Help me pick my first reel

mcfly6667

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Greetings, after many years of curiosity, I am getting in to fly fishing. I have a hand-me-down 9' 6# rod that I believe is modest but not a toy (quality) and am starting to shop for reels. I plan to me mostly wading in small/medium rivers going after trout. Im not a cheapskate but am also realistic and this is a "hobby" after all. (for now) A few articles I've read suggest reels like a Reddington CW2 or something a little better maybe. I've been a "worm-drowner" off and on over the years but this is a new category. I've even tied a few flies under the tutelage of an uncle back in the day. "Buy this one" is fine or a few insider tips on what features to pay for or "if you spend $50 more, here is what you should get" are all helpful. I think i like palm-drag but that is probably not for a beginner.
Thanks for some input.
 

Ard

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Hi,

Welcome to the forum, when you say the rod is quality perhaps you could tell us what brand and if it has the weight scripted on the butt section share that also. It's likely you will get suggestions for many various reels so be prepared for a bit of confusion. Another good thing to know would be if you have any fly shops or big box stores like Sportsman's Wearhouse where you could go see and handle reels in person. The websites and images they have are great but a hands on inspection always is preferable when you are new to these things.
 

ddb

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Some general advice..

Buy a quality,reliable, used, click and pawl reel and master it before chasing the annually 'newer, better' got-to-have" products on the market. Look into the SA System 2 and Hardy ltwts as a starting point. You won't go too far wrong and can recoup your investment when you move on or up in the sport.

ddb
 

WNCtroutstalker

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Welcome. There are so many possibilities, it's kind of hard to know where to begin, particularly since you didn't mention your budget.

A general comment. I would not overspend on a reel. Of the 3 components of your outfit (rod, reel, line), it's probably the least important for the fishing you described. If you opt for a disc drag, I would think that just about every current reel and probably all or most older ones should be fine. And you mentioned you might want a click-pawl, which likely would be fine.

In terms of "what would you get for a bit more," one thing to look for is whether the reel is machined or die cast. Machined reels tend to be more durable, in terms of they may scratch or dent if dropped on a rock but won't shatter, but also tend to be more expensive. Die cast reels are less durable when it comes to a "drop test", but also tend to be less expensive. If you don't envision much rock hopping, this may be less of an issue.

The suggestion above to buy used is a good one. I would just go on eBay and do some searches. Various brands you can think of (you might include Ross, Lamson, Redington and Orvis, among others) followed by "fly reel".

In terms of some specific reels that wouldn't break the bank, you might look for one of the older Orvis Battenkills (the ones that were sort of a brownish color), they came in both click-pawl and disc drag models (the ones with a disc drag say "disc" on the frame next to the model number, e.g. 5/6, 7/8). The Scientific Angler System 2 reels (disc drags) are bombproof and can be found for under $100, perhaps well under. A solid and inexpensive click-pawl is the old Scientific Anglers System 1 (the gray one), it came in a 456 and 789. If you want to spend a bit more, look for a Hardy Princess. If you want something more recent, look for some of the Lamson and Redington reels.

Good luck to you.
 

mcfly6667

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Good info, thanks. Ill look into those suggestions. I feel like I'm leaning to a larger arbor and a "pawl" type just for simplicity. Maybe a disc-drag option is better for beginner though.
It s a Rocky Mountain Anglers 9' #6 and I guess this is a S/N 071284 Anyway, dont even know if its FG or Graphite or what, but its what Ill be using.
There are a couple of big sportsman chain stores nearby, Ill probably have a local shop set me up with whatever reel I end up with.
Thanks again
 

trev

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I like them to balance about 1-2" above the cork, so that might a preference thing like how to grip the rod and what shoes fit best.
My suggestion on the reel is read past threads here on 6wt reels for suggestions search and shop used
 
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Gotribe

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Welcome! I love Lamson for their balance of quality and price. I fish a couple Lamson Liquids and a couple Lamson Gurus, recommend them both. The Liquids you can get under $100. Understand the difference between the liquids and the others are the Liquids are die cast overseas while the others are machined. Both use the same US made machined sealed drags, so in the Liquid you’re getting the same high quality drag for a lot less money.
 

Bambooflyguy

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Welcome aboard! Fly fishing is a blast and more sporty/challenging then other forms of fishing. What hand do you reel with? Lots of good advice given already, but how much do you want to spend for your first reel? Are you mainly going to use a floating line in the rivers you fish?
 
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