Greys X-Flite Fly Reel (#5/6)

So there was a conundrum. I wanted more spools for my Greys GRXi reels to use with my Pitsford Pirates lines as I want to be able to bag them up and take them with me when away on business and looking for a spot of fishing of an evening (if I ever get free time!).

I had 4 new lines so 4 new spools were £9 x4 = £36. You can however buy one of these reels for about the same money and it comes with 4  spools anyway. So the decision was made- buy a new reel with spools. Then I noticed that the Greys GRXi + and the Greys X-Flite reels use the same spools so they are all interchangeable. Stirling Angling Centre were doing the X Flite in the needed weight (#5/6) for only £59 which is £40 off list and a lot cheaper than anywhere else. Its a rather nice all round reel and as I have 2 GRXi’s anyway I figured “treat yourself” so splashed on the X-Flite.

Its a nice bit of kit – very classy looking in a gold and silver finish. The drag control is a knurled knob thats very progressive in operation and works well. Weight wise its maybe marginally lighter than the GRXi but the drag and spool fitting are better mechanisms. Pleased with the purchase- not a lot else to say- a reel – its somewhere to stow line. I am sure I will get many years of satisfying use from it.

A seasons fishing later……

It looks like these reels are discontinued now as a result of the new GX range that came out this year. So some of these comments are probably meaningless to most anglers who will buy the newer reels, though basically they all do the same thing- hold line on the end of the rod!

But a seasons use- I have a few things to add.  If I had to use one word to sum up this reel after a season, its “heavy“. I really “feel” it after a day on the water with this. Its a solidly built unit and as a result its quite a significant weight on the butt end of your rod. It does not exhibit the balanced feel I get when using my XF2 Streamflex rod with my Hardy LRH reel.

Elaborating a little on the overall performance of the reel, its also got rather a heavy feel to the spooling off  of line, by that I mean the free spooling of the reel when you are pulling off line to cast for example, sometimes feels like you have the drag set on, and I am continually finding myself feeling the drag to see if I have inadvertantly turned it up, or its shifted in transit.

The drag itself, to be fair I have barely used all season, I think I have applied it a couple of times for fish that were running away, and only by a click or two, is however pretty good, and nice and progressive. Also it seems fairly intolerant of a bit of water. I do sometimes find myself putting the reel in the water, say when threading up a rod in a restricted space, or occasionally in a boat, this reel does not seem to tolerate this type of “abuse” that well, its currently sitting doused in WD40 to try free it up a bit after a couple of soakings. But to be fair I tend to look after reels, drying them off and bagging them up after a day.

So If asked, would I buy another one, the answer would probably be no. I am glad I never went for the bigger, and so I suppose heavier 7/8 weight model, which in terms of line capacity, would have been better for lines like the Airflo 4o+ Floater, which has a huge head diameter. Will I be replacing it anytime soon? no, unless someone is going to make me an offer which allows me to transfer all my lines onto spools which fit a new reel – I have 11 lines now so thats a lot of spare spools and I have cross compatibility between the X Flite and the GRXi reels.

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