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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2011, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

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Originally Posted by dgm43 View Post
I am interested in a fly reel that I can use for both steelhead and bonefish. I would like one with good line capacity and a smooth drag. I am having difficulty on line getting honest reviews. Any suggestions?
First of all, welcome to the forum.
It has been mentioned earlier about Allen reels. I really think you should check them out. I love mine and for the price they are hard to beat.
Check out this thread......
Heres another one.....
And Here are a few Allen & Co. reviews: One on Allen's 9/10wt Alpha reel paired with the Allen Xa 9wt rod that I wrote.
And another.....
Hope this helps.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2011, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

I thank everyone for the information.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

I am also looking at a Nautilus FW 7+ reel for myself! Anyone have one for sale?
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

I have a Battenkill IV and V and really like them. But warning, the V had a change from a small 1 inch diameter drag to a 1 1/2 inch drag. The newer one is the larger drag, but both are available. Make sure you get the larger one and if getting a spool make sure the extra spool has the appropriate size opening to accommodate the larger (or smaller) drag. They ARE NOT interchangeable.

BTW, I believe they are currently on a great sale. They will be replaced in the future by a a new name product, the "Hydros LA reel".

Last edited by sxm; 04-07-2011 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

The Battenkill's are good.

The Alpha's by Allen & Company have good drags and are light weight. Enough drag to stop a bone making for the horizon? I don't know (not knocking ya, Justin, I just don't know). I will say that the XL and the Alpha I have are fine reels.

I'd also look into CRG-II ($215 for 8/10) or a Torrent ($299) by Colton.

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It's only my opinion, but I'd save my pennies and get a Hatch 9+. Whenever I'm ready for it (meaning when I get more time to fish for bones and such), my dream setup will be a Z-axis or ZG in 9wt with a Hatch 9+.

Hatch Reels
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

I also suggest Allen reels, hard to beat for the price.
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:57 AM
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Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

I would suggest the Battenkill Mid Arbor if you're looking for something dependable for short money. They were recently discontinued to make room for an upgraded model (the "Access", which to me seems nearly identical but is slightly lighter and has a fully-sealed drag) and new ones are still available at clearance prices if you look around. When Orvis first introduced them, they were promoted as the best reel anywhere for fish up to 50 lb. (Yes, of course it's subjective marketing hyperbole, but with their market presence and customer satisfaction guarantees they can't afford to make utterly reckless claims.)

There is a rumor Ive seen on several internet bulletin boards that the Orvis BMA, the Pflueger Trion and the Redington CD are all essentially the same reel. I don't know that to be true, but it sounds reasonable given the realities of Asian manufacturing and American branding in the market today.

Another consideration, whether you're thinking of the BMA or any other reel: a mid arbor reel has a deeper spool and therefore holds more backing than a similarly sized large arbor -- something that can come in handy chasing bonefish or steelhead.

If you don't mind spending more for something sexier and completely indestructible, take a look at Hatch.

Orvis's promo video for the BMA is here:

Last edited by moucheur2003; 04-07-2011 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

Never fishes for Bonefish, but I have chased steelhead here in the Great Lakes with a BK Large Arbor IV with no problems. I do know that Orvis in Chicago and another fly shop in the area said that the BK is discontinued so if you find one at a shop it should be on sale. I got mine for 160. I also have a Lamson Lightspeed 2 for my trout rod and I love it, but mine is small and I don't know about the backing capacity for steelheading, I have 75 yards with a 5at on it but it mine is a smaller reel. I will say that the Lightspeed is very wide and shallow so you have to watch your line space when reeling line back in. On long runs it can be a pain to watch how you guide the line back on the reel.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

I can recommend the Okuma Helios at $160. It's an amazing reel for the price and is great in either salt or freshwater.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

You might try the Colton's. I bought two of them ( brand new from the factory's ebay listing)each with spare spools and I'm pretty sure I paid around 250 for the lot (both reels and spools) . It is the CGR11 model I bought. One has 9/11 engraved on the drag knob and the other has 7/9 engraved on it but both are identical - machined from the industry standard 6061 T6 aluminum bar stock.

I think the only difference is what spool was on them as the spools are interchangeable. The drags are very smooth and the reels have held up well to salt. The drag is semi-enclosed, which I don't like, but they still work fine. I throw the reels in warm fresh water after using them in the salt and strip the line off wihile under water a couple times (most of the time ) - drag free spooling .

Click the image to open in full size.

The ugly appearance is from black magic marker and is not how I got them (they did not have them except in shiny silver that I don't like for bones). You can call Bob, the owner, at Colton if you have any questions. The reels have a lifetime warranty. The newer ones called the Torrent have a much stronger drag and are made in the USA. They are more expensive but still in your price range.

Cheers,
Jim

Last edited by wjc; 04-10-2011 at 10:13 AM. Reason: More information: Edit in Red
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