Washington Fly Fishing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Formerly BeavinWashington
Joined
·
760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm facing a bit of a dilemma. I have 4 rods and 2 reels. 2 each of 6 wts and 5wts. I would like to have 3 rods, rigged and ready to go for lakes and even rivers if possible. I know a bit about reels but not enough. My current reel lineup consists of an Echo Ion 6/7 and a Lamson Konic 2.0. I like them both, though they do leave a bit to be desired. Both scratch up pretty easily and the tolerances of the Echo aren't exactly the best out there (but for $80, I can't bitch much... the drag is damn solid on it). I'm debating how much to spend on my next reel (my budget isn't huge... prefer to keep it to under $200 MAX or I may get exiled to the couch by the wife).

So here's my question...

What is the biggest difference between a machined vs cast reel? I get the process being different (obvious) and I know that the cost is much lower on a cast reel (like my 2 current reels). What is the benefit to a machined reel? Will it last longer for me (I treat my gear like tools... they aren't babied too much and I'm known to slip and fall far too often!)?

I've been looking at CLAs, Gurus, and perhaps a few other models. Some shops are offering free line credits with reel purchases. I want to make a good decision on this. I'm also open to a used reel, but not many in my range/that I want have come up lately on the classifieds.

Thanks for any feedback you may have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Cast vs. machined is brittleness vs. durability. Sure, it costs more to make a machined product for a variety of reasons, but it will resist breakage and distortion better than a cast product.

I dropped a cast (aluminum) reel from a height of 3 feet, and that was enough to snap off the angular support for the reel foot. Game over, but for some innovative welding by a good friend.

I guess I would tend to use cast reels for lake fishing, machined reels for freestone moving water scenarios. Dirt vs. rocks, damage potential minimized.

Maybe that informaton will help you make a wise decision.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,851 Posts
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/ro...terString=fishing-reels~d~188/&colorFamily=01

For $45 bucks a pop, I'd buy 3 or 4 of them and keep one as backup, you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal. Although its not machined and made in China, I'm sure Ross will stand by this product 100%.

Machined = Lightweight, better corrosion resistance due to harder anodization process, stronger (usually density is consistent throughout and mostly aircraft barstock aluminum quality), pricier.

Cast = Heavier, more brittle, cheaper

If longevity is your key so with machined, but you'll only likely find one reel and maybe spare spool for what your budget allows.
 

·
Formerly BeavinWashington
Joined
·
760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the link. A good deal for sure. I've considered going the "cheaper" route too. Tempting. Though when I get a new line, it'll be closer to the final price on the spendier reels. (but you're right on in regards to not being able to have extra spools). I also like that the Ross you linked to is at least aluminum and not a random composite. Most reels at that price are total junk. Thanks!!!
 

·
Formerly BeavinWashington
Joined
·
760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That link has proved handy... a 1.5 CLA for just near $100 even after first time 20% discount. That'd probably work on a 5wt alright. Not a ton of backing (75yds I'd assume) but how often would I need that much backing. I have the 6wts and bigger reels for bigger fish/water... tempting me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,997 Posts
I like machined reels, not because you need them for trout fishing but they will last as long as I need it and I like quality products that won't fail.

If you decide to go with a machined reel, hard to go wrong with Ross and the CLA. I have at least four of them; I sell other reels but keep them. They ain't pretty (well used, which is one reason why I don't sell them) but they are tough and reliable. I have a 1.5 for a 4 weight and a 2 for a 5 weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,595 Posts
I chose the Ross rhythm and bought them when Ross discontinued the model. This is one way to get a quality machined reel made in USA at a lower price. The Ross 1.5 is perfect for a 4wt as bdd said, and I have a Lamson Guru 2.0 for my 5wt.

The Lamson is not quite up to par with the rhythm and I think the rhythm had a bit higher retail pricepoint.

I recommend you hold off and get a machined reel that is made in the USA. You will note a major difference on resale value should you decide to upgrade in the future.
 

·
Flyslinger
Joined
·
1,937 Posts
Tyler you have two different reels now and you are in the market for a third, then perhaps they will all be different. I was in a similar situation a few years ago and decided that it woukld be easier if I had one model of reel with spare spools. I kind of fell into a deal where I got a Ross gunnison 2. I began liquidating all the other reels I had and began buying new and or used Gunnisons I now have 4 complete reels and three extra spools. Everything interchanges and Ross still will service the reels and has spools.
My recommendation, buy a quality machined reel that you like, add spools and additional reels as they become available new or used and as you have the resources to do it.
 

·
Justified
Joined
·
4,940 Posts
Cast vs. machined is brittleness vs. durability. Sure, it costs more to make a machined product for a variety of reasons, but it will resist breakage and distortion better than a cast product.

I dropped a cast (aluminum) reel from a height of 3 feet, and that was enough to snap off the angular support for the reel foot. Game over, but for some innovative welding by a good friend.

I guess I would tend to use cast reels for lake fishing, machined reels for freestone moving water scenarios. Dirt vs. rocks, damage potential minimized.

Maybe that informaton will help you make a wise decision.

