5 Tips to Choosing the Best Fly Fishing Reel

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fish and rodReels play an important part in fly fishing. Their main purpose is holding the fly in line. They keep pressure on the fish during a run and makes retrieval easy. Reels are designed for specialist fly fishing functions. There are varieties of reels manufactured to suit a broad range of budgets and preferences. The difference in prices of reels is determined by the construction material, arbor size, type of drag system, and whether the reel is saltwater proof. Choosing a reel to best suit your condition requires good consideration of the ideas discussed below.

1. How the reels are manufactured.

Two manufacturing processes are employed in production of fly reels. Understanding the products of these two process is essential in helping you choose a suitable reel for your situation.

– Die cast – is a mass production process that uses molten alloy poured into a mould. The process incurs less cost hence used in less expensive reels. The downside of this process is that it gives no such tight engineering tolerances and a reel dropped onto a hard surface may shatter.
– CNC machining – this process produces top end fly reels. It utilizes computer controlled production with grade aluminum. The manufactured parts are anodized to prevent corrosion hence making them resistant to saltwater. The manufacturing process and materials used to make these type of reels make them more expensive but more reliable and durable.

2. The species you will be fishing for.

Before choosing a reel, you need to know what type of fish you will be fly catching. Reels for larger fish will need to have enough capacity to hold longer lines and sufficient backing. Manufacturers usually label reel models with sizes that match the fly lines for which they are manufactured. Reels made for light-river fishing only need a simple click and pawl check. They have no sophisticated disc drag and extra weight penalty. If going to fish in saltwater, choose a corrosion resistant reel with a reliable drag system.

3. Choosing the size reel that is correct

It is necessary to select a reel that offers the actual capacity to hold your fly line and backing. The loaded reel should be able to balance the rod in your hand at the gripping point of the handle.

4. Consider the type of drag systemfly fishing rods

There are two types of drag system found on fly reels to choose from.

– Spring and pawl – this was implemented in traditional arbors. It weighs less hence reducing weight but has little stopping power over large fish. Suitable for small rivers.
– Disc drag – modern type of drag system. It increases the tension put on the reel when a fish tries to pull the line off, but maintaining low pressure when winding in.

5. Choosing the reel design

There are varieties of reel designs in the market for different fishing conditions. The type of fishing you are planning will determine which reel suits you best. There are three main designs.

– Standard Arbor Fly Reels – the backing is attached in the middle of the reel. It is the traditional design and some anglers fishing in smaller river prefer it.
– Mid Arbor Fly Reels – have good capacity for backing.
– Large Arbor Fly Reels – modern reel designs and physically larger than the other two designs. They are wider in their design with a bigger diameter. This allows a good capacity for backing and a very fast retrieval rate.


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