Pflueger Summit Series Fly Reel – Fishing Gear

Posted in Fishing, Gear Reviews, Outdoor Gear by rrsmith - 03.24.2008

The name Pflueger has been around for some time. My first fly reel was a Pflueger although I do no remember the model it served me well over the years. However it finally gave out and I had to purchase a new reel recently I purchased one of the 7-8 weight Summit Series Fly reels and I must say that I am impressed with this new reel by Pflueger. While fighting steelhead here in Idaho I have enjoy the way the Summit Series is capable of handling these often aggressive fish.

This large arbor reel has two ball bearings and a one-way clutch bearing for especially smooth operation. Both the aluminum frame and spool are forged, machined, and anodized for improved strength, and they are also corrosion-resistant. The drag is a center disk system and delivers superior control to the line drag. The spool has is equipped with an easy-release switch and can be swapped out with a spare spool quickly if a line change is needed. It has a large rubber on the retrieve arm allowing for a secure grip while retrieving your line. This reel is also able to convert between right and left hand retrieve features.

If you wanting a good looking and performing reel for less than 100 bucks, I recommend choosing this one. It works very well, It is a bit wider than I imagined it would be yet it does seem to handle exceptionally well. Pflueger is a name that I believe and trust in and is also sold on my personal website. The newer series of Pflueger fly reels, meaning the Summit and Trion series are just great reel values for your money. I have gotten a lot of budding fly fisherman started using Pflueger fly reels. Pflueger has now made it possible to own a top end fly reel without the inflated price tag.

You owe it to yourself to take the time and look at one of these reels give one of them a try. The history and appeal of a Pflueger fly reel makes it a great reel to own and use.

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17 Responses to 'Pflueger Summit Series Fly Reel – Fishing Gear'

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  1. Brig Graff

    I’ve got a buddy who was one of the designers of the Sage fly reels and swore up & down about them. How do the Pflueger ones compare?

  2. Sean

    In response to Brig Graff, I own a Pflueger Summit #1656 and my brother owns a Sage 1650…or should I say used to own. After using my Pflueger, he traded in his Sage reel for the Summit 1656 and won’t go back.

    In my opinion, the Sage reels (and most fly reels, for that matter) are often highly overpriced; segregating an entire population demographic from enjoying this great sport!!. The Pflueger fly reels (Trion, President and Summit) are perfect examples that you can get a HIGH quality, aluminum reel, for less than the big “brand names” charge.

    If you’re trying to decide between the Sage and the Pflueger….go with the Pflueger!!

  3. Brig Graff

    many thanks for the advice! I will definitely have to check one out…..

  4. Tim


    About Pflueger fly reels. Well, I started out as a fly fisher at the age of 8. I have been fly fishing now for over 40 years. I have been using my Trion 1978 for 4 seasons here in Alaska and I have no complaints. My Trion was a gift from my wife. I see that there are reels that go for 5 times the price, but in terms of performance, I haven’t figured out why I need to spend $500 on a fly reel. Sure, I bet those top shelve reels have a lot to offer, but so does my Trion 1978.

    I wanted a second spool for my Trion 1978. Finding gold in Alaska turned out to be easier. The price of a new Summit was about the same as the price of a new spool for the Trion, so rather than pull my hair out trying to find a deal on the extra spool, I just cracked my piggy bank and got a Summit 1678. If there is a better deal out there than the Summit, I would sure like to hear about it. Some day, when I go for Steelhead, I am going to take along my Medalist 5/6 and try it. I be it will handle it.

  5. Brig Graff

    Yeah it does seem a little ridiculous to drop crazy amounts of $$ on a reel, especially on the lighter fish when the reel is mostly just line storage.

    Alaska — wow man I’m jealous….whereabouts?

  6. d watkins

    I own 6 pflueger fly reels. supremes, summits and presidents and the new summit 5/6 which is all the reel you will need . I have it on my t-3 6 wt and it is every bit as good a reel as many 200. plus reels.The drag is flawless and the finish is great and these reels are rugged.

  7. Brig Graff

    good to know. any tips on a rod? again, buddies are always saying that Sage is the way to go….but they are spendy.

  8. Sean

    If you WANT to spend rent money on a fly reel, then go ahead and get a Sage or any other “big name” reel. If you want a fly reel that will continually perform season after season, has a disc drag that will stop a 30lb steelhead (on a 5/6 wt reel!!) and don’t want to spend more than $80…..get a Pflueger Summit. Extra spools are only $30 each!!

