A fly reel is not just any tool in fly fishing. It’s the piece of equipment that can make or break your success in landing that big fish. The diversity of types and models available can be overwhelming, though.
There seems to be a lot of things to consider when getting one. It’s always good to know that the main key point is to get a reel that works well with your fly rod. You’ll need one that can hold the needed amount of fly line and backing.
Is it still confusing? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here are five of the most important factors you need to consider in choosing a reel:
1. Consider the Price
The first factor to consider when choosing a reel is the cost. You can buy one for as low as $40 and the price goes up for reels with better quality. If you’re just starting on this recreational hobby, you might want to settle for the most affordable one you can find. But if you think you’ll be using it for a long time, or if you’re just buying a replacement or extra reel, then you should consider purchasing one of high quality and excellent make. A superior quality reel which costs around $120 to $400, depending on size, make, and quality, can last a long time.
2. Weight/Size Matters
The next thing you should consider in your next reel purchase is the weight or size. To achieve proper balance, you have to find the right match for your line weight and fly rod. If you’re buying for a 4-weight rod then you should go with a 4-weight reel. There are some other things to keep in mind when selecting a reel size, such as the backing capacity and the type of line that you’ll be using.
3. Reliable Material
When selecting a reel, you can either go with a cast aluminum or machined aluminum. If you’re just a beginner at fly fishing and don’t want to invest money in equipment right away, then a cast aluminum will be sufficient. It’s more affordable, performs well, and can even last for years.
However, a machined reel is the better choice because of its excellent quality. This type of reel, although more expensive than cast reels, is lighter, more durable, and performs better. It can even last a lifetime, so it’ll be well worth the price.
4. Powerful Drag System
If you want to stop a big fish from pulling the line off the reel, you need a powerful drag system. The braking power it provides helps protect your tippet from, even if it means having to stop a large trout.
There are types of drag systems: disc drag and click and pawl. If you want the smoothest and most capable drag system, go with a disc drag. Click-and-pawl, on the other hand, is a great choice if you’re planning to catch small fishes only. The traditional click and pawl has less stopping power and is not as adjustable as the disc drag but it’s a lot cheaper.
You don’t have to stress yourself out about this, though. Quality reels always come with a quality drag system.
5. Good Arbor Makes Efficient Reeling
Innovations in arbor design have taken great strides in the past couple of years. Out of all these revolutionized designs, arbor size is the most popular. However, this is where most misconceptions fall as well. While large arbors are considered to be very effective in saltwater fishing because it helps with the faster retrieve, this is not applicable in fly fishing.
Fly fishing makes use of a lighter rod. Since the fundamental key in choosing a reel is to match your rod, the best arbor for fly fishing remains to be the smaller, traditional version. If you want to be adventurous, you can go as far as a compromise mid-arbor, which has become popular among trout anglers.
Pick the Right Fly Reel with Confidence
Most beginners end up choosing the cheapest fly reel because they thought it’s only used to hold the fly line. With these five factors we’ve shared, you won’t have to go through the same assumptions. Some experts would even go to great lengths in having custom fly reels to help them in landing a big fish consistently.