Product Reviews

Elkhorn Classic Reel

by Andy Carr (Buttermilk).

I received a much anticipated package from Elkhorn Outdoors on Monday. I have had some stomach crud that would make me turn the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders away from my door, so I needed a "Pick me up."

As you may know, I received May '06 drawing prize, the Legendary Elkhorn bamboo flyrod. After much searching and research, I decided to keep everything traditional, just as a "boo rod" should be, so my "pick me up" was in the form of an Elkhorn Classic Series reel, left hand retrieve.

I tore into that box like a kid at Christmas ready to find my new toys! OOHH YEAHHH!! First out of the box was the two Elkhorn caps. I ordered a black one for winter and a beige one for summer. Y'all have got to see and feel these caps. I love the black one! The chartreuse colored Elkhorn logo just jumps off the cap at you and the white thread on the name and vent holes really sets it off. Definitely going to have to get another one for "dress up" purposes! Here again, one notices the quality right away. No threads hanging off the material and really soft cotton that feels good on the old bald noggin! The only hair on my head is under my nose, so a cap that fits well and isn't scratchy is important to me.

Now to the reel! OOOOOHHHHHH YYYEEEAAAHHHHH! This reel sure does look like a Peerless! QUALITY, AAAMMENNN!

It has that great heft, just the right amount of weight to feel good in your hand and it's small and unobtrusive. I want a reel that will complement the Legendary Elkhorn 'boo rod and not overpower it and this reel is perfect.

It is simply elegant! It's like those simple black dresses that the ladies put on when they get dressed up that really catches a guys attention! It compliments the package without drawing attention away from the package!

By the way, it is Flag Day as I write this. It is the day that we replace our flag every year with a new one and it stirred me to see the new flag "take the breeze" It made me stop and say a prayer for all our troops, especially for my nephew in Iraq. I folded the old flag to be put on the mantle until Friday morning when it goes to the VFW to be properly disposed of.

Now back to the reel. This is more along familiar lines for me. I build custom 1911 pistols and this reel fits right in there with them. I wish I had a camera so y'all could see a stainless 1911 and this reel together. They look like they are made of the same material. The reel is machined from barstock aluminum. The side plates are CNC milled aluminum that is powder coated black. I might just have a jeweler engrave my name and todays date on it for when I pass it down to future generations. No shiny stuff, a muted finish that won't spook the fish or blind the fisherman on a clear, sunshiny day. A lot of times when I'm on duty as a Game Warden, I can spot people that are in the outdoors by the shine from their rifle barrels and fishing rods. I figure if I can see that, then the game can too, so I want a matte or subdued finish on my equipment.

I called Brian at Elkhorn Outdoors to get some more information on this little jewel and he told me about the warranty. A lifetime warranty against any defect with no charge to have it fixed when you return it to him. Now that's what I'm talkin' about! A company that stands behind their products! YYESSS!

The foot screws are "Loctited" in so the reel won't come loose. Been there before and never found the screw. Don't want to go there again. Quality showing up all over the reel! An adjustable drag on the reel that is smooth as glass. Not jerky, just tightens up and releases real smooooooth! The "clicker," I just love the sweet sound of a clicker when you have a fish taking out line real fast! You know how some "clickers" have a sound that grates when you hear it? Not this one! Wish they made a cell phone ring tone like that. This old deaf boy could hear that one! Gits your adrenaline pumpin' just thinkin' about it!

Sorry, lost that objective view there for a minute. Who wants to be objective, this is fun!

This reel has no rough edges on it to catch a tippet or line and cut it and the serpentine handle really gives it that classic look. The most sensitive part of the body is the lips, so rub something along your lips to see if it is rough. Nothing there on this reel. Go ahead just try it. If anyone says anything, pretend you are in deep thought or are remembering a fight on a big fish with that reel. You can make some memories with this reel.

In summary, I must say that the Elkhorn bamboo rods and Classic reels fills the niche for an angler who wants to try a traditional bamboo rod and reel without the high cost of the more famous ones. Or if you have a younger, seasoned angler that you want to get a "first bamboo" for and you want a great serviceable rod and reel that they can really be proud of, this is your best bang for the bucks. A lifetime warranty on both the rods and reels is really hard to beat and half or more of the price of the others means a lot to those of us who just can't swing it.

Contact Brian at or at 970-227-4707 or go to the Sponsors page here on FAOL. ~ Andy Carr (Buttermilk)

2230 West First Street
Building D
Loveland, Colorado 80537
Phone: (970) 227-4707
Fax: (970) 278-1885

Website: Elkhorn

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