Hobbs Creek Fly Reel Product Review

Hobbs Creek Fly Reel Product
Brian Milne

Looking for a metal arbor disc-drag reel but don’t want to fork out hundreds of dollars to get one for your favorite rod? White River Fly Shop’s Hobbs Creek reel could be the answer. The HC is definitely a step up from the plastic models most beginning fly fishers fall back on, but it’s not going to set you back hundreds of dollars. 

Different Models

Bass Pro Shops currently has three models of the HC, the HCI, HC2 and HC3. All three retail for $39.99. Spare spools can be purchased for an additional $19.99 and are good for anglers who like to fish with two or three different line sizes and like to be able to change out spools without much hassle. The HCI is made to handle 3-4 weight line and 70 yards of backing. The HCII can handle 5-6 weight lines and holds 95 yards of backing. The HCIII is made for 7-8 weight lines and holds 170 yards. For this particular review, I’ll be focusing the HCII model, which I found to be a well-rounded beginner's reel for small- to medium-sized rainbow trout and small warm water species.

Closer Look

The White River reel feels good in your hand. The large arbor reel has a smooth black finish and can be switched for right- or left-handed users. It’s relatively light for a large aluminum arbor reel, is a good fit with lighter rods and makes casting a breeze all day long.

Reel Care

The reel is made in Korea and can’t take the same beating as the high-end models. I purchased an HCII a couple years back and it held up fairly well until I tripped at the river’s edge and caught the edge of the reel on a boulder. The blow dented the thin outer rim and the reel didn’t spin right until I bent it back into place. It’s also possible to crack the frame assembly if you screw the reel into the rod seat too tight, so be gentile when swapping out reels.


That being said, when I needed a replacement for my banged up HC reel, I went right back to the HCII and have had no problems since. The key for this reel, as with most, is to take care of it, clean it after every trip and avoid forcing it in and out of the seat. You’ll also want to avoid saltwater with this particular model. All in all, it’s a nice step up from the plastic models. The best part about this beginner reel is the price. It’s definitely worth the price, which leaves you with enough money to pick up an extra spool or two.