Looking for opinions on large arbor reel [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Looking for opinions on large arbor reel

03-03-2007, 09:51 PM
I've always thought that reels on a trout or freshwater bass rod are just glorified line holders. For example, I use an LL Bean Streamlight $35 reel on my $400 trout rod. On my bass rod, I use an old Martin reel with a bent spindle where the edge of the spool rubs against the reel frame despite my best efforts to straighten it. :)

This year I've finally decided to upgrade to a new reel for my 4 wt trout rod for a couple of reasons:
1. I want a larger spool diameter for faster line pickup. One thing that I don't like is how long it can take to pick up all of the extra line you have out when you hook a fish close to you after a long cast.
2. I want less line memory. On longer casts, the line farther down on the reel that doesn't get used 95% of the time can be in pretty tight loops, which can really hurt long distance casting.
3. I hate to admit this but.............. :o I want something a little better looking!

So right now I've been looking around for a large arbor reel. Not just a large arbor, but a SUPER large arbor. There's only a few supers that I've found so far, but plenty of just plain old large arbors. My trout rod is an Orvis 7'6 4 wt Superfiine, so it's pretty small and lightweight so I want a light reel to match. I'm looking to spend as little as possible, and definitely under $200.
1. Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor II - 4.75 oz - $179 - Super large arbor, lightweight, a bit plain looking though.
2. Cabela's SLA 1 - 4.8 oz - $179 - Super large arbor, lightweight, very nice looking reel.
3. White River Fly Shop (i.e. Bass Pro) 270 #4/5 - 5.26 oz - $170 - Super large arbor? or just Large arbor? A bit heavier than the first two. Looks very nice.
4. Pfleuger Summit - 6.3 oz - $80 - Not sure if this is a true super large arbor or not ? Inexpensive but heavy.
5. Sage 1830 - 5.5 oz - $139 - Large arbor, but not Super large arbor. A bit heavier than the first two, and not nearly as nice looking
6. Sage 2540 - way out of my price range!
7. Sage 3000 - way out of my price range!

So any thoughts on the these reels would be great! At this point I'm leaning towards one of the first two. If you know of any others that I don't have listed, please let me know.

03-04-2007, 02:20 PM
of those, I like the Orvis BK. That is a short light rod. This is one of the few times that a really light reel makes sense. Maybe slurge on the higher end Sages of look at a Waterworks? They have the perfect reel for that aplication. I like the simplicity of the Sage (non disc reels). The water works are terrific freshwater reels.

03-04-2007, 03:40 PM
Several years ago I picked up an Okuma Integrity 7/8 and put it on a 6 wt rod. Large arbor design, looks good, works good, & priced right. Only thing is the drag is not sealed. But hey, for under a hundred bucks, I can live with that. Lots of good stuff out there today. Echo makes a nice enexpensive reel. Now & then you can get a good deal on a no name import at a fly show. The super large arbors will cost you. But you might get by with a regular LA by going up one size like I did.

03-05-2007, 07:30 AM
From that list I also like the BK... but that list is not really complete when it comes to LA in an affordable price range.

I would rather get a Bauer Jr Mac (around $200)

or a Danielsson FW series ($235) who by the way invented the large arbor reel.

Dble Haul
03-05-2007, 09:45 AM
Battenkill LA has worked wonders for me. It's a great value for the money, even if it's a bit plain looking (but the fish don't seem to mind how it looks).

03-05-2007, 11:51 AM
To be designed, used, and endorsed by Jack Bauer...
Manufactured in the dark by covert CTU machinists!?
It's good enough for my personal first choice

Slick as wet phrogs hair...
Smooth as a baby's butt...

03-05-2007, 12:28 PM

What color scheme is that?

BTW - $200 price diff from the FW Danielsson LA

03-05-2007, 04:27 PM
If I were going to get the Danielsson in that size, I would opt for the "Nymph". A little cheaper, a little lighter and a lot cooler. Huge old skool style points! Don't forget to back off that friction! Drag!?!...We don't need no stinkin' drag!

03-05-2007, 04:36 PM
If you are willing to compromise the LA crank rate another option is the old Lamson LP machined / disc drag reel. I have a vintage Lamson LP 1.5 on a 4wt which is a great meat-and-potatoes reel for trout IMHO and can be found in this price bracket lately.


03-06-2007, 07:54 AM
Thanks to everybody for all the recommendations/information. I'm definitely sticking with about as big an arbor as I can find. I was thinking more about it last night and one thing that I always remember about fishing is having to take 20 minutes to wind line on my reel when I want to walk up/downstream a bit. Even a short walk is a pain while dragging line with you, so I always wind it up. I also don't like taking a long time to wind line onto the reel so I don't get tangled in it when chasing a fish downstream or bringing it to shore.

I'm leaning towards either the Lamson 1.5 (clearance price!) or the Battenkill.

03-06-2007, 09:20 AM
Again the LP 1.5 is not a large arbor reel but it's a hell of a workhorse especially in freshwater applications.

Colorado Cajun
03-06-2007, 09:44 AM
I vote for the battenkill. They seem really good for the price. I like a mid arbor because they pick up the line quick and they aren't as big a bulky.

03-06-2007, 12:40 PM
Check out the Waterworks-Lamson Velocity series and Radius series.

03-06-2007, 01:39 PM
Well I just ordered a Battenkill Large Arbor. I found a shop selling them for $125 in Colorado, and the guy dropped the price to $110 for me plus $10 shipping. So $120 for that reel isn't too shabby! I wanted the gold reel, but all he had was black. Oh well, I think I'll live. :)

It's this reel but in black:

Dble Haul
03-06-2007, 02:38 PM
You won't be disappointed with your choice.

03-06-2007, 04:20 PM
I like the black better FWIW

03-06-2007, 07:22 PM
Yeah, but the black doesn't have any BLING BLING and that's what fly fishing is all about, isn't it? Apparently you missed this thread:


Colorado Cajun
03-07-2007, 09:33 AM
Some folks just don't get why we stand in the middle of a river with $1,000.00 worth of stuff and we don't even keep the fish.