Re: Why are reels so expensive and are they worth it?
Hi Cody, and welcome to the forum.
I am not going to tell you that you need an expensive reel. However I would urge you to try to move beyond stripping / pulling a fish in by dragging in line by hand. I can only speak for myself but I have been putting fish and the catching of those fish directly onto my reel for well over 30 years. Playing a fish and actually reeling it in, is perhaps to most rewarding facet of fishing for me. The sound of my reel buzzing when a fish runs line away is the most pleasing sound I know regardless of whether that buzzing is caused by a very affordable old Martin or a high cost salmon reel.
Buy whatever reel you like and that which is in in your price range but by all means Cody, Use The Reel to play the fish to shore, you'll love it, the buzzing drag, the frantic cranking of the little handle when the fish runs toward you.............. You don't know what you're missing if all you're doing is pulling them in by hand.