Sage Spectrum LT 5/6 Fly Reel $375.00. From $ 137.00 - $ 300.00 . While the Loop Multi isn’t as light as some reels, it’s light enough to balance today’s lighter 5-weight rods. At first glance the Click doesn’t appear to be worth $300, there’s really not much to it – but after thoroughly evaluating the Click, not having much to it is actually what makes it worth $300! Like many of the click reels, the main purpose of the Battenkill’s drag is to keep it from free spooling. As you’ll see, nearly all the manufacturers rated a 9 or 10. Most of the time I know I’m screwed and the stressful moment ends in a snap of tippet. Just to see if the Evolution could hang with the retrieval rates of these larger arbor reels we timed how quickly we could reel in a 100 foot line with a 12 foot leader. We suspect the Behemoth will be a great reel for two-handed rods, where more weight is preferable for balancing. Hours. Having a good reel case will help protect and preserve your reel when you are finished fishing. Typically, when fishing a 5/6 weight outfit the angler will set the drag at one level and rarely change it. If you are fishing with a 5-weight we recommend the 4/5. Some of the click reels are “click and pawl” styles which sound terrific and are the most classic. Standard colors are black, gold, or titanium. The best reels in our Shootout had a range of adjustment of at least one full revolution of the drag knob. Mon-Wed 10 - 6 Thur 10-8 Friday 10 - 5 Sat & Sun 10 - 4. Although the drag knob is a strange shape the drag is easy enough to adjust. For most trout reels,you are going to set the drag in one position and not change it. The Speedster only comes in silver color, with a black colored sleeve around the drag system. We were not willing to take the manufacturer’s word or specs as gospel. All Torque reels are machined from T6 solid bar stock aircraft grade aluminum that is tempered to significantly increase its strength. Feels a tad heavy for its size, but very durable at the same time, #32 Ross Rapid   5/6   $110 – reel,   $66   x/spool. The Einarsson quality control team monitors every stage of construction in order to ensure the high quality for which they are famous. Reel seat is built in, no way to lose it, however if you drop it and break (or bend) it you may have to pay more for an extra frame vs an extra reel seat. If you are looking for the best performing reel that is maintenance free, durable and cost efficient take a hard look at the Rush Light. This reel is as bare bones as you can get. The Redington Zero’s claim to fame is certainly its weight to price ratio, but it also has a few other good features, like zero start up inertia and one of the best spool removal designs. For others, they see how the reel performs in their guide’s hands, and think that it is going to make them great anglers too, or at least take them to the next level. Retrieval Sound:  Rubber on plastic sound in or out, Outgoing drag sound:  Rubber on plastic sound in or out, Spool release:  Spool release cap is easy release new, but after a year or so of use dirt and grit can make it more difficult to get off, Drag detents:  No detents but stiff enough drag knob to keep it from getting knocked off, Handle:  Nice swell but could be a little longer, On the expensive side but also cool to support and buy local, #28 Islander LX 3.2   $565 – reel,  $282   x/spool. Drag Detents:  Good detents to keep it from getting knocked off, Small reel – not much for quick retrieval, #15 Cheeky Boost   $219 – reel,    $94  x/spool. While the Cheeky brand certainly appeals to a younger crowd, (with the two tone look and ski industry like marketing), I think older anglers would appreciate these reels if they give them a try. (10 revolutions)!? (4x pressure) it increased to 1.25 lb. The drag proved to be very smooth, and the reel is maintenance free. The store will not work correctly in the case when cookies are disabled. Retrieval Sound: Pleasant “plastic purr” retrieval sound (like the Cimarron), Outgoing drag sound:  Louder outgoing plastic purr (like the Cimarron), Spin: Great spin   (5-6 revs)? And on the rougher drags it could easily be felt in hand as line peeled off the reel. For click reels like the Hardy, Orvis, and Tibor, you should also lubricate the clickers and gear with good grease. Turnaround time is up to 2 weeks max (including shipping). All in all, the Orvis Access Mid-Arbor is a great reel that performs well while maintaining a more traditional look and size. Reels with smaller arbors (like the Pflueger Medalist) were often heavier, since we needed to put on more 20 pound backing to fill the reel. I could go on and on about the R Salt. Things we would like to see include a larger arbor, more spin like the Cimarron and Animas, a larger handle with more swell towards the end, an easier to grip drag knob, a little more range of drag, and either better drag knob detents or more resistance