Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor in the Salt [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor in the Salt

05-10-2005, 08:01 PM
Hi all, I'm looking for all the honest opinions I can get on using an Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor (IV or V) in the salt, primary for bones and reds. Will the internals and finish hold up? Any and all responses appreciated! :)

Zugbugz - Arizona

05-10-2005, 09:46 PM
I got a buddy that has two seasons of almost daily striper fishing on his, and it has held up well. I think that eventually the drag adjustment stops working (gets loose like on most Orvis reels of this design), but I think it is a good value for the money. If it starts to crap out, Orvis should take care of you .
It will be fine on reds. I wonder about bones. Not much capacity and that little drag disc....heck, give it a try and let us know how it works.

05-11-2005, 04:33 PM
make sure you get the BLA V because you will need the extra backing capacity!

i love my really although it could be a little heavier. great value though for a machine, large arbor with semi-sealed drag system!

recommend you'd get it.


05-11-2005, 06:20 PM
if you are going to focus on bones, the vortex is a far superior reel. Maybe you could find one for the same price as the BK LA 5.

05-12-2005, 07:28 PM
Didn't have a great experience with this reel - got it new two years ago and the drag system required you to remove three screws to get inside a plastic compartment to clean the saltwater out. If you failed to do this everytime - the drag would clog with salt. Not sure if they have changed this.

Replaced it with a Bauer and I have had much better luck with their cork drag system. Performed great on my last bonefishing trip.

- JG

05-13-2005, 05:38 AM
Is there a problem with Vortex reels?

Dble Haul
05-13-2005, 07:50 AM

I too would like to know what the issue is with the Vortex reels.

I have the Battenkill V for my 10 weight rod, and I have no issues with it at all. It's done well with stripers, blues, and albies. I've pulled it apart about once a month to lube and rinse (more thoroughly than the quick rinse after use) during the fishing season. Don't know if it makes a difference, but it probably doesn't hurt. :smile:

05-13-2005, 01:34 PM
ok... here's the information on the vortex reel.

the drag system is horrible. the way the reel was designed, it sometimes has the tendency to freeze up when adjusting the drag. the screw for the drag adjustment constantly becomes loose or tighter for no apparent reason leading to the drag locking in. if somebody adjusts the drag too much, you will have to take apart the reel by hand with a screwdriver and reassemble. it's happen to me numerous times. also, you'll find that you have to silence your reel by hand (taking it apart, popping a few things off) as the damn thing is so loud you can hear it all the way down the beach. orvis also claims it has the most pick up of any reel out there - well, there's a reason for that - it's absolutely gigantic. buy one size down unless your going after tuna or anything that really requires 200+ yards of backing.

orvis has a bad problem with field testing its products. the best orvis reel by far was one of the old dxr's i believe they are called. granted it wasn't large arbor, but it still preformed excellently. i've owned and returned all my vortex reels. my buddies and i combined have owned them all (not that anyone would trust them after what we've seen). the only time i relied soley on the vortex was out in montana where the drag froze up on me with a brown trout. yep, a brown trout. i've talked to other guys who have lost tarpon, etc... then bought a redington for 1/4 of the price and everything worked out...

go bauer or tibor for the price!

for something cheaper go with the large arbor. it'll require some maintence once in a while but it's a solid reel with affordable spare spools. that's what i fish with in the saltwater - although i'm looking into getting a bauer. never hand a problem with it. was extremely happy.

orvis does have the best return policy though! they've taken back every single reel or rod that has preformed sub-par. the only problem is learning you lost an awesome fish before the fact.

for those who know about the odyssey reel - the vortex had similar problems.

Dble Haul
05-13-2005, 01:53 PM
I guess I'm fortunate. I have a vortex and it hasn't given me any problems in the few years I've owned it.

Knock on wood. :)

05-13-2005, 02:03 PM
I've had a Vortex for about five years now and have never had any problems. I've used it for winter steelhead, fall salmon, and stripers and blues in the salt. It's been very dependable. There are three buddies of mine that all use them for their client reels for our Michigan fishery. They don't experience problems with the reels either. Not only do I not have problems, but if I did, I'm confident that Orvis would take care of me. They always have in the past.

05-14-2005, 11:10 AM
I have seen V-texs withstand ridiculous abuse and hold up well. I have also seen them goof up for no obviouse reason. Bought @ sale price, and backed by the Big O, they are a good value.
I look forward to their replacement.

05-15-2005, 07:48 AM
don't get me wrong... the vortex is not a flimsy reel by any standards. the thing is a damn beast! it's just why would you buy a reel for 500+ dollars to good up on ya at all?