Greys Tital 5/6 Fly Reel Review
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
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 barstock aluminum and feature a healthy amount of porting throughout. 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, at 7.33 ounces (with backing spooled on), this reel 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 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 adds strength and keeps line from sneaking between the frame and spool. Although I get the positives of it, sometimes the line or leader gets pinned between the frame and spool channel when putting the spool back on.
I am 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 is right inline with what I'd expect from a reel of this price point.
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 lighter 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 here 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 at all settings from minimum to maximum. 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 really like the smooth, thick spool edge as its a great 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/outgoing clicks are on the mild side, but there is satisfying sound quality to my ears. Also of note, the spool is free enough so that it can be effectively "slapped" to quickly put loose line back on the reel. That sweet palming rim I mentioned helps with this, too!
To remove the spool, simply unscrew the center hub cap and separate. The cap stays on the spool for the most part, but it can detach without much force so caution should still be used when manipulating it.
Tital reels come in 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, and 9/10 sizes with 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 pleasing fly reel at a cost that makes it attainable for many anglers. I'm glad to hear that Greys has returned to America as it gives tackle junkies like myself yet another option to shop!
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