Josh, it seems like I recall those BBS reels being on sale at half price in the past month or two. The cost was less than I paid for the new click pawl but I already had the reel reel on order at the time and wasn't interested. It did seem like a helluva deal though.
They disontinued the "regular" Batttenkill and replaced it with this. When Ive first posted about this new reel, Orvis had pulled the old Battenkill from the website. I think the old Battenkill was a cast reel where this is machined.
There is no significant difference between a BBS reel manufactured using modern cast and machined and barstock machined methods in regards to day to day use. Abuse either one and they will break or bend. The design of the BBS is well suited to either production method.
So the reel has no drag other than the noise maker??? That's a bit archaic... kind'a like drum brakes on a formula 1 racer.
Now that they bought out SA, maybe they will figure out how to install a functional drag system for their reels that doesn't sound like a worn out starter motor [/quote
Actually, Orvis has had a long line of disc drag reels and produced a click an pawl for those of us who prefer the relative simplicity of a C&P reel. I see the smiley so suppose your statement was meant to be tongue in cheek. If so, I am sorry.
I've owned three Battenkills since I started flyfishing. Two have worked out great, one not so much.
The smaller sized disk and large arbor have both been good for trout. The larger disk I had on my 8 wt was a complete failure and was returned.
Likely because it was cast rather then machined, I've never seen a reel flex so much while putting pressure on larger fish. That thing ended up eating a couple of fly lines that got caught between the spool and line guide when the reel flexed.
The difference between cast and machined aluminum reels, all other things being equal, is not significant. A large thread on this topic was discussed on a fly forum that preceded this one, the original VFS (Virtual Fly Shop) operated by Fly Fisherman magazine. Cutting to the chase, I was contacted by a metallurgist from a university in Mississippi who saw the thread. The upshot is that machined aluminum (6160 or similar) is stronger than cast aluminum, but it is by so little that a large number of fishermen fishing the respective reels for a lifetime each would not experience a statistically significant difference in breakage. Both cast and machined reels will break if you slip and fall on a gravel bar, the reel hits a hard surface at the wrong angle.
Consequently the quality factors that are more likely to influence the enjoyment of owning a particular reel are things like close tolerances so that there is less wobble and vibration, which detract from longevity. Other factors that affect enjoyment or pride of ownership are brand name and price paid, because people are vain and because certain brands and price points are associated with quality.