I recently ran across a link on Twitter to an excellent article on the Trident Fly Fishing Company web site. I have to admit that if you had told me that I would rely upon or use Twitter as much as I currently do…well, you would have for sure got a very serious and delusional look from me. That being the case, we live in a world that is full of technology…this technology is readily shared with others through a variety of methods. So….that leads me to the article I found. I won’t go into detail about Trident itself but suffice to say they build a great fly reel….as do others, and this article will help you to better decide which reel just might be for you. If you are a math person then this article is especially for you as there are several formulas that are worth a gander.
The first one is arbor size and retrieval rate; now unless you haven’t purchased a fly-reel recently you have missed the new and biggest movement…large arbor reels that allow you to take up or retrieve line very quickly. Once again you can look at the formula in the article but let it be known that the Ross F1 Fly Reel was best in class at 9.79 inches per turn…translation, you will be taking up a load of line with each revolution of the fly reel and that is and can be very important when trying to catch up with a wide variety of game fish…but certainly those who are engaging saltwater species like bonefish or tarpon will need to ‘grab’ line as quickly as possible.
Spool width and volume are next up in the article and as you can see from reading the trend is to move away from wide spools and move to a more narrow spool that is deep enough to hold a large volume of fly line. Now…you might ask what is the advantage of a narrow spool…well, have you ever tried reeling in your line very quickly and found that it all loads on one side or the other? I have a hose winder for about 150 feet of garden hose and when I retrieve the hose I have to make sure that I move the hose left and right so the hose winds evenly…this is the same principal behind the narrow spool…you don’t have to worry about the line overloading one side and becoming a mess!
Next category is weight and I have to admit that I purchased a 10 weight outfit a couple years back and probably should have paid closer attention to weight because after chucking a large (wet) musky fly for a good part of a day…weight does make a difference.
OK…there are several more categories that you can read for yourself but the two of interest for me were price and drag strength. I don’t know about you but being a teacher doesn’t mean I am made of money…and you probably aren’t either, so, price is important. The pick was the Sage 1800, it was the least expensive but proved well worth the money as it finished 4th overall! At $139 the Sage reel is really within most folks means…and I might add it is a very good looking reel. When it comes to drag strength one must decide what kind of fish you will be after? Once again saltwater species will severely test your equipment and drag is imperative; the winner was the Hardy Fortuna…it had over 30 lbs. of drag….and you can watch the video of 20lb. Dacron backing as it breaks!
Last, but not least….The Winners; best overall was the Hatch Finatic 7-plus. The best saltwater reel due to its great drag system…the Hardy Fortuna X. And for us freshwater guys…the Ross F1 was the pick due to its smooth drag system.
Overall, this is a very interesting read on reels and I think you will learn a bunch….as I did, and best of all, it is all free! If you choose to do so, you can chat live with a Trident Expert. I did, asked a few questions and it all went very well.
Here again is the link to the Trident article.