10 Best Fly Reels: 2021 Buying Guide

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Piscifun Sword (click to see)
“With a specialized fully sealed drag system, 6061-T6 aluminum frame, and anodized surface treatment for a smooth operation, the Piscifun Sword is for anglers who regularly pursue moderate to large fish.”

Best Value For Money: Maxcatch ECO (click to see)
“With a heavy-duty Teflon drag system for potent fighting power and a large arbor for the enhanced rate of line uptake, the Maxcatch ECO is certainly for anglers looking for a high-quality budget-friendly reel!”

Premium Option: Redington ZERO (click to see)
“The Redington ZERO has an ultra-lightweight design for reduced arm fatigue and a large arbor for lightning-fast line uptake. Absolutely for a fly fisher who spends every waking moment on the water.”

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In many ways, fly fishing is an art form. Anglers spend years perfecting their technique in order to become proficient in their craft.

Not all fly reels are created equally, and it is of immense importance to locate a particular model that compliments your ability, allowing maximized efficiency while on the water.

The best fly reels are notable for their helpful features and an above-average level of performance. The majority of these particular reels feature robust drag systems, large arbors, and ambidextrous capabilities. Additionally, reels of this nature are also typically lightweight yet durable beyond compare.

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Product Name
Best Overall
Best Value For Money
Premium Option
Our Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 5/6 Black
M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch ECO Fly Reel Large Arbor with Aluminum Body (3/4wt 5/6wt 7/8wt) (Black ECO Reel, 3/4 Weight)
Redington (5-5507R23B) Fly Fishing ZERO 2/3 Reel, Black
Our Grade
Our Rating 94/100
Our Rating 90/100
Our Rating 88/100
Feature 1
Anodized surface treatment for next-level corrosion resistance
Heavy-duty Teflon drag system for potent fighting power
Ultra-lightweight design for reduced hand and arm fatigue
Feature 2
Specialized, fully sealed drag system for silky smooth operation
Large arbor for enhanced rate of line uptake
Large arbor for rapid rate of line uptake
Best Overall
Product Name
Our Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 5/6 Black
Our Grade
Our Rating 94/100
Feature 1
Anodized surface treatment for next-level corrosion resistance
Feature 2
Specialized, fully sealed drag system for silky smooth operation
Best Value For Money
Product Name
Our Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch ECO Fly Reel Large Arbor with Aluminum Body (3/4wt 5/6wt 7/8wt) (Black ECO Reel, 3/4 Weight)
Our Grade
Our Rating 90/100
Feature 1
Heavy-duty Teflon drag system for potent fighting power
Feature 2
Large arbor for enhanced rate of line uptake
Premium Option
Product Name
Our Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Redington (5-5507R23B) Fly Fishing ZERO 2/3 Reel, Black
Our Grade
Our Rating 88/100
Feature 1
Ultra-lightweight design for reduced hand and arm fatigue
Feature 2
Large arbor for rapid rate of line uptake

10 Best Fly Fishing Reels Of 2021

  1. Best Overall: Piscifun Sword
  2. Best Value For Money: Maxcatch ECO
  3. Premium Option: Redington ZERO
  4. Most Versatile: Okuma SLV Diecast
  5. Best For Beginners: Croch Fly Fishing Reel
  6. Best High End Reel: Sage Spectrum C
  7. Best Package Reel: Angler Dream
  8. Best Drag System: Redington Behemoth
  9. Best Die-Cast Reel: Waterworks-Lamson Liquid
  10. Most Durable: Sougayilang Fly Fishing

Piscifun Sword Fly Reel

Best Overall: Silky smooth operation that should satisfy even the most discerning of anglers

Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 5/6 Black
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KEY FEATURES

  • Specialized, fully sealed drag system for silky smooth operation
  • 6061-T6 aluminum frame of enhanced durability
  • Anodized surface treatment for next-level corrosion resistance

The Piscifun Sword should be a favorite among anglers who find great value in a reel that operates smoothly. This fly reel features a silky smooth, multi-disc cork and stainless steel drag system, which will likely provide a consistent operation, even when placed under a significant load. This is an attribute that can be of substantial value, especially for those who regularly pursue moderate to large fish.

