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Cheap Reels


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14 replies to this topic

#1 xvigauge

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 12:42 PM

Anyone use one of the cheap (usually made in China) CNC aluminum no brand single action fly reels? They go anywhere in price from $10 to around $40 and are available on auction sites as well as some other large mail order retail houses. I bought one just on a whim to try it out and see what it was all about. It really is not a bad reel, especially for the price. It is easy to change from RHW to LHE and the drag ain't bad. So, I bought a couple of more. I only had one bad one. The housing was warped and this caused the spool to wobble. So, because I had another one just like it, I took the spool off the bad one to use as an extra spool on the good one. I know, I too would rather buy American made products (and I usually do), but what are you gonna do? We are now living in a global economy and whatever we buy these days some of it's parts or packaging or assembly is going to be from somewhere overseas. So, if you have one, what is your opinion of it?

 

BTW, most of the reels I use are vintage; made in the USA like the old tried and true Pf. Medalist.

Joe



#2 flytire

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 02:48 PM

Okuma-Airframe.jpg

 

i have been using a cheap plastic okuma airframe reel for panfishing for over 10 years and never had any problems with it.

 

i think i paid $25

 

i think my old ross gunnison reels i bought in the 1980's are the most i paid for fly reels (cheap enough back then)


The fish care less than we do!


#3 steeldrifter

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 02:57 PM

Last year I bought one of these here just to see what you could get for $15 https://www.ebay.com...mCondition=1000

 

To be honest, after using it, I bought a couple more and now have three of them in my rod/reel collection of ones I use all the time. They are actually pretty darn nice, and for $15 how can you go wrong. They are pretty smooth, drag is decently strong and sealed disc, and they are pretty comparable weight wise with reels costing 8-10 times as much. On my big fish reels (Salmon, steelhead) I stick with the higher end quality reels, but this cheaper ones seem to work just fine for most things under 8wt.


mcfr.jpg
Owner- Steve Clark
Midwestcustomflyrods.com


Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doin, than a long life spent in a miserable way- Alan Watts
 
 
 


#4 Striperknight

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 05:57 PM

I bought a 9 wt reel off ebay for like $40. It fell apart after 1 season. 



#5 FishnPhil

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 09:07 PM

I simply could not pass the deal when I found Piscifun reels on Wish one day when I was in need of a reel :D

It has been a great reel and the drag works as good as any others I have tried in 4 and 5 wt. Reel and spare spool for less than 1/2 the cost of anything "name brand" of comparable quality. Though it did take like 3 months to arrive haha. Patience Daniel-son!

14o6dfa.jpg


Looking at their website, seems they're priced have gone up over time but they still have reels <50. Wish used to have some absolutely insane deals, not sure if it still does but you have to wade through garbage and do research to get quality items, same as shopping in the US :)

#6 Dominecker

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 08:44 AM

I have been using Echo base reels lately. They have worked really well, and are well-made. I have had no problems with them. Drag is good, smooth running, and sturdy. Can't beat it for $35. You can also get extra spools for $14. I have absolutely no idea why someone would pay $200-$300 for a fly reel unless you're saltwater fishing for big game fish or something.



#7 Mark Knapp

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 12:10 PM

I started out with a less expensive 9 wt. Okuma reel early on. I fished it for pike and sheefish. It was OK to start with but somewhere along the line the spool started to rub on the housing. The axle had somehow gotten bent.

 

I think that the less expensive reels are fine for small brookies and sunfish but for bigger game, especially on extended trips I prefer to have something I can count on. Few things can ruin a remote fishing trip quicker than a bad reel (bears are up at the top of the list too).

 

I also had a vintage Pflueger Medalist early on and it failed after a few trips. The crank knob fell off and the drag went completely to free-spool on a Sockeye trip.

 

I can easily have over $1000.00 in bush plane fees on a fishing trip so it makes better sense for me to not be overly frugal on my equipment purchases.



#8 CasualAngler

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 12:56 PM

I own one fly reel... a Scientific Anglers Concept 2. It's never missed a beat, & always works as advertised.

My fellow angling 'associates' scoff @ my frugality, & needle me about the cheapness of my rig.

Yeah, whatever. I catch fish with it, & that's the important thing.

#9 dadofmolly

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 03:51 PM

I don't use the reel for anything more than line storage; never put a fish "on reel" so cheap reels are the only thing I use.  Just bought 2 this past week for $31 total.  Didn't get them as replacements but for 2 new rods that I just acquired.  I've yet to have one fail on me or need parts.


Sometimes I need expert advice which is why I talk to myself.


#10 vicrider

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 04:43 PM

What a person wants in a fly reel and what a person needs in a fly reel varies greatly. I have a few of the lowest priced reels on older rods for kids to use for panfish, usually with a bobber and plastic worm.  Will seldom need a Perfect or Peerless on one of my rods but I can afford it, it matches and balances the bamboo rods perfectly and catching a fish on a $3K outfit gives me as much pleasure as it does on my $75 outfit.



#11 Flicted

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 03:40 PM

I mostly fish with a medium quality graphite reel because it's light and balances my light 5wt well. Panfish, light bass, and light trout can be hand lined. When I am after big bass and big trout, I use a better reel with a good drag system. I would never waste money on a $100+ reel that can be spent on hooks fur and feathers, fine food, fine beer, fine wine, and good times with wife and family. Same with spin or cast outfits. I go light as I can and quality over brand. There are always surprises in life. A big fish on light tackle is more fun to me than a small brook trout on a pool cue. I will always remember the 10lb walleye on light tackle, 16" crappie or 20" bass on 4 or 5wt than most of the others.

#12 tidewaterfly

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 10:43 PM

I haven't tried any of the no name reels that are often listed on Ebay, but have been using Okuma reels for about 15 years. The Integrity reels work great for bass fishing, and I've used them for Stripers.  The Sierra is a fine reel for a lighter weight rod, 3 to 6 wt, and either panfishing or trout. Okuma reels are not cheap, but are good quality and reasonably priced. 

 

I also have several of the now discontinued Cortland Rimfly reels that I've used on 3 wt to 6 wt rods. They're a die cast reel, and fine for bass, panfish or trout. They sometimes show up on Ebay at reasonable prices as do spare spools.  



#13 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 12:31 PM

I've had 3 of the no-name Chinese reels from eBay. They all performed quite well, especially considering how little I paid for them. My current favorite reel (of any price) is one that was sold at Angler's Roost. I'd stock up on them, but since the owner of the site passed away they haven't been taking orders.


"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman


#14 denduke

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 02:44 PM

Daughter got me the 7/8. Seems smooth not sure about drag but never really use one bassbugging.
https://www.google.c...iblink fly reel
IMG-6266.jpg
2035.gifC33-F8428-B3-CD-4-B95-B23-B-4-D28-D631-A

#15 dadofmolly

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 05:41 PM

I have "cheap China" reels in 3wt, 5wt (2) and 6wt (2).  Have used one of the 5wts for 7 or 8 yrs now without problems, wife has used 1 of the 6wts for roughly the last 4 yrs with no problems.  The other 2 reels (5wt & 6wt) are matched to backup rods, but used very little.  Just bought another 5wt for a new rod I acquired and an 8wt for another rod.  Haven't used either of the new reels yet, due to some health issues, but don't expect to have any problems with either just playing with them in the house.


Sometimes I need expert advice which is why I talk to myself.