• Paul

Greys Tital 5/6 Fly Reel Review

Updated: Jun 29

Intro/Specs/Craftsmanship



Hugely popular across Europe, Greys returned to U.S. shores in 2020 and now offers several new fly rods and reels for us stateside anglers. Covering both freshwater and saltwater sizes, their new Tital series of fly reels took home the Best Fly Fishing Reel award at ICAST 2021. Having never touched a Greys product before this year's show, I was eager to test the 5/6 Tital to see if the performance matched its sexy good looks.




Reel Size: 5/6

Measured Weight: Approx 7.33 ounces (with backing)

Diameter: Approx 3-3/4 inches

Spool Width: Approx 1-5/8 inches

Machined/Cast: Machined

Arbor: Large

Backing Capacity: WF6F / 50 yards

Drag: Carbon Fiber (sealed)

Tested Max Drag: Approx 5-pounds

Spool Release: Twist-off hub cap

Reel Pouch Included: Yes

R/L Interchangeable: Yes

Spare Spool: $140.50

Available Colors: (1) Machined/Black

Reel Price: $235.95


Greys Tital reels are fully machined from bar-stock aluminum and feature healthy porting throughout the frames and spools. The design is anything but boring, as the open, complex structure not only looks ultra-slick but shaves unnecessary weight as well. Speaking of weight, this model weighs 7.33 ounces (with backing spooled on), which isn't exactly light. Similarly-priced comparable reels like the 5/6 Redington RISE (4.6 ounces), -5+ Lamson Guru S (4.41 ounces), and Orvis Hydros III (5.5 ounces) are all noticeably lighter.



One thing I can say about my 5/6 Tital tester is that it feels very robust overall. Whether simply holding it in my hand or cranking on the handle, there's no weak, sloppy, hollow, or tinny feel here.



One design aspect of the reel that's a bit different than many others is the full-frame "caged" design. Although this extra structure adds weight to the reel, it also increases strength and keeps the line from sneaking between the frame and spool. Although I get the positives of the design, sometimes the line or leader gets pinned between the frame and spool channel when putting the spool back on.



I am quite happy with the build quality of my Tital. Aside from the top edges of the reel foot being a little on the pointy side, the overall machining and craftsmanship meet my expectations of a reel in this price range.


Fishing/Testing


The Tital comes equipped with a sealed carbon-fiber drag system. Greys indicates a maximum drag tension of about 4 pounds, but I was able to get closer to 5 pounds when measuring on my hand scale. Either way, that's plenty of tension for freshwater and light saltwater work.



The drag knob is a good size and has some texture on the surface to improve grip. I find it easy enough to adjust, but my fingers often rub against the hard edges of the rear frame spokes while turning the knob. Smoother spoke edges would have been much nicer to avoid that minor discomfort during knob adjustment.


It takes about 2-3/4 turns of the drag knob to go from minimum to maximum pressure. There's a hard stop at the bottom end, but you have to use some muscle to force out those last few clicks on the top end. There's modest tension while turning the knob, and it gives off a mild, pleasant clicking sound.


Drag performance is very good, with nice consistency from minimum to maximum settings. Sometimes, fly reels will exhibit a hint of startup inertia—that little hesitation or sticky feeling when the drag starts up—but even at the highest setting, I noticed none of that nonsense with the Tital. I also like the smooth, thick spool edge as it's an excellent surface for using palm or finger pressure during the fight.



No complaints about the handle. It's a good size and feels comfortable while cranking at any speed. Like the drag knob, incoming and outgoing clicks are on the mild side but satisfying enough to my ears.



Simply unscrew the center hub cap to separate the spool from the frame. The cap stays on the spool for the most part, but it actually can detach without much force, so caution should still be used when manipulating it.


Conclusion


Tital reels come in 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, and 9/10 sizes, with the prices ranging from $225.95 to $279.95, depending on the model. Spare spools are also available for $130.95 to $160.95.



The 5/6 Tital proved to be a solid fly reel at a cost that makes it attainable for many anglers. I'm glad that Greys has returned to America, as it gives tackle junkies like myself yet another option to look at!


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