This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
For fly fishing nothing is so good as the English style of click reel, which is made with a one-piece revolving side plate and with the handle affixed directly to it. Any kind of a balanced-handle reel is an out-and-out nuisance on the fly rod, because it has no advantage in quickly recovering the line, and the projecting handle is forever catching the line while casting. In fly casting, the length of cast is regulated by the amount of line taken from the reel before the cast is made, and it is while "pumping" this slack line through the guides, in making the actual cast, that the balanced or projecting handle is very apt to foul the line. A good reel that is smooth-running like a watch will cost about $10, but a very good one may be had for $5, and cheaper ones, while not so durable, may be used with fair satisfaction. The heavier multiplying reels, so essential for bait casting from a free reel, are altogether unsuited for the fly rod, being too heavy when placed below the hand, which is the only proper position for the reel when fly casting. The single-action click reel, having a comparatively large diameter, but being quite narrow between the plates, is the one to use, and hard rubber, or vulcanite, is a good material for the side plates, while the trimmings may be of ger-man silver or aluminum. The all-metal reel is of about equal merit, but whatever the material, the most useful size is one holding about 40 yd. of No. E size waterproof line. A reel of this capacity will measure about 3 in. in diameter and have a width of about 7/8 in. between plates. A narrow-spooled reel of this type enables the fisherman to reel in the line plenty fast enough. Owing to the fact that the reel is placed below the grip on fly rods, a rather light-weight instrument is needed to balance the rod. Of the two extremes, it is better to err on the side of lightness, because a heavy reel makes a butt-heavy rod and, throwing extra weight on the wrist and arm, makes casting increasingly difficult after an hour's fishing. An old hand at the game will appreciate this point better than the novice.
Ill: The English Pattern Is the Best Type of Reel for Trout Fishing, and a Gun-Metal, or Other
Ill: Dark Finish, Is Better than Shiny Nickelplate
Ill: Fly Book with Clips for Holding Snelled Flies, So That the Gut is Kept Straight between Pads of Felt Aluminum Box with Clips for Holding Flies Tied on Eyed Hooks, Each Clip Having Places for Seven Flies
Ill: A Folding-Handle Landing Net may be Left at Home, but Most Old Anglers Like to Have It Handy When Needed
Ill: Willow Creel, or Basket, Leather-Bound with a Metal Fastening, the Number Three Size being About Right
Ill: Leader Box of Black-Finished Aluminum with Felt Pads to Keep the Leaders Moist and Pliable
Ill: A Three-Joint Fly Rod with Cork Hand Grasp and Extra Tip, and Rod Case Made of Aluminum Tubing
The fly-casting line used by a veteran is generally of silk, enameled and having a double taper; that is, the line is thickest in the center and gradually tapers to a smaller diameter at each end. Single-tapered lines are likewise extensively used, and while they cost less, they are tapered at one end only and cannot be reversed to equalize the wear caused by casting. The level line, which has the same diameter throughout its entire length, is the line most generally used, but the cast cannot be so delicately made with it. For the beginner, however, the level line in size No. E is a good choice. For small-brook fishing, No. F is plenty large enough. In choosing the size of line, there is a common-sense rule among fly casters to select a line proportioned to the weight of the rod. For a light rod a light line is the rule, and for the heavier rod a stouter line is the logical choice. If the rod is of a too stiff action, use a comparatively heavy line, and it will limber up considerably ; if the rod is extremely "whippy," use the lightest line that can be purchased, and used with safety.