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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 31 Dec 2007, 04:55 • #26 
New Member
Joined: 12/27/07
Posts: 12
my favorite, is a peerless 1a, it just right for my 8ft 3piece winston 3wt. the worst was a daisey heddon ,that looked a hardy lRH


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 31 Dec 2007, 05:09 • #27 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/26/06
Posts: 3833
Location: Northeast Of Heaven
Hello
My personal Favorites are my Farlows Cobra Next is the Allocks Marvel followed by my trustee Young Pridex.
All of the Above are made in England.
Reels Made in the USA as follows.
Pflueger 1492, 1774, 1495, Heddon Imperial 125, Next Would be the Stuarts and The Holmes Perfect clones.
Thats a toss up I like the look of the Stuarts over the Holmes.
The Stuarts are a bit temper mental and the Holmes are better by design and trouble free.
Mom used to say "if you don't have anything good to say say nothing."
So I will refrain from bashing the reels I do not care for.

Tight Lines and Reeled Loops
Andy M


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 31 Dec 2007, 05:15 • #28 
Emeritus
Joined: 06/08/07
Posts: 2505
Location: Superior, Colorado
Quote:
I'm getting a headach trying to figure out the WM Autograph. How do you store a spare spool with a line?

I don't know about you scud dog, but I store mine in my pocket. ;)


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 01 Jan 2008, 15:34 • #29 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/08/05
Posts: 3570
Location: Western PA
|I Best vs. worse ...
Seems some reels are better than others for switching drag directions, drag settings and changing spools. How are those STH cassettes? That never appealed to me. Probably my fear that the cassette wouldn't catch and would free spool or something. I haven't heard anyone knock them though ... Are they OK?
Curious to ask, when did spare spools catch on?


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 02 Jan 2008, 03:47 • #30 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/09/06
Posts: 2483
Location: US
I bought an Albright reel a couple years ago that had similar feature as the STH (ie with cassette spools). I don't care for it. I bought it as it was heavy enough to balance an old Fisher Graphite and the rod has two length configurations and two weight configurations. I figured I could use one reel for both the four and five weight lines and just swap the cassettes. Problem being both times I have tried to do this I have been unable to remove the existing cassette. Probably just needs grease but I am giving up on it and switching the line to other reels now that I have some vintage reels I would rather fish anyway.


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 02 Jan 2008, 12:59 • #31 
Guide
Joined: 06/22/05
Posts: 185
Best new style disc drag reel I have owned is the Charlton but I felt ridiculous having a single action fly reel that cost more than a Honda Lawn mower!

Best click pawl is the Hardy JLH. More line capacity per weight/diameter, curved design that is stronger than straight and palmable.

Best Classic style is the Kineya 701. This reel has some kind of design with dry bearings on each side that provide the smoothest lightest turning spool/handle I have ever touched. You cannot find ANY slop in this reel with no side to side movement anywhere. Rubber side plates, SS foot/frame/pillars and a little nickel silver put the quality of this reel beyond the $495 retail.

STH cassette- I have two sizes and they work GREAT. Super cheap option to spool up old dirty lawn casting lines/try lines etc and its always good to have one for clients as they switch from right to left easier than anything out there since you dont have to respool the line in the opposite direction. My larger size 2's have the special salt water centered drag system that would seem to hold up and I have read accounts that they do hold up well.

Worst- Some of these are expensive reels. I have had a bunch of reels that failed miserably compared to the competition. I will not name them but some things to watch out for are:

drag knobs-when set to lower trout settings some are capable of moving by accident.

protruding thingies- these snag the fly line causing breakoffs when the line will not peel off the reel

spool latches- Cortland Embassy already mentioned and I too experienced that one but there are others that have improper design and will allow an inadvertent release

Advertised Weight- Why do some companies have to LIE about this issue when its obvious

Marshall


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 09 Jan 2008, 08:53 • #32 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/11/06
Posts: 2058
Location: Nature Coast Florida
Best-- Hardy Lightweight Multipliers, Hardy Marquis Multipliers, Orvis Multipliers by Hardy, all old Medalists and any older Young, anything with a red agate---Not really best, just what I enjoy most fishing

Worst--Pflueger Progress, SalTrout (aluminum), Berkley- (almost criminal how bad they were when compared to the Para/Metric Rods they would go on)doesn't include the Hardy clones


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 10 Jan 2008, 05:40 • #33 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/03/07
Posts: 569
I once got a Japanese Sal-Trout knock-off in a group reel purchase. It was so shoddy that it was comical- the spool and frame had the approximate rigidity of a doubled-up piece of aluminum foil.

I threw it away, but I should have kept it- it was worth $10 just in laugh appeal.


