• Paul

Ross Evolution LTX 3/4 Fly Reel Review



Intro/Specs/Craftsmanship


The Ross Evolution LTX series are not exactly new reels, having been out for about four years now. Designed with attributes from the Evolution R and original Evolution LT, the result is a modern, downright sexy lineup that's suitable for fresh and saltwater use. While it took me forever to get my hands on an LTX, I recently became the owner of a new 3/4 model, which is the smallest in the family. Let's get into this reel and see if it's truly as good as what I've been hearing!



Reel Size: 3/4

Measured Weight: Approx 4.31 ounces

Diameter: 3.42 inches

Arbor Width: 0.97 inches

Machined/Cast: Machined

Arbor: Large

Backing Capacity (20 lb): WF3F - 60 yards / WF4F - 50 yards

Drag Type: Stacked Discs (sealed)

Tested Max Drag: Approx 2.5 pounds

Spool Release: Pull apart

Reel Pouch Included: Yes

R/L Interchangeable: Yes

Available Colors: Black or Platinum

Spare Spool: $356.25

Reel Price: $475.00


As seen in the picture above, these reels feature bell-shaped arbors. Ross says this adds strength and helps the line lay level while retrieving. A channel runs down the center of the arbor and gives the arbor knot a place to hide out so it's not visible through the open spool design.



The one thing I love about the Ross Evolution LTX fly reel is the minimalist, airy design. On top of looking slick, this obviously also shaves a lot of unnecessary weight from the frame and spool. On my scale, I measured a weight (without line/backing) of approximately 4.31 ounces. While it feels nice and lightweight in hand, lighter reels such as the Redington RISE 3/4 (4 ounces) or Waterworks-Lamson Litespeed F -3+ (3.4 ounces) do exist. With that said, the LTX feels right at home on a modern, lightweight rod.



These reels are machined from a proprietary 6061-T6 aluminum alloy that's made just for Ross. My LTX sports excellent machining throughout, with no sharp edges, burrs, or otherwise unrefined areas to be found. Overall, the craftsmanship will please even the most critical eye.


Fishing/Testing



Ross states that the LTX's fully-sealed drag system is "based on the engineered stacked-disc system in the Evolution R." One thing is for certain: this drag is silky. It starts up without any hint of hesitation at any setting and comes off the spool in a smooth, consistent flow. Although Ross says the drag is over four times stronger than the original Evolution LT, I was only able to eek out approximately 2.5 pounds of drag pressure—plenty for most trout and other light freshwater applications a reel of this size is intended for.



The tall, chunky shape of the drag knob and its textured surface makes it really easy to grab. It takes about 2 1/2 turns to go from minimum to maximum pressure, with not much noticeable change in drag pressure happening until the dial is turned about 1 1/2 times. Throughout the adjustment range, there are soft detents and not much in the way of sound. Something else I notice is that the drag knob has a little bit of play/looseness to it. This doesn't affect anything performance-wise, but feels a tad unrefined.



Ross equips the LTX with their canvas phenolic handle, which I'm a big fan of. It's sized and shaped perfectly, feels awesome, and has kind of a rustic, western look to it that's very fitting of this reel.


In my opinion, this is one of the better-sounding reels I've tested in recent memory. Both the incoming and outgoing clicks are modestly loud and offer a quality sound that's really pleasing to my ears.


Conclusion



This Evolution LTX 3/4 is my new personal reel that's used for small local warmwater species. Thus far, I've been quite satisfied with my purchase, as this reel's classy looks, light weight, and excellent drag system really appeal to me. Although this reel has been around for a few years now, it's still a top contender that shouldn't be overlooked.


Besides the tested 3/4 size, Ross Evolution LTX fly reels also come in 4/5, 5/6, and 7/8 sizes, all (surprisingly) costing $475 a piece. Each reel is offered in black or platinum and arrives with a protective neoprene pouch.


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