The Allen Kraken fly reel is another great product from this company. With a mid range price starting at $209 for the size II (line weight 5/6) it fishes like a much more expensive reel. I bought this reel to accompany my Loop Cross S1 5wt and it balances like a dream. It’s not the lightest real out there but really i think of this as a streamer or indicator rig setup, so I am throwing heavier stuff and don’t notice the extra weight. Personally, weight is a pretty petty thing to worry about in a reel these days anyways. An ounce or two is negligible, and the stopping power you gain with the drag is worth any weight difference.
Here is Allen’s description from their website http://allenflyfishing.com :
The Kraken reel series from Allen Fly Fishing is the best value for the money in the industry. The predecessor to this reel already boasted a lightweight, fully machined package with an impressively smooth yet powerful drag. The large arbor and “U”-shaped spool is ideal for fighting large fish and for dealing with any runs into the backing. Improvements to the drag housing have eased access for reversibility while maintaining a full gasket seal. Ranging from size II to V, the Kraken series is capable of everything from small-stream trout fishing to adult tarpon and giant trevally, and available in a suite of colors from classic to eye-catching. It’s no wonder this reel series has quickly become our best seller: for the performance it provides, it should be twice the price!!
|Model||Reel Dia||Weight||Spool Depth||Spool Width||Reel Capacity||Size Suggestions||Price|
|2||3.56″||5.70oz||0.77″||1.12″||5wt WFF + 165yd 20lb backing||5wt to 6wt WFF
275 to 350gr Shooting Heads
|3||3.81″||6.25oz||0.83″||1.18″||8wt WFF + 200yd 30lb backing||7wt to 9wt WFF
350gr to 500gr Shooting Heads
|4||4.10″||8.05oz||0.88″||1.38″||10wt WFF + 250yd 30lb backing||9wt to 12wt WFF
500 to 600gr Shooting Heads
|5||4.45″||8.90oz||0.88″||1.58″||12wt WFF + 300yd 30lb backing||12wt to 14wt WFF
600gr to 1000gr Shooting Heads
My Impressions w/ the Allen Kraken
Like I said previously, I purchased this reel for my 5wt streamer rod. This is my workhorse setup as i fish mostly warm water species. I dont live close enough to our states many great trout streams so I haven’t put a ton of miles on it in that respect. I have caught largemouth and smallmouth as well as pike and panfish, and the reel hasn’t hiccup’d at all. This reels crowning moment for me came on it’s first expedition. I was so excited to hit the water with my new rig that I had to hit the water as soon as possible. With winter weather I had to make the drive up to the Pere Marquette to find some open water. I landed a nice brown streamer fishing and had some other takes, but then the rod tip got bent on some winter steel! Now I wish i could say I landed this fish. There would definitely be a photo here if I did. But the Allen Kraken in size II more than held its own (so did the Loop Cross S1 for that matter). The drag was strong and super smooth. Now, I lost the fish in a log jam, but I was then sold on this company and this reel. I would not hesitate to put a size III Kraken on any Great Lakes steelhead or salmon rig. And i promptly ordered this reels big brother the Kraken XLA to put on my 8wt workhorse.
So in conclusion, the Allen Kraken II gets my glowing recommendation for any fishing application with exception of small dry fly rigs. For that, try Allen’s Trout II in appropriate size. It starts at $139 and is built with the same quality. When I go to update my 4wt I will be using one, and probably trying out one of their rods as well.