Alvey Orbiter spin reel review
ICONIC Aussie brand Alvey has been making reels for the past 100 years with a loyal following spanning several generations.
The past couple of years has seen some changes to its traditional line up of products with some new exciting colours, designs, and in a surprise move, a brand new spin reel.
It’s a bold move for a brand with such an established product in its sidecast reels. Although given the long term trend towards using spin reels on the beach, estuaries and offshore, Alvey just might be onto the something.
Alvey sidecast reels have a reputation for resilience. The simple design and strong workmanship of an Alvey lends itself to the rigours of beach and rock fishing. Given that, you'd expect Alvey spin reels need to be designed with the same pedigree to hold on to its loyal following who expect hassle-free equipment.
So how does the Alvey Orbiter hold up?
Fishing World has been testing one for the past couple of months. The Orbiter SR80 (2000 approx. size) was put through its places chasing everything from small bass to flathead, tailor, salmon, and kingfish in the salt. As expected, it performed nicely and without any problems. It feels like an over engineered reel for its size, a big plus for Alvey fans. It's slightly heavier than other reels in this size range – not a bad thing – plus the thick bail arm system and oversized "power handle" knob gives you the impression you're fishing in a different class. The "tough" feel was welcome and felt at home chasing the small saltwater pelagics, while not feeling too awkward for the freshwater natives.
It's a super smooth reel to cast and wind with 9+1 stainless ball bearings. Line capacity fits 250m of PE0.8, 200m PE1, and 180m of PE 1.2 and there's a gear ratio of 5.8:1.
Some of the specs include: Aluminium Body & Aero Rotor Technology; Reinforced Carbon Macromolecule (RCM) Rotor; Dual Colour Anodised Aluminium Spool With CNC Machine Cut Holes; Left / Right Interchangeable CNC Machine Cut Anodised Aluminium Screw-in Handle; Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Main Shaft; CNC Machine Cut Brass Pinion Gear; Reinforced Die-Cast Zinc Main Drive Gear; Xtreme Tournament Carbon Disc Drag (XTD) System.
The drag held up well and was super smooth for its intended task, which for a small reel of its size, wasn't too extreme.
The price ranges from $199 to $289 and there are four sizes from the SR60, SR80 (tested), SR100, and the SR200.
If you're after a mid price point tough reel to handle everything from natives in the fresh, to flathead and tailor in the salt, maybe even snapper and small kings, Alvey's Orbiter SR80 is well worth checking out.
For more information: alvey.com.au.