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I have fished the Bay for a number of years but never with a fly rod. One of my goals in life is to catch blues and stripers on a fly rod. I am currently building a 9 foot 9 weight rod to that end. I know little about reels and would like some help. I don't want to spend $30 on a Pflueger Medalist and have to go out in 6 months and upgrade. On the other hand I can't really afford to spend $500. I would like to stay around $200 or so. I will be grateful for suggestions about reels that would suit my needs.

Thanks in advance.
 

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First off, you never upgrade...you only augment.

Second, I've got two suggestions for reels. I've got an Albright GPX reel (http://www.albrighttackle.com/2006site/gpx.html) that I won that I have no use for. Make me a reasonable offer and its yours (HINT: I'm not looking for anything near retail value). Its technically for an 8wt rod, but it will be fine for your 9wt Bay rod. If you're interested, send me a PM.
If your not interested in the Albright reel, the go with the Orvis Battenkill Mid-Arbor. Its a decent reel, backed by a stellar warranty, and during the month of January it comes with a free extra spool. You can either order online from Orvis, or pay a visit to the Orvis Arlington store and get it there. Tell Jason (the fishing manager) you came from TF and Sawyer (me) says hello. I may end up buying one of these reels myself. $129 for a good reel and spare spool is hard to beat. http://www.orvis.com/store/product_..._ID=768&cat_id=7908&subcat_id=7909&pf_id=72ER
 

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Okuma Integrity

I have fly fished the bay for about 10 years and like most fly fishermen, I am still learning. I have upgraded over the years and I use an Orvis Vortex on my 9wt. these days. To be honest this reel is way overkill for the bay.

My first reel was a J.Austin Forbes Saltwater disk drag reel. This is a great reel with a world class drag. This is a quality reel that runs $129.00. I still have mine.

I also own a couple of Okuma Integrity reels (They make a 8/9 and a 10/11). You can find them for about $75 and they are decent reels with good drags.

I have caught blues and stripers of all sorts on both of these reels. Not much in the bay that would cause you to need more reel. Both will hold up for years if you take care of them.

I hope that this helps

Frank
 

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r/c -
don't sell the Medalist short. While it may be the most unglamorous reel around, it's a tank. I have several of them, one of which which was my primary s/w reel through the boom years of big bluefish in the Ches. Bay. It probably has a thousand bluefish (6-16 lbs.) to its credit. It's still fine. Even well known author Jack Sampson in his book Fly Fishing for Permit (2003) says "The old Medalist is a great reel for the price, and I have owned a half dozen of them over the years. They are anodized against salt water and have a fairly good drag system. I have recommended them to beginning salt water fly fishermen on a limited budget."
That said, there are better reels available, and if you know what you're looking for, the used market can provide you with a good bargain on a higher end reel.
DF
 
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