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Most anglers will also find the Piscifun Sword to be lightweight yet extremely durable. It is constructed of Precision CNC-machined 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, notable for its high degree of natural impact resistance. At the same time, the Piscifun Sword’s hollow outer segments reduce the unit’s overall heft, effectively reducing its carrying weight to approximately 4 ounces.

The Piscifun Sword is highly corrosion-resistant, thanks in large part to its anodized surface treatment. This treatment allows the reel to shed moisture instead of letting it set up within the aluminum’s pores, where rust can begin developing. This should be a favorite feature of those who frequently fish, no matter the forecasted weather. As a result, even heavy downpours are highly unlikely to slow the Sword down.

Many consumers are also likely to be impressed that the Piscifun Sword is available in several colors. These colors include black, gunmetal, pink, and space grey. This diversity in color options allows anglers to select the fly reel that best fits their tastes.

Maxcatch ECO Fly Reel

Best Value For Money: Subdued in price, but not in performance

M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch ECO Fly Reel Large Arbor with Aluminum Body (3/4wt 5/6wt 7/8wt) (Black ECO Reel, 3/4 Weight)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Heavy-duty Teflon drag system for potent fighting power
  • Large arbor for the enhanced rate of line uptake
  • Numerous color combinations for a personalized touch

The Maxcatch ECO should be the perfect reel for any angler who is looking for an economically priced fly reel, that offers many of the same features that are characteristic of fly reels at an exceedingly higher price. This fly reel utilizes a substantially sized arbor, a rugged drag system, and is constructed of durable aluminum. The Maxcatch ECO can be purchased at a price that is far less than what many anglers will spend on a tank of gas for their truck.

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One feature worthy of mention is the Maxcatch ECO’s robust drag system. It features a series of Teflon drag washers that should be more than capable of adequately metering line dispersal under nearly any load. The Maxcatch ECO’s drag system also provides consistent operation, free of any dead spots or hang-ups.

The Maxcatch ECO features a large arbor, which promotes rapid line retrieval. This is an attribute that is likely to be appreciated by anglers who regularly fish stump-laden creeks and streams. In these situations, it becomes imperative to get trout to the bank before they are able to become tangled in the underbrush, which often results in line damage and lost fish.

Those who long for the opportunity to customize their fly fishing setup will likely be pleased to find that the Maxcatch ECO is offered in a number of color combinations. These colors include black and silver, as well as schemes that reflect the coloring of both rainbow and brown trout. The availability of these alternative color combinations allows anglers to choose the exact look, which best suits their personal tastes.

Redington ZERO Fly Reel

Premium Option: A reel so light that you will forget you are holding it

Redington (5-5507R23B) Fly Fishing ZERO 2/3 Reel, Black
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KEY FEATURES

  • Ultra-lightweight design for reduced hand and arm fatigue
  • Large arbor for the rapid rate of line uptake
  • Lifetime warranty for peace of mind

If you are looking for one of the most lightweight, high-quality fly reels currently available, then the Redington ZERO should be precisely what you have been in search of. This fly reel weighs well under ½ pound, enabling anglers to fish free of restrictive heft and unnecessary hand and arm fatigue. This is likely to be the perfect fit for any fly fisherman who spends every waking moment on the water and simply can not afford to be saddled with the use of a cumbersome reel.

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The Redington Zero features a large arbor, which should promote lightning-fast line uptake, enabling anglers to get their trophy to the bank in record time. This is a characteristic that should be well thought of by any angler who regularly fishes in creeks or streams that are abundant in vegetation. In these situations, it is imperative to end a fight as quickly as possible, in order to minimize the risk of becoming entangled.

