Recommendations for a 3wt trout spey reel

Hi All,

I'm new to spey fishing (just bought a 3 weight trout spey rod but haven't fished it) and was wondering that size reel would be good for a 3 weight trout spey set up given the higher capacity needed for spey and running lines. I'm guessing the my Ross C-1 or C-2 won't cut it. I've read that you should go up about two line sizes in reels when using a reel for spey fishing for the equal line weight and since I read it on the internet I know it must be true! Also does having a large arbor matter that much, especially on a trout spey setup? For those that have trout spey setups and fish them, how often do you really go into the backing, I'm not saying I don't need it just curious as to how much I actually need (100yds, 50yds, 20yds, 10yds).

If any one has a reel they would recommend or want to sell that fits the task please let me know!

Thanks everyone in advance for your help!


Your 3wt spey is the equivalent of a 6 wt single hander. It depends on what fly line you choose (mono or integrated running line) but look for any reel that can handle a WF6 or WF7 line and whatever amount of backing you feel comfortable with. Your C-2 will likely work just fine.

You definitely don't "need" a large arbor reel. I like 100+ yards of backing on mine, as I have hooked steelhead while fishing for SRC.
I personally like clickers on my trout spey/switch rods. A used SA/Hardy Marquis 7 would be a nice choice!
It depends on the length of the rod, for anything over 11' I would recommend using a reel thats three weights over.

I have a Redington Rise 7/8 on my Hydrogen and that works very nice, however I'm not a huge fan of the reel itself. I also have an Abel Super 5N for it, but theres no fish I'm going to hook with the 3WT thats going to really pull that reel.

I think a cheaper click-and-pawl would be better, something like an Orvis Battenkill IV in a click-and-pawl would be a lot of fun.
Thanks for the replies!

Wow I didn't know you could go up three line classes for an 11' rod so that's helpful!

I'm definitely leaning more toward the click-and-pawl type reel since this is primarily going to be a trout setup and since the Medalist has a fully caged spool that reel is out of contention. I've looked at the Orvis Battenkill LA IV and V reels and those look they can pick up some serious line quickly so I might head that route.

Also Hardy's seem to be the golden standard for click-and-pawl reels. Is the fit and finish or sound distinct enough to warrant this or are they considered the golden standard because of nostalgia?
Oh, hell guys. We're talking a trout spey here, not a tuna rod. That's a very fine rod you have so I'd put a reel that matches the quality of the rod. I have 3 and 5 wt. switch rods. I use an Abel switch. Nice look, loud click. The Hardy Perfect suggested would be a nice choice. I just don't happen to have one but any quality reel that will hold your line and maybe 50 yards of backing should be okay to use. Trout just don't require that much backing unless you're chasing world class fish or you aren't a very good fisherman.
Nice rod. I have ACR trout speys in 3, 4, and 5 weights. I would recommend using large arbor reels for faster retrieve. The Ross CLA 4 and the Abel Switch balance well and have been my go to for the 11'7"-3 &4 along with the 12'1"-5 ACR. You most likely won't need a lot of backing considering there would be a fair amount of running line when using shooting heads or integrated lines but I fill up anyway.
I use a few trout spey rod and very different reels (I should use less reels and reds!)
Any reel that fits your line is good enough for trout!
NO, sir, you do not need any backing for trout fishing at all! (for decoration and easy connection only)
Trout fishing reel is purely aesthetic issue today. All reels (98% perhaps) good today for trout fishing. Trout reel is only personal statement. (Only?).
Check capacity and feel free to choose form thousands available!
ENJOY the toy- that's the only point.
Thanks for the replies everyone! After reading all your advice I decided on getting an old school (early 2000s) Orvis battenkill LA V. Its definitely overkill but it only weights 6 ozs and picks up 12.5 inches per turn and the drag on it is light even on the heaviest setting. Also because of the reels relatively light weight it also balances the spey rod in the center of the foregrip. Plus I got a insane deal on it and an extra spool.

Thanks again everyone!
Happy fishing


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