Oct 30, 2017

Ross Evolution R Fly Reels


Recently I acquired and tested a couple new reels from Ross. The Evolution R in 7/8 and the Evolution R SALT in 7/8.

The Evolution R series of reels are sure to take Ross Reels into fly fishing future. Right away one can tell these reels combine modern technologies and an artful distinctive look to create a product that stands on its own.

Evolution R (Includes Free Fly Line)

Back in the winter I got my hands on the freshwater version of the Evolution R in the Platinum color and 7/8 size. First thing I checked out was the large drag wheel. I was surprised at how solid it feels. I totally expected it to have some wobble but it doesn't. For me this is the one big feature of these reels that really stands out in the way of uniqueness and function.

Next, since I am a right hand retriever, I went through my usual task of switching the retrieve.


Pretty straight forward to make this change. Remove spool. Unscrew drag cassette. Flip bearing. Reassemble. While in there you can see the stacked carbon fiber and stainless steel drag disc.

The reel handle is another feature that had me scratching my head. Clearly different, machined from material called Canvas Phenolic Rod. The claim is this material increases grip when wet. I found it to have incredible grip wet or dry.

I like light reels and the real deal about this new Ross Evolution R for me is the incredible lightness. Despite how light it is they feel surprisingly rigid. My reel is the 7/8 in platinum and on my scale it hit right at 5 oz.

Specs - 
ModelDiameterWidthWeightRod wtLine
3/43.43"0.97"4.64 oz3/4WF3+100yds/20#
4/53.53"0.97"4.82 oz4/5WF4+100yds/20#
5/63.78"0.97"5.03 oz5/6WF5+115yds/20#
7/84.03"0.97"5.18 oz7/8WF7+180yds/20#

Evolution R SALT (Includes Free Fly Line)

The Evolution R SALT is a beefed up big brother the the freshwater version. At first glance the SALT  appears identical but with a closer look it is clearly more robust and the drag housing is clearly containing some larger parts. In fact sealed in that housing is 16 stainless steel and carbon  fluoropolymer disc capable of nearly 30 pounds of drag pressure.

Specs - 
ModelDiameterWidthWeightRod wtLine
7/84.08"1.350"7.51 oz7/8WF8+215yds/20#
9/104.43"1.420"8.00 oz9/10WF10+275yds/20#
11/124.75"1.500"8.85 oz11/12WF12+250yds/30#
My Evolution SALT 7/8 Scale weighted at 7.5 oz.

I put both of these reels through 3 solid days in a row of a challenging non stop wet environment as well as many other days on the water. They have performed solid all the way around and drag tension remains smooth and silky.

Ross Evolution reels have earned a reputation as a solid fly fishing reel. I believe the New R and R SALT version will not only uphold that reputation but also grow it with a series of reels that stand on their own!

I'll see you on the water...But you probably won't see me!

















Greg Darling 


"My Passion For Fishing Is A Lifelong Pursuit Of Discovery"

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