Greg
iagree I am brutal on my eqt. Durability is a must (all other things being somewhat equal).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,556 Posts
AplTyler,

I was involved in a discussion on this subject about 10 years ago and received an email or PM from a university metalurgist with extensive experience with aluminum. The short story: don't sweat the small stuff, meaning it doesn't matter whether your reel is cast or machined aluminum. Getting down in the weeds, the machined reel is slightly stronger than the cast reel. However, the difference is inconsequential in that if you were to slip and fall while walking a river's gravel bar and fall on your reel, you would be about equally likely to break either reel. Therefore over-thinking whether to buy a cast or machined reel is a waste of brain energy.

Machined reels should have better tolerances, however high quality cast reels like Hardy in the Lightweight series or St. George and St. John are machined to tolerance after the casting, so there isn't much difference. If the finish matters to you, cast reels are usually painted, while machined reels are usually anodized. Anodizing wears longer and is more durable than paint.

What I learned is that both cast and machined reels can be of high or crappy quality. I look for quality in workmanship, tight tolerances, and well finished piecework. You get that and you have a reel that is likely to outlast you.

Sg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Damn! Five weight for lakes. Don't over think it! ImHO anything under a 7 wt don't need no expensive high falutent reel. You would be 100 times better off with a reliable click pawl reel. They never fail and meet all your needs especially if you can palm the rim. I've had high end drag reel fail and spool. [email protected] half the fun is seeing line pulled off the reel. Don't swallow the wrong pill and think what you really need and want.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,341 Posts
I am belligerently frugal so don't take anything I say seriously. But I have caught so many steelhead on an SA System I click pawl cast reel with an exposed rim that I don't understand what all the fuss is about buying mega priced reels. To me line selection is vastly more important than the reel. For generations of fly fishers simple single action reels were used and I doubt if those guys enjoyed the catch any less than we do with our modern gear. For sure if I was fishing bones in the tropics or chinook in Alaska I would use appropriate equipment but for trout which rarely exceed 5# around here a cast reel will work just fine.

Since I do mostly lake fishing I use 3 identical cast Okuma reels and have about 10 spools for them. Total cost is about what one good reel and one extra spool would cost and of course I bought them over a period of time instead of springing for one big hit on my wallet. I like the standardization of this setup. Early on I got caught up in buying various reels but it was a hassle because I always needed another spool and having a smorgasboard of sundry reels, spools and lines was just more annoyance than pleasure.

As a retired tool and die maker I certainly have an appreciation for a finely machined reel and precise drag but have an even greater appreciation for a healthy bank account and robust 401K. I didn't get here by spending $300 on a reel when a $60 model would do just fine.

Ive
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,018 Posts
Love this discussion....cast reels, if properly done without inclusions, have equal strength in any direction, while reels machinined from bar stock are weaker in one direction than the other because of the forging process used in making the bar stock. The machined reel would be stronger in the direction paralell to the spindel and weaker in the other direction. All things being equal, the cast reel should be the superior product. Now I have never seen them machine a reel from bar stock, I doubt it is done. The waste would be ridiculous, I hope they are really making them from forgings which would be stronger. A lot of what you see is just hype, like the use of 6061 air craft aluminum, that is just BS....they select it for machinability and availability....its corrosion resistance is much less than purer forms of aluminum. Since the purer forms of aluminum have some other undesireable properties they use 6061 and anodize them, this has nothing to do with whether they are cast or machined. I wouldn't get too hung up on the cast or machined, just the thickness of the anodizing. My $00.02
 

·
McFly
Joined
·
407 Posts
I like Ross reels. I use the Ross Flystart 2 on my 5 wt (2 spools for floating and sinking lines) and the Ross Flyrise 3 on my 6 wt (much better drag on the Flyrise, same as they use on the much higher price Ross Evolution). I've been advised by more experienced anglers to spend the bucks for high end reels on heavier weight and salt water. I'm saving for a Ross Momentum to replace my 8wt Okuma, but that will have to wait until another year. I'm impressed with my Ross reels, the quality is much higher than on other similarly priced reels. Also, they have a great warranty and super customer service.
 

·
Formerly BeavinWashington
Joined
·
760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the responses. All the opinions I've gotten are valid and have great points to them. Heck, buying another Konic may not be a bad idea (I already have extra spools for my current one) as Lamson does have a good reputation/customer service history. My Echo, now that I've used it more is not nearly as nice as the Lamson so I'd say it's the odd duck out. It does the job, has some heft (and would make a great set up for a 5/6 wt switch setup due to its weight) but I'll probably not be buying another.

Jesse... I should blame you and the awesome deal you made me on that Scott A2 for this whole quandary that I'm in... I jest. Speaking of that, do you have any killer deals on quality reels at Westslope right now?

-Ty
 

·
Googlemeister
Joined
·
2,713 Posts
Now I have never seen them machine a reel from bar stock, I doubt it is done. The waste would be ridiculous, I hope they are really making them from forgings which would be stronger.
bar stock or forging it still requires machining

here is how abel, bauer & ross reels do it

flytyingnewandold.blogspot.com/2011/11/abel-fly-reels.htmlCached
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
I like machined reels, not because you need them for trout fishing but they will last as long as I need it and I like quality products that won't fail.

If you decide to go with a machined reel, hard to go wrong with Ross and the CLA. I have at least four of them; I sell other reels but keep them. They ain't pretty (well used, which is one reason why I don't sell them) but they are tough and reliable. I have a 1.5 for a 4 weight and a 2 for a 5 weight.
Well said. I have CLA's on all my saltwater setups. Never had a problem with them or wished for anything different. Great reel, great warranty you'll never have to use.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top