Bauer has been steadily (almost quietly) cranking out reels from its southern-Oregon-based headquarters for many years now, and while the company has earned some high-profile accolades, including “Best of the Best” recognition from Field & Stream, the real (reel) proof has been, and always will rest, among the minions of guides and serious recreational anglers (salt and fresh) who simply respect a smartly-engineered, solid-performing, made-in-America reel that (at least in the majority of cases) doesn’t cost as much or more than the rod they hang it on.
The new MacKenzie CFX3 really brings together the best attributes of Bauer design: combining the classic original looks of the “MacKenzie” with the sealed carbon fiber disc drag of the “Rogue.” It features a patented, recessed star drag system, and a smartly-conceived V-arbor spool.
This reel is butter-smooth and reliable. No angler will have any problem relying on a Bauer MacKenzie CFX3, in the salt, nor in freshwater. They’re available in models to handle 3-weight through 9-weight lines, and prices start at $310.