Fly reels

fishplate 42

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I am still at the investigation stage of my journey into fly fishing so please don't misunderstand my motives for asking this bit I am genuinely amazed that a fly reel can cost as much as £800! Again, forgive my ignorance, but is a fly reel more of a device for holding the line as much as anything else? I realise it has to have a clutch for playing the fish, but it has none of the 'engineering' of a coarse fishing fixed spool reel - Does it?

I realise a cheap real will have inferior components, poor build quality and be heavier, but £800 just seems excessive. I am planning to spend around £30-40 pound for my first reel, and now wondering how much better a more expensive reel would be (That is a bit more expensive - not £800!). I know there must be a difference but I am struggling to see what it is.

Ralph :confused:
 

john young

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I am still at the investigation stage of my journey into fly fishing so please don't misunderstand my motives for asking this bit I am genuinely amazed that a fly reel can cost as much as £800! Again, forgive my ignorance, but is a fly reel more of a device for holding the line as much as anything else? I realise it has to have a clutch for playing the fish, but it has none of the 'engineering' of a coarse fishing fixed spool reel - Does it?

I realise a cheap real will have inferior components, poor build quality and be heavier, but £800 just seems excessive. I am planning to spend around £30-40 pound for my first reel, and now wondering how much better a more expensive reel would be (That is a bit more expensive - not £800!). I know there must be a difference but I am struggling to see what it is.

Ralph :confused:
Trout fly reels hold the line when you are not using it. That's about all.

Maybe ones for sperm whales, bonefish, tarpon, and whatnot do a bit more.

And successful businesses know that a fool and his money are soon parted.
 

john young

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That's what I thought, so what is a sensible price to pay for a first reel?

Ralph.
There isn't a 'sensible' price. It's what you are prepared to pay, but don't buy too cheap.

I'm not recommending it above others, but the Orvis 'Battenkill' might be worth looking it. The 'regular' one has a rather crude four position drag which you have to take the spool off to adjust, the slightly more expensive 'disk' one is fancier. They last 'forever'.

But it doesn't matter. The only real purpose of the drag is to stop the line unwinding all over the place when the line gets pulled out fast by you or the fish then suddenly stops.

A personal view. I wouldn't bother with the large spool CNC made monstrosities which they make '"because they can". Accidentally tread on them and you have to buy a new one, and they look very ungainly on the rod. Just my opinion :)

When you are young and poor you buy what you can afford.
When you earn reasonable pay you buy to impress yourself. They for sure won't impress anyone else.
When you are totally financially secure you buy things that work ok and no more.
 

tobesfish

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Trout fly reels hold the line when you are not using it. That's about all.

I used to think the same but once I started using a relatively nice one compared to the cheap "line holder" I had before I completely changed my mind. If you try different styles you're likely to find something you enjoy and playing a fish off a good reel is a joy compared to handlining.

Having said that I'd never pay more than £140 for one.

John Young, there's a common theme through many of your posts recently that anything you say must be empirically correct when in reality it's purely opinion and subjective. Can I suggest trying to understand that there are many views on different topics and yours may not be the only correct one. this isn't the start of a debate, just a suggestion that might help foster a slightly more productive discussion.
 

airebugwafter

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I bought a Grey's GX300 reel last year, just as a spare. It cost about £30, I think, and was 'remaindered' stock. You can still get them - nice reel for the money. And John Norris is offering the Grey's GTS500 reel with a free line for £39.99 - seems like a bargain to me.
https://www.johnnorris.co.uk/greys-gts500-fly-reels-with-free-john-norris-p3-fly-line.html
OtC

Yep, agree. Whilst I would love to be the owner of a "shiny pretty thing" costing £200 - £500, reality and 2 darling children at Uni mean that the lower end of the reel budget is where I currently sit.

A decent cassette or multi spool reel like the Grey's is affordable and gives you the option for differing lines. Myself, a second hand Scierra IC3 reel was a good purchase, the Okuma Airframe (with bag and 3 spare spools) was a good deal at under £35 and recently purchased a Chinese £13.95 job off e bay I am very pleased with.

