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

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

  1. Robert Engleheart

    Robert Engleheart Robert

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    I'm one who believe a reel is the last priority for your average trout to 20". That said, I have several Lamson Radius, a discontinued mid arbor that I've seen reselling at around $100 (what I paid on close-out). Same drag and stellar service as their $400 and more reels. My experience with the old Sage & CFO is those who have nice, well kept ones want a premium for them, and spare spools are limited availability. I have Lamson Velocity V4 and Bauer MZ4s for my steelhead and switch rods, but that's another price category.
    I recently got a big discount on a 4 weight Redington CT rod and Drift reel, I believe they are about $100 MSRP, click-pawl drag and lifetime warranty. Innards look similar to the Red Truck reel linked by Kerry, but they are machined vs. cast.
    PT referred a link to a Bauer Jr.Mac; make sure spare spools are available. Bauer is excellent for service but some of the closeouts are no longer supported (for parts, their service is always excellent).
     
  2. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    I've never fished up there but I've heard that it is not suggested you use a click/pawl "singing reel" when fishing in bear country for salmon in Alaska. Word has it that the grizzles are attracted by the sound and equate it to a free salmon. ... with the humans and their obnoxious fly reels running the other direction. :eek:
     
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  3. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

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    A new Able TR or Creek series click-pawl is all the reel any trout fisherman needs, and are right around $250 new, but used are around $200 in excellent shape. I love 'em.
     
  4. Matthew LeBret

    Matthew LeBret Active Member

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    What size reel are you looking for?
     
  5. formerguide

    formerguide Active Member

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    Almost any freshwater reel made today by a worthy manufacturer is overbuilt. And, as a rule, you can't build a saltwater reel tough enough. If it's trout and other salmonids in fw, then really take your pick of any reel that meets your budget and your aesthetic tastes. Lamson has been mentioned and immediately came to mind, same for Ross, Bauer, used Abels, hell, Cabelas and Bass Pro offer up some decent looking reels.
    All of my salty reels for flats and big game are Abels and Tibors. Drawbar cork drags are bullet proof, simple in design, and almost nothing can go wrong with them, as opposed to sealed drag systems that may be smoother, but then you can have bearing issues, and if anything goes awry inside a sealed system then you're boned...

    $.02

    Dan
     
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  6. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    I probably should have mentioned that my primary need is for a reel in the 4/5wt range. And also should have stated that I want a new reel with a factory warranty and readily available spare spools. Although there are some wonderful used reels out there that are real classics they rarely have an abundant supply of spools. My Okuma reel for my 6wt has five spools and my 3 Rocky Mountain reels have 11 or 12 spools.

    That is why I usually buy a modestly priced reel-I need a lot of spools. Five spools for an expensive reel can easily top $1,000 and then you have to buy flylines-ouch! This next reel I buy will be primarily for dry fly fishing as I hope to spend a lot of time in Idaho and Montana this year. A couple of spools should be good enough to start with and then I might want to add more later. The last two reels I have bought ceased production shortly after and left me scrambling to find parts and spares. I hope to avoid that this time.

    Ive
     
  7. Peyton00

    Peyton00 Active Member

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    Everytime i read a thread about name brands etc. I think about the marketing plans of companys and how they get sooo many suckers to buy in. IF it takes an expensive reel for someone to land a fish, then they need that reel, IF you can land a fish on a low end reel then you landed a fish and saved money. Most, if not all people get fooled by price points... i have fallen victim too.
     
  8. nailbender

    nailbender Active Member

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    Ive I agree with salmo the colorado is my favorite.However I just picked up a reddington drift as a gift for my son. I cant find anything wrong with it, machined click and pawl mid arbor lifetime warranty 99.00 bucks. Extra spools are about 60.00. Seems like very good quality I'm really impressed with it.
    Doug
     
  9. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Ive's post states that he WANTS a nicer reel. I missed the part where he states an expensive reel is NEEDED to catch fish. Any suggestions?
     
  10. Steve Saville

    Steve Saville Active Member

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    Ross CLA 4 ; $230 new, lifetime warranty, bulletproof.
     
  11. aplTyler

    aplTyler Inept Steelheader

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    Ive,

    I believe I saw the same episode of Trout TV the other day and it appeared that Chan was using a newer Sage reel. Not 100% certain, but pretty dang close to it...

    That said, I'd rather spend $250-300 and buy a US made Lamson, Ross, or Nautilus versus spending the same for a Korean made Sage reel.
     
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  12. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

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    I don't think you can go wrong with Orvis reels. I have a Battenkill III going on 15 years and it is still performs like new. Another option is the Lamsom lightspeed.
     
  13. formerguide

    formerguide Active Member

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    Check out the deals on the Ross Vexsis reels at Madison River. Something like 50% off, meets your budget, a quality US made reel for around $160 or so.

    www.mrfc.com

    Go to their clearance section. I got a few Waterworks reels last year off of the them, good deals and fast shipping.

    Dan
     
  14. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    The Reddington Drift does look like a nice reel with affordable spools. But I just noticed something else while thumbing through my 2013 catalogs. Feathercraft is showing a new Orvis Battenkill bar stock click and pawl reel in their latest catalog. I tried to look it up on line but no mention is made of it on the Orvis website. It turns out that it won't be available until March 25 hence no advertising yet.

    This looks like the classic flyreel of yore, is very light for a 3/5wt at 2.9 oz and has the old style tall and narrow spool. This appears to be a return to the more purist reels of pre disc drag days-an utterly simple reel with just one moving part. Reel cost is $98 and spools are $59. It looks like it would be a handsome match for my new CT 4wt. I'll for sure check this out before I buy anything else as the price is right, the guarantee is excellent, spools are affordable and it just looks like a reel instead of something you would see in a TireRack custom wheels catalog. But how does it sound? Some reels are really irritating and put your nerves on edge after just a few fish.

    Fiberglass came back, maybe click and pawl will too. Now if I could just buy another brand new 1994 Ram pickup for $17,823 again.........

    Ive
     
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  15. Grayone

    Grayone Fishin' to the end, Oc.P

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