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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Down East, EH!

    Default Orvis Battenkill Reels

    Some 20+ years ago I purchased a Battenkill 7/8 and extra spool. It has seen limited use but I hang on to it because it was my first decent fly reel (for the money). Does anyone remember that reel and have any experience with it or history on it to share? It was made in England.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Bennington, VT

    Default Re: Orvis Battenkill Reels

    They are, IMHO, a darn good, tough reel, usually disc drag, I think and of course, made for Orvis in England. They are readily availble used on ebay. They made...and sold...a lot of them. Nothing wrong with that reel at all.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Orvis Battenkill Reels

    That is correct, they where made in England by British Reel Works which, I believe, Orvis took and equity position in. The reel featured an odd "off-set disc drag" set up which you can see with the spool removed. It is actuated by a pair of mating gears; a clunky design long ago replaced by a variety of hub-based concentric drag systems (some of which do not necessarily work any better). There was a more elegant version of it from the same mfg. called the CFO Disc and STH of Argentina played with it for a short while too. Be careful when removing the spool, there is a bushing that likes to fall out and get lost. I still have one of these in 7/8 too with a #5 or 6 line on it lurking in the back of my fishing closet somewhere. Hardly a collectors item but modestly serviceable enough.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Suffolk, UK

    Default Re: Orvis Battenkill Reels

    Good reels considered a good solid classic by many. Made in Falmouth by BFR (British Fly Reels) which made some Hardys reels too. Bought by Orvis in the 90s and the factory was closed by Orvis and production moved the the Far East on 23rd December 2004.

    I still have mine along with some CFOs and even a Madison which was their basic line. There is something very romantic about using these old reels (Hardy included) on English chalk streams.
    Regards Gerard

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Orvis Battenkill Reels

    Gerard, Thank you for the BFR correction and further details, S&S

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Boston, Mass.

    Default Re: Orvis Battenkill Reels

    I've got one, an 8/9 disc drag model. It's doing duty as a spare now, but back in the day it caught salmon, bluefish, stripers and smallmouths. Orvis sold a spring-and-pawl version as well.

    Before the BFR-made Battenkills, Orvis sold a J. W. Young reel branded as a Battenkill. (They also sold a Pflueger Medalist with minor cosmetic tweaks branded as a Madison.)

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