Fly fishing can be a truly enjoyable pastime that can last the course of your lifetime. Few other activities afford one the pleasure of connecting with nature while offering a satisfying challenge at the same time. Whether you prefer to fish a remote mountain stream in perfect solitude or perhaps make it a family event and pass on the love of fishing to your kids or grand kids, fly fishing offers it all.
However, like most activities, your enjoyment is directly related to the quality of the equipment you have at your disposal. While choosing both your waders and your rod can be important, even the line you use can be a factor, nothing impacts your experience quite so much as the fly reel. A poor quality reel can ruin even idyllic fishing conditions, while the correct reel can make every outing a gratifying occasion.
If this is the case, how do you go about choosing the correct fly reel? The first decision is to choose what size reel is appropriate for your fishing needs. This will depend upon the type of fish you prefer to focus on. While this can be couched in terms of small, medium and large, it is most often termed “capacity.” Most reels are rated for at least three sizes of line, and will indicate how much of each the reel will hold, along with the corresponding backing. To use a specific fly reel as an example, the Cortland Precision XC Large Arbor Fly Reel comes in four distinct capacities, again the capacity depending upon the size of line used.
The second consideration is the quality of the reel. Obviously, a large capacity reel of poor quality will still give a sub-par performance out on the water. When examining the quality of a particular reel, the method used to make it corrosion resistant is the foremost concern. This is especially crucial if you plan to do any saltwater fishing. Again to use a specific example, the Precision XC Large Arbor Fly Reel is anodized in a dark architectural bronze to repel any damage of the reel’s integrity over time.
In summary, choosing a high-quality, appropriate capacity fly fishing reel can be the difference between a terrific trip into nature and a frustrating battle with your equipment.