to keep the drag from accidentally getting bumped off from the selected setting. While the drag is not nearly as strong as the Lightspeed, it is stronger than the Speedster and Liquid. http://www.bauerflyreel.com//wp-content/uploads/Service-and-Repair-Form-v3.pdf. I’ve witnessed this strength first hand, as I’ve taken some really bad falls where the Galvan Torque has taken all my weight straight to the rip-rap boulder bank. The handle is easy enough to grab, although it has no swell like the Speedster, Lightspeed, and Force. Nevertheless, there are some features we like about the Loop Multi. The SC 325’s arbor is also quite small, which also makes for slower line retrieval. The Medalist’s full frame design adds rigidity and durability to the reel. You can also add a personal touch to your Tibor Signature by adding one of Tibor’s exclusive engraved game fish designs or your own personal logo. As always when reeling in at the end of the fishing day, be sure to reel up your line under the pressure of your pinky to ensure the line isn’t loose on your reel – without proper pressure your reel may become overcrowded. Palming a reel as a fish blasts away at a high rate of speed is actually a lot of fun. Here’s another classic reel that has caught a lot of fish over the years. The spool and frames come in two standard colors, black or clear and in two arbor sizes, large or mid arbor. These reels are nearly bulletproof, sound great, and look fantastic. Drag Detents:  Drag knob could possible get knocked off on lowest drag settings, Detents are great from 1 pound up. Once the drag is set, you don’t want it to get accidentally knocked off its setting by rubbing against your clothing, or that log you crawled over to get to the stream. For an inexpensive reel, the Behemoth has a decent range of drag adjustment although this might be an area the Behemoth could improve most on. This reel feels and looks like it isn’t very durable – one hard spill and you’re done. So for me, having a reel that can bring in excess line quickly is more important than owning a reel with a strong drag. If you pick a standard custom color you will be looking at a $75 upgrade. The rough drags made it stutter  like crazy. While the handle is an excellent size it could use a bit of swell at the end instead of tapering as it does. The drag detents are also fantastic and the sealed drag is maintenance free. All of Einarsson’s reels are beautifully machined in Ísafjörður, Iceland from aircraft grade 6061 T6 aluminum. We wish the Islander had a little more range of drag between .25 and 2 pounds. First off is the weight – it’s heavy for 5-weight reel. Retrieval Sound:  Pleasant “plastic purr” retrieval sound, Spin: Great spin   (4-5 revs)? Really I think it is one of the most fun reels to fish with, and while it might be made overseas and doesn’t have a name like Hatch, Tibor, or Abel it really deserves a better score here. The Sage 4250 is made of 6160 – T6 top grade aircraft aluminum in South Korea. We like the design of the reel foot incorporated into the reel frame, since we’ve had other reel feet come off the reel due to loose screws over time. Dirt may enter over time like Hardy LRH. Ross stands by their motto “made on the water” and their location in Colorado ensures optimal field testing. In the event the customer is at fault for damage on major repairs/replacements (E.g., reel crushed by pickup truck) most all the manufacturers offer repairs or replacement at minimal cost. Sage Spectrum LT 3/4 Fly Reel $375.00. Extra XM spools retail for $145. The Tibor Signature 5/6 is machined in Delray Beach, Florida. Outgoing drag sound:  Slight muted sound going out. Spin: Good (2revs)? The range of drag adjustment isn’t very good (although at least it is adjustable). Ross also makes a classic click and pawl reel, the Colorado LT. Retrieval Sound:  Same loud plastic sound in or out, Outgoing drag sound: Same loud plastic sound in or out, Spool Release:  Spool release button – can be very difficult to get off, cap can actually come off with too much force, Drag knob: easy to adjust until you get to the higher settings, Drag Detents: Click detents, drag is stiff enough that it won’t get knocked off easily. The Gunnison sports octagonal machining, a leader groove, and round porting. For some reason the Opti doesn’t spin quite as well as the Loop Evotecs but it isn’t far behind. Many of the trout reels we tested have bronze bushings that need to be oiled now and then to keep them performing perfectly. It also brings a solid amount of performance, scoring a perfect score in five categories: Craftsmanship, Spool to Frame Tolerances, Start Up Inertia, Ease of Spool Removal, and Weight. Reels with caps that come off lost points too. The drag is also one of the smoothest drags in the shootout, even at heavier settings that you would never fish trout with. Sage Click 4/5/6 Fly Reel $300.00. Pros include the RS’s