Vision Deep fly reel review

The Vision Deep fly reel has an extra deep spool to allow you to fit on a bigger line, or just a shedload of backing...

Vision Deep fly reel review
© Fly and Lure
Vision Deep fly reel review
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Vision Deep fly reel review
Vision Pike fly fishing Wading Fly reels Fly lines Estimated reading time 5 - 8 minutes

What's the Vision Deep fly reel for?

The unique selling point of the Vision Deep fly reel range is their extra deep spools - hence the name. Vision sells the benefit of this in the extra backing capacity it allows you to store, but that's irrelevant to most trout anglers who will rarely see their backing once the line is attached.

For me, the bigger benefit is that you can fit on a bigger fly line. A standard weight forward fly line will fit most fly reels, but if you're into distance casting and use a specialist fly line that's over 90 feet in length or has a thicker head, you'll struggle to fit it on a normal reel.

The Vision Deep gives you a far better chance of being able to fit such a long fly line onto your reel, without the need to step up to a significantly bigger and heavier fly reel. If you use a double taper line, the Vision Deep may also mean you can fit it on with a bit of backing beneath.

The Vision Deep will hold a long line.

What sizes are available?

The Vision Deep comes in four sizes: a #5/6 size for general trout fishing; a #7/8 for reservoir trout, bigger lines or pike fly fishing; a #9/10 for salmon or pike fly fishing and a massive #11/13 model for everything else.

What colours are available?

As well as the subtle matt black version I have, the Vision Deep is also available in grey, white and an Ali G style bright yellow. The Yellow model is only available in the bigger #7/8 size, so presumably it's aimed at the pike fly angling market.

How much backing will they hold?

Backing and line capacities are bigger than most reels, so if you're using a normal weight forward floating fly line you'll need to add lots more backing than usual.

There's more room on these to fit slightly bulkier lines like double tapers and those with thicker heads, if you reduce the backing a little. However, you still won't get a really bulky line like an Airflo 40+ on a reel designed for the same line rating.

My Airflo 40+ 6 weight line won't fit on the #5/6 model, despite the capacious spool. I'd need to upgrade the reel to the bigger #7/8 model to get it to fit, even if I forego the backing on the #5/6.

Model Capacity
#5/6 WF6F + 100m 20lb backing
#7/8 WF8F + 150m 20lb backing
#9/10 Slide Spey #10/11 + 183m 30lb
#5/6 Slide Spey #11/12 + 250m 30lb

How are they made?

The Vision Deep is a die cast aluminium reel. These are easier to make than machined aluminium reels carved from a single block of metal, so they tend to be a little less expensive to buy.

They are considered to be slightly less robust and the finish is generally not as good as a machined aluminium reel, but the Vision Deep is a nicely built reel and feels more expensive than it is.

It's smoothly finished, with no rough or sharp edges and it feels very nicely made for the price. It doesn't feel as good in the hand as the Sage fly reels, but it's also under half the price. 

Are they heavy?

They're not especially heavy. The smallest #5/6 Vision Deep weighs in at 162g or 5.7 ounces. That's lighter than the #5/6 Airflo Xceed which weighs in at 175g, but a little heavier than the more expensive Sage 2250 which weighs just 145g.

Model Weight Diameter
#5/6 162g 86mm
#7/8 178g 93mm
#9/10 265g
#11/13 294g 120mm

What's the drag like?

These reels are fitted with a disc brake drag which is apparently similar or identical to the one found on Vision's other reels. There's a simple drag knob on the rear of the reel that can be turned easily to tighten or loosen the drag. 

Unlike the Sage 2200 series and some other reels, there are no markings on the drag to indicate the current setting or to let you know which way to turn the knob. On my reel, the application of the pressure from the drag also isn't as smooth as on my other reels and has a slightly jerky feel to it. However, like most trout anglers, I rarely use the drag anyway...

The spool on the Vision Deep is quick and easy to remove.

Is the spool easy to remove?

The Vision Deep shares the same quick release spool removal mechanism with Vision's higher end XLA fly reels. You simply unscrew the small plastic knob in the middle of the spool, remove it and slide the spool up.

Like many other fly reels, the spools are nearly as big as the reels themselves so tend to be relatively high in price, compared to the cheap plastic cartridges that fit in cassette reels. As a result, these aren't the type of reel to use if you use lots of different fly lines, unless you don't mind investing in lots of spools.

The captive spool knob makes spool removal safe and easy.

How much are they?

The Vision Deep #5/6 costs £59.99 with spare spools available for £19.99. The #7/8 costs £59.99 with spare spools priced at £24.99. The #9/10 costs £69.99 and £24.99 for extra spools.

Available from: Amazon

About the author



  • trevluft
    trevluft About 4 years ago

    Hi Matt Just bought the snowbee xs xtra distance fly line #6 which reels would you recommend under £100? to hold this fourty yard line. Thanks.

  • matt
    matt About 4 years ago Author

    I've not tested all of the reels available in that price bracket, but of those I've used I think the Guideline Favo and Sage 2200 series are the best value. They're both slightly over budget at around 120-130, but are very stylish and well made and have proven reliable for us. I think they should both hold the line you're using. You can pick up the Favo for around 89 at the moment and it's a very nice real for the money. Our reviews are on this page if you want to find out a bit more to see if they're right for you:

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