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Fly Fishing Getting Started - Rods, Reels & Lines Part 2

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/15/2010 (2268 reads)
In our previous post we discussed the characteristics of a fly rod. The reel is the next important piece of hardware and serves a much different role than with spin casting. With spin casting a reel is the centerpiece to bring in a fish. Not so much with fly-fishing for trout. When fly fishing for trout in PA the reel primarily holds all the line. With larger fish the fly reel plays a greater role in playing and landing the fish.

The finer fly fishing reels are machined from solid bar-stock aluminum. These higher quality reels will last decades. Most cost hundreds of dollars and in some cases are works of engineering marvel.

lamson reelLess expensive reels are made from die cast alloys and perform with less precision. There are many fine products in this class that will last the fly angler for years. My old standby Lamson reel is over 20 years old and is still serving me very well.

Several entry-level fly fishing kits provide plastic reels. These plastic reels might be adequate to get familiar with the sport, but don’t necessarily hold up very long.

Aside from a reels defining fit and finish are the materials used in the drag construction. Simpler spring and pawl drags just put a light resistance on the fly line as as it is played off the reel. A higher quality disc drag system provides a smoother, even tension when you apply pressure to the fly line. This can become very important when playing and landing larger fish.

Bigger is not always better, a reel matched for the rod and type of fishing is the way to go. Most trusted manufactures are very clear which reels work best with those criteria.

Our next post gets back to throwing feathers and our fly line.
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Author Thread
Published: 2010/2/16 9:18  Updated: 2010/2/16 9:18
Joined: 04/25/2007
Comments: 843
 Light as air
I like lightweight reels.

For regular PA trout fishing- the reel is little more than something that holds the line.

I have never been into my backing on a trout stream- maybe someday.

Steelhead and Salt- "now for something completely different"
Published: 2010/2/17 11:38  Updated: 2010/2/17 11:38
Joined: 09/08/2006
Comments: 1221
 Re: Light as air
Acristickid I would agree. I am sure the steelhead fishing guys would jump in that a more sturdy and capable reel is a non-negotiable.

Published: 2010/2/18 11:46  Updated: 2010/2/18 11:47
Joined: 09/09/2009
From: canonsburg pa
Comments: 13
 Re: Light as air
Steelhead, I agree.
Published: 2010/2/19 17:04  Updated: 2010/2/19 17:04
Joined: 06/08/2008
From: Pittsburgh
Comments: 192
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Rods, Reels & Lines Part 2
I have a couple reels that don't have all the features of higher end models that work just fine for small stream trout.
I got a new fully machined, large arbor 7/8 weight with a good disc drag this winter, and when i finally landed my first steelhead with it, i couldnt believe how much more in control i felt while playing the fish.
I would recommend spending a little extra on a higher end reel as far as steelhead fishing is concerned. its worth it.

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