The popularity of “custom design” reels that feature artwork has taken off, and Montana Fly Company made a particular splash in that arena at last year’s IFTD show in New Orleans. This year, MFC has added five new catchy trout colors.
Beyond the aesthetic appeal, we like the function of the Madison IIa. It’s a Super Large Arbor design with a self-lubricating, G-tail fiber multi-level drag system (more than adequate for most trout rivers), that uses “Push Trip Pin Engagement.” The net result of that (in plain English) is that the reel is exceptionally smooth on startups. The reels are also light, machined from single pieces of quality 6061-T6 aluminum alloy. And the best asset may well be price, $224.95 – $244.95 retail.