I pointed out to the long haired general, that if she did not have her hair done every month, I could afford a "shiny pretty thing" by August. I have found the garden shed quite comfortable to sleep in.
 

pati

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Hi,

Assuming you fish for trouts the real value added of the drag is if you ever fish for spooky powerful/large fish in gin clear water with "unreasonably" light tippets (sometimes there are no other choices to have a chance of a fish or two). But then the key with the drag is not that it is powerful (you don't need a powerful drag for trout) but that it s finely adjustable and as close to inertia free as possible.
The other key characteristics in my opinion for a trout reel are the weight (to balance the rod as you like it, some prefer as light as possible some prefer heavier), large arbour to avoid line memory especially if like me you don't get to fish as often as you d like and the line might sit on the reel for a while. The other characteristics (quality of the build and engineering, quality of the material, design, drag strength...), are less important from a pure "use" point of view, which doesn't mean they are less important for choosing what to buy :)

To me the best value for money is the Danielsson FW, which retails around 170£: it has all the "technical" characteristics you need, is awesomely well built and sturdy especially for such a design, very light, a very nice design, very good after sale service... In short if you buy one you won't ever need anything else from a "functionality" point of view.It s been on the market for years but try to find one second hand: impossible once one owns one, nobody sells it - it says it all in my opinion!!! I have 2 Danielsson FW, that said my favourite trout reel is my Galvan Torque which in all honesty is only marginally better than the Danielsson (the drag of the Gslvan is exceptionally smooth, finely adjustable and almost no inertia) but retails around 300£... Did I need the Galvan, of course not but boy did I WANT it (and how pleased I am to fish it now!!!)!


Pat

---------- Post added at 05:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:05 AM ----------

I would also advise against cheap composite reels such as the okuma airstream/airframe: mine got literally cut by my fly line over a couple of years... For the same price (ie about 30£) there are Chinese aluminium reels on ebay with very good reputation. Another gem was the Okuma Helios which is a fantastic aluminium reel for the price (c. 50£ on eBay)
 

john young

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I used to think the same but once I started using a relatively nice one compared to the cheap "line holder" I had before I completely changed my mind. If you try different styles you're likely to find something you enjoy and playing a fish off a good reel is a joy compared to handlining.

Having said that I'd never pay more than £140 for one.

John Young, there's a common theme through many of your posts recently that anything you say must be empirically correct when in reality it's purely opinion and subjective. Can I suggest trying to understand that there are many views on different topics and yours may not be the only correct one. this isn't the start of a debate, just a suggestion that might help foster a slightly more productive discussion.
I have used the Orvis CFO IV for more than 20 years. I have three and three spare spools. I see no reason to buy any more trout reels. But in their actual 'performance' and durability they are in no way better than the Rimfly and slightly later Hardy LRH Lightweight (which doesn't have an exposed spool rim) I started with. I have not mentioned such reels before as they are way above his suggested price range.

Re 'large' arbour I personally find that provided you use decent lines, which I always do, (my current favourite are Barrio) there is no need for these usually bulky reels.

Of course it's all opinion. I don't think that needs spelling out - we are not five year olds And opinions, not being 'facts' are not vulnerable to 'right' or 'wrong' tests.

As for the 'theme' of my posts you may be right. On the other hand there is a large contingent here from the 'north' and Scotland who appear to mostly fish large lakes and 'moorland' or 'rocky' streams and who, with some exceptions, appear to dismiss views other than their own.

Similarly there seems be a view from a few that being on this forum a long time means they 'automatically' have more fishing experience than those who haven't. Which is of course nonsense.
 
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Vermontdrifter

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John, A lot of the folks who have been on here for a long time have also been fishing for a long time and in many cases several times per week for years and years.

Some of your points are valid but you do have a tendency to express yourself in generalities and as though your opinion is the only valid one while those that do not share it as being slightly lacking in the brain cell department. I think it is a case of horses for courses. My go to work car is a Dacia Sandero because that is all I need to do 32km a day in heavy traffic despite my earnings putting me in the Q7 or X6 range but I accept that a lot of folks like fancy cars and I'm happy to listen to them tell me about them and I don't try to put them down because it is THEIR choice. It is exactly the same issue with rods and reels. People buy what makes them happy and at the end of the day THAT is all that matters isn't it? On the other hand do keep posting because you do add a certain je ne sais quoi to the forum.

Take care

Terry
 

punt12

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I bought a Grey's GX300 reel last year, just as a spare. It cost about £30, I think, and was 'remaindered' stock. You can still get them - nice reel for the money. And John Norris is offering the Grey's GTS500 reel with a free line for £39.99 - seems like a bargain to me.
https://www.johnnorris.co.uk/greys-gts500-fly-reels-with-free-john-norris-p3-fly-line.html
OtC

I bought the 4/5/6 for my river rod £32 delivered it does the job and seems well built If I accidentally hook a sea trout think the drag would be good enough to slow it down
 

john young

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John, A lot of the folks who have been on here for a long time have also been fishing for a long time and in many cases several times per week for years and years.

Some of your points are valid but you do have a tendency to express yourself in generalities and as though your opinion is the only valid one while those that do not share it as being slightly lacking in the brain cell department. I think it is a case of horses for courses. My go to work car is a Dacia Sandero because that is all I need to do 32km a day in heavy traffic despite my earnings putting me in the Q7 or X6 range but I accept that a lot of folks like fancy cars and I'm happy to listen to them tell me about them and I don't try to put them down because it is THEIR choice. It is exactly the same issue with rods and reels. People buy what makes them happy and at the end of the day THAT is all that matters isn't it? On the other hand do keep posting because you do add a certain je ne sais quoi to the forum.

