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Fly Tying
The choice of a reel is a big decision and a very important piece of equipment. With the large selection available, choosing the right one can be confusing. Here are some guidelines to help in decision-making.

CONSTRUCTION

Machined Aluminum The most structurally sound reels are machined aluminum, made entirely from bar stock. A machined reel has the fewest assembled parts, so less can go wrong. Stringent design standards ensure these reels function properly and all the parts align correctly. Ounce for ounce, these reels are the strongest and most precise on the market.

Anodization and Lubrication Keeping grit and grime out of the fly reel is important. A reel that is filled with exposed grease attracts dirt and will wear out prematurely. Low or no-maintenance lubrication and a durable finishing process are critical characteristics that increase the life of a reel and safeguard against mechanical breakdown.

Arbor The arbor is the interior diameter of the fly reel where the fly line is contained. Recent industry trends have emphasized an arbor with a greater circumference. The benefits of the larger arbor are less memory in the fly line, increased rate of retrieval of the fly line and, most importantly, the outgoing drag tension is drastically reduced. In short, fishing with a large arbor maintains a tighter connection with the fish, thus reducing slack in the line that allows for more control.

Start Up Inertia Start-up inertia is the single biggest obstacle to landing a fish, whether taking line in or the line is going out of the reel. A reel that requires the smallest amount of energy to start turning, avoiding that spike in sudden resistance, is the best choice to reduce the stress on the tippet when a fish is taking line. Basically, a fly reel is only as good as its drag system, and to achieve a superior drag, the materials it is constructed of must be the best on the market.

Drag Systems Drag systems that use synthetic discs consistently perform at the top of industry standards. They are smoothest systems around because they dampen the transition from zero to rotation minimizing the clunk when the spool engages. That means fewer broken tippets and more success on the river. The materials that go into a great drag system must be durable enough to withstand high levels of pressure, heat, and friction. The drag must retain its shape, no matter how much pressure is applied.