If a fly rod is just an extension of your arm, shouldn’t you get the best fly fishing reels that act in the same way?
Many people think that it is okay when purchasing their fishing gear to go all out in spending money on a great fly rod, but then pinch pennies on other gear. While getting a great fly rod is extremely important, purchasing the right fly reel to match the strength and flexibility of your fly rod is equally pivotal in securing great catches.
How to Choose the Best Fly Fishing Reel
When looking to purchase a fly reel, it is important to first keep two factors in mind:
- Fly reels should objectively function well (don’t buy a cheap reel because you found it for $10 at a thrift store).
- Fly reels should subjectively function well with your personal fly rod.
So how do you make sure that a fly reel is paired well with a fly rod?
First, you want to make sure that the weights of both the rod and the reel match together. For example, you wouldn’t want to pair a 4-wt trout fishing rod with a 7 or 8-wt reel that is meant to handle tackling larger trout and bass.
Second, you want to make sure the fly reel is paired with your fly rod in the correct position. If you cast right-handed you’ll most likely want to purchase a left-facing reel, as right-handed casters usually retrieve line with their left hand.
For these reasons, many fly rods are sold in bundles that include the fly rod, the fly reel, and the fly line altogether. Purchasing one of these bundles is a great idea for beginners and those who may not know how to pair rods and reels together, as everything already comes prepared to work together. If you’re interested in one of these bundles, we heartily recommend the Orvis Clearwater 5-wt outfit.
However, for those looking to customize their fishing setup and ultimately keep improving their fishing style long into the life of the rod and reel, we recommend purchasing fly rods and fly reels separately.
When deciding which fly reel works best for you, there are a few things to consider. start-up inertia, reel weight, and the drag system are all pivotal features which to measure a fly reel.
Start-up inertia: It is the resistance to movement that occurs the moment when a fish starts to take the line. Because things that are at rest tend to stay at rest, the reel does not perfectly start rotating at top speed once the line is taken.
It measures the drag that occurs until the reel is spinning smoothly at top speed – in terms of a car, start-up inertia basically measures the time it takes from the line to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour. Reels with low start-up inertia will also have less stopping power, so it is important to get a reel that is balanced in these two categories.
Reel weight: The movement toward purchasing the lightest fly rods is in full swing. While it is a huge trend that may seem meaningless, it is backed by physics. For each cast you make, your arms will have to lift each ounce of the rod. The heavier your rod, the more work your arms will be doing by the end of the day.
In order to save strength for more casting, rods have gotten lighter and lighter. In cohesion with this principle, reels need to become lighter to match the rods. It is important to first check the weight of your fly rod and see if the reel you are looking at balances it in weight.
Drag system: The drag system is the resistance put upon the spool to prevent the line from being stripped away when a fish takes the line. Light drag systems put little drag on the reel spool, and when a fish begins to take the line, the line will put no pressure on the fish, making it difficult to reel in. Alternatively, high drag systems will put too much pressure on the spool, potentially snapping the leader or tippet.
3 Best Fly Fishing Reels Reviewed
Sougayilang Fly Fishing Reel
The Sougayilang Saltwater Freshwater Fly Fishing Reel is a product that is designated for just that – both freshwater and saltwater fly fishing. If you are familiar with this particular type of fishing undertaking, you already know the specific casting technique.
You will be required to be particularly precise when it comes to the bait placement as this is going to determine whether or not you manage to catch the attention of the fish. If there is one critical thing when it comes to fly fishing then this is the casting.
- Comes with a tippet, backing line, WF finishing line, portable fishing box, and 12 pcs fly fishing flies.
- A four-section fishing rod.
- 5/6wt reel, high-quality fishing rod.
Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel
Whether you are just starting to learn how to fly fish or consider it a part-time pursuit, many fly fishers are keen to spend relatively little on their fly fishing reel.
Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel features machined construction and a sealed design like most high-end reels do.
And because the metal used in the reel construction is anodized, you don’t have to worry about saltwater corroding your new reel.
The drag on the Piscifun is not as smooth as the drag on many premium reels, but this is to be expected from a unit that costs only a fraction of what high-end reels do.
Nevertheless, it utilizes a disc-drag system which should prove more than adequate for catching bass, bluegill, river trout, and similar species.
A few other economy models that are worth a look include the L.L. Bean Mid-Arbor, Cabela’s Prestige Premier, and the Ross Fly Rise.
- Reduces line memory, and facilitates lighting instant line pickup.
- Corrosion resistant, tempered for rigidity and super strength, cold forged.
- lightweight and durable, CNC machined, alloy of aluminum.
- Silky smooth drag with silent retrieve.
- Stainless steel dragging systems, multi-disk cork, and one-way clutch bearing.
- Three-year warranty.
Redington RISE Fly Fishing Reel
I really enjoy fishing with the Redington Rise Fly Reel. I know a lot of experienced fly fishermen who own this reel and swear by it. It’s a great reel at a great price that pairs well with a wide array of rods. The Rise has a sleek and modern-looking aesthetic, making for a pretty badass-looking reel — there are even a few different color options for customizing your look. This is an aluminum reel with a tough carbon fiber drag system.
This reel comes as a 3/4 wt up to a 9/10 wt. It’s really geared towards trout and salmonid fishing but the 5/6 wt makes for a great bass reel. I would also absolutely consider the 9/10 weight for chasing some saltwater species due to the drag system on this reel — just make sure to always rinse your reel with freshwater after fishing in the ocean. The 3/4 wt has a backing capacity of 75 yards while the 9/10 wt can hold 250 yards.
This is a great performing reel that you’ll likely want to own a few of for different fishing scenarios. The lightweight build coupled with the powerful drag system makes for a high-performing and versatile reel.
- Rod tube.
- Dacron backing for 250 yards.
- saltwater line access.
- Hydros SL V reel.
- 9 feet fly rod.
- 9 weight recon 4 pc.
An exclusive quality is always vital. Do not ignore this factor when picking the best fly fishing reels for your use. This model is highly innovative. Prefer this brand because this always provides an extremely lavish quality and reasonable prices. It must be highly demanded by the majority around the globe. Stylish designs and modern products are the first choice of the users.