2 thoughts on “A thousand bucks for the best fly reel — insanity or necessity?

  1. “Horses for courses” – super-priced super-dragged reels for fish that really NEED them; any old heap of cheap, not too bad-looking, reasonably freely revolving junk for those that don’t. This is how I have long tackled the Reel Fetishism problem. But we fishers are mostly men, and men are only boys who love their toys, the higher spec’ed and fancier and more impressive to other men the better. Which has had a resulting downside, in my opinion. I see men, now, fishing for very modest trout with super-dragged bonefish reels and for very average-sized Atlantic salmon in rivers that are definitely not the mighty Kharlovka or the Norwegian Alta with their heavy flows and return to the ocean when hooked forty-pounders – the fishy equivalent men driving Ferraris and Lamborghinis on traffic-choked suburban roads which seldom see speeds of much more than 15 miles per hour.

    Which is fine if you can afford them, I have no problem with people who can afford and use such fine pieces of kit, but there is a downside – a “trickle down” over-spec’ing and pricing-up of all the ordinary, everyday stuff, making it increasingly less accessible to the people that all fishing – not just fly fishing – needs now: youngsters and newcomers to the pastime; people who some flystores and retailers are over-selling to from the very moment they first walk in the door.

    “You will need this $800 rod and this $600 reel, Sir…”

    “Sir” might need these if he’s off to one of the line-burning fishy international fleshpots for his first experience of fly fishing, but won’t need them if his destination is going to be some local lake or stream after fish that only very modestly chug and tug when hooked.

    The Fly Fishing Industry, I believe, needs to be aware of this – that it might be pricing fly fishing and itself out a future, that we all have to start somewhere and that somewhere is probably best somewhere pretty modest; all the the oh-so-good, highly desirable, super-gear can come later.

    The above from someone who started with the cheapest and the worst of gear a long long time ago, who owns some (quite a lot) of the best now (oh my, the fly rods…), and who believes himself to be experienced enough now to understand that our present “all super drags and no click-click clunkers” way of doing things might be driving much-needed new recruits away.

    Some quickly written, probably not too well-expressed or -edited, thoughts.

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