6 Of The Best Fly Reels for the Money

Fly reels are nothing but the storage for the fly line you have for catching fish. A variety of reels are available based on the differing manufacturers, size, weight, and capacity. But a self-respecting angler would know which fly reel would be best suited for their specific needs. First things first, let’s look at the parameters you can keep in mind to figure out which flying reel would be the best to grace your deck. 

What Factors Should You Keep in Mind for Buying the Best Fly Reels for the Money? Buyer’s Guide

Although we have described the products we liked the best, their features, reviews, and pros and cons too, we think it is probably necessary for you to first check what factors you can keep in mind when you start scrolling and look through the suggested names.

Appropriate Backing

It’s always best to ensure that the fly reel that you choose has the right amount of backing and the capacity to hold heavyweight flying rods. You don’t want to be hanging in the dry when a big fish is caught but the flying rod is trying to catch up.


This is one of the factors that goes neglected most of the time. Though we agree that it’s not a necessary factor per se and your fly reel shopping or fishing wouldn’t stop altogether if you don’t keep it in mind. But in our opinion, it should be one of the most essential parameters to keep in mind when you plan to fish for a long term, and want your whole fishing experience to be smooth and fruitful.

A heavyweight reel tackles most sizes of fish and works well with heavy fishing rod and line. You would be thankful for it when you catch a big game fish and it doesn’t rattle out of the hook, all because of your fly reel being more than able to handle the fight. One thing to keep in mind is that lightweight fly reels work well with light rods and heavy fly reels work best with heavy fishing rods.

Corrosion Resistance

It’s essential to check what material your fly reel is made of, especially if you want to go for freshwater as well as saltwater fishing. It goes a long way if your fly reel is made of rust-proof material. In fact, all the components of your fishing gear should be rust-proof, such as the fishing line, the hook, the arbor, etc., as it takes only one corroded component to spoil all the other attachments at an exponential rate.

Let Loose on Money

It always feels more convenient to go for the less expensive route and head over to the section of ‘under $50’ for products made with cheaper material and fake promises, we know, we have done that too. But more often than not, that decision just leads to disappointments and regret, ultimately leading you to buying a little more ‘expensive’ options for the sake of better quality and durability.

Why spend $30 each on 3 reels for a year, and end up wasting $90, when you could buy a much better reel worth $100 lasting 3 years and more?

Drag Mechanism

Are you going for saltwater fishing or freshwater fishing? Are you game for big game fish or focusing on easier small fish? You’ve to take into account all this to ensure how much you’re willing to spend for a good drag capacity. A cheaper reel would probably handle small fish and make do, but for bigger fish, for example, a big trout or catfish, it would take a good quality reel to handle the resistance.

Fly Line Weight

Try to match the fly line weight with the reel weight for maximum results and smoother experience. For example, keep a fly line of weight 5 for a reel designed for a 5 weighing line, a fly line of weight 6 for a reel designed for a 6 weighing line, and so on.

Spare Spool

Of all the options we have mentioned below for fly reels, some of them also come with spare spools by their manufacturers. However, if you buy a good quality fly reel that doesn’t come with an extra spool, don’t hesitate to go the extra mile to buy a spare one. We ensure that one day or the other there would be an immediate need for it. When the time comes, you wouldn’t want to end up fixing the broken one but would use the spare one instead.

Single and Multiplying Retrieve Fly Reel

Whether you would need a single or multiplying retrieve fly reel would depend on which kind of conditions you want to fish in. Are you aiming for the freshwater catch, or do you want to expand your horizon and go for the saltwater game? Single retrieve fly reels are ideal for freshwater fishing, and multiplying retrieve fly reels are perfect for saltwater fishing. Hence, you can choose the one more suitable for you.

Now, let’s head on to the list of top 6 fly reels for the money that we think are the best in their category in the market right now.

Best Fly Reels for the Money

Here is the list of top ten fly reels that we have fished out (pun intended) for your eyes only. You don’t need to go on and on through Amazon’s countless search results to find the needle in the haystack.

