Orvis 2013 Battenkill Fly Reel

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Porter, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Any news? gotta a 583-4 DS and have no good reel for it and think this might be an answer.
  2. I received my Feathercraft catalog yesterday and that reel is the one new thing that caught my eye. It's good to see interest in quality click pawl reels again. I'm pretty certain I read that they will be available in black as well.
    If they would just put a genuine red agate line guard on it that would really be the bees knees!
    Porter and Kent Lufkin like this.
  3. I couldn't agree more. The ubiquitous high-tech, disc-drag reels sold today by anybody with the money to hire an Asian manufacturing partner will always appeal to flyfishing geeks and newbies who just KNOW they'll eventually NEED such stopping power for that 30" behemoth that's just another cast away.

    But even though hope springs eternal, in real-life fishing the truth is almost exactly the opposite.

    The overwhelming majority of fishers will NEVER hook a 30" fish and have no need for such an over-engineered mechanical marvel. A simple click-pawl reel is every bit as effective in slowing a running fish (even a 30" one) and is one hell of a lot simpler and cheaper to manufacture. Their few moving parts means a lot longer service life, and explains why so many Hardy reels made in the 1960s to 1990s are still in use today and treasured by their owners.

  4. Well stated Kent. Pick up any recent catalog and turn to the reels pages and hold it out at arms length. It is difficult to tell whether you are looking at fly reels or ghetto wheels for an East LA drug pushers Escalade. The new reels are a marvel of CAD design and a testament to the magic of CNC machining but all that comes at a cost and the result is flimsy. A friend I was fishing with stumbled on a root in the trail and went down with the reel hitting the ground first. His multi-hundred dollar reel was toast. My old SA Series I click pawl reels took far worse hits and only had scratches to show for it.
    Tim Cottage and Kent Lufkin like this.
  5. I have a almost twenty year old Battenkill, click and pawl on my Sage 4711. It was and still is the only reel to ever be on that rod. I have had no issues with it so this next generation of it might land on my 6 weight. Nice looking reel and a proven work horse in my opinion.
  6. I called Orvis customer service and was told that they will be available March 28th.
    flybill likes this.
  7. I've checked a few places and it looks like its currently in the UK market. Can't find any reference on the US Orvis.com site. I do have a note out to one of the product guys on the East coast, so will let you know if I find out anything. It may be that Feather-Craft is importing them from Orvis UK, but it's not in our current catalog or on the US site...

    We do have the original Battenkills at the shop and I can get you one of those which would work great for your rod! Or the CFO, which I really love as well. Ping me through the board or stop by the shop and pick one up. We'll be having a Yakima River presentation tonight starting at 6pm with Derek Young, our Orvis Endorsed guide. Come by for some pizza and beer, a great presentation and a new reel!

    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  8. I've been using Redington's Drift reels, because they are machined and light weight.

    But after seeing the specs on these, I may have to try one.

  9. I agree with most everything you guys have said with the possible exception of your assumptions about cost of manufacturing increase due to modern designs and methods.
    Take the contemporary Orvis CFO as an example. IMHO a poor excuse for a CFO as compared to the older Hardy made version. The reel spools and bodies are produced by the tens of thousands with up-to-date CNC technology among other automated processes. Most likely the drags, gears, posts, springs, handles, caps, etc, come from a variety of other sources in equal volumes. I would guess that 90+% of the assembly is also automated. With smart production management the total cost of all this is probably only slightly greater than a click pawl reel which shares the majority of the same parts except for the disk drag components. My instincts and experience tell me that the cost of the finished product has much less to do with the final cost to consumer than you are assuming.

    The fact that so many contemporary reels are flimsy is the unfortunate result of style and marketing not modern manufacturing. Having very little else to set themselves apart from everyone else in the same market, weight has been leveraged as a major consideration in rods and reels and the consumers being good lemmings have bought it lock stock and barrel. Did anyone really get tired casting a cane trout rod weighing an ounce or two more than a modern composite rod. I think not.

    I believe the majority of the cost of contemporary fishing equipment falls squarely on the shoulders of the lemmings and those who are riding herd on them and less so on manufacturing.