Take care

Terry
I never said they hadn't, I just said being here a long time doesn't mean they know any more than those who have never even heard of the place do. Which I suspect is 99% of UK fly fishermen.

Not that I would ever tell anyone I'm on a fishing forum. It's real anoraky. But nobody I know will ever talk about fishing so here I am :p

(Mrs Young wants a Duster, I think it looks quite good too. We've got two silly cars at the moment and I have every intention of keeping mine. I only got it this morning :D)
 

nigel67

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I've got a Greys gx300 and I've had it for years and it's a pleasure to use. I've been looking at a new reel just recently but my gx300 is still going strong and I'm a "if it's not broken don't fix it guy". I'm 50 at the end of April maybe treat myself then:thumbs:. I don't see the point in spending hundreds on a reel when the money could go to a set of waders or a rod or even some decent line. Personally I would get a cassette reel for obvious reasons.
 
D

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I am still at the investigation stage of my journey into fly fishing so please don't misunderstand my motives for asking this bit I am genuinely amazed that a fly reel can cost as much as £800! Again, forgive my ignorance, but is a fly reel more of a device for holding the line as much as anything else? I realise it has to have a clutch for playing the fish, but it has none of the 'engineering' of a coarse fishing fixed spool reel - Does it?

I realise a cheap real will have inferior components, poor build quality and be heavier, but £800 just seems excessive. I am planning to spend around £30-40 pound for my first reel, and now wondering how much better a more expensive reel would be (That is a bit more expensive - not £800!). I know there must be a difference but I am struggling to see what it is.

Ralph :confused:

There are plenty of decent, lightweight composite reels for around £30 and yes you are correct in saying a reel is merely for holding the line and a sufficient amount of backing (I've always managed with 50 yards on the reservoirs) for those rare occasions that it's needed. A large harbour and disc drag/clutch are advantageous but not absolutely necessary, so don't be conned.
 
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luke troutstalker

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In a reel, I like :

Build quality, good finish, reliability.

Reduced weight, the reason is pretty obvious - less weight to swing or lug around.

Large arbour, the larger the arbour, the larger the stored coils, and the least memory in a line.

Smooth and predictable drag. Not to stop a fish from running, or tire a fish out, but to prevent tippet breakages in sudden lunges while still ensuring the reel doesn't overspool.

These are all attributes that are advantageous to the fisherman, don't let anyone try and tell you they are not. Whether you deem them essential or not is up to you. I don't seem them as essential, but like any advantage I'll take it if it's there. Some people may suggest that to spend good money on a reel makes you a sucker to marketing hype. In some cases, and certain items of kit that may be the case, but those 4 facets above aren't hype, they are facts of physics, and have come about due to companies being interested in development and wanting to stay at the front of the product line up.

When you start to combine all these attributes into a reel ( in the way you can the most ), the costs are going to increase due to the way they are made, and the design and QC costs are considered. People seem to think that because a CNC machine is used to create the frame and spool, that they are being spat out 10 to the dozen, and it just isn't the case.

Out of interest, what is this £800 reel mentioned by the OP :confused:
 

tobesfish

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As for the 'theme' of my posts you may be right. On the other hand there is a large contingent here from the 'north' and Scotland who appear to mostly fish large lakes and 'moorland' or 'rocky' streams and who, with some exceptions, appear to dismiss views other than their own.

Similarly there seems be a view from a few that being on this forum a long time means they 'automatically' have more fishing experience than those who haven't. Which is of course nonsense.

I have to say I agree with you to some extent on that point. Many people spend all day on here seemingly with little time for anything else, particularly fishing, and consider it their personal demesne. It isn't, it's for everyone and just because a new member hasn't searched for a post and someone wants to reply to an already-asked question, they shouldn't be intimidated. You're certainly not the only person to express views in terms of absolutes and many members could do with trying to empathise with someone new to the forum and sport! It is not hard to work out who the main offenders are...
 

Red Rooster

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I bought a Grey's GX300 reel last year, just as a spare. It cost about £30, I think, and was 'remaindered' stock. You can still get them - nice reel for the money. And John Norris is offering the Grey's GTS500 reel with a free line for £39.99 - seems like a bargain to me.
https://www.johnnorris.co.uk/greys-gts500-fly-reels-with-free-john-norris-p3-fly-line.html
OtC


Hi, just had a look on the John Norris site, thanks for putting up the link, however, there doesn't seem to be anything about a "Free" fly line.

Just wondered. Cheers.
 
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