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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for a reel to put on rods from 3-5wt and don’t want to break the bank. I have a 4/5 wt rod (not sure which as the markings have worn off), and I plan to get something like a Redington Classic Trout in 3wt soon, and use this reel on both rods. At this price point and fish size my buddy says just buy based on aesthetics, and he’s right, as I won’t really use the drag or anything that makes the reel special/strong. Aesthetics-wise I like larger diameter, narrow spool reels, as opposed to wide wobbly things. Think Orvis Battenkill or LL Bean Double LL “looks” in the old school realm, and Sage Click or Danielsson in the newer era. This is basically a long rambling post of thoughts reflecting my current disjointed and disparate preferences. Perhaps writing it down will help something emerge with clarity for me.

Modern reels (large arbor, etc):
I find myself wanting something that looks like a Danielsson, but costs like a Lamson liquid.
  • Greys GTS300?
  • Airflo Airtec?

Classic reels:
I also am interested in older classics…I used to have a Cortland Crown II and it worked great. I could go for something in that realm again (Orvis Madison II, Battenkill, Rimfly, SA System), but I will admit I was always kind of looking forward to the day I could upgrade/modernize and get something cooler and newer.
Even older than that I like the look and idea of a Hardy Marquis or Airex, Meisselbach, etc. (but don’t think I’ll be finding a “hardy”-anything under $100, other than a Viscount). I also am not fully sure what to look for there, despite naming a few models above. It’s hard to figure out what size and model would be right for my application.

anyone can step in with some thoughts to help me narrow down, not widen, my search.
The ability to find extra spools easily for the more popular reels seems like a nice thing to keep in mind.

also if you have anything in the 3-5wt realm that meets my criteria above and you’d be looking to get rid of let me know.
Thanks!
 

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I bought 2 used but like new Diawa click pawl reels on Ebay for $50 ea. Scientific Anglers system 1 or 2, old Orvis and Sage reels, and Daiwa are great reels found for a bargain. You don’t need a super heavy drag system to catch nice fish on a 5 or 6 wieght. It's all marketing hype...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I got the Redington Classic Trout in yesterday in 8'6" 3wt size. I wanted the extra length. It's nice.

Still haven't found a reel to use on it but I'm narrowing down on the following:
1) LL Bean pocketwater - don't make them anymore and spools might be hard to come by. Not sure what current value on one would be but given they were around $80 new I don't think they'd be worth very much used. Anyone have one they want to give up?

2) Scientific Anglers System 1 - 456 model: per some research I've done I think this would be plenty light enough for this rod. Still would work for my 4/5wt 8ft white river rod too. I am looking at one with extra spools.

3) large arbor wise... Still think the GTS300 from greys or a Lamson liquid might work...but the lamson in 3+ might be a bit too small to re-use on my 4/5 WT. Anyone know anything about the greys GTS 300? It seems really wide and wobbly... Basically a copy of the White River Dogwood Canyon
 

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There are lots of options for ~$100. For both classic and modern style click n pawl reels. New traditional examples - the mentioned Orvis BBS, Leland/Red Truck, White River or Cabela's/Bass Pro private label reels are just a few. Echo and the Reddington Zero are contemporary designs at a similar price point. Both styles can also be found new for less than $100 on the big auction site. These are copies or knock-offs manufactured in Asia if that matters to you. For used, any of the above can be found for still less money along with many other makes and models that have been discontinued. The SA system reels made by Hardy in smaller trout sizes aren't hard to find for reasonable money.
Last suggestion, buy a Midge or Nymph classic directly from Danielson in Sweden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There are lots of options for ~$100. For both classic and modern style click n pawl reels. New traditional examples - the mentioned Orvis BBS, Leland/Red Truck, White River or Cabela's/Bass Pro private label reels are just a few. Echo and the Reddington Zero are contemporary designs at a similar price point. Both styles can also be found new for less than $100 on the big auction site. These are copies or knock-offs manufactured in Asia if that matters to you. For used, any of the above can be found for still less money along with many other makes and models that have been discontinued. The SA system reels made by Hardy in smaller trout sizes aren't hard to find for reasonable money.
Last suggestion, buy a Midge or Nymph classic directly from Danielson in Sweden.
I like the suggestions, and just won a used white river "CV2" For 3/4 wt yesterday on the auction site. Should be fine and was less than $40.

Your Danielson recommendation intrigued me as I thought they were more expensive than $100...I believe I'm correct...see below. Also, the originals (nymph and Midge) don't seem to be available for purchase anymore. If you click "buy" it takes you to an error page.
Font Screenshot Electric blue Darkness Multimedia
 

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Sounds like you found a reel that suits for not much dosh. You have it right about the Danielson reels, they cost more than $100, should have pointed that out. Still, for the price you've shown they are really great value and the reason for the suggestion. If the reels aren't currently available from Danielson my guess is they're out of stock (supply chain issues?), not discontinued.
 
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