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Thread: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

  1. Default Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

    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?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Bennington, VT
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    Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

    I would run, not walk, to the nearest Orvis Battenkill Large arbor reel, either a IV for 8 wt or V for 9 wt...or whichever balances your rod for you. I use these reels (I have more than a couple of them, testament to how much I trust them and use them) for bonefish and atlantic salmon particularly, but also for bass and pike. 25 year warranty, Orvis customer service, etc.

    Having said all that, all of my Battenkill's are the english-made version. They are often available on ebay, usually for about 150 bucks, lightly used. I cannot testify to the quality of the newer, asian-made (I believe) version. but I suspect its a very good reel, too.

    reeling,
    Gary

    A few of my babies ready for bonefish action:
    [IMG][/IMG]

  3. #3

    Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

    I have handled both; but only fished with the English made LA. The English made battenkill LA feels far superior; the metal is quite a bit thicker etc. I liked it in the trout size. The new model felt VERY cheap and flimsy; the spool flexed pretty easily. Not sure that I would trust that, I think they tried to make it too light. The offset drag on the English battenkills is a rather small disc; I'd be crossing my fingers if I ever saw too much backing flying off of there and wanted to crank it down.

    ---------- Post added at 07:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:33 AM ----------

    You can get a Galvan Rush-8 for $290 maybe even cheaper. It is the same drag as thier top of the line Torque, and they are very smooth.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

    people seem to really like the Lamson Lightspeedand the Nautilus 7/8 FWX Reel, iv never fished either but have messed around with both at Fly Shops. Then again there is always Allens Alpha reels, they are fantastic.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Such a drag!

    No need to cross your fingers! My english-made Battenkill LA's have slowed 10 pound bonefish and 20 pound salmon, no problemo. And virtually stopped an 18 pound hen salmon two years ago when I needed to keep her out of where she wanted to go (10 pound tippet helped, too)!

    Interesting observation about the new reel; have never held one, guess I don't need to now, either!

    Gary

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

    Quote 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?
    Here is a short list:

    Lamson Guru 3.5 ($229) - Same sealed drag system as most of its higher end siblings. The drag system starts up smooth and has a wide enough range to take on Mr. Bonie. I used to own a Waterworks ULA 3x that has the same drag system as the Guru. I did not have drag issues up against bonefish.

    Galvan Rush 8 Lite ($290) - Great synthetic drag system that has a wide enough range to take on Mr. Bonie. It is a Galvan Torque that is not as machined. I have used a Galvan Torque 8 up against a Steelhead in fast water. I did not have drag issues.

    I cannot make comments on the Orvis models mentioned except that they seem to have a good reputation.

    MP

  7. #7

    Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

    I use a Harris Solitude IV for steelhead sealed drag also. Awesome reel and looks great. It has a silent drag though which some don't like.
    I believe they are also good for salt.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Monroe, Michigan
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    Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

    I like my Ross CLA's...

    Dan

  9. #9
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    Mar 2010
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    Middle, Tennessee
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    Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

    I would suggest the Nautilus 7/8 FWX Reel. Great reels for fresh and salt water.
    Popperfly >-<(((((*>

    Born to Fish...Forced to Work !

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    North Carolina, Wy or Mt someday
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    39

    Default Re: Medium priced reel ($200-$300)

    Ross Evo 4 for $325 or a CLA 4 for $230. The CLA 4 has beefed up components from the smaller sizes. This makes for a better quality reel for larger species. I have worked in a fly shop for around 7 yrs now and I still think the Ross CLA is the best reel you can buy for the money. Good Warranty too.

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