For my brothers wedding gift, I purchased him a Orvis Hydros reel, and got his wife a separate gift. This is by far the most expensive reel I have ever purchased, it still came with a predominate (made in china) tag on the box. Lol, before I handed it over, I took a marker, and cleverly scribbled it out. Not sure why, It was just something I had to do.
The reason I decided to purchase him the reel, is that a few months before the wedding his new future father in law un-expectedly gifted him a very nice Orvis rod (the father in law is not even a fisherman, he just new my brother was). I just figured now that's he's married, I was now his last chance at him having a nice setup for some period of time. I felt it would be a true shame if he did not have an equivalent reel to match the new rod.
It prompted me to make this post on another board
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"I just wanted to post a initial review, as it's probably the last time I will be handling a reel of this price. I purchased this reel as a wedding gift for a groom, and wanted to snap a few pics while its still in my possession.
I'll say its definitely a nice reel, and I hope it serves the groom well. He would have never purchased himself anything like this, and I'm happy to be able to be able to purchase it for him as a memorable gift.
You can see the fit and finish is very nice, and the drag also feels Fantastic. With that being said, I do think its over priced. I do not see it as a huge step up from my Lamson Konic despite the price difference.
Now just for fun, I want to post it side by side with one of those cheap e-bay reels. Note: I'm not trying to compare the two reels, I just thought it would be interesting to see them side by side just so people could see how far those cheap reels have come in the last few years. Keep in mind one is a few hundred dollars less expensive than the other.
The eBay reel is about one size larger and would make a decent budget 8wt, it has a larger line capacity and weighs in at 6.01oz. The Hydros is for a 6wt and weighs in at 5.57 oz on my scale. It has a much better feeling sealed drag, and I am sure this fact alone will allow it to hold up much better, and with less maintenance over the long hull.
I have to admight, I was a little shocked to see some similar parts used in both reels. They use a nearly Identical anti reverse bearing, probably the exact same counter weight. The cheap reels handle is actually a little nicer being that it is machined out of aluminum, The Hydros handle is plastic. Both reels spin freely without even a hint of play.
The Orvis reel is obviously much nicer in its machine work, finish, appearance, and drag. To conclude, I will end this review by saying there is no way $200+ should be separating these two reels in cost. The Orvis, is really nice and I can appreciate its functionality, and beauty.
After handling it, I can also say that I do feel a lot more confident in the quality of the few Chinese eBay fly reels I have purchased, I do believe that they represent a true bargain in the fly fishing world.
I tried to be as objective as possible in this review.
Edit: So now the next time the guy out fishes me, I already have my built in "valid" excuse all planned out! :twisted:
---------- Post added at 05:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:19 PM ----------
Originally Posted by stenacron
I'm going to assume that you are a very young man, possibly a guy that just took his first economics class and now has it ALL FIGURED OUT!
Chinese manufacturing is NOT better quality that what we manufacture here in the US, in fact it is EXACTLY the opposite. China offers cheap labor, and that is their ONLY value driver. Can China manufacture to Western standards? YES – provided that a fully staffed Quality Assurance team is imported to oversee the production on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. And these folks want to live a Western lifestyle while they're stranded there as well. This all costs $$$ yes, but sadly all those costs in addition to ocean freight still allows companies to lower their costs and it all comes down to the cost of labor.
The reason I say you must be a youngster, is because it seems like you can't remember when the quality of normal household items was a lot better. Decades of Chinese (and other LCC) sourcing has lowered our expectations. US companies have been forced to cut corners and try to lower their costs to compete. US companies seem to be falling into this "niche" market for people that want to pay more for higher quality… and there is nothing wrong with that last part by the way.
I don't know a polite way of saying that this statement is simply a load of ****. They may be severely over-worked and underpaid by global standards, but tortured? Sounds like a tall tale (and I'm sure there are dozens if not hundreds of members on this site that have spent time in China on business that will tell you the same).
OK, I'm all for freedom of speech and all (something you WOULD NOT HAVE IN CHINA by the way). But this is beyond insulting, way off base… a broad-stroked, ill-advised opinion, and quite frankly, you owe a huge apology to EVERYONE on this board that works for a living in the United States of America.
And for a communist-sympathizer to complain about spending a few bucks on nippers that will last a few years, and then drop two (2) bills on "arguably" the least concerning piece of equipment on a fly rod set-up? You could have spent less than $50 on a reel and had the best gold-plated nippers on the planet!
I do agree with you that common USA produced goods were produced at a much higher quality several years ago. In just my lifetime I have countless examples to provide. Electric garage door openers, wash machines / driers, lawnmowers ect. My house was built in the 40's, and many of the appliances I use are dated. Things used to be built to last, now they are built to replace.
What I disagree with is that Chinese manufactures are unable to produce quality products. We now live in a global economy, I believe they have the capability to produce what ever the market dictates.
Most the consumers in this country, now want the cheap stuff. China has filled that nitch. Unforchantly, there just giving the average consumer what is being asked. This is now what America asks for!
Since they manufacture so much, They can also produce relatively comparable products, at a lower cost. They now have the infrastructure in place to out compete us $ per $, I do not see this as a positive for our nation going forward.
On a side note, one of my good high school friends is very successful, and now only purchases the best of the best. Right around the time I purchased my 2nd house (vintage 40's era) about 6 years ago, he built a 1.8 million dollar estate.
He filled it with the nicest appliances he could find, and already had to replace his washer, one of the two air conditioners, a garage door motor, and I think I might have missed a few things. I'm still having success with my vintage appliances. The one and only thing that I can remember going out on me is my water heater, and that was fairly new in age to begin with.
When I purchased my first house in the early 90's, My dad purchased a new lawn mower, and gave me his old one as a house warming gift. That lawn mower he gave me outlasted his next 2 replacements. We still laugh about that to this day every time a newer one call it quits.
Honestly, I love the vintage items. In my opinion, Its difficult to find the same same craftsmanship, regardless of the country of origin, or price paid. The true masters in the craft of engineering, are now becoming rare.