Redington RISE Fly Fishing Reel

best fly reels for the money

This Redington RISE Fly Fishing Reel is perfect for you if you’re looking for a good, lightweight reel with a simple design that can give the output for its budget. It supports drag smoothly, and definitely will be a winner in helping all kinds of fish stick to the fishing line.

However, since it’s a lightweight reel, it becomes apparent that it will support lightweight fishing lines more to counterbalance the overall weight. Supporting heavy fishing lines could be more difficult for this reel.


  • Smooth drag
  • Compact design
  • Budget-friendly
  • Supports lightweight fishing lines


  • Support for heavy fishing lines may be difficult

Redington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel

What the first reel lacks this reel fulfills. Like the name suggests, this behemoth reel is heavyweight, truly. It can easily be by your side even if you are catching some oily freshwater fish, that too big ones, which are easy to slip away. Its backing is excellent and supports drag like butter! Feel free to use it for some nice game fishing.


  • Heavy-duty
  • Supports backing and drag
  • Ideal for both light and heavy fish


  • May not be suitable for all because of weight

Sage Fly Fishing Spectrum Fly Reel

This might seem a little over the budget for some but trust us, the extra bucks are worth it. With its corrosion resistant body and excellent drag mechanism, which features one revolution drag knob, believe us when we say that catching even the bigger fish will be smooth and shock-free. 

This reel is amazingly low maintenance as it’s anodized and completely sealed body keeps away the grime, mud, dirt, and even salt. No points for saying that this reel is ideal both for freshwater and saltwater fishing.


  • Rust resistant
  • Anodized
  • Low maintenance
  • Excellent drag support


  • Costly

Orvis Clearwater Large Arbor Cassette

Again, this reel is ideal for light fishing lines as it falls in the category of lightweight fly reels. It comes with two extra spools for future use. It also has an excellent switch system that comes handy when tackling a fighting fish. Its reversal mechanism is such that it keeps the retracting line stable, reducing the chance of the caught fish escaping.

This reel is also low maintenance and prevents rust for a long time of use. This is with no doubt a budget-friendly reel that also comes with an arbor cassette.


  • Corrosion resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Stable reversal system
  • Low maintenance


  • Not ideal for heavy rods
  • Not suitable to catch big game fish

Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel

This Okuma reel also comes with some spare spools that would come in handy later on. It also has a special drag feature with pinch options, but that comes at the cost of faster wear and tear. For a low budget this reel is good, but we would suggest you buy something with more features in the higher cost tear, if you’re in the fly fish activity for the long haul.

This reel comes from the heavy reel category, so it goes without saying that lightweight fishing lines wouldn’t sit well with this fly reel. You can easily interchange your spool on this one, whether it is the floating line or a sink tip line.


  • Made of diecast aluminum
  • Heavyweight
  • Drag with pinch adjustments
  • Budget friendly


  • Not suitable for light rods
  • Not corrosion resistant

Hardy Duchess Fly Reel

This reel, no doubt is one of the classic fly reels made by the long-trusted brand, Hardy. They always use top-notch material for their fishing gear, and the manufacturing process is such that the final products always have the desired smooth finish. This reel is one of those that belong to the classic angling period where reels were made in such a way that they lasted a long, long time. 

What another amazing thing about this fly reel is that it is still hand-made with expert hands in this age of mass-produced, machine-made products. Though this is what makes this reel more expensive than others in the category, all that extra money is worth it – we guarantee you. 

This Hardy reel is made of heavy-duty aluminum that gives it its strength and durability. The arbor is just the perfect size. The handle is made of good-quality wood that makes the grip smooth and comfortable. This fly reel can be used by left-handed and right-handed anglers alike. It can be used in every situation except salt water bodies.


  • Classic heritage reel
  • Highly durable
  • Lightweight
  • Long-trusted brand


  • Expensive
  • Lesser line capacity


We know it can be a tad difficult to choose one, or maybe two fly reels that would be a good fit for you. But rest assured that this seemingly humongous task will feel a little easier to do if you follow our suggestions, product reviews and buyer’s guide here. It’s better to take an informative decision rather than shooting an arrow in the dark, who knows what it might land on? It always helps to go through the product description, its pros and cons, features it has, material it’s built with, and so on. Happy fishing!

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