- The main point to choosing a fly reel is to pick one that can hold the necessary amount of backing and fly line for the weight of rod that you are fishing with. If you purchased a 5-weight fly rod, make sure you are choosing a fly reel that will accommodate fly line weights from 4-6. Most fly reels will be available in different models to accommodate a range of fly line weights. Just make sure that you find yours within that range. By choosing the correct size of fly reel, you will make sure that it holds an adequate amount of backing for that time when the fish you hook makes the run of his life.
- Another key point when choosing a fly reel is the drag system on the fly reel. This is typically what distinguishes the $300-$1000 dollar fly reel from the $50 dollar fly reel. This is also where it becomes important to determine what type of fly-fishing you are doing and the species of fish. An inexpensive drag system will not hold up to hard running fish such as bonefish or steelhead. However, for your typical trout species an inexpensive drag system will be sufficient.
- Again, choosing the correct size fly reel will also make sure that it is weighted appropriately to balance out your fly rod to help prevent extra fatigue when casting for extended periods of time.
- Another factor is the amount of fishing you do. If you spend a lot of time on the water you may want to invest in a higher quality reel. Look for high quality fit and finish not just a cool color. Check for ease of drag adjustment. Is the drag system sealed (water tight) which is a must for saltwater? Is it lightweight but still have features that will not bend or dent easily (spool rim thickness)?
- When you choose a reel take care of it. Keep it lubricated, don't set it down in the water or in the mud. Clean it after each use and most will last you for many years.