best saltwater 8wt reel less than $400

rookiemistakerookiemistake Posts: 1,167 Officer
just starting out, buddy has one and it looked pretty fun.i guess i want a once and done combo i know theres some junk out there, so please recommend brands and gimme some feedback on some.positive or negative is a plus.Gonna use it on reds so needs a good sealed drag.Thanks Rob

Replies

  • Renagade69Renagade69 Posts: 1,230 Officer
    The Bauer Rogue 8 is 80 over 400 but has a sealed drag. Usually sealed drag reels are the high end line of the fly reel market and run 600 plus. If you cut out the sealed drag option you have allot of options.
    Hells Bay Estero Bay Boat and Hells Bay Marquesas
  • WPHornWPHorn Posts: 60 Deckhand
    A used, but well maintained, Abel or Tibor.
  • rookiemistakerookiemistake Posts: 1,167 Officer
    galvan torque t8 is what i was looking at.
  • mastercastermastercaster Posts: 1,259 Officer
    If you can find a used Tibor Everglades get it, no sealed drag but no need.

    I have a couple Ross Momentum LT's #4 that are close to $400 online. Good reels but the used Tibor would be better. The other Ross ones are good too, but don't have a ton of drag. Drags are not sealed, but I actually prefer that myself, it's easy to clean them out.

    I wade a lot and treat my gear very harshly and have never seen the need for a sealed drag on a fly reel, even on the beach in sand. Just pop the spool off and wash it out in the water if needed.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    I just bought an Abel 3-N (the old Big Game model) on eBay for $335......about $10 more than I paid for the last one, (now about 7 years ago) They are a great reel for 7-8-9 wt. lines.

    Also, when checking out the Tibors, check out the Billy Pate reels as well. They are made by Tibor, but if memory serves me (doubtful these days) the Pate has a little better backing capacity and this might make your outfit a little more "universal" for the future. For example, in the Summer, I use an 8 wt. for all my permit fishing. Let's just say that a permit over 20 lbs. can take some serious backing during that first run. I don't think you'd be spooled by using either reel (or any of the reels mentioned) but the more backing you have, the larger the diameter of the spool will be and the faster you can get it back. In addition, drag increases as spool diameter decreases, so the larger your spool stays in diameter (because of more backing), the less your drag will increase. Large arbor reels address these problems very well, but have their own liabilities. It's up to you.
    .......Rick
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,581 Captain
    Landed an estimated 42" red on my Nautilus FW7/8 and it performed beautifully. Almost spooled me but the drag stayed silky smooth and did the job.
    Now it's the FWX a little lighter weight. Customer is excellent as well.
  • rookiemistakerookiemistake Posts: 1,167 Officer
    so hows the galvan brand?Thanks for the recommendations ill keep looking around
  • acesoveracesover Posts: 552 Officer
    X 2 on the Nautilus, great reel, and I also have a direct drive Billy Pate, I prefer the Nautilus, it's a lot lighter, and I don't have to maintain the drag like I do with the Pate, but both will serve you well. I hardly use the Pate anymore, it's on an old Scott Heli Ply 9wt, and the rig weighs a ton, but it's pretty tough. The nautilus is on a Sage XI3 7wt, and is a hoot to cast all day.
    I don't think you can go wrong with any decent fly reel made nowadays.
    FYIWFG
  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 215 Deckhand
    If you would walk into the field or blind with a Model 12 20, 16, or 12 and in good to excellent condition or early Superposed 20 or 12 in likewise condition..then I rise in support of Mr. Horn's recommendation Abel Tibor...this whole rationalization about sealed drags for bonefish, permit, and tarpon and redfish reels assumes that the owner is a clumsy slovenly lout who stumbles about in sand ...never cleans or cares for his 400-500-600-700 reels...would anybody do likewise with comparably priced shotguns or rifles by comparable that's 1,2,3 or more thousand..never clean, never oil, never wipe your acid hands off the blued steel...I think not.
  • Bill@NSB[email protected] Posts: 207 Deckhand
    Galvans are fine reels. They don't seem to have wide distribution in stores, so you don't hear that much about them.
    They occupy a niche in pricing, too. Not fly-off-the-shelves cheap, but not the ultra expensive category either.
    In truth, unless your dealing with big bulls, reds don't demand much from a drag.

