Introduction to Fly Fishing Reels

Many people out there assume that when purchasing their first fly fishing rod, they should go all out and buy top of the range and then pinch pennies on other fly fishing gear. Many of them think the fly reel to be the least critical factor of their fly fishing gear and I for one would agree to a point.

They’ll sing the praises of a high – quality fly rod with great features or argue with no end in sight about the great fly for a given day, while simultaneously arguing that “any old fly reel will do”.

Even though getting a good quality fly rod is critical, buying the proper fly reel to match the robustness, toughness, strength and flexibility of your fly rod is equally as important as the fly rod, if you have the desire to catch anything.

best fly fishing reels

When you are planning on buying a fly reel for your fly rod, basically, you should keep two things in mind:

1. The fly reel should generally function well

2. The fly reel should function well with your fly rod

Choosing a fly reel with great options and features is the easier of the two criteria to match. There are a lot of options out there from which to choose.

Fulfilling the second criteria is a little harder because you really have to research the fly reel and fly rod to see if they are balanced together. So let us help you with your quest on finding the best fly fishing reels 2019 for your fly fishing rods.

Things to Look Out For When Buying Your Fly Fishing Reel

First, you need to make sure that the line rating of each the rod and the reel match accordingly. For example, you wouldn’t want to pair a 4 wt trout fishing rod with a 7-8 wt reel that is supposed to manage tackling large trout and bass.

Second, you want to make sure the fly reel and your fly rod are paired together within the correct position. In case you are left- handed, it’s most likely you would want to buy a right- facing reel. However, that depends on what feels comfortable to you. Ideally at least you need to purchase a reel that can be easily changed for right to left and back.

For these reasons, many fly rods are sold together with the fly reel and the fly line in outfits. Purchasing this kind of bundle is great for beginners and people who are on a small budget. These outfits are great and perfectly balanced so there is no need to worry about the setup.

best fly fishing reel

However, for those that want to take the extra step and improve their gear, they should buy their fly rod and fishing reel separately. You are open to a much larger market and have more flexibility in getting the perfect setup for your type of fly fishing.

Some of the options available in fly fishing reels are; The drag system, start up inertia and reel weight, are all important features which you should use to measure the quality of a fly reel.

The drag system is the resistance that’s being put upon the spool to stop the line from being stripped away when the fish takes the fly. Light drag systems place little drag at the reel spool, and whilst a fish begins to take the line, the line will place no pressure on the fish and the addition on your fingers will be required to slow the stripping fish down.

On the other hand, if excessive drag is placed on the spool, there is a risk that the leader or tippet will break. A good reel will have the ability to release drag to low and tighten up to high so you have the option within easy reach, usually a large cog on the outside of the spool.

The better quality reels have the cog nicely positioned with only a slight turn being required to loosen or tighten the drag. It takes a bit of practice to get used to what to aim for but usually fishing with it for a few weeks will let you know the right and wrong settings.

Start up inertia is the resistance to movement that takes place the moment a fish starts to take the fly. Until the fly is taken the reel is at rest, it doesn’t flawlessly begin to spin at top speed once the fly is taken. Start up inertia measures the drag that happens when the reel is spinning at top speed – in terms of the automobile industry, start up inertia essentially measures the time it takes to go from 0 to 100km per hour (60 miles per hour).

I feel it’s more important that a reels drag does not stutter than have a low startup inertia however when using fine tippet for fast taking fish like tarpon a low inertia can mean the difference in the leader breaking or the hook setting.

Matching the reel weight to your fly rod is really important, now more than ever, when everyone out there wants to buy the lightest fly rod available. Even though it may seem pointless, it is not. When you cast, you lift the entire weight of the fly rod, reel and fly line.

Naturally, you would want to lift less weight so you go out and buy lighter rods which let you fish for longer. As a result, reels have gotten lighter in order to match the rods. It is really important to check the weight of the rod first and then see if the reel matches it.

If a reel is heavy it will cause the rod tip to lift to easily causing imbalance the same for a heavy rod and a light reel the tip will be too heavy making casting much harder than it needs to be. Ideally you want to hold the rod in your hand in the casting position and the rod should ideally feel balanced (not wanting to tip in any one direction).


Best Fly Fishing Reels Over $150

Fly fishing reels in this price range generally have better fit and finish and most of them come with bigger spools and arbors in order that you can easily reel the fish in. Additionally, they are lightweight but without damaging the structure and integrity of the reel, plus they have smoother drag systems.

They run effortlessly without sticking – and without any form of hiccups that can be sufficient to break your tippet and lose your fly which leads to losing your fish and potentially the catch of a lifetime. They are also rust resistant, which protects your drag system for a smooth run. The manufacturers of these reels, protect the drag system from all kinds of things, sand, grit, moisture, even impact.


Loop Evotec G4 Featherweight Fly Reel

Since its originality, the Loop Evotec G4 Featherweight Fly Reel has received timeless love and popularity when it comes to fly fishing. The reel has undergone advancements to make it as high-performing as it is. Its durable construction makes it do exceptionally well in any environment and for a wide range of fish species.

The reel has stainless components that are rust and corrosion resistant allowing for use in salt water environs. You can give it a quick rinse with tap water if you are skeptical about its functionality in saline environment.
The housing and spool are made from machined one piece aluminum and gives the reel good tolerance unlike the cast reels.

Loop Evotec Fly Reel

Designed with a power matrix drag system, it is reliable and smooth. The drag is completely sealed and the result is a waterproof and salt resistant system making it maintenance free. Retrieve can be easily converted from the right hand side to the left hand side and vice versa.

Do not worry about the reel’s stability when fishing, the screws used on it are well secured with the Loc Tite for firmness. The brake knob is easy to grip and allows you to be a pro fly fisher by responding to your reel as it should be.

Ergonomics are dependable because the handle is artistically designed and well finished to ensure that your palms experience zero friction and you can fish for longer sessions without getting blisters.

The G4 reel comes in different sizes with different capacities, diameters, reel with and weight. The sizes range from size 3/5 to size 9/13. An O-ring on the reel can be used to attach your tippet when you are out of the water.
Its spool is simple and quick to change.
Quite a deal on the repairs and replacement. However, this will be as per the terms and conditions from the manufacturer.

Check Opti Evotec Price


Loop Opti Dryfly Fly Reel

Loop Opti Dryfly Fly Reel is a general purpose trout fly fishing reel. Its big size allows for 4, 5, and 6 weight fly lines. In terms of weight, it is light for casting the entire day. It doesn’t matter if you like fishing streamers from your boat, sipping rainbows or drifting dry flies. This reel is the perfect fit.

The arbor is large in size which results in less reeling while greatly increasing the retrieve rate and bigger coils of the fly line getting off the reel. Machine aluminum makes the reel light in weight and has better corrosion resistance because it has undergone a special treatment-anodization- which makes it stronger and more consistent throughout casting.

Loop Opti Fly Reel

The reel has a power matrix drag system that is sealed to prevent dirt, dust, sand and water from affecting its performance. It is adjustable as well. Its brake knob is of a good size to allow for gripping and is used the same way a car’s foot brake is used. Operation is simple and easy.

This reel can be used on either side to mean conversions from the left hand to the right hand and vice versa are usable. The spool and frame are made from machined aluminum to withstand all kinds of physical impact subjected to it in the course of fishing.

Down to dimensions, the reel has a diameter of 4.02’’, a capacity of WF5 190 yards 20lbs, its width is .79’’ and it weighs 4.76 ounces which is light.

A limited lifetime warranty will take care of the repairs and replacements if need be. Its sole purpose is trout fishing so if you are not a fan of trying other kinds of fish, it will