Tip: Match the reel arbor size to the fish being sought.

      The large arbor fly reel is becoming the top pick among fly fishers. But there are other choices as well. Let's examine the options.

      The STANDARD ARBOR fly reel spool design is simply a traditional style spool. This spool will feature a deep arbor so you can get plenty of backing to compliment your fly line. Standard style spools will usually be on more compact reels because the overall spool diameters are not as large as larger arbor style reels. These reels usually feature an adjustable drag system or a traditional click and pawl style drag. The MID ARBOR spool design is gaining popularity among fly fisherman. This style spool is a great compromise between a large arbor fly reel and a standard arbor design. Anglers can take advantage of the over-sized multi-disk drag systems that are mounted through the center of the spool arbor, yet they still get the advantage of a slightly larger diameter spool for line retrieval and additional line capacity.

      The main advantage to the LARGE ARBOR fly reel spool design is that the overall diameter of the reel is large so you can increase your line retrieval and gain line capacity, due to the increased arbor size. This type of reel would be somewhat comparable to a high-speed gear ratio in a spinning or conventional reel. For anglers targeting larger fish or venturing into saltwater, the large arbor design incorporates a very efficient, over-sized multi-disk drag system.

The SUPER LARGE ARBOR fly reel is very much like the larger arbor fly reel design, but with an even larger spool diameter. The main purpose for this style reel is for line retrieval. Due to the physical size of the spool and the arbor, anglers are able to gain line much faster with each turn of the reel handle. In addition, by maximizing the spool arbor, manufacturers are able to use the inner arbor for a larger drag system. One of the best examples of a super large arbor fly reel is the Elkhorn MA-1 and MA-2 Mega Arbor reels. These reels are everything you want and are "light as a feather".

interchangeable arbor

Some companies offer an unusual setup like Teton's INTERCHANGEABLE REEL ARBOR SPOOLS. The ability to interchange regular and large arbor spools for most size reels "allows the angler to reap the benefit of large arbor technology without having to acquire more than one reel frame."


What is meant by the retrieval system is how the fly reel retrieves line and how fast it does it.

The first type and by far the most popular is the single action. This means that when you turn the reel handle one complete revolution, you will have also completed one turn of the spool as well. They are by far the most durable.

The second type of retrieval system is the multiplying reel. This system incorporates a series of gears whereby one turn of the fly reel produces more than one turn of the spool itself. This allows the line to be reeled in much quicker. The drawback with these types of reels is that the potential exists for them to break more often than a single action fly reel because there are more moving parts involved.

The third type of retrieval system is the automatic fly reel. Fly fishing purists have much disdain for the automatic system as they view it as taking away the challenge, but it does help in line control. This reel automatically retrieves all fly line at the press of a trigger. One problem with this type of reel is that they are heavy and not very durable because of the motorized system within. They typically do not allow you to set varying degrees of drag and do not hold as much backing as other reels. If you are a disabled person, this reel adaptation can be very beneficial to your enjoyment of the sport.

So, what's your pleasure?

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