    I'll go with other posters, don't limit yourself to just sealed drag models.
    As mentioned, the older Abels can be found at great prices.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,326 Captain
    just starting out, buddy has one and it looked pretty fun.i guess i want a once and done combo i know theres some junk out there, so please recommend brands and gimme some feedback on some.positive or negative is a plus.Gonna use it on reds so needs a good sealed drag.Thanks Rob


    My first thought would be to find a reel that balances out your rig. Hanging 8oz of aluminum on a 3oz rod seems a llittle excessive to me. I can't think of a manufacturer off the top of my head that doesn't have a lifetime warranty, so once and done is pretty much a given no matter what you decide to go with.
  • RCarbonRCarbon Posts: 256 Officer
    I have a Galvan T-8 and a T-12, along with a Nautilus FWX 7/8 and a Tibor Everglades. The Galvans are fine reels and will handle anything you throw at them. I caught redfish up to 36lbs on my T-8 in Louisiana and it didn't skip a beat.. The drag system is much better than the Nautilus FWX, but you really do not need a train stopping drag to fight most of the redfish you'll encounter.. I use the FWX 7/8 on my 7wt TFO BVK rod and it is my favorite combo for reds and trout. Very light and balances nicely in the hand. **** fine casting rod too.

    I have my Galvan T-8 on my Scott STS 8wt and it is a fine performer as well..

    I have a TFO BVK 8wt. that I may be selling soon, fi your interested. Great rod, but I have too many rods right now.
  • SUPER DSUPER D Posts: 672 Officer
    Bass pro, has a Sage 1600 series model 330-1680 for 7-9 weight, with a sealed drag for around $100.00, and a Lamson Konic with a sealed drag for around $150.00. Both way more reel than you will need, for any Red fish. A Redington Crosswater, for 7-8-9 weight, is all thats needed for almost any Red fish, for $40.00 bucks.
  • Kevin KellyKevin Kelly Posts: 84 Greenhorn
    I always think when it comes to reels for things other than tarpon, big tuna, billfish, etc., you really should just get the one that looks, feels, and sounds the best to you for what you're willing to spend on it. I think Chico Fernandez fished for bonefish - big bonefish - with a Hardy Zenith. Not only does it not have a sealed drag, it barely has a drag at all and no exposed spool to palm either. There's no best, really; there's just what we like. We can try to justify spending the money by telling ourselves "I need this for the fish i'm after" or "Well, this one will last much longer." There's no such thing as a subsistence fly fisherman; we do this because it makes us happy. So get whatever reel makes you happy, and who cares what anybody else says about it? You'll enjoy fishing with it more, and that's what it's all about.
  • desertdavedesertdave Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    X2 on the Nautalis....Maybe check out the Allen Alpha II....I love mine, and a swwet price also..Just my .02
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,581 Captain
    One thing you might want to keep in mind concerning machined aluminum vs cast. If you accidentally drop it on a rock, road or any hard surface and bend the edge of the spool or base ( it happens ) you can straighten out machined metal and keep fishing where as the cast aluminum will likely break a chunk off in the process. Ask me how I know.
    All my reels now are machined except one which used have two spools and it rarely gets used.
    By your budget you stated it should be easy to find a quality machined reel.
  • ShadowcastShadowcast Wimauma, FLPosts: 1,054 Officer
    Allen Alpha II #3 reel. Great reel for the price. You can get two for under $400...and it is a true large arbor reel.
    Capt. Jon Bull
    @shadowcastflyfishing
    Sales Rep - Ankona Boats, Salt Marsh Skiffs, Tavernier Skiff Company
  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,319 Officer
    As others have intimated above, you're overestimating your requirements for fishing reds, trout, etc. My first saltwater flyrod was an old Shakespeare rod and and the old Purist reel, all i could afford at the time. It's long since been retired but has caught in the thousands of trout, bluefish, and mackeral and at least 4-500 reds, some in the 15-20 lb class. The only drag on that reel is supplied by the palm of your hand and the knob will knock the crap out of your fingers until you learn the technique. I've got much better equipment now but the point is that it doesn't take a $400 reel to easily catch reds. Simple is good and a good rinse is even better!
  • albacizedalbacized Posts: 53 Greenhorn
    fish_stix wrote: »
    As others have intimated above, you're overestimating your requirements for fishing reds, trout, etc. My first saltwater flyrod was an old Shakespeare rod and and the old Purist reel, all i could afford at the time. It's long since been retired but has caught in the thousands of trout, bluefish, and mackeral and at least 4-500 reds, some in the 15-20 lb class. The only drag on that reel is supplied by the palm of your hand and the knob will knock the crap out of your fingers until you learn the technique. I've got much better equipment now but the point is that it doesn't take a $400 reel to easily catch reds. Simple is good and a good rinse is even better!

