Fly Reel Reviews

Learn about new fly reels from great brands like Tibor, Sage, Waterworks, Lamson, Hatch, Redington, Ross, TFO, Hardy and Greys.

  1. How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Pike

    How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Pike
    Fly fishing for Pike means big gear. These fish are large, strong, and aggressive. They eat big flies, often require sinking lines, and don't turn over and come to the boat easily. That means a strong reel is a must. And a reel that picks up line quickly, has enough drag to stop a charging fish, and one that accommodates heavy sinking lines add to the angler's chance of success. Here, we cover the must-haves for a Pike fly reel and how to choose the best one.
  2. How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Steelhead

    How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Steelhead
    Steelhead season is here. Well, almost. It's definitely time to start thinking about long, fishless days and fooling the fish of a thousand casts. Bright chrome, screaming runs, acrobatic jumps. It's all within reach. Steelhead are difficult to catch and require persistence, dedication, and skill, however. They're not for the faint of heart. When you finally hook one, the right gear will improve your chances of landing it. Read on to find out how choosing the right fly reel affects your chances.
  3. How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Bonefish

    How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Bonefish
    There are a ton of options when choosing a fly reel for Bonefish. Saltwater fly reel innovation has made manufacturing techniques and materials incredibly affordable. That means you no longer have to spend $700 for a saltwater-safe fly reel (though you still can... and in some instances, you should). Quality saltwater fly reels in the $200-$400 price range do exist and feature drag systems and reel designs that are capable of handling Bonefish. But Bonefish are deceptively spunky. It's intuitive that you need a reel with a strong drag system to fight a Tarpon (read our post about fly reels for Tarpon here). Tarpon are massive. But Bonefish are small... a trophy fish is 10-12lbs. So do you really need the best saltwater fly reel on the market with the strongest drag system in the universe? You'd be surprised by the answer. Read on to find out.
  4. How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Tarpon

    How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Tarpon
    Ahhhh the famous Silver King. Similar to Permit, Tarpon drive anglers into a wild frenzy of frustration, anxiety, and exhaustion. Seriously, large Tarpon are incredibly difficult to wrangle on a fly rod. Tarpon have a way of humbling even the most experienced anglers with their 100+ lb size and their infamous leaping line rips. Even when all the variables are in the angler's favor they're still one of the toughest fish to catch on a fly rod. So it's almost a necessity to have the very best gear if you want a chance at a 100+ lb Tarpon. Skills aside, the right gear and a bit of luck go a long way. If you hook up to a big Tarpon with an old reel that's rusted and worn... good luck. I'd take the Tarpon over the fly reel every time. Here's how to choose the right fly reel.
  5. How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Bass

    How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Bass
    Most people think of tournaments and conventional fishing gear when they think of Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass. Sure, Largemouth Bass are fun to catch on a crankbait or a topwater frog... But they're also really thrilling to catch on a fly rod. We've already covered how to choose a fly rod for Bass, but what about the right fly reel for the job? A fly reel can be the difference between landing a trophy Bass or losing one. Read on to find out which fly reel is the best.
  6. Summer Fly Fishing Gear You Never Knew You Needed

    Summer Fly Fishing Gear You Never Knew You Needed
    Finally, summer sun and productive fishing during the nicest season of the year. We grind out the winter months staying busy at the fly tying bench in preparation for summer fly fishing. Well, it’s here. Maybe you’ve taken care of updating your gear for wet wading season and summer trout, or maybe you’re scrambling last minute to find the best gear for what remains of the fishiest time of the year. In either case, we’ve compiled a list of the most important summer fly fishing gear, regardless of target species, to bring some useful products to light that you may not have considered.
  7. How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Salmon

    How to Choose the Best Fly Reel for Salmon
    Fly reels for Salmon is a broad category because of the diversity of Salmon species that populate the US, Canada, Eurasia, and beyond. King Salmon require a much different fly reel than Pink Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Atlantic Salmon, etc. Commonalities exist across all Salmon species, however: they’re powerful, strong, and loads of fun to catch on a fly rod. Read on to find out which fly reel is the optimal Salmon-targeting tool.
  8. Lamson Center Axis Fly Rod Review

    Lamson Center Axis Fly Rod Review
    Grab a fly rod, attach a fly reel via uplocking or downlocking reel seat, thread line, and you’re ready to fish, right? Not quite. The Lamson Center Axis takes out (or should I say builds in?) the step of screwing your favorite reel onto your favorite rod. With a Center Axis, the fly reel is built into the fly rod and mounted on a center axis (thus, the name). While rod companies in the past have toyed with this idea, Lamson is the first to truly perfect the rod-and-reel-in-one design. This may be the single largest breakthrough in fly fishing innovation since graphite. Why should you care? Read on to find out.
  9. Nautilus CCF X2 Fly Reel Review

    Nautilus CCF X2 Fly Reel Review
    After much ado, it’s time to announce the winner of our 2018 8-weight Reel Shootout: The Nautilus CCF X2 8/10. The CCF-X2 replaces the old CCF as Nautilus’ mid-priced big game reel. Usually, mid-price comes with mediocre performance. Not so this time. The CCF absolutely crushes its big brother the NV-G, and takes the top spot in our shootout. Here’s why we love this reel so much.
  10. Orvis Hydros SL Fly Reel Review

    Orvis Hydros SL Fly Reel Review
    Back in our 2015 5-weight shootout, we noted that the Hydros LA was a solid reel, but it didn’t really fit into the Orvis line up well. It was a little too expensive and didn’t offer any real advantages over the Access Mid-Arbor. Orvis took that feedback to heart and came out with the Orvis Hydros SL a few years later. Since they had essentially fixed all of our complaints, we’ve been selling tons of these and they’ve been one of our top sellers. Until today, however, we haven’t had a chance to do a proper review of this reel. I can tell you, it does NOT disappoint.

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