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Cabelas Wind River Reel

Mark K

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I own three. 2 of the 7-8 models and 1 of the 5-6 models. A year or two ago I recommended the reel on this site based on the one I owned. Bought two more since then. I would call it a good smooth reel for casual fishing. I stand by my recommendation. I use 8 and 9 weight lines for bass and sometimes drop down to a 7 for bass and pan fish. It is rare for me to get a fish that takes me into the backing. The WR-3 easily holds 200 ft of 20# backing and an 8 or 9 wt WFW line. I put my 7 wt line on the WR-2 with backing. Though bass are not known for running into the backing, it is nice to know it is there. Backing also fills the reel for easier reeling. It has a good one way drag and there is no spool wobble. If you were to encounter wobble or binding, Cabelas would replace it.


You will notice that they do not list a spare spool. Since the price of the reel is less than the cost of an average spare spool for other reels, you just buy another reel.


Other Pros -nice finish, nice eifel tower look.

Other Con -whoops, made in China, not South Korea like most of the reels used in the US.

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I owned a 5-6 and a 7-8 model for about 2-3 yrs. I also recommended them, especially for the price. Both reels worked very well for the short time that they worked. I bought them as backups for my Cabela's Prestige Reels that I have used since I started fly fishing years ago. Both Wind River reels started acting up at the same time. The 7-8 model had only been used about 4 times and worked great even on some nice sized salmon and some pike. At the start of this fishing season it started locking up when I was practicing my cast. It would not release line at all on occasion. I had used the 5-6 model quite a bit more (It looked good on the rod). The first outing of this season it also started doing the same thing as the heavier model, as well as going into freespool quite often. On the same day I was having problems, I ran into another fisherman who was having the same problems with his Wind River 5-6 reel. He said his 7-8 model had done the same thing earlier in the yr. After a call to Cabela's and sending the reels back to them for inspection, they gave me a refund and I upgraded.

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