Once upon a time, the fly reel was thought of as no more than a line holder. For the modern fly fisherman, the reel represents the ultimate in engineering and fish-fighting power. The two most important aspects of buying a fly reel are the drag and the weight of the reel.
While your drag isn’t critical for trout fishing (unless the trout are really big!), when you’re targeting bigger fish, like tarpon or bonefish, the drag becomes a critical component of your fly fishing gear. Drags come in two basic types: conical and disc. Conical drags allow reel manufacturers to cram more surface area into a smaller space; therefore these reels tend to be lighter. Surface area is important. The greater the surface area, the greater the stopping power, and the lower the startup inertia. Disc drags are much more common and very easy to maintain. Disc drags come in various materials such as Rulon, carbon fiber or cork.
Another element to consider when choosing a drag is whether or not it’s sealed. Sealed drags are completely waterproof and keep out harmful elements such as saltwater and sand. They are also completely maintenance free! Unsealed drags, on the other hand, are generally less expensive and much easier to clean and repair if a problem arises.
Fly reels come in a wide range of weights – a five-weight reel can vary from under 3 ounces to over 6 ounces. So, why does weight matter? When you’re casting all day long, a few ounces will make a big difference. More importantly, today’s lightweight graphite rods need equally light reels to balance properly. If a rod isn’t balanced, you’ll work much harder when casting.
We carry the top fly reel manufacturers in the business. One such manufacturer is Hatch Outdoors. Hatch has been making reels since 2003. The Hatch Finatic is one of the most widely used saltwater reels on the market today and for good reason. Hatch reels are extremely durable, corrosion resistant, and have completely sealed drag. Hatch reels are machined and engineered to withstand a variety of fly fishing scenarios. Other top saltwater reels include Nautilus Reels, Ross Reels, Galvan Reels, Abel Reels, and many more.
Trident also carries the best freshwater reel manufacturers. One of our favorite trout reels here at the shop is the Lamson Litespeed. We’ve been filming our rod reviews with the Litespeed for years. Lamson’s reels are lightweight, durable, and designed to last. Sage also makes some great freshwater and saltwater reels. Redington, Orvis, Hardy, and many other names are included in our collection of freshwater reels.
A fly angler needs a reel to fish. Reels are one of the most essential tools in fly fishing so it’s important to purchase a quality piece of equipment that will stand the test of time on the water. We carry a complete selection of the best reels in the business for all types of fly fishing. If you’re not sure which reel is right for you, give us a call and ask one of our professional customer service reps. Reels ship in the US with FREE SHIPPING.