Friday, 4 May 2012

Unboxing: Orvis Battenkill Fly Reel Review

Not too expensive and hard to beat for value for money.

It's easy when looking at the stunning range of reels available to get carried away with admiration leading to lust, leading to 'drawer-queen-itus' where tools that are 'too nice to use' become art objects. I sold my [semi] custom knives years ago. I love the machinists art, I'd love to own a few of those exquisite reels you see in the Fly magazines; turned and milled from aircraft grade titanium, but I'd have them covered in scratches by the end of the first trip. So for me the workhorse of reels. The Orvis Battenkill. Not too expensive, well made with a satisfying click to the drag, and a durable finish.  In fairness the finish has been kept to 'tolerable' in a trade-off to keep the price down, although I have it on good authority that the Trout are indifferent to paint or polish.

Anything that comes with a service diagram (with part numbers for ordering spares) is better than something that doesn't. If the manufacturer believes that me, joe punter, is capable of taking it apart and putting it back together it has a hope of being reasonably well made.

I've got the 5/6 size because I bought my whole fly rig as a set second hand, but after all ITS JUST AN EFFING BOBBIN TO KEEP LINE ON so you can go down to 4 weight or up to 7 weight.

Good value, from a company with an amazing reputation for customer service. I honestly cant see myself buying another one in the foreseeable.

More Soon


Boomer said...

Nice reel, utterly bombproof, my old BFR rimflys' just won't die so can't justify Replacing them with Battenkills just yet, but have been quite impressed with the greys G1 I've got on my 2 weight.... It's just like a Rimfly!



The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Oohh a two weight that must define. Wand like! SBW

Fin and Fur Auctions said...

I have a selection of reels too, and adding a titanium one would be nice, but is far outside the budget. This one looks good though, and I agree, the fish don't care how it looks!

Boomer said...

2 - 3 weights are great, especially for small streams lovely presentation and even a 6 inch fish puts a healthy bend in it. I save the Orvis for best and use a vision 3-zone for 'combat' fishing, my mate has a Shakespeare odyssey 7ft 3wt which I thought would be rubbish at £25 but actually casts and fishes very well, the Mora of the rod world.

You've got to get a light line set up, my casting improved hugely in terms of timing after a while with a 2 weight.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Fin and Fur

the thing is that when you look at the price of titanuim bar stock and desktop lathes there's a big saving to be made making your own even if it takes a few goes to learn how to do it. So many hobbies so little cash Ho Hum

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

I have a spare spool for the reel so i was thinking of getting a chea[o short rod for my favorite stream, maybe I'll actually get it this year, need waders though.

Sahil said...

It's not the prettiest reel out there; but like you said, great value and great quality. And a time tested classic design to boot.

A trout only cares how tasty your fly looks, not your rod and reel..

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


You got it in one