After some time, I’ve finally got to posting my Ross Flyrise reel review. Forgive my tardiness here, I’ve been insanely busy and the fishing lately hasn’t been anything to write home about.
As I’ve said in a previous post here, my first 10 years of fly fishing I never really put much stock in a the reel – rather thought of it more as a facilitating accessory. I fish mostly western waters and rarely do I encounter a fish that really tests the drag system of the reel. Its not that I’m catching small fish, rather most drag systems are overkill for their uses these days. So with this Ross Flyrise reel review I sought two things. 1) A true test of the Ross drag system, and 2) whether the cheaper Flyrise model could hold up to some of its bigger brothers.
Fishing the reel in two main locations, Alaska and Colorado, I think I’ve accomplished both!
Let’s get into it. The Ross Drag System is the real deal. In fact the cheaper Ross Flyrise is actually built with the Ross Evolution’s same drag system. The drag system comes with three back up systems to ensure triple redundancy. Quite frankly I’m not sure what on earth that means other than its supposed to enhance the quality of the drag and reduce its tendency to fail.
To really test the drag, I took this little beauty up to Alaska with me on a salmon fishing trip. We had a day before staging a trip down on the kenai penninsula for sockeye, so me and a co-reviewer took our rods up towards Denali to fish rainbows and pinks. I mention the rainbows as they were all schooled up below the spawning king salmon and while we weren’t fishing the kings we had a few take our egg offerings at times out of annoyance. Rest assured – my ⅚ weight reel was no match for a 40lb king salmon – nor did I let it be as I snapped the line quickly to avoid any disturbance of the fish.
That evening we fished the confluence of a creek with the larger river and had a blast with pink salmon. At first I considered it might be wiser to switch to the 8wt rod that we also carried with us. However, I decided I’d give my ⅚ rod and the Ross Flyrise reel a chance. Wow, what a blast. The reel performed effortlessly! Not once did I encounter a drag situation with these 5 pound fiesty fish that the reel couldn’t handle.
In fact, not once did I even struggle to control a fish, even in faster currents. If you have a chance to fish pinks on a ⅚ wt rod I would highly recommend it as its a blast. It will really put your equipment to the test.
So does it pass? You betcha it does.
The Ross Flyrise reels boasts to be a large arbor reel. Frankly it seems most reels these days are built for large arbor. That said this reel does fit a decent amount of line lenght at 125 ft with the 4-6wt. I would have preferred a bit more space for backing as well – but I’ve yet to get to far into the backing with my current setup.
More notable is the spool rotation and sound it produces. I’m not a huge fan of a noisy reel as I do believe in stalking on some of the smaller streams I fish. This reel de-spools easily and effortless with minimal noise.
Let’s get to the point – its casted aluminum instead of machined. That should be apparent in the price. That said, I see this reel lasting just as long as any other machined reel and with Ross’ lifetime warranty I wouldn’t be concerned. The integrity seems sound and without compromise from the cast. However, the spool release button, drag knob, and spool knob are all plastic which I could do without.
Frankly, this is where the rubber meets the road. This is an exceptional reel for the price. At $110, the Ross Flyrise reel is a serious steal. All with it weighted line you could be as low as $150, which is hard to compare against any other respected brand. And to boot its half the cost of the popular Evolution reel and you get the same drag system!
The Ross Flyrise reel is defintely worth the purchase. Its probably not your everyday reel for those intensely serious and active fly fisherman. But for the average weekend fisherman its a great addition to your arsenal with its quality drag and impressive price.