Do you own the best saltwater fly reel? If not, it could be costing your from catching more fish.
To land trophy fish on fly tackle requires durable and well-crafted reel that has been designed to perform consistently on the water trip after trip. This especially true when fishing saltwater. Having a reel that doesn’t perform will suck the joy right out of fly fishing.
In this article, we are going to talk an in-depth look at 3 different fly reels. Hope by the end of these articles we can help you to decide just which one is the best saltwater fly reel.
Things to remember when looking for the best saltwater fyl reel…
It is important to remember that the reels we selected as our top saltwater fly reels, usually come in several models that are designed to hold certain line weights.
Regarding saltwater fly fishing, the most popular weights for rods and line is in the range of 8-12wt. Because of this, we are going to limit our review to models in this weight range.
What is the best saltwater fly reel?
Here is a preview of our top 3:
- Galvan Torque Large Arbor Fly Reel
- Hatch Outdoors Finatic 7 Plus
- Orvis Mirage Fly Reels, Black Nickel, V (9-11 Wt)
The Galvan Torque Large Arbor Fly ReelGalvan Torque is a beautifully designed reel that is available in the T8, T10, and T12 models all of which are available in several color schemes and all of which are capable of handling any saltwater species that you are willing to chase.
This is an American made reel that is a steal for the price as it performs as well or better than the high-end reels.
The Torque is an extremely lightweight with the T8 coming in at 7.6oz, the T10 at 8.2oz, and the T12 at 8.6oz. What this provides you is a reel that can be used all day without causing fatigue from extended casting.
For bonefish or tuna where a lot of line is taken from the reel, the Torque reel provides a lot of line capacity from 200-300yds of backing able to be spooled with your fly line.
Galvan Torque reels have phenomenal drag systems. The max drag on these models can hold up to running saltwater species. More importantly, they have easy to handle drag adjustment knob that has extreme sensitivity regarding fine tuning drag adjustments across the entire range of the drag. Nothing is more important when fighting large fish than easy to adjust drag.
There is also minimal start-up inertia to the drag. This is important for smooth runs and fewer line breaks.
Overall, the Galvan Torque is designed to provide you near flawless performance. The durability, corrosion resistance, and drag capabilities make this reel a top choice for saltwater fishing.
The next on our list of the best saltwater fly reel is the Hatch Outdoors Finatic 7 Plus, and it doesn’t take long to discover why it made our list.
The Hatch Finatic 7, 9, 11 and 12 Plus models all have the capacity and design to chase after saltwater game fish from bonefish to marlin with line weight capacity ranging from 7-16wt. These reels are available in several color schemes including Clear/Green, Clear/Red, Clear/Blue, Clear/Black, or Black/Silver.
Finatic reels are lightweight with the 7+at 8.6oz, the 9+ at 10.6oz, the 11+ at 11.1oz, and the 12+ at 15.6oz.
These reels are machined from high-grade aluminum and are extremely durable reels that can stand up to a lot of abuse and hard days on the water. While it is on the high-end of the price spectrum, it is going to last you for years without the need to purchase a new reel.
Hatch had fishing for large saltwater species in mind when they designed the large and easy to grip metal handles for making landing fish much easier.
Finatic models come available in either large or mid arbor designs to give you a reel that can hold enough backing to fit your fishing needs. Larger arbor reels will offer you better line retrieval speeds while the mid arbor reels are going to give you more room for extra backing. This is a great option that a lot of reel manufacturers do not give you and lets you further customize your reel for the specific game you have in mind.
The Finatic has a sealed drag system making it an excellent pairing for saltwater fishing and keeps you from having to do routine maintenance to keep the gears and bushings from corroding.
The carbon fiber stacked drag system is sensitive enough to adjust it throughout the drag’s range, though the adjustment knob can be difficult to rotate. The positive side to this is you have a know that will remain in the drag setting you have placed it in throughout tough fights or when hauling it around.
Orvis is one of the premier manufacturers of fly fishing gear, and their Mirage reels might be one of the best products they have brought off the line.
The final saltwater fly reel that we are going to look at is the Orvis Mirage Fly Reels, Black Nickel, V (9-11 Wt).
Their Mirage IV through VII models makes up their larger reel versions that are capable of providing enough line capacity and drag to handle saltwater species. The IV weighs in at 7.2oz, the V at 7.7oz, VI at 10oz, and the VII at 11.5-11.7oz. Even the largest reels are extremely lightweight cutting down on fatigue when casting on an all day trip to the water.
These reels have large arbors with excellent line retrieval speeds that always comes in handy when trying to land large saltwater species. The VII model, like all the Hatch reels, is available in a shallow and deep model. The deep model has a smaller arbor size but provides much higher line and backing capacity while the shallow version gives you faster line retrieval at 11” per spool turn.
The Mirage also has wide spool diameters which helps lay down your line evenly and prevent backing and line tangling or catching deep within the spool and revealing itself at the most inopportune time.
The Mirage sports a sealed, stacked carbon fiber drag system that is one of the smoothest drags in the business. Easy to maneuver drag knob and fine tuning adjustment gives you all the power and flexibility when handling larger fish. The Mirage also has little start-up inertia for a clean and smooth drag engagement.
Not any fly reel can stand up to the rigors of saltwater fishing. In this article, we have discussed three of the best saltwater fly reels and the design and technology that makes them worthy of being part of any saltwater anglers outfit.
What do you think is the best saltwater fly reel? Share with us your thoughts…