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The Enigma ESD from Taylor Reels is Truly a One-of-a-Kind Fly Reel

All images via Taylor Reels

Forget about waiting for ICAST, the Enigma ESD from Taylor Reels is here now. 

In the world of fly fishing, for most of us, fly reels are nothing more than glorified line holders. Rarely do freshwater anglers hook into fish that take us down to the backing, testing drag systems and rod dexterity alike.

However, for those of us that take fly fishing a little more seriously, a quality reel is a make or break necessity. If you’re looking for a new fly reel for 2016, do yourself a favor and look no farther than the Enigma ESD from Taylor Reels.


January 1st, 2016 marks the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign for the Enigma ESD. What makes this reel so special? It’s literally the only fully machined, bar-stock, sealed drag reel on the market for less than $200. Do your own research and you will find the same results.

On the eve of the launch of Enigma ESD, I talked with Matt Taylor, owner of Taylor Reels, and picked his brain a little bit about some other features behind this revolutionary exterior sealed drag reel, and asked him why this reel demands the attention of the fishing industry.


Wide Open Spaces: How did you come up with the design behind an exterior sealed drag reel like you did with the Enigma for under $200? 

Matt Taylor: Our desire has always been to make products that give the customers the maximum bang for the buck. With the Enigma, we wanted to make a sealed drag reel and keep the price as low as possible. What we realized through talking with other anglers is that when their reels fail on the water, it is the clutch or bearings almost 100% of the time. The actual carbon fiber disk is too tough to damage and all the other materials in a reel are pure aluminum, steel, or another metal. We realized that we could dramatically reduce the cost associated with a sealed drag by only sealing the bearings and the clutch.


How is this different than a regular sealed drag? 

The nice part is that our new ESD drag system gives you almost all of the same benefits of a sealed drag. Also many people like simple reels, like Abels, because most the parts are easily accessible. Almost all the major parts are easy to access in the ESD drag.

Describe the aesthetics of this reel. How does it compare to your other reels?

We started over on the frame and came up with our current unique lightweight design. Our frame is unique but very easy on the eyes. For the spool we went with a v-cut design with a narrow width. It’s a design we have had in mind for a long time. We like how the circles are classic but the overall look is modern.

From personal experience with Taylor Reels, I own two Type-1’s (discontinued) and one Array. These are simply the best fly reels I have ever owned.

2016 will be the first full fishing season I have had exclusively using Taylor Reels. For a small business in the fly fishing world, the quality of reels that Matt Taylor puts out there are squarely at the top of the list.  


As an avid carp, bass, and muskie fisherman on the fly, I’ve had fish take me well down into my backing. knowing that I can trust the drag system on my reel is a big part of choosing them as my reels of choice.

If you make an order during the Kickstarter campaign, the Enigma ESD’s will ship out in the March/April timeframe, just in time for the summer fishing season to start in full swing.

As seen on the Taylor Reels Instagram page, pricing will range from $169 to $179 per reel and be available in teal, ruby, golden olive, and black. There will be incentives to purchase during the campaign.

The Enigma ESD is a new class of fly reel that truly stands alone in all classes of fly reels. You would be doing yourself a favor to add one to your arsenal in 2016.

You won’t be disappointed.


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The Enigma ESD from Taylor Reels is Truly a One-of-a-Kind Fly Reel