One of the coolest things about the country of Japan is that they build a lot of cool stuff there. A lot of the newest technological advances come out of Japan. My cellphone came from Japan, and what would life be like if I couldn't browse on ebay whilst sitting on the toilet? It would be pretty sad, let me tell you!
|(Not actually me)|
Japan is also the home of some really cool fly reels. If you have read my blog in the past you will know that I have long been a fan of Daiwa fly reels, dating back to the '80s when my first "quality" fly reel was a Daiwa-made Scientific Anglers System One reel. I still have that reel, although I wouldn't say it's really in working order... Over the years I have owned several other Daiwa reels, all made in Japan.
All of those Daiwa reels have been on the lower end of the price spectrum, but recently I learned that Daiwa has also made some more spendy reels. Reels that are on a par with any of the more expensive fly fishing reels out there, like Orvis, Hardy, and Abel. So I had to get one and see what it was like.
Enter this Daiwa Alltmor-S 200 reel. It's a beautiful machined reel that purrs like all of the older Daiwa reels I have owned. It seems to have been crafted with super tight tolerances, although I am not a machinist and really have no idea what I am talking about in that regard. Let's just say that it seems really well made.
And it looks great! This S-200 is the perfect size for 4 or 5 weight lines. I put a 5wt weight forward line on it and had plenty of room for backing. Daiwa makes an S-100 and an S-300 version, as well. The S-100 is perfect for 3 or 4 weight lines, and the S-300 is made for 6 and 7 weight lines. You can also get the Alltmor D versions of the same reels, which come with a disc drag built in.
Daiwa is not the only reel company based in Japan. UFM Ueda, Marryat, and even Shimano make very nice fly reels for the Japan market. With ebay and other auction sites it's becoming easier to get those reels shipped over here to the good ol' USA. And I am not trying to say that reels made here in America are bad, just that there are other, well made, options out there. Check them out!