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Best value in fly reels?

linemanlineman Posts: 36 Deckhand
Been fly fishing for a while now and I'm working on putting together my first quality setup. I'm going for a 7 weight got my blank all picked out for the home build. Next question is the reel. Anybody have any words of wisdom on decent quality reels that won't break the bank looking to spend around $100 unless there's something really compelling. I flats fish mostly trout and reds. Thanks for your input.


  • thinfisherthinfisher Posts: 326 Officer
    For the price you could go with something like a Ross CLA or Orvis Access - better reels cost more and will perform accordingly. Galvan Reels are also nice but will run a you little more....you'll get lots of opinions here but was just trying to give you something based around your price point. My best advice go to your local shop and tell them what your looking for and buy the best reel you can afford. You can also look at reel reviews on sites like http://midcurrent.com/ My .02
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] Family, Friends and the Outdoors - Obama = PRICELESS
  • ZhunterZhunter Posts: 226 Deckhand
    Don't forget that top quality (like Nautilus) hold their value, so they are actually a better value then a "deal" reel.
  • thinfisherthinfisher Posts: 326 Officer
    :A just trying to give him some guidance based on his price point....Nautilus's are an awesome reel.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] Family, Friends and the Outdoors - Obama = PRICELESS
  • mtd885mtd885 Posts: 1,159 Officer
  • linemanlineman Posts: 36 Deckhand
    I know that top quality reels are better just wondering if there is something I'm missing that is a good value. I'm a full time college student so money is tight. My reel has no drag at all right now so it probably won't take a lot to impress me, I don't wanna by crap though sooo...
  • DKDDKD Posts: 375 Deckhand
    A quality reel for under $100 is going to be hard to do. Right now I think the best value for a 7wt would be the Nautilus FWX for $280. I am planning on building my wife an 8wt this winter, and that is the reel that is going on the rod. Lamson also makes a number of reels for all different budgets. The nice thing about Lamson is even their cheaper reels feature their sealed conical drag system. A good drag is very important. You can get the Lamson Konic, which is cast (not machined) for $139. The cheapest machined reel in their lineup is the Guru for $199. I highly suggest you spend the extra $ on a quality reel, and there are plenty of them out there for fairly reasonable prices - you don't have to spend $800 for a good reel. It will last MUCH longer than the Wally World special, and having a lifetime warranty will definitely save you money in the long run. I have a Lamson Velocity. It has been dropped in the sand, dunked in the salt, and still performs like new.
  • ZhunterZhunter Posts: 226 Deckhand
    EBay is your friend

    There are good deals on Nautilus, Tibor etc if you are patient.
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,593 Captain
    Might want to check out Orvis. But as stated above to get a really decent reel it'll be more than $100, but I think you can stay under $200 by shopping, including ebay.
  • Capt. Gregg McKeeCapt. Gregg McKee Posts: 202 Deckhand
    Pick up a TFO Prism Large Arbor. Brand new they're between $85 to $95. I use one of these on a 7wt. BVK rod for trout, reds, and even small tarpon here around Pine Island and it's all I need for those species. None of these fish will burn up your drag so don't waste your money on something else until you decide to go after bones or permit in the Keys.
  • linemanlineman Posts: 36 Deckhand
    So the gist of what everyone's getting at is that you really need to spend $250 to get a quality product, you might be ably to find something 150 and 250 if you cut quality or find it used? That helps.
  • CajunRichCajunRich Posts: 262 Officer
    The Capt recommended the TFO prism large arbor. On TFO they sell for $100. Here you can pick it up for $85 with free shipping. http://www.offthehookflyshop.com/tfopr34calaa.html No that is not spam, I have no connection with that store.
  • deerflydeerfly Posts: 769 Officer
    CajunRich wrote: »
    The Capt recommended the TFO prism large arbor. On TFO they sell for $100. Here you can pick it up for $85 with free shipping. http://www.offthehookflyshop.com/tfopr34calaa.html No that is not spam, I have no connection with that store.

