Originally Posted by sweetandsalt
I presume from your trout description you were fishing the main stem of the Delaware. Welcome to the big leagues. You need not buy a Hatch or Abel to tackle these grown up trout, for the low $200's a Hardy Ultralite DD 5000/6000 or Nautilus FWX 5/6 will do nicely. Both are large to extra large arbor designs with appropriately narrow spools for intuitive and rapid backing/line retrieval. Both also feature smooth, fine tunable drags suitable for these 20+" Delaware wild trout. Yes the Waterworks/Lamson reels are attractive and very popular with smaller stream trout anglers and though the DRC does sell them, due to their too wide/shallow aspect ratio I can not recommend them for rivers where you may see your colored string with some regularity. Other fine reels have been mentioned above but I consider these two to offer the best quality and design for the money. Among Orvis's offerings you could consider the Hydros III but it is heavier and less refined than the U DD and FWX.
Thank you for this detailed advice. You were close, it was the east branch, wind was blowing the wrong direction that day to his the main stem.
You are right, I am used to fishing Long Island spring creeks and the croton watershed.
I was hoping to stay under $200 but it doesn't look possible, do you know anything about the HARDY CLS system? The cheaper cassette system seems like a good idea...