Gray’s Best Awards 2015

ANGLING: Bozeman Reel Company SC Fly Reel

I’ve lived in Bozeman, Montana, for more than a decade, and all that time I’ve been hearing rumors about the Bozeman Reel Company. Now this grassroots reel operation has officially launched, and it is finally making products we can buy. I love the idea of a local outfit manufacturing reels from start to finish in one of America’s most storied fly fishing regions, but the performance of the product is the ultimate benchmark, and these reels are excellent. The current lineup is the RS (River-Stream) and the SC (Stream-Creek). The RS is a nice trout reel in line with most of the high-end manufacturers currently on the market—machined aluminum, anodized finish, smooth and powerful drag, a large-arbor spool. The SC, however is a throwback to the click-and-pawl reels of yesteryear—simple, elegant, with exceptional craftsmanship. Retailing for $600, the SC is truly a trout reel, and it belongs on a beautifully built bamboo rod. It may not be capable of stopping a tank (or any other motorized vehicle), but it does just fine on spring creek trout.