What's special about the Greys GTS700?
The Greys GTS700 fly reel is made from machined aluminium and uses clear plastic cassette spools. Cassette spools are lighter than metal ones and much cheaper to buy. Whereas a typical reel comes with just one spool, the GTS700 comes with three. You even get a padded bag to keep everything in.
They look similar to the GX900. How do they differ?
They GTS700 is indeed very similar to the Greys GX900. I've got several GX900 fly reels and the build seems to have a lot in common. The body construction is really similar in look and feel and the drag is probably based on the same unit. The only major difference is in the spools, which are made from machined aluminium on the GX900 and clear polycarbonate in the GTS700.
Since the spools in the GTS700 are made from plastic, the reel cheaper to buy and cheaper to own, because adding extra lines to a GX900 means you have to buy machined aluminium spools which cost almost as much as the reels themselves.
What are the spools like?
The spools are made from clear polycarbonate plastic so they're very robust and very lightweight. The reel comes with three spools, which will be enough for most people, with spare spools available for about £12 each.
One neat feature on the spools, which is also seen on the more expensive Hardy reels with cassette spools, is the use of a little plastic peg to mark the type and line weight of line fitted to the reel.
If you own lots of reels and lines you'll probably find this handy, because telling one 6 or 7 weight line apart from another isn't always easy.
What sizes are available?
I think there are just two models: a 5/6/7 and 7/8/9. I have the larger model and use it mainly on my Loop Evotec X-Grip #8 rod, which it balances very nicely. Like the GX900, the smaller model is actually quite a big reel and despite the lightweight construction, it could be too weighty for some very light rods.
How easy is it to change the spools?
Like the GX900, the GTS700 includes a thing called a captive nut. This sits in the middle of the spool and is nice and grippy, so you can undo it with your fingers. However, it's held in place so you can't lose it. The spool simply pulls off and pushes back on. It's dead easy to change and can be done in seconds.
What are they like to use?
I've got one of the larger ones which I use on my 8 weight Loop Evotec X-Grip fly rod. It's a nice reel for the money. It looks and feels good quality and has a smooth strong drag, much the same as the one on the more expensive GX900.
How is the drag?
The drag, which I reckon must be the same one from the GX900, clicks quietly when line is being pulled out and makes a sort of flappy click when you retrieve. Both reels are noisier than I'd like, but the drag power is strong and fairly consistent, so they work well aside from the slightly annoying clicker.
How much are they?
The GTS700 sells for around £110. The spools are about a tenner each. They've recently been discontinued and replaced by an updated Greys fly reel, so you can pick them up for half price from some dealers, which is what I did. At half price, they're excellent value.