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Thread: Any thoughts on the new LL Bean 'Pocket Water' reel

  1. #1
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    Default Any thoughts on the new LL Bean 'Pocket Water' reel

    Click and pawl, machined aluminum, supposed to be lightweight and "perfectly matched" to the new for 2012 3,4,5 weight pocket water rods they're offering now. I tried to find out how much it weighed, but customer service didn't know. One estimated 5 oz which seemed heavy to me.

    Anyway, I just wondered if anyone had an opinion or info on this reel.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Any thoughts on the new LL Bean 'Pocket Water' reel

    Hi Rob,

    It's slow night here and I am not familiar with the reels. Someone may know and answer later.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Any thoughts on the new LL Bean 'Pocket Water' reel

    It looks like a good reel for the money: machined + LL Bean quality +$79=

    I'm not seeing anything about weight or capacity. IMO, there's a good bit of difference between a 3wt reel and a 5wt reel, so it will be hard to know what it will really balance well with.

    For just a bit more, I'd consider Redington's Drift reel- REDINGTON DRIFT FLY REELS from ReelFlyRod.com. Free Shipping!
    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._1276302_n.jpg

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Any thoughts on the new LL Bean 'Pocket Water' reel

    First of all, I'm sure that you've seen the reel review on Midcurrent
    LL Bean Pocket Water Fly Reel | MidCurrent

    Now this is all just speculation on my part, but a few weels ago someone posted a thread asking about this reel and others, including the Cortland Retro. At the time I had recently picked up an older LLBean Reel made by STH and was looking into the relationship between STH and both Beans and Cortland.
    If you look at pictures of both the Pocketwater and the Retro you can see that they have different perforations, a different colored foot, and the Cortland reel comes in 2 sizes while the Bean reel comes in one.
    But there also too many similarities to ignore. The reel foot is the same shape, the rivets are in the same position and the drag knob appears to be the same also.
    Again speculation on my part, but it appers to me that these reels were both made by STH and have more similarites than differences and the discription of the Retro could most likely applied to the Pocketwater as well
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Any thoughts on the new LL Bean 'Pocket Water' reel

    So I emailed LL Bean about the weight, and (the relevant part of) their reply:

    "This reel weighs 4 ounces and that is our manufacturing specified weight.This reel is set for 3 - 5 weight lines."

    Rip Tide, the two do look similar, but the PW is a good bit heavier than both Retro models. *shrug*

    I'm hoping the LL Bean store near me gets some in stock, but they've seriously downsized their fishing section recently, so I'm not holding my breath.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Any thoughts on the new LL Bean 'Pocket Water' reel

    I have wanted to check out the Pocketwater and finally got one in hand and was able to view the inside.

    WF5F 50 yards of 20 pound backing. The Pocket Water Reel weighs 3.85 ounces and has a diameter of 2 7/8 inches & 7/8" wide.

    The drag mechanism is a different take on the traditional hardy Lightweight version.
    The reel's silver finish is sharply accented by the high glass black metal and the latch cover, drag knob and counter balance. These are tight and well made cool little reels!

    Last edited by 650flyguy; 11-30-2012 at 01:59 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Any thoughts on the new LL Bean 'Pocket Water' reel

    In the Q&A section of LL Bean's Pocket Water Reel page, they answered a question about the reel specs:

    With the WF5F line, the reel holds 50 yards of 20 pound backing. The Pocket Water Reel weighs 3.85 ounces and has a diameter of 2 7/8 iches.

    I don't have one myself, but on the Bean website the reel has an average rating of 4.9/5 after 7 customer reviews, so others seem to like it. The only negative comment was from one customer who said, "The click is a bit loud and took a little getting used to but I'm fine with it now."

    Product website: Pocket Water Fly Reel: L.L. Bean Reels | Free Shipping at L.L.Bean

    For what it's worth, to my eye the Pocket Water looks a lot more elegant and refined than the Cortland Retro. If the Hardy Lightweight is the aesthetic ideal for this style of reel (and I think it is), the Pocket Water hits the mark while the clumsy proportions of the porting on the Retro miss it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Any thoughts on the new LL Bean 'Pocket Water' reel

    Not sure about the Pocket water, but I use the large arbor reel of the theirs and really like it so far. I liked the free shipping to Canada and their no fuss iron clad warranty. That alone sealed the deal for me. I wouldn't hesitate getting more of their stuff.
    "Whale oil beef hooked !"- Traditional east coast fishermen saying

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Any thoughts on the new LL Bean 'Pocket Water' reel

    Quote Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post

    Now this is all just speculation on my part, but a few weels ago someone posted a thread asking about this reel and others, including the Cortland Retro. At the time I had recently picked up an older LLBean Reel made by STH and was looking into the relationship between STH and both Beans and Cortland.
    If you look at pictures of both the Pocketwater and the Retro you can see that they have different perforations, a different colored foot, and the Cortland reel comes in 2 sizes while the Bean reel comes in one.
    But there also too many similarities to ignore. The reel foot is the same shape, the rivets are in the same position and the drag knob appears to be the same also.
    Again speculation on my part, but it appers to me that these reels were both made by STH and have more similarites than differences and the discription of the Retro could most likely applied to the Pocketwater as well
    I have no heard of any STH reels being outsourced, they are all still made in their factory Patagonia. The Pocketwater is made in Korea. The similarities may be a result being made in the same factory in Korea.

    I heard a rumor that Cortland was using some of their leftover parts from their previous affiliation with Hardy to make the Retro. More likely the just "borrowed" some design features the click and pawl set up on the Retro - it screams Hardy Lightweight series. The open frame seems borrowed from C.R.I. whom they were also affiliated with. The STH Airweights had a either the unique spring drag system or the set up the single spring similar to the Hardy made Battenkills.

    The Pocket water seems to be more of a Hardy knock off with it's has a caged frame and variation Lightweight click and pawl system. But it does have a palming rim for us Americans.

    Seems that companies "retro" click reels designs are just combinations of elements from reels of the past.

  10. Default Re: Any thoughts on the new LL Bean 'Pocket Water' reel

    The thing about LL bean is you dont have to be worried about giving something an honest test with their return policy. I picked up a 6wt LL with the #2 LL reel....got it at a price I couldn't pass on. I am a reel snob so I thought I would end up not likeing it but honestly I fished it a few times and couldn't find anything I didn't like about it. Generally speaking they put their name on well made products.

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