The 5 weight fly reel is the most popular size reel in trout fishing. It gives you the ability to throw various sizes of dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. While also being strong enough to handle larger trout.
The five-weight has been my go-to for years now. Knowing I can take this to just about any body of freshwater and have the ability to catch whatever I want is very appealing.
So if you’re looking for a great freshwater 5wt fly reel then look no further. Below, we’re going to talk about the different features as well as a few different products to help you out on the water.
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When To Use a Five Weight Fly Reel
If your primary game fish is going to be trout and you want one reel to use for everything then a five weight is going to be your best bet.
What Makes a Good 5 Weight Fly Reel?
You’ll want something that is strong enough to handle different conditions as well as any long hikes back to your spot on the river.
On top of that, you want something with an arbor large enough that you can quickly reel in larger trout. Also, a strong drag system that will allow you to wear fish out quickly so you can net them.
The two most popular types of drag systems are going to be a click and pawl and disc drag. The click and pawl are not as strong, but it is much cheaper than a disc.
A disc drag system is one of the best out there. If you plan on catching fishing in spots that have large fish and you plan to put them on the reel then a disc drag will be something you need.
The sound of line zipping off the drag is unparalleled. It’s so important that many anglers even factor this sound in when purchasing the best 5 weight fly reel.
If that’s what you’re looking for then a click and pawl is the one for you. That being said, the sound is just aesthetics. It makes no difference in how many fish you catch.
The weight of your reel comes into play if you plan on fishing long days. Casting a rod with a heavy reel can lead to casting fatigue.
However, what you should really be paying attention to is how well is the reel balanced on your rod. You’re better off having a slightly heavier reel and ensuring it’s balanced.
This is all subject to the angler. You need something that can hold the line, reel in fish, have a story drag, and not break on you.
If you can find something that meets all three of those features and is under $100, then great. Find what your budget is and stick to that. You’ll be able to find something in your price range.
Milled or machined aluminum is going to be the best material you find. These are going to be strong, durable, and will last even the most hardcore of anglers season after season.
Cast aluminum, cast steel, composite, plastic, are all materials that will do the job but they won’t be nearly as tough as milled aluminum. However, these are much cheaper
The Arbor Size
A large arbor is going to help reduce line memory and will also help you reel in after. So if you plan on putting a lot of fish on the reel then this will be an important aspect to have.
If you enjoy playing the fish with your free hand on the reel then it’s not going to be too important. Yes, line memory won’t be as great, but a large arbor is a good thing to have but not needed.
The Best 5 Weight Fly Reel Brands
Below we go over some of the best 5 weight reel brands. There are many different brands out there but these are known for being some of the best out in the market.
Orvis makes many different fly reels. Some are simple while others come along with many bells and whistles. There’s no shortage of products from them.
Straight from England, Hardy is known as one of the premier fly reel companies out there. These great pieces of work will have you reeling in fish nonstop.
Redington is known for making great fly fishing gear, and their reels will not disappoint. They come in many different price points that will satisfy anglers of all skill levels.
The Best 5 Weight Fly Reels
Below we’re going to cover three great fly reels. Each of them coming in at a different price point that will suit the needs of every angler.
- Drag System – Disc
- Pros – String reel, great drag, durable
- Cons – Price point
The Ross LTX is an incredible reel and it’s one that I find myself using all the time. It features an ultra-strong drag system that will allow you to work in just about any freshwater fish you hook in to.
The price point can be a little high, but if you can swing it then it will do great things for you. The value is still there, despite the higher price tag.
- Drag System – Disc
- Pros – Ultra string drag system, great for the price
- Cons – Weak handle
For the price, it’s hard to beat the Redington Behemoth. In my opinion, it’s the best 5 weight fly reel for the money. If you want a world-class piece of gear but don’t want a big price tag then this is the one for you.
It has the strongest drag in its class and has a die-cast construction, which normally would potentially be a con, but when you see the interwoven design you understand why it has to be die-cast.
Even so, this reel is sturdy, durable and strong, just as the name would suggest. You can go for the 4/5 or the 5/6 version depending on your preference.
- Drag System -Disc
- Pros- Great price, comes with a line on it
- Cons – Durability
The Angler Dream 5 Weight is a great reel for someone who is looking to start out 5 weight fly fishing but doesn’t want to drop a lot of money on a setup. Angler Dream make some decent fly reels and as far as I’m concerned, this is their best offering in the 5 weight lineup.
It will allow you to throw all the flies you need to catch trout as well as bring them to your net. The reel is smooth, has decent sound, and features a good disc drag system.
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Table of Contents
There are many great 5 weight reels out there. Hopefully, after reading this you have a better understanding of what to look for.
Now that you have the guide above, go on out to your local fly shop and pick one out!
Some images in this post are courtesy of Shutterstock.
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