There is also a wealth of additional features offered by the Redington Zero, that should spark excitement among a significant number of anglers. This fly reel utilizes twin molded, soft-touch ergonomic handles, a clicker drag system, and a simple to adjust drag knob. Additionally, the Zero is ambidextrous in design, allowing both right and left-handed anglers to take advantage of its use.

The Redington ZERO is also backed by a lifetime warranty, that should allow prospective consumers to purchase with confidence. If at any point, an issue is encountered with your reel, simply contact Redington customer support in order to obtain a speedy resolution. For all intents and purposes, when you purchase a Redington Zero Fly Fish Reel, you will have a premium reel for life.

Okuma SLV Diecast Fly Reel

Most Versatile: A reel that is offered in a configuration to meet the needs of every angler

Okuma SLV 4/5 Spare Spool
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KEY FEATURES

  • Numerous sizing options for superior versatility
  • Heavy-duty internal components for increased durability
  • Multi-disk cork and stainless steel drag washers for ultimate stopping power

If you are currently in search of a fly reel that comes in a number of individual sizes and configurations, then the Okuma SLV Diecast Reel is likely to be your best possible choice. This fly reel is currently offered in 4 individual sizes, with several additional spool sizes also being available. This should allow nearly any angler to find an Okuma SLV series reel that is exactly what they are looking for and is capable of fulfilling their every need.

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The Okuma SLV series of fly reels are designed to a high degree of structural integrity and should be capable of withstanding years of frequent use, free of any service failures. Each reel within the SLV line features machined brass bushings, one-directional roller bearings, a hearty die-cast aluminum frame, and a stainless steel spool shaft. The combination of each of the above-mentioned features should allow the Okuma SLV to take a beating and still remain viable for use.

Another feature that many anglers are likely to find favor in is the Okuma SLV’s robust drag system. This drag employs the use of Multi-disk cork and stainless steel drag washers, to provide ample stopping power, even when the fish on the other end of your line refuses to give in. This is an attribute that should be popular among anglers who regularly seek out trophy size fish of nearly any species.

The Okuma SLV Diecast is also ambidextrous in design, allowing any angler to take advantage of its use, no matter which hand takes dominancy. This fly reel can be adjusted to accommodate both right or left-handed anglers in a matter of minutes, further exemplifying its level of versatility. As a result, the Okuma SLV essentially stands out as a reel for every angler.

Croch Fly Fishing Reel

Best For Beginners: Simple in design, yet highly efficient

Croch Fly Fishing Reel with Aluminum Alloy Body 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 Weights(Black, Gun Green, Gold, Silver)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Compact design for all-day comfort
  • Smooth drag system for enhanced fighting ability
  • Comes with several tackle items for added convenience

The Croch Fly Fishing Reel should be the perfect option for beginning anglers, or for use as a backup reel for more experienced fly fishermen. This reel is rather simple in design, yet highly efficient, offering a reliable solution for those first getting their feet wet in the world of fly fishing. The Croch Fly Reel is lightweight, compact, and hearty in its ability to manhandle sizable fish to the bank under a wide array of circumstances.

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One especially noteworthy feature is the Croch Fly Reel’s heavily ported spool and frame. This design feature drastically reduces the carrying weight of this reel, thereby minimizing hand and arm fatigue. This is a characteristic that should be universally appreciated by anglers who spend long days on the water and wish to fish free of the aches and pains that often come hand in hand with the use of heftier gear.

The Croch Fly Fishing Reel also utilizes a rugged disc drag system, which should provide the necessary pressure to bring even the most lively of fish to a halt. This can be quite useful when pursuing fish of trophy size, or in areas of heavy current where fish tend to fight rather aggressively.

Consumers who purchase the Croch Fly Reel will also receive a number of additional tackle items. The contents of this kit include 100-foot of floating fishing line, 9-foot of fly leader, a drawstring carrying pouch, and a set of instructions detailing right-to-left hand reversal procedures. With the addition of these items, it is rather difficult to deny the value afforded to anglers by the Croch Fly Fishing Reel combo.

Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel

Best High End Reel: A reel to take your fly fishing game to the next level

Sage Spectrum C, Reel W/Backing, Black, 3/4
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KEY FEATURES

  • Ambidextrous design for versatile appeal
  • Large arbor for quick line retrieval rate
  • One Revolution Drag Knob for ease of adjustment

The Sage Spectrum C should make the perfect addition to any experienced angler’s fly fishing gear collection, as this reel showcases excellent craftsmanship, rugged reliability, and a wealth of ingenious adaptations. The Spectrum C features a large arbor for quick line pick up, a hearty SCS drag system for fighting integrity, and a powder coat finish for enhanced corrosion resistance. As such, this fly reel is refined to a high degree in nearly every perceivable way.

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Anglers are likely to find substantial favor in the Sage Spectrum C’s ambidextrous design, as this feature allows the fly reel to be used by both right and left-handed anglers. Conversion between each mode of operation can be conducted in only minutes, which allows multiple anglers in the same family to use this particular reel, even if they differ in hand dominance.

The Sage Spectrum C also features a proprietary One Revolution Drag Knob, which is indexed with numerical denotations. Each individual setting is also detented in order to facilitate the quick, hassle-free adjustment. This is a feature that a number of anglers should be quite fond of because it allows an individual to manipulate the reel’s drag settings, with complete assurance that all is situated as intended.

A number of fly fishermen are also likely to appreciate the Sage Spectrum C’s high level of aesthetic appeal. This fly reel is constructed of lightweight aluminum die-cast, with a machined finish. An additional layer of powder coating provides the Sage Spectrum C with a premium look and ultimately enhances the unit’s level of corrosion resistance. As a result, this reel should prove durable, and provide years of trouble-free service.

Angler Dream Fly Reel

Best Package Reel: A reel that comes with everything you need in order to hit the water immediately

AnglerDream 5 6WT Fly Reel with Line Combo Large Arbor Aluminum Fly Fishing Reels
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KEY FEATURES

  • All aluminum design for minimization of carrying weight
  • Ambidextrous design for highly versatile appeal
  • Robust drag system for ample fighting power

The Angler Dream Fly Reel is likely the best option for those who are looking for a ready-to-fish reel package, which comes complete with a good quality fly line, backing line, and a 9-foot nylon fly leader. Not only does this all-inclusive provide you with everything that you need to hit the water, but it is also offered at a price point so low that it must be seen to believe. As such, this kit provides an angler with a tremendous amount of bang for their buck.

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One noteworthy attribute of the Angler Dream Fly Reel is its all-aluminum design, which keeps excess weight to a bare minimum. As a result, anglers are provided with a reel that is comfortable to use, even during the longest of days spent on the water. This minimization of weight also prevents hand and arm fatigue, thereby allowing one to maximize the efficiency of their efforts.

The Angler Dream is also notably versatile, as it can be used ambidextrously with a few minor adjustments. In order to switch between right and left-handed operation, simply release the reel’s body from its frame, remove and reverse the orientation of the Angler Dream’s one-way bearing, and reattach the reel’s body to its frame. In a matter of minutes, the Angler Dream Fly Reel can be set to the needs of any angler.

Many anglers are also likely to find favor in the Angler Dream Fly Reel’s quality drag system. This aluminum alloy drag employs the use of Teflon slip discs, to provide consistent operation across all load ranges. This is a feature that should be appreciated by those who often find themselves tangling with some of the biggest fish on any given body of water.

