these drag systems make for a heavy reel. Go light!
  11. I can't wait to see a ladder tied to the roof of the Porsche!
  12. There's a new Ross CLA with warranty card, box, and case in the classified for $200. You can't go wrong with that if you want a larger reel.
  13. For a smaller reel like you mentioned you can definitely get by with a less expensive reel.

    For years I have been using Phlueger President's reels. They are made in the same factory / same production line as reels costing twice as much. Since the Shakespeare Group is such a huge company they can afford to break even or lose money on this line, so that they have a fly line in the product mix.

    I fish hem almost exclusively in salt and they have traveled the world with me without a single hiccup - some years fishing 150 days.
  14. How pedestrian! I'm sure Sharper Image would have a folding collapsible fit-in-your-vest ladder for such applications:D
  15. You know that the Allen reels are a bargain, why not look into them.
  16. Ive, you're normally such a sensible guy, I'm shocked that you've even started this thread, let alone ready to plunk down hard-earned cash on a new reel that'll be worth half as much as soon as you open the box. May I suggest you re-read the above posts, especially the one from _WW_.

    There's absolutely no need for some over-engineered high-tech marvel that looks more like it should be mounted with racing tires on the sides of a Ferrari than on your fly rod. For any trout fishing (including steelhead), a simple click-pawl reel is more than sufficient. A used Hardy Princess or Marquis can be had in reasonable condition for half what you're thinking about spending. It will easily outlast you and your heirs will likely sell it for more than you paid when they dispose of your estate.

  17. I didn't add a single thing to what Alex said but did editorially delete some. If your next trip to Rocky Ford reveals wooden stakes pegged in the ground and the staked out areas named....

    Soon to open at an eastern WA chalk stream near you - the Rocky Ford Test Avon Dee trout stream. We only cast to sighted fish and of course must be dressed properly. I believe Jesse's avatar shows the proper attire. Ascots optional.
  18. Kent, you are absolutely right-I am probably having some age related brain fart and need to recalibrate. I have been trying to spend more money but it is hard for a guy that has been frugal all his life. A couple of years ago my accountant called to wish me a happy 73rd birthday and reminded me that at my present rate of withdrawal I have 42 years of income left in my account. She suggested I take a cruise or buy a new pickup or something. I thought about it for a year then bought Susie a new van and gave myself a $500 a month raise. But it is hard to be an idiot about money when you have been so cool for so long.

    I can afford this stuff but don't need it. After all the suggestions-and there have been some really good ones-I haven't liked the looks of hardly any of the reels I've seen. Like 1/2 ton pickups they have gotten so big and so expensive that the original function of holding line has been trumped by bling and sheer size. If this were the '60's, guys would be wearing these things around their neck on gold chains.

    I am really enthused about the new Orvis bar stock click and pawl Battenkill and have ordered one up. If it is as good as it looks it will be a dandy and at only $100 it is certainly affordable. And at $59 a spare spool is just pocket change compared to some of the spare spools that are themselves around $300. I should be getting one of the first ones to arrive and will give an opinion once I have caught a few fish on it.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and input. Not only did I learn a lot but I'm sure other members and some lurkers also had similar questions and profited from some of the sage advice rendered on this thread.

    WFF is a cornucopia of good information and advice born of experience. Great work guys. Thanks again.

    Steve Call likes this.
  19. I sure like the pic of that reel in feather craft. If they had been available when I bought the redington, I probably would of made the same choice you did. Ive the catalog says 98.00 sure hope you didn't over pay? ( I'm also a retired tight ass).

  20. That looks like a dandy reel, Ive, and at a good price.

    In my opinion, travel is a better way to spend one's hard earned money and harder earned time, than is stuff. In mid to late career, when hard work finally seems like it's paying off, it's easy to get into a mindset where buying things seems like the best way to take advantage of it, but when the time pressure is off (and I'm looking forward to that day more and more) taking the time to travel is where I think the best value lies.


Share This Page