It’s time to find a new standard in fly fishing reels.
When it comes to fishing, not to mention fly fishing, names that have been around a while tend to get a lot of attention. These brands have the marketing plans, sponsorships, and the traditions of being passed down to sons, daughters, friends, and other relatives to keep that brand recognition high. However, sometimes a newer kid on the block might just create a new standard in fly fishing that you will want to turn into a tradition.
Recently, I had the opportunity to pick up a brand new Taylor Reels Array, 5/6wt. I was familiar with the reel and company through their social media campaigns on Instagram and Facebook, but hadn’t seen one in a store anywhere near me. Eventually, I made the leap and picked one up online with high expectations, especially since a trout trip to the Elk River in West Virginia was on the line as well.
The trout trip was exceptional. While staying at the Elk Springs Resort, we picked up over 75 trout in three days. The Array performed exceptionally well. Only on a few occasions did a trout big enough actually pull line off the reel, but when it did, the smoothness of the drag was noticeable the second those fish started bulldogging.
What I did enjoy was that, with this same reel, I used nymphs and dries in the morning, switched out the leader and tippet, and tossed streamers in the afternoon with no problems whatsoever.
It held up strong and stayed just as reliable while trusting the drag to a 6x tippet as it was to tighten up to hold a little better in case of a big fish ready to test 3x while tossing streamers. The large arbor design also allowed me to pick up line a lot quicker when I needed to get to spool in a hurry due to a larger fish.
For me, after my first experience in dealing with Taylor, I believe I’m going to jump even farther over the cliff and look into one or two of their very beautiful Type 1s to switch out a few older reels I have now. I have a feeling others in the fly fishing world will be doing the same thing soon as well.
All photos via Mike Malchow