Re: Is it worth it too upgrade reels?
I've read all the posts on the thread and I think I understand what you are saying. If you really would be more comfortable with a reel having a better pedigree I believe having one would be proper. I can only tell you about my own experience with this dilemma and how it worked out.
I started all of this with one of those old skelletal reels that barely held a fly line, it was very affordable. Next came a South Bend #1200, maybe another dollar or 2 but it looked more like a fly reel. I stuck with the South Bend for about 10 years however I was not really serious about fly fishing or fly tackle at that point in my life. Some time around 1977 - 78 I got an Olympic reel that was better than the South Bend but still this was an under 20 dollar reel. It didn't take lone before I bought a Pflueger 1495, now if you follow the years here you will notice that as I became more financially able, I upgraded the reels. In 1979 I wandered into a sporting goods store owned by family friends and was offered a Hardy Featherweight reel for 65 dollars. That was more expensive than any three reels put together that I had ever bought but I was earning just shy of 30 K annually and in 79' that was a lot so I bought the reel.
As you know those were not disc drag reels (the Featherweight) and there wasn't anything outstanding about it at all except its exotic persona having been made in England. I used that reel almost exclusively to fish all over the continent for the years 1979 - 1994, it would have been nice to have a bunch of reels but quite frankly the one I had was getting it done. In 1994 I met a fellow who had an immense tackle collection and when I began lusting after one of his Princess reels (he had several) he sold me one for 150 dollars and the race was on. Before the year was out I had bought the entire Lightweight line and more, all as close to mint or new as I could find. Then came the Marquis and etc.
The point is that I used the same reel for 15 years and those fifteen years were arguably the most adventuresome of my life. I do not feel that not having 2 or 3 reels in any way detracted from my pleasure, not a bit. When you can afford to have things that you don't need you may choose to do so. Until then don't spend too much thought on what you should have in order to fit in. In the end it's all about reaching a quality level that will meet two criteria; you should be completely comfortable owning and using it and it must be allowable based on cost.