Hur du väljer rätt flugrulle till ditt flugfiske

What should you consider before buying a new fly reel? What is the difference between an expensive fly reel and a cheap one? Which fly fishing reel is right for your fly fishing? What is a fly reel with so-called "Full-Frame"? We will discuss these and many more questions in this guide. A guide whose purpose is to help you make a good purchase. Join us!

A fly reel is usually a simple construction, the purpose of which is to store your backing, fly line and tab. Most of today's modern rollers also have a built-in brake with a slider to adjust the resistance.

How do you choose the right fly reel for your fly rod?

You have to start with which fly rod the fly reel will sit on. A fly rod has a classification that describes the line weight it is made for, for example, a class #5 fly rod is made for a fly line that weighs 9.1 grams, this according to the AFTM standard. Read more about Single Hand Fly Rods in our guide: Choose the right one-handed fly rod - A buying guide

After you figure this out, you can start looking at fly reels. Reels are graded according to the rod they will sit on, and most often these grades have a range, for example class #4-6, which means that the reel is suitable for fly rods in class #4, #5 and #6.

What is the difference between an expensive reel and a cheap fly reel?

Fly reels are usually made using three different methods, they can:

  • Made from one piece of aluminum in a CNC machine
  • Molded in aluminium
  • Made in some form of plastic/carbon fiber alloy.

These different methods of making a fly reel give rise to different quality levels and thus price ranges. A fly reel that is made from a piece of aluminum in a CNC machine gives the reel a lightness, the ability to manufacture precisely, with tight tolerances and usually the method gives more room for nicer designs. This type of roll is generally the most expensive.

A fly reel that is cast in aluminum usually has the same lightness as the above, but not with the same tight tolerances between the reel parts as the above. A molded fly reel also has more design limitations.

A plastic fly reel is cheap and light, but it is fragile and does not possess the quality that any of the above do.  

The difference is therefore the choice of material and the manufacturing method.

What is a full frame fly reel?

The word "Full Frame" often comes up when talking about fly reels, and perhaps especially among those who fish with two-handed fly rods. Full frame means that the reel housing is completely enveloping, see the difference in picture 1 and picture 2 below, where picture 1 is a fly reel with a full frame and picture 2 one without.
Why is full frame so good?
If you have a fly reel without a full frame, there is a risk that the backing, line or claw will come over on the wrong side and thus get caught, this risk is eliminated with a full frame fly reel. The reason why this topic is most discussed among two-handed fly fishermen is because of the thin fly line that has a tendency to get caught on reels without a full frame, this as a fly line is much thinner than a normal fly line or lump.

Guideline Halo Flugrulle

Image 1. Guideline Halo, a fly reel with Full Frame.

Orvis Battenkill Disc

Image 2. Orvis Battenkill Disc. A fly reel without Full Frame.

Brake on a fly reel

Almost all modern reels today have an adjustable brake, where you can set different resistances depending on the fish you are after. The brake is fully sufficient on most reels for those who fish for trout, grayling, rainbow trout and trout. On the other hand, if you are going tropical fishing or for salmon, yes, then the brake becomes all the more important. Then a smooth and strong brake that can withstand tough grips is required.

To think about! If you are going to use your fly reel in the sea, think about choosing a fly reel with a closed brake system that prevents salt from getting in and destroying your reel from the inside out.

Which fly reels do we recommend in the different price ranges?

There is an incredibly large variety of fly reels on the market today, each with their own pros and cons. Which fly reel is right for you is determined by the type of fishing you intend to use it for and your budget. But of course we have our favourites, let's name one in each price range.

Guideline Favo

A real bestseller and it's easy to see why. The reel is in a really interesting price range, and has qualities well above its price. The roller is die-cast in aluminum with CNC machined details. Comes in grades #4-#10. Currently at a starting price of 1499 SEK.

Orvis Battenkill Disc

A fly reel with a classic design in a new modern vintage. Machined from a single piece of aluminum and a disc brake braking system make this one of the best rollers on the market. A roller for those who like the more classic look and are weak for its creaking brake. Comes in grades #1-#11. Currently at a starting price of 2199 SEK.

Guideline Fario LW

Built around a strong truss construction and with a brake system that is waterproof, sealed and made up of graphite and stainless steel discs. A really light fly reel that is also beautiful to rest your eyes on. Made from one piece of aluminum. Comes in grades #2-#8. Currently at a starting price of 3699 SEK.


As always, you still have questions about fly reels or maybe about something our guide didn't cover. Contact us, we usually respond immediately.  

Emil - Fly Fishing Market

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