View Full Version : ALVEY fishing reels

08-30-2015, 08:02 PM
Just returned to me, from my father in law who passed 15 years ago, is a custom casting rod and ALVEY reel that I gave him years ago.
I have a smaller ALVEY with both a casting and trolling spool and don't use it much.

However I thought this design was very unique and good for a sail boat to cover all fishing.

Has anyone used these before? Are they good as I suspect??

08-30-2015, 09:50 PM
I have two. I don't use them much. They are simple and indestructible, and not prone to jamming from sand and grit like so many ( older ) reels. You can cast farther with it than any other reel. Those last two features make it favorable for surf fishing, where the reel is submerged often.

But newer reels are engjneered to drain water and a keep sand out. And newer style reels are much lighter. And most anglers cast beyond the fish at their feet most times. And they are heavy. And they introduce a lot of twist to the line. And the Alvey retrieve ratio is 1:1--very slow. Modern reels retrieve anywhere from 3:1 to 6 revs of the spool for every crank of the handle.

I break mine out as a curiosity once in a while, either on the beach, or in the winter while codfishing. ( Some cod anglers and those who fish for Tautog like the " direct action " that enables back-reeling on a fish, instead of letting the fish pull drag. In so doing they feel they have more contriol over the fish. These are fish that live in or near deep wrecks and rockpiles, so keeping the fish out of the crevices is key, I digress,..)

For an all around reel, I'd recommend a conventional reel, rated at 30-lbs with a retrieve ratio of 3 - or 4:1. A Shimano TLD 25 comes to mind.. but I am not endorsing it or connected to them. The Alvey is a nice product but it is a niche product.


08-30-2015, 09:51 PM
Yes. The modern ones of metal and plastic incorporate a reduction gear.

08-31-2015, 10:38 AM
Well sounds like (with limitations) They are worth a try again.

Maybe later this week I'll try for some Silvers or Pinks off Dungeness spit from the boat.

09-01-2015, 03:18 AM
Funny to see Alvey reels described as a 'niche product'! They've been ubiquitous in Australia for very many decades. There are many other sidecast reels but Alveys have certainly dominated the market. They're a bait fishing reel, entirely unsuitable for spinning, due to line twist. For bait fishing, a swivel deals adequately with line twist. Alvey sidecasts (not all Alveys are sidecasts) have a particular advantage in their ability to cast very light weights, so they're the best reel for casting unweighted bait into washes off the rocks or into gutters in surf. They will cast a weighted bait a very long way. Some of the big fibreglass Alveys were heavy and many of the old wooden ones were too but Alvey also make very light reels.