Loop Tackle Opti Fly Reel Review



• Models: Opti Creek Fly Reel, Opti Dry Fly Reel, Opti Runner Fly Reel, Opti Speedrunner Fly Reel, Opti Megaloop Fly Reel, Opti Big Fly Reel
• Machined and Anodized Bar Stock, Aircraft Aluminum
• Fully Sealed Power Matrix Drag System
• Simple, quick spool-change
• Precisely counterbalanced

October 5, 2011 (San Francisco, CA): In 1984, Swedish tackle manufacturer Loop produced the first large arbor fly reel—it would be another decade before the rest of the industry caught on and virtually every fly reel was built to the Loop standard. Nearly thirty years after this revolutionary design, the Opti Fly Reel Series continues Loop’s quest to challenge industry conceptions about what fly fishing gear is capable of.

Not just another large arbor reel: Loop’s groundbreaking Opti Fly Reels illustrate what’s possible when tradition takes backseat to innovation and the boundaries of conventional design give way to cutting-edge thinking. Simply put, the Loop Opti doesn’t look like your typical fly reel because it’s anything but your typical fly reel. Utilizing input from fly fishers around the world, Loop developed their Opti Fly Reels to satisfy the demands of top anglers in tough environments. Each of the six models of the Loop Opti Series features an expert combination of ergonomic, efficient power integrated into a striking and seamless exterior. Sporting a super-large arbor and lightweight design, the Loop Opti Reels represent a new generation of fly reels built to change the way you fish. Whether you are playing wily trout with the Opti Creek or conquering saltwater locomotives with the Opti Big, the Loop Opti Fly Reels are guaranteed to look and feel unlike any other reel on the water
Series Overview…

Construction: Loop Opti Fly Reels are machined from bar stock, aircraft-grade aluminum for uncompromising strength and an exceptionally lightweight frame. As a result, the Opti Series features an increased spool diameter optimized for accelerated line retrieve without weighing down your rig. This super-large arbor design is a radically effective way to maximize line recovery and minimize line memory, thus reducing arm fatigue and making every revolution more efficient. Working in concert with this revolutionary arbor design, Loop Opti Reels also feature a V-shaped spool that directs fly line into place with little help from your fingers. The result is a fly reel that does not just boast blazing line retrieve, but that does it all with an effortless dependability that’s characteristic of Loop’s comprehensive design process.

Form & Function: The Loop Opti Series is constructed with an emphasis on durable power and sleek, Scandinavian aesthetics; think of it as a workhorse with the body of a thoroughbred. Under the hood, the Loop Opti Reel’s fully sealed, fully adjustable Power Matrix Drag System is the latest in braking system technology, delivering huge stopping power for reduced fatigue and fight times. The Power Matrix is especially evident in the larger models like the Opti Megaloop, where dual braking plates dish out serious resistance against formidable saltwater trophies.

Of course Loop Opti Fly Reels are entirely waterproof and saltwater ready, featuring stainless steel and anodized aluminum components, as well as screws secured with Loc-Tite to provide an extra layer of defense against the elements. Every Opti Fly Reel can accommodate left or right hand retrieve and the quick spool change greatly enhances versatility when you need multiple lines for varied action. Opti Fly Reels are also precisely counterbalanced to ensure that whether you are taking trout on the Opti Dryfly or warring with a King on an Opti Megaloop, every revolution is consistent and smooth. On the exterior, Loop aesthetics contribute to a distinctive look that reaffirm the Opti Fly Reel’s cutting-edge design. The Opti porting is as visually striking as it is functional, optimizing the reel’s lightweight performance and contributing to a prominent profile. The Loop Opti Fly Reel frame features a distinguished L insignia on the side, an understated signature of Loop’s immaculate style.

The Lineup…

Optimized for trout anglers, the Loop Opti Creek (WF3+140yd/20lb) and Opti Dryfly (WF5+190yd/20lb) are aptly named and excel in trout environments. Each features a silky-smooth drag for fine leaders and partners with a model in the Opti Fly Rod and Opti Line series for a complete package.

The Opti Runner (WF7+150yd/30lb) and Opti Speedrunner (WF8+185yd/30lb) are ideal for single or double-hand rods. They feature an inset handle that reduces the circumference of your rotation, combining the power of super-large arbor with the rapid rotation of a much smaller reel. This makes the Opti Speedrunner a perfect contender for fast moving bonefish that demand speed over torque.

And then there are the Opti Megaloop (WF12+230yd/50lb) and Opti Big (WF12+500yd/50lb): these are the heavy-hitters of the Opti series, delivering huge power for everything from salmon and permit to tarpon and tuna. The Opti Megaloop and Big would pair well with the appropriately named Opti Power Fly Rods.

Loop Opti Fly Reels – Pro Review by Leland’s Burke White

What’s the word…

The Opti Fly Reel evolved from Loop’s endless quest to design and create revolutionary fly fishing gear that increases function and performance. Inside and out, the Loop Opti Series is unlike anything else available. We had the opportunity to fish the Dryfly for trout and the Speedrunner for steelhead, and both performed incredibly.


Pick up a Loop Opti and the first thing you’ll notice is it’s size, but it’s all in the name of performance. The Loop Opti Reels feature a larger diameter spool that provides a far more consistent drag setting and rapid line retrieve; Loop calls it a “super-large arbor.” This results in a more efficient reel where each rotation of the handle returns more line, making the Opti Fly Reels hugely efficient at reducing fatigue and speeding up the fight. Translation: when a bonefish turns and charges back, you’ll be with it every crank of the way. A long fish run on a standard arbor fly reel greatly reduces the diameter of the backing. This reduction in backing diameter increases drag resistance at exactly the wrong time. With a super-large arbor Loop Opti fly reel, this increase in drag is negligible.

The super-large arbor also reduces line memory. When fly line is stored at a larger diameter, “line memory” is greatly reduced and the line remains straighter. A straighter fly line glides more efficiently through your fly rod’s guides, resulting in more efficient casts.

Fit and Finish…

At first glance, the Opti fly reel might look a bit out of place in the fly fishing world. With its unique design and ultra-large diameter, it’s part garden hose winder and fly reel all in one. But the meticulous engineering that contributes to its large size provides some of the best retrieval efficiency on the market. The anodized finish and intricate porting also give the Opti Fly Reel a technical look that speaks to its advanced performance.


Pros: Huge power on the heavy-duty models, superb finesse on the lighter ones, and balanced performance the whole series through. The Loop Optis are a whole new breed of fly reel.

Cons: There’s no way around it: the Loop Opti Reels are bigger than your traditional reel. But that’s also what the skeptics said about Loop’s first large arbor reel, and look how that turned out.

Bottom Line: The Loop Opti series of fly reels might not be for every fly angler…especially the more traditional type. However, for those of us who are looking for every edge to increase our enjoyment and catch, the Loop Opti is your new fly reel.