Orvis 2013 Battenkill Fly Reel

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#16
. . . I find comments about "overseas" gear almost inevitably has an anti-Asian bias . . . though if your issue is with low wages and human rights (think PRC) then I'm in agreement.

To that end, I'm always a little surprised that St. Croix rods don't get more love among fly anglers. US made, nice components and good casting rods. I'd put any of their rods up against similarly priced products from anyone, including imported rods from TFO, Redington and the like.
You hit it right on the head. Everybody loves the idea of buying American-made products, but they love the low prices of stuff made in Asia, except they hate the idea of the low wages and abuse paid to Asian workers, but they love the idea of the low prices resulting from such low wages.

Bottom line: you can't have both.

If you want low prices then the goods you buy will come with Made in China (or Korea or Bangladesh or India) stamped on the bottom. If you want products Made in America, then you're gonna pay more.

K
 

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
#17
This new version of the Battenkill looks like a winner at a great price point. I like the narrow spool and the preset but adjustable drag. Both of those attributes are found on the Abel Creek. If its anywhere near the weight of the (now old) Battenkill it should be a great match for light weight graphite rods.

TC
 

Porter

Active Member
#21
Leland's out fishing in Idaho, so may not get back right away. I'll be working at the shop tomorrow and see what I can find out about the availability and let you guys know.

Bill

Any news? gotta a 583-4 DS and have no good reel for it and think this might be an answer.
 

Greg Armstrong

OldRodsHaveMoreFun
#22
I received my Feathercraft catalog yesterday and that reel is the one new thing that caught my eye. It's good to see interest in quality click pawl reels again. I'm pretty certain I read that they will be available in black as well.
If they would just put a genuine red agate line guard on it that would really be the bees knees!
 

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#23
. . . It's good to see interest in quality click pawl reels again. . . .
I couldn't agree more. The ubiquitous high-tech, disc-drag reels sold today by anybody with the money to hire an Asian manufacturing partner will always appeal to flyfishing geeks and newbies who just KNOW they'll eventually NEED such stopping power for that 30" behemoth that's just another cast away.

But even though hope springs eternal, in real-life fishing the truth is almost exactly the opposite.

The overwhelming majority of fishers will NEVER hook a 30" fish and have no need for such an over-engineered mechanical marvel. A simple click-pawl reel is every bit as effective in slowing a running fish (even a 30" one) and is one hell of a lot simpler and cheaper to manufacture. Their few moving parts means a lot longer service life, and explains why so many Hardy reels made in the 1960s to 1990s are still in use today and treasured by their owners.

K
 

IveofIone

Active Member
#24
Well stated Kent. Pick up any recent catalog and turn to the reels pages and hold it out at arms length. It is difficult to tell whether you are looking at fly reels or ghetto wheels for an East LA drug pushers Escalade. The new reels are a marvel of CAD design and a testament to the magic of CNC machining but all that comes at a cost and the result is flimsy. A friend I was fishing with stumbled on a root in the trail and went down with the reel hitting the ground first. His multi-hundred dollar reel was toast. My old SA Series I click pawl reels took far worse hits and only had scratches to show for it.
 
#25
I have a almost twenty year old Battenkill, click and pawl on my Sage 4711. It was and still is the only reel to ever be on that rod. I have had no issues with it so this next generation of it might land on my 6 weight. Nice looking reel and a proven work horse in my opinion.
 

flybill

Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
#27
Any news? gotta a 583-4 DS and have no good reel for it and think this might be an answer.
I've checked a few places and it looks like its currently in the UK market. Can't find any reference on the US Orvis.com site. I do have a note out to one of the product guys on the East coast, so will let you know if I find out anything. It may be that Feather-Craft is importing them from Orvis UK, but it's not in our current catalog or on the US site...

We do have the original Battenkills at the shop and I can get you one of those which would work great for your rod! Or the CFO, which I really love as well. Ping me through the board or stop by the shop and pick one up. We'll be having a Yakima River presentation tonight starting at 6pm with Derek Young, our Orvis Endorsed guide. Come by for some pizza and beer, a great presentation and a new reel!

Bill
 

wichaka

Active Member
#28
I've been using Redington's Drift reels, because they are machined and light weight.

But after seeing the specs on these, I may have to try one.
 

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
#29
I couldn't agree more. The ubiquitous high-tech, disc-drag reels sold today by anybody with the money to hire an Asian manufacturing partner will always appeal to flyfishing geeks and newbies who just KNOW they'll eventually NEED such stopping power for that 30" behemoth that's just another cast away.
But even though hope springs eternal, in real-life fishing the truth is almost exactly the opposite.
The overwhelming majority of fishers will NEVER hook a 30" fish and have no need for such an over-engineered mechanical marvel. A simple click-pawl reel is every bit as effective in slowing a running fish (even a 30" one) and is one hell of a lot simpler and cheaper to manufacture. Their few moving parts means a lot longer service life, and explains why so many Hardy reels made in the 1960s to 1990s are still in use today and treasured by their owners.
K

Well stated Kent. Pick up any recent catalog and turn to the reels pages and hold it out at arms length. It is difficult to tell whether you are looking at fly reels or ghetto wheels for an East LA drug pushers Escalade. The new reels are a marvel of CAD design and a testament to the magic of CNC machining but all that comes at a cost and the result is flimsy. A friend I was fishing with stumbled on a root in the trail and went down with the reel hitting the ground first. His multi-hundred dollar reel was toast. My old SA Series I click pawl reels took far worse hits and only had scratches to show for it.
I agree with most everything you guys have said with the possible exception of your assumptions about cost of manufacturing increase due to modern designs and methods.
Take the contemporary Orvis CFO as an example. IMHO a poor excuse for a CFO as compared to the older Hardy made version. The reel spools and bodies are produced by the tens of thousands with up-to-date CNC technology among other automated processes. Most likely the drags, gears, posts, springs, handles, caps, etc, come from a variety of other sources in equal volumes. I would guess that 90+% of the assembly is also automated. With smart production management the total cost of all this is probably only slightly greater than a click pawl reel which shares the majority of the same parts except for the disk drag components. My instincts and experience tell me that the cost of the finished product has much less to do with the final cost to consumer than you are assuming.

The fact that so many contemporary reels are flimsy is the unfortunate result of style and marketing not modern manufacturing. Having very little else to set themselves apart from everyone else in the same market, weight has been leveraged as a major consideration in rods and reels and the consumers being good lemmings have bought it lock stock and barrel. Did anyone really get tired casting a cane trout rod weighing an ounce or two more than a modern composite rod. I think not.

I believe the majority of the cost of contemporary fishing equipment falls squarely on the shoulders of the lemmings and those who are riding herd on them and less so on manufacturing.

My 2C
TC