Fly Reel Reviews

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

  1. Ross Evolution R Salt 11/12 Fly Reel Review

    Ross Evolution R Salt 11/12 Fly Reel Review
    The Evolution R Salt performed well in our 2018 8-Weight Reel Shootout, but this is a shootout to weed out the pretenders from the contenders and find the baddest reels on the planet built to subdue the gnarliest gamefish like tarpon and GT. Has Ross delivered a true powerhouse in a lightweight package? Read on because you will not want to miss this review- the final result is surprising!
  2. Nautilus Silver King Fly Reel Review

    Nautilus Silver King Fly Reel Review
    The Silver King is Nautilus' big game version of the CCF-X2, which won our 2018 8wt Shootout, and it’s a reel we still think highly of. At this point, it’s a bonafide classic among saltwater anglers who love its ergonomics, drag adjustability and stopping power. The CCFX-X2 has proven to make quick work of light tackle gamefish like snook, redfish, and bonefish. However, with a name like Silver King, this rendition is designed for an entirely different leviathan. How does it stack up against the competition? Read on to find out!
  3. Hatch Iconic 9 Plus Fly Reel Review

    Hatch Iconic 9 Plus Fly Reel Review
    I'll admit it. Of all the reels in this shootout, I've fished the Hatch the most. Not this Hatch, per se, but the older Finatic. And the Finatic is more or less the same reel as this one. And both are great. The Iconic is so great that it tied for FIRST place in our Tarpon/Big Game Reel Shootout. While the new(-ish) Hatch Iconic is the latest from a long line of great Hatch reels, Hatch has been making shootout-winning reels for a while now and the 9 Plus Iconic is now no exception. Keep calm and read on.
  4. Nautilus GTX Fly Reel Review

    Nautilus GTX Fly Reel Review
    The Nautilus GTX made waves in the fly fishing world for being the first "production" reel to cross the $1000 barrier. Since then, there's probably been no reel that I've wanted to get on the testing machine more. When you pick it up, you can tell right away that it's an awesome big-game reel. It's big, narrow, and has tons of drag. It's no wonder that it finished in a 3-way TIE for first place. Read on to see why.
  5. Mako 9600B Fly Reel Review

    Mako 9600B Fly Reel Review
    Mako is new to Trident and new to our shootouts, but they've been making top-notch saltwater reels for some time. In fact, they are the legacy of Jack Charlton and his eponymous reels. Mako has always been that reel. The one that people talk about but few have actually seen or touched. That has started to change with some new management at the helm and some top-notch new pros on staff. But with that kind of legacy, it should come as no surprise then that the 9600B tied for FIRST PLACE in our Big Game Fly Reel Shootout.
  6. Choosing a Fly Reel for a Spey or Switch Rod

    Choosing a Fly Reel for a Spey or Switch Rod
    One question that we get asked all the time is whether or not X reel is a good choice for Y rod. In single-handed rods, this is generally a pretty easy – you find a 5-weight reel to match your 5-weight rod. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work so well in Spey land. Rods are much longer, have two handles, and lines are much heavier. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a couple of quick guidelines that will make this process totally pain-free.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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