On the conventional side of fishing, materials like magnesium and special composites are often used in reels which can result in astonishingly light weights. In fly fishing, aluminum is still the favored material of choice, but reels can shave off some added plumpness by incorporating lots of porting, lightweight handle designs, etc. Whether it's my spinning, casting, or fly setups, in recent years I've really become particular regarding their weights. My current 7-weight reel has served me well for several years, but it's not as light as I'd like it to be and it lacks a couple desirable features. What was the affordable, lightweight alternative that delivered what I wanted? That was an easy choice—the 3-TAND TF-70.
3-TAND TF-70 Specs
Line Size: 6–8
Weight: 4.6 ounces
Diameter: 3.75 inches
Spool Width: .98 inches
Backing Capacity: WF6F/200 yards; WF7F/175 yards; WF8F/150 yards
Drag: Nano CF Drag Disc (fully-sealed) 7-pounds maximum drag
Machined/Cast: Machined Aluminum
Easy Release Spool: Yes
Color: Black or Silver
Reel Pouch: Yes
Spare Spool Price: $124.95
Reel MSRP: $209.95
As the specs above suggest, this isn't solely just a 7-weight reel. Also, since I've previously reviewed the identical but smaller TF-40 here, this isn't an in-depth review, but merely a quick weight comparison. Based on the little TF-40, I already had a sense of how this reel would perform and based on published specs was aware the TF-70's drag wasn't incredibly powerful, but I also knew it would be more than adequate for 7-weight duties. Performance and looks aside, a huge draw to this particular model was the shockingly light advertised weight of just 4.6 ounces!
So, is the TF-70 the lightest reel in its class? The short answer is no, however it's definitely one of the lightest reels on the market. The two lighter albeit more "premium" reels I found both come with higher price tags:
Ross Reels Evolution R / 4.48 ounces / 7-8 weight lines / $495.00
Waterworks Lamson Force 3 SL Series II / 3.70 ounces / 6-8 weight lines / $549.95
Make no mistake—those two reels are seriously cool, but for the money the 3-TAND is quite impressive. Are there other lighter 7-weight reels out there? Probably, and with some more internet digging I might find one. If you know of one, let us know!
The 3-TAND TF-70 makes a bold statement at such a low price point. It may not be the "blingiest" reel around, but it's got praise-worthy looks, features, performance, and incredibly light weight. Combined with my Sage Method 7-weight which checks in at just 3 9/16 ounces, this combo tips the scales at less than some reels alone. Fishing with a high-performance feather-light combo is an absolute blast, and I can't wait to hit the water with mine!