Our Kraken reel series has been our most popular reel for big game angling enthusiasts since its release in early 2013. The series is growing with this extra large arbor edition of the Kraken with an all new, extra powerful drag system!
Despite the XLA's massive diameter, it is extremely lightweight for its size. The drag system has been completely updated and strengthened to account for the wider range of leverage on the arbor. In our testing phases on this reel, we managed several sailfish in Mexico up to 100lbs, and dozens of other bluewater species ranging from dorado to tuna. The rapid line pickup kept us in control of the lengthy battles, helping us connect to the fish in a fraction of the time whether we were frantically reeling in as they charged at the boat, or simply gaining as much progress as we could while slugging it out in tug of war. The speed placement of the handle allows for the fastest retrieve while still maintaining plenty of power, even on the biggest of fish you'll encounter. Despite the smaller circumference of the handle rotation, there is plenty of cranking power to spare.
The fully sealed, 6 stacked carbon disc drag system is by far the most powerful drag system we have ever developed. We not only believe this to be the strongest drag in the Allen lineup, but one of the best there is. Period.
||Weight||Arbor Dia||Spool Width||Reel Capacity||Size Suggestions||Price|
|3||4.5"||7.11oz.||2.8"||1.1"||8wt WFF + 200yd 30lb backing||6wt to 9wt WFF
350gr to 500gr Shooting Heads
|4||5"||7.81oz||3.0"||1.1"||10wt WFF + 250yd 30lb backing||9wt to 12wt WFF
500 to 600gr Shooting Heads
|5||5.5"||8.87oz.||3.2"||1.3"||12wt WFF + 300yd 30lb backing||12wt to 14wt WFF
600gr to 1000gr Shooting Heads
Assembled in the USA
Posted by Samuel Stone on 6th Aug 2014
I purchased the Kraken XLA 3 for my 7wt switch rod which is a 11'3". Beautiful rod which I paired with an Alpha III #3 but I was having trouble keeping 150 yds of backing as well as the versitip leader from Rio on the Alpha. I sold that reel and then purchased the XLA since I had an extra Alpha III and Kraken for my other 2 switch rods. I already know how Allen performs so I had no problem dropping the cash for this bad boy.
When I received it in the mail, I never expected it to be so....big! I knew it was a large arbor reel but not this big! It's perfect for my 7wt switch which is specifically for salmon and chucking squirrels out for pike!
The feel of the reel is top quality with the weight balancing out the rod very well. The drag on the reel is just like all the other Allen reels, perfect. Every click actually matters. You can really fine tune this reel to the T and I love it.
If you have any doubts in your mind about purchasing this reel, don't. It's hands down my favorite reel! Cannot wait to test it out and see what it's really made of!
Posted by Chris on 28th Jul 2014
I recently bought a 11ft 8wt Switch rod, I'll be using for Fall salmon and steelhead in northern Michigan.
I needed a really good reel to go well with a really nice rod so
Before looking at the Kraken XLA4 I researched many reels, Orvis Hydros LA 6, Hardy Ultralite CLS10000, Hardy Ultralite DD9000, TFO BVK, I liked them but they all had their cons and reasons i didn't buy them..
THEN I found out about This company called Allen fly fishing.. I looked at their reels, saw the Alpha liked that but wished it was a little bigger, a little lighter and had a V cut .. then I saw the regular Kraken ... I liked that too but was like shoot if im gonna spend the money on a nice rod ill spend the money on the best reel, I saw the Kraken XLA4 .. Im like... I GOTTA HAVE IT!
So i ordered Gunsmoke Grey and Orange backing. Received it in the mail extremely fast and opened the package.. The first words i said was HOLY $&!^!.. this reel is amazing it looks sick.. its lighter than a feather. And seems to have enough drag power to STOP A WHALE DEAD IN ITS TRACKS!
Definitely if you're a salt water guy BUY THIS REEL... if you like fishing for big fish BUY THIS REEL.. You will be amazed its the quality of a $600+ reel for only 3 in a half.
The drag is sooo smooth the reel is extremely smooth its amazing..
ONLY one minor problem, when i grip the handle and reel my knuckles hit the spool nut as you reel the spool in.. I might just have to change the way i grip it but OTHER THAN THAT THIS THING IS CRAZY COOL!
Can't wait for the Fall salmon!
