Shilton SL Series Reels


Black and Titanium reels are generally in stock at factory and we will despatch directly from there to you unless you need backing and line spooled. Anodised colours take 4/5 weeks.
We keep SL6 and SL7 black in stock

SKU: Shilton SL Series Reels Category:

Shilton SL Series Reels

This is the most popular of the Shilton salt water range. It has a track record of 20 years in the most remote and hostile environments. The reels have caught anything from bonefish, tigerfish, marlin and arapaima.
The robust design is crafted from solid 6082 T6 high grade bar stock aluminium. It features a custom-processed cork drag with enclosed one-way plungers. The reels ate Type II anodised for protection against the elements.
This is the reel of choice for many large guiding operations due to its simple, robust and “bulletproof” design.
The reel can be ordered with an incoming and outgoing click or silent outgoing with an incoming click.

If you want more backing capacity, you can order the SLL version, which is a bit wider.

SL4 - Diameter 9.1cm / 3.6″ - Weight 200g / 7.0 oz. - Line 6 - 7wt - Backing 200m 50lbs + WF7
SL5 - Diameter 9.1cm / 3.6″ - Weight 215g / 7.6 oz. - Line 7 - 8wt - Backing 250m 50lbs + WF8
SL6 - Diameter 9.7cm / 3.8″ - Weight 230g / 8.1 oz. - Line 9 - 10wt - Backing 250m 50lbs + WF10
SL7 - Diameter 10.9cm / 4.3″ - Weight 290g / 10.2 oz. - Line 11 - 12wt - Backing 300m 50lbs + WF12
SL8 - Diameter 12.6cm / 5″ - Weight 418g / 14.7oz.- Line 14 - 16wt - Backing 600m 50lbs + WF16
SLL6 - Diameter 9.7cm / 3.8″ - Weight  / - Line 9 - 10wt - Backing
SLL7 - Diameter 10.9cm / 4.3″ - Weight  - Line 11 - 12wt - Backing
SLL8 - Diameter 12.6cm / 5″ - Weight - Line 14 - 16wt - Backing


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Shilton SL Series Reels

The SL4 is a small reel with big reel capabilities, perfect for targeting large fish on light tackle.
Salt Water & Fresh Water - Species: Tigerfish, Salmon, Char, Bonefish.

The SL5 is the reel of choice for many large guiding operations to place on their loan rods due to its “bulletproof” design.
Salt Water & Fresh Water - Species: Tigerfish, Salmon, Bonefish, Permit.

The SL6 is the reel of choice for many large guiding operations to place on their loan rods due to its “bulletproof” design.
Salt Water & Fresh Water - Species: Tigerfish, Golden Dorado, Salmon, Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon.

The SL7 is the reel of choice in the most remote and hostile environments.
Salt Water & Fresh Water - Species: Salmon, Arapaima, Giant Trevally, Tarpon.

The SL8 is the largest of all the Shilton reels. This reel has a track record of 20 years targeting powerful adversaries like tuna, sailfish and marlin.
Salt Water - Species: Tuna, Sailfish, Marlin.

See our other Shilton Reels alike the SL and CR series.
Here they are in action catching the 'gangsters of the flats'.

Pushing the envelope or smashing through the boundary with the Shilton SL Series Reels

There is often debate about what constitutes fly fishing and what doesn’t. On the one hand there are the dry fly purists who disdain anything other than a dry fly on a stream or river. On the other side of the railway tracks are the blue water boys, who chum and tease huge fish into a frenzy and then casually lob a fly into the ensuing melee.
While both extremes use fly rods, fly reels and flies the situation is far from clear cut, as there are no clear rules. It’s a kind of democratic anarchy, as the rules are largely followed, but every man fishes according to his own personal dictates. This situation has allowed fly fishing to evolve from the dry fly only chalkstream fishermen, to the various aspects it encompasses today. All species in the world are now targeted, some more successfully than others, but that makes it a challenge, which in turn makes it more attractive.

These are the thoughts that occupied my mind as I wolfed down four cans of anchovies in the early hours one morning. It may seem to be a strange preparation for my first snoek (Thyristes atun) fishing trip, but prudence dictated that should a heaving sea cause a heaving stomach, my efforts would not be wasted. Thus my early morning brain stumbled upon the first question of fly fishing ethics. If I were to lose my breakfast, it wouldn’t really be chumming. Really! It could also be considered 'catch & release'.

The second question was more complicated. The fly rod and fly reel were safe from scrutiny, but what about my line? Twenty five meters of braid, connected to a six meter head of Rio T17 (that’s a 10 inch per second sinking rate) on my Shilton SL6, may not have been an out of the box fly line, but it was probably safe. This line sinks like a brick, especially with a saltwater DDD fly attached. (The saltwater DDD, with apologies to the original DDD, is a large Clouser pattern 4/0 to 6/0, with enormous dumbbell eyes). It was named “Denton’s Deadly Diver” after the man who ‘invented’ the eyes and pointed out that it had the potential to cause serious harm to the back of a skull, as well as sinking like a sack of hammers.

This was a perfect morning for fishing, a calm sea and a whimper of wind. The good ship "Double Haul" made good time to Buffels bay. My rod was quickly rigged and my ‘line’ cast into the water. It sank like it should have, and within moments of getting the fly down, and before starting the long strips, the line started moving away.
No smashing take. Just a reassuring solid pull. I said “Ooooh”, the fish speeded up and pulled harder. A louder “OOOOH”, this was fun. With the 10 weight rod bent to its limit we had a bit of a tug of war, followed by a few to-and fro's. This fish wasn’t giving up easily.
With some good advice from Captain DDD, the fish was soon boated, almost a meter of flashy silver with some serious dentition and a kak attitude.

The rest of the morning went well, with a lot of fish lost off the hook. Having a seriously sharp hook was essential, and having a hook hone even more important. [Tip of the Day: Keep your hooks sharp, and your wits sharper]
Despite using a mono (100lb Sufix) shock tippet, only one fish broke it off, just as it got to the surface. For the most part the fish were swallowing the Saltwater DDD’s deep, so the tippet was severely tested. One of Captain DDD's fish had the flash of the fly sticking out of it's gills. The Shilton SL Reel preformed flawlessly.

The mere suggestion that this is flyfishing, may cause pain in some quarters. When snoek fishing on fly is broken down to its basest components, it is really vertical jigging with fly tackle. It was not nearly as efficient as the commercial guys with bait, but it was immense fun, and no matter what side of the tide you sit, flyfishing.
This is where it gets worse. At some point someone suggested that treble hooks would be a lot more effective (as would barbed hooks). That may well sound like flyfishing blasphemy, yet trebles are quite common when fly fishing a salmon stream.

So where do YOU draw the line?