Fly Fishing Reels: Part 6 - Extra Spools and Versatility | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

in Fly Fishing Insider Podcast Blog

Fly fishing is a dynamic sport, demanding adaptability to ever-changing environments and conditions. One key aspect of achieving this adaptability lies in the use of extra spools for fly fishing reels. This guide will explore the importance of having extra spools and how they can significantly enhance your fly fishing experience.

The Importance of Extra Spools

An extra spool for your fly reel offers the flexibility to quickly adapt to different fishing conditions without the need for multiple reels. This adaptability is crucial for anglers who encounter varied fishing environments or target multiple species. The cost savings of not having to purchase an entire cage with the spool for a second or third setup is significant.  Additionally, some fly fishing experiences like Stillwater require up to 10 different spools of line to accommodate the varying conditions that are encountered.

Benefits of Extra Spools

  • Quick Line Changes: With an extra spool, you can rapidly switch between different line types (such as floating, sinking, or sink-tip) to match the fishing conditions. It’s not uncommon for me to switch sinking lines 3-5 times a day when fishing stillwater for example. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Instead of investing in multiple reels for different line types, extra spools provide a more economical solution.
  • Space and Weight Efficiency: Carrying extra spools is more space-efficient and lighter than carrying multiple reels, a significant advantage, especially when traveling. I can recall going to Costa Rica to fish Tarpon and being grateful that I had one reel and 4 different sinking lines.  Had it been 5 total reels I don’t believe I would have had the space and or made the weight limitations when flying. 

How Extra Spools Enhance Fly Fishing

  • Adaptability to Fishing Conditions: Different fishing scenarios, from stillwater to fast-moving streams, require different line types. Extra spools allow for quick adaptation, improving your chances of success.
  • Versatility in Targeting Species: Different fish species may require different fishing techniques and line types. With extra spools, you can effectively target a broader range of species. For example, I have an 8 weight reel with extra spools. Some spools have cold weather lines and others have warm weather lines. I also have an intermediate line and several sinking lines. 
  • Convenience: The ease of switching spools means less time spent re-rigging and more time fishing, enhancing the overall fishing experience. When I had one spool I was constantly removing and replacing lines based upon what I was fishing.  The headaches that come with that method can really be a drag when you are leaving or on vacation. 

Why Anglers Should Consider Extra Spools

  • Maximizing Fishing Opportunities: Having the ability to switch lines quickly ensures that you are always prepared for whatever fishing opportunities arise. The opposite is making do with what you have and losing out on opportune moments by not having the right gear.
  • Long-Term Investment: Investing in extra spools can extend the utility of your fly reel, making it a wise long-term investment for any serious angler. This can be especially true when looking to resell your reel as many other anglers are looking for a reel with extra spools. 
  • Enhanced Fishing Experience: The right line can make a significant difference in your fishing success and enjoyment. Extra spools give you the flexibility to always have the right line for the situation. If you ever used a warm weather line in cold weather then you have experienced the way the line feels and acts like a cable.  The coiling is compounded, the line doesn’t shoot as well and the overall performance is therefore lowered.

Extra spools are an essential component for any angler looking to maximize the versatility and effectiveness of their fly fishing gear. They provide the flexibility to adapt to various fishing conditions and techniques, making them a valuable addition to your fly fishing arsenal. By investing in extra spools, you not only enhance your ability to respond to the diverse challenges of fly fishing but also enrich your overall experience on the water. Having extra spools also doesn’t have to start from day one. However, knowing this is a potential in the future and investing as you go is a strategy that is good to know of and works extremely well.

I've shopped around for fly fishing reels for many years now and have talked to countless friends and pros about what to use. There are not to many tried and true brands that I've found and every day there seems to be a new reel company.  Here are a few brands and retailers that I trust and will get you into a solid reel with a bit of due diligence. 

Cheeky Fly Fishing Reels
Hardy Fly Fishing Reels
Peux Fly Fishing Reels (This brand specializes in automatic retrieve and multiplier reels...they are unbelievable.)
Greys Fishing
Ross Reels

Trident Fly Fishing 

You’ve been reading along and learning a ton about fly fishing reels.  Have you read all the other articles in this guide program?

Fly Fishing Reels: Overall Guide | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

Fly Fishing Reels: Part 1 - Understanding Quality and Price | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

Fly Fishing Reels: Part 2 - Compatibility and Size | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

Fly Fishing Reels: Part 3 - Drag Systems | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

Fly Fishing Reels: Part 4 - Arbor Size | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

Fly Fishing Reels: Part 5 - Manufacturing and Construction | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

Fly Fishing Reels: Part 6 - Extra Spools and Versatility | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

Fly Fishing Reels: Part 7 - Lifetime Warranties and Brand | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

FFIP does receive a small commission from affiliate sales links. However, not all links are directed towards affiliate programs as I stay neutral and base recommendations more so on my own experiences. These commissions are used to support the FFIP expenses related to maintaining and hosting the show, blog, etc. Thank you for your support and by purchasing through the links within my articles when applicable!

Christian Bacasa, Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

By Christian Bacasa
Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast
Watch on YouTube