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best fly reel for the money

A fly reel is an important equipment in fly fishing as it helps in holding your fly line. Operating the fly reel involves stripping the line from the reel and then folding it around the fingers using one hand and using the other one to cast the rod. An angler requires some techniques for proper casting of a lure or a weightless fly for a successful fly fishing experience. As such, it is important to find that ideal fly reel that won’t let you down after catching your lure by tripping off. There different types of fishing reels in the market hence you need the correct one to offer a smooth performance by balancing the fly rod and landing the fish. You should therefore consider the following when purchasing one;

Fly Reel Buying guide 2017


Modern fly reels in the market vary in weight, the lightweight ones being the most popular. However, some special cases call for choosing a heavier line in order to strike a balance between the rod and the line for the fulcrum to sit on the rod’s handle when casting. It is also important to consider the backing capacity and type of line you intend to use to determine the right fly reel for you.

Drag System

An efficient fly reel should have a mechanism for resistance to rotation known as the drag. The drag system offers the braking power which is essential in stopping a large fish from pulling the whole line from the reel. The disc drag and the click and pawl are the most common systems. The click and pawl is the most preferred system if you are after small fish and on a budget. It also offers less stopping and adjusting power as compared to the disc drag system. On the other side, the disc drag is ideal when you are trying to stop a large fish smoothly.


The arbor refers to the center radius or spindle part of the reel holding the line. Reels with a large arbor is ideal in retrieving the line faster. A reel with a larger arbor works well if you are after salt water or fresh water species as it helps in smooth runs and easy retrieval of the line in case the fish runs back to you. The beginner and classic trout reels have smaller arbors hence lighter and inexpensive.

Left or right fly reel

Most of the reels in the market are flexible such that you can change from the right to the left but then it is important for you to confirm before buying. So if you are left handed caster it is obvious that you will use your right hand for reeling and vice versa. The change of hands operation is simple and the reel comes with a guide for the same.


The more expensive a fly reel is, the better design and facilities it comes with that are durable and enhanced productivity. The cheaper reels could be easier to use for an angler but then you have to understand where you are going to fish to decide upon the most appropriate reel for you. As such, you will avoid spending much on a reel whereas your fishing expedition is on the shores where it may easily get damaged.You can find some of the best fly reel for the money in this section

Interchangeable spools

The modern reels comes with the option of acquiring an interchangeable spool for easy use of different lines for instance fly lines for sinking, intermediate or floating. The provision for changing the spool will therefore save you the pain of changing the whole reel instead of the line only.

Having known the important things to consider when purchasing a fly reel, you can now head to the store to make that purchase. Here we sample some of the top five fly reels that could be ideal for you.

Top fly fishing reels reviews

1. Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel

The fly reel is efficient by providing spools with a large arbor for fast retrieval of the line during a tackle. The Okuma range offers a smooth drag system and storage of the fly line.


It consists of stainless steel drag washers and a multi-disk cork

It is made constructed from Aluminize Die Cast aluminum frame

Easy compatibility of the fly reel for both hands

Designed with a roller bearing which allows the engagement of the drag in one direction

It comprises of a rubberized non-slip knob.


Affordable and gets the job done

Durable Offers a smooth reeling and drag system when being used

Does not come with any tangling lines.


Looks fragile

2. Wild Water Fly Fishing Complete 5/6 Starter Package

This is an important set for a beginner that comes with everything you may need for an enjoyable fishing experience


It comes with a carry case for keeping the fish tackle together

Has rod’s mid-flex design enables easier learning of casting for beginners

It comes with a 4 piece rod 9 foot long


Easy casting with the rod

Affordable with a lifetime guarantee

Good for beginners


A bit stiff with a pool cue feel when fishing

3. Crystal River Fly Fishing Combo Kit

The crystal river fly rod may be not the best kit available but fits well into the life of a beginner who is at a budget with the necessary features for learning fly fishing.


The reel is made of plasticComes with Eva foam grip

Made up of 3 pieces 8 feet longThe combo kit comes with flies, a leader and the fly line

Comes with a guide for making fishing knots

The rod comes with a right hand retrieval reel that has a built-in hook keeper.


Great for beginners

Available flies that are good for practicing


The fishing rod is not strong hence keeps coming apart

4. Piscifun Blaze Mid Arbor Fly Fishing Reel with CNC

This is a high quality fly reel with hard-anodized golden finish that with a stylish look that delivers what it promises.


Stainless steel drag washers and spool shafts

Brass bushing system with a non-slip handle knobs

Easy hand retrieval from left to right


Ideal for fresh water and salt water fishing with a waterproof system

High set up abilities


Can break easily if not well handled or stored.

​5. Lamson Konic II Fly Reel

The Lamson is a solid and durable fly reel that offers beginners a smooth experience in fly fishing at a pocket friendly price


Solid polyurethane coating and anodized finish to protect the fly reel against corrosion and sand.

Large arbor design that offers fast line retrieval

Machined components for smooth drags

A Torrington zero–lash roller for extreme torque transmission.




A tight drag system more than it should be.

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