Allen Fly Reel and a Bighorn Brown at Sunset
When it comes to fly fishing, it is often seen as an expensive racket to get into! For good reason. With many reels costing upwards of $500, it can seem intimidating for someone who would like to try it out. And you can't very well put that nice reel on a cheap rod, so tack on another handful of Ben Franklins and you can start to wonder if it is all worth it.
You can find less expensive alternatives, but they are often just proof of the old adage of "You get what you pay for," and the last thing you want to do is hook into that fish of a lifetime and have your reel start to sputter and die on you.
Allen fly reels have definitely brought the high quality look and feel of expensive reels into the realm of the affordable. Don't get me wrong, they do have a couple models that are still pricey, but they have several models that won't break the bank and are as good as reels that sell for twice the price!
I have been using their Kracken 5wt as my main trout reel and have had zero issues with it. I recently used it on a 7 day trout bum trip through the West and brought in the brown in the picture along with a ton of fish all week. It is smooth, and performs like a champ every time. I also have their XLA 10wt in the Dorado color which is not only functional but gorgeous as well. Holding a nice reel in your hands is something that is hard to describe to anyone who has only used inexpensive reels, but once you do, you feel the quality difference. The Allen reels have that feel.
For me, you can't go wrong with one of these reels, I am hoping to get out to Christmas Island this year and test a 12wt out on GTs. I will report back on how that goes. ;o)