Since it doesn't look like, I'm going to find parts for my old ABU Ambassadeur 156 reel, I needed to replace my everyday "banging around the Ramapo" reel without breaking the budget.
Bracing myself for "buying Asian"...I looked at:
Much to my surprise, the Ross appeared to have been made to very sloppy tolerances. There was obvious side play on the spool, things just seemed too "loose". I'd compare this one with the "under $10" Hardy knock-offs sold by Diawa and Berkley in the 70s...
- Ross Flywater 2 - $99
Lamson Konic 2 - $129
Battenkill Barstock III - $119
Original Battenkill 5/6 - $85
The Lamson, was built much better, but it seemed unnecessarily bulky. I really can't say anything bad about it, but it's just not to my taste....IMHO, it "looked funny".
Both Orvis reels were made to very close tolerances. There might be some spool side play, but it was not detectable without better instrumentation than my sense of touch. Aside from cosmetics, there were some minor differences in the construction of the drag, clicker, and line guide.
To begin with the "Original Battenkill" is not the original. I have an original from the old days. The disk drag and palming rim might be considered improvements, but the line guide seems to have way too many parts.
I chose the Battenkill Bar Stock. It didn't have any line guide parts for me to lose (like I did on my ABU). The "clicker" wasn't as noisy (seemed "smoother"), and the drag seemed to be better designed.
After deducting the Ramsey Outdoor TU member discount and adding the tax, the bottom line was $114.60
I was temporarily using my old Orvis Battenkill "made in England" (by Hardy?), but I considered it "too good" for everyday banging around. I normally reserved it for one of the cane rods I used to take to the Battenkill River.
While I was switching the lines back, I noticed that the "cheap" Asian version has tighter tolerances, than the "good" English version (some of that may be fair wear and tear, but there was a noticeable difference).
RE: semi-related topic where we were bemoaning Hardy's outsourcing... http://www.njflyfishing.com/vBulleti...rdy-reels.html (Hardy reels)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EDIT ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I finally had an opportunity to fish the new reel yesterday.
Ramapo River 06/21/08 (Ramapo River 2008)
While I didn't have an opportunity to "test" the limits of the drag & etc, fishing with it was a pleasant experience (more so than with the Swedish reel it replaced).