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Old 03-04-2012, 10:37 AM
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Default 8wt Reel for Steelhead - Any Recommendations?

I am headed to the PM in 2 weeks to try my hand at steelhead fishing. Can anyone suggest a good reel for < $200? I already have a 8wt Rod and Line.

I know that the Litespeed is highly regarded on the forum but it I would stretching my budget for it.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: 8wt Reel for Steelhead - Any Recommendations?

Personally, I use an Allen Alpha II on my 8wt and it works great. It will certainly be under 200 and has excellent, smooth drag, good backing capacity, and a great warranty. Check it out!
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: 8wt Reel for Steelhead - Any Recommendations?

Lot's of folks like Allen reels. I don't think you can go wrong with orvis.. their Access reels are in your budget and their battenkill large arbor reel is on clearance for under 200, it's the 9-11 wt, but would probably be fine for an 8.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: 8wt Reel for Steelhead - Any Recommendations?

Can't go wrong with an Orvis Access or Hydros. If you like Lamson, look at the Guru or Konic rather than the Litespeed. The new Hardy Ultralite at just about $200 looks sweet too, but I haven't tried one myself.

If you look hard enough you can also find some of last year's better discontinued models still available at clearance prices, including Lamson, Hardy and Orvis. Do a browser search for "fly shop closeouts". You may be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: 8wt Reel for Steelhead - Any Recommendations?

I use an Albright GP 7/8 reel. Not too hard on the eye and a great drag on it.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: 8wt Reel for Steelhead - Any Recommendations?

I have been using a Ross Rhythm 3.5 for the past 3 years fishing for steelies and salmon..Seemingly bomb proof, I've had ZERO issues with the reel after continued abuse(Unfortunately the Rhythm series was discontinued) If you can find one on Ebay or in the classifieds they are great reels!
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: 8wt Reel for Steelhead - Any Recommendations?

Wow, thanks for all the recommendations! I love Ross reels (have a CLA and Evo LT for my 4 & 5 wt lines) & would have loved to get the Rhythm 3.5 but after handling my buddy's Lamson Litespeed, I decided to get a Litespeed 3.5 Hard Alox.

I found the combination of great drag+ enough backing capacity at a light weight to be ir-resistable. I was even able to convince my wife about how terrific this reel is
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: 8wt Reel for Steelhead - Any Recommendations?

I also use a rythym 3.5 from Ross. It is a great steelhead reel!
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: 8wt Reel for Steelhead - Any Recommendations?

Good choice, between weight of the reel and drag you'll be in great shape. Convincing the wife of this is a highly important aspect too
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: 8wt Reel for Steelhead - Any Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticm View Post
Wow, thanks for all the recommendations! I love Ross reels (have a CLA and Evo LT for my 4 & 5 wt lines) & would have loved to get the Rhythm 3.5 but after handling my buddy's Lamson Litespeed, I decided to get a Litespeed 3.5 Hard Alox.

I found the combination of great drag+ enough backing capacity at a light weight to be ir-resistable. I was even able to convince my wife about how terrific this reel is
You'll be in fine shape with that reel. I've a Lamson Velocity 3.5 that gets the trick done on Salmon and Steelies.

Cheers,
Mike.
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