February 05, 2019 4 min read 1 Comment

In terms of quality and variety, there has probably never been a better time to purchase a fly reel. These days you can get a truly great reel at a very reasonable price tag, and there are more specialty and high-precision offerings than at any time we can remember. Yet with so many options on the market it can often be difficult to decide which reel to go with, the downside to this embarrassment of riches. Today, we’ll walk through one option that we’ve increasingly recommended to many of our customers, the Galvan Torque series.

Galvan may not be as well-known as some of the other brands but make no mistake these reels are incredibly well-made. And some of that has to do with where they are made. While there are some nice overseas reels these days, coming out of factories in Korea or China at budget-friendly prices, there is just no comparison to a top-tier American-made reel. Galvan manufactures all of their reels in California and their fit and finish is exactly what you would expect from a precision shop.

The first thing you’ll notice about Galvan Torque is the quality of the anodizing, which is especially well done. The Torque comes in a variety of colors which is fun if you are looking to match a reel with a particular rod. There are no inconsistencies in the finish and the colors are bright and vibrant.

Galvan Torque Fly Reel 1

As far as performance is concerned, the Galvan Torque has one of the smoothest drags out there. It has a sealed drag, which will keep out any particulates from getting in and interfering in the mechanism. Though the reel is not considered watertight, as far as I’ve been able to tell from testing this does not seem to affect the drag system at all. Even after the reel has been submerged, the drag remains consistent.

Engaging that drag is also easy thanks to the Torque’s knob travel. From completely backed off to locked up, the knob will make 4 full rotations. This may not be ideal in saltwater situations but in a freshwater scenario it is definitely advantageous, since it allows for very fine adjustments that can protect light tippet or small hooks while still keeping heat on the fish. I can’t tell you how many times I have fished a reel where one click up will be too much drag and one click down will be too light, an indicator of a cheap drag system that wasn’t designed with the actual angling situation in mind. You will never have this issue with the Galvan Torque, whose micro drag adjustments will keep you from break fishing off or letting them run you around. It’s good design.

Galvan Torque Fly Reel Knob

The Torque has also found a nice sweet spot between weight and durability, another function of thoughtful design. It’s not the lightest reel on the market (nor the heaviest) but what you get in return is some additional durability in the form of a machined 6061 solid billet aluminum frame and spool. The T5 clocks in at around 4.8 oz so its plenty light for all but the fussiest ounce-counter and the frame has the kind of structural stability that provides maximum impact resistance. The type 2 anodizing will also help prevent scratches and corrosion.

Galvan Torque Fly Reel 3

Galvan has also packed some other great features into the Torque that make it an excellent pick for the serious angler. Among these is a quick release mechanism, an easily switched retrieve switch/spring, and a deep spool. The torque’s large arbor design also means that it has plenty of line and backing capacity for throwing long lines or dealing with powerful fish. Add them up and you have all that you could ask for in terms of modern reel performance.

Galvan is also great to work with, something that anglers may not see firsthand but which shops like ours certainly do. They provide incredible customer service and if your reel ever has an issue, it is dealt with quickly. We have sold countless Torques over the years and rarely see them come in with issues. While that’s a testament to the quality of these reels it’s good to know that you have great people behind them who are responsible and helpful.

Galvan Torque Fly Reel 4

It’s always tempting to chase the new, shiny thing but the the Torque is a reliable performer, one that we’ve had ample time to fish over the years. It’s a real workhorse, with great performance and dependability with very little maintenance. While saltwater anglers often decide on other brands, this is a more than capable saltwater reel in its own right, However, more and more anglers are turning to the Torque as their primary freshwater reel. Trout anglers especially, have developed an affinity for this model - in terms of bang-for-your-buck it’s hard to beat. If you are looking for a new trout reel, consider the Galvan Torque. Once you fish this reel you will understand why these reels are growing in popularity.

1 Response


April 29, 2020

I came late to the Galvan Party, having used Abel’s, Tibors and Bauer’s for trout and bass. I now use Galvans – Torque and Rush models for everything. Left unsaid in this generally excellent review is that Galvan has by far the most powerful drag of any of the high end reels – not even close – per reel “shootouts” by a major shop.

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