Redington Behemoth Fly Reel

Best Drag System: Powerful beyond comprehension

Redington Reels Behemoth 5/6 Reel, Black

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KEY FEATURES

  • First-in-class drag system for extreme fighting power
  • Pronounced drag knob for ease of on the fly adjustments
  • Comes in multiple colors for a tailored level of aesthetic appeal

If you make a habit out of pursuing trophy caliber fish at every available opportunity and need a reel that is capable of withstanding a significant amount of punishment, then the Redington Behemoth should be atop your wish list. This fly reel features a first-in-class drag system, which is capable of providing power when and where you need it, as well as a durable, interlocking, large-arbor spool, which promotes rapid line pick up.

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The Redington Behemoth features a heavy-duty carbon fiber drag system, which is supplemented by the use of stainless steel friction plates. This allows the Behemoth to consistently meter line dispersal under even the most extreme of circumstances. As a result, an angler is supplied with an immense amount of torque to work with, which should ultimately provide ample power to bring even the most hearty of fish to the bank.

To further aid in the effectiveness of their heavy-duty drag system, Redington has fitted all Behemoth series fly reels with an extra-large adjustment knob. This drag adjustment knob protrudes slightly from the body of the reel, allowing anglers to make necessary adjustments on the fly. These adjustments can be made without wasting any time fumbling with cumbersome adjusters, like those found on many other fly fishing reels that are currently available.

The Redington Behemoth also comes in several different colors, all of which provide a satisfying sense of rugged aesthetic appeal. These colors include black, desert, gunmetal, and O.D. green. This variance in color options allows anglers to customize the appearance of their fly rig, in order to adhere to their own personal preferences.

Waterworks-Lamson Liquid Fly Reel

Best Die-Cast Reel: Machined performance, at a die-cast price

Lamson Liquid -5+ Reel Smoke
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KEY FEATURES

  • Pressure cast design for enhanced durability
  • Finely machined edging for next-level fit and finish
  • Finely engineered exterior design for a high level of visual appeal

If you are currently searching for the most durable, well-engineered die-cast fly reel on the market today, then the Waterworks-Lamson Liquid Reel should be just what you have been looking for. While many cast reels have garnered a reputation for being cheaply made and poorly finished, this fly reel has circumvented the vast majority of these issues by employing the practice of pressure casting within the production process. As a result, the Liquid should provide consumers with a reel with an unparalleled degree of fit and finish.

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The Waterworks-Lamson Liquid radiused compound curves, near zero-radius inside curves, and consistent dimensions throughout. In order to further refine the unit’s overall finish, this fly reel is precisely machined to fine-tune critical areas that were left unfinished by the initial casting process. This level of craftsmanship should provide anglers with a reel that not only looks excellent but operates in a seamless fashion.

Another feature of note is the Waterworks-Lamson Liquid’s high-performance drag system. All components are CNC machined at a specialized production facility in Boise, Idaho, alongside components of a similar nature that are intended for use in the company’s premium-priced fly reels. This ensures that all integral drag system components are produced to the highest standard of quality.

The Waterworks-Lamson Liquid is also rich in cosmetic appeal, featuring a streamlined look complete with vented quadrant segments and a star-shaped drag knob. This fly reel can be ordered in Smoke and Vapor color combinations, both of which expertly complement the reel’s overall design.

Sougayilang Fly Fishing Reel

Most Durable: Durable enough to take a beating and come back for more

Sougayilang Fly Fishing Reel Large Arbor 2+1 BB with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body and Spool in Fly Reel Sizes 7/8 …
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KEY FEATURES

  • Anodized coating for superior corrosion resistance
  • Ambidextrous design for enhanced versatility
  • 2+1 ball bearing design for smooth operational characteristics

If you are looking for a worry-free reel, that is backed by an extensive manufacturer’s warranty, then the Sougayilang Fly Fishing Reel should be much to your liking. This reel is engineered with unparalleled operating efficiency in mind and is backed by an industry-leading 5-year warranty. This is of immense significance, as this allows consumers to fish free of any worry, enabling them to concentrate on making the most out of every day on the water.

