A buddy of mine recently gave me a loomis GL2 9 foot #8. I've done some fly fishing in my day but never owned a nice set-up to enjoy all the time. I was wondering what kind of reel would be the best bang for my buck preferably under $250. I'll mostly be fishing inshore for snook, reds, trout anywhere from the flats to dock lights. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Salty Bum is asking the the most important question. With that in mind I have two suggestions, One would be the $250 range for the reel excluding the backing and line. This will give you a lot more options on reel selection but I an going to try to keep it within one company and give my reason why.
First I would look at the Orvis Access Mid Arbor IV for $175. Spools are $95.00 and can be added later.
Second I would look at the Orvis Clearwater LA IV for $79, if you also need to get the backing and fly line as well and want to stay within the $250 limit. Spools cost $39.
The reason I am suggesting Orvis is if you buy the reel directly from them you can get all your money back with no questions asked. That is hard to beat and trust me I have done this and it is the reason I but from them.
I use the Access rod and Mirage reel and just purchased the Cleawater LA IV and a spool that I am suggesting to you. I bought this reel to use on my floating line and full sink line which I only use on occasion and this reel will serve me well for those occasions and not cost me an arm and a leg. I live in New England and fish 3 to 4 days a week for 8 months a year. I use the Mirage a lot, I have two other spools and the three line I use a lot are an Intermediate , a clear sink tip for the flats and a 300 grain shooting head for deep water channels. The reason I point this out is Striper fishing is a much more labor intensive endeavor with regards to the amount of actual casting and fighting fish. A 100 day fish on fish from 5 to 20 pounds a day is not uncommon but on average a 20 fish day is more typical. I point this out because the wear and tear on a reel with Stripers is a lot more than what you will encounter with Snook from the beach. I say this because I usually go to Florida twice a year to fish for them also and have never come close to 20 Snook in one day. Seems like I do a lot more walking and stalking than casting and fighting fish.
With proper maintenance both these reels will serve you well. Good luck on your decision.
I would second the Orvis Access Mid Arbor, particularly for Florida inshore. It is solid with a good drag and is very durable. It would be hard to beat for any reel under $250. If you want to spend the whole $250 on a reel, my second choice would be a Lamson Guru, but I'm not sure if it is worth the extra $$.
I'm talking about spending the $250 on a reel alone. Backing and line will be a whole other question for ya'll once I get the reel. I have checked out the guru but not the orvis mid arbors so I'll certainly look into that. I've also found some orvis hydros for $200 dollars. Any thoughts on those?
If you can get an Orvis Hydros new for $200 dollars I would jump on it in a second. After you buy one, post where you got it so I can go there. It is a good bit heavier than the Access Mid Arbor, but is rock solid. I have a Hydros VI on my tarpon rod.
What D.O.C. said - Go to EBay or Craigs List and look for a used Ross reel. The Canyons are great, but if you find a good #4 on there you'll be competeing with me for it, and we wouldn't want that! A #4 Gunnison or a Cimarron would also be perfect for you, and lighter. The G-4 runs about $150 and the C-4 about $100. Both are discontinued now but have lifetime warranties for any owner and are bomb-proof reels.
$100.00 bomb-proof reel...yea right...maybe for catching gold fish, or guppies...you take that thing to Mexico and catch some real fish, and it wouldn't last one day.....I have said along time ago what I think of garbage reels used for big mean fish in saltwater...there worthless...my 2 cents
A $100 Bomb proof reel, don't think I said that, what I said was I bought my reel for the specific purpose of using it occasionally with a floating line or full sink line on striped bass on the rare occasion I might want to use those lines and this reel would fit the bill. For Big Mean Fish I would use my Mirage.
I think most people were trying to offer helpful suggestions keeping within certain stated parameters. My 2 pennies.