Surfcast23

5wt reel suggestions

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After getting my first stripers on the fly I have become hooked on fly fishing.  St Croix had a close out so I picked up a 5 wt for fresh water now I need a reel to match. I'm in central MA so I'll probably be fishing lakes and rivers around here (suggestions welcome). 

What are the reels people like around here ?

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What's your budget?  Also how careful are you with your gear?

 

A good inexpensive reel that requires little or no maintenance in normal freshwater usage is the Lamson Guru size 2.  If you want a somewhat more expensive reel with better ergonomics, look at Nautilus, Danielsson, Galvan, Bauer or Ross.  Right now the Danielsson F3W size 4-7 can be had direct for around $210 with shipping.  A Galvan Torque in a similar size is ~ $300.  The Nautilus XM size 4/5 is ~ $300 and is extremely lightweight because of the extremely cut away frame (pictured below).

xm-silver-1.jpg

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St Croix

Cabelas

TFO NXT

First one’s made in America I think.

 

5 WT reels are string bobbins unless you’re specialty fishing.

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I have several lamson liquids which retail for around $99.  Made in the USA with decent drags.  Dont need more than that for most freshwater applications.

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I would start off with the lamson Liquid (79 bucks) on sale at the lamson website right now. I use one for my Tight Line outfit and its perfect. Drag easily handled big browns on the Farmington and out west on the Madison. That reel has been abused (dunked, dropped etc), but  i grew up fishing on the Long Island Sound so its ingrained in me to wash all my gear like its been fished in the salt and have zero complaints with the Liquid. But if you want to make the deep plunge go with the galvan torque (what I currently use on my 5wt Sage).

 

 

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I have a Battenkill III mid arbor on my 5 wgt.  It's a little higher priced than the basic Battenkill.  It does have a drag.   The basic Battenkill runs around  $120.  Since the fly shop I frequent is an Orvis dealer I've always had Battenkill reels, in one form or another.  It's a good reel, I've never had any issues or problems with it.   A reel is basically there to hold line.  If you're fishing local lakes and rivers you don't need an expensive reel.  Any of the lower priced ones mentioned above will work for you.  They will certainly handle any fish you're going to catch.  I caught this smallmouth on a 5 wgt with the basic Battenkill a several years ago.

 

 

 

Jerry's fish21 (2).jpg

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another vote for the orvis battenkill.   great reel, great service.  look for a used one to save a few bucks.

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Lots of options out there. I would like to cap the price at $150 or so and really don't need anything fancy to start out. I'm going to look online and see whats on sale this weekend.

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1 hour ago, Philly said:

  A reel is basically there to hold line. 

 

What he said. I may go an entire year on the Farmington or Hous without putting a fish on the reel, and we're talking about some trout that can be measured in pounds rather than inches.

 

No one has mentioned the used route. Almost all of my freshwater reels are pre-owned. You can get a great reel for not a lot of money. A good fly shop will have lots of options.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Steve Culton

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4 mins ago, The Fisherman said:

 

What he said. I may go an entire year on the Farmington or Hous without putting a fish on the reel, and we're talking about some trout that can be measured in pounds rather than inches.

 

No one has mentioned the used route. Almost all of my freshwater reels are pre-owned. You can get a great reel for not a lot of money. A good fly shop will have lots of options.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Steve Culton

Hi Steve, You're friends with Cynthia Harkenss right?

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There's been some very good options mentioned. I've become a fan of Allen Fly fishing's reels, so you can add them to your list to check out. Allen has a very good following and they take good care of their customers.

 

Another reel that I've been using and have been very satisfied with is an Okuma Sierra. They're not the same "quality" as the reels mentioned here, but for the price, and for a "line holder" they're an excellent choice.

 

I don't have a 5 wt, the only weight I don't have between 3 wt to 10 wt, but do have a couple of 4 wt's and a 3 wt. The one Sierra I have on a 4 wt has worked fine for me.

 

I also use a couple of now discontinued Cortland Rimfly reels on those lighter weight rods. Again, not the same quality as reels mentioned, but again, they've been good reels, and all I need them to do is hold line, and purchased at very reasonable prices. I've had a few of them for over 20 years, and as Mr. Culton mentioned, have picked up additional lightly used reels & extra spools.  

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Steve, I think my girlfriend and I fished with you on the Farmington March 2018. I was still on the fence about fly fishing then and had absolutely no clue as to what I was doing.  We smoked cigars if I remember corrector. 

Edited by Surfcast23

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Because I didn't see a price range, I gave you only mid-high-end reel recommendations.  If looking for just a line holder, the oldest reel you can find with a click pawl drag that isn't too grungy.  Something like an old Cortland or similar should be around $20.  The fact is that most modern fly reels are WAY over-designed for trout, as other posters have mentioned.

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