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For the average angler, shadow fly fishing reels will do the trick. Because the reel won't really affect casting ability, most people don't feel the need to prioritize the reel portion of their fly fishing gear. Nevertheless, choosing the right reel for your fishing rod, especially when you know the species you'll be targeting, is important and this is where shadow fly fishing reel comes in. Unless you're an overly enthusiastic angler dead set on your gear, chances are, you'll be going a little overboard with some of the high-end reels. If you aren't familiar with Shadow, here's a mini guide.
What to Lookout for in a Fly Fishing Reel
1. Drag Strength - if you're no fly fishing novice, you know that trouts tend to fight a lot once caught. The reel's usually responsible for bearing this resistance, and if you don't want to risk losing your catch and your gear, you'll need to get a good compression drag weight on your reel.
Shadow fly fishing reels, specifically, the shadow assassin fly fishing reel comes with a whopping 20 pounds drag strength, which is ideal for the average fly fishing trip. Unless you're fly fishing for blackfin tunas weighing over 40 pounds (good luck with that), Assassin should be just fine. Assassin allows variable drag adjustments, so you can set your compression drag depending on how big or small you expect your catch to be.
Shadow also has a less expensive Gladiator reel, with a drag strength of about 10 pounds. It isn't enough to prevent the frame from twisting up, but it'll make a good kayak reel. Plus the low price tag of the Shadow Gladiator fly fishing reel means you won't have a heart attack if you lose it in the water. It's essentially an amateurish reel.
2. Water Resistance - it seems like it should be a given for firms to design equipment resistant to water, seeing as they'll be used often in the water, but you need to consider that there are different types of water: fresh and salt. A company might decide to make their reels resistant to just freshwater, but that'll render the reel useless in salt water - best case scenario, or cause the reel to rust if you go ahead and use it.
Assassin Shadow fly fishing reel, thanks to a 100% carbon seal and a high grade bar steel, can be used in both fresh and salt water without fear of rust. So it's built for durability.
3. Versatility - you can spend the whole day fly fishing, not catch anything, and still go home satisfied because of how calming the water is. A reel that allows you occasionally switch from right to left and vice versa can give you some retrieve, and prevent one hand from being sore. Shadow fly fishing reels are designed to make this switch with ease.
Bottom line, shadow fly fishing reels will hold up quite well for general fly fishing. And the relatively low price tag means they've managed to bridge the performance-price gap. Check out some of their products if you're in the market to stock up your arsenal.
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