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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    SE Pennsylvania
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    194

    Default Possibly dumb question about reel sizing to rod

    Looking for a reel for my 5wt Orvis H3. Several of the reels I am interested come in one of two sizes.

    3-5wt
    5-7wt

    Which would you lean toward for a 5wt H3? I am leaning smaller/lighter but sometimes spool capacity can be an issue. I also fear 5-7 is a bit heavy and unbalanced.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Possibly dumb question about reel sizing to rod

    I have no experience with that rod, but I tend to opt for the larger reel (e.g., I'd put a 5-6 reel on a 5 wt). That said, if in your shoes I would try various reels (with backing and line on) to see what weight balances best, then look up how much the best match weighs empty and then choose a reel that weighs about the same. Obviously the amount of backing will affect the weight, but as long as the test reel and the reel you decide to purchase have/will have approximately the same amount on I wouldn't think it would make a huge difference.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    2,384

    Default Re: Possibly dumb question about reel sizing to rod

    For reel size perspective, watch Kelly Galloup's take. For reel weight issues, skip to the 3:50 mark.


  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    south of Joplin
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Possibly dumb question about reel sizing to rod

    I'm usually liking bigger capacity reels over smaller capacity reels unless there is a huge weight difference.

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Possibly dumb question about reel sizing to rod

    I agree with all of Kelly's points about reel selection aside from the noise part. I guess I like rap music.


    If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.
    ~Zane Grey

    " . . . shouldn't a man stand on his own two feet and catch his own steelhead? Maybe put out some effort and find his own fish just for the fun of it?"
    ~Syd Glasso

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    730

    Default Re: Possibly dumb question about reel sizing to rod

    A lightweight reel on a lightweight rod is not always a good match. I tried it with my lightweight 5wt. and it moved the balance point forward so it was in front of the grip. A larger reel with more mass moved balance back where t belongs, on the cork. I think you should use whatever reel balances the rod to your satisfaction. A proper reel should also meet your line and aesthetic requirements.

    (formerly Brook Rookie)

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  10. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,288

    Default Re: Possibly dumb question about reel sizing to rod

    Quote Originally Posted by cwb124 View Post
    Looking for a reel for my 5wt Orvis H3. Several of the reels I am interested come in one of two sizes.

    3-5wt
    5-7wt

    Which would you lean toward for a 5wt H3? I am leaning smaller/lighter but sometimes spool capacity can be an issue. I also fear 5-7 is a bit heavy and unbalanced.
    With the reel breakdowns as you have them, the 5 is the top on one and the bottom on the other. With that being said, I pretty much always go with the size up especially when you have a reel size breakdown like you are listing.

    I have also found that when it comes to backing, most makers are a bit generous on how much backing their reels will hold, especially Orvis. But then again, those numbers reflect (I am sure) putting the line/backing on with a machine which if you get it to the limit by the time you fish the reel a couple of times it usually will not all fit back like it did when it was spooled. Another factor is also the different types of line size even within the same weight. I have found AirFlo lines (of the same given weight) take up more space than Rio lines.

    By going up to the 5-7 size I think you can allow for some of these descrepencies not to mention it might improve the balance point especially with rods longer than 8'-8 1/2'.
    Mainline the blueline

  11. #8

    Default Re: Possibly dumb question about reel sizing to rod

    Quote Originally Posted by cwb124 View Post
    Looking for a reel for my 5wt Orvis H3. Several of the reels I am interested come in one of two sizes.

    3-5wt
    5-7wt

    Which would you lean toward for a 5wt H3? I am leaning smaller/lighter but sometimes spool capacity can be an issue. I also fear 5-7 is a bit heavy and unbalanced.
    Which reels are we wondering about. I tend to ignore line size ratings and go by balance. My wife fishes an H2 #5 and it was outfitted with Mirage II but required the III to properly balance. My light weight Sage ONE #5 required a Nautilus FWX 7|8 to achieve gravity neutral balance. Reels have gotten proportionally lighter than rods which are lighter too and my experience is I tend to go up in size.

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  13. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    clinch river regular
    Posts
    785

    Default Re: Possibly dumb question about reel sizing to rod

    My conviction for a trout rod is such that it must be comfortable enough to high stick for hours without out tiring my arm. That said, my balancing of reel/line/rod follows a certain criteria:

    For a typical, modern, 9 5wt-6wt rod
    String the rod so that a length of fly line equal to the rod length is extended past the tip top. With the rod level, reel attached and fully loaded with its intended line and appropriate amount of backing, I want the balance point on the tip of my index finger right about 3 cork rings (1 1/2) back from the winding check. This places the head of the line in the rods guide set, and would be a normal starting off point for a typical first false cast. On a 9 rod weighing approx 3.0 oz., this would most likely be achieved with a 3 1/2 diameter, 1 wide large arbor reel in the 5-6 oz range (empty per manufacturer spec).

    Perhaps that will help with perspective.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  15. #10

    Default Re: Possibly dumb question about reel sizing to rod

    I concur with mike_r, my Igniter #5 likes its (empty) 5.6 oz. reel. It is also relevant to note that static balance in hand when walking/wading is different from a sense of dynamic balance when casting/fishing.

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