• Paul

The NEW Ross Colorado 4/5 Fly Reel Review

Updated: Nov 4, 2021


Along with fiberglass rods, click-pawl reels seem to have really grown in popularity the last several years. Out of the various offerings on the market, the Colorado LT undoubtedly was and still is a favorite among trout chasers everywhere...and for good reason. Those reels are lightweight, high-quality, and offer a ton of visual appeal. While the Colorado LT has enjoyed a highly-successful run, production of those reels has ceased and the brand-new Colorado now takes over.

Reel Size: 4/5

Measured Weight: Approx 3.55 ounces

Diameter: 3.57 inches

Spool Width: .850 inches

Machined/Cast: Machined

Arbor: Large

Backing Capacity: WF4F / 90 yards, WF5F / 75 yards

Drag: Click-Pawl

Tested Max Drag: N/A

Spool Release: Pull Apart

Reel Pouch Included: Yes (Neoprene)

R/L Interchangeable: N/A

Spare Spool: $251.25

Available Colors: Matte Black and Matte Platinum

Reel Price: $335.00

Just like its predecessor the Colorado LT, the new Colorado remains a striking reel. Featuring fully machined 6061 T6 aluminum construction, the reel has a much more open, airy design throughout.

Despite that, this new version comes in slightly heavier at approximately 3.55 ounces versus the old 4/5 LT model which was just 2.98 ounces. However, the new reel does boast a slightly larger diameter of 3.57" compared to 3.45" for the LT along with some design additions.

The clicker system sports a stainless pawl, spring, and gear. Cosmetically, the clicker's large housing now has a shiny decorative backside which includes an engraving of the San Juan Mountains in Colorado.

Mechanically, an interesting design feature is that the pawl now comes straight down against the gear teeth. This gives the reel a "unidirectional" drag which means the reel can be used either right or left handed without any type of conversion needed first.

One of the biggest changes seen in the new reel is a semi-caged frame design. On top of giving the reel a stronger, more robust structure, this also helps prevent line from sneaking in between the spool and frame. With the reel's various edges and interesting angles, this design feature also just adds more intrigue to an already appealing overall look.

My brand-new Colorado sample reel was refined inside and out. The machining is crisp and there were no unsightly marks or other cosmetic flaws. Ross typically produces a quality product and this reel lives up to my expectations of them.


Click-pawl reels can be a lot of fun. In my mind, they are kind of like the manual transmission for fly reels because they require much more angler input. These drag systems offer only light pressure and typically have very little to no adjustment capabilities, so any extra drag pressure must be manually applied by the angler's own hands. They are truly the ultimate in simplicity and shave off a lot of weight because there are just a few small parts. For more info on click-pawl reels, click here!

I could only find small fish (and very few of them) during a tough few local testing trips, so a fish never actually made it onto my reel. Bummer. What I can tell you is that the drag system exhibits a very crisp, loud tone. It has a high-quality sound to it without being too high-pitched or tinny sounding which can come off as somewhat annoying and cheap. Of course the standard drag pressure is quite light and you do have to be careful when stripping off line. Pull line off moderately quick or faster, and the spool will overrun a little causing some loose line to pile up.

As mentioned, the reel's diameter has slightly increased in this new model which should speed up the retrieve a tad. While cranking, the canvas micarta handle material feels great and is an excellent size/shape. It has a dry, grippy feel to it that provides a sure hold even with wet fingers. The Colorado also has a very solid feel to it at all times. Tolerances are tight with barely any play between parts.

Another upgrade worth mentioning here is that Ross now uses a material for their bushings called Vesconite. I had absolutely no idea what this was, but a quick Google search told me the material is a very durable thermopolymer that is internally lubricated (requiring no outside lubrication) and delivers low friction coefficient. It is currently being used in many industries such as automotive, rail, and mining.

Like the Colorado LT, the spool simply pulls apart from the frame. A modest pull and a little twisting motion back and forth separates them every time. To rejoin them once again, push them together along with the same little twisting action and there's a nice pop when they're fully seated and ready to go.


Ross didn't drop the ball in this latest version of the Colorado reel. While I still have a lot of love for the discontinued LT reel, this new one definitely turns the refinement up a few notches in terms of looks and design. I have no doubt the Colorado will remain one of the favorite choices among click-pawl enthusiasts everywhere.

Each reel includes a protective pouch which can also protect the reel when mounted on a rod. Besides our 4/5 test reel, a 2/3 size is also available. Color choices include matte black and matte platinum with the price set at a reasonable $335 regardless of size or color.

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