Reels

Fly Fishing Reels

Imagine you are standing in the beautiful Colorado waters. Or on the sand flats of Andros Island.  You cast your line and the fly lands perfectly on the water. You’ve done everything exactly right to get the fish to eat your fly, you are excited and go to the the reel but then disaster strikes! You can’t retrieve your fish because your reel is not retrieving quickly enough or the drag won’t adjust to the strength of the fish. The fish of a lifetime has just spit the fly or snapped it off, because you couldn’t loosen the drag. What a missed opportunity!

When a fish of a lifetime strikes and all hell is breaking loose, you want the best quality fly reel to give you at least a fighting chance. A quality reel will hold the line and help you land the fish without damaging your equipment or breaking a knot in your line.

There are several fly fishing reels, all different in terms of size, construction material, retrieval mechanism, and overall esthetics. Even if you are an amateur angler, we can guarantee to assist you in finding a fly reel that both matches your needs and fits your budget.

Fly Fishing Outfitters carries  Reels from Orvis, Galvan Fly reels, Redington and Temple Fork Outfitters.

What Do Fly Reels Do?

The main purpose of a Fly fishing reel is to store your fly line. But a good reel also sometimes means the difference in landing or losing a fish. Being able to adjust the length of the fly line we are fishing with is as simple as winding on or “ripping off” line from the reel. But a reel should also balance out your rod, this will prevent small casting errors like hinging your wrist or not having enough backing capacity when you’re in the heat of battle with a 100 pound Tarpon.

How Do I Choose My Fly Reel?

A simple rule of thumb is that small stream fishing doesn’t require a very sophisticated large arbor with Carbon Fiber disk drag, but fishing for large freshwater and saltwater species does. This is a good rule to use when starting you next reel purchase

When you look for a fly fishing reel, the first thing you need to consider is the type of fishing you will be doing: freshwater or saltwater?

You also need to decide on the type of fish you are going after: again, the size of your reel matters because it needs to be strong enough to fight larger fish.

Finally, if you want to fly fish on a regular basis you might want to invest in more expensive but higher quality equipment.

What Should I Know about My Fly Reel?

There are basically three types of Fly-fishing reels that we are going to be looking at and there are several proprietary drag systems each manufacturer will employ. They are differentiated by the arbor size. The arbor of a fly reel is the diameter of the spool where the backing is attached. Without getting too techy here, the larger the arbor the quicker the rate of retrieval of line and backing.

Standard Arbor is typically what older model reels used all be built with. It meant that you would have to reel like a Son of a Gun to retrieve line. This often made landing large fish a real challenge. Today many anglers will choose a standard Arbor reel for smaller stream or light tackle rods because they tend to be much lighter in weight and your not dependent on the drag as much.

Mid Arbor just like it’s name is the “middle of the road” in arbor size. It has the ability to retrieve (pick up) Line at much faster rate per revolution or turn of the reel then a Standard Arbor reel. A Mid Arbor reel has it’s value for the angler who is looking for better line pick up while not sacrificing size or weight of the reel.

Large Arbor Reels have definitely become the most popular reels on the market especially among anglers targeting larger freshwater and Saltwater species. Just like it says a Larger arbor reel can pick up line at a rate 2x faster in relation to Standard or Mid Arbor Reels. When it comes to landing a large fast moving fish like a steelhead or a Permit, a Large Arbor reel with a sturdy drag system is your best tool.

What’s the difference in Drag Systems?

The point of the drag system on the fly reel is to slow the fish’s run as it’s moving away from you. There are two types of drag stemes, disc-drag and spring-and-pawl drag:

  • Disc-drag technology is based on the existence of discs that are stacked inside the reel’s arbor. Most all disc drag systems are sealed inside the arbor to keep water and dirt out. Depending on the size of the reel there can be a dozen or more discs stacked inside. A high quality Disc-Drag reel has the ability to apply pressure to a screaming fish in a way that can slow it down without breaking Tippets. Discs can be made out of graphite steel or more likely Carbon Fiber. The Orvis Mirage Big Game reels are very much the state of the art in technology. But all that comes at a higher weight and price tag.
  • Spring-and-pawl reels use springs. They are usually used for freshwater fishing and are less common than disc-drag reels. Spring-and-pawl reels are commonly used for smaller fish. Old spring-andPawl reels are actually a rare find and often command high prices for their antique or nostalgic values. An old English built Orvis CFO reel is worth several hundred dollars on auction sites.

What Material Are Fly Reels Made of?

You can find plastic, die-cast aluminum, and machined aluminum fly reels.

  • Plastic fly reels are less sturdy than the other two categories. Plastic doesn’t have the resistance and strength of aluminum and will eventually bend and warp when trying to reel in heavier fish.
  • Die-cast aluminum is stronger than plastic as it is made of melted aluminum that has been poured into a mold.
  • Machined Aluminum is the strongest material for fly reels. This material displays strength and stamina and is anodized so that it can withstand saltwater fishing conditions. Instead of melting aluminum, manufacturers take a solid block of aluminum and sculpt it according to specifications.

If you want your fly fishing equipment to last for years, then the best fly fishing reels for you are machined aluminum ones.

Does the Size of My Fly Reel Matter?

