Originally Posted by bobbrown
You can get a used CFO on e bay at a good price...far superior to the rest of the reels mentioned.
A used spring and pawl CFO III in good condition will run $150-225 depending on how aggressive the bidding gets. The Red Truck Diesel 3/4 doesn't have the same prestigious cachet as a vintage CFO, but it is a very well designed and built, closely comparable reel for only $140 new. I think it is a better reel than the current disc drag version of the CFO III and is $115 cheaper.
Another good alternative is the J. Austin Forbes Avon. They are no longer in production, but somebody is selling a few on eBay right now for $155. They were originally manufactured in England by JW Young before Young went out of business.