Reels. Sometimes they are the misunderstood workhorse of your fly fishing equipment. We talk a lot about rods -- flex, action, length -- but sometimes demote the value of a good reel. Some believe that a reel's purpose is merely to hold the line. Well, that belief is shattered when you hook up with a hawg and hope that the drag is set right. Here are some thoughts from our Guides about the reels they use.
Neil Luehring: For reels I am a big fan of the Orvis Mirage as it has a very discerning drag system and a smooth transition into the drag operating.
Greg Blessing: For reels, I like the Sage (2000, 3000, 4000 Series, Domain), the Orvis (Mirage, Hydros, Access) and Nautilus.
Paul Martinez: I have found the Mirage lll reel to balance my H2 rods perfectly after trying a variety different reels. The reel is almost bullet-proof after fishing one for close to 6 years. I have dropped it on rocks, in water, on sand and with the sealed drag system it just keeps working. The drag system is smooth on large fish.
Jon Easdon: For reels I like a variety of different brands and models. On my daily driver, I fish a Nautilus FWX. This reel is super clean and has one of the best drag systems I’ve ever used. It’s old reliable. Super lightweight and can take a beating. I cannot wait for the Naultilus X to come out. That thing is a Ferrari.
I’ve been fishing a Sage Domain on my streamer rod and Im definitely liking that reel too. It has a smooth reliable drag and can also take a whipping.
For value reels, the new Redington ONE and Behemoth are fantastic reels for the price. My pick, though, for “less expensive reel” is definitely the Orvis Hydros SL. I cannot wait to see the evolution of that thing.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside