New Fly Reel Companies are popping up everywhere. Fancy colors, giant spools, lighter materials and special inlays are making a splash on the fly fishing scene. if can you name it chances are you can find it in a fly reel. While all that flare is nice and certainly grabs you attention, I believe a good fly reel comes down to two very simple things. The drag system and weight. Recently I have been fishing with Hardy Fly Fishing Products and the Reel that has been spending the most time on the water is the Hardy Ultralite MA Fly Reel. At first glance it looks like any other fly reel but it met my reel criteria of being lightweight with an incredible drag. The mid arbor design allows plenty of room for line capacity although you generally do not need miles of line when you are trout fishing, but should you need the extra backing the space is there. The mid arbor also allows you to retrieve the line quickly, which is a huge plus when trying to land larger fish.
The drag system is color coded so you can adjust your drag strength according to the color. The one thing that I, as well as others, have noticed about the drag is how little you have to adjust it. Unlike other reels that take several turns to adjust the Hardy Ultralite only takes a couple clicks to find that your drag has been tightened or loosened. Lastly the weight of the reel balances a fly rod perfectly. Often times we associate lighter as being no as well built. That is not the case with the Hardy Ultralite. I have had it bouncing around in my boat, laid down on rocks and dropped on occasion without any denting or scraping.
Coming in at $275.00 this handsome fly reel is definitely worth buying. While it doesn’t come in fancy colors, the appearance of this fly reel is edgy enough that it will grab the eye of any angler. Ask about them next time you are in your favorite fly shop.