A Guide to Fly Fishing Reels
By Anne Clarke
Is heavier better?
No, not necessarily. In fact, oftentimes, light fly reels are more expensive and of higher quality. If two reels are the same in all other respects, go with the lighter one. That said, when choosing your fly fishing reel line weight, the most important thing to consider is the weight of your rod and of your line.
These three weights (reel, rod, and line) should be equal and balanced. When you are considering the “weight” of your fly reel, you are not considering how heavy it is, but how well balanced it would be with your rod and reel. When shopping for a good fly fishing set-up, first consider what sort of fish you will be fishing for, find the right weight line to catch them, and then but a rod and reel to match.
Does size really matter?
The larger your spool, the faster your line retrieval can be and the better line handling you will have. Also, you want your fly fishing reel to fit your hand comfortably.
Single and ready to mingle?
Single action fly fishing reels are the most common and also the simplest. For every crank of the handle, you will get one turn of the spool. Single action reels are very easy to maintain. Multiplier fly fishing reels, on the other hand, can retrieve your line faster because for every turn of the handle, you will get two or more turns of the spool. An automatic fly fishing reel is the easiest to use but the hardest to maintain. You simply need to flick a lever to retrieve your line.
Fly fishing is not a drag!
There are a few different types of drag systems that you can choose for your fly fishing reels. Why do you want drag? Because drag applies friction to the spool, helping you in your casting and landing of fish
Spring-and-pawl drag systems is very simple and very affordable. This is a good system for lighter fishing. Look for a spring-and-pawl system with a knob that can increase or decrease your drag tension.
Caliper drag systems are a little bit more expensive. A caliper pad pushes against the braking surface of the spool, creating drag, slowing the spool spin. Be sure that your caliper drag system comes with an exposes palming rim.
Disc drag systems. If you are wanting one of the best and most expensive types of fly fishing reels, then you can go with a disc drag system. With the disc drag, you get increased control and much efficiency. Most agree that if you are fishing for large, powerful, fighting fish, a drag system is best. It will give you the most control and the most consistent drag pressure.
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