Classic Fly Reels: Manufacturers’ shortlist.

 In Fly Fishing Gears

I am currently renewing some of my equipment for the season in Northern Europe and I have been looking into bringing some style into my gears.  I decided to post a few examples of the classic style reels I came across. From trout to salmon fishing, you can find a great variety of reel size to fit your needs…and budget!

So if you are looking for a reel that will last longer than you do, this is a list for you!



The William Olson reels are among the top handmade fly reels available on the market. The guys at made a very precise description about the reel features.

Available in a total of ten different sizes which is far and away the most options out there size-wise.  Prices  of these amazing reels  are starting from  950 to 1300 euros. Sizes available are #6/7/8 to #10/11/12.

The popularity of Olson’s reels is testified by the waiting period from the date of the order until completion and delivery which is about 10 to 12 months… But it seems to be worth the wait!


Tradition with Attitude! This one is my favourite!

Specs from Loop tackle:

  • Housing and spool machined from one piece aircraft aluminium
  • Waterproof and salt tolerant
  • Components in stainless steel and anodized aluminium
  • All screws secured with Loc-Tite
  • Mechanized components from European manufacturers
  • Easy-grip brake knob
  • Weighted overrun prevention
  • Classic click independent of braking System
  • Precisely counterbalanced

Reel sizes available fro #4-6 to #10-13  and prices around 500 euros.

Check out for more details on their  website Loop Tackle



Hardy offers 4 differents models of Classic fly reels. The Cascapedia reel design presented here above  resembles the original 1930s model but has all the top features of a modern game reel. Available in weights of 2/3/4, 5/6/7, 8/9 and 10/11.

A few more specs from Hardy:

  • Machined from high grade aluminium.
  • Anodised finish for durability.
  • Solid front plate.
  • Trout models with adjustable click check system.
  • Salmon models with smooth disc drag system.
  • Reel back secured by a dovetail and two stainless steel screws.

Check out for more details on their  website Hardy



Designed for Single Hand rod  fly fishing, the Elkhorn Classic fly reels are very durable with an authentic Click/pawl drag system. The price range is starting from 240 euros. Left or right handed and available in sizes #2/3/4 or #4/5/6.

Perfect for precise and presentation fishing in small rivers.

Check out for more details on their  website Elkhorn Classic fly reel



The Baby reel is design for light fly fishing and is a very smooth freshwater reel. Available in Black, Silver and Gold colors and 2 sizes #2-3 and #3-4.

The price are depending on the colors chosen and starting from 95 euros.

Check out for more details on their  website Marryat Baby Fly Reel



Inspired from the classic “Edward Vom Hofe Reel” The Bradley reels are designed to fish small streams and rivers.

Prices are starting from 395 euros and are customised upon orders.

Check out for more details on their  website: Bradley Reels



Rims and accents are machined from German nickel silver. Solid sideplates are Delrin, spool is aircraft-grade aluminum. All screws are stainless steel.

Our Nickel Silver model reel features a non-adjustable click and pawl drag system. Available in right or left hand retrieve, and includes a quality mayched reel bag and box and a materials and workmanship guarantee. Reels capacities available: #3 to #7 either with DT or WF lines. The price for this piece of art is 690 euros.

Check out for more details on their  website: Bellinger Reels



Available for trout or salmon fishing, the Peerless reels are all handmade and build to be fished and fished hard! No shiny finish, but anodized to prevent corrosion and provide resistance to scratches. Spare spools can be provided by Peerless as well and must be fitted exactly to your reel as they are handmade.

They have the whole range of size available from #1-2 for trout fishing to  #9-10 for salmon/steelhead fishing. Prices stand between 530 until 680 euros according to conversion rates.

Check out for more details on their  website: Peerless Fly Reels



Among the SpeedLine range of products, the SpeedLine Classic reels represent the Peux model of great prestige. They offer utmost elegance in their traditional shapes and all of the possible characteristics of a Peux reel.

Reel sizes available from #4 to #10 and prices starting from 460Euros. Check out their website  for more details: Peux Speedline Reels

Share pictures of your classic reel/rod setup if you happen to have this in your fishing gear collection. Post them on Freshwaters Facebook page HERE.

Recommended Posts
Showing 8 comments
  • William


    Your thoughts on the Peux reels and could you use the Speed Line Classic 7/8 as a light Spey reel on a 11.5- 12 ft DH rod?

    • Reply

      Hi William,

      Thanks for your comments. Peux reels in general seem to be very reliable, durable. I have never tried one but from what I read all around the web they seem to perform really good over time. On Peux Reels website, they advise to combine it with a WF 8 + 80 m/30 LB or DT 8 + 50 m/30 LB.

      With the DT option you would loose but you’ll loose 30m of backing so if you fish salmon those extra 30m could be useful!
      So I would go for the WF option. But I assume it would do fine for a light Spey reel. On a 11ft-12ft rod it should perform well!

      The Swiss are well known for their work of precision,designing watches, but I think that the guys at Peux Reels are doing an amazing work manufacturing those reels! 😀

  • Reply

    I have 3 of the Peux. 1 first model, and two Speedlines, the golden one 56-6 and the 85 in black. These are magnificent, the gearing ratio is unbelievable and anti-reverse means you will not have to hurt your knuckles on a running fish. What more do you need?
    The look great, engineering is supurb. I had one little problem with the tippet caught in the clutch/drag system. I did not want to take it out myself and sent it back to the Swiss. They fixed it and I got a spare spool for free, now how is that?

    • Reply

      Hei Mario,
      Thanks for sharing with us your experience with Peux reels.

  • Reply

    Great post Bruce: wonderful reels.

    • Reply

      Hi Henry!
      Thanks! I am sure we could find more of these classic style reels from other manufacturers. So let know if you find out more examples that we could be added to the list. 😉

  • Heinrich (Henry) Harendza

    Suggest to add the Moerner Fly Reel as well.. It is a perhaps too early
    developed high tech reel from the seventies.
    The Inventor Bengt Moerner is living in Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Paul S.

    WIth the passing of Mr. Bradley the only chance of fishing one of his splendid reels is to somehow find one on the used market. Same with Peerless as Bob Corsetti has decided to retire. Thankfully, I have a Bradley and a Peerless to enjoy. They are lovely to look at, use, and to own.
    This is a nice website and I have bookmarked it. Cheers!

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search