Curiosity about 3 wt reel

Blu4415

Well-known member
Messages
54
Reaction score
39
Location
Ohio
I am new to fly fishing. You can look up my introduction post. It was not very long ago. Since then I have been using a 6wt setup. Been looking at getting a 3 wt for small creek panfish and trout around here.

The question is cost! All I here is the 3 wt reel is a glorified line holder. That make sense to me, no need for some state of the art drag system. So battenkill 1 or 2 would be fine I would imagine.

Back to the question when you buy a 300 or 400 dollar reel for a 3wt, what is the reason?
Is is brand loyalty? Status? Does it last longer/ quality better than say a battenkill?

Not being a hater, I would like to know the answer so I know if it is worth it to save up for a few months. Or just get what I can afford now.

This forum has helped me a ton on my journey so far, as a group you are an invaluable asset to someone starting out.

Sent from my LM-Q620 using Tapatalk
 

Blu4415

Well-known member
Messages
54
Reaction score
39
Location
Ohio
Sorry in advance I noticed after I posted this went to traditional instead of the General forum

Sent from my LM-Q620 using Tapatalk
 

johan851

Well-known member
Messages
318
Reaction score
213
Location
Seattle, WA
To be perfectly honest, I get fancier reels in this class for primarily aesthetic reasons. There's probably a status component as well, something around liking nice things. There is a quality difference that's perceptible and satisfying, but it doesn't translate to improved functionality in a substantial way.

I like those Battenkill clicker reels. I have one and I think they're great bang for the buck. The next step up IMO is a Galvan Brookie, it has a larger arbor and a more modern look. The Ross Colorado LT is another small step up, and for $100 more I think the tolerances are a little tighter than the Brookie. All three will perform nearly identically on the water - like you said, reels in this class are fancy line holders.

Example: I have a Ross Colorado LT on my new GS 773. The two seem like they were designed for each other, and there's a decent change they actually were. It's a beautiful and harmonious setup and it makes me smile. If buying a Redington CT 376 and a Battenkill clicker for $1,000 cheaper meant getting on the water (and learning and having fun) much earlier, I would absolutely do that. Those two would also be an attractive and functional combination, and you'd have just as much fun.
 

Blu4415

Well-known member
Messages
54
Reaction score
39
Location
Ohio
Johan, thank you for your input. This is along the lines of what I was thinking. So for now I will just jump on the battenkill and as time goes on I will step up in class a little bit ( maybe after I stop looking like a bumbling idiot out there) lol

Sent from my LM-Q620 using Tapatalk
 

WNCtroutstalker

Well-known member
Messages
1,697
Reaction score
1,381
Location
North Carolina
Back to the question when you buy a 300 or 400 dollar reel for a 3wt, what is the reason?
Is is brand loyalty? Status? Does it last longer/ quality better than say a battenkill?
I haven't paid that much for a 3 wt reel, but to those questions I would say perhaps, yes and it depends.

I'm sure someone will mention hooking a 20"+ trout on a 3 wt, but I don't see any reason to overspend on a 3 wt reel. A click-pawl should be fine. Even if you want a drag, you don't need to spend $300+....or even $100. I would think ANY modern/current reel with a drag should be able to handle anything targeted with a 3 wt.

Depending on where you'll be fishing, I do think it's worth paying for a machined reel (more durable than cast). But even cast reels hold up OK if you don't abuse them. Bottom line, the Battenkill should be fine. As would something even less expensive.
 

johan851

Well-known member
Messages
318
Reaction score
213
Location
Seattle, WA
One thing I'll add - being patient and finding a nicer reel used can really stretch your dollar. I think I haven't technically spent $300 on a 3wt reel either, despite the MSRP of the Colorado LT. :p
 

Acheron

Well-known member
Messages
1,137
Reaction score
928
Location
Colorado
On 3wt and 4wt rods, my reels for many years were vintage Martin reels (Martin 63b was my main reel) which cost <$20 used on ebay. My current 3wt has a JC Higgins (<$30) on it.

