Ross Reels Colorado Review

by | Jan 1, 2023 | Reel Reviews, Reviews | 2 comments

Sometimes a product is designed that really captures the essence of a company’s vision, their processes, and everything they are about. Ross Reels is a Montrose, CO based company that prides themselves on hand crafted and completely American made high end fly fishing reels. For this Ross Reels Colorado review, we’ll examine the intricacies of this finely crafted reel and explain what makes it tick….er, I mean click.

Ross Reels Colorado

The Ross Colorado Background

This is actually the second iteration of the Colorado reel and Ross has completely redesigned the look and feel of this reel. The previous version was a much more closed design with a solid flat back with an assortment of various sized holes on the front. 

The click pawl drag on the original was concealed with the inner workings of the reel and was angled. The newer model features a much more open design that both pleases the eye and reduces weight. 

The newer design ups the ante on functionality as well as an eye-appealing design that makes this lightweight offering a heavyweight in value.

Ross Colorado Specs:

Line Weight: Two models:

  • 2 | 3 weight
  • 4 | 5 weight

Model Reviewed: 4 | 5

Arbor Size: 3.22″, and 3.57″

Weight: 3.2 oz, and 3.5 oz

Color(s): Matte Black, Matte Platinum, Matte Olive


2 | 3 Wt: WF2 + 75 WF3 + 50

4 | 5 Wt: WF4 + 90 WF5 + 75

Drag System: Click-pawl drag

Ross Reels Colorado Review: Hands On

Ross Reels Colorado Review: Features

Ross Reels Colorado Features

1. Extremely lightweight semi-caged CNC machined design

2. Vesconite bushing for smooth feel

3. Large arbor for fast retrieval

    4. Unidirectional click-pawl drag

    5. Canvas micarta handle for extra grip when wet


    Ross Reels Colorado Models

    2 | 3 Weight

    4 | 5 Weight

    Ross Colorado Review: Our take

    The second generation of the Ross Reels Colorado Reel is a massive improvement over the first version – the Colorado LT. They’ve given us a highly functional reel with premium features but have also made this a flat out beautiful piece of machinery.


    Let’s start with the design. The updated design features a spacious, open caged design that serves two purposes: first, it shaves ounces off of the weight, and second, the open frame allows you to see the colors from your backing and line on the large arbor. The 2 | 3 wt model comes in at 3.22 ounces and the 4 |5 wt version at 3.5 ounces.

    The CNC machined frame also has a rounded, beveled edge giving it a smooth look and feel. And the machined badge with the reel name and silhouette of the San Juan mountains is a very nice touch. Some people don’t care about looks, but if they matter at all to you, this is an incredibly good looking reel.

    One other thing worth mentioning is that there are no extra buttons, levers, or hardware necessary to change spools. All you need to do is gently pull and jiggle the spool and it comes off. This mechanism no doubt contributes to the lightweight design by eschewing the need for any additional spool release buttons.

    Drag System

    One of the big changes that you don’t normally see on a click-pawl reel is the exposed unidirectional clicker. This enables the reel to essentially be ambidextrous so that no adjustment is necessary to switch between left hand and right hand retrieve. 

    The only downside is that there is no extra resistance when pulling the line off the reel. It’s the same amount as when reeling in. This may or may not be a problem considering that most clicker drag reels only have a single resistance setting, but there’s usually a bit of resistance when pulling line off. Honestly though, this is the only possible negative I could find on this gorgeous reel.


    The appearance of this reel is a night and day difference when compared to the original Colorado LT. The open frame features a minimalistic approach with beautifully rounded edges and simplified spool supports and arbor bays to maximize capacity and functionality. 

    The inherent paradox with reel design is that you want the most features, while at the same time creating a reel that is increasingly taking up less and less space. Ross has balanced a structurally sound design, but have also kept it sparse enough to minimize weight and create a stunning look. 

    Eliminating the Colorado badge with the machined graphic of the San Juan Mountains maybe could have saved some weight, but it’s a beautiful touch that I think is worth the weight.


    Ross Reels excels at making very high quality reels. They are not cheap, but I would argue that the features and the aesthetics are worth the cost. 

    They are also proud that their reels are made in the USA – and that may be a key point in your decision process. Sending the manufacturing of these reels overseas would no doubt decrease the cost, but the tight tolerances and consistent quality would probably suffer.


    The Ross Colorado reel is a wonderful offering. The design is top-knotch, it’s extremely lightweight, it’s incredibly functional for a click-pawl reel, and the high quality construction and components mean that it will be a favorite for years to come. The higher price tag means it probably won’t be the first choice for beginning anglers, but for those who love the sport and want to invest in a quality piece of machinery with the classic click-pawl feel, the Ross Reels Colorado is a great choice.

    Ross Reels Colorado Pros and Cons


    √Unidirectional click-pawl drag

    √Lightweight design

    √Buttonless spool release

    √Absolutely beautiful reel


    ! Very little, if any, drag resistance


    Ross Reels Colorado Review: Ranking

    LooksStunning design. An absolutely beautiful reel.9.5 / 10
    CompositionExtremely lightweight, sturdy, functional, with high quality American made construction9 / 10
    PerformanceSmooth, classic click-pawl drag. The only negative is the lack of resistance on drag7.5 / 10
    ValueA fair value from a high end product7 / 10


    Looks – Stunning design. An absolutely beautiful reel9.5 / 10
    Composition – Extremely lightweight, sturdy, functional, with high quality American made construction9 / 10
    Performance – Smooth, classic click-pawl drag. The only negative is the lack of resistance on drag7.5 / 10
    Value – A fair value from a high end product7 / 10


    Overall Ranking

    8.25 / 10

    Ross Reels Colorado Deals

    Amazon Product Listing

    Trident Product Listing

    Accessories: Rod and Fly Line

    Orvis Helios 3F Fly Rod

    Scientific Anglers Mastery MPX Fly Line

    Ross Reels Colorado Starter Pack

    If you’ve decided to pick up the Ross Reels Colorado, or found another reel that suits your needs, there are some bare essentials you’re going to need to get read yot hit the water. Check out some of our suggestions below:

    Ross Reels Colorado Accessories

    Ross Reels Colorado Spare Spool

    Men’s Ultralight Wading Jacket

    Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders