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Thread: Reel Sizes

  1. #1

    Default Reel Sizes

    When a reel is rated as a size 5-6 is it that just a recommendation or a hard and fast rule? Does it just have to do with the amount of backing you can get on the reel? For example, if you have a Lamson Konic 1.5 for 3/4 wt lines, can you put a WF5 bass taper line on it and just reduce the amount of backing? What about going up to a size 6? Seems to me that I could use a smaller reel and help reduce the weight and just put a heavier line and it could be cheaper buying a spare spool instead of a new larger reel. Any direction on this is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Reel Sizes

    You can do whatever you wish as far as line sizes goes. the 3/4 designation is like the suggested serving picture on the side of the food package. I used an orvis 3/4 Battenkill with a size 5 on it for years and still had about 70 yards of 20# backing there. Before I would spend money on another reel I''d use whatever line I wanted on the reel.

    If you are not fishing for big reel stripping fish like I do then backing is not such a big issue. I seldom have trout peel off more than 50 or 60 feet of line on a run.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Re: Reel Sizes

    I just bought two Made In England Orvis BBS IV reels for my 6wt rods. The
    Made in England instructions indicate that this reel is for 6-8wt lines, but the
    Made in China instructions say 7-9. I put backing on until the backing was
    1 7/8" in diameter, and then added a 6wt WF F line. I was left with a bit less
    1/4" of space between the line and reel, and the backing diameter has made this a mid-arbor set-up with a twist: the BBS IV weighs at least an ounce less than Orvis's mid-arbor reel, and that's before putting an ounce of backing
    onto the mid-arbor. I can take backing off, and use a heavier line, or even
    put a 5wt line on there to balance a 9' 5wt. I do like to go with the lightest
    set-up for anything 8'6", 5wt and under.

    I have some wider large arbor reels, and the only problem is weight and possibly jamming. Using a line at the upper end of the manufacturer's
    recommendation increases the chance for jamming if you don't pay attention
    to winding line back on the spool (my wife ). If I remember correctly, the
    Lamson 1.5 reels are about 3" in diameter. I'd go a little bigger for the reasons
    mentioned above. You could buy two Okuma SLV reels for the price of one
    Konic, and the SLV is every bit as good as the Konic. I've owned several
    SLV's and never had a single glitch of any sort.

  4. Re: Reel Sizes

    Good morning, I have really got into this meadlist1494 kich, seem i can not read or talk enough about them. I started fly fishing when i was around 10 yrs. old, whike others were playing ball i was looknig for bream in my popops pond or in roanoke with my parents looling for trout or smallmouth bass. the first reel that i owned was a shakesphere, but then i saw a 1494 in western auto,and that was that. purchased it for around , not real sure 5 or 6 dollars. still have it, still works. I am 68 yrs old so that tells you about how old the reel is,very small one . Ireally like the small ones best . Found one at a pawn shop the other day, going to pick it up today,has been mistreated for a long time but its fixable. thanks for listing to me rant on Yellowhammer:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    South Texas

    Default Re: Reel Sizes

    I would not recommend going with a 3/4 reel on a 5wt rod just to reduce total weight, as it will actually increase "swing weight", throw the balance off, and thus be less pleasant to cast.

    In general, the line size listed for a reel is based on what rod it will balance, as well as line capacity, assuming you're talking about a typical example of that weight rod. (7-8' 3wt, 8.5-9' 5wt) So if you have a 10' 3wt or 4wt rod, it may need a 5/6wt reel for balance, and vice-versa, a 7' 5wt may need a 3/4 reel to balance it.

    To squeeze a 5wt line on a 3/4 reel, I would be more likely to cut of 10-20' of running line on the back end of the fly line in exchange for 40+ YARDS of backing. Its not likely that you'll be making 90' casts with a 5wt short enough to need a 3/4 reel, but you still could hook into a backing-needing fish, and it would be a damn shame to run out. (Those wishing to chime in with "blah blah, Lee Wulff could cast 200' with a 3' cane rod, blah blah" just don't. Really not relevant here)

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Reel Sizes

    On lighter trout rods (< 6 wt?) you can also go with a smallerish size reel, and maintain backing length if you really need it by going to 12# backing... the standard for most reel specs is based on 20# which is complete overkill when fishing with 4-7x leader/tippit materials... IMO
    ... But a lifelong journey.

    I choose fly rods the same way I do women, motorcycles, and cowboy boots...
    go with what ever feels good, and keep on hand as many as I can afford

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