They do an excellent job of holding the line.
 
  • Like
Reactions: spm

el jefe

Well-known member
Messages
3,590
Reaction score
1,749
Location
Albuquerque, NM
About the only time take advantage of a higher-priced reel, it is with a smooth drag system and is used with very light tippets on the San Juan, and that's a heavier weight setup. In most other cases, I simply strip the fish in. A pricey reel for a 3-weight is probably not necessary. I do like the aesthetics of some of the pricier reels, but when I am stripping line in, neither an expensive reel, nor a cheap reel, is performing any kind of a function. For that matter, I could have the line in my pocket, and just run it out through the guides from there, for all the good the reel is doing. But some of them are pretty neat.
 

Blu4415

Well-known member
Messages
54
Reaction score
39
Location
Ohio
On 3wt and 4wt rods, my reels for many years were vintage Martin reels (Martin 63b was my main reel) which cost
They do an excellent job of holding the line.
Good idea looking on eBay for vintage or used. I will do that as well. Thank you for stopping by!

Sent from my LM-Q620 using Tapatalk
 

Blu4415

Well-known member
Messages
54
Reaction score
39
Location
Ohio
About the only time take advantage of a higher-priced reel, it is with a smooth drag system and is used with very light tippets on the San Juan, and that's a heavier weight setup. In most other cases, I simply strip the fish in. A pricey reel for a 3-weight is probably not necessary. I do like the aesthetics of some of the pricier reels, but when I am stripping line in, neither an expensive reel, nor a cheap reel, is performing any kind of a function. For that matter, I could have the line in my pocket, and just run it out through the guides from there, for all the good the reel is doing. But some of them are pretty neat.
You make a great point el jefe! I think I will either stick with a battenkill or try to find something used on eBay.

Sent from my LM-Q620 using Tapatalk
 

Blu4415

Well-known member
Messages
54
Reaction score
39
Location
Ohio
I haven't paid that much for a 3 wt reel, but to those questions I would say perhaps, yes and it depends.

I'm sure someone will mention hooking a 20"+ trout on a 3 wt, but I don't see any reason to overspend on a 3 wt reel. A click-pawl should be fine. Even if you want a drag, you don't need to spend $300+....or even $100. I would think ANY modern/current reel with a drag should be able to handle anything targeted with a 3 wt.

Depending on where you'll be fishing, I do think it's worth paying for a machined reel (more durable than cast). But even cast reels hold up OK if you don't abuse them. Bottom line, the Battenkill should be fine. As would something even less expensive.
Thanks for the advice. I will try to find something cheap. Maybe one day when I win the lotto and have money to burn it will be a different story :)

Sent from my LM-Q620 using Tapatalk
 

johan851

Well-known member
Messages
318
Reaction score
213
Location
Seattle, WA
About the only time take advantage of a higher-priced reel, it is with a smooth drag system and is used with very light tippets on the San Juan, and that's a heavier weight setup. In most other cases, I simply strip the fish in. A pricey reel for a 3-weight is probably not necessary. I do like the aesthetics of some of the pricier reels, but when I am stripping line in, neither an expensive reel, nor a cheap reel, is performing any kind of a function. For that matter, I could have the line in my pocket, and just run it out through the guides from there, for all the good the reel is doing. But some of them are pretty neat.
My kids have little buckets they use in their sandbox. Before you use the pocket you could at least attach one of those to the butt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LOC

weiliwen

Well-known member
Messages
1,089
Reaction score
132
Location
Lincolnshire, Illinois
Good idea looking on eBay for vintage or used. I will do that as well. Thank you for stopping by!

Sent from my LM-Q620 using Tapatalk
In addition to those fine reels, I'd add a Cortland Rimfly in the "S" size. I got one years ago, and it is still my go-to 4 weight reel, and is not too big for a 3-weight. I have two more, probably meant for 4-5 weight, size "M." If there is a "L," I have never seen one. These are made in England, and mine cost me $20 on the popular auction web site.

