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Freshwater Reels

Ross Colorado LT Fly Reel

Elegance, simplicity and balance.
Kirk Deeter author.
Kirk Deeter
February 7, 2024
Ross | Colorado LT Fly Reel
product description
“The Colorado LT set the bar for lightweight, click-pawl reels. The new Colorado takes it to the next level. This thoroughly updated design brings a beautiful aesthetic defined by aerodynamic shapes and surfaces. The look of this reel is different from anything on the market today.” – Ross Reels
company ethos
“Our mission at Ross Reels is to inspire adventure. All of our products are 100% Made in the USA and built to last a lifetime. Over the past 49 years, Ross Reels has been the recipient of more industry ‘Awards in Excellence’ for innovation, dependability and performance than any other fly tackle manufacturer in the world.” – Ross Reels

The Colorado fly reel was a classic standard in the Ross Reels lineup–it was discontinued for a while, then the redesign made a comeback a few years ago. 

If a basic click-pawl drag is good enough for you, and you appreciate reels being light, but not easy to scratch or dent… 

If you care how a reel sounds when a fish pulls on the line… 

You might be in the market for the redesigned Colorado LT.


The best way to describe the Colorado LT is that it’s a very simple reel, with some very detailed elements. Lacking a crazy-complicated drag system, the company instead turns its attention to aesthetics. In fact, now there are a variety of special variations, like a “Greenback” and “Colorado Cutthroat” (a portion of the proceeds go directly to Trout Unlimited and programs to support those fish). 

They’re beautiful reels, but in a more modern, less classic style. And the large arbor picks up fly line efficiently.


Simple to operate and maintain.

Unidirectional click-pawl drag works equally well for left or right handers.

They’re light and head-turners from a design perspective.

Good tolerances, solid construction.


Not exactly a “budget” option, especially the special editions. Other, simpler click pawls cost less.

Semi-caged frame is good for durability, but not so much for palming the reel. Not bad, but there are better options for the reel palmers.

Pretty small range of models, limited to accommodate 2-weights through 5-weights.


If you appreciate the feel, sound and looks–and you’re also in it for some artistic flair–$375 for the Colorado LT is a killer value. If you’re completely utilitarian, don’t care about those things and just want to save money by opting for a click-pawl reel over a disc-drag, you can spend less.


Beautiful, distinctive design.


Heavily ported spool and not meant to be thrown at the rocks. But like everything Ross Reels has built, quality machining and materials. Like we said, it’s not easy to scratch or dent.

  • Price: $375
  • Sizes: 3/4, 4/5 (line weights)
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces, 3.5 ounces
  • Colors: Matte Black, Matte Platinum, Colorado Cutt ($495)
  • Drag: Unidirectional click-pawl drag
  • Handle: Canvas micarta (enhances grip when wet)
  • Arbor: Large (fast retrieval and reduced line memory)
  • Warranty: Ross Reels warranty

Ross Reels warranty.

“Ross Reels® branded fly reels purchased through an Authorized Dealer are covered by a limited lifetime warranty for as long as the product is on the market. This limited lifetime warranty only applies to the original owner and is not transferable. This limited lifetime warranty is limited to repair or replacement of the product only, and does not cover direct, indirect, consequential, incidental or any other type of damage resulting from the use of the product.”

Likely buyers

The likely buyer pool is actually pretty wide and deep for the Ross Colorado. From beginners who want a nice, quality reel to match a good rod, to the collector connoisseur, to the minimalist who wants a few-frills (mostly visual) light reel.

I often pair this classic reel with my only (bucket list) bamboo rod. Click pawls just seem to go with bamboo, and I like how light this reel feels and the clean, minimalist design for this rod. Most of all, I love how it balances with bamboo.


Bottom line, if you want to stop a truck with the drag, look for a disc-drag reel, but know the fish is going to break you off anyway with a drag that powerful (pegged down). 

At this price, you’re paying for good looks, high-end aesthetics, a durable frame, excellent customer service and that’s it.

Find the Ross Colorado LT with our trusted partner:

Ross Reels Colorado Fly Reel lifestyle shot
Ross Reels Colorado Fly Reel lifestyle shot
Ross Reels Colorado Fly Reel lifestyle shot
Ross Reels Colorado Fly Reel lifestyle shot
Ross Reels Colorado Fly Reel lifestyle shot
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