Originally Posted by Sudsy
What I don't like is the line twist and the fact that it's supposedly not a braid friendly reel (and I've been afraid to try it).
You can use braid on an Alvey. My 700C5 is spooled with a topshot of about 200 yards of braid. The only thing you have to remember is that you need thick braid, or else you'll slice your fingers terribly. I learned this the hard way when I tried to use 50-lb. braid, and sliced my finger terribly; I switched to 80 lb, and found it's thick enough not to cause the problem.
As you could probably tell from the subject of this thread, I'm a fan of Alveys. I think that for specific applications, like bait fishing, they work great. They hold a ton of line, fight fish well, and, not least, they are impervious to sand and salt water. Guys spend $700 for sealed spinning reels, but the Alvey (which is not sealed, but because of its simplicity functions like it is) can be had for a small fraction of that. The 650BCXL retails for about $150, Can someone show me a better all-around surf bait reel in this price range?
Take beach sharking as an example. There's no reel in the world that combines the capacity, fish-fighting, and casting capabilities of the 651C5. Sure, it weighs nearly 4 lbs, but it holds 1,000 yards of 30-lb. mono, and you can actually cast with it.
The line twist is a bit of a hassle, but using a good ball bearing swivel will get rid of most of the headaches. And the rod thing is another issue: you really need a custom to get the most out of an Alvey (Sudsy, drop me a line if you need help with your Alvey rod. I've built a few customs for Alveys, and might be able to save you some time if you run into configuration questions).
Lichum, by the way, the reel in that picture is the 650BCXLV (the V is for vented spool). The 650BCXL (non-vented) is my go-to bait slinging reel, but if the vented version was available when I bought it (it wasn't), I woulda gotten that instead. I've been eyeing that reel lustily since it became available in the US.