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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a Redington 3wt 7'6" rod for Christmas and am looking for a good fly reel for under $100 to match up with this. I know this isn't much for a reel but that is the same price the rod was and I probably won't use it more than six or eight times a year at a creek or for pond bluegills because I own a nice 5wt that I love but I still need to get it setup.

I have been told to find a slightly used Ross Colorado for under that price. I am also looking online at new Okuma SLV 23 ($60), Cabela's CSR-1 ($55), Ross Flywater FW-1 ($89), and Redington SV1 ($80) but have not yet had a chance to handle any of these and would probably have to add another $10 for shipping.
Suggestions? Let me have some feedback on what you guys like and any deals you might know of online or elsewhere.
 

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The Cabelas reels have never had a really good reputation for being a solid reel, nor has the Okuma. I would steer away from the Ross Colorado as well. The Colorado was the only reel Ross made that wasn't a solid performer. The tension spring on the clicker was made terribly weak. I have changed literally dozens of clicker springs on Colorados over the years. :evil:

Redington has been making some solid products since the merger with Sage and I have one of the SV reels. It is a bit bulky and clunky compared to higher end models but is a nice reel for the money.

The flywater as also a nice reel. Ross worldwide products are surely not the same as Ross USA, but again, nice reels for the money. Same drag design as the Cimarron and also very similar to the old classic, the Gunnison. I would give the edge to the Flywater because it has a synthetic drag versus a cork drag (as found in the redington). Fishing in the winter means big problems for cork drags (even high end models such as Tibor, Bauer, and Abel) because it is a semi porous surface. Water gets into the cork and whoosh, the reel free-spools because the disc is now an ice sheet from the water freezing in the cork.

If you can spend a little more money I would recommend getting a reel that is machined, versus a reel made from an alloy cast. Machined reels are MUCH stonger, usually carry lifetime warranties, and machining makes for very tight tolerances - making for a smoother reel. Most machined reels start at just over a hundred bucks.
 

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I second the post above, I have a Cabelas CSR and am not to happy with it, had an Okuma and it broke while in my fishing bag on my way to Montana. If you don't mind spending slightly more the Ross CLA is a good reel. I have one for my three weight and really like it. If you really want to stay under $100 you may also want to look at Orvis and I just recently saw the LL Bean reel that looks good but I have not heard any reports. It looked a little heavy but was machined, had a mid size arbor and it was under $100.
 

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You can't go wrong with a classic battenkill and I think it would fit in your price range. Just stay away for the wonderline unless you like you WF line to become a sink tip, then it would be an excellent choice!
 

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Here is another point of view for argument sake. You usually get what you pay for, but.......... with a 3 wt 7'6'' rod just how much reel do you really need. I really doub't that you will be using that rod for steelhead, salmon or tarpon. I would wager that most of the fish you catch on that rod will be landed by stripping in line without ever using the reel. It will be just a place to store line. It just might be that a very light reel would serve the handling of such a nice handling rod better than "too much reel". I would not discount something like the "Okuma Magnitude" magniesium reel ( around $60) that is very light with a small profile the might serve your NEEDS better than a more expensive one.
 

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I used to have one of the Magnitudes. They are not light at all. About heavy as a brick. THey would not balance a little 7 1/2 footer at all.
 

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From the Cabela's catalogue: Okuma Magnitude MD 4/5 for 4-5 wt line ( the smallest Cabela's lists) 110 yrds of 20# backing capacity. Wt. - 3.7 oz.
 

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I for the size fish you will target on a three weight you won't need the drag, so you might just save money and get a dragless reel. You can pick up a 1492 Pflueger Medalist at Cabelas for just over 20 bucks...may not be quite as light as some more expensive reels but I really don't think a 4 oz. reel is really going to be burning your arm up too much...

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templ ... hasJS=true
 

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Check out the Loomis Venture 3. I have one on my St. Croix Avid 3 wgt. and love it. It is a great reel for $100.
 

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Flyfishn247 said:
Check out the Loomis Venture 3. I have one on my St. Croix Avid 3 wgt. and love it. It is a great reel for $100.
I would be wary of the loomis reels. I have the Adventure series, and from what I can tell, it looks to be the same just with a new name. The barings in the drag system have the tendency to fall out, when they are gone there is no drag system. I have had three sets of barrings fall apart on me. All occasions were three entirely different sets of barings.

If they have made changes to the baring system from what they have used in the past, then I would recommend them. If they use the same old system, avoid them like the plague, they will fall apart after about a years use.
 

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I know I sound picky but I agree 100% with what RnF said. Both series of Loomis reels use bearing assemblies that are made of plastic that held in place with a plastic cage. Not a matter of if, but when they break. That is exactly why I am sketchy about reels that are made with bearings at all. Bearing will fail, eventually, on ALL reels. I have had it happen to me on even high end reels such as a Bauer M4, Lamson Velocity, and Lamson Litespeed. That is one reason why I am such a big fan of Ross. They use no bearings in the design of the reel.
 

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A lot of opinions here already but I do agree that the reel is not very important on a 3 wt. that cost less than $100.00.
Get a cheep disk drag 4wt reel and put your money into some good line.
Sportsman's and Cabela's both have good reels for under $50.00.
Okuma, Pflueger, or Cabela's brand will all work just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ended up finding a small Pflueger Summit 1294 that I forgot I had. Its cheep but should get the job done for community pond fish and Uinta trout. Probably won't use this setup for a few months anyways due to abundance of snow this year and am watching eBay for something better until then. Thank you for all of your feedback on what to get.
 
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