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The Galvan Torque Fly Reel Is Like No Other

A silver Galvan Torque fly reel.

The Galvan Torque has been setting the standard for fly reels since 2004.

Why write about the Galvan Torque? It has been around forever, at least forever in the fly fishing world (it was introduced in 2004). Longevity alone would make me want to tell anglers about the reel that has become a must have for both freshwater and saltwater fly fishermen. But there is so much more to the mythos surrounding this reel than just its legendary durability. That is why I am still excited about this reel after more than 10 years.

The Galvan Torque became my reel of choice for Spey fishing several years ago. Since buying my first Torque in 2005 I have acquired two more for trout fishing because of the sheer durability of the frame and the smoothness of the drag. The combination of these two base characteristics is how I choose fly reels and there are lots of good ones out there, but Galvan has set the standard for this combination or traits for years.

Originally designed from the inside out around one of the most innovative drags ever introduced at the time (2004 Editor’s Choice in Fly Fish America). Galvan made reel technology utilitarian and beautiful with the Torque. Now the designers are on the 4th iteration and they have only made this reel better.

My original Torque featured a compression disc drag that to this day has never failed. I chose this T-10 because of its large arbor and weight to counterbalance my two-handed 7wt. Sage rod. I really didn’t think about the drag too much because I loved the price and weight of the reel. After several steelhead, including my personal best, this drag has proven itself time and again. This first Torque possesses what I always thought was a super slow start-up inertia speed. The old compression disc drag is still great but the carbon fiber discs in the newest Torque’s drag seem to be almost magical. The no maintenance drag of this reel is the smoothest drag for the price that I have found. In scientific terms it has a low coefficient of friction, in fishing terms it has a super smooth drag that won’t break your leader. This is why I my Torque collection now includes two reels that I use exclusively for trout.

I have a T-4 on my Winston 4wt. rod that I use for dry fly fishing and stripping small nymphs in a couple of our trophy trout lakes here in Central Oregon.

30 inch Rainbow trout from Crane Prairie

This is why I use a Galvan Torque…Big trout and 6x tippet.

The microTune drag adjust was originally developed with large fish on stout leaders in mind. My ability to incrementally adjust my reel with a large Rainbow or Brown on 6x tippet is paramount and the microTune drag adjustment allows for the finest tension control I have found. The large adjustment knob is a bonus for this great drag, making it that much easier to use.

The large arbor is probably the most overlooked feature of this reel. But for me it is almost as important as the drag, durability and aesthetics for which Galvan Torque is known. Retrieval rate is often an afterthought when a fisherman selects a reel until a large fish decides to charge the boat. In the blink of an eye, line retrieval speed is the most important thing in the world. This has happened to me on the lake, river and flats. The Torque’s large arbor eases the tension of the moment and is definitely a huge factor in many of the fish I have landed.

Simplicity and functionality are how I would ultimately describe this fine reel. Its ability to be used in all venues, salt and freshwater, and most any fish species is unparalleled. Ultimately, the Galvan Torque has become my “Go to” fly reel because of how it balances my rod for trouble free casting while ensuring that when the time comes I have the most reliable drag on the market. The Torque was and is what fly fishermen envision when they think of a reel.

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2 comments… add one
  • Steve Nielsen January 9, 2016, 10:10 pm

    Thank you this article was very helpful. I’ve been looking at 3 different reels and I’ve been leaning towards the Galvant Torque 6. Left a vm tonight. Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Sean Johnson January 10, 2016, 9:02 am

      I am glad you enjoyed it and it was helpful. Let me know if you have further questions.

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