Fly Fishing is one of the most amazing sports you can enjoy with your friends and families. The joy of fishing in lakes or rivers with a flying reel to catch the favorite perch, bass, or walleye is simply out of the world.
Many anglers speak that the key to success in fly fishing starts by choosing the best fly fishing reels. But many anglers love to get a quality reel without spending huge money on it. That’s why we have introduced to you the seven best fly fish reels for the money in today’s guideline. It will make your fly fishing experience memorable and fun without breaking the bank account.
Our review includes a reel for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Also, we have added a buyer guide to help you quickly get the most suitable fly reel within your budget without compromising the built-quality, durability, and amazing performance.
If you want to get the trout, bass, or any other favorite fish of your preference, continue reading the reviews.
The Seven Best Fly Reels for The Money Review
When we checked over 30+ fly fishing reels, we focused on three factors to select them for our reviews. These factors were-
- Built-quality the reel
- Flexibility and sturdiness
- Users comfort and versatile performance
And we finally came up with seven reels to make your fly fishing experience unforgettable.
- Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel
- Waterworks-Lamson Liquid Fly Reel
- Galvan Torque Fly Reel
- Redington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel
- Orvis Battenkill Reel
- Ross Reels Animas Fly Reels
- Sage Fly Fishing Spectrum C Fly Reel
Our Top Choices: Top Fly Fishing Reels
- 4/5wt – gunmetal
- Adjustable, CarbonFiber drag
- Unmachinable, unique Die-cast construction
- Large arbor design speeds retrieve and reduces line memory
- Oversized drag knob foreasy adjustment
- Easily converts to left or right hand retrieve
- One revolution drag knob with numbered and detented settings
- Easy conversion from left- to right-hand retrieve
- Vented concave arbor for greater strength and capacity
- Large arbor for fast line pick-up
- S.c.s. drag
- Three-year warranty
- Silky smooth drag – multi-disc cork and stainless steel drag system with one-way clutch bearing for smooth immediate drag engagement.
- Solid and light weight – precision cnc-machined 6061-t6 aluminum alloy for high-impact durability
- Corrosion resistance
- Mid-arbor design – reducing line memory while also facilitating lightning-quick line pickup.
If you want cheap fly reels without compromising quality, the Piscifun Sword is your best bet. It comes with practical features to make your fly fishing sessions easy and comfortable but doesn’t brag about extravagant items.
The drag of the reel is buttery smooth. The drag system consists of a multi-disc cork and is made of stainless steel to offer smooth release and retrieval of the fishing line. Also, the clutch bearing has a one-way direction for further smoothness.
Next, the retrieve is made silent so that fishes can’t feel it and escape away from the lures. Moreover, the drag system is highly accurate. So, you can quickly fix the fishing line right where you want it to be without effort. Its accuracy and the click-drag system come in handy to catch trout, bass, bluegill, and similar river species.
The stainless steel construction is anodized. Thus, it is corrosion and rustproof. It means the flying reel can withstand saltwater erosion quite successfully. Also, it has been forged with a cold and tempered system to ensure durability.
The fly reel comes with a mid-arbor design. It ensures that the reel has minimal memory. It assures that the line pickup is lightning quick which is the key to getting your prized catch.
In short, this is the best fly reel under $100 which comes with every benefit you need in a quality fly reel both for freshwater and saltwater fishing. You have to appreciate its durable and angler-friendly design on a limited budget.
- The powerful and quick drag system
- 3X strong die-cast design for rust-resistance
- The handle is ergonomic and convenient
- Left-hand retrieving system (Conversion is available)
- The reel may seem a bit heavyweight at first uses
When you purchase a fly reel, make sure you always get the best value for money with it. We closely considered the factors and found that the Waterworks Lamson Liquid fly reel is the best value fly reel for you with great features and useful benefits.
The reel is lightweight compared to its size and dimension. Thus, you can quickly carry it to the nearby fishing spots for some fun. Also, the reel is made solid and sturdy which gives a nice feel in hand. The retrieval mechanism is made smooth and fast to enhance the fishing success rate.
