If you’ve spent any time of late cruising the internet for fly fishing fodder (heck, you’re doing it right now!), you may have noticed one reel company in particular making waves in the freshwater world – Einarsson reels.
Over the last few years, Einarsson reels have been growing increasingly popular, particularly in the spey realm. That begged the question; Why not use them in the salt too?
Well, our good friends from the Stillwater Fly Shop out of Sunriver, Oregon wanted to know the answer to that very question as much as we did. They let us borrow some to put them to the test on our bonefish at Andros South, and today we’re going to tell you how they did.
Einarsson Fly Fishing, born out of Iceland, currently offer two models of reels; The Plus series of reels and the Invictus series. We tested out the the 7-Plus and 8-Plus models at Andros South and they preformed really well.. But more on that below!
Full Frame Construction
By far the most noticeable feature to the Plus series reels is its full frame design. This full ‘caged’ reel design is an obvious advantage to the modern day spey angler – There’s no way for thin mono running lines to ever sneak between the frame and the spool.. A frustrating occurrence most experienced spey casters can relate to.
However, we found the full frame construction to have a huge advantage on the flats as well. First off, the Plus reels are extremely light – far lighter than most bonefish worthy reels we would normally reach for. We generally shy away from really light weight reels for most saltwater applications, mostly for their tendency to warp or wobble when moving at really high speeds. With that said, because the Plus series is constructed with a full frame, even though it is incredibly light, its still super rigid as well..
In other words, a reel that’s really light, but plenty sturdy for hard fighting saltwater species. That’s a win win!
We could go into the nitty gritty nuances of drag design and materials, but if you’ve read any of our reviews before, you know that’s not our style. We know you can look that up (here, if you’d like!). Instead, we like to tell you how they performed in hand.
We were able to put the heat on plenty of bonefish, including some big boys with both the 7-Plus and the 8-Plus models. Both performed flawlessly providing smooth, consistent resistance, including a smooth startup – something that we feel is important in a good bonefish reel. We may have lost a few of those big bonefish along the way, but we attribute that 100% to your humbled editor’s ‘angler error.’
The reel felt great in hand as well. The drag knob is just how we like it – large enough to prevent fumbling around when you needed to make an adjustment. The reel handle was nice and comfy and when coupled with the large arbor design of the spool, made easy work of picking up a bunch of line quickly.
Saltwater is extremely hard on fishing gear. Like ever good saltwater fly reel, the brake system on the Plus series reels are fully sealed to keep out saltwater, sand, dirt, or the like. The last thing you want to do after a long day on the water is pamper your reels, and the Plus required very little maintenance. As common practice, we gave the reels a quick rinsing with freshwater after each day of use during the few months of our testing period and saw no issues whatsoever.
If you’re looking for a super light reel, that’s worthy of the flats, we think the Einarsson Plus series is a good option. For most bonefish applications, we think the 8-Plus model is the best choice. It has a comparable arbor size to other big-game reels, but is light enough to pair with even the lightest rods. With that said, we also paired the 7-Plus model on a Sage ONE 790-4, which made for an extremely fun lightweight setup as well.
The Einarsson 7 Plus and 8-Plus retail for $665.00 and $698.00 respectively and you can pick one up today, here. Or, for more information, you can check out all the details on Einarsson Fly Fishing’s website.