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 10 Jan 2008, 09:16 • #34 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/11/06
Posts: 1673
one of the finest reels i have is a hardy angel (for sale). its so nice i don't use it. i have a godfrey that is awsome. his prices have gone crazy and i can't afford another one. the smoothest click pawl reel i have is a forbes aerial 3". this reel is sooooo smooth. you can't adjust the drag but you can release it. in freespool it spins like a centerpin float reel. can be had new for under $200.00. other forbes reels i like are the barstock aluminum salt water disk drag reels and the same design "salmon steelhead" disk drag reel. beautiful reels. there are others as well.

the worst reel i had was a Berkley. can't remember the model but it was made of graphite and the spindel had a rubber bushing. i gave it away.


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 10 Jan 2008, 18:31 • #35 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/08/05
Posts: 3570
Location: Western PA
Most graphite reels could land in "Worst". How about the Shakespeare Alpha? Laughable. Retailers that sell them should be embarrassed. Never saw one in a fly shop. Now, that's a clue the reel is awful. Flyshops can't afford to sell junk reels.


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 17 Jan 2008, 05:49 • #36 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/27/06
Posts: 774
Location: SW Missouri Ozark Plateau
I could get by the rest of my life with Medalist DAs:1492, 1494s ... have three of them; 1494 1/2, and 1495. But my sweetest reels are my Hardy reels. Nothing on God's earth will make my hair stand on end like the beautiful screech of a Hardy when a big fish takes off. :eek I guess the worst reel I ever owned was a Berkely 556.


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 17 Jan 2008, 07:04 • #37 
Master Guide
Joined: 08/03/06
Posts: 552
Location: US-OR
i'm another that doesn't care all that much for clunky pfleuger's, especially the newer models.

i do like the classy looking hardy sunbeams. they're heavy enough to balance a glass or cane rod. i also favor the latest all gun metal hardy marquis model, the one without the big black spindle cover, replaced with the with a silver rimmed spool ... very nice looking reel!


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 21 Jan 2008, 08:03 • #38 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/11/07
Posts: 570
Location: Driftless Area & Great Lakes Tribs
BEST - I have a number for favorites including of course my Hardy Lightweight, JLH & Marquis (all spring & pawl design), my Lamson LP 2 & 3.5 (fought well over 1000 King Salmon with the 3.5) and the Orvis Mach IV.

As for the Worst the Berkely Specialist ranks up there but the WORST and most disappointing reel I ever owned was the Hardy Viscount Mark II spring & pawl version! I bought it in the 7/8 weight for salmon fishing and by noon the first morning the pawl had ground all the teeth off the gear. I put the spare spool on to finish out the day and proceeded to grind all the teeth off that gear as well. >:


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 21 Jan 2008, 08:08 • #39 
Guide
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 320
but it's a Hardy, right? They charged you how much for that marvelous junker?


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Best reel/ worse reel
Post 21 Jan 2008, 08:16 • #40 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/11/07
Posts: 570
Location: Driftless Area & Great Lakes Tribs
At the time I bought the Viscount (~2000-01) I paid somewhere around $100 to $125 for the reel, which was comparable to the other Hardy's I purchased at the time. I've used my spring & pawl JLH 8/9 on countless King Salmon with no noticible wear to any of the components - the Viscount was just junk! And fron HARDY no less! Which is what surprised me so.


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Post 08 Apr 2021, 03:46 • #41 
Sport
Joined: 04/24/18
Posts: 43
Location: Pennsylvania
The absolute worst reel i ever brought was the okuma slv, I do not recall what I was thinking. The drag worked great but the reel it self seemed to be made of recycled soda cans. Every small bumb applied big disorientations in the metal.
I ended up giving it to a friend for free. I have plenty of great reels that took its place from hardys, to sage 500s, galvans,abels, plueggers orvis and a vosseler. I have a few cheap echo ions for beater reals, they serve their purpose
Only ones I would get rid of are a couple of orvis Clearwaters by BFR. I am not a fan of plastic pawls, Again, not sure what i was thinking when I bought them.
Only reel I currently want to add to the collection is an abel made cfo. Based on the market I could be looking for a while.
I am at the point where I would rather have reel opposed to one that will bend,twist,and break.When out fishing.


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Post 09 Apr 2021, 07:28 • #42 
Guide
Joined: 06/30/20
Posts: 139
Best reel I've ever used is my Ross Colorado LT (the previous model, not the currently sold one). Difference is really just cosmetic between the two models but I prefer the look of the previous series. I have the 3/4 in platinum. These reels are pure click pawl reels. I decided to buy it when they went on "closeout" to make way for the newer models and I got it right at 200. I was sold on the reel when I saw the video of the guy from Ross dropping the reel on a stone floor on purpose, with no damage. I am rough on gear so I want something tough, but also light and looks good. Its just so hard to find a reel with all 3 of those characteristics. Now I'm kicking myself for not getting a 4/5 too for the larger size trout rods I have.

