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Fly Fishing Reels

Some ask, "Does the reel really just hold the line?" Well, in some fishing situations maybe yes, but when a 130lb tarpon takes that fly you better hope you have a quality reel with a proven drag system. Whether you choose to chase tarpon or wade mountain streams we have you covered with an extensive selection of reels to handle any fish you might be after.

Fly fishing reels are manufactured using different methods and materials; they vary greatly in size, color, performance, and price. A fly reel is purchased primarily to balance properly the fly rod of choice. Balance, drag system, and line capacity are some of the considerations. Its performance is also an important consideration when defining theselection criteria. There is a great amount of difference in the performance of reels used for small-stream trout fishing and those used for tropical saltwater fishing. A small trout or bluegill on the line can be hand stripped in, sometimes relegating the reel's status to that of "line holder". On the other hand, get a steelhead, Tarpon, or bonefish on the run and the reel's drag system performance becomes top priority!


The majority of the reels sold here at Sportsman's Finest are machined from high grade aluminum. Our reels manufacturers range from Tibor, Nautilus, Abel, Waterworks/Lamson, to Hatch. Some of these reels are anodized with differing colors and artistic finishes transforming them into functional works of art with. Imagine owning an Abel reel with colorful DeYoung trout flank finish, or a Tibor reel with a royal blue finish with and engraved tarpon on it to match the reel seat or thread wraps of your fly rod. The color and finish combinations are seemingly endless now days, making the choice of which reel to purchase even more fun.


Reels are also differentiated by their drag systems. Nowadays, reels have a drag system that might be a traditional click-pawl or consist of cork, Rulon or maybe even a combination of cork and synthetics. Tibor and Abel have a cork drag systems, while Hatch, Nautilus and others that we carry are manufactured with sealed synthetic disc drag systems. Cork systems date back to an earlier time; they were the standard for many years, but do require some upkeep and regular maintenance. Today's more modern disc drag systems are nearly maintenance free, a thorough rinse to remove saltwater is sometimes all that is needed. Whether you're a traditionalist who enjoys the use of cork drags, or of the modern era of fishermen using sealed disc drags, we will have the right reel for you.

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