You’ve probably heard the myth that in trout fishing, your fly reel is nothing more than a line holder. Well, that might be true if your game is catching 14-inch hatchery trout on 3X tippets. If you’re a serious fly fisher, however, it’s likely that your sights are set much higher. Want to enter the 20/20 club and catch a 20-inch trout on a size 20 or smaller fly? You’ll need a quality reel with a smooth drag system. And for saltwater fishing, your reel becomes even more important. Here are a few of the best new fly reels of 2014 for all types of fishing.
Engineered for a Purpose
Your go-to new fly reel could be anything from a functional, inexpensive workhorse like the Sage 3250, to a sealed-drag showpiece like the Tibor Signature Series. The Hardy Ultralite SDS is a saltwater big-game reel, while the Sage Evoke was developed with Spey fishers in mind.
<h2>Hardy Ultralite SDS $450-$495</h2>Green means go on the color-coded drag system of Hardy’s new Ultralite SDS reel. When you want to slow the fish down, you can visually adjust the drag into the amber color zone, and when you want that running tarpon to stop and turn, you crank it into the red zone. The Ultralite SDS has a one-turn drag knob that goes from zero to 13 pounds of drag—on the 12-weight version. (The six woven carbon-fiber pads in the drag system create a maximum of 8 pounds of drag in the smallest SDS.) While quick and easy stopping power is what you need with fish that streak away from you, many big, hard-mouth fish are lost when they run straight toward you and create slack. The 5.3"-diameter SDS solves this problem by picking up 14 inches of line with one crank of the handle. <a href="http://www.hardynorthamerica.com"target="_blank">hardynorthamerica.com</a> <br /> Check out Fly Fisherman's review and insider video on this product! <a href="http://www.flyfisherman.com/2013/10/23/hardy-ultralite-sds/"target="_blank">Hardy Ultralite SDS</a>