Repeat of an 'oh my God' on the cost of reels. [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Repeat of an 'oh my God' on the cost of reels.

05-14-2003, 11:19 AM
I've posted a similar thread a couple of years back and I'm still amazed at the prices you can pay for spinning reels. Was putting through a Cabela's catalog and they have two different spinning reels that you can pay from $500 to over $650 each.

Hoy Vey, we've come a long way from the old Zebco's.

05-14-2003, 12:09 PM
Are those Van Staal or Shimano? Honestly, it's rediculous. If I'm not fly fishing, I'm using the spinning gear, and I own several outfits with both Shimano and Quantum (produced by Zebco) reels. Any freshwater reel over $60 is out of the question, and I draw the line at around $130 for a saltwater reel. I don't care if the thing has 100 ball bearings, I can land any fish that the more expensive reels can with my "modest" tackle.

Willie Gunn
05-14-2003, 01:14 PM
you are right how can you get so much reel for so little money, now look at the Hardy Cascapedia,

New for 2001, and available in limited quantity is the nicest reel we've ever seen: the Hardy Cascapedia. This reel was first issued by Hardy in 1932, and only 113 were ever made. Originals have sold at auction for $20,000+. This reissue is for only 500 reels, of which only 150 have been made available in the USA.

These reels are made in two sizes, the size 1/0 Brunswick Cascapedia and the 4/0 Salmon Cascapedia. The 1/0 is suitable for line sizes 2-6, but is best balanced on a 5-6 wt. rod. The 4/0 Salmon model is rated for line weights 9-11. Both reels feature spools made from highly polished bar stock aluminum. The side plated are ebonite, the rims stainless steel, the seat brass nickel, and the pillars, drag selector and check button are nickel silver. Both have flawless drag systems, with red indicator setting dots

Each reel is numbered and signed by the craftsman, and comes with a black leather kidding...a pair of white gloves.

Things of beauty that take a XLT and stacks of backing, yes I fish with one, you thought you were the only tackle junkie!!!!!!!!!!


wet fly
05-14-2003, 04:21 PM
I have always thought the single action fly reel was expensive. A machined spinning reel has many more moving parts then a simple fly reel. jerry

05-14-2003, 04:35 PM
but, as J. Paul Getty is reputed to have said: "If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it."

05-15-2003, 01:15 AM

You can always take a gasp at the price of a Charlton Titanium single action reel with extra spool. They are about $6,000.00

05-15-2003, 02:09 AM
My wife and I paid $4,900 for our first home it had two bedrooms and a garage with Old Growth Trees and a 5 acre park next door.
there was plumbing and electricity too. I thought the new fly reels were overpriced,not to mention the old ones. I am not going to call BS but I will look this up in a catalog before I tell her the prices of new "Spinning Reels"!

05-15-2003, 10:18 AM
How about the Beaverkill series of Titaniums for $ 6,000 each, I am still looking to be a friend of one of their owners. Have not found one yet either !!

My first car a 57 Chevy custom coupe (harbor blue) was bought for $ 700. You know what these go for now ? Look it up, I would get sick again if I saw the current FMV prices of them, I GAVE mine to my brother when I went in the USAF in 1966. Then he went in the Navy a year later and sold it, of which I never got a dime in return nor never asked to this day.

PM Out

05-15-2003, 10:49 AM
Price up a plain old Charlton Spey reel.

She costs some $$ but feels like butter in your hands.

Best spinning reel hands down is the old 1960's or 1970's Zebco Cardinal series. They are a work horse of a reel and built like a tank.

05-16-2003, 01:14 PM
Charltons look nice for sure, actually never seen one other than a picture.

Zebco cardinals were good.

I still have several Mitchell 300s which are still ticking after 30 years.

A pleuger medalist fly reel of 30+ years also.

PM Out

05-16-2003, 01:27 PM
Mitchell 300 made in France, need I say more.

05-16-2003, 01:47 PM
Maybe it is just cause I have never fished gear but it seems to me a spinning reel is way more advanced than a fly reel. The price seems logical cause I do not mind (well my wallet does) paying $500 for a nice fly reel...


05-16-2003, 03:22 PM
A couple forces at work here. First, gear reels, with few exceptions, are more complex than fly reels and thus given similar materials, should cost more. Once again, with few exceptions, they do not. Why? Could it be that fly reels are status symbols and gear reels not? Or in other words, fly fishers are willing to pay top dollar to own a fancy name brand reel when 90% of the fishing they do doesn't need one. Let's face it, the Medalist for years was all you needed until it became uncool to fish one.

