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  1. Default Large arbor reels

    I wanted to find out what everyone uses for fishing salmon steelhead when spey casting or just in general.
    I am trying to get a feel for equipment to fish in NW Oregon coastal rivers.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada

    Default Re: Large arbor reels

    I haven't tried spey casting, yet, but I use an Orvis Clearwater reel.
    John L.

    "The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn't someone else's gift to you?" Lee Wulff

    “Be patient and calm – for no one can catch fish in anger.” – Herbert Hoover

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Large arbor reels

    Hi & Welcome to the forum,

    I fought against Lg. Arbor reels from when they were introduced until a year ago. On a traditional fly rod; glass, graphite, or bamboo, I absolutely love old school reels that remind me of where I came from but............... On Spey rods (I have some heavy line rods) you need to be able to accommodate a big fat line that can run to 150' in length. My first LA was a vintage Orvis Vortex 11/12 and that baby will hold a RIO Mid Spey 11/12 line (875 grains) and plenty of backing so I converted at that point. Since then I was able to buy another original (made in USA) Vortex in size 9/10 in unused condition at a great price and scoffed it up for a slightly lighter rod. So.... I'm now owning 2 LA reels and going to buy a third.

    Here's why I need another, I have a 1981 Hardy 13' 9" graphite Spey rod that I love. I've been struggling with an Ian Gordon 700 grain with a 75' belly for this whole year. The line is just too light, but it fits my old Hardy Cascapedia just right. Because I felt the rod was not knocking out the line the way it should I e-mailed the Carron Line Co. in the UK. I figured that they would know how to line a Hardy of this vintage and they pointed me to a Jetstream 10/11 and I bought one. The problem arose when I found that this big fat 130' line was not gonna fit my reel, no way at all. So, here comes another LA reel for the Hardy.

    The moral of all this is that unless you are going to use short heads (28') lines and braided shooting line, you're gonna need a big reel, really big. I'm ordering a Hardy LA in size 11/12 tonight and so I'll have 3 LA's. One other reel that will hold anything you want to load is an Orvis Odyssey IV, I use one of those too and they have huge line capacities. You may get the idea that I like old reels huh, I do. I hope all of that answered some part of what you posted, I was in the mood to type


    [Edit] I should mention that all my reel acquisitions are usually based on the reel having weight and are not guided by how 'light' they are. Especially for the big 2 hand rods weight is important to me. The reel I am getting now weighs only 8.65 ounces and I'm wondering if it will be heavy enough to balance the big rod I'll want to use it with.
    Last edited by Ard; 11-18-2012 at 01:33 PM. Reason: Add Content;

    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

  4. Default Re: Large arbor reels

    Everyone has their own opinion. I like Orvis LA reels, they're not too expensive and are fairly light.

    For money money I'd go with a Lamson Lite.

    I prefer LAs now because they help reduce line coils.


  5. #5
    okuma Guest

    Default Re: Large arbor reels

    Orvis LA Encounter. Great reel for the money!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Laramie, WY---Cape Coral, FL

    Default Re: Large arbor reels

    Can anyone tell me why something as simple as a LA took so long to come about. Materials, engineering, intelligence? What turned the tide?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Basque Country

    Default Re: Large arbor reels

    I use an Echo Ion reel 8/10. Have a look at the Allen fly reels. I have a trout reel, and maybe I will purchase a heavier reel from Allen

    You have also a "cheap" but good alternative on, (from China), a friend of mine buy a large arbor reel, and seem good product. Wholesale fly reel - Buy Low Price fly reel Lots on but take care about warranty.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: Large arbor reels

    Quote Originally Posted by cochise View Post
    Can anyone tell me why something as simple as a LA took so long to come about.?
    Because they look like this

    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

  9. Likes mrfzx, cochise, Guest1, fyshstykr liked this post
  10. #9
    turbineblade Guest

    Default Re: Large arbor reels

    Yeah, I bought a nice large arbor reel for my 6 weight (thought I need the extra cranking speed) and used it a few times, then tossed it in the closet and went back to the standard one that came with the combo. It balances better, stays out of the way of the working line, and lands fish just fine when I need to use it that way . Actually, I'd say that I'm beyond just neutral on the issue -- I actually don't like large arbor reels, but I couldn't care less to debate it.

    Use whatever makes you more likely to hit the water .

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Boston, Mass.

    Default Re: Large arbor reels

    I've got an older Lamson Litespeed. I also have a (now-discontinued) Redington RS2. Both do the job nicely. Lots of others are probably at least as good, but these are the ones that happened to be on closeout when I was getting started.

    What to look for if you're shopping? I only use spey tackle for heavier fishing, so I like mid-to-large arbors for the combination of line capacity, less tendency to set coils in the line, and faster retrieve. Watch out about line capacity, though -- some very-large arbor models have relatively shallow spools that won't hold much backing, especially with a fat line. Ard makes a good point about weight, but make sure you test-cast it with a full spool, because a big spey line and a couple hundred yards of backing will add more weight by themselves.A good drag is important, as is corrosion resistance if you'll be fishing in the salt.

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