European spey or fly reels!



I am in the market to purchase a reel for a spey rod I have. Right now I am making due with an Okuma S10/11. It is a great reel and has served well over its lifetime or fishing. However, I am a reel freak! I love exotic fly reels! I like some of the reels made in the good ol' United States of America, but for the most part, I have been finding that reels made in the UK/Europe tend to be more (forgive the term) sexy. Their designs are unique to say the least.

One reel I am contemplating is the Steelfin XFR 4.6. I have heard good and bad things about this reel. The constant bad thing is that the palming surface will burn your hands when a fish is running. I'm not sure about ya'll but if it hurts, don't do it! The second most common was that the drag knob is problematic in that your fingers can get caught in between the knob and the spokes of the spool. Okay, I can see that, but that does not distract from the beauty of the reel.

The other reel is from a company called Backwinder. They make a really cool doughnut reel that looks like, well, a doughnut. Nothing in the middle! Very sexy!! This one is called the Seatrout and is one of 4 models being made. The other three are still in trial mode I believe as there is no information on them as of yet. The one I am most interested in the Salmon for my spey rod. I believe Loop had a doughnut reel out a few years back called the Hi-Tech Salmon so if you have seen that then you have a general idea of what this one looks like.

Yet another reel I am interested in and it was made here in the greatest State in the Union ( Washington!!! ) is a Mt. Rainier Magnum I. It is for blue water fly angling and may be a bit big for what I am looking for, but the price is unbeatable, alot less than what it was sold! I have heard nothing but praise for these reels and it may be the one to have just to look at and have on the wall!

So I am torn between buying something readily available here in the U.S. or keep searching for a website in the U.K. or Europe to buy one. Decisions, decisions, decisions!


"... going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind."
--Jed Babbin, former deputy undersecretary of defense in the first Bush administration

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
I don't care how good a European reel is, I insist on buying American made products as much as possible. I know I sound like a broken record but I think the Ross Reels are the best deal for the money available.


There is a nice Hardy 4 1/4" Perfect on E-bay right now. It is from 1917-1921. Hard to get sexier than a Perfect. Oh look at that, I am high bidder so far ;) If you don't like used reels, there is always the Hardy Bougle`. I have a couple of them and they balance up to a 9 weight spey rod fine.

Bob -- I agree that Ross makes a nice reel and the BG series will hold the longest bellied spey lines. They are a bit quiet for my taste though but that is just personal preference.