    And just to add to your point, don't forget that during the infancy of blue water fly fishing, species such as marlin, sailfish, tuna were taken with the old Pflueger reels...and while I have upgraded to both a Nautilus NV G7 and an old standby Abel Big Game 2 (standard arbor), I have caught fish such as false albacore, big (as in 15 lb) bluefish, 40" striped bass on my old pflueger reel...but with that said, having something with a large arbor and a top quality sealed drag is a nice luxury. I fish from the beach and while I don't dunk anything intentionally, I am clumsy and I buy my gear with that in mind
  • darnhardheadsdarnhardheads Posts: 59 Deckhand
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    I am a thread necro myself at times. lol


    I have a warn out clicky drag on my 6wt that a bluegill can rip line off of and if I am not careful I will get a backlash. I can afford a nicer reel but I am too much of a cheap ***. lol I would rather spend the money on rods and get a cheapo real from Cabelas.
  • TXWahooTXWahoo Posts: 512 Officer
    I have a Bauer Rogue for this and although I wouldn't consider myself an expert in fly fishing, it is as nice as any of the other high-end reels. Of the Bauer line, it is the one of would go with becasue the drag adjustment is a knurled knob and not the recessed star drag of thier other popular model. Very smooth sealed drag, very well made.

    100% made in Oregon from billet aluminum if I'm not mistaken; not just assembled in USA. When Yellowstone Angler tested the other Bauer model in thier shootout this year, there were no negative comments except for the star drag. If they had tested the Rogue instead I am confident it would tested much higher.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Sir,

    The best possible deal you can get is a used Abel or Tibor in the proper size for your endeavors. perhaps go into your local fly shop and decide what size you will need, then go on ebay and buy it for half price of new.

    If you fish long enough you will end up with quality Abel or Tibor reels anyway, why not just cry once and buy the best. You want a cork drag, not some BS disk. now after that being said The Mako has a disk drag, however it's in a class by it's self and cost twice as much as Abel or Tibor. by the way you will wait 6-8 months to get the reel serviced, cause you won't have a clue how to even tear it down and service it yourself.......go with cork...my 2 cents

    Carl
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,326 Captain
    Both designs are equally susceptible to neglect, and neither are perfectly suited for every one. For some odd reason people keep these threads rolling with assumptions about the habitat and conditions that other people fish. I guess it's too much to ask in this day and age for people to actually do a little research on their own, they evidently have to be told what to buy. I own a pair of Abels, and I like them fine, but I wouldn't bring them to half the places I fish. I can't describe the sound a super 11 makes when it picks up a little sand in turbid surf, but it's not something you'll want to hear twice.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Dirty,

    Great point.

    I personally haven't ever - ever heard nothing but sweet sounds from my Abel reels. If I did get a pebble in my reel I could pop the spool and flick it out in a matter of seconds, Try that with a sealed drag.

    Carl
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