A reliable, tough saltwater reel for under $200? Is that possible?

FredHerring

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Can anyone offer an opinion on this? I am looking at reels such as the Echo Bravo, Sage 2280 Reel, or even an Orvis Hydros SL. I am more interested in durability than low weight.
 

karstopo

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Cheap saltwater fly reels that work - Fly Life Magazine

I’ve got a piscifun Sword. Haven’t had it long, but it seems quite nicely made.

Stay away from cast Aluminum reels. In my experience, those will corrode quickly. I have the Sage 1880 that is a cast Aluminum reel and predates 2280, which is also said to be made from cast Aluminum. My 1880 functions, but the paint is rough and it is showing signs of saltwater exposure on the casts parts. Cast Aluminum reels, to me anyway, look cheap from the beginning and their looks decline faster than the other alternative Aluminum designs.

The Allen Kraken is close to $200. Nice, well made reel that has been durable for me.

I don’t have any experience with the Hydros or the Echo reel.
 

falcon53

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Allen Kraken as Karstopo indicates may be the way to go. I have had nothing but good experiences with the Kraken reels and other Allen reel offerings. I would sign up for Allen's email list as they run specials several times a year. Their reels have a lifetime warranty and good customer service. Allen is a Forum sponsor.
 

gpwhitejr

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If weight is no object, you might consider the Redington Behemoth (well named). I have one that I have used in salt water for a couple of years and it is still fine.
 

taylorreels

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Here is just a thought. If raised your budget by only $100 to $300 your options really open up significantly. There are many great salt-reels in that $200-$300. In my honest opinion that extra $100 is well worth it.
 

bonefish41

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Can anyone offer an opinion on this? I am looking at reels such as the Echo Bravo, Sage 2280 Reel, or even an Orvis Hydros SL. I am more interested in durability than low weight.
Tough and reliable but how much static drag do you want? And new and/or used? I picked up a new closeout at this size TFO BVK 4; big reel 4.75 spool and dry weight 9oz for 129.00 Sierra TP sold out but maybe others out there closeout...Korean Machined; its static drag that I measured was 5lbs tops and that was with a pliers...4lbs is more practical; however, I do not exceed 2-3 lbs fixed/static drag the rest when needed is hand/palm...it's well made for 129 bucks...you might find some used Billy Pate's near 200 and they are tough and reliable and heavy.
Since heavy is not negative if you add look for 200to300 used and heavy the world of good salt is out there
 

bonefish41

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I punched E buy it now 200-300 ...195 BVK 3 with extra spool and 300 Ross Canyon BG 5...there were others under 200 but still at auction including 3 Tibors Gulfstream and Riptide
 

bobtheflounder

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Bvk is probably the least durable reel I know of. Behemoth is not very drop resistant either. The best option at this price range (imo) is the Danielsson F3W 7-10. It has the best sealing out of the various reels mentioned as well. It has a small drag knob though.
 

FredHerring

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I actually have a SA System 2, and it is a brute. So yes, if I see a used one I will grab it.

How about the Echo Bravo? It is about $140 but does not look durable...

My local shop has a used Fin Nor #3 Anti Reverse. It is 12.25 oz so it is heavy, but I am OK with that, I think. However it is $324.95
 

cb3fish

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Can anyone offer an opinion on this? I am looking at reels such as the Echo Bravo, Sage 2280 Reel, or even an Orvis Hydros SL. I am more interested in durability than low weight.
Here's a thought, Why not buy a used good reel like an Abel-Tibor-Billy pate...these reels don't wear out and won't let you down when your a long way from home, again just a thought. CB
 

bonefish41

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No to anti reverse but yes to second generation direct drive...FinSecondGen.jpg and yes to BVK 4 Feb 2018 Permit on my TCR 10 with BVK 4 big spool quick take up...but all my salt is skiff, mainly KW and about 10-12 times a year and I take care of my stuff...even at 77 goin 78Feb2018Permit.jpg
 

WNCtroutstalker

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The best option at this price range (imo) is the Danielsson F3W 7-10. It has the best sealing out of the various reels mentioned as well. It has a small drag knob though.
I needed a couple of 8-9 wt reels for a trip last year and didn't want to spend Hatch/Nautilus/Tibor/Abel money. I did a pretty extensive search and settled on the Danielsson L5W, which is a bit above your budget (it looks like the 6nine currently is about $225 and the 8twelve is about $240). The F3W mentioned above is about $190. I think they are quite similar, and so you might check both out and decide if you need the L5W or if the F3W has a sufficient drag. The service was great. The company shipped it with tracking info the day after I ordered (basically same day shipping considering the time difference) and it arrived at my door 7-8 days later. In terms of performance, I can't say that the reel was put to a huge test, but it performed flawlessly. No complaints whatsoever.
 

fq13

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Finding a good deal at
$200 plus or minus is easy if you don't mind used, but what are you using it for and on? An eight weight or a twelve? Snook and reds or tarpon? You will find different answers.
 

FredHerring

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Striped Bass, some big, some huge. Also false albacore and gorilla bluefish.

I am leaning toward the Orvis Hydros, but if I lose my mind (and my marriage?) maybe a Nautilus X
 

clsmith131

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I had the Echo Ion, and have two other friends with them. Mine was a 9-10, my friends have 8-9, if memory serves me. We all use them for striper and have wrangled fish over 20 pounds in freezing cold conditions with them. I've never seen one fail. I gave mine to a friend just starting out, along with a E3S Ti and he too has been pleased with it. I only used it twice in the salt, we fish stripers out of the lakes and rivers here. I cannot speak to it's ability to hold up to the salt, but I suspect it will do fine with proper care. It may not last as long as some of the top-notch offerings, but some of those are not as salt-proof as they like to claim. Most people prefer a direct drive reel to an anti-reverse. I personally have never used an anti-reverse fly reel, but have been curious. It seems for durability sake, the simpler the design, the better.
 

karstopo

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What's the Allen Kraken run these days? $220-230? I've got one and it seems great, but I haven't had it a long time or really tested it on a lot of fish yet. I've got the Nautilus X XL Max. I wouldn't put it in that "tough" category. Light weight, yes, it is very light weight for it's class with skeletal frame so it pairs well with a light weight rod. I'm not convinced it is the best value going, though, although it has stood up fine to 15-20 pound class Jack Crevalle, Big black Drum, sharks and other saltwater oddities.

I don't know how many saltwater fish are as challenging to a reel as they might be made out to be. I've caught 20 pound stripers and 10 pound bluefish and they really don't have the gear wrecking potential of an adult tarpon, for instance. There are obviously fish out in the salt water that will test any setup, rods, reels, lines, knots, hooks, tippets, but most saltwater fish don't really require bulletproof gear and the fish can't all be lumped together as real threats to the reel. The saltwater corrosive environment is the biggest threat that most reel will ever face.
 

original cormorant

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Here's a thought, Why not buy a used good reel like an Abel-Tibor-Billy pate...these reels don't wear out and won't let you down when your a long way from home, again just a thought. CB
I completely agree with this with one proviso - dont get one with a small arbor. Todays reels all (?) have large arbors but its surprising how long it took for large arbors to be the standard for saltwater reels.
 
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