Ross Reels has been around for almost half a century, producing top quality fly fishing gear. They combine the latest technology with decades of experience to come up with innovative products designed by fly fishers, for fly fishers.
That’s why we were excited to review the Ross Animas fly reel. Having a great fly reel will make all the difference to your experience. Let’s find out if this mid-range reel is the right model for you!
The Animas has long been a classic reel and a popular choice among anglers. But in 2019, the Ross team overhauled this reel to make it better than ever before. Now it’s lighter and stronger, with a completely redesigned frame and spool.
If you’re on the lookout for a versatile reel, the Animas ticks all the boxes. It’s suitable for freshwater, warm water, and saltwater, so there’s no need to shell out for several different reels. You can take the Animas anywhere!
The new Animas retails for around $295, so it’s excellent value for money. With sizes varying from 4/5 weight up to 7/8 weight, it’s excellent for everything from trout to spey.
The price also includes a one-year warranty for the original owner. If your reel is damaged or faulty, Ross Reels will replace or repair it for you, which is a weight off your mind. We all know accidents can happen when you’re out fishing! You’ll just need to pay the $30 processing fee.
Take your pick from the stylish silver or black colorways, for a classic yet understated look. Both models come with bronze hardware and a machined silhouette of the mountains as a cool extra detail.
For a full break down of all fly reels from Ross Reels, see our post here on Ross Fly Reels Review.
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The Ross Animas is a sturdy, hardwearing fly reel that’s built to last. It’s constructed from super-strong 6061 aluminum alloy, which is both corrosion-resistant and doesn’t break easily.
A layer of two-tone type II finish completes this fly reel. The anodized finish offers extra protection from the harsh elements, including saltwater. It’s also very hard to scratch and doesn’t show up dents or marks. You’ll be amazed how shiny and new this reel looks, even after countless trips.
We love the latest design of the spool and frame. Not only does it look great, but it’s also much more robust, with improved structural integrity. As a result, the Ross Animas can handle anything you challenge it with!
The large arbor provides a good line capacity of around 115 yards of backing, while the unique porting ensures that this reel is lightweight.
From start to finish, the Ross Animas is designed and made in the USA. So as you’d expect, it’s built and finished to the highest standards, with no detail missed out.
The Animas is kitted out with a composite drag system, made from a proprietary fusion of Delrin and Teflon. You’ll love how smooth and consistent the drag is!
It’s also low-maintenance thanks to the self-lubricating mechanism, so you can spend more time out in the water and less time cleaning and maintaining your gear. That’s always a bonus, in my opinion!
Because the new Animas has a hard stop, the drag on the 4/5 model does cap out at a maximum of around 4.5 lbs. But that’s more than you’ll most likely need, anyway. So don’t let that put you off!
The Animas also has low startup inertia, and it’s powerful enough to stop fish in their tracks!
The Ross Animas reel is very lightweight, as you can see:
- The 4/5 weight model comes in at 4.1 oz
- The 5/6 weight model is 4.43 oz
- The 7.8 model weighs just 4.74 oz.
If you’ve ever seen the older models, the difference is huge. You’ll hardly notice the reel because it’s so light, and it works wonders to balance out the ultralight rods which are so popular right now.
This is especially true for the larger sizes. The older 7/8 model used to weigh 7 ounces, so the new Animas is almost 2.5 ounces lighter!
One thing we love from the team at Ross Reels is the oversized ultra-light canvas phenolic handle. It’s both easy to grip with wet hands and comfortable enough to use for long periods when fishing.
While the handle is not slim compared to other reels on the market, it’s very soft and easy to use, with no slipperiness. The idea is that the wetter your hands are, the stickier the handle will feel. We love it!
The trouble-free spool release is also a fantastic feature. You can swap out spools quickly and easily using the one-button release.
As for the drag knob on the new Animas, it’s very user-friendly and easy to grab. It has an eye-catching two-tone design and is made from anodized aluminum for better durability. Adjusting the drag is effortless, and the reversed taper is a superb feature that gives you increased control.
- Very lightweight
- Powerful, smooth drag
- Slip-free canvas phenolic handle#
- Handy trouble-free spool release
- It’s not the lightest reel
- The drag system isn’t fully sealed
- If we’re being picky, the arbor could be slightly larger
The Wrap Up
All in all, the Animas from Ross Reels is an impressive fly reel. The new design has been carefully thought through, with attention paid to every detail from the canvas handle to the oversized drag knob.
The Animas is one of the most versatile reels around. While it doesn’t have the most powerful drag system, it has excellent ergonomics, a stylish look, and flawless construction. This reel provides a consistent, great performance that will improve your experience.
We’re big fans of the new Animas. If you’ve been on the lookout for a new mid-range reel, why not grab this versatile, affordable reel for your next trip? Check out our top recommendation for the best spinning reel.
Not sure if it’s the right reel for you? We’ve got you covered with reviews of the best reels from all the top brands at Fly Fisher Pro! Head over there and have a browse!