Fly Reel Build

Florida Sportsman

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Thread: Fly Reel Build

  1. #1
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    Fly Reel Build

    I'm not a fly fisherman yet, but I've always been interested in giving it a try. I then got distracted by all the unique reels out there and thought it would be more fun to build a reel. So after some consulting with my brother (he actually fly fishes) I came up with a design for 5/6 wt 3.5" reel. It doesn't have clicker in this design, but a one-way bearing driving a disc drag. Most of the components are 6061 aluminum with stainless bearings and stainless hardware. It's a work in progress so no final weight yet. Actually I expect this first reel just to be a proof of concept that will get butchered a few times to work out the bugs. Enough talk, time for some pictures...













    If anyone else out there has built a reel before, give a shout. I'm interested in learning any tricks or hearing about experiences. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member acesover's Avatar
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    Wow, heck of a project, look forward to seeing the finished reel!

  3. #3
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    Serious looking stuff. Well done & good luck.
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.

  4. #4
    Senior Member irishff727's Avatar
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    Awesome wish I had that kind if skill, ability or patience

    Time enjoyed wasted usually means I've been fishing
    time enjoyed wasted is not wasted time

  5. #5
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    If you need some field testers, let us know. Be happy to put one of the prototypes to work for you.
    Keep the progress photos coming!

  6. #6
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    Awesome!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member DowntownNash's Avatar
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    Interested in making a few to sell?

  8. #8
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    Thanks! I'll keep the updates coming. Since this project is in the development phase I expect to correct many issues before it's comparable in quality to commercially produced reels. I honestly can't say when I'd be comfortable with the quality before I'd sell one. The last thing I'd want to do is sell a product that doesn't meet a customer's expectations and has growing pains to be worked out still. So far I have about $50 in materials and about 30 hours of labor into it. The machining time can really be reduced with some custom fixtures and spread loading the machine setup time across a run of multiple reels, but again that's production optimization. I'm still working on design optimization.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LeeH's Avatar
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    You know most Flyfishermen just get hung up on tying flys

    Nice looking work, I don't get to see much old school style drafting or machine work anymore, CADD and CAM took alot of fun out of my life.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Permit Rat's Avatar
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    I am assuming this will be a direct drive reel? If I am correct, then one comment......I see you ventilated the inside spool cheek. Fine. But if the holes are too big and/or the edges are not rounded sufficiently, it will cause pain and blisters on the thumb of the angler who is trying to apply additional pressure on a big fish, like a tarpon. That said, I have no idea of the size of the reel and the issue is not so critical in (say) a 7 or 8 wt.

    Personally, I prefer the inside of my spools to be solid. The weight you saved by making those holes, will probably not add up to 1/8 oz. in saved weight. With solid spools, problems with pain and blisters become non-existant. Some argue that the holes facillitate the flushing out of sand and debris that may get in there. My come-back is that if the holes weren't there, then not so much sand and debris would get in. Again, this is only for the inside cheek of the spool.

    Looks like the beginnings of a helluva reel, though. Bulletproof, judging by the wall thickness of your frame. Also love the diameter of the spool shaft. Kudos.

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