Can You Use a Centre Pin Reel for Fly Fishing?

Fly fishing is a unique type of angling that has been around for centuries. It requires specialized equipment, different techniques and a great deal of patience.

One of the most important pieces of equipment used in fly fishing is the reel, and the type of reel used can make or break an angler’s success. So, can you use a centre pin reel for fly fishing?

A centre pin reel is a traditional style of fishing reel that has been around since the 19th century. It consists of a spindle or axle mounted on a plate with two handles attached.

The line is wound onto the spindle and then released when casting or retrieving line. Centre pin reels are often used for coarse fishing such as carp, chub and barbel but can also be used for fly fishing.

Advantages of using a centre pin reel for fly fishing include:

  • It allows for longer casts due to its larger spool diameter.
  • The handles provide more control when playing fish.
  • Centre pin reels are usually lighter than other types, making them easier to carry.
  • The design also minimizes line twist.


  • Centre pins are not as durable as other reels.
  • They are not suitable for drag settings and so cannot be used in fast-flowing waters.
  • The design does not allow for quick retrieval, making it harder to catch quick-moving fish.


Conclusion: Although centre pin reels have some advantages over other types of reels when it comes to fly fishing, they have some distinct disadvantages that should be taken into consideration before purchasing one. In the end, the best type of reel will depend on the angler’s preference and intended use. With careful consideration given to all factors involved however, it is possible to successfully use a centre pin reel for fly fishing.

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Lindsay Collins