Best Fly Reels for the Money

Introduction: Best Fly Reels For The Money

Fly Fishing Rod

Fly fishing is an angling method that uses a light-weight lure — called an artificial fly — to catch fish.

The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. Buying the right reel is as essential as finding the right rod.

For this, we have for you our buyer’s guide, and our top 5 picks for the best fly reels for the money in 2019.

  • Size of Arbor
  • Material its made from
  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Suitable for Salt or Freshwater use
  • Reviews from other users

Overview of a Fly Reel

Choosing the right Fly Reel can be a difficult decision to make. To help you with this we have a list of features that you should make sure your Fly Reel has to make it a perfect purchase.

1) Size of arbor

There are usually three sizes of arbors: standard arbor, mid arbor or a large arbor. Arbor size is the space between the center spindle and the spool base.  It is a critical factor which you should always consider because it backs up the fly reel and also affects the line retrieval rate. If the size of the arbor is large, then usually you can hold more line.

2) Drag System

It is important to consider the Drag System to make an informed choice. There is a standard arbor reel on click drag system also known called as “spring and pawl”. It has cogs which eventually control the pressure put on the spindle. But it is important to know that it is not suitable for catching larger fish. But if you to target large species, i.,e. Catching large fish then you must go with the modern disc drag system. It puts pressure on the reel allowing you to retrieve line and fight the fish.

If excessive drag is placed on the spool; there is a risk that the leader or tippet will break. That’s why it is important to check for a good reel that can release drag from low to tight within easy reach and without the chances of the line being snapped.

Another thing to consider is what materials the drag system is made up from. It can be of carbon fiber, cork, ceramic, titanium, and other materials, but you will have to consider all of these before making any choice so that you buy with comfort and peace of mind.

3) Construction

Another important point to note when purchasing a fly reel is what is the actual reel constructed from by way of materials used. Different constructions using different materials for a specific purpose ie freshwater usage or saltwater usage will help you better make a decision prior to purchase. It is essential to look at your budget before looking for one otherwise time, and efforts will be wasted. Die-cast reels which are usually made up of pouring molten metal into a mold and are usually the cheaper option.

However, it should be noted that they are not durable, and there is always a risk of shattering if dropped from above the ground level.

On the other hand, if you are willing to buy a more expensive fly reel, then you can look for a CNC machined reel. It is made up of a solid block of aluminum  and such reels are generally anodized, which gives them more protection against the elements of freshwater or saltwater usage.

They are usually more durable and longer lasting and should only require a one-time investment giving you a reel that will last a lifetime.

4) Weight

It is essential to consider the weight factor of a reel also.  You should always match the weight of reel with a fly rod and your desire of catching a large fish or small one.

Maintaining the right balance in the weights of the rod, reel and fly line is very important as they are supposed to be matched together in order to have the best performance from the tackle.

However all of these points depend on your budget of course and below we have our buyers guide which outlines our reccommendations


Redington Behemoth Fly Reel

Redington Behemoth fly reel is a top fishing reel: reliable and powerful, so anyone from a beginner to an avid fly fisher will get along with this reel. It is an incredible carbon fiber drag powerhouse. This strong and hard-wearing reel comes with a padded case for storing and protection when traveling. Its the perfect reel for you if you fish for large fish like carp, pike or salmon.

It is the most powerful drag in its class, and has stunning aesthetics. The construction is un-machinable and die cast with a durable, interlocking, large-arbor spool design that both looks and functions like a premium reel. It has an oversized drag knob for easy adjustment. This product is known for its strength, reliability and efficient performance.

This reel is sized for your favorite 5-weight trout rod, and all the way up to saltwater ready big game sizes. This reel offers performance and affordability to beginner and veteran anglers alike.


  • Good looking with a powerful drag
  • Large arbor design for speedy line pickup
  • Affordable price range
  • Size range
  • Suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishing


  • Suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishing
  • The drag system isn’t sealed so requires some maintenance

Piscifun Platte Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel

This is one of the most budget friendly reels out there. It is made up of fully sealed carbon which is impervious to water, sand and grit. 

It can be easily cleaned with simple rinsing and can be used for both fresh and saltwater fishing. 

It has a click retrieve and a positive click drag knob which will provide users with accurate and repeatable drag settings.

An aggressive diamond knurling on the drag knob permits easier grasp and adjustment mid-battle. The reel is strong yet lightweight and its large arbor design picks up line fast to give users the edge over freshwater and saltwater species. With this reel, you’ll be able to hold plenty of backing, retrieve your line in a speedy fashion and you won’t have to worry about line memory either.

This model is made up of CDC machined, sturdy aluminum that will stand up to a lot of hard use. Thanks to the ventilated spool, it’s lightweight, preventing you from tiring early so you can make the most of your fly fishing time! The drag adjustment wheel is easy to use even for beginners. The spool can also be changed effortlessly.


  • Great budget option
  • Superior quality
  • Stands up well
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Sealed drag system prevents sand and gravel deposits


  • Difficult to convert for right hand retrieve
  • Heavier than the rest


Waterworks-Lamson Liquid Fly Fishing Reel 3 Pack, Vapor

This amazing fly reel set contains one Liquid reel and two spare spools in a nylon carrying case all for the price of one reel and one spool making it super affordable and our customer’s all-time favorite. 

This combo pack opens up easy interchangeability for the multifaceted angler at more of an extreme value.

It is made up of Pressure Cast Aluminum and has a Polyurethane Case and Spool. The Lamson Liquid Fly Reel has an impressive, smooth and reliable conical drag system and CNC machined parts. 

It’s fully sealed, stopping any harmful dirt or sand from getting into the reel. You can use this reel for both freshwater and saltwater fly fishing.

You can have multiple lines set up and ready to go according to the conditions with the spare spoons that are included. The Lamson Liquid is definitely one of the top fly reels for the money.


  • Unique and colorful look
  • Sealed system
  • Hardwearing and durable


  • Shorter life than competitors
  • Pressure cast

Waterworks-Lamson Remix Fly Reel

Lamson remix fly reel comes with free structures of a cast spool with CNC-machined case integrity. 

A 6061 bar-stock aluminium case ensures maximum structural rigidity and thus, increased strength and durability. 

The pressure-cast spool comes with a precision fit and finish to increase product performance and enhance quality. 

Made in the USA, this fly reel lets you cast your caddis with confidence. With a very feasible and affordable price, this hybrid reel fuses the freeform structures of a cast spool with the mechanical integrity of a CNC-machined case.

It has a harder, brighter finish for added durability. The spool has compound curves, near-zero-radius inside corners.  

The reel is good looking and the painted body also saves you money. Not only does it have a remarkable looking spool, it picks up line at 7.55 inches per turn. Its handle is flat and its length is long enough for increased comfort. The drag knob also has a very large size which makes it very easy to grab.

The spool is also a quick change spool. Although slower than the one click button, it still is an incredible upgrade great for reducing time. It has a lifetime warranty for the original owner along with a $20 fee. 

The reel gives a click sound on both the incoming and outgoing. It really is a very easy to use and convenient fly reel that not only takes care of comfort, durability and affordability but it also is a very stylish and smart looking product.


  • Low price
  • Easy to operate
  • Faster retrieve than many


  • Drag system is stick and very weak


These were the best fly reels for the money that we have reviewed. We hope that our buyer’s guide and product reviews have been helpful and you will now be able to purchase the perfect fly reel for your rod. Go through all the specifications and product details before ordering and make sure you are choosing the right fly reel for you. 

You may also like to read our article on the different
parts of a fly reel: CLICK HERE