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The Sougayilang Fly Reel is constructed in a manner that bodes well for its overall durability. This reel is cold forged and tempered for superior strength and rigidity, which should enhance structural integrity throughout its service life. The Sougayilang Fly Fishing is also hard anodized for surface protection, which also makes it largely impervious to corrosion causing moisture.

Many users are also likely to find favor in the Sougayilang Fly Fishing Reel’s ambidextrous design. Whether left or right-hand dominant, this fly reel can be used without any difficulty. Switching between left or right-hand operation takes only minutes, making the Sougayilang Fly Reel much more versatile than many similarly priced reels.

It also features a number of additional design features that should further bolster its overall level of performance. This fly reel utilizes a 2+1 Ball Bearing system, a 1:1 gear ratio, one-way roller bearing, and a large arbor. All such features should promote rapid line uptake, instantaneous drag engagement, and smooth, effortless operation.

Criteria Used For Evaluation

When searching for the best possible fly reel to suit your individual needs, there are a number of factors that must first be considered. By giving ample consideration to each of the following factors, you will be better equipped to make the most out of your buying experience.

Weight Considerations

If a fly reel is not matched to the particular application at hand, you will never be able to fish at your highest possible level of efficiency.

In order to make the most out of your fly fishing experience, you must match the weight of your reel to that of your rod weight and line weight. Without doing so, each component will be restricted in its ability to perform to the highest degree. Each of these components is categorized in numerical order, in a bid to assist anglers in putting together a balanced rig.

Weight rating for rods, reels, and lines can vary greatly. On the low end of this spectrum, smaller equipment is typically rated in weight designations of 4/5/6. Tackle of this size is generally intended for use when fishing for panfish or smaller species of trout. However, fly fishing tackle intended for use when pursuing large saltwater species of fish can range as high as 13/14/15. As a rule, the larger the species of fish that is being pursued, the heavier the weight of tackle that is needed.

Arbor Size

A fly fishing reel’s arbor design plays a significant role in determining the underlying rate of line retrieval.

By definition, a fly fishing reel’s arbor is the diameter of the spool where the backing is attached. The size of a reel’s arbor is typically denoted in three different designations: standard-arbor, mid-arbor, and large-arbor. Most modern fly reels employ the use of a mid-arbor or large-arbor configuration. Standard arbors are seldom used today.

The size of a reel’s arbor directly impacts its rate of line and backing retrieval. Fly reels with larger arbors are capable of much quicker line uptake than that smaller alternatives. This same reel’s also typically utilizing more robust drag systems. These are traits that are prized by many anglers, as they allow fish to be brought to shore rapidly, preventing loss and entanglement, Large-arbor fly reels also offer the side benefit of minimizing line memory. This ultimately enhances an angler’s ability to cast and retrieve their line to a high degree of efficiency.

Drag System

The quality of a fly fishing reel’s drag system directly influences an angler’s ability to sustain a fight, especially when a sizable fish is at the other end of their line.

A fly fishing reel’s drag system is ultimately responsible for metering line dispersal when under a load. The tension that a drag system is set to be variable in configuration and can be adjusted to a predetermined rate by an angler with the manipulation of an adjustment knob. When properly set, it will allow the line to be pulled outward by a fighting fish, before reaching the point at which breakage becomes imminent.

Many of today’s highest quality drag systems employ the use of carbon fiber drag washers, which are tensioned in a manner that allows slippage as desired. Other popular drag washer material includes cork and Teflon. Premium drag systems are also designed to quickly dissipate heat, in a bid to prevent premature wear. This also provides smooth, consistent operation, free of notable dead spots of hang-ups.

Right-handed VS Left-handed

Before purchasing a reel, it is imperative to check the handedness of any model which is being considered

Just as some individuals write with their right hands, while others write with their left, anglers also naturally reel with their dominant hand. This is a thought worthy of consideration when selecting a reel for purchase. Without ample forethought, an angler can purchase a fly reel that does not coincide with their dominant hand, thereby leaving them with a problematic situation to contend with. Most fly reels can be purchased in both right, and left-handed models.

