02-14-2000, 02:06 PM
I haven't bought a fly reel in about 4 years now. Needless to say, there is a hell of a lot more choice out there now and I have not had the pleasure of sampling the majority of them. So, who has a reel that was under $300 that they LOVE and why?
Looking at a reel that will hold 9-11 wt line for the salt, capable of taking a minor beating as the back up rod on my boat--New England species only.
I'm keeping an open mind, the one requirement is that it is machined. I've been using Orvis Batttenkills forever, which are molded, and they warp if you stare at them the wrong way--fortunately I've gotten free relpacements approximately every other year...but who wants to deal with that.
02-14-2000, 04:11 PM
I have a Harris Solitude IV and a V that I think are
pretty good reels. They are real smooth with a excellent cork drag. I never seen the Redington reels but they sound good for the money. I don't know about there drag but I would think the cork drag would be better.
I have a Pate Bonefish and a Fin-Nor and like the Harris better. Good luck
02-14-2000, 04:43 PM
I bought a Teton 9/11LA last year and love it. It handled everything from legal stripers in heavy surf to screamin albies. Do yourself a favor and check one out. Just my .02
I still love the Lamson LP series reels, and the Lamson Lightspeed (new in 99) is killer. They are machined, lightweight, and the new drags are sealed conical systems. Ultralarge arbor means super high retrieve and smooth drag to the last drop.
I am buying one for my y2k reel to put on the Rplxi...
02-14-2000, 05:06 PM
I just picked up a Tioga 8, but have been (ab)using a SA Model II for my 9/10wt stuff for 4 years now with no problems. It may not be as pretty as some of the newer reels, but as far as durability goes, I can't complain. Drag has worked well.
02-14-2000, 05:19 PM
Thanks guys--a couple of follow-up questions.
Juro, what about all the problems i've heard about the Lamson clutchs falling out at inoppportune times? I can't speak for the new lightspeeds, but have witnessed this occur with my buddie's SP in the West End of the Canal during a nice quiet surface blitz of medium-sized bass... Also, how does it compare to the Teton, which most people really seem to like, like Sully.
Flyguy--I have heard about the Harris reels and checked out the website, but am unaware of any local dealers in MA.
02-14-2000, 07:13 PM
The web site doesn't show any dealers around here. I took a chance and bought the solitude v on ebay. It was new and I liked it so I got the iv from vfs auction. If I find any dealers I will pass them along.
You can go to the show next month in Mass. There is nothing like looking for new gear.
02-14-2000, 08:12 PM
I'll second ssully's confidence on the Tioga reels. I'm on my third ( 2ea 9/10, 1ea 7/8 ) I need low maintenance equipment and these have fit the bill really well over the past three seasons. One of the things that's impressed me is the corrosion resistance of the finish. Mine get a bit banged up coming on / off the boat after each trip and they never get the kind of detailed cleaning that they deserve. Still no signs of deterioration.
The other key point is the cost, $ 120 - 130 for a reel, another $65 for a spare spool.... Hard to beat the price.
You might call Phil Castelton at Castle Arms in Springfield to see if he'll be selling retail at the Wilmington show this year. He'll treat you right and you'll be sure to get a couple of stories...
02-14-2000, 08:14 PM
Have you checked out the new Redington Reels ?? They are a pretty good deal for the money ranging around a $175 for a machined reel. They seem to compare with reels that cost 2 or 3 times as much.... The only drawback I have seen is some sharp corners on the frame of the reel. The drag seems more than adequate for stripers and albies, etc...not sure about anything bigger than that, though.......
Per the question about clutches - Most of the 5 machined Lamsons I own are pre-big business, meaning I bought them out in Seattle when they were Boeing machinists in a garage. The clutch problems may have had something to do with mass production (?) In any case, I have had one blow out of the whole pack of reels and Waterworks sent me a handful of them au gratis in case it ever happens again. They are interchangeable across all models. They provide value, durability, and most of all aesthetics at a level beyond the others in it's price range if that matters. To me the sound, the feel, the toughness and simplicity is right for my tastes.
Of course the new LS has no such clutch, it's machined to super high tolerances using a computerized NC process and has an innovative conical drag system that has the lowest starting intertia I have ever seen in a gamefish grade drag. Cork drags are awsome, but require frequent maintenance. The ultra large arbor is something I have been depriving myself of for too long, and I always loved the feeling of high performance machinery with near-zero weight feel when a big fish is ripping the line out of the reel. All for under $300...
Not quite the pricepoint advantage of the brick-####house Tetons (~$140) and the new Redington Large Arbors (wow! !$185) but at ~$275 it's my choice for the 9x9 RPLXi this year.
I'll let you know how I like it!
I purchased a 9-11 teton last year, one large arbor, one small like the reel works fine on albies, stripers, and blues, but forget tuna, you will lose your hand. This all goes to prove it depends what you are fishing for. I have been wanting to come up with an anti-reverse reel, but being retired money comes hard. I guess shark and tuna fishing on a beer pocketbook doesn't work. Offshore I guess I will have to use my Billy Pate bonefish, and hope that 250 yards plus flyline is enough. Go with the Tiogue or Teton can't lose.
02-15-2000, 09:05 AM
I'm gonna play with a few different models over the next few weeks and make a decision by the Wilmington show.
Incidentally, I really shouldn't be so disrespectful of my Battenkill. I have caught hundreds upon hundreds of fish with it over the last four seasons or so, and have never lost a fish due to reel failure. I'm also still using it and will continue to do so, the new reel being for my second outfit on the boat. i just would never buy another after going through so many spools--the metal is really soft.
Thanks for all your input.
02-15-2000, 09:11 AM
Can't let this thread die without mentioning the Scientific Angler "System 2" reels. There have been many reel discussions this winter and the SA II always gets a mention. I just got one. This is not a solid machined aluminum reel like the others mentioned. But it's probably the best of the ones not machined. Very durable. And several members of the cyber fishing community use them heavily. And they are durable. Cost $115 to $179 depending on where you go. They also weigh the same as the Teton Tioga.(Teton 10wt. 8.1 oz. and SAII comparable capacity 8/9 = 8.3 oz.)
02-18-2000, 12:59 AM
I checked out the Reddington 9/10. I'm sold! I could buy that or a spool for my Teton 9/11 LA. Two reels are better that one. http://220.127.116.11/images/flytalk/Happy.gif
Last season I flip flopped between a Teton and a Lamsom LP-4.....finally going with the LP-4 after several emails with Juro. I have absolutely no complaints about the reel. No problems either!