Tom Rosenbauer: Fly Reels for Beginning Anglers

In his latest podcast, Tom Rosenbauer offers an excellent introduction to the many considerations involved in choosing and setting up a fly reel.
“There have never been as many great fly reels on the market as there are today. There are many different price points, and there are many different places to buy them. Orvis, of course, makes great reels, but there are great manufacturers like Ross, Abel, and Tibor. The good news is that what you buy today is going to be less expensive with better features and better quality than what you bought ten years ago.
The first thing that you have to decide when you buy a fly reel is capacity. It goes without saying that you have to have a reel that will hold all of your fly line. In a lot of fisheries, in a lot of circumstances, the reel is really just a device for holding the line when you are finished at the end of the day or walking from spot to spot. And in many cases the reel also has to hold a sufficient amount of a material called backing. Backing is insurance.”

This entry was posted in Gear. Bookmark the permalink.
  • David Holmes

    I’ll now commit heresy (at least as seen by those who make their living selling gear):
    In fly fishing, gear is secondary to success. Is it fun to have a top quality rod and reel? Sure, and I’m glad I own some $700 rods and $400 reels, but with few exceptions (heavy duty salt water angling, for example), average quality and cost gear is just fine. For the majority of fresh water fishing, the $300 rod and the $150 reel will do the job.
    What is important is knowledge, skill and experience. If I had to bet on either the angler with great gear but limited skills, versus the highly skilled angler who can only afford medium level gear, the skilled angler would win every time. Generally, the fish don’t know how much you spent with Orvis, Sage or Simms . . . or care!