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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Posts: 3
Nate12 on Apr 13, 2020April 13th, 2020, 3:58 am EDT

I’m looking at getting a fly reel. I am a beginner and already have a nice 5wt rod. With that being said I’m looking at a fly reel. I like the Orvis Clearwater, but the Clearwater has a large arbor. I heard for the type of fishing I’m doing (trout) a tall and skinny fly reel would be better.

What are your thoughts?

Would you recommend any other type of reel or do you think the Orvis Clearwater would be a good match?

I’m trying to keep the real under $100

Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Apr 13, 2020April 13th, 2020, 6:00 am EDT
Check out Cabelas! They have lots of affordable fly fishing gear & I buy & use their stuff. Several reels are available in your price range. They have the more expensive stuff too, so you can get whatever your budget will withstand. Best of luck finding something that works well for you!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Apr 13, 2020April 13th, 2020, 2:57 pm EDT
Large arbor reels are in style for trout fishing now. They recover line faster than older style (tall and skinny). I fish with a mid arbor reel and it works fine for me, but I've had people tell me I should join the modern age. I think the Clearwater will work fine for you, if that's what you want. As Jonathon says, there are lots and lots of choices under 100.00. Read the reviews, ask around, and make your choice. You might also search this site. We have several threads on fly reels. See the Google search at the top.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 14, 2020April 14th, 2020, 2:42 pm EDT
I kind of like 'em tall and thin rather than wide and large.

On the more serious side many large arbor reels also have overly wide spools. When you have a lot of fly line extended and want to put it back onto the reel the wide spool makes in harder to have the line wind smoothly. It creates an effect called "barreling". instead of the line being wound on uniformly like a new spool of thread often the line will be either all on one side or the other and start jamming up and filling the spool. Then you have to strip off line and guide it back on the spool with your fingers. Or conversely the line will pillow up in the middle and there will be little line on the sides.

If you were to buy a retro reel like a Hardy LRH or Princess with a larger overall diameter and a thin cage/spool the barreling will occur far less if at all. You might even be able to find a knock off Hardy reel on Ebay. You don't really need a fly reel with a disc drag either. I simple click and pawl mechanism is going to be adequate with trout up to 18".

Here is a very nice retro fly reel from Japan. It looks to be in fine condition. It was manufactured in the late 1950's to mid 1960's. I have four fly reels I bought in 1966 and they all all still reeling in trout. I'm tempted to buy this reel for myself.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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