The Odyssey; Like a Monet with Mussels on your reel seat.
I must add yet another plug for the best big game reel I've ever owned. I have owned many fly reels for all types of fishing applications but once I hooked into a few fresh run Alaskan Kings I was forced to make some additions to my tackle.
When I first moved to Alaska I owned an Orvis Battenkill 8/9 disc drag reel. I had used the reel for Great Lakes Salmon for years and had managed to land many fish in combination with a 9' 9wt. rod. I had always held trepidations regarding the strength of the drag on the 8/9 disc. After a few years of battling with Alaskan Sea Run Kings using the old reel I began to search out something with a better drag system. When fishing close to the salt the fish are very strong and when they decide to run down river toward the ocean you need a very powerful reel to stop them. Drag and additional backing capacity were a driving force behind my decision to buy a pair of new Odyssey reels. I purchased both the Odyssey III and the IV.
Both of the reels exhibit exceptional engineering and superb finish. They have a huge spool that will easily accommodate up to 300 yds. of 36lb. saltwater micron backing. The drag adjusts quickly from zero to darn near full stop very smoothly.
I realize that drag alone will not bring a fish to the shore. If you are adept at turning a fish and leading the fight with your rod angle and leader strength the addition of the Odyssey's drag should be the icing on the cake.
They are however a bit weighty but then so is your 9 or 10 wt. rod right? If appearance is something you consider in a fly reel the Odyssey has the look of a classic fly reel in the heavy weight division. They are no longer available from orvis but come up on the aftermarket now and then. On line auctions are a good source for locating one.
Regardless of the discontinued status of the Orvis Odyssey IV, if you acquire one and put it to the test you have my word that you will not be disappointed.
Re: The Odyssey; Like a Monet with Mussels on your reel seat.
I have and use an Odyssey III and agree completely. The drag on anything I have ever hooked is amazing. Smooth as silk and absolutely no flat spots.
If it can handle a 25 pound Chum Buck, fresh from the salt, the drag can handle anything the pole will be able too.
The Odyssey is as good as any $500 dollar reel and better than most.
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