Allen Alpha II 7/8 Reel Review
I had the opportunity to get my hands on an Allen Fly Fishing 7/8 Alpha II reel. I’ve heard of good things about these reels and was glad to get to try one out for myself. I’m a big believer in double taper lines for short casts and roll casting. I wound this on the large arbor reel with enough room for at least 100 yards of backing. My main use for this reel is for fresh water big fishing such as steelhead, largemouth, pike and whatever comes about this year. I used it for the first time in January with a graphite rod but it got a better work out back in February for fishing steelhead in a Lake Erie tributary with the weather around freezing temps. I decided to use an 8wt fiberglass rod that day and after fitting the reel, onto the down locking rings, it balanced the rod out close to perfect.
The fish weren’t as jumpy or wild as a fresh chromer just in from the lake but I got hold of a heavy weight female and a brute of a male steelhead that tested both the drag system and the strength of the Alpha II.
You can read about this outing at http://streamsidetales.blogspot.com/2012/02/glass-versus-steel.html
The drag system is controlled by a nice sized center variable adjustment knob. You can hear the soft clicks as you tighten or loosen the drag knob to where you feel the drag needs to be. I’m not one that likes the loud audible click, click, click as some reels voice. This reel is quiet and I didn’t really notice the soft clicking of the reel during the excitement of playing the big fish. Maybe it’s just me but I just don’t need to hear the clicking noise to know how fast the reel is spitting out line or to let everyone know I got a good fish on.
Retrieving lots of line when a speeding steelhead comes towards me is what the large arbor is all about. It quickly spools line while reeling in to keep tension of an oncoming fish. I felt as if the drag tightened instantly without undue pressure as soon as the fish took out line and held that tension as should be. During battling of the big fish I felt no slipping, just a smooth constant drag as one expects. When reeling in it was smooth with no jerkiness or wobble.
I got the black frame with gun metal spool but they also have other colors I was informed.
I never owned a reel costing over $200.00. For my fishing, and the performance price for this reel, I may never feel I need a more expensive one.
All in all I truly have to recommend a look see at an Allen Alpha II when considering a new big game reel.
Here is their web sight