Rod balance is important for all day comfort and keeping the rod tip where you want it. Rod balance is also important when walking with your rod to keep the tip from constantly rising or diving.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of having a weight adjustable reel is to adapt across different rod lengths and materials. Long or short, carbon or bamboo all have quite different balance requirements. What do you do? Typically you need a different reel for each to get a reasonable balance point. A single URSUS reel can be adapted quickly to many rod lengths and materials.
Hiking long distances with your fly rod assembled and then fishing tight streams for small native trout is demanding. The URSUS reel is small and nimble yet balances with long carbon rods, our favorite for high-sticking small high elevation streams. If you choose to take your bamboo rod to the back country, the URSUS rod balancer is even more important to get small reel size and proper rod balance.
One large and one small brass weight allow the URSUS reel to be adjusted from 3.7oz to 5.7oz in four steps. This allows the reel to be used with long and short, carbon and bamboo rods.
Ideal balance point is when the fulcrum is located at the front end of the cork handle. These photos show an 8'6" bamboo rod balanced with an URSUS reel. Upper photo has no weights (3.7oz) and lower has both weights (5.7oz). Fulcrum moves 3".
URSUS reel balanced on a Helios2 4wt 9' rod (bottom) with one inner weight . Same reel balanced on custom bamboo 5wt 8'6" rod with both weights (top). Examples are without line. Line on the reel and strung through the rod should also be considered.
Reel Weight vs Diameter. Three popular Orvis reels in 7 sizes compared to one URSUS reel with 4 weight configurations. One 2.8" URSUS reel is comparable in weight to Orvis sub 3" reels and adjustable to match reels weights greater than 3.5". URSUS I, URSUS O, URSUS IO indicate inner and outer weights installed.