Originally Posted by Jackster
I had one cheap, offshore reel. I loaned it to a friend for smallie fishing and he handed it back to me in a very short time with the line in a worst rats nest than my old spinning gear ever got.
I somehow got my line off of it without needing to cut it off then threw that reel into the river. The one saving grace of it being cheap... when it failed I expected no less and never fretted over its loss to the River Gods!
I don't expect much from a reel but at the very least it should not free spool in its second use! This is about the only time I swore that bearing were a curse!
This also drove it home that there is more to look at than just cost alone.
I think the newer reels coming over are a lot better built then they were even a year or so ago. What's to programming a CNC machine and letting it rip. They're (Chinese) getting better and better month by month. Only thing is, a $35 Chinese reel comes over here selling on Ebay or through a fly shop selling for well over $100 most of the time. A guy can order 10 reels, cut down on shipping that way and make a tidy profit. If a reel takes a dump, it can be replace cheaply (if the importer stands behind the product). As said before, I love the new Korean Hardy's. They're better built with tighter tolerances for less money. So what. It sounds the same as the British made reels, and will last just as long.
But then again I have seen some cheap ass Chinese reels. That Vom Hoffe copy from A.R.E. is straight cheese. For $50 it's a nice looking reel, but leaves a lot to be desired as far as a Vom Hoffe clone goes.