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V5 3D Printed Reel Files - Donation

  • 3D Drawing showing the improvements in the version 5 design.
  • This is the list of files included in the downloaded zip package.
  • One of the almost unlimited combinations of reels you can print.

Product Description


If you would like to donate $5 US, you will be able to download the 3D Printed Fly Reel Files immediately and you'll be helping support my work in 3D printing and new reel development! PLEASE NOTE, usually your order confirmation email will have a link to download the files as a zip package. On a few occasions, this does not happen for some reason but you can always log into your store account and be able to download the files directly. I do try to monitor the emails for donations but if I'm traveling I may not be able to respond immediately if the link is not in the email.

Please read and agree to the following CONDITIONS:


Although the 3D Fly Reel STL files and instructions are free, there are a few conditions you must agree to:

  1. Please register using your actual information - at least your first name and state/country and email address. I will not spam you but I do like to know where my design is going. Another reason to register is that I publish updates and provide pre-releases of new designs to registered users - like the new Ultralight Printed Reel I'm working on now. Note: it's ok to fill in a fictitious street address if you choose. I really only need your email address and first name. My store software does not allow me to make these fields optional.
  2. You may not post or give the files away to others. If someone asks you for them, just send them to this page please.
  3. You may not sell reels you create with this design, derivative of this design, or files.
  4. You may post as many photos of your printed reels as you'd like, I love to see what people have done!

I like to print the reel in PLA. I have also printed them in ABS. Nylon should work also. The design and clearances were optimized for PLA and ABS, Nylon may be different. If you succesfully print a reel in Nylon, let me know.

These files are standard STL files that can be opened in your slicer application or most CAD programs. I like to use KISSlicer but most any slicer will work.

The reel weighs in at 45 gms / 1.6 ounces. It is 3" in diameter and designed to hold up to a 5 wt line with backing. 

Version History

  • 1/22/2015 - Version 5.1 released
  • 6/8/2015 - an email update with a tip on how to use a common Zip Tie as the clicker was emailed to everyone that registered with a legitmate email address. See below for the tip.


I'll post helpful tips here as I discover better ways to do things. Of course, if you register with a legitimate email address (which I will never spam or let out of my possesion) you will get these tips and more via email).

Tip 1: Use a Zip Tie for the click check

As I continue to refine and develop new printed reel designs I learn a thing or two. I also listen to the great feedback I get from many of you. The one thing I hear frequently is that the 1/16” (1.75mm) Nylon™ rod for the click check is the most difficult item to obtain and is relatively expensive when mail ordered. I have good news! I've been searching for a more effective check material as a refinement. I’ve always found the round nylon rod to have a rather heavy, harsh, sound. Also, it can sometimes get trapped between the click wheel and the back plate. I’ve also had some reports that some sources of this material is brittle and snaps in cold temperatures. That got me experimenting and I’ve found a great substitute that you may even already have laying around - small Zip Ties! Zip Ties are made of Nylon formulated to be pliable and come in many sizes and colors. They are frequently used for packaging in products and can be found at any hardware or discount store. You want the narrow ones - .08” or 2mm wide. I buy mine from Amazon and they are much cheaper (and more useful!) than the Nylon rod. You probably have one or two laying around your house!
You can make several check pawls from one of these Zip Ties. Simply cut it to approximate length. Then, trim one end a little so it will fit in the round hole printed in the back plate. The attached drawing provides more detail. After trimming, test the fit and then attach with a bit of super glue.


To insert, put a dab of medium CA glue on the tapered end. I use a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the Zip Tie close to the tapered section, this makes it easy to push into the hole in the Frame Back Plate.

Tip 2: Print an extra Click Spindle to use as a Sander

I printed an extra Click Spindle (part #4) and glued a disk of sandpaper (600 grit) to the bottom to use to sand the reel Back Plate. A couple of twists and the Back Plate is nice and smooth so the reel works with not glitches.

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Product Reviews

  1. Best thing that I've ever printed 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 19th Sep 2016

    I have just finished printing the fly reel and I am really impressed with the design of this model. Everything fits together perfectly and it is very smooth and is a much nicer reel than I thought it could be. I am going to learn to fly fish now that I have a nice reel!

    Please put me on your waiting list for a brass silent check reel kit.
    Thanks Ed, glad you enjoyed printing it and do give fly fishing a try!

  2. 3D Printed Reel- Lets Go Fishing! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 15th Jun 2016

    Well done EclecticAngler! Wonderful product. This combines two of my passions, 3D printing and fishing, woot!

  3. 3D Reel Plans - Excellent and Well Designed Plans 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 21st Apr 2016

    I ordered the 3D Reel plans from the Eclectic Angler a while back and am extremely happy with them. The reel printed exactly as designed and the fit and finish are excellent. I live in northern Maine so I have not had a chance to hit the local stream yet, but I have no doubt that the reel will perform wonderfully on the brookies we catch. My buddy and his girlfriend are so taken with the reel that I told them I would make them each a birthday gift of one once they purchase the plans for themselves. Thanks again to the Eclectic Angler for the wonderful product and the after purchase support and advice.

    The EclecticAngler replies...

    Thank-you Lee. Send some photos of your reel!

  4. A flyfishing reel you gotta have! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 15th Jan 2016

    The fly reel design from Michael is a fantastic 3D print for all fishermen! It will make a great spare as a backup reel or put it on your favorite rod and use it full time. I have printed several for gifts and I will have several in my boat for spawning crappie and bream. Thanks for making this design available!


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