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Old 02-20-2005, 10:17 PM
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Default Battenkill Large Arbor

What can you tell me about the new Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor fly reel?

Bob
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Old 02-21-2005, 09:35 AM
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Bob,
I'm not sure about which Orvis reel you are referring to. I say this because the "large arbor" version of the battenkill has been out over five years, but they have just come out with a new "mid-arbor version".

Somewhere on this forum Doug McNair gave some opinions on Large Arbor reels and whether they deserve their current popularity. Many people expressing their opinions on that topic all said that they like the faster pickup of large arbor reels, but don't much like how easy it is to end up with the line either on one side of the reel or in loose coils and rubbing on the frame. We also should make the point that not all large arbor reels have the same depth/diameter/capacity relationship. Some have to be more "full" (less space between line and frame) to hold their mfg specified line capacity.

I said all that to show the reasoning for the following. The Orvis Large Arbor Battenkill is THE BEST EXAMPLE I KNOW of a reel that has to be extremely full to get the maker's listed capacity of line and backing on it. I worked at two shops that sold these reels and would cringe when a customer would insist on buying one. I would ask the customer's permission to short the recommended capacity of backing by 50 yards, fill it, and then show it to them, at which point they would thank me for shorting it, as it looked really full. The LA Battenkill is also not saltwater proof. If it was, Orvis would say that it is, like they do for their new...

Mid-Arbor Battenkill- It looks like they have gone to the far other end of the large arbor spectrum and built a reel that is barely different than a conventional reel, in term of arbor size. I would say this is a better end of that spectrum to be on than the super-shallow-arbor end. I would guess that this reel is slightly heavier than the LA, but probably not by much.

After seeing the price difference, I would MUCH rather have the mid-arbor battenkill than the LA if I had an Orvis gift card. With the price difference and similarity of features, I think the Battenkill LA will be extinct soon.

Were it my own money, that's another matter all together. Let me know if you want that opinion, I've ranted enough for now. Let me know what type of fish you're after with this prospective new winch as well.
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:14 AM
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BigCliff:

Thanks for your reply and advice. First of all, I guess I was referring the new mid arbor fly reel. Secondly, yes I would like your opinion on reels. I want to get an 8wt set up for a variety of fishing needs including freshwater bass, an occasional redfish and an occasional bonefish.

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 02-21-2005, 12:31 PM
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My first choice for an 8wt reel is the Ross Canyon BG4. It has the most powerful drag on the market, has quadruple redundancy built into its mechanics, is totally saltwater safe, and has a good spool configuration in terms of depth/capacity. Its price is a bit high at $345, but if an Abel Super 8 is worth $550, the Canyon is worth $850.

For less money, the Lamson Velocity is a magnificent reel as well. It goes for about $225. It is a large arbor, but its arbor is pretty deep. Its drag is totally sealed and the exact same as they put on their $500 reels.

I like both of these manufacturers better than Orvis because they are indeed manufacturers. Orvis makes rods and outsources the rest of their tackle production. However, the mid arbor battenkill does look like a good reel for the money.

Hopefully Steve will weigh in on this too. He simply knows about lots of reels that I don't have experience with.
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous
BigCliff:

Thanks for your reply and advice. First of all, I guess I was referring the new mid arbor fly reel. Secondly, yes I would like your opinion on reels. I want to get an 8wt set up for a variety of fishing needs including freshwater bass, an occasional redfish and an occasional bonefish.

Thanks,
Bob
I have one of the mid arbor pro guides by Orvis and can say it is a very fine reel. I don't think you will find a better one in that price range. Very good drag system and smooth workings. Plus it is machined which is not always the case in this price range. You won't go wrong if this is the route you choose.
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Old 02-26-2005, 07:37 PM
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I own a couple of the Orvis Large Arbor Reels, for the price they are a nice reel. I have one on my 2wt and my 4wt rods.
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Old 02-27-2005, 03:18 PM
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Bob,

Skip the Orvis ... Just to muck things up a bit, I would go with the Waterworks Force or, to save a buck or two, the Lamson which is also made by the Waterworks. I've fished an original Force F3 since it was first announced. Fished hard and put away wet, the Force deserves nothing but praise. As Chalton Heston would say, "They will have to pry it from my dead hands."

For my earlier comments on the Force, follow this link:

http://www.activeangler.com/articles.../the_force.asp.

As an alternative, you might also look at the STH Turbine -Disc, LA-3, that's on sale at Cortland's online store. How good is the turbine? Good enough that I own four ... The LA-3 is a bit heavier than the Force but is a high quality reel -- and I really like the turbine.

http://www.cortlandline.com/factorys...0&subid=62.

At $229.00, this reel is a steal, and don't believe the bit about being for "freshwater." The fact is the LA-3 is built for either fresh or saltwater.
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Old 02-27-2005, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougm
Bob,

Skip the Orvis ... Just to muck things up a bit, I would go with the Waterworks Force or, to save a buck or two, the Lamson which is also made by the Waterworks. I've fished an original Force F3 since it was first announced. Fished hard and put away wet, the Force deserves nothing but praise. As Chalton Heston would say, "They will have to pry it from my dead hands."

For my earlier comments on the Force, follow this link:

http://www.activeangler.com/articles.../the_force.asp.

As an alternative, you might also look at the STH Turbine -Disc, LA-3, that's on sale at Cortland's online store. How good is the turbine? Good enough that I own four ... The LA-3 is a bit heavier than the Force but is a high quality reel -- and I really like the turbine.

http://www.cortlandline.com/factorys...0&subid=62.

At $229.00, this reel is a steal, and don't believe the bit about being for "freshwater." The fact is the LA-3 is built for either fresh or saltwater.
Lamson is a great reel also. I have knowlege of only one series, the Litespeed. Sweet reel. VERY light. It also is the only reel that I have seen that's drag system does not freeze up in the coldest of weather. Then again, when it is that cold the line freezes up on it's own. Anyway, the Orvis reels or the Lamson are great bets. There are many good reels on the market right now. Some of the cheapest reels out today trump the ones from ten years ago by far.
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Old 02-27-2005, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougm

http://www.cortlandline.com/factorys...0&subid=62.

At $229.00, this reel is a steal, and don't believe the bit about being for "freshwater." The fact is the LA-3 is built for either fresh or saltwater.
If you are looking to spend $220 drop another $20 and go with the Galvan. Much nicer IMO..

This is the one I have:
Click the image to open in full size.
Quote:
Galvan Open Back reels incorporate all of the outstanding features of the standard Galvan reel. Available in the OB-1 (Open Back 1), OB-2, OB-3, OB-4, OB-5. These reels feature the same incredibly smooth action and drag as all Galvan reels. The machining of the frame and spool reduces weight and enables you to look through the middle of the reel. The Open Back's spool and frame are fully machined out of 6061 bar stock aluminum. It has a quick-release spool that requires no tools to change and is counter-balanced for wobble-free rotation. Made of aluminum and stainless steel.
It is absolutely incredible. I have used everything from Orvis, Ross, G.Loomis, and a few others as well and the Galvan is by far my favorite.
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