The drag smoothness is indeed appreciable. It doesn’t have friction during the start-up moments. It enables you to release the fishing line with ease. The reel is made of die-cast elements with anodized protection. It ensures a lasting service in water. The anodized protection means the reel won’t catch rust and corrosion. So, you can feel free to use the fly reel in any water conditions, including freshwater and saltwater. It is helpful for peace of mind.
The user guideline is simple, and even beginners can quickly adapt to its retrieving technique. The construction seems high-end, but the fly reel is only the 1/3rd cost of the expensive Lamson fly reels. So, you get great value for your investment in the reel.
- Durable die-cast construction with anodized effect
- Lightweight design for quick carrying
- The drag system has less friction to boost smoothness
- It costs only 1/3rd compared to high-end reels
- Available in one color only
Galvan is one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality fly fishing reels in the market. Their Torque series is the premier fly reel from the company. So, you know how many benefits this fly fishing reel is going to bring for you in water.
We found the Torque fly reel the best budget fly reel thanks to its brilliant culmination of extraordinary construction for passionate anglers. The fly reel also combines the simplicity and efficiency that anglers would love in the water. It has sturdy construction to offer lifelong service to fishers. Also, the rust-resistance feature enables you to quickly adjust the reel in water without thinking twice about its durability. You will love such features.
Also, the fly reel is considered one of the best fly reels for the money within its weight class. Its drag knob is designed to enhance your fishing experience while it looks visually appealing as well. So, you can also pose for some exciting photos with the reel in your hand. Also, you can adjust it with your fishing outfits, including a fly fishing wader design, thanks to its five-color availability.
The lightweight fly fishing reel is mainly for freshwater uses. But, with little care and precautions, you can easily use it for saltwater fishing too. The overall design is handy and features smooth retrieval of the reel for some amazing fishing experience in all conditions.
- The fly reel is lightweight and durable
- The counterbalance system boosts user convenience
- Available in five attractive colors
- The fly reel is heftily priced
- The warranty is limited
The Redington Behemoth comes with some pretty advanced fly fishing features that you won’t find in any ordinary fly reel. To begin with, the drag system has been redesigned to offer you maximum comfort and convenience on water.
The carbon fiber-made drag is lightweight and sturdy. Yet, you can adjust it with ease. Also, the arbor design has been purposefully made larger. It speeds up the retrieval process of the fishing line. So, you can quickly cast the fishing line whenever necessary. Also, a larger arbor means the fly reel has less memory too. It enables you to drag and retrieve the fishing line without much effort.
Moreover, the drag knob is larger too. It helps you in the quick adjustment of the drag and fishing line with easy access to the knob.
Another great benefit of the Behemoth fly reel is its quick conversion. It is convertible from left-hand retrieval to right-hand retrieval in no time at all. It is indeed a great benefit. This simple yet practical feature makes the fly reel one of the best beginner fly reels on our list. You will feel it’s convenient worthy while fishing.
Last but not least, die-cast aluminum construction and anodized protection keep the reel safe from rust and erosion. It is useable both in freshwater and saltwater. The handle has twin molding and perfect ergonomics for comfortable use. So, you won’t feel hand fatigue while dragging the fishing line with this fly reel.
- Available in five enticing colors for all
- Powerful drag system with minimal memory
- Quick conversion between left and right hand retrieve
- Easy to use and useful for beginners
- It is slightly weighty despite having the carbon-fiber drag
Orvis Battenkill series has been one of the best trout fly reels for some time now. It comes with a minimalistic design yet powerful dragging, which is unmatchable by any reels in the market presently. The Battenkill reel boasts a simple yet practical design.
Therefore, you will find using the click and pawl reel convenient and comfy. Also, it is a great fly reel for fishing in freshwater. Its drag system features a click-and-pawl mechanism. The classic drag system comes with four different positions with technical adjustments. Also, the adjustment is made internally. All these features offer great comfort in dragging and retrieving the fishing line in nearly all freshwater conditions.
When you chase the fish through the sizzling run, the drag system remains at your palm without any sort of issue. It increases the chance of fishing considerably. Also, the spool construction is narrower than standard ones. It has less stacking. The large diameter of the spool fastens the retrieval rate, which is the key to a successful fly fishing session.
The fly reel is lightweight and has a great weight balance. So, you can work easily with shorter rods. Lastly, the heavy-duty aluminum construction is flawless. It uses the machine for such unique and durable construction with a corrosion-proof design.
Lastly, you can adjust its right or left hand dragging with ease. Another great benefit!
- Superb weight balance with a lightweight design
- Narrow and larger spool speeds up the retrieving
- Less stacking of the spool with the fishing line
- Unbeatable performance in freshwater conditions
- Available in one color only
Very few fly reels have overcome the inconvenience of time and have become an ageless necessity for fly fishing lovers. The Ross Reels Animas is definitely one of them. The iconic fly reel is available in two enticing colors, platinum and matte black. Henceforth, you can quickly adjust it with your fly fishing wader appearance for some attractive photographs.
The new Animas fly reel has been fully redesigned. The highlights of the amazing fly reel are the newly redesigned spool and frame. The spool and frame construction features cutting-edge technology for extreme uses in both freshwater and saltwater conditions. The design looks visually appealing and has great sturdiness. Thus, you won’t have to be concerned about its durability at all.
The phenolic handle is ultra-lightweight and has a soft grip. Thus, you will find the line retrieval and dragging fun and easy. It is a great help when you chase after the big fish in large water bodies as you need to continuously drag and retrieve the fishing line.
The spool features a trouble-free and comfortable release with zero maintenance. It is handy in many senses for beginners especially. The drag knob also features a better grip and lower profile, which further helps in quick and comfy retrieval of the fishing line.
Last but not least, the larger arbor indeed boosts the retrieval rate of the fishing line. You will love its performance in real life. In short, it is the best fly fishing reel of all time.
- Aesthetically pleasing appearance for fishers in all weather
- Ultra-lightweight design with comfortable handle grip
- Fastest retrieval rate for better fishing experiences
- Durable die-cast construction ensures years of extreme use
- The fly reel is on the expensive side
The Sage Fly is as good-looking fly reel as it performs in practical life. To begin with, the drag knob has a revolutionary design. It has numbers and detention settings. It will make the drag knob adjustment comfortable while quickening the fishing line retrieval.
Furthermore, the drag is made of carbon and has a sealed system. It enhances the dragging comfort exceedingly well. So, you feel free to drag and retrieve the fishing line whenever necessary.
Also, the drag knob is easily accessible and features an impressive look. The concave arbor also comes with vented construction. It features more power and retrieval capacity. Also, the arbor is purposefully made large. It increases the retrieval rate of the fishing line. It ensures you get the best and most comfy fishing experience.
The frame is made of die-cast aluminum with machined technology. Thus, you will find the frame design rust and corrosion-proof with great durability.
Finally, the handle has a soft and ergonomic feel. It is useful for long fishing hours as your hand remains fatigued-free and responsive. So, you can quickly chase after the fish.
- Lightweight yet sturdy construction with great visual appeal
- The vented spool speed ups the retrieval rate of the line
- Great value for money with practical benefits
- The drag system is sealed with numbered settings on the knob
- Not a suitable reel for saltwater fishing
Buying Guide for The Best Fly Reels for The Money
Getting a fly fishing reel will make your fishing experience memorable and worthy. However, you will be overwhelmed with the choices of fly reel options in the market. Yes, the angling market is booming with numerous top-quality fly reels, but not all of them are good value for money.
You have to consider several factors of the fly reel before you decide which one will meet your angling necessities. We have researched and accumulated these factors of the fly reel buying to keep you cool as a cucumber during the process.
The retrieval system will drag back the fishing line after hooking the fish. The retrieval system should be quick and smooth so you can catch the hooked fish successfully. It is the key to catching big fish which have a hard time during the chase.
Also, the retrieval system of the fly reel has three different mechanisms. It includes-
- The single-action reel comes with a handle. It rotates the spool, and one turn of the handle refers to one rotation of the spool.
- The multiple reel system comes with a gear ratio for the proper retrieval system. You can adjust the rotation and turn off the spool differently here, unlike the single reel.
- An automatic retrieval system works with a spring system to create the tension that drags back the spool and fishing line. When you have to retrieve the line, you need to release the safety latch with the attached trigger.
The arbor of the fishing reel refers to the wheel on which the fishing line is stored after retrieval. Small arbors may have a slightly slow retrieval system. But it comes in handy with a less pricy offer and is suitable for most fishing conditions at ease.
Also, small arbors are lightweight and so relieve you from hand fatigue during long hours of angling in water. When you plan to catch large and aggressive fishes, you may need longer fishing lines to chase down them. In that case, getting a larger arbor will help you to store the fishing line better.
Lastly, the mid-sized arbors sit between the small and large ones and offer the best of two arbor sizes. It stores longer fishing lines and doesn’t cost much.
Spool Size and The Attached Line Weight
The line weight, as you should understand, is linked with the arbor and spool size of the fly reel. You must consider the type of fish you want to catch and the spool and arbor size accordingly for the right line weight on the reel.
- For heavy lines, you have to pick the larger arbors.
- A small arbor will better serve the mid and small-sized spools and lightweight lines.
A large arbor comes with more leeway as it handles more weight and the size of the spool and fishing line. Also, spool size determines the retrieval smoothness of the line. Large spools mean smoother retrieval, so, fishes have less chance to escape.
The drag system works to reduce the fishing line speed. Also, it works to stop the line when the fish takes the bait. A low-quality dragging system allows the fish to snap away with the bait. So, you should focus on getting a high-performing drag system.
There are two types of drag systems available for the fly reel.
Firstly, the click and pawl drag which uses a spring system. It creates tension and later activates the drag system. Secondly, a disc brake works like braking on the cycle and stops the drag system whenever necessary with a simple press.
Durability and Construction of The Fishing Reel
When it comes to fishing reel construction, you have to check its weight. A lightweight reel will be better for day-long fishing as it causes less hand fatigue. However, for fishing in saltwater and large fishes, a heavyweight reel with a large arbor size will be useful.
Next, the reel should be durable. Most reels are made of die-cast aluminum or stainless steel. It should have anodized protection against rust and corrosion. It is particularly important if you plan for saltwater fishing.
Also, machined construction is a computer-guided design and is the best process to manufacture fishing reels. It has a flawless design and ensures maximum durability.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What variables should I consider to buying the fly fishing reel?
Ans. Firstly, decide what type of fish you want to catch with the reel. Do you want some small bass or a larger trout? A lake trout will need a bigger reel with a larger arbor and spool as it dives deep into the lake water. Also, decide whether you want to fish in freshwater or saltwater mostly. You should get a corrosion and rust-proof reel for ocean fishing.
Q. What are the best fly fishing reels for trout?
Ans. Trout fishing is one of the most exciting and challenging angling sports. You may use the Orvis Battenkill Fly Reel and Galvan Torque Fly Reel to catch the lake trout without issues.
Q. Why is the Abel fishing reel so expensive?
Ans. There’s no specific reason behind the abnormal expensiveness of the Abel fishing lines. We may refer to their quality, but even such high quality doesn’t justify the pricing. The best reason for such pricing is that people are ready to pay for Abel reels.
Many fly fishing experts find it hard to choose the best fly reel for the money due to the overwhelming options in the market. Therefore, we have reviewed the ten top fly reels in our list with the step-by-step fly reel buyer guidelines. It should help you fix the fishing reel selection issue forever.
Since we have narrowed down your fly reel selections, you should find the best budget fly reel shortly. Also, let us know how you felt fishing with our suggested fly reel. Happy angling!
Hi, my name is Luis Leal and I am a professional angler. Fishing is my hobby and I love to share my fishing experiences with others. I have been fishing for the last six years and in that time, I have learned a lot about this fascinating sport. In addition to fishing, I also enjoy sharing tips and tricks with other fishermen. It is my hope that through this blog, I can help others learn more about fishing and how to enjoy it safely and responsibly.