Chinese fly reels vary tremendously in quality. That said;
go to Orvis and buy a Chinese reel.
Go to Cabela's, Bass Pro, look at a vast majority of the line, boxes, clothes, waders. You can drive an F150, wear a flag bandana, and go into Bass Pro and have a damned hard time buying anything made in America.
There is a trade off. Early last century almost every item made was made in the States....and Lake Erie was on fire. Today manufactured goods are made overseas and Lake Erie is afire.
Seriously, these reels are seldom knock-offs. They are run-offs...
the difference? Manufacturers develop almost all of their product line with zero input from the big names. Then at trade Expos the buyers for the big names meet representitives from the manufacturer. They then agree to buy set amounts of gear, all of which is branded right in China, Korea, Japan.
The gear which is not bought as an exclusive item is then able to be sold unbranded, or as an OEM.
And CNC Forged means the reel body and usually the spool are milled from a bar stock and things like the reel seat and drag knob are forged. Basically it's a cost cutter for the manufacturer, but it gives the same tolerance build as a full CNC reel.
Sorry that my first post is a rant. But this one kills me. Where did this begin?!? You never hear Bubba gawf at you on a bass lake for fishing a Shimano Calcutta. Toyota runs in NASCAR, and our president was born in........ welcome to the New World