Fly Reel Geeks Only
2016 Yellowstone Angler 5/6 Weight Fly Reel Comparison -
We learned a lot doing our 8-weight reel comparison back in 2014, but in considering and comparing 5/6 reels, however, there are some categories that are not as important in smaller reels - like ease of drag adjustment, ease of spool removal, and drag detents. Typically, when fishing a 5/6 weight outfit the angler will set the drag at one level and rarely change it. And for 5/6 reels, often using 5X and 6X tippets, this means setting your drag at only a half pound or less. The idea is to set your drag lightly enough so that if you hook a hot fish that burns out on 6X, you don’t get broken off on that first run. Moreover, we are using a floating line most of the time and not changing spools.
As in our other Shootouts and tackle comparisons, we felt that to get honest answers, we needed to be the ones taking the measurements, weights, determining backing capacity etc. We were not willing to take the manufacturer's word or specs as gospel.
We also felt that when possible we needed to come up with real world tests that you can duplicate. Every manufacturer believes that they have come up with the best reel in the world. Ultimately what you believe is what really matters.
It’s our job to sort through the claims and advertising hype, and to give you our honest and un-biased views, so that you can make your own determination of what reel is best, and best for your fishing style.
Why Trust Our Opinion?
We fish a lot. Before work, lunch breaks, after work, and weekends. Its safe to say someone from the shop is fishing every day: only the worst winter weather days keep us indoors. Surprisingly we’ve had some pretty good fishing on days blowing 45+ mph, torturing ourselves with frozen fingers and toes for no good reason other than we are being stupid and like beating our head against a wall repeatedly. As such we are always facing equipment problems, the same kind every angler eventually encounters if they are stupid enough to fish year round.
Take a look at the charts, not just to learn our rankings, but to understand the pros and cons of each reel. Once you know what the chink in the armor is on a reel you like, (e.g. the drag range is relatively weak), does the rest of the reel impress you so much you don’t care?
Go here for the full rundown... https://www.yellowstoneangler.com/gear-review/2016-5-weight-reel-shootout-best-5-weight-reels-best-fly-reel-comparison-galavan-torque-nautilus-x-reel-galvan-rush-light-bauer-rx2-einarsson-plus-lamson-lightspeed-3-tand-cheeky-boost-aspen-reels-islander-reels-sage-click-ross-colorado-lt