Request: Steelhead & Salmon Reel Recommendation

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by David Fulton, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Good evening,

    I'm looking to assemble an 8 WT Single-Hand rig to use for Steelhead and Salmon. This SH rig will be used when my DH rod is too long to comfortably fish a run.

    I would appreciate recommendations for a reel that will hold up to anadromous fish without breaking the bank. I can't spend more than $250 on the reel, and would prefer to keep it below $200 if possible. I don't need fancy, just reliable.

    Thanks in advance!

    Regards,

    Dave Fulton
     
  2. I've only once spent more than $200 on a reel--and that's becasue it was an antique. That said, if you're looking for something with a disk drag in it get an Allen reel. They're nice reels and you get great, local, customer service. I have a cabelas RLS, a couple mid arbor orvis battenkills and a pfluger trion that all handle steelhead well and cost under $200. I don't fish for steelhead with disk drags, and I haven't had a problem, and all but one of my click pawls (from Ebay) have cost less than $200.

    If you want to splurge, get a solitide 4 for $270. If I were to fish reels with disk drags in them, they'd probably be solitudes.
     
  3. I use a JW Young. They are priced far less than 200. They are simple without a drag to fail. The only thing that can go wrong is a rounded pawl or a spring goes bad. Cheap fixes from Archuletta. Plus they are nice and loud.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
    Bagman likes this.
  4. Pfleuger medalist for the bargain buy. A Ross or Solitude for a pricier option.
     
  5. Reels I vouch for on an 8 wt include: Hardy Princess, St. Aidan, St. George, Marquis 9/10. A Sage 508 or Orvis CFO IV would be a nice addition, but I might have a hard time rationalizing it. A Ross Colorado 4 is a sleeper, but you would need to tweak the spring. These are reels that are $250 or less, don't have disc drags that may fail, and are more than adequate for anadromous fish.

    Sg
     
    Sean Beauchamp likes this.
  6. If you can find a used Ross Gunnison 5, CLA or Big Game Canyon for those dollars, those would be an option.
     
  7. I switch between a mid-arbor Orvis Battenkill and an older Pfleuger Medalist on my 8. Both have brought big fish to hand, and both are pretty reasonably priced. I just picked up a Hardy Ultralight DD for my spey rig -- the smaller versions (4000, 5000) might also be worth considering and are both less than $250.
     
  8. I'm still using an old Lamson LP 3.5 on my single-hand 8-wt rod....hasn't let me down in over 20 years....once in a while you see one on eBay for around $100.
     
  9. See my avatar... Never had a cheap garage sale medalist fail on me while fighting a hot salmon or steelhead. Not 'sexy', but I like to save my $$ for good line and other essentials... I use them for salt, fresh, salmon, steelhead, etc...
     
  10. I love my St. Aiden knock-off, also love my Marquis 10, but I really love my Young-made Shakespeare dual pawl clicker (Worschestershire)...super sweet.
     
  11. Lamson Konic 3.5 for under $100 if you can find one (Cabelas listing @ $98-better hurry), they're redesigning them and clearing them out. Have the same drag as the most expensive models and their customer service is second to none. Poppy had some spools @ $50 this summer, may have some left.
     
  12. I use a Ross CLA 4 and a Ross Gunnison 5 mostly. I also have a Billy Pate Bonefish but you won't find one of those at your price. I found mine for $250 and spent another $40 sending it to Tibor for a tuneup. They all work for salmon and steelhead single hand rods. I use larger reels for my spey lines.
     
  13. Okuma SLV has a completely sealed disc drag system that has yet to fail me on any fish in any conditions. That being said, I haven't tried salt water - but I probably never will anyway so I don't really care. Not a "sexy" reel, but I don't try to look sexy when I fish. Performance is all I need.

    I would argue that the SLV is better (mechanically) than any Pfleuger Medalist, but a gazillion guys use the Medalist - why? .... because they work just fine or great. So what does that tell you? I just like the SLV because it's light in weight, sealed disc drag, very very durable and less than $50.

    I often get mocked for using my Okuma SLV reel on my Winston Biix. Why? I guess image is more important to some.
     
  14. That's what I was going to say too. I've never heard of unhappy Konic owners. My 3.5 has seen a few years of use in the salt with literally ZERO maintenance (other than rinsing the outside after use), lots of coho, and a good number of hot chum and their 100+ yard runs. The drag is always smooth and always consistent. As far as drag performance, it's better than my highend (more than 3 times more expensive) Sage reel. Another reel I'm looking at is the new Allen Kraken. Nice machined reel with a sealed drag for just over $200.
     
  15. Thank you to everyone who replied. I have a lot of options to explore.

    Happy Holidays!

    Dave
     
  16. Ross CLA or similarily priced Lamson (I can never keep there names straight).
     
  17. [quote="
    I would argue that the SLV is better (mechanically) than any Pfleuger Medalist, but a gazillion guys use the Medalist - why? .... because they work just fine or great. So what does that tell you? I just like the SLV because it's light in weight, sealed disc drag, very very durable and less than $50.
    .[/quote]

    Ditto. I bought an SLV and four spools for around $100, killer deal. Very durable, easy to service, and does salt ok if you are VERY diligent about rinsing with fresh water. Now have Allen 7/8 and 9/10 reels for salmon and steelhead and they are tough to beat for the price.
     

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