The Basic Choices in Fly Fishing Reels

| September 16, 2016 | Reply

We want to take a look at the basics of choosing a fly fishing reel which is right for what you intended to do. Nest to the Artificial Fly the Fly Fishing Reel is the next most important fly fishing equipment you will need to get right.

Usually Fly fishing reels do two things. They store fly line, and they provide drag against a fish as it fights once landed. Most are made from aluminum. Make sure you check the quality of the reel – some cast molded aluminum reels are made cheaply, and can break more easily than solid block models.

Beyond that, two different types of reels exist for the fly fisherman: the Spring and Pawl, and the Disc Drag reel.

The Spring and Pawl Fly Reel

This is the traditional fly fishing reel. Its advantage is that it provides for a very smooth, even pull-out as lighter, more sensitively-mouthed fish (like smaller trout) draw on the line. Particularly when using lighter tippets, this type is a good choice, since it protects the tipper better.

The Disc Drag Reel

This is the newer type of reel, designed much like a disc brake on a car. These types of reels are good for larger species or larger fish, as they can more easily exert a stronger tension once a bigger fish has attacked. Their main drawback is that they tend to be not as smooth as the Spring and Pawl reel. For most fishing conditions, this is probably immaterial. But on truly smaller panfish species, smaller or more wary trout, the Spring and Pawl reel is probably the way to go.

Some Basic Fly Fishing Terms

Just like in any other sports, fly fishing has its own set of terms and jargon for for just about everything related to this activity.  It obviously makes communicating with other fly fishing enthusiasts easier, but it can be confusing to the average person, much less to those who are just starting out with fly fishing.

To help out beginners, below are some fly fishing terms which will let newbies get the hang of them and let them understand what other more-experienced fly fishers are talking about.


Is the act of casting the line by first throwing it backwards, letting it unfurl, then casting it forward.


A term that refers to flies or any other insect that flies over the water.


The act of casting a fly to an area with a good number of fish.


An artificial lure which attracts fish by imitating a natural lure or by getting its attention with the lure’s bright colors.

Fly Line

The line usually made of synthetic material to which the hook is attached.

Fly Reel

The object which holds the line. It comes in several types depending on several factors which include the materials used and function.

Fly Rod

The rod used specifically for fly fishing. It is usually made of bamboo, fiberglass and graphite.


A small and metal-headed artificial lure which usually has feathers on it.

The terms listed above is only the most common terms used in fly fishing. However, they are enough to let beginners get by in conversations about the activity, or a partner to show interest in their partners leisure activities. There are plenty of other terms that the fly fishing beginners can pick up as their experience with this type of fishing method.

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Category: Fishing

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