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Fly Reels

Fly Fishing Reels

The best fly reels are both attractive and beautifully engineered. Our range includes the ultimate in large-arbor machined disc-drag reels together with traditional reel designs and cassette reels, which covers UK and worldwide fishing. Whatever your chosen species, such as trout, salmon or saltwater and whatever your budget, Sportfish have the ideal reel choice for you. Complete your setup with the best fly fishing rod and fly line from our range.

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A Bit More About Fly Reels

Fly reels come in all shapes and sizes but their primary function is to store a fly line and sufficient backing to cope with the strongest of fish. Clearly, the rod plays an important role in playing a fish but it is essential to have a reel that also does the job. Each style of fly fishing requires a different approach when it comes to the equipment used, and choosing the right fly reel is an important task. Weight, drag, materials used and functionality must all be considered. 

Luckily, in our huge range of fly reels there’s something for every fly fishing situation. Our range includes everything from the lightest click-and-pawl reels for lightweight river fishing, to a massive range of stillwater and reservoir reels (including cassette spool systems), to heavy duty salmon and saltwater reels that can stop the angriest fish in their tracks.

Our reels are at the forefront of fly fishing technology too - you’ll find models built with carbon fibre, sealed saltwater-proof ceramic drag systems and aerospace-grade metals. At the other end of the spectrum, and if you’re just getting started out with fly fishing, we stock a cracking selection of entry level affordable reels too - perfect for beginners taking their first steps into the sport.

What species are you fishing for?

When choosing a reel, it is imperative to first decide what fish you want to target. For example, some saltwater species will run for hundreds of metres and are almost impossible to stop. In these situations, you require a reel with the capacity to hold several hundred metres of backing and which is equipped with a reliable disc drag to carefully slow the fish as it runs.

Other fish, such as grayling on our UK rivers, do not make long, fast runs but tend to use their huge dorsal fin to kite across the current and therefore large arbor reels and disc drags are not necessary and in place a simple click-and-pawl check will suffice.

My normal day job entails guiding on Chew Valley and Blagdon lakes from a boat. When fishing for trout, I will use a smaller reel than when I am targeting pike on the fly and when river fishing I use reels designed to carry #4 weight lines to complement my lighter rods. If I’m fishing for salmon on bigger rivers then my reel must be large enough to hold #9 and #10 weight lines, complete with enough backing to handle a big, fit salmon fresh in from the sea.