********Answer from Allen Fly FIshing - Thanks Chris! Shoot us an email and we'll get you the new, longer spool handle.
Posted by Thomas C Bloodgood IV on 10th Jun 2014
Absolutely the best money spent! Silky smooth operation. A bit larger than I've seen before, but I've got a Sage 990 and would love to make it up to Canada with my buddy Sean.
Posted by Mark on 10th May 2014
It is a big reel with a light weight. Picking up line at spinning reel speeds. The handle placement leads to an even quicker retrieval. This is definitely a reel to carry. I've only had it a couple weeks and I've picked up several limits of reds and trout. I've also taken some Spanish mackerel. I'm still waiting to pit it against an angry tarpon. We will see. There is a little break in period. It feels a little sticky out of the box, but just crank it about 200 times. Or go to your local tackle shop and have them run it on their reel spooling machine for a minute and you're good as gold!
Posted by Erik Buenaflor on 16th Apr 2014
I used my Kraken XLA 8wt (3) and 10wt (4) yesterday off the islands of Belize. The reels preformed excellent. The drag was great, the reel's light weight allowed me to cast all day. I let the local guide cast a few times and he really liked the feel and light weight of the reels. Everyone liked the color of the Dorado Kraken XLA (green / blue).
Allen Fly Fishing has a customer for life because their great products and great customer service!!!!!!
Posted by Brandon on 10th Mar 2014
Was going to purchase a standard Kraken 5 but they were out of stock so I decided to take the plunge on the XLA and I am glad I did. I have been a believer in Allen reels since the first generation of the Alpha of which I own and still use two of them. I purchased this reel for chasing Tarpon in the Keys and Cocoa Beach but had a trip planed to the Bahamas and wanted to try and throw some flies at Dolphin on the half day I planned to fish offshore. Unfortunately I did not get a chance with the dolphin as they failed to cooperate the few hours we were out on the water. I did take it out to the reef to break in the reel on a few fish and pulled in some blue runners which were obviously no match for this reel.
The XLA 5 surprised me a bit when I opened the the box and laid eyes on the reel as it is a very large reel compared to other reels I own. Like another review mentioned the drag will dead stop the line, to the point where I was concerned that I would break my fly line if I pulled any harder. The craftsmanship is top notch and tolerances and balance are better than any other reels I own or have used. The weight for such a large piece of equipment is lighter than expected. I have not had a chance to put it on the scale to get a true weight with line and backing but the figures that Allen lists on weights tend to be spot on. Only thing I found a little bit unusual is the reel is only LHR and can not be switched to RHW. Not a big deal for me, but worth knowing. There is only a couple of reels I have used that even come close to to the Kraken XLA and they are $200-$300 more and the XLA still has them beat.
This is an exceptionable piece of hardware that I am sure will give me many years of service. Looking forward to the next release of Allen reels as they outdo themselves every time I get a new model. Thank you Allen Team.
Posted by Morgan on 2nd Feb 2014
In the past 10 years I've been fly fishing, I've honestly never felt a reel that has so much power. The torque the XLA's drag system can throw down is amazing. The easily gripped drag dial can go from wide open to stop, like seriously, nothing is going to take even a cm of line. My XLA is the size 5, perfect for the big boys and it sucks up line like a vacuum. I'm blown away by the design and functionality, but in some sense I should have expected it from Allen. This was a big step up from years ago with the original Trout reels.
The Allen crew needs to give themselves a big pat on the back. Making moves to the top, keep an eye on this gang, "Top Gear" features and trade show trophies are in the near future.
Posted by email@example.com on 10th Jan 2014
I recently emailed you about my Kraken XLA and attached a photo of a steelhead I caught the first time out with it. The Kraken XLA is impressively smooth and quick. That steelhead delved deep into my backing before the Kraken brought it to a smooth halt. When the fish turned and streaked back upstream the larger diameter spool let me keep up. Speedy line retrieval is one advantage of this reel; another is less line memory, which facilitates longer straighter casts from the get go. This is a great steelhead reel, and a "reel" bargain!
Posted by Robert Sanford on 10th Jan 2014
In November I witnessed Kraken and Kraken XLA reels in action my friends were using on a Saltwater Trip. So impressed I came home and ordered the XLA. The quality finish, craftsmanship is incredible. The drag system on this really impressed me more than any reel I have ever owned prior. Meeting Justin at the flyfishing show recently confirmed my thoughts that this was more than just a flyfishing manufacturer. They are really nice guys that you want to get behind and support. I really can't say Thank You enough, for taking care of myself and my other buddies that have purchased your products.