What Are the Different Types of Fly Fishing Reels?

Fly fishing is a type of angling in which an artificial โ€˜flyโ€™ is used to lure the fish. This technique requires special types of fishing rods and reels since a typical spinning reel wonโ€™t be suitable. Different types of fly fishing reels are available, and they are designed specifically for this purpose.

Single-Action Reel

The single-action reel is one of the oldest designs used in fly fishing. It has a simple design with a single handle and drag system that can be adjusted for tension.

This type of reel is usually made from aluminum and has an open-face design, allowing the user to manually remove or replace the spool. The advantage of this design is its simplicity, but it lacks features like adjustable drag control compared to other models.

Automatic Reel

This type of fly fishing reel has become very popular in recent years due to its convenience and ease of use. It features an internal mechanism that automatically engages when a fish takes the line, allowing for hands-free operation. This model also includes adjustable drag controls so you can set it up according to your specific needs.

Disc Drag Reel

The disc drag reel is designed for more experienced anglers who need more control over their line tension. This model features a disc-based braking system which allows you to fine-tune the amount of pressure applied when fighting against larger fish. The disadvantage of this type is its higher cost compared to other models.

Barrel Drag Reel

The barrel drag reel is known for its durability and strength, making it ideal for saltwater applications. This model features a barrel-style brake system that provides consistent pressure when fighting against bigger fish. However, its heavier weight makes it less suitable for freshwater applications.


Fly fishing requires special types of reels that are designed specifically for this purpose such as single-action reels, automatic reels, disc drag reels, and barrel drag reels. Each type offers different advantages depending on the situation and needs of the angler.

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Daniel Bennet