Don't get me wrong, I like good expensive reels and am lucky enough to have a few. They are worth it to me because I like them, not because I need them.

05-16-2003, 06:57 PM
sean and sinktip have it squared up. Some (not all) find no problem in the cost of a machined fly reel, but not a spinning/casting reel. Some of these reels are actually machined same way. Bar stock aluminum, one piece. Precision made and hellacious reels. I will say, especially in the fighting aspect, some of these finer reels will last alot longer with same upkeep. They cast smoother, reels smoother, and drags are smoother. I must confess though, I LOVED my old pflueger fly reel. I sold her off a couple years ago. I never lost a big king or big steelhead because of the simple construction. Never had one fail, or burn up (mine was the USA made models). Of course, the moment I was able to step up to a nicer reel I did. But nowhere near the prices of some. In fact, in my baitcasting reels, I prefer the older 201sg's by shimano and the 5001c's by ABU over the new 5501c3's and the calcuttas. I have let fish beat those reels for YEARS and still hold up strong. The few new ABU's I had I ended up selling all off. I burned up the drags and reels overall in a matter of a season doing same work my old reels did. I had planned to retire my old reels, but ended up selling new ones and using my old ones.

So, it's nice to be able to buy these new high class reels. But, some of the old one's are just as good. But, will say, the old mitchells are alot heavier, clunkier, and don't cast as well as some of the newer reels. Now, playing the fish in it's great. But it's the use that kills you. I still have 5 old Mitchell spinning reels. I have two still on their old rods (one on my old surf rod, one smaller one on my trout rod). Rest are well protected and put away. Plus, I don't use spinning reels. I use either baitcasters or fly reels.

05-16-2003, 08:37 PM
I would never part with my Cardinal 4's, used the same one for 15 years with zero problems.

I have 10 others that have never been fished (by me) just sitting tucked away. Sometimes that old stuff is the best.

Greg Pavlov
05-17-2003, 03:35 AM
>Let's face it, the Medalist for years was all you needed
>until it became uncool to fish one.

"... the [Medalist's] popularity waned, particularly in steelhead
flyfishing circles. It remained inexpensive and durable, problems
it never overcame in an increasingly upscale flyfishing market."

- Try Combs, Steelhead Fly Fishing

05-28-2003, 05:11 PM
Jerry/Greg: couldn't agree with you more. With a couple of exceptions (10/11 wt spey rods) I just finished 'up-grading' the old Plug. Med reels. Like yourself(s) never a wimper, always worked - wet or dry - and as simple a design as man could dream up. Several of these reels were at least 30+ years old.

If Orvis hadn't screwed with the Redington reel product line I'd still be using them today. But at $90-$95 a pop for the AS/AL 13-14's even Joan had to admit they were a very good deal.

Doktor T
06-02-2003, 08:47 PM
I bought a Baur M4 for steelhead and salmon. If I hook a Tyee, I got a drag that will give me a chance to fight him back in after taking a 200 yard run. Such quality takes 4 times the money to produce, and compensates for weekend fishermen without pro skills.


06-02-2003, 09:26 PM
That's why the call it "fishing," not "catching." Two Kings on yesterday, one on the Spey the other (don't tell anyone!) a 11' Lamiglas drift rod. The fly came back in the shape of the letter "L," the drift rod one damn near strip the reel before he/she broke 15# maxima main line for leader.

Sigh ....

06-03-2003, 12:39 AM

Oh the shame, the shame or it all. The great and articulate exponent of the virtues of the spey rod resorting to gear!! Say it ain't so.

06-03-2003, 01:48 AM
Originally posted by flytyer
Oh the shame, the shame or it all. The great and articulate exponent of the virtues of the spey rod resorting to gear!! Say it ain't so.

...but its sooooo much fun!!!!!

06-03-2003, 02:03 AM
...and so is fishing a fat ole pink worm! :devil:

06-03-2003, 05:08 AM
Originally posted by flytyer

Oh the shame, the shame or it all. The great and articulate exponent of the virtues of the spey rod resorting to gear!! Say it ain't so.

A few hours with a 15'10 wt Scott wizzing a 400 grain Big Boy will ware you out. Actually, not that much since I learned the Perry Polk at the Sandy Clave. That one cast more than 'paid' for the 12 hour drive. It is amazing how well that cast works ... and I was fishing exactly the same water on the far side of the river.

Change of pace stuff.


Sparks, charming young lady, nice fish ... but she needs to loose the guy.

06-03-2003, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by fredaevans
Sparks, charming young lady, nice fish ... but she needs to loose the guy.

:hehe: ...she is not mine!