I use my Rimfly on my Hardy Zenith, sort of incongruous, a $20 reel on an $800 rod. But who cares? It's not too heavy for the Zenith, and it has never failed me. That combo is my "daily driver," sharing time with a Sage LL that I have another inexpensive reel, the Lamson Radius (this one does have a drag, never used).
 

Blu4415

Well-known member
Messages
54
Reaction score
39
Location
Ohio
In addition to those fine reels, I'd add a Cortland Rimfly in the "S" size. I got one years ago, and it is still my go-to 4 weight reel, and is not too big for a 3-weight. I have two more, probably meant for 4-5 weight, size "M." If there is a "L," I have never seen one. These are made in England, and mine cost me $20 on the popular auction web site.

I use my Rimfly on my Hardy Zenith, sort of incongruous, a $20 reel on an $800 rod. But who cares? It's not too heavy for the Zenith, and it has never failed me. That combo is my "daily driver," sharing time with a Sage LL that I have another inexpensive reel, the Lamson Radius (this one does have a drag, never used).
I will look into those now as well. I am open to all ideas. Being new this van be kind of an information and preference overload. I am not set on anything, so I am thankful for the input and heading over to the auction site now to take a gander and see what they have on there!

Sent from my LM-Q620 using Tapatalk
 

thomasw

Well-known member
Messages
565
Reaction score
527
Location
East Kootenays - BC
For my 3 wt reels it is firstly about balance as HC pointed out; my newish 3 wts are very light and so any reel much above the 3oz mark is less than ideal. I don't feel a lot of brand loyalty, I feel a loyalty to quality and aesthetics. I do obtain more enjoyment from using higher quality and aesthetically pleasing tools. I do think an analogy here in regard to vehicles is valid; the toyota corolla vs the audi; I think the list could be multiplied.

But at bottom, for a 3 wt. a higher quality reel is about rod bling :) "Is bling always a bad thing? Oh dear, no; bling can be a fine thing!" To paraphrase Dr. Seuss :)
 

LOC

Well-known member
Messages
1,320
Reaction score
1,116
Location
S. CA
My 3wt reel is more vintage than bling but at the time of production it was the top the line in the reel series.
The 3wt fly gear is when you can cut loose on aesthetics because the requirements are not that demanding and if you hunt second hand you can pick up a great deal. I would much rather have a older unique quality reel then the run of the mill new reel at around the same price.
 

Meuniere

Well-known member
Messages
585
Reaction score
579
Location
Western Washington
Everything has pretty much been said, so I'll only add if you are looking on eBay, keep an eye out for the Battenkill BBS reels -they're machined aircraft aluminum, and will last a lifetime. You should be able to get one in very good condition for about the same price as a new regular Battenkill. And for a 3wt, the BBS 2 is what you want. I had a few extra myself but sold them awhile back. Spend what you are comfortable with and best of luck!
 

Blu4415

Well-known member
Messages
54
Reaction score
39
Location
Ohio
For my 3 wt reels it is firstly about balance as HC pointed out; my newish 3 wts are very light and so any reel much above the 3oz mark is less than ideal. I don't feel a lot of brand loyalty, I feel a loyalty to quality and aesthetics. I do obtain more enjoyment from using higher quality and aesthetically pleasing tools. I do think an analogy here in regard to vehicles is valid; the toyota corolla vs the audi; I think the list could be multiplied.

But at bottom, for a 3 wt. a higher quality reel is about rod bling :) "Is bling always a bad thing? Oh dear, no; bling can be a fine thing!" To paraphrase Dr. Seuss :)
Thank you for your input. I will keep in mind the 3oz mark. I agree that when something is visually pleasing it may be more fun to fish with. If I am being honest though at this point, I love fly fishing so much I would use my pockets as mentioned earlier. I am just happy to be alive and be able to fish everyday and as of right now I can't ask for more than that.

Sent from my LM-Q620 using Tapatalk
 
Top