The fly reel is what connects you to the fish.
We have the very best reels from Hardy, Hatch, Lamson, Ross, TFO, Greys, Sage, Redington, and Tibor.
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 get into bigger game, 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 because 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.