GearPro Guide

Image Alt

Blog

Choosing The Right Fly Fishing Reel

Guide to choosing the right fly fishing reel with different types and factors

Choosing The Right Fly Fishing Reel

Fly fishing is a pursuit that requires purpose-built equipment. One of the most critical pieces of fly fishing equipment is your fly reel. A properly sized and balanced reel with components built to match the environment will keep you fishing harder and longer. To save you the headache and heartache of choosing the wrong reel, we have compiled a list of the features you need to consider to choose the best fly fishing reel.

So what are the things to consider when selecting a new fly fishing reel? First and foremost, you will need to determine what type of fish you are going after. Deciding on species for your fly fishing gear or at least a group of fishes will narrow down the size and design of your reel. Reels designed for stream fishing trout are not strong or stout enough for bonefish.

Species

This could probably be termed “size,” but species-specific sounds better. The weight of your line needs to match your rod and your reel. Since the heavier weight line is larger in diameter, a higher weight reel will also be a bigger reel. Below, we will get more information about some of these other features you may consider, but for right now, let’s keep the discussion to species and how large a reel should be.

For small trout and panfish, a 0-4wt is a good option.
Bass 5-9
Salmon 8-10
Bonefish 7-9
Striped bass 8-12
Tarpon 10-12

Water type

An important consideration is the type of water you will be fishing in. freshwater reels usually have a drag system exposed to the elements and water. Provided you don’t cover your reel in mud, a simple rinse off after fishing is all that’s needed to keep it working well. On the other hand, saltwater is highly corrosive to the drag system. Choosing an open drag system will create hours of maintenance to keep it running. Purpose-built saltwater reels have a closed drag system to keep the seawater out.

Arbor Size

The arbor is the axel the fly line rotates on. On conventional reels, this would be the spool. There are three sizes that arbors are classified as small, medium, and large. Each arbor size has its advantages and disadvantages. One thing to consider about arbor size is capacity. Smaller fish won’t run nearly as hard or far as larger harder fighting fish.

  • Small Arbor

Small arbors offer more line capacity but at the cost of a low retrieve rate. Only a small amount of line is rewound onto the arbor when reeling. The small diameter of h=the arbor can lead to line memory, causing the line to cast with loops.

  • Medium Arbor

While not as common as the other options, a medium arbor offers decent line capacity and a better retrieval rate than the small.

  • Large Arbor

Large arbor reels excel in line retrieval. The amount of line wound onto the arbor in one rotation makes them a valuable asset for many saltwater flyfishermen where reeling is common. Because the arbor is larger, there is less chance of the line developing memory and reducing your line’s effectiveness.

Balance

Balance is a word thrown around frequently with flyfishing because of the position of a fly reel and the repetitive movement while casting balance is an important feature.
How do you determine balance with a fly reel? Take the fully spooled fly reel and attach it to the chosen rod or at least one. Close to the same size and weight. Grip the rod the way you normally would and not where your index finger is. The position of your index finger is the balance point. If the rod dips forward, the reel is too light. If the rod tips up, then the reel is too heavy. Finding a reel that balances out your rod creates a more comfortable cast, allowing your body to focus on the cast and not fight for the rod’s control. With many reels featuring a variety of drags and arbor sizes, it makes sense why so many companies have opted to skeletonize their reels.

Unlike other forms of fishing, flyfishing requires a harmony of rods and reels. Correctly choosing the size and balance of the reel can change your day from frustration to success. In the case of where you fish, the right reel choice may be the difference between getting to fish with that reel the next season or if it has rusted into a pile of alloyed scrap. We hope you have found our explanation of selecting the right fly reel educational. If you are looking for extra guidance and our recommendations on fly reels, Below we have broken down our Best Fly Reels of 2023.

Sage Fly Fishing Reel

Milled from top-notch aluminum and featuring a maintenance-free carbon disc drag system, the ultra-reliable Sage Fly Reel is built to withstand the rigors of challenging saltwater environments. It features a one-revolution drag knob with numbers and denting system that provides control and precision to the angler. It also allows you to easily adjust the line system for more powerful retrieves.

Additionally, it has a large arbor that brings inline fast while slowing line memory and increasing backing capacity. It is also extremely versatile and customizable. Simply remove two screws to move the handle from left to right and vice versa. From bigger brooks and browns to smallmouth, you can use it to catch a different kind of fish. With an exceptionally lightweight and compact design, it is a great option for anglers with many different rods in their fishing gear.

Sage Fly Fishing Reel

DesignArborHandle MaterialBearing MaterialSize
Large arborConcaveAluminumAluminum‎2/3/4

Pros

  • Easy left to right conversion
  • large arbor for speedy line retrieval
  • compact and lightweight design.
  • Durable and rust-resistant manufacturing

Cons

  • The handle might be too small for some anglers

Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel

The Piscifun Platte fly fishing reel is a perfect entry-level reel that is suited to anglers who demand high performance without breaking their bank. It features a compact, lightweight design with the most notable CNC machined T6061 aluminum housing for maximum durability and resilience. The fully sealed carbon to steel design protects the internal components from elements and resists corrosion underwater. The large arbor design delivers quick line pick-up and helps to reduce line memory during longer fights.

