All kidding aside, with lines like a 8/9 or 9/10 XLT, you need a huge reel if you want to put 200 yards of 30# backing on same. Only one I've seen (don't own it though) that fit that description was the Baur M-7's. (Way and Steve's reels) I'm sure there are others with this kind of capacity, at a less expensive price.
I'm new to the forum but have gotten lots of value already, so here is one to pass on:
Just this morning I bought a Loop 8/12 on ebay for a great price...based on the excellent reviews I read here and elsewhere. On ebay you need to do a search on "evotec." It brings up an HD 7/10. Click on either one and then click on "Visit my ebay store." That will get you to a list of reels, including more Loops. The guy is located in Australia. I checked his online references and they are excellent. I also corresponded via email. He also runs a website, www.fishingconcepts.com. (I just retraced my steps and realized he is the one selling the Cascapedia referenced above).
I suggested in email that he join the forum as a sponsor and gave him the link to the forum site.
Check out Fenwick's F series line of reels. They make them quite large. I do believe an f912 can hold a 10/11 midspey and over 250yards of 30#. And if I'm not mistaken they make one larger size. Also it's a very high quality reel fit, finish and drag are all top notch.
At the economy end of the range: the Cortland (ne' Leeda) Magnum 200D; the old J. W. Young 1540 (heavy, same vast capacity as the C. Magnum); the also-discontinued but still-available Redington AS13/14 (even more capacity). And a reel I've never seen discussed here: the largest Orvis Battenkill, called the Spey.
I have my big Speydriver on a Ross Big Game V, awesome reel - if you can find one. The largest Evotec will also handle the extended long-bellies but unless you plan on unloading another guitar or two the price is steep!
I love the F4 but with 200 yards of standard 30# Dacron I don't think it would handle an extended belly Spey line. When I tested the F4 I had @ 200 yards of 30# and the 8/9 Accelerator was getting pretty close to the frame, so I would load the F4 with 200 yards of 50# gsp and I think you'd get an extended belly on there without too much trouble...I think
I bought a Redington AS 13/14 in April. Great reel with a tremendous capacity. I bought it because I have been using a 10/11/12 Windcutter cut 26 feet from the end to which I add the Windcutter 10/11/12 upgrade. Then, I add tips of 15 feet to the front of this creating a line with 74 feet of belly & front taper. This is a lot of line and a lot of very think belly to boot. I needed something with a tremendous capacity, just like you do to have 200 yards or so of 30 lb with the heavy line weight XLT's). I was using an STH reel rated for 225 yards of 30 pound with a DT12, and it only allowed me to get 70 yards of 30 pound backing on it with the above line combo.
It holds the above line and 275 yards of 30 pound dacron. The only problem is that it is no longer being made. There might be some still around though and it might be worth looking for one. I paid $130.00 for the one I got, shipping included. They listed for $200.00. Otherwise I'm afraid you will be looking at the high end and rather expensive reels like the Bauer or Abels, etc. that can hold WF14 weight lines and over 300 yards of backing. Sure wish Orvis left the Redington AS 13/14 in production.
Right on with the comments on Charlton above. Phenomenal reel. One not mentioned but worth pursuing is the CA Harris Solitude VI. Significant capacity, cork disc drag and only $360.00. All that and it weighs under 9oz, too. A comment on the Loop post earlier. Loop reels sold through dealers outside of the US have no US warranty and will not be repaired in the US. Any problem with the reel means it must be returned to where you bought it or to Loop in Sweden. Most of the reason the Loop products cost more in the US is due to the fact that they're paying to have Loop USA in Oregon handle repairs and warranty claims. They do that because Americans expect to be able to have reels purchased over here repaired over here. Believe me, you'd only have to return the reel once to Australia to realize that the extra amount you saved was eaten up very quickly in shipping, customs, and fishing time lost while the reel was in transit.
The Ross Big Game Canyon LA #8 has definitely piqued my interest... I own the BG #7 and can assume it's as lightweight, aesthetically cool, picks up line fast, great drag, moderate price, etc. The #7 can handle evrything BUT the Grand Spey / XLT /Spry DT class. I need to go actually hold and play with one before deciding.
Any owners out there currently? Maybe I should be asking in the bluewater section...
Several other options presented here are on the list for sure, can't thank you guys enough and please keep 'em coming!
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