Matching a reel to your new bamboo fly rod can be quite an experience. Here is an area where we can get pretty crazy! Just what do you need… and what do you want? Well let’s talk about what is needed. For all trout fishing is in my opinion a single action reel of good quality. There are many that will fit the bill, from vintage reels that are nothing but classic and have that great air of nostalgia to more modern reels that are just too flashy for my taste, but may be just what you are looking for! I personally like the Hardy lightweights and featherweights. I have a half dozen of them, some are true vintage reels with the 2 screw line guards, but all of them are the made in England variety, as yes now a days they are made overseas! Goodbye Hardy! I love those reels and I just think that they go hand in hand with a fine cane rod, and are reasonably priced! I have considered getting a flyweight to fit a really small (6 ft. 3 wt.) rod but so far I have not really found that a featherweight doesn’t do just fine with a 3 wt line. There are many who really like the older Pflueger Medalist reels, these are also really cool and can be had for a song. They also just look right on a nice cane rod. Another choice might be an old bar stock Orvis single action in the size to hold the line size you want to put on your rod, I used to have a CFO III that was pretty cool but a friend of mine talked me out of it and since I am not a big Orvis fan it was not that easy to let go. So there are a few choices for you to think about.
Now about what you want! Here is where you can get really crazy, and believe me I have been tempted; unfortunately I am not a man of means, by no means! The one reel that I have really been wanting is a Ted Godfrey custom trout reel, I mean WOW! One of these days I will just pull the trigger and order one. This man hand makes all his reels are they are something to behold! Take a look here: Ted Godfrey Reels There are also a number of makers of these fine reels in the classic styles especially the ones with the serpentine handles and embellished with nickel silver, black side plates, solid is my choice! Peerless, Bogdan, and Bellinger to name a few! Beware that some of these reels can cost as much or more than your fine cane fly rod, but worth every penny!
One more thing that is simply a personal choice of mine, you gotta get these reels with the simple click and pawl, no disc drags allowed! Again just my preference but you don’t want to take away the sound of a nice trout running against that click and pawl; you just lose some of the experience.
OK. so I was promted to add this to my post, you can always go this route!
So save up your pennies so you can embellish your new J. E. Arguello rod with a nice reel!
Joe E. Arguello
I also like the Princess reels. They are larger than needed but don’t seem too heavy. One thing that kind of gripes me is the idea that you have to put a heavy reel on a bamboo rod to make them feel less tip heavy. I don’t do it and I think it’s dumb to feel like you have to make cane feel like graphite when you are carrying it. I also think it’s unecessary to make a grip longer than you like or fits your hand for the same reason,.
Now joe you need to add reel smithing to your list of accomplishments. I have made several using michael Hackneys instructions and then two others with him at the catskill gatherings.
Very nice light sheet stock hand made reels with a click drag. Check out the reel smith website.
Joe, you don’t mention the Hardy Perfect, the finest of the lot.