Additionally, it has a stainless steel drag system for an outstanding retrieve rate. The click retrieves, and the positive click drag knob allows you to switch the retrieve direction and control the tension of the drag smoothly. There are 3 colors for you to choose from: black, gunmetal, and blue, so you can pick the one that best matches your style. With its aggressive diamond knurling, beautifully engraved logo, and flawless finish, this reel delivers a stronger, smoother, and more precise performance from the first cast. Piscifun’s commitment to quality is apparent in their products, and all their products come with a lifetime warranty, so you can buy their reels with complete confidence.

 

Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel

Handle MaterialBearing MaterialSizeArborDrag
AluminumAluminum‎11/12wtLargeFully sealed

Pros

  • CNC machined aluminum housing for corrosion resistance
  • Fully sealed carbon body to protect the internal parts
  • Large arbor for quick line pickup
  • Exceptional clicks retrieve and smooth drag system

Cons

  • Since it is fixed to left hand retrieve, you might find it difficult to change the hand orientation.

Bozeman Flyworks Fly Fishing Reel

Enjoy precision control throughout the entire drag range with Bozeman Flyworks Fly Fishing Reel. It is built around a carbon fiber disc drag system that provides smooth, reliable stopping power. Boasting an exceptional retrieve ratio and fully sealed drag system, this reel provides 100-percent waterproof performance in harsh conditions without fail. This reel clearly stands out for its incredibly smooth yet powerful drag that allows the angler to make fine adjustments but also fight hard-charging fish when needed. Whether you want extra strength or a powerful cast, this reel can provide you with that.

Furthermore, its smooth, sealed disc drag offers consistent stopping power and a wide range of adjustments. The large arbor design ensures fast line pick up and less line memory. And because of its versatile size and modern styling, this reel is at home in freshwater or saltwater situations. The best thing is that it is available in three different hand orientations, so anglers can pick the one that best suits their needs.

 

Bozeman Flyworks Fly Fishing Reel

MaterialHandle MaterialDragArborWeightSize
Aluminum, CarbonAluminumFully sealedLarge5.5oz3/4wt, 5/6wt, 7/8wt

Pros

  • Exceptional retrieves and drag system
  • Powerful and smooth disc drag
  • Large arbor for fast line picks up
  • Come in 3 different hand orientation

Cons

  • Might be a little expensive for some people

Redington Behemoth Fly Fishing Reel

The Behemoth Reel is the largest, most powerful reel offered in the Redington line. Its unique die-cast construction provides unmatched durability and endurance for years of service. An adjustable carbon fiber drag gives you a wide range of resistance to match any size fish. The ultra-large arbor reduces line memory and helps the reel retrieve line faster, making it easier to fight your catch.

The seamless transition from retrieve to drag makes this reel essential for going toe to toe with the big ones. The oversized drag knob helps maintain control even while wearing gloves or cold hands. The reel is available in five different sizes and 4 varying colors to suit the needs of every angler. So, whether you are a novice angler or professional fisherman, this reel won’t let you down. Weighing just 0.5 pounds, this rugged, dependable reel is strong enough to reel in the monster in your favorite waters.

 

Redington Behemoth Fly Fishing Reel

DiameterWidthWeightCapacityHandle MaterialMaterial
3.6"1.4"5.7ozWF6 + 125m/20lbCarbon FiberCarbon

Pros

  • Unique die-cast construction for maximum durability
  • Carbon fiber drag for smooth performance
  • Ultra-large arbor to reduce memory line
  • Oversized drag knob for maximum control and comfort

Cons

  • Some have said it can generate a little noise with every rotation

Piscifun Sword II Fly Fishing Reel

It is made from precision CNC-machined 6061-T6 aluminum alloy for high-impact durability. The mid-arbor design provides faster line retrieve rates and less line coiling. It features a 1-way clutch bearing for smooth immediate drag engagement plus the stainless-steel drag system provides smooth drag under heavy loads with little startup inertia. With a larger CNC hollow design, it is much lighter than previous sword reels, and the multi-disc cork drag system delivers smooth drag performance. The hard anodized body and spool offer excellent abrasion resistance, anti-corrosion properties, and lightweight strength.

Additionally, it features a sealed drag system that will keep out any dirt or dust particles that might otherwise affect its functionality over time. The quality of this reel comes at an affordable price, and it’s hard to beat considering its great durability. With this finely crafted reel, you can enjoy your sport without having to worry about losing your catch due to mechanical issues. It is designed with top-quality materials and components that ensure it delivers exceptional performance under extreme conditions such as in saltwater, freshwater, and even warm tropical water. It’s also worth mentioning that this reel is backed by a 3-year warranty, so there’s no reason not to try it out!

 

Piscifun Sword II Fly Fishing Reel

WeightHandle MaterialBearing MaterialSizeDrag
3.98 OuncesAluminumStainless SteelSword ‖ Fly Reel 1(3/4wt)Smooth

Pros

  • Reliable, self-lubricating disc drag system
  • CNC-machined from 6061-T6 cold-forged aluminum for strength and rigidity
  • Mid arbor design for faster line retrieval
  • Anodized finish for corrosion resistance

Cons

  • The reel is factory set to left-hand retrieve.

Those were our top fly fishing reels. From the thousands of reels available, we selected this crop as standouts from the budget reels for beginners to the top of the line models for anglers that require the best of the best. Regardless if you are fishing for rainbow trout or striped bass there is a reel on the list for you. Select what fits your style best and fish on knowing you’ve picked from the best of the best.

Post a Comment