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

I had an Orvis Battenkill that was made in England and liked it. But I got caught up the reel game and moved up to a Ross Gunnison 1. The Orvis had a nice sound. The Battenkill has been around for a long time and I think the difference between the new one and mine is the new one is machined...tighter tolerances. I'm sure these new reels will be around for a while and you'll have no trouble getting spare spools (one reason I like my Ross reels).
I did check out the Able TR/2 reel and it's about $270. When you check out the Orvis, you should think about checking this one out. I don't know much about Abel, but I've heard good things and for some reels, when a new version comes out, I think the old spools fit and it may be that new spools will fit old reels. You'll have to ask someone more in the know than I.

Good luck. Whatever you buy, I'll look forward to hearing your review.
I'm still using the Rocky Mountain reels for my 4 weight, sorry, I can't replace 'em like you 'cause of the spools. I bought a Allen and spool for my 7, it was a low price deal and I'm completely satisfied with the drag, durability, and most of all the sound. Fix your RM's, and just say no to reels the price of a boat that sound like an untipped stripper....


Joe Streamer
+1 on the Redington Drift. I own/owned a few of the older CT series reels from Redington and if the Drift is half as good, it's great.

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
Ive, if you go down that path, you need to match the reel to your outfit "du jour". A Hardy, say, to match the tweeds & school tie whilst on the beat, Some sort of big salt-water winch for when you stand on your ladder at Rocky Ford-that sort of thing. And then, of course, a Porsche Cayenne to carry it all.:D
If i was going to replace all of my Ross gunnisons with something else it would be Ross CLA series reels. They are american made have great customer service and if they are disconmtinued the manufacturer will have spare spools and parts way longer than my life expectancy. They may not be sexy butr they are bulletproof.
In addition there are often spools for sale on auction sites.
I would buy 3 Cla 2's with 3 additional spools and 1 Cla 3 and an additional spool.
Ivan when you win the lottery and fund my retirement I will order them:)

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
If you end up with an Orvis BBS reel, machine yourself a better clicker. My drag works great still but the cheap plastic clicker broke last summer fighting a big Blackfoot cutthroat...

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
I've been around "a while." I fish freshwater. I own "several" reels, rods, flies, lines, guns, cameras, accessories, etc. The reels have this in commom IMHO (worth just that, no more . . . ):
1) They all hold line & backing.
2) My fingers have adapted over the years to perfoming as a most-efficient drag system to suit my needs.

That being said, life is fleeting . . . get what makes YOU happy (my apology in advance to my Kids who will have to sort-out the value of "what made me happy" after my demise, lol.).


Active Member
Jesse, strange you should mention the lottery. A few weeks ago when it was about 5.2 million I came so close to winning that my heart stopped for a second. But it wasn't horsehoes and I didn't win. I had some good plans though. I was going to get my best fishing buddies (There's only about 4 of you....) together for a few days at some place like Three Lakes to fish and discuss where you wanted to go in Montana,Wyoming, Idaho or Colorado this summer and then reserve a week on some private water where we could fish our brains out. At the end of the week we would drive over to Dave Smith Motors in Kellog and I would treat everyone to the new rig of their choice. And don't bull shit me Jesse-I know you would accept a Ram Diesel Dually 4wd Crew Cab 3500 Laramie in lieu of that Ford King Ranch you have been lusting for!

It's nice to fantasize but reality isn't so bad either. Retired 13 years, healthy and financially secure, I'll take that anytime.

David Loy

Senior Moment
Hardy LRH is that size and sings a pretty song. Most will hold out for an older English made one but I have heard that the new ones (Korean I think) are actually done very well. I've fingered a couple in the shop and can't tell the difference. Around $260. I can understand and support buying US or English though.

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
Echo Ion. Disc drag of some kind, clicks going in and out, little bitty trout sizes up to 8/10 (used on my spey/Steel rods) less than $100 MSRP, better on clearance.

Grease your reels and you'll be pleasantly surprised how it impacts the lifespan.