I am an Alpha Male

Allen Alpha II

I recently had cause to buy a single-handed 8 weight set up for my son, Schpanky, who is off at college and has fallen in with some young fellers who like to angle with a fly (which pleases me to no end, by the way).  Over the years I have justified purchasing 2 of every setup I have because I figured I would eventually give my second set of gear to the boy. Well, the one rod/reel setup that I do not have a duplicate of happens to be a single-handed 8 weight.

Being on a college budget (translation: with two kids in college, I am on a budget) I had to shop intelligently. I will not by junk just because it’s affordable, however, so I looked for the best combination of price and quality.  Enter Allen Fly Fishing.

Evan Burck, a fishing friend of mine, works for Allen and so I have seen the quality of their gear first hand. I’ve read customer reviews and have recommended Allen to others. One person in particular is a steelhead guide who asked me a year ago if I could recommend a good reel that wouldn’t break the bank. It felt odd to be approached by a guide seeking advice from me, but pretended to be an authority on the matter and steered him toward Allen. He ended up getting an Alpha II reel and last I heard he loves it.

So, when my need for another 8 weight reel arose, I looked no further than the Alpha II. Within 3 days of ordering the reel arrived. First impressions are that it’s a great looking reel with silky-smooth action. The drag is reported to be excellent. Once I get it lined up and sent off to Schpanky, I hope he hooks into a Clearwater or Grand Ronde steelhead so he can test the drag himself.

Right now the Alpha II (as well as apparently most every other piece of Allen gear) is on sale.  You can pick one up for the outrageous price of only $149 (marked down from $249). So if you’re in the market for a new reel, you may not want to wait much longer to get the Alpha II.

To Evan I say, you are welcome. Glad to help you pay for your new mortgage.

Disclaimer: I was not paid, nor was I given preferential pricing in exchange for this blog post.


  1. deanwo

    Well that is mighty nice of you to buy gear for you son, Kirk. Mine too is off to school this fall in the ADK and he brought all his fly and spin gear. He stole some of mine (like my net and canoe), as well.

    We had a heck of a time dividing up the tying materials. I did spend some funds on new tying material for him prior to our family weekend visit in September, but he is responsible for buying all his new gear. Gotta draw the line somewhere or they will suck you dry 😉

    • Kirk Werner

      The things we do for our boys, Dean…all in the name of love ensuring that we have someone to row for us as we get old.

  2. cofisher

    Someone said to me that Kurt doing anything intelligently was an oxy-moron. I disagree in this particular instance. This looks like a might nice reel.

    • Kirk Werner

      Give me time, Howard. I’ll do something irrational soon.

  3. jergens

    Do Schpanky’s buddies even know how much mojo he has with the steels?

    • Kirk Werner

      I think he’s flying low under the radar. Yes, fishing beads from a boat on the OP is one thing, but wade fishing the Clearwater or Grand Ronde for tired fish who’ve swum hundreds of miles is another. I’m just stoked he’s going to get after it on his own. BTW, I think Marck will be taking Schpanky’s seat in your boat next year on the OP. That is, if you’re still guiding. Recent photos depict you as a clean cut fellow wearing glasses. Maybe you’ve taken up a desk job as an accountant instead?

  4. Fontinalis Rising

    One of the guides in our shop fishes Allen and says they’re indestructible. My next reel will probably be an Allen.

    • Kirk Werner

      I’m actually looking at their Olympic Spey Rods as well. Those prices make it difficult to look away.

  5. aileen

    What about their fly rods? Prices look great~

    • Kirk Werner

      I’ve heard nothing but great things about their fly sticks as well…

  6. Whatthekarp

    I don’t know the first thing about quality fly fishing gear. I had my cheap beginner rod stolen out of my truck and I could only afford to replace it with a Cabela’s Three Forks, 8′ 6″ 5wt. I do pretty well with it, I caught five Lake Michigan chinook on it this week in downtown Milwaukee (see my latest blog) but I’ve noticed the plastic reel is starting to crack. I’d desperately love to replace my entire setup. I’ll look more into gear by Allen.

    • Kirk Werner

      Obviously, I would recommend you look into Allen, and do so quickly because I doubt their ridonkulous pricing will last!

      • Whatthekarp

        Yeah, I have an infant, work part time, go to school, and my last spinning rod got slammed in the trunk. I won’t be able to afford one anytime soon.

  7. Sanders

    looks like the boy has found a respectable group of derelicts to fall in with…let’s just hope he finds time for college’s more important subjects like co-eds, beer, and the occasional psych class.

    the reel looks awesome! hopefully it gets put to the test this fall…

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