Fenwick World Class Reels: If You Find One That Was Made in the U.S., Buy It
Every once in a while, a legendary piece of equipment graces the shelves of fly shops and a few lucky and smart anglers get to experience a small piece of perfection. Although today’s market offers some pretty impressive big-game reels with great drags for great prices, I still long for my old Fenwick World Class Steelhead and Salmon Reel, which was stolen from my bag in the Seattle airport back in 1994. I mourn its loss every steelhead season. In 1985—one of the two years the reel was made in the U.S.—it cost me $400. In the reel’s third year, Fenwick moved production overseas, cut its price in half, and the quality of the product diminished immediately.
If you ever find a Fenwick World Class with a gold back, and a black and gold front that says “Made in the USA,” buy it. Or at least tell me about it. The single actions sell for around $175 and the double actions approach $300. These reels are comparable to the Pates and Finors of their day, and at these prices, they’re a mega-bargain. Check eBay for the reels periodically by clicking here. (This page is automatically updated each time a new item is posted.)