The worst I have used is a Crystal River Coachman CR-2002 disc drag. Seems to be made out of plastic but also incredibly heavy. I will say, that I used this reel a bunch on my first ever glass rod (a CGR 6'6" 4wt) and it performed just fine for what I needed. I actually like that rod with the heavier reel on it for some reason. The drag never worked, the reel looks awful, but it did what I needed it to do - hold line for the rod.

Pics of my Colorado LT below just because:




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Post 14 Apr 2021, 11:47 • #43 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/25/16
Posts: 1014
Location: Rocky Mountains - Colorado
I have been reading this old post...some great info and very cool reels! I am still just a few years into my fly fishing career...but have had a bunch of reels, Mostly off the used market. So there were a few examples of mis-use and they couldn't be fixed...so maybe not bad design but poorly cared for.
Worst:
I bought a group of 3 new/old stock Eagle Claw EC-10 reels...They were junk, wobbled and loose and cheaply made, and I sold them the same way I bought them...Unused in the boxes for cheap $$.

Best:
Medalist 1495

Image

I also like the Scientific Angler System 2 reels, tight and smooth and a drag than can stop a charging rhino. I am also very fond of my JW Young Pridex.


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Post 14 Apr 2021, 12:24 • #44 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 1756
Location: US-IL
I have an ec10 that i fish on several rods.All vintage shorties,7' Phillipson,6' Browning Silaflex,6.5 and 7' wonderods.Have caught every thing from bluegills to grass carp.Have been near the end of the backing a few times.The reel is smooth as can be.I am sure there are plenty of lemons in these clones.They sold new for like 8 bucks.I run across a valuable vintage reel i usually sell it right away.I pick up quite few for less than a good beer in my travels,Not many fly anglers around me.Going to be using some British made battenkills and SA system reels i acquired over the winter, where i need need a functioning drag.


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Post 14 Apr 2021, 13:16 • #45 
Guide
Joined: 04/12/18
Posts: 324
Location: Upstate NY - L.George region
An old thread, but worth reviving?

I think any reel that works as intended is "best." I enjoy all of them. (I do have a soft spot for the Orvis Odysseys and most J.W. Young models, along with somewhat of a fascination with automatics.)

The worst reel I ever had was an old Medalist knock-off that a non-fisherman found and gave to me. It was the thought that counted, because that reel was total junk.


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Post 14 Apr 2021, 14:52 • #46 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/25/16
Posts: 1014
Location: Rocky Mountains - Colorado
Hersh

That is way cool that your EC10 is a good one. The 3 I had were in pristine but dusty boxes...last of production? I messed with all three of them and they all had issues with wobble and poor fit. I love Eagle Claw as I have been fishing with Eagle Claw gear since I was a kid in Denver. I will keep my eyes open and see if I can find a good one...kind of the way I have been testing out Ocean City reels. Thanks for the good word.


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Post 14 Apr 2021, 15:40 • #47 
Master Guide
Joined: 04/27/09
Posts: 560
Location: US-SD
In my opinion some of the best reels are the early Ross ones. I have an RR and a San Miguel which are both really excellent. Like others on this thread I was once suckered into buying a small Berkley Specialist to use on a short rod I built; even as a dumb kid I should have noted that this reel design was not good.


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Post 15 Apr 2021, 06:51 • #48 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17338
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
you never can't not step on somebody's toes by listing a negative.
If you can't say something good, don't say anything is a pretty good internet philosophy, especially since you may be reading your own words again a dozen years later.
I think you can find good examples of Olympic-Seiko Hardy clones, you can improve them by swapping to Hardy pawls, and you'll find they changed so much from year to year, they won't swap spools - you can find the same thing in Martins.

And after all that, the worst reel ever made was Ross Flycast
I bought this reel for a loaner, and it's not even good enough for that - on this poor reel, the drag is very uneven over its rotation, partly a design limitation, but more so poor Q/C. And whatever they have for a roller clutch drags in wind.
The tiny drag washer stack is beneath the offset drag adjustment knob, and the spool is keyed into the gear that meshes with the drag pay. Certainly Orvis makes some good reels with this design, and even the Tica copies aren't bad in comparison to this less than starter Ross.
Image Image

And since I referred to it for those photos, here's my treatise on drag reels.


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 15 Apr 2021, 07:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 15 Apr 2021, 07:00 • #49 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 8172
Location: US-ME
Now that the door has been opened: virtually any offset compression disc drag reel. A poor design to begin with, although some are made well, work OK, and give good service.


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Post 15 Apr 2021, 07:03 • #50 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17338
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Orvis created that design as a way to keep the CFO family frame and call it a disc. Everybody then copied it.


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