    As I said before, my brother sold his Sage 1650 for a Summit 1656, and that was 2 years ago. Since then we’ve converted our whole family to Pflueger (that’s 3 more brothers, 2 sisters, 1 father, a father-in-law, 3 cousins and 3 wives).

    Performance is identical to any other reel out there and the price CANNOT be beat. The only other reel I can think of that would be comparable is the snowbee XSD, made in the UK. They are large arbour cast-aluminum reels (not machined like the Summit) and, depending on which model you get, they come with extra spools. The XSD460 ($120 CAN) comes with one spare spool and the XSD780 (approx $160 CAN) comes with FIVE spare spools and a padded carry case.

    As for rods, that’s where I spend my money. I’ve got 2 Sage XLi’s (a 2 piece 6wt for stillwater and a 2 piece 8wt for rivers/saltwater) along with a Snowbee Prestige 4 piece 6wt for travelling. Sage discontinued the XLi last year so you might be able to find one at a discount in your local store (if they still have them). I paid $400 for my Sage rods (got a discount for buying two) and my snowbee rod was a gift.

  9. Brig Graff

    Thanks Sean —- I guess Sage might be worth the coin for the rods, then, but Pfleuger reels sound great.

  10. Sean

    In my opinion, Sage rods are definitely worth the money and that’s where you should concentrate on spending your cash. The purpose of any reel, 6wt and below, is to store the line. In 7wt and above, you use the reel a lot more in fighting the fish.

    I can use my 8wt Summit just like a spinning reel when I’m fighting coho/chinooks. Although I’ve done it with my 6wt (not on purpose), it really takes a lot out of the fish and if you plan on releasing the fish, survivability becomes an issue when they get that tired.

  11. frederick burt.

    I just bought a brand new pflueger 1978 series for £26 gbp. from the undermentioned.
    My friend in redditch makes fly reels from high grade aluminium ingots.
    He was head engineer at “Partridge of Redditch” for 23 years or more
    when they ceased trading he bought all the machinary, tools, and blueprints.
    he is now known as “Mills Tackle Company” and he repairs all reels that requires servicing.
    He will make you a reel to be very proud of.
    He also makes long trotting reels such as the Alcocks Ariels.
    The name of these is” The Barbal Catcher” and the “Rolling Pins”.
    If you require any assistance, repairs which are second to none then he is your man.
    If you type into Google ” Mills Tackle Company” then you will see what i mean.
    Tight Lines from the other side of the pond.

  12. frederick burt.

    He also worked for J.W. Youngs of Redditch.

  13. Zach Miali

    Hey everyone, well I read through all of the comments above and I agree with most of them. The Pflueger Summit 1678 is my current fly reel of choice for Steelhead trout and for Chinook salmon. The reel has excellent drag as far as its fast action capability goes and it is so quiet and smooth. It’s a beautiful reel, and the funny thing is that any time I go out with a friend they think I must have spent as much as they did on their Ross or Loomis reel. The reason why I chose this cheaper brand of reel isn’t because I don’t like top of the line companies more, because you actually can tell the difference unfortunately. I love Lamson reels and I am a huge fan of the Reddington line of gear. For me though, I am always in very rugged terrain when fishing Steelhead and Salmon. I have taken some very minor and also some big falls and banged up so many reels when fishing, and each time it’s been way too expensive even to warranty a reel. I’m thankful that there’s a company out there that still makes a great fly reel that’s decently priced for clumsy guys like me. I just can’t break my bank on fly reels anymore. Maybe if I’m rich one day, but for now the Pflueger catches fish like no ones business and it’s a damn smooth ride for the price.

  14. MattyG

    What do you guys think about Temple Fork rods?

  15. Brig Graff

    You know I haven’t used Temple Fork myself, but they look like they are worth a try.

  16. Les Grover

    I am looking for an extra spool for a Pfleuger Summit 1678, or even a complete reel if no spool is available.
    If you have one to sell please call Les at 209.545.4666

  17. Brig Graff

    Hi Les –

    I believe that reel has been discontinued, but here is Pfleuger’s customer service info in case they can help you. Good luck!


    Pflueger® Customer Service
    7 Science Court
    Columbia, SC 29203

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