Re: Why are reels so expensive and are they worth it?
As to why fly reels are so expensive, I am going to paraphrase a post that I wrote earlier.
In the the grand scheme of it all, fly fishing is a small part of the sport fishing industry. Let's say one has a yard stick. Fly fishing would only represent an inch or two of it. Could Orvis, Sage, Lamson, Ross, and the other brands make a quality fly reel at the cost of a Daiwa Sedona? Any of these brands could if they made as many units as Daiwa does. I would not be surprised if Daiwa makes more Sedona 1000FD reels as all the Abels made in one year. It is all about the economy of scaling.
In regards to what one gets in a higher priced reel, it could be one or a combination of reasons. Drag quality can improve. Finish quality can improve. Tolerances can be tighter. Overall quality of build is usually higher.
Do you need a more expensive reel? Maybe. Maybe not. You might be happy in a higher quality drag if a stronger fish wishes to test you. You may enjoy the finish quality later especially if it lasts. You may appreciate a spool that doesn't wobble after several years of use since the reel maker adhered to such high quality standards for tight tolerances. You may enjoy all of the above for the quality of the build.