View Full Version : Any feedback on Orvis Clearwater Reel
11-07-05, 08:46 AM
Does anyone have any feedback on the Orvis Clearwater reel. It is there entry level reel that sells for around $40 bucks. Here are the specs Orvis provides on their site:
A quality fly reel that meets all the standards that Orvis demands of its best reelsódurability, function, and appearance.
Orvis-designed reel with features that defy the price.
Fully adjustable disc drag system
Easy spool removal
Quick conversion from right- to left-hand retrieve
For fly-line weights 2-9
I am looking for something to give to my Dad for Christmas to replace the Orvis Madison reel he lost earlier this year. Is this reel worth owning, or should I just go ahead and get him a Battenkill reel for $80?
thanks in advance!
11-07-05, 09:24 AM
BBS. At least this is what this Dad would want ;) Of course at my house it would immediately be "borrowed" so my guys usually use the logic of "what do I need" then that magically becomes what Dad needs :) . I am glad though that they buy with the idea of borrowing and not inherriting.
11-07-05, 10:27 AM
I'm a 51 year old Dad and I have a few of these. Mine are on a 3wt, 4wt, and 5wt and mainly serve as line holders. I cant speak to the drag, but I would think there is a reason some of those reels cost $200+.
I guess it depends on the size fish and/or what you want. I have one of the Orvis Mid-Arbor reels in a 6wt. that cost me about $125.00. I love the feel, looks, and smoothness, but so far haven't caught anything other than some Red's in Charleston that even came close to using the drag.
My .02 worth,
I have both the clearwater and the battenkill bar stock.
I bought the clearwater 5wt rod and reel as my first set up about 7 years ago. Orvis was the only name in flyfishing I knew at the time, and I have been very satisfied with it. I've landed everything from stockers on the hooch, to small wilds, to big bruisers at Noontootla Creek Farms and Dukes creek. The drag system consists of applying your palm to the bottom of the reel. As said above, it is very functional for holding your fly line.
I tend to like smaller streams so I bought a 7 foot 3wt this summer. For this type of fishing a cheep reel like a clearwater would have been fine. Drag systems don't matter much when you're catching a 7" brookie. But I bought the BBS titanium because it just looks so dang nice. It is more reel than I needed, but to me it has the classic reel look. I absolutely love it.
The BBS is 30-40 dollars more than the original batenkill.
11-07-05, 01:55 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I should have mentioned that Dad is getting up there in age and really does not get to fish as much as he would like. When he does fish, it is usually with me on water that will probably never deliver anything more than your standard stocker. So a line holder is about the right description for his needs and a hefty drag system is not that big a deal.
I want to get him another Orvis reel mainly because he was very disappointed and upset in losing the Madison reel I gave him last year (you may remember my post describing how he left it on top of his car when heading up to meet me at the Hooch one day). I think I will go for the basic Battenkill reel, as it is a very nice little reel that will serve him well.
PS: GTS - funny you should joke about inheriting flyfishing gifts. When we got Dad a bamboo rod for his retirement, we had the rod buildier put Dad's name on the rod. I joke with him that I will only have to change 3 letters on the name!
11-09-05, 12:03 AM
I would go with the Battenkill reel. Whether you go with the original or BBS doesn't matter too much. Both use almost all metal parts, which will definatley hold up better over the years than the plastic parts of the clearwater. Besides that the battenkill is more along the lines of the madison as far as quality goes. The clearwater would be a step down. Having said that, we do have the cleawater reels on sale now.
11-09-05, 01:09 PM
I also have both. For a gift to my Dad, I would go with the BBS. Real nice reel for the money. Clearwater reel is solid reel and the price is right, but not near as good a reel IMHO, and the BBS is certainly worth more than the difference in price - for looks alone if nothing else. It is a purty thing.
11-11-05, 07:20 AM
I've got the battenkill and the BBS. I much prefer the BBS It's much lighter, just a better looking reel and all machined and not cast like the Battenkill.
Another thing I just heard about the Battenkill is that they are no longer being made in England, as they always were. Somewhere else, don't know where.
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