    My 2C
  10. I'm Jones'n for a large arbor click-pawl reel in that price range. :D
  11. Redington Drift is large-ish arbor and click-pawl at $99.
  12. TC,

    PT Barnum with the quote he is so famously known for was speaking of the "lemmings" so many trout seasons ago ...

    The click and pawl 3-1/8" Young model 15A reel whose line guard is displayed in my avatar is going on 100 years old. It still works perfectly - along with a bunch of other vintage click pawls I still use almost exclusively.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  13. Wow, guess I should throw away my venture 7 reels for my 6 wts. I bought used (one from this site) for $52 and $70 for speed trolling trophy rainbows to 10 pounds - they don't fight worth a shit. and that nautilus I bought used on this site for $150 was such a piece of crap for catching cranebows to 15 pounds I must be an Idiot for having disc drags on my trout reels. oops I forgot about my Orvis access 3 that came with free line making it cost around $80 but it has a disc drag - MAN after 40 years of fly fishing I'm still an idiot new guy! not wanting to have to stretch my lines all the fucking time so buying mid arbors and large arbors must be really stupid. And having a gold or silver reel is just a fucking crime.

    Guess I will only use my s.a. system one 7/8 with three spools and get my other one back from my daughter.

    Glad I don't have to buy into all the bullshit on this site! I'd go broke!

    Of course it's a nice reel it's an Orvis!
  14. Mark,
    I didn't mean for my post to be personal, although it may have come across that way.
    We are all (myself included) so bombarded with turbo marketing telling us that we have to have the latest and greatest, or else we'll all go impotent or something - sometimes it's nice to just step back and take stock of what it is that works in its simplest form. And the really old stuff is just so cool and fun to fish with.
    I apologize if I offended anyone. But I do still believe that PT Barnum was on to something.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  15. Well if you have to justify what you like by bashing every other product or what other people prefer go for it!

    It started out as a nice review of a good product and ended up as the "better then thou crowd" preaching!
  16. Wow Mark and Greg, your pawls are awfully sharp and have become a drag on this thread. Please loosen your clickers a bit. ;)
    triploidjunkie and Porter like this.
  17. Mark, you can certainly buy and fish whatever reel you want.

    But the key word in that statement is 'want' as opposed to 'need'. However poorly written, my earlier post was intended to draw attention to the difference between wants and needs. For instance:

    Would you not have been able to land those trophy rainbows without a high-tech reel?

    How did people manage to land big fish before disc drag reels were introduced?

    When did having one become a necessity instead of a choice?

    As Tim observes above, gear manufacturers have shrewdly crafted their marketing messages to appeal to our egos and have us believe that somehow if we only bought their products, we too could catch big fish like the ones pictured in their ads. Since nobody wants to catch only small fish, the opposite is a powerful persuader as well: We 'need' a high-tech, disc drag reel (or an ultra-fast action rod) if we don't want to be stuck the rest of our lives catching little fish.

    Search out vintage Hardy Marquis Salmon or Hardy Perfect reels on eBay then get ready for the often-staggering prices they command. It's not that they're being bought by folks who put them in museum cases. They're highly sought-after by spey fishers who use them regularly and somehow manage to land even bigger fish than yours with those humble click-pawl reels - and not even a large-arbor ones at that!

    For the last decade or so, if you didn't want a high-tech disc-drag reel, there were so few new reels with click-pawl drags that your best bet was to buy one used, hence the popularity of older reels. But that's slowly changing as more and more reel makers offer click-pawl models for those who don't want - or need - a disc-drag reel.

    Greg Armstrong and Porter like this.
  18. Mark
    It is unfortunate that you took some of these posts personally.

    It is clear from your past posts that you put a lot of thought into your equipment and the fact that you have made the effort to buy good quality used reels (with or without disk drags) seems to indicate that you agree that full retail prices are ridiculous. Combined with the fact that you consistently and successfully target very large trout puts you solidly in the vast minority of consumers.

    This is in no way an apology as I stand firmly behind my opinions but more a statement of what I believe to be the facts.

    Mark Kraniger likes this.
  19. And thus, the two great warring FF tribes of the PNW began...the Pawlites, and the Diskites, with various sub-tribe Arborites cringing in despair, and confusion....Tenkara skinny-water dappers (quietly praying they never hook a 30 incher) nobly rising above the fray.

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