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Choosing the Right Fly Reel with Kelly Galloup

Producer: Kelly Galloup

Kelly Galloup offers several great tips on why you might choose one fly reel over another.

“Drags are the most overrated thing in the entire fishing fly-fishing realm. It’s been blown way out of proportion. Start with the trout reel using 4-, 5-, 6- and 7 X. The thought that you need a drag is crazy…..

It’s even more important in rivers in the respect that if you drag on a fish, if you screw down on it, make it tight, all fish will go downstream on you, taking the path of least resistance. I was fishing with this guy named Harry Lemire once, a steelhead god…. I asked him why all these all the West Coast steel headers fished the same loud click pawl. I asked him ‘Is it like some cult thing where you guys go out your little mossy woods and talk about your reels?’

He said, ‘Well young man have you ever experimented with dragging on a fish and seeing what it does?’ And I said, ‘No all my reels have good drags.’ And he says, ‘Well try it and see.’

And what he meant was that when you get a fish on, if you put heat to it or drag, the fish will almost always turn and go downstream. It’s going to go the path of least resistance, it’s escaping the pull, and so it runs downstream. And he said if you use a click pawl reel it’ll fight in the pool. It’ll jump and generally run upstream as opposed to downstream because it doesn’t have the tension. And it’s running from the pressure of the fly line, which would be below the fish because there’s current. He was dead right.”