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Motorcycle Reel Test: Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor

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May 09, 2007

Motorcycle Reel Test: Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor

By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

We graded each reel on a 1-5 scale in three areas:
1. Price
2. How the reel felt and reacted as the motorcycle sped away
3. How we like handling the reel

Then we made “judges deductions” for any beefs we had about the reels.


Price/Features
Big Game reel in the 8-12 range, costs a mere $239. Tons of guides use these reels as client loaners, because they don’t cost an arm and a leg, they gather line well, and they don’t fold easily.
Score: 4.5 out of 5

How it “Met the Street”
Pretty good, all around. We felt a slight shudder in the rod as the reel started. But, by and large, it gave a pretty good effort. We had this reel’s drag cranked down pretty hard, and it still leveled out nicely when the bike hit the target speed. No major concerns.
Score 3.5 out of 5

Functional Review
You get what you pay for, in most cases, and Orvis seems to do a steady job of giving you at least that. Admittedly, comparing $200 class reels with $600 class reels is an apples to oranges deal (and a made in the US vs. imported deal also). But for the money, it’s a very functional, practical, durable, and easy-to-manipulate reel.
Score: 3 out of 5

Knocks
It feels a little different on a few of the rods we tested … not bad … not good … just different. It’s a utilitarian piece of equipment, and not a heck of a lot more than that. But at the pricepoint, and in terms of its ability to land saltwater fish (that’s a proven fact) … hard to really argue this model. It’s a Subaru.
Deduction: .5

Total Score: 10.5 out of 15


Watch More Reel Tests:

Trout Reels

Hatch 3-Plus

Nautilus 5

Abel Pt. 5

Ross Evolution

Orvis Battenkill

Mid Arbor


Scientific Anglers

System 2L Model 45L


Bauer JM2

Bonefish Reels

Sage 3400

Nautilus 8

Bauer MX4

Orvis Battenkill
Large Arbor

Big Game Reels

Orvis Vortex (VO2)  8-11

Nautilus 12

Hatch 9-Plus

Abel Super 10

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