excellent craftsmanship, a fully sealed maintenance free drag, and no start up inertia. Big fish don’t like any kind of herky-jerky action which will often result in jumping, tail walking, or diving deep. The sealed drag is maintenance free and very smooth. For today’s modern lightweight trout rods, we feel that the lightest reels feel the best. At nearly 7 ounces fully loaded, this reel is going to be a tad too heavy when balancing the best 5-weight outfits. Perhaps we should have rated this higher in our craftsmanship category, but all cast reels were docked compared to machined reels. The Loop Evotec G4 LW 5/8 is machined in South Korea from one piece of aircraft aluminum. #13 Loop Evotec G4 FW 3/5    $425 – reel,    $199  x/spool. The reel’s foot is ported as well to help lighten things. (And with sound vs silent), Counterbalance:  Very good, however a tiny bit of wobble (looking at the center of the reel on the fastest spins), Drag knob: Square and easy to turn (better than Animas), Drag Detents:  No detents however drag knob is stiff (drag adjustment won’t get knocked off easily), Handle:  Excellent, perfect size and flare, easy to grab without looking, #12  (tie) Ross Cimarron II 5/6      $200 – reel,    $120- x/spool. If you hook a big fish you’ll have to palm the reel – however since it is a full frame design, you’ll have to “finger palm” it, which is easy enough to get the hang of it. The arbor is well ported to allow your backing to dry quickly. Craftsmanship, durability, start up inertia, drag detents, and reel case design (a fancy and expensive looking leather case) were all solid 10’s. The Ross Animas is machined  in Montrose, Colorado from the highest-grade aerospace aluminum available (6061 – T6). Extra 325 LA spools retail for $110. The Cimarron II reels are proudly machined in Montrose, Colorado  from the highest-grade aerospace aluminum available (6061 – T6). We also like the reverse tapered handle, which is easy to grab without looking. In terms of heirloom quality, the SD reels are clearly some of the very best in the test. The paisley shaped cutouts look pretty cool and if the drag wasn’t so heavy this reel would be a lot lighter. Ross Fly Reels and Fly Rods are recognized as some of the best in the world. ROSS COLORADO LT FLY REEL. The drag is adjustable but it doesn’t really change the drag pressure much. Loop uses the same excellent rubber covered handle, which is large and easy to grip, even when wet. Quite the opposite, actually. Our hats go off to Bauer for making a difference and giving back to the resource we all enjoy. The machined frame also appears to be more scratch resistant than the spool. A couple of things could possibly be improved with the Lightspeed. The drag knob is very easy to adjust and it has the best detents of any reel in the test. We also like how well the arbor is ported, which will really help with drying backing more quickly. It remains one of the best click and pawl style reels available. One cool thing about the counter weight is that is utilizes a rubber O-ring which you can wrap your tippet around during transport. The arbor is ported to help backing dry more quickly, however we noticed that some of the machining here didn’t feel as finished as some reels, the ported rectangles felt slightly “rough,” although not enough to cut your backing. Everyone comments on how nicely these reels spin and how much line they can pick up quickly. It also has a nice stop on the bottom with .14lbs. The 3.9 pounds of max drag is plenty enough to battle even the largest browns from the Madison, Missouri, or Yellowstone. We think for most anglers looking for a 5-weight reel, the Evotec FW 3/5 is a much better size. While the RS is lighter than a lot of reels we tested, it could be a touch lighter in order to match today’s lightweight 5-weight rods. Like Bauer and Cheeky, Ross Reels donates 10% of each reel sold to the sport fish and wildlife restoration programs. $125.00 . The other chink we’ve found in the Finatic’s armor is that water can get in the tiny hex hole that is designed for changing the direction of the drag. Loop uses Loc-Tite on all their reels, making it a major undertaking to remove the 6 flathead screws in the shop much less on the stream. Black is the standard color, however Loop now offers black or silver frames and spool colors in blue, green, orange, black or silver. Although the Torque’s porting looks amazing and is more work for Galvan to machine, the Rush Light only weighs .1 of an ounce more (naked or once equal amounts of backing, line, and leader have been loaded). Generous company that cares about our sport and gives back to the resource we also like it... Adding some drag detents: Huge detents so the drag system makes the reel much heavier than the 5+ some... The exact same pressure cast frame like the Abel SD reels place as low they... 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