Luckily, many manufacturers have begun building their reels in an ambidextrous fashion, as a means of enhancing their product’s versatility. Ambidextrous reels can typically be quickly converted for hand dominance, by simply completing a quick, straightforward procedure. This usually involves removing a reel’s spool from its frame, disconnecting a center retainer, and removing a one-directional bearing. This bearing can then be flipped, reinstalled, and reclipped in place. With the reel’s spool reinstalled, an angler is then ready to head to the water.

Reel Material/Quality

A fly fishing reel’s overall construction is every bit, if not more important than any of its operational features.

In order for a fly reel of any type to stand the test of time, it must be built with ample fortitude. It is vastly important to have a thorough understanding of how any reel that you are considering for purchase is constructed. Fly reels are typically either produced of die-cast construction, or CNC machined. Each of these two methods of production has its own list of pros and cons. 

Machined fly reels are often thought of as being superior, due to their tendency toward being better balanced if truer in dimension. However, reels of this nature also tend to command a higher retail price. Cast reels, on the other hand, are often regarded as a cheaper alternative to machined units, and therefore carry the connotation of being somewhat less uniform in design. In recent years, subsequent advancements in casting processes have minimized the discrepancies between each form of a reel, making such considerations less critical.

Warranty

While no angler wants to think about the possibility of a relatively new reel experiencing any form of mechanical failure, such instances do occur on occasion. At the end of the day, fly reels are still a man-made piece of equipment, and therefore prone to the occasional manufacturing oversight or material defect. Although this can make for a troubling situation to contend with, many manufacturers do offer a complimentary warranty with any purchase. 

Although such warranties are now commonplace, not all policies of this nature are created equally. While most manufacturers now offer a 1-year warranty on most fly reels, a few companies go above and beyond. A number of reels now come backed by 5-year warranties, while select fly reels are covered under an unconditional lifetime warranty. Even if such a warranty is never used, it can certainly be a good thing to have at your disposal, should the need arise.

Questions & Answers

What are the leading fly reel brands?

Some of the most notable of these brands include Orvis, Lamson, Redington, Croch, Sage, Bauer, Ross, Scientific Angler, and Piscifun. These brands have grown to notoriety through their quality manufacturing processes, excellent customer service, and unmatched performance qualities.

What should I look for in the best fly reels?

One of the most important factors is reel weight. Prior to purchasing a fly reel, you must determine what type of fishing you will be engaging in. Fly reels are categorized numerically, as are fly rods. Higher numbered reels tend to be used for pursuing larger species of fish, while the opposite is true for reels with a lower number. Above all else, it is imperative to match the number of any fly reel and rod that are to be used.

It is also important to consider a reel’s arbor size. Today, most premium reels feature large arbors. This speeds up the rate of line uptake, thereby maximizing fighting potential. It is also of value to consider the quality of a reel’s drag system. Most of today’s highest quality reels use carbon fiber-based drags systems, which present an enormous amount of stopping power. This often gives an angler the upper hand when fighting fish of sizable proportions.

Another characteristic of the best fly reels is the presence of externally applied surface treatments. In many cases, this comes in the form of an anodized coating, which maximizes a reel’s structural integrity. Treatments of this nature resist surface abrasions and also inhibit corrosion. This is of significant value, as treated reels often display a superior level of durability, in relation to those that have not been treated in a similar manner.

What is the best fly reel for the money?

When searching for the best value within the fly reel market, it is difficult to argue against the Redington Behemoth’s obvious appeal. It is built to a standard that few reels at such a price point can compare. Upon review, the Behemoth is rather deserving of its name. This fly reel features a first-in-class, sealed carbon fiber drag system, which is capable of stopping a run from even the most sizable of fish in its tracks. When this is combined with the Behemoth’s large arbor, you are presented with a fly reel that is made specifically for the purpose of wrangling trophy caliber fish.