Fishing Reviews

Best Fly Fishing Reels

Fishing is one of the most relaxing, exciting, and fun activities to do during a weekend getaway either with your family, your friends or even by yourself. 

But how would one like to step up their fishing game by advancing from regular fishing to fly fishing? 

Well, let’s start by talking about the main difference between them both. 

Fly fishing might take a little more preparation and adjustment of location, but when you hook up to a fish, it is a thrill of a lifetime! 

In fly fishing, the lure itself is not cast. The line is the only weighted thing in the system. Each fly line has a weight associated with it and the line weight is related to how much weight can cast. In fly fishing, recasting the flyout can be done with a flick of the wrist. It’s also easy to cast something small or comparatively weightless making it easier to deliver weightless lures.

There are multiple aspects to be considered before buying your fly fishing reel. After careful research and comparison, this is a list of the some of the best flying fish reels in the business, today.

ImageNameLatest Price
product image 1. Sougayilang Fly Fishing Reel Large Arbor 2+1 BB Amazon
product image 2. Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with CNC Amazon
product image 3. Piscifun Aoka Aluminum Fly Fishing Reel Amazon
product image 4. Piscifun Sword II Lighter Weight Fly Fishing Reel Amazon
product image 5. Fiblink Fly Fishing Reels with Large Arbor 2+1 BB Amazon
product image 6. Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body Amazon
product image 7. Redington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel Amazon
product image 8. Redington ZERO Fly Reel Amazon
product image 9. Redington RISE Fly Fishing Reel Amazon
product image 10. REDINGTON Crosswater Fly Reel Amazon

Best Fly Fishing Reels

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1. Sougayilang Fly Fishing Reel Large Arbor 2+1 BB

Product Details

This aluminum fly reel is made to adapt to every aspect of fly fishing. The CNC- machined aluminum and rotary knob system offer a unique resistance to your fishing line. It has a large arbor that helps in maximum retrieval. It has 2+1 ball bearing and 1:1 gear ratio. Finely machined and knurled metal screw caps to loosen the spool and easy to change left to right-hand retrieval conversion. It has a hard anodized for surface protection, which prevents abrasion and weather fastness. It’s cold forged and tempered for superior strength and rigidity. This reel can come into use for multi-species fishing in lakes, rivers, streams, creeks. Ideal for predatory fish.

Pros

  • The drag is very smooth and not jerky like some reels
  • Looks good
  • It doesn’t use a cast and instead uses CBC
  • One can expect powerful drags
  • It’s got a large arbor
  • It’s cheaper than other models


Cons

  • Extra spools cannot be bought
  • Uneven drag expected
Sougayilang Fly Fishing Reel Large Arbor 2+1 BB

Our Take

First thing, it may not be that smooth as compared to the higher models, but it’s satisfactory. It’s wider across the arbor than a lot of other 3-4 wheels I’ve seen. It gives more space providing looser coiling. It feels a little heavy, but that shouldn’t be that big a problem. The drag system, when tested, is tight and doesn’t take a lot of adjustments to tighten it up. I was also able to hear clear sounds during the release of the fishing line.

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2. Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with CNC

Product Details

This reel is made of aluminum alloy, giving it high durability. It’s lighter than other reels due to its larger CNC hollow design. It has a stainless steel drag system aiding in silent retrieval. It also anodized which helps in the protection of the surface. Its mid arbor design facilitates in reduction of line memory along with extremely fast line pick up.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • It’s lightweight and feels very balanced


Cons

  • The drag knob could be a little sensