5 Best Fly Fishing Reels For The Money 2018 [Reviews]

Did you know that the earliest fly reel was invented by Chinese around 1195 AD! Technological advancement today has developed the best fly reels and made it available to people across the globe. But the real problem is finding that perfectly suitable fly reel that gives you best casting experience and makes your fishing experience a memorable one. 

It’s not always true that the best fly reel has to be the most expensive ones. The market today offers a number of choices that are available at least cost and best quality. But remember you don’t go buying the fly reel every day, so your decision has to be very thoughtful and well researched. 

Being a fishing lover myself, I am always on the quest for better fishing accessories and trust me finding the best fly reel is a tough job. Given that there are hundreds of new products being launched in the market regularly, it’s practically not possible to compare each one. Still, I had compiled information about few that I compared before I made my choice and I will tell you these later in the article.

Top 5 Best Fly Reels For The Money

Before you get down picking one for yourself, remember that your fly fishing experience is not only how well you throw that line but how efficient your fishing gears are. After all, that's what between you and your catch, so pick carefully!

Now getting down to the fly reel reviews, here are some of the best fly fishing reels available in the market. 

Piscifun fly fishing reel

Looking for corrosion resistant fly fishing reel? Well, then your search is over. No matter where you fish, fresh water, salt water, lake or damp pond this fly reel is not going to disappoint you.

The Piscifun Platte is a fully sealed, fly reel made from high-quality aluminum alloy making it resistant to any corrosion.

Its drag system is genuinely maintenance free with consistent, smooth and infinitely adjustable free spooling and stopping power.

The three embedded O rings are the reason behind the fly reel being corrosion resistant and maintenance free life.

Here is what  it’s impressive about the Piscifun Platte fly reel:

  • Provides you most accurate, repeatable drag with the system of positive click-drag knob.
  • It comes with a large arbor that picks up the lines faster giving you an excellent edge when fishing for saltwater or freshwater fishes. 
  • Made from ultra-light  but highly durable, anodized T6 aluminum 
  • Comes with a ventilated spool that reduces the weight but keeps its strength intact. 
  • For comfortable grasp and mid-battle adjustment, the drag knob comes with a diamond knurling.

With such impressive features and superior quality, this fly reel is sure to impress you with what it can deliver. Another striking feature is its smooth, handy conversion. You can very conveniently convert the right-hand spool retrieve setting to left hand retrieve. This is an added advantage for those who are left-handed.

Let’s summarise:

The good

  • Lightweight 10.6 ounces yet highly durable
  • Impressive and stylish design 
  • Corrosion resistant can be used both in freshwater and saltwater, Resistant to even dust and dirt.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty 

The Bad

  • Factory setting to left hand retrieve, so you have to set it to right hand retrieve 

Well, upon weighing the pros over cons this one wins it fair and square.

You got everything you would want from a fly reel and more at a very bargain price.

2. Redington Behemoth Fly Reel - Super Qulaity

Redington Fly Reel

A reliable name is an assurance of quality and performance and Redington Behemoth best fly fishing reel is your best shot. Redington has been in business for some time now, and they have a ready market for their superior quality products that outdo their counterparts. 

The sheer strength of innovation they put in making sure that their products stand out is what makes them so dependable, and when it comes to fly fishing reel, Redington has done it over again.

Let’s take a close look at what the Redington has to offer:

  • Redington Behemoth has a robust carbon fitted drag system, unlike its competitors.
  • Its drag system is completely adjustable with outstanding aesthetics and unique design 
  • It has a die-cast construction with unique interlocking large spool arbor design.
  • Premium looks and functionality with twin mildest and soft touch ergonomically designed handles 
  • Heavy duty drag with carbon fiber package provides super strength and reliability and unmatched performance.
  • Comes with oversize drag knob that offers secure grasp and conversion from left to right hand retrieve 
  • Supplied with a padded carry case for ease of mobility.

Wait there's more to it, the fly reel is so sturdy that it can easily carry your 5 weight trout rod, making it a multiutility felt reel.

The Redington is perfect for both veterans and beginners alike.

Let’s summarise

The good :

  • Deep V spool gives faster backing capacity 
  • Large arbor, retrieve faster, a reduced line memory and easy conversion from left to right hand retrieve 
  • High performance with unique design 
  • Lifetime warranty 

The bad

  • It does not come prespooled 

Not every time you get to see such incredible features all in one gear. Its ⅞ size is best for every kind of fishing and suitable for all variety of lines. It’s a perfect piece of adventure and advanced technology all put together in unique design. Go for it!

Okuma Helios Machined Aluminum Large Arbor Fly Reel

Are you looking for a technically advanced fly fishing reel? Well here’s the best fly fishing reel that is practically so advanced that there is none to compare. 

Coupled with roller bearings, it keeps the drag engaged in one direction. Its corrosion resistant and maintenance free for its entire life.

It is entirely machined with anodized aluminum frame making it one of the most technically advanced fly reel with ball bearing shaft.

So here are its most fantastic features that are sure to lure you:

  • Multi-disk drag system with one-way bearing clutch 
  • Spool shaft made of Stainless steel Two ball bearing and one roller bearing 
  • Anodised body makes its corrosion resistant 
  • High-quality aluminum spool and frame
  • Waterproof drag system that is maintenance free
  • Rigid machined structure Ultra light, weighing only 7.4 ounces
  • Available in five different sizes to fit the needs of a variety of fishers. 
  • Superior performance guaranteed

It’s quite an impression of a fly reel with smooth action and an excellent braking system.

So let’s summarise:

The good

  • Maintenance free 
  • Stainless steel drag washers with multi-disk cork
  • Fully rigid machined frame 
  • Value for money 
  • Superior quality built and performance with technically advanced design 

The bad

  • Just that the drag systems adjustment wheel gives a little hitch. But if you learn to master it, I suppose it will be fine. 

Nevertheless, such technically advanced and superior quality, performance-oriented fly reel at such reasonable price is rare to find and coupled with the trusted brand name of Okuma it’s almost invincible.

4. Orvis Clearwater Large Arbor - Budget Friendly

Orvis Clearwater fly fishing reel

On a hunt for the best fly reel for the money? Orvis Clearwater is probably the most exceptional choice available in the market at present. 

Available in two sizes that can take varied line weights; size II is for 4-6 lightweight while size IV is for 7-9 line weight.

Made from high quality 6061 aluminum in a diecast construction giving it the required strength and cuts down its weight making it easier to balance.

So here’s a quick glance at its highlighted features:

  • Made from cast aluminum and has a large stainless arbor that provides perfect grasp and balances weight 
  • The large arbor also helps in quick retrieving and is very convenient when the fish fights back for its life
  • High maintenance-free performance and corrosion resistant 
  • Stainless steel stacked disc-drag system is perfect 
  • Easily Adjustable drag with smooth retrieve and a quick right to left-hand change 

These features are those that you will find in some of the most expensive reels but the Orvis un-dos the price to a performance by bringing this highly budget-friendly reel.

Let’s summarise

The good

  • Powerful inline with stainless steel stacked disc-drag
  • The drag knob has a positive click for quick setting 
  • Lightweight yet takes a maximum load
  • Value for money, durable and robust design 

The bad

●    Keep the drag disc lubricated to avoid durst or dust to block it

This fly fishing reel is the best value for money fly reel that will soon become your go-to reel and best companion on your every fishing trip.

Waterworks-Lamson Guru Fly Reels

Waterworks Lamson Guru fly fishing reel is the best if you are looking for an inexpensive saltwater fly fishing reel. The Lamson’s had a reputation for making expensive and machined, highly functional fly fishing reel, and this time they did the same but more so with in the budget.

Guru is a fully machined fly reel with best features and high quality guaranteed. Durable, sturdy design and yet light weighted to be so handy.

It is wholly made in the States and features a fully sealed design that keeps out sand, dirt or dust and makes it water resistant keeping it corrosion free.

See for yourself its most liked features:

  • Fully anodized (type 2) body that resilient to scratches 
  • Clean silver nickel color keeps it a neat look
  • Has a large arbor with a sealed drag system 
  • Higher backing capacity good for catching large fishes 
  • Faster retrieve rate with a secure grasp on the knob 
  • Superior ability to drag and brake 

Although the price may be lesser Lamson, have not compromised upon the quality. The Guru features similar technique, quality, and features as the higher and more expensive variants of the Lamson.

Let’s summarise

The good

  • Fully anodized body
  • Large arbor 
  • Corrosion resistant and maintenance free 
  • Fully sealed drag system 

The bad

  • Available only in silver nickel color

I guess that wouldn’t even count for a con; so I suppose it’s yet to come. Well, I am using this reel and quite a fan now, so in my opinion, I don’t see any flaws in this fly reel.

It’s a picture-perfect, flawless and smooth fly fishing reel for saltwater or practically anywhere.

4 Advantages of Fly Fishing Reels

Here are some significant advantages of using fly fishing reels:

  1.  Ease of casting with conviction: By using a fly fishing rod anybody can master the art of throwing with perfection. Of course am not against conventional casting methods may be some people like it that way.  It certainly you can’t catch a big tout using a weighted handle. Fly fishing reel provides you the comfort to cast quickly and precisely in the given direction. 
  2. Use of small baits: You can use smaller baits or lures to attract fishes using a fly fishing reel. With the help of a Fishing reel, you can cast at a very long distance. Although each pick requires to master the skills of casting but by using a fly fishing reel even beginners can throw with perfection using small lures. At times smaller baits are best for catching bigger fishies. 
  3. Good for anglers: Although the norm of perfect is just a situation that seldom occurs, for casting anglers using a fly fishing rod can be very helpful. A fly reel can attain precise casting in the required direction. Also, the fly reel keeps the line intact even in adverse weather conditions.
  4. The neon line is a good indicator: The fly line on the fly reel is made of a material that emits neon color while in water. When fishing in clear water, it can be very advantageous to look through the line and know exactly when to put on a retrieve. Even in dark pools, a neon line helps you to locate your lure correctly. 

How to choose the best fly fishing reel?

But before getting down comparing fly reels, it is essential you know what you are looking for; So here a handy guide to help you on, how to choose the best fly fishing reel.


Quality is paramount when it comes to fly reels. In my early days of fishing I heard many arguing otherwise, so I bought the cheapest fly reel and believe me I had a horrible experience. Since then I carefully studied fly reels and picked the best among my options. Always choose a good quality fly reel, it’s not necessary good quality comes at a higher price today you can buy quality fly reels at reasonable prices as well, just that you need to do some research. 

Weight range:

It’s a critical point to remember that you choose the fly reel according to the weight it can accommodate. Remember that the fly reel has to take the weight of the rod, the line and the catch (fish). So your estimate weight must be four to six. Also, keep in mind that the reel can hold large size line so that you don’t get stuck when the fish runs or fights back when it’s hooked. 

Drag system:  

The drag system has to be perfect for your fly reel. It also determines the variety of fly reel you are going to pick and the fish you are going to catch. Say, if you are after a saltwater bonefish, a cheap fly reel with low drag won’t work, while for a typical trout it can work well. So pick a fly reel with a good drag system that matches your requirements. 

Size of fly reel: 

The size matters! Yes, picking a right-sized fly fishing reel is essential, both for taking the weight and for perfect balancing. It is also essential that the size must be easy to handle since you may have to wait for hours before hooking a fish, holding that line steady. Also, the size must be comfortable to hold, too big a fly reel won’t be handy, even though it can take the weight and that extra line, but you won’t be able to hold it for a long period.

My Opinion

So these were some quick best fly reel review of most loved fly fishing reels in the market that got my attention and is sure to catch yours too. 

My personal opinion and experience both go with the Lamson Guru, but if you are very tight on your budget, the Redington can also be your choice.

Well, go now and grab your pick but do not forget to share what you chose, it will be a lot of help!  

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