When evaluating a fly fishing reel like the Piscifun Sword, anglers must consider the following questions:
What are the best fly fishing reels?
What size fishing reel do I need?
Do fly fishing reels have a drag?
Are fly fishing reels reversible?
Fly fishing reel set up left or right?
Who makes the best fly fishing reels?
Fly fishing reels for beginners?
Let's take a deep dive into the Piscifun Sword fly fishing reel and see how it stands up to those tough questions. When evaluating any reel, an angler must consider size (capacity, weight), quality (materials, construction, finish), and performance (arbor, drag, retrieval system, noise, left or right-hand retrieve). The best fly fishing reels should excel in each of those characteristics.
The good news is that price does not indicate superiority in any of these factors. For example, Orvis is a famous brand name associated with fly fishing equipment. Their least expensive fly reel is the Battenkill II at $139 for the 3/5 weight version. Its features fall far short of the Piscifun Sword, which retails for less than $45 on Amazon. A fundamental shortcoming of the Battenkill II is its ancient fixed click and pawl drag system (not adjustable). The Piscifun Sword has an adjustable multidisc cork and stainless steel drag with a one-way clutch bearing for smooth and immediate engagement – much more advanced!
Anglers must consider the targeted fish species to select the right fly fishing reel size. At the low end, a 3/4 wt reel is perfect for catching trout in small streams and rivers. Moving up to the 5/6 wt puts the angler into smallmouth bass and larger rivers, while 7/8 wt and 9/10 wt reels are powerful enough to deal with larger saltwater fish. The Piscifun Sword fly reel comes in sizes ranging from 3/4 wt up to 9/10 wt, allowing it to address any situation. In addition, by sticking to the same brand, the angler can count on consistent performance.
Speaking generically, no matter the reel size, anglers can select models with small, mid, or large arbors. The arbor is the spool of the fly reel upon which you wrap the line. The differences between arbors are weight, retrieval rate, and line memory. Since a large arbor has a larger diameter, the angler can retrieve more line with a single rotation, but the reel has more metal and will weigh more. A small arbor is just the opposite. Likewise, the larger the arbor, the less the fly line is compressed (think coils); less compression means less memory. The mid-arbor design featured on the Piscifun Sword splits the difference to minimize line memory and overall weight while still providing plenty of capacity for a substantial amount of backing, plus the standard 90 to 100 foot-long fly line. All that at only 4.1 oz for the 3/4 wt model! How good is that? The Orvis $279 Hydros II weighs in at 5.6 oz. Granted, the Hydros has a sealed drag that adds weight, but so does the Piscifun Aoka fly reel at only 4.5 oz. Again, disregard the brand! Evaluate features!
How does the Piscifun Sword fly reel achieve its quality, durability, and light weight? First, Piscifun makes the Sword reel using a 6061–T6 aluminum alloy precision cut on CNC milling machines. This type of aluminum is extremely durable and does not rust. Second, Piscifun engineered a hard anodized surface for protection against abrasion and weather. Finally, they use cold forging, a metalworking technique that increases the final product's hardness and tensile strength. The result is a fly reel that can withstand a lifetime of hard use, including resisting bounces against rocks along a mountain trout stream.
But does the Piscifun Sword fly reel perform well? Do Piscifun fly fishing reels have a drag? Yes! Beyond construction, the heart of any fly reel is the drag system. The Piscifun Sword fly reel has a multidisc cork in stainless steel drag system with a one-way clutch bearing for immediate engagement. It is not as good as a fully sealed drag system since the user must remember to rinse the reel after fishing to ensure the sand does not foul the mechanism. If this concerns you, I recommend you select the Piscifun Aoka Reel. It has a fully sealed drag system weighing only 0.4 oz more than the Sword. Another great feature of the Sword's drag is the large knurled knob to adjust the tension. I find my fingers do not slip, given the design and size of the knob. This knob allows gentle adjustments, queued by an audible click, making landing a large fish easier. Anglers rarely get a fish "on the reel" for most trout fishing and do not need a drag. But, as fish get larger, a good drag becomes critically important and is vital for saltwater fishing.
Are fly fishing reels reversible? They all should be! Good fly reels must be adaptable for a right or left-hand retrieve. Beginners may switch back and forth until they decide which is most comfortable. The Piscifun Sword fly reel has a reversible bearing that requires no particular skill to change the retrieve from left to right. Fly fishing reel set up left or right? No problem – it works either way.
The Piscifun Sword fly reel is silent. Some anglers prefer to hear a click when stripping line from the reel and when fish pull against the drag, and this is a personal preference. I find the noise obnoxious and appreciate the silent, smooth operation of the Piscifun Sword fly reel.
After reviewing all these characteristics and looking at the question of fly fishing reels for beginners, I think the answer is clear. A fly fishing beginner must ease into the sport before spending significant money on equipment. The good news is that suitable gear is available at very reasonable prices from manufacturers like Piscifun. Compare the abovementioned criteria against any brand and examine the price difference. One way to get an overall assessment of whether this or any item of fishing equipment is a good bargain is to look at the ratings on Amazon. Regarding the Piscifun Sword fly fishing reel, 92% of reviews are four or five stars, and 74% are five-star, with 2109 ratings contributing to those scores. Given that, any answer to "who makes the best fly fishing reels" should include Piscifun.