    You're just getting started. There's really nothing wrong with getting a low budget reel like the TFO's, especially if you're primarily looking to bass & panfish as mentioned on that other thread where no drag is needed at all. A "clicker" drag reel like the Pflueger Medalist 1495 is all you "need" for that kind of fishing. You can pick those up for $30 or so and it'll last for years with reasonable care. Until you're consistently targeting and catching fish that run fast and long, most any fly reel will do. If you have the money to spend, the $300+ reels are better machines and most will retain their value very well. So they are good long term investments as well as being great fly reels to use everyday. But don't waste too much mental and actual capital for your first outfit, especially if it's primary use is in freshwater. If over time you stay with it and want to upgrade you'll figure out a way to get what you want then and can still use your "starter" rig as a beater rod or just give it to some kid to get him started. The main thing is to get started within your budget. I'd bet less than .001% of seasoned fly fisherman have their first outfits...
    "impossibility cannot be concluded from a sample of failed efforts" - Edsger W. Dijkstra
  • Bill@NSB[email protected] Posts: 207 Deckhand
    Gloomis makes or made an adventure fly reel that sell for $100. I had one years ago and it worked fine.
    Basically, you seem to be looking for a line holder so corrosion resistance would be my decision-maker.
    Bass Pro sells a Whitewater line of reels, I'd search their site for a deal, if you end up not liking it they have an excellent return policy.
  • idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 236 Deckhand
    Follow EBay for a Ross Cimarron 4. Just a shade over $100 for a pristine used one. Best company, best drag going for the $$. Wish they still made them.
  • RudyHRudyH Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    Lamson reels are an excellent value for the money. The low-end models are fine. I've got a newer Konic and an older design about 12 years old, and both are excellent reels. Very durable and with excellent drags and finishes. Cost is about $150, but you probably want an extra spool, so the costs go dramatically up when you consider $150 for a reel, $60 for a spare spool, $30 for good backing, and $140 for two lines. Plus tax and shipping. It's expensive, butwill last many years.

    Most likely you don't even need a reel of that quality. You can get something from Cabelas for maybe $50 that will work find for most inshore fishing. But don't buy an inferior line. I like the Scientific Anglers lines. You don't need a fancy drag. Just an old fashioned click drag reel will work fine so long as the componentry is mostly good quality metal. Just keep it clean and lubricated.
  • linemanlineman Posts: 36 Deckhand
    Thanks guys, sorry I missed your post Capt. McKee that's the type of info I'm looking for. Ya I really don't think I need a reel crazy drag, like I said I catch trout, reds and snook. Right now I have no drag so I just don't fight fish on the reel. I'm really just looking for function right now, form will come later.
  • RCarbonRCarbon Posts: 256 Officer
    idlerick wrote: »
    Follow EBay for a Ross Cimarron 4. Just a shade over $100 for a pristine used one. Best company, best drag going for the $$. Wish they still made them.

    I have a used Ross Cimarron 4 that came with a Scott flyrod I bought on ebay. I only needed the rod, so I'll sell the reel for $85 shipped and it includes a neoprene reel case.

    I personally have never used the reel, but it spins freely and seems to be in very good condition. I refund your money (minus shipping) if you do not like the reel for any reason.

    [email protected]
  • mtd885mtd885 Posts: 1,159 Officer
    I've done business with Bob (BVK8wt), he's a good guy to deal with. Looks like you found your reel...I love this place!
  • CajunRichCajunRich Posts: 262 Officer
    Is a Ross Cimarron 4 a large arbor?
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,377 Captain
    It's a mid arbor.

    A cheap reel will work fine until the day it doesn't. What's important is that it will get you out on the water. Don't put too much thought into your first reel, once you get some time on the water you'll understand what you need from a reel and you'll be able to make an informed decision on your own. Orvis, LL Bean, Colton, and quite a few others all make a price point reel that will probably last you several years.
  • Redfish ChuckRedfish Chuck Posts: 107 Officer
    you can find deals on the web if you look at outfitters around the country and look at the closeouts section of their site. I have picked up a few $200 + dollar reels for less than $100. I know plenty of great fly fisherman that use Orvis, G loomis, Lamson, and pflueger fly reels for trout and reds and have no problems with them.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    I kind of disagree with the above.....to a point. For what the OP is fishing, Hell, a Pfleuger Medalist would work. (As long as you take care of it each day) In the 50's, a LOT of bonefish were caught on Medalists. But after shelling out the $50 for the Medalist, start saving for the Nautilus or other reel. First, should your horizons expand, you are going to be very limited as to what and when you can fish with a 7-wt. Yes, I used a 7 in the Keys a lot for bonefish; even caught my very first permit on that rod. But usually, I could only fish in the Summer months (no wind). A lot of other times, a 7 is just not going to cut it and you will wish for an 8 or 9. So the other reel that you buy, might be able to handle those weights as well, plus have the quality drag that you need in the future. Just MHO.
  • TFO's entry level Prism or even take a look at SA reels, both will serve you well and take saltwater better than most others in that price range.
    good luck with your new adventure!:)

    That's a TFO Prism on a 7wt in the hands of Capt Jake Jordan and one of the 4 dozen or so stripers (rockfish here in NC) caught yesterday on the lower Roanoke River and they would be a fine "comparable" to most any red, snook, or trout caught without going "to the reel", but even if you did put em on the reel the drag will work fine for those fish.


    Good Fishing!!!
    Ain't much that's never been done, but there's a ton of stuff that should never be done again!
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,593 Captain
    Lineman, I think you should take up that offer from RCarbon and be done with it. If I didn't already have too many I'd jump on it myself. Can't go wrong with Ross.
  • Brackish1Brackish1 Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    G loomis venture7 has been agood real thus far.. Have caught a bonefish, few juvenile tarpon, plenty of peacock bass.. Works like new still. 99 bucks. Just my 1.5 cents. Hope this helps
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