I was looking at it last month, nice reel, was thinking about it, but got a great deal on a different reel, so went with that for now. It did look nice and the price under $ 300 looked even better. I am definitely still considering it maybe later next year. If you get it let me know what you think about it.
I own a few Battenkills and have the excellent Battenkill Large Arbor. They are good reels, but I would not trust the drag system of the older Battenkill's and this includes their newer Spey model.
For about the same money you can get a Tioga delivered to your front door by FlyFishUSA, postage free and no taxes.
We just bought a new Tioga 10, ($140), for our son. He fishes for strippers (big ones and does 1 to 2 trips to Mexico each year). The Tioga is made from bar aluminum and not casted aluminum like the Battenkill. The drag system on the Tioga is perfect for steelhead. It may be the best reel for the dollar and one of the most bulletproof reels made. In fact FlyFishUSA notes that the Tioga 12 LA may be the best spey reel for the money that we can buy.
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