The sheer number of options available might make selecting a fly reel appear complicated at first. But using our guide that answers the question, “What size fly fishing reel should you buy?” narrows down the possibilities.
What Should You Consider in a Reel?
Like rods, fly reels have various numbers and weights. The smaller the number, the lighter the setup, which is why you want to grab the right rod depending on what you’re catching. The sizes range from 3 to 12 pounds.
A 3-weight rod and reel setup is suitable for landing smaller fish in a stream. On the other hand, a 12-weight rod is considerably sturdier and is necessary for heftier saltwater fish. Once you have the rod locked in, you’ll know what reel you need. Reels have a range of rods they can handle. For example, a 6 to 8 reel will work on a 7-weight rod.
What Type of Line Should You Use?
There isn’t a magical equation to figure out the type of line, reed, and rod you need to use. However, it helps to use a reel that accommodates various line types. Purchasing a reel that covers multiple line sizes for avid anglers will save you a few bucks and still catch anything you desire.
Going back to our first example, if you have 7-weight and 8-weight rods, you can use a reel to cover both. So if you use a line that works with both the rod and reel, you’ll have an effective, durable setup that’ll help you reel in dozens of fish.
What Type of Arbor Should You Get?
A fly reel’s arbor size relates to the diameter of the reel’s axle, often known as the arbor. Arbors can range from small to large, affecting the line pickup rate, drag pressure, and line memory. While it may appear small, an arbor’s size is important. It has a substantial impact on reel functionality and should be near the top of your list of priorities.
Most fly reels have small arbors by default, although large arbor reels have changed the game because they circumvent any issues that smaller arbors typically have. Pickup rates improve, larger coils decrease line memory, and the drag pressure stays consistent in larger arbors.
It’s not that simple when you’re debating what size fly fishing reel you should buy. The best advice for this dilemma is to use something that feels right. If it feels good and seems to work, then you have your answer!
Ed’s Fly Shop has a vast selection of the best fly reels made in the USA. We’re more than happy to assist you in picking up a rod that best fits your needs. Also, don’t forget about our price match guarantee!