Lightweight. Simple. Classy. Those are three adjectives I'd use to sum up the Colorado LT fly reel from Ross Reels. It's difficult not to stare at this beautiful reel as it looks not only extremely unique, but very elegant as well. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks this way either, as the Colorado LT earned the award for "Best of Show Freshwater Fly Reel" at IFTD 2016. I recently got to spend a bit of time with the 3/4 model to get a feel for how this intriguing reel performs.
Line Size: 3/4
Weight: 2.91 ounces
Diameter: 3.325 inches
Backing Capacity: Up to 55 yds/20lb
Machined/Cast: Machined Aluminum
Quick Release Spool: Yes
Colors: Matte Black, Platinum
Reel Pouch: Yes
Featuring an extremely "open" design, the Colorado LT's spool and frame are fully machined from a special 6061-T6 aluminum alloy designed for Ross and given a Type II anodized finish. Remember how I mentioned the word "simple" earlier? The meaning behind that partly comes from the fact that there's only 15 total parts to be found here (none are plastic), all of which are made and assembled by Ross in Montrose, Colorado. What's not simple, however, is the overall aesthetic of the LT. The intricate design is about as far from boring as you can get! The machining of it all is very good with no rough corners or other glaring errors. The LT also feels surprisingly solid for being so extremely lightweight and minimalist.
Click-pawl drags certainly aren't what most anglers fish these days, but their simplicity and the noise they emit are still dang cool in my book. The Colorado LT boasts an all-metal click/pawl mechanism that works and sounds great, but there's no drag adjustment here so your palm or fingers will have to apply any added pressure. Line pickup is quick thanks to a big arbor size and while cranking you can enjoy the same pleasingly-loud click as when the drag is engaged.
Speaking of reeling, Ross states that their handle is an "industry first." It's comprised of a canvas phenolic rod which is said to be found in the handles of custom knives and actually provide an increased grip when wet. I didn't really notice a big difference, but the handle is certainly "grippy" at all times, sized nicely, and sports a little flange at the end to keep your fingers in the right spot. The lightweight handle post also lets the LT get away with not having a spool counterweight.
Colorado LT reels come in 0–5 weight sizes, feature easy L/R hand conversion, and are ultra-lightweight with all models coming in at under three ounces! Available colors aren't numerous, but you can choose from matte black or platinum. As far as lightweight, simple, and classy reels go, the Colorado LT is at the top of its game and is a perfect match for freshwater anglers looking for a reel outside the norm.
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