Re: Battenkill Bar Stock or Access
I just got around to washing trout reels and cleaning lines that got the most use this season (so far). Five reels were involved and are arrayed before me drying as I write. This group includes both the BBS III made in Korea rigged with a #4 line and a Hydros IV made in China with a 6-weight line. They are both OK but not "birthday present" grade. The BBS ate the tippet into its drag hub which I discovered only when I went to strip the line into the bathtub filled with warm water; OK, I got it out no problem but the tolerances on both these reels is just so so. The BBS is more "classic" looking which you like but the Chinese Hydros is a better design with a stacked drag system so much in style today. Hydros is a bit clunky and has some shake to it, not noticeable when fishing though. What you do notice is the drag detentes are close together and in very little knob rotation you go from light to heavy drag setting, the knob feel is rather stiff too. Neither of these are quality pieces though both are competent to catch trout on as I have. Serviceable? Yes. Desirable? Not really. Not only will I not buy another of either but will ultimately replace both.
In addition to performance and capacity, weight is a major factor in selecting a reel to go with a rod. In this case the BBS III is a spot-on balance match for a 4-weight I love and the Hydros is perfect with my heavier #6 boat rod, so it may stick around longer. So it is not just reel preference but balance for a given rod that I have to factor as I do my homework.