Fario LW fly reel vs. NZ brown trout

Images & word by Lewis Hendrie – Guideline Power Team UK. 

I’ve not long been with Guideline but I honestly feel it’s one of the best moves I’ve made within my fly fishing career. The growth of the brand across Europe and the forward movement of the new  product range see an exciting future ahead and I’m proud to be a part of it. 


I have spent many years revisiting New Zealand to escape the colder spell of the UK winters and to maximize my own fishing time on the water. Here is where all fly fishing gear really gets put through its paces and stands the test of rugged terrain, remote landscapes, wild rivers and of course seriously big, hard fighting Trout.

I was excited to get my hands on the New Fario reel to see if they were as good as they look. I confess, I, myself am a bit of a tackle tart, but then let’s face it most people enjoy playing with their fly fishing toys and for me this reel seems to put a smile on my face each time I assemble it to my fly rod.  ‘This reel boasts beauty and concept.’


I know it’s far more important to have a sophisticated drag on a reel rather than how pretty they look. But the finish of this is without a doubt stunning. One thing I’ve learnt over the years about New Zealand Trout or just big fish in general, is that it’s pays dividend to have a good drag. Firstly to tire the fish out without over playing it and secondly so you don’t get snapped off when they take off downstream during the fight (especially when using finer tippets to wary fish). This is where a decent drag pays off.

The large arbor design allows for quick line retrieval when first hooking fish to get excess line out of the way during the fight but also stores the line well to avoid bad memory in the line meaning no more coils when pulled off the reel. The Super smooth drag offers maximum control making it handle with ease whilst playing powerful fish in fast flowing currents and compensates for those hard head shakes that the big trout were making. This prevented me from getting bust off many a times.


I for one like to hear the reel screaming whilst a trout shoots down the rapids but over the years have heard many people say they like the drag to be silent. The Fario FW meets in the middle and offers a smooth sounding drag that still gives you the pleasure of listening to your reel singing but without it sounding noisy or cheap.

A really cool feature of this reel that I’ve not seen on many fly reels before is the tippet keeper. Although this isn’t a life changer, I really like small distinct features and innovative ideas going into fly fishing tackle. This small clip certainly makes life easier when trying to locate the end of your tippet that previous would be embedded into the fly line. Also having a closed cage reduces the chance of the tippet slipping in behind the spool and getting tangled. (It’s the small things that can save the frustrations whilst getting ready for a day out on the water).

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The reel is exceptionally light for its size and makes your outfit feel extremely light and effortless to cast when paired up with a light rod such as the RSi, LPXe or Fario CRS rods or many others in their weight category. (But not to light that it make your setup tip heavy. Giving you great balance and feel during casting).

For such a lightweight reel I was surprised at just how durable they are. During a backcountry mission into a very wild and pretty hard going bouldery river I managed to take a bad fall resulting in me landing hard on some rock and injuring myself and smashing the reel off the rocks. At this point I was more concerned about my fishing kit but I was shocked to see that the only damage done to the reel was a couple of scratches. No damage was done to the spool or reel cage and the reel still functioned as normal.

Combine performance with a ‘work of art’ and you have the Fario FW reel. I for one am very impressed with this cool new product.


About Lewis Hendrie – Guideline Power Team UK;

Lewis started fishing at the early age of 4 and by the time he hit 11 he discovered the world of fly fishing. From there he went on to represent England in both youth and senior levels and fished in numerous European and world championships. His passion took him down the route of becoming a full time fly fishing guide and casting instructor for the pass 12 years where he has taught many new comers to our beloved industry. Lewis specializes in river fishing for trout and grayling and saltwater fly fishing and is an avid photographer which has resulted in him traveling around the globe to fish destinations throughout Europe and New Zealand.

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