Fly Life Magazine

Monday Gear Review: A balanced rod and reel system by ROSS

Does a balanced system have merit?

The concept of a balanced fly rod, reel and flyline has been with us for ages. To find the right combination of rod, reel and fly line that’s a “balanced” system could take up considerable amounts of money and time. Why? Because the fly shop guys are not going to let try out five or six reels and a dozen different fly lines. And that’s so with single handed, double handed and in-between switch rods. I can’t speak to Tenkara since I’m not an owner of one.

Taking the guess work out of play

The Ross Balance Adjustable Reel Arm can be used with any fly reel. Attachment is no different than locking your reel into a rod seat. No tools are required and no modifications must to be made to your reel. And since each person’s definition of Perfect Balance is different, you can easily adjust the reel to a position that feels balanced for you.

Ross Balance Adjustable Reel Arm

Balance Ross

Ross Balance Adjustable Reel Arm. Attach your reel to the Balance’s arm, then attach the whole unit to your rod via the built-in foot. Next, slide the arm up or down the foot to find the perfect balance point – lock in place with the tension screw. Set-up in seconds. A Ross photo.

The concept of perfect balance has long been debated in the world of fly fishing. Spend just one day in a fly shop and you will inevitably see somebody trying to balance a fly rod and reel on the top of their finger in an effort to determine the correct match between rod and reel. Most would agree that hanging a reel below and slightly forward of your casting hand will move the center of gravity away from the reel seat, thereby improving the balance between the rod and reel. However, balance is a subjective term and Ross has ingeniously solved this problem with the introduction of the first reel arm; allowing an angler to adjust the forward position of a fly reel on a rod.

The build

The Ross Balance Adjustable Reel Arm is fully machined out of the same 6061-T6 proprietary aluminum alloy as Ross’s world class fly reels. The Balance is anodized for the perfect balance of hardness and color. Color is black. Weight is 1.6 oz. The Balance is designed for use in all freshwater, warm-water and saltwater fishing environments and is covered by a lifetime warranty.


Last year, Orvis agreed to acquire Scientific Anglers (SA) and Ross Reels from 3M. SA is located in Midland, Michigan, ROSS is in Montrose, Colorado and ORVIS is in Manchester, Vermont.


ROSS Reels

Website . . .

MSRP – $140

Available at fly shops that carry ROSS product.

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