When it comes to fly reels, size really does matter. Fly fishing rods and reels come in several sizes. Larger reel sizes can hold heavier weight fly lines and more backing. You should choose a fly reel size that matches the fly line you plan to use.

Sometimes people fear that a larger arbor means heavier equipment. However, technology has made sure that the materials used for the larger arbor fly reels make them light to transport and easy to handle.

Tips for Choosing Your Fly Fishing Reel

Choosing the right Orvis fly fishing reel isn’t as difficult if you do a little research. The following key questions will help you pick the best fly fishing reel setup for you:

  • Are you going to fish in saltwater or freshwater? Some materials are not saltwater proof. Anodized fly reels will weather the saltiness of the sea much better (of course, you should still rinse your equipment with fresh water to protect it after fishing).
  • What type of fish are you going to catch? Larger and heavier fish require stronger lines and sturdier fly reels. Similarly, lighter fish require lighter fly reels.
  • What type of fly line will you be using? The size of your line determines the size of your fly reel. Again, the size of your fly line depends on the type of fish you plan on fishing for. Small trout can be caught with a fly line weight of 1 to 3. Larger trout, sea bass, and salmon may require heavier and stronger fly lines, hence bigger fly reels.

Fly Fishing Outfitters for the Best Fly Reels

We have a wide selection of fly reels for sale to accommodate all fly fishing expeditions. You will find reputable brands such as Orvis, Redington, Temple Fork Outfitters and Galvan. Find here your Orvis reels, Redington Fly-Reels, various fly reels sizes, and simple yet versatile fly reels that can adjust to most fishermen’s requirements.

Showing all 3 results

  • Galvan Grip Reel

    $524.00$690.00

    When it comes to unparalleled functionality in fly reels it’s pretty hard to beat Galvan fly Reels.  Because for over 25 years that’s all Galvan has done. Galvan Is family owned and operated in CA.   That’s right, Galvan Reels are 100% designed, manufactured and assembled in the USA by the Galvan Family in Sonora California. When Galvan say’s “Made in the USA” they mean it!

    Our reels are machined to the highest specifications with the most current technology while remaining true to the best traditions of the past. The pride of ownership each Galvan reel owner has is the same pride of ownership that the Galvan family has of their operation. At Galvan there is no 9-5 work day. This is our life and we put into it what we must. Mixing classic styling with contemporary design and materials, Galvan Fly Reels continue to help redefine modern fly reel construction.

    “Our pride in the manufacturing process and passion for the sport have earned us a reputation for excellence. Every Galvan fly reel is a testament to innovation and uncompromising craftsmanship, pairing the latest materials with a lasting commitment to quality. In an industry where technology often overshadows tradition, we believe you need a bit of both to succeed.” –  founder Bonifacio Galvan

    Don’t let their lightweight design fool you into thinking these are Trout only reels.  The Grip fly reel is durable and built to with stand the runs of any large fresh or saltwater species. Designed with a fully sealed drag system comprised of ceramic ball bearings and carbon fiber discs, the drag is smooth and very responsive.  The oversized handle is essential when in the heat of battle.

    All Galvan reels come with a lifetime warranty.

  • Galvan Rush Light Reel

    $0.00$455.00

    When it comes to unparalleled functionality in fly reels it’s pretty hard to beat Galvan fly Reels.  Because for over 25 years that’s all Galvan has done. Galvan Is family owned and operated in CA.   That’s right, Galvan Reels are 100% designed, manufactured and assembled in the USA by the Galvan Family in Sonora California. When Galvan say’s “Made in the USA” they mean it!

    “Our pride in the manufacturing process and passion for the sport have earned us a reputation for excellence. Every Galvan fly reel is a testament to innovation and uncompromising craftsmanship, pairing the latest materials with a lasting commitment to quality. In an industry where technology often overshadows tradition, we believe you need a bit of both to succeed.” –  founder Bonifacio Galvan

    The Rush Light’s quality, ruggedness and ultra-smooth, state of the art, Torque drag system does not disappoint. This high value, mid-priced, large arbor reel has all the technological hallmarks of its counterpart the Torque, while capturing the essence of the original Rush Series reels.

  • Galvan Torque Reel

    $400.00$590.00

    When it comes to unparalleled functionality in fly reels it’s pretty hard to beat Galvan fly Reels.  Because for over 25 years that’s all Galvan has done. Galvan Is family owned and operated in CA.   That’s right, Galvan Reels are 100% designed, manufactured and assembled in the USA by the Galvan Family in Sonora California. When Galvan say’s “Made in the USA” they mean it!

    “Our pride in the manufacturing process and passion for the sport have earned us a reputation for excellence. Every Galvan fly reel is a testament to innovation and uncompromising craftsmanship, pairing the latest materials with a lasting commitment to quality. In an industry where technology often overshadows tradition, we believe you need a bit of both to succeed.” –  founder Bonifacio Galvan

    Why change perfection? The Torque series of reel was born out of a huge amount of R&D back in the early 2000’s when Boni Galvan wanted to create a revolutionary reel with a more substantial drag system than was presently available on the market.

    The visually striking appearance of the Torque reels is a result of the unique cut-outs on the frame, spool, drag knob and reel foot. This design is not only aesthetic but also structural as it significantly reduces the weight of the reel while maintaining strength and increasing rigidity.  The Torque is tough as nails and skillfully marries the technology of the future with the tradition of the past.