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Cheap Fly Reels

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    Originally posted by Todd_NE View Post
    I’ve taken Cabelas RLS and prestige models to Alaska and put them thru the ringer no problem. Actually do put some money in a good fly line. Lamson as said probably best at 100.
    Those RLS reels are awesome for the money.


      swoab47 Recently picked up a Redington Crosswater 4-5-6 reel at Cabela's for $49. I've use the same reel for 8wt, and the drag is good enough to stop a 25"+ carp. I agree with Todd_NE. My choices would be Lamson, followed by Cabela's RLS+


        First. Thank you to everyone who replied to this thread!

        Now on to business.

        Against what most of you said and my better judgement I went ahead and ordered one of the Angler Dream 5/6 fly reels.

        I figured for $35 if it is a pile of junk, I can put it on a shelf as a decoration or something, and choc it up as lesson learned.😉

        So it showed up today and I must say that although my expectations were not very high, I am super impressed with this reel.

        It took me all of 30 seconds to take it apart and switch it from right hand retrieve to left hand. It reels in very smoothly and has a nice soft click when pulling against the drag. The drag appears to function as it should and seems pretty smooth.

        The fit and finish is not bad either. There is not a lot of "slop" or "play" in any of it.

        The backing, WF-F line, loops, and leader seem to be decent too.

        All of this is just preliminary, as I have not fished with it yet, but my first impression is that this is a pretty darn good deal.

        Time will tell.

        I will spend some more time checking it over when I get home tonight and report my findings.

        Hopefully I will.get to fish with it this weekend!!


          Glad it worked out well. Good luck this weekend.
          Mike - LaVista, NE


            Last night I played around with my new reel some more and have come to the conclusion that it compares well to two other fly reels that I currently own. A Hobbs Creek from BPS that I bought around 15 years ago for $100 and a Cabelas Prestige that I purchased about 5 years ago as a combo for like $140 or something. Can't remember for sure.

            Anyway. I spooled up the backing and line and put the reel on the rod and stepped into the backyard to try it out. My expectations for the line were low, but it performed very well. Even in the cooler temps we had.

            The reel, backing, and WF-F line weigh in at 6.7oz. That is 2 oz heavier that my old Cabelas reel that I had on it, but it actually balances the rod better.

            Super happy so far with my purchase and would totally recommend it to anyone that has reasonable expectations.


              I've been thinking about this more and more... for what you will use if for, it may be just fine. A good analogy is that when I do some DYI on my car at home and need a new tool, I go to Harbor Freight, not SnapOn... I want something that works for the low amount of use I need it for and I don't need a top of the line tool for that. Unless you become a hopeless addict like the rest of us, you might be fine.

              I would be curious for an update in 6-12 months on how it holds up... if you remember. That's where I have always had problems with cheap gear. Not out of the box, but 1 year or so down the road...


                I agree with your analogy 100%

                I too am curious to see how it holds up...

                Heck it might not even make it through the weekend...😜


                  The Chinese “cheap” products are mostly the exact same products produced for much larger company's someplace else in the world. Unless that product is domestically produced.

                  For example this net

                  Is manufactured in ONE Chinese manufacturing plant and I think it’s around $35.00 a unit with around 500 units minimum?? Don’t quote me but you get the idea . That same net is also sold Chinese direct for around $60.00 - $75.00? I think last time I looked? There is no difference in quality just a different sticker on the handle.

                  The Chinese company has the purchaser pay shipping. Fishpond has to pay shipping to get the inventory to its warehouse, They also pay a shipping agents fee, Tariffs , Taxes and so on. At the end of the day Fishpond makes a little more profit then China, however not as much as the price discrepancy would seem to indicate.