Anyone ever hear of this reel?

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Well-known member
Mar 6, 2006
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Brigantine, NJ
Hey Guys,

I am pretty much up to date on all my heavy hitting reel manufacturers, but has anyone ever heard of ORBYS as a reel manufacturer? I sure as heck havent. I am assuimg they are Australian going by the only person selling them on Ebay, or the web for that matter, is from Australia. Surprisingly the 50w looks very nice, but the price is too good to be true. Current bids are at $155US, I am an American reel guy, AVET, and Penn Int'l only, so I am not really looking to risk a big fish on an unknown reel, but if anyone has anything to say about, I would love to hear.

Thanks guys!

See link.
Not by that brand name, but I bet it is a reel made by Zelina in China. See photo of the Zelina reel below and this link here.

Someone dissected one on the Sport Fishing Forum boards and found it to be the equivalent to the Okuma reels. But, they had to go through the reel and tighten what needed to be tightened (loose screws), apply grease to the drags, apply Corrosion-X to the bearings, and give it a good overhaul. I think they said the drag cap also needs to be secured with Loktite.

So ... for a $150 reel that you may never get parts for, it might be worth it. Tell you this, I bought one of the Zelina 30Ws and will blueprint it myself. There is a seller from the States selling them for ~$150 with only $12 shipping within cont. US.

I like to tinker with things and was a machinst, so it'll be worth it to me to play with.


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Wow Dale, I wasnt expecting anyone to have any idea what it was, but from that picture, you seem to be correct, b/c the frame is exactly the same.

I wouldnt trust that reel that with a decent fish. If I am going to target fish sized for a 50lb class reel, I am not going to gamble using that, I'll bit the bullet every once and awhile and add an AVET or a Penn Int'l to my spread. In the long run it will pay off when you have fish in the box!

Thanks again for your knowledge!
Well, it is quite true that you "get what you pay for"... or is it :?: ?

In this case, to follow are my impressions of the Zelina 30W 2-speed reel that I just bought for $140 and then dissected. Out of the box I'd judge that it will outperform a Shimano TLD of comparable size, but maybe that's not saying much. However, with a little DIY blueprinting, I think it would easily outperform a TLD and any Okuma Gold/Titus reel, and with a drag material upgrade ... who knows?

It just might be a pretty darn good value 'til one could afford Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras... again, provided you can take care of your own reels.

My drag scale broke a month ago during the tuna season so I wasn't able to get before and after (blueprinting) drag numbers, nor determine when it loses freespool ... sorry.

* Line capacity of 935 yards of 30# mono or 500 yards of 60# mono
* 2-speeds, 1.7:1 and 3.9:1
* 6 stainless-steel ball bearings
* 48 ounces in weight
* 1-piece machined aluminum frame
* 1-piece forged aluminum spool

Engineering-wise it is a very simple and intelligent design, seeming to be a mix of the best features of a Penn International combined with the simplicity of the Shimano TLD series. The frame is robust and heavy, using convex features and fillets to beef up the cage, which is 5/16" thick on the cross beams. It takes down much like a TLD 25.

Most internal parts are stamped stainless steel, but with extremely clean cuts on them, with no burrs or rolled-over edges. There are 6 capped bearings in the reel and free spool out-of-the-box wasn't that great. So I pulled the covers off the bearings and found them packed with a clear synthetic grease of a viscosity similar to dielectric grease. Once cleaned and lubed with Corrosion-X they spun beautifully, significantly increasing freespool time.

Others have commented that these reels use thin materials, but I didn't find any evidence of that and if anything, it is built much heavier and stronger than I expected.

I found no machining flaws in my reel. All features were of uniform measurement, with clean surfaces and no machining lines apparent. Overall fit and finish is excellent, though to me the silver color looks a bit too bead blasted in appearance. The frame and spool each appear to be machined or forged from a solid billet of aluminum, with the spool very solid and heavy in weight. I detected no axial or radial runout in any of the spool surfaces using my indicator tools and a V-block.

The drag disk is huge almost the full diameter of the reel itself, but it is of the strangest material that I cannot identify. On the back plate it looks very similar to the "circuit board" looking material that Shimano uses, but on the drag side it does not look like the canvas disc like single-speed TLDs use or the super-duper woven drag material Penn uses. Rather, while you can see evidence of some woven material only on the edges, the face of the drag surface is a super slick smooth coating, like some Teflon coating.

Until my new drag scale comes in I haven't played around with the Bellville washers, but I'm sure that modifying the stock arrangement will help.

This is clearly where they are saving money. This reel uses chrome-plated plastic parts, like you see used in the automotive industry, that are used for some pieces like the gear shift trim cap and the right-side lever housing "trim" panel. In no case did I see plastic being used as any load-bearing part. For example, that lever housing is ½" thick plastic and the bosses where the screws go through the housing are thick walled or solid, and then this housing is covered by a 1/16" thick chrome-plated brass plate, where the screws go through the plate, through the bosses, and then into the solid frame for at least 1/2".

All screws were stainless steel, of what series I don't know, but using a magnet I could not detect any internal piece that would be subject to corrosion.

This is definitely the reel's biggest weakpoint! Inside the drag cap, the drag bearing surface is held in place by 6 flathead screws in a 1.5" bolt circle. At least 2 of the 6 screws were NOT FLUSH OR BELOW the bearing surface, so when I first tightened up the drag, I could "hear" those screws bearing onto the drag material. I'd bet that material would shred and the reel could be locked up in an intense battle!

I found no loose screws in my reel, in fact most points where reels fail (handle screws, lever knobs, etc.) have a shellac/loktite product apparent on them. The only place I'll add loktite will be those screws holding the drag bearing surface to the spool and then on the drag cap itself.

I am looking into replacing the drag washer with one from a Shimano or Penn 30W or larger reel, which will be greased, but I still have some measurements to take. When I reassemble the reel, I will lube and grease everything.

This is the strongest point of the reel. The handle is massive and has the 15 degree tilt so prominently sold as aftermarket parts. Ergonomically it is the one of the slickest reels of this size/type I've ever held. All of the features are where they should be and Penn should copy their clicker engagement lever and use it on their International reels as it is simple and positive.

The left-side plate has a rubber washer to seal the drag. Overall it appears to be a pretty tight reel and well sealed (mostly by design) against any water ingress.

Based on my observations, I would NOT use one on fish without tearing it down, checking the drag surface screws and lubing the bearings with a thinner lube. Then reassemble it ... perhaps blueprinting it in the process too.

-Price- $150 for a 2-speed 30W
-Looks like a Penn or Shimano drag could easily be modified to fit
-Very simple and easy to work on

-Should be torn-down, checked, greased, and lube before use, maybe after a big fish
-Parts availability
-Warranty or service unknown
-Durability and reliability unknown

I will use it on school tuna. Heck, even if I end up just leaving it on a shelf or on my desk at work ... for only $150, I sure had fun playing with it!

... only time will tell ... ;)


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