Sage 3400D vs McKenzie Bauer MX3 [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Sage 3400D vs McKenzie Bauer MX3

09-10-2007, 08:31 AM
I need to decide on a new reel for saltwater Silvers and also Steelhead.

I'll be using the reel on a Sage XP 8100-4.

I'd like to hear people's opinions on the performance of the drags on these two reels in various conditions and handling pretty strong runs from aggressive fish.

I'm a Sage guy in general but I would like to hear about this Bauer reel as it sounds and looks pretty nice.

I'm mostly concerned about drag performance.

Thanks in advance for your opinions!

09-10-2007, 10:20 AM
I own the bauer, opted away from the sage for aesthetics only... silly I know.

Friends with the Sage reels are quite happy, the drag is supposed to be sealed and I have not heard of problems w/ salt invasion although I do not own one.

The bauer drag is flawless but it requires maintenance - you need to keep that drag clean after use in saltwater.

I have since gone to what I believe to be the best saltwater gamefish reel after several years of hard 'field testing' so now I can't be bothered with all that tedious care. It is neither of these brands.

09-10-2007, 10:32 AM
Thanks for the information, Juro.

I know of the other brand you speak of and have been trying to purchase one at your recommendation (LW6nine) for over 6 months. I've contacted the NA sales rep at least 10 times via phone, email and web page without one response. I leave for my AK silver trip this Saturday, so I'm going to have to go with something else.

I've narrowed my choice down to these two. Sounds like the Sage is less maintenance? On the Bauer, is there more to just taking apart the reel and cleaning/oiling every night after fishing?

09-10-2007, 11:08 AM
I have an old baurer M5 and a MSL5. Typical after salt maintenance is a fresh water rinse. Furthur maintenance, depending on usage, is easy because of the reels utter simplicity. The M5 had drag and bearing issues but after sending back for upgrade it's flawless. I have a phobia about drags and other stuff that are purported to be sealed.

09-10-2007, 11:17 AM
Hmmm... I'm concerned about Ron Larson... will try him later today.

09-10-2007, 11:31 AM
I have used the MX on some False Albacore and it is a sweet reel. I have an old Bauer M5SL which is not nearly as beefy as the MX. I have beat it up pretty hard over the last few years but it refuses to die. The craftsmanship on the Bauers is top notch and the MX has all oversized components. Just spin the handle under a faucet at the end of a weekend or trip, take apart to dry, and lube it once at the end of the season.

09-10-2007, 03:22 PM
What experience does anyone have with the MZ-5? I have one and really like it, but it has not been tested beyond a 32" Striper. I am considering getting 1 or 2 extra spools. Any experience with this reel on sizable FAs?

09-10-2007, 05:03 PM
I have had some very poor results with Ron this summer. He simply will not answer emails because in his words "does not type well and it takes him too long" He is also bad about returning calls. If you are lucky he will answer the phone.

I get the feeling from talking to him that he is getting forgetful. I tried to buy a HD 9Thirteen earlier his year. and later on a HD Eleven 14 for my Tuna rod. After many calls & finally got him to answer his phone. Reels were back ordered & held up in customs he told me. After two months I gave up on buying any new reels but did finally get him to send me some spare spools for my LW 8Eleven .
I ended up buying a Billy Pate Marlin reel for my tuna stick.

To say the least I am disappointed in his attitude about email. I realize he is older and not real keen on computers, but he is running a business & must keep up with the times.

The Danielsson is a great Reel & I love my LW, but Ron is not doing them any favors in my book. Maybe he will come into it after the season is died down. I hope so Because I still want to get a HD 9Eleven or two

09-10-2007, 07:36 PM
Like I said all along.. this bargain won't last forever. I don't think it will be long before these once top-priced reels end up back on a high shelf again.

09-12-2007, 04:46 PM
I really like my sage reels. I have a bunch of different high end reels (all the big names excluding Danielson and Bauer) and the Sage reels are my go to striper/steelhead reels. They are "sealed" and I take a look inside every season. Going on six seasons for a couple of them and still no problems. I NEVER clean or lube them. The spools change quickly. They are a little expensive for a Korean reel. I would have liked to see Sage pass on some of the savings to the consumer.

I have never been crazy about the Bauers. The drag clutch seems so funky to me (the soft rubber bumpers). Orvis had something similar with the odyssey reels (1st gen). Maybe they have a different system now. I have seen some people have problems with them, but many love them.

09-14-2007, 07:27 AM
I have been thinking about getting a danielsson reel for a while. The site does not include any info for the larger lines one uses in spey fishing and I was wondering which model one would use for lines like a 650 Skagit or a 9-10 midspey. Do any of you have recommendations based on your experiences?
Thanks in advance.

10-09-2007, 12:04 AM
I started this thread with the question so I thought I should update those of you that provided insight, for whatever it's worth.

I bought the McKenzie MX3 and it performed extremely well. The drag was very smooth and I had no issues with the salt water. I did not experience it backing off like some posters here mentioned.

I landed over 40 silvers between 8 and 15 pounds during the week in Alaska and I have nothing but positive reports for the MX3.

Thanks again for the input, guys.

Best of fishing to you all.