Shakespeare Model 1094 reel

looks like a pretty cheap-o 4-6wt reel. Probably fine for most trout but not built to last - I wouldn't spend much more than $10 on one.

those were my thoughts, but i'd like something that could take a beating as well...
Got any recommendations for a light workhorse?
Can't beat the Pfleuger Medalist for an inexpensive well-proven design. However, I've found that they do not survive falling off the roof of a fast moving car.. ;)
I used a Pfllueger Medalist 1492 for backpacking for years. It held enough line, had a good, strong click & pawl and wasn't bothered by being dropped against the occasional rock. 40 yrs. old now and still going strong. If you'd like something a little more modern but still inexpensive, the Okuma Sierra (about size 4/5) would work. I've even seen it on sale for under $20.00, but usually it's more like $30/35. Maybe not quite as tough as the Pflueger, but still plenty stout. It has a disc drag, too, not that one is needed for most backpacking situations. Good luck!

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
I have had the Okuma Sierra (standard arbor) and Okuma Integrity (large arbor) in mid and light weights and they seem to work fine for me. The Sierra is lighter, the Integrity likely more durable.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Troutcatcher6, you are the drag for that reel, how awesome is it that you are in absolute control of what that fish does. I just started fishing a dragless and I'm not that good at it but I'm liking it a lot.


Well-Known Member
A Medalist is a good reel, but they're built a bit heavy for backpacking. A Berkley 554 or 556 is very light, and long out of production, but you might find one on Ebay for cheap. Or any cheap superlight reel from stamped aluminum should be good for backpacking. A backpacking reel for trout fishing doesn't need to be all that durable.

The old Martin reels can pretty sweet too, especially the ones with palmable rims. Available for ~$20 on the big auction site.
There are lighter options for a backpacking set up, but I'd put a J.W. Young Pridex or Beaudex in the same camp as a Pfllueger. Classic English clicker. They can be had on ebay for $40-$45 and they're pretty stout.