Lightest 3wt Reel?


Active Member
Ok - I'm starting to feel a little ridiculous with all my lightweight gear pursuits - but since i've already bought the titanium cookwear, the ultralight bivy and bag - i figure the fishing gear needs to take a pass as well.

What's the best lightweight 3wt reel out there? I was thinking about a sage3100 that I found at a pawn shop, but it was a heavy little clunker. I'm wondering if there's anything better out there that's not insanely priced?
Dormisch-Absi reels come to mind. Ask Mumbles if he'll sell his.
He has two girls to put through College.

Seriously, I use a Danielsson Midge (2.76oz.).

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Don't know the weight of a Dormisch-Absi R2, now out of production, but they are pretty light. I could weigh mine with the 5 wt line I have on it or strip it all off and get you a weight if you think you could find one that you could buy...from Mark Walker perhaps. Probably pretty light but maybe not this light: EDIT: This reel with my 5wt line, sinking trout poly leader and backing is 5.0 ounces. This reel is really designed as a 4/5/6 wt reel. Might be a bit large for a 3wt.
Sage Click III (3-4wt) is 2.5 ounces according to listings. Could shave a microgram or three by going down to a II or I and using less backing.
Sage 3100 weighs 2.75 ounces, not sure that is big and clunky.
Waterworks Ultralight Purist I is 2.6 ounces
White River Ultralight Classic is 2.375 ounces

Probably many more with other super light weights out there. If you are really going to cut weight, how about no reel and put your line in your pocket? Cut the reel out if you really need to get the weight down.


Active Member
Probably many more with other super light weights out there. If you are really going to cut weight, how about no reel and put your line in your pocket? Cut the reel out if you really need to get the weight down.
Hmmmm, now you've got me thinking. Maybe I could just use one of the spare plastic line holders I have and fashion a home made reel out of it! It'd be challenging to figure out a reel seat, but I think I could figure something out. I doubt many of the high mountain lake and streams i'm fishing will have too much in the way of lunkers to really require a speacial drag. It might actually be fun to keep the drag in motion with the palm of my hand.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Now I'm not suggesting that, would be light. A line spool would be pretty clunky though. How much would your spool and whatever attachment assembly weigh? Maybe not much but what would the difference be between that and a 2.5oz reel? I'm not calling you a crazy weight weenie or anything because I know you'd hunt me down and eviscerate me...just sayin'


Active Member
Yeah - I re-read my earlier post and cracked up because it's such a stupid idea.

The 3100 looks like a good deal (pawn shop for $100) and it's about as light as it gets. I think I'll just suck it up and work out a little harder so I can carry all those insane ounces ;)

Sometimes I crack myself up.

What have you got going on Memorial day? We ought to hit the Yak :)


I hope she likes whitefish
Hey Jesse, ask Craig about the plastic Pflueger clicker I gave's really small and REALLY light. I think he loaded it, but would probably give it up for something.

FYI, looks like we'll be staying in town this weekend. Should fish...

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
No Yakima for me this weekend. Four day weekend will find us headed to SW WA for some camping and whatever trouble we can find. If you want to check out one of those sage reels I have a 3200, barely larger. If you are able to come meet me I can let you check it out. I have the reel and one spare spool...but you are right, a hundred bucks for that 3100 is pretty sweet if it is not beat to hell.

Not sure about the reel Luke is talking about but now that Craig knows you want it I bet he will make you pay dearly to check it out. Hope you guys get out and get some fishing time.
Here are ones that I'm aware of:

1. J. Austin Forbes Magnesium 2.5" Reel 2.2 oz. If you're going be only on the smallest of streams or just want a reel that ready to do that, you could cut a DT3F line in half to spool up a J. Austin Forbes Avon 2" reel which weighs in at a monster 1.6 oz. Both are available on Ebay: $79.00 $89.99

2. Dennison Ultra Light Fly Reel is 2 1/4" and 2.4oz $49.95
Another light inexpensive reel to get off Ebay as they come up frequently is an old Edwards Manufacturing No. 30 Reel. I have a couple for my short 1wt and 3wt rods. On a kitchen scale, they roughly weigh 2.5oz at 2 7/8". I've bought 3 and I've never paid above $16 including shipping for one of these reels.


Active Member
I took a visit to the pawn shop last night and bought the sage 3100 for less than a hundred bucks. Pretty damn good deal.

It came with a line too. Any ideas on how to tell what kind of line is on it? Looks green - looks small 1or2 wt i'm guessing?
2 wt. 74-86 grains .036"
3 wt. 94-106 grains .039"
4 wt. 114-126 grains .043"
in the first 30'

That should give you enough to go on, as far as I am concerned they are all so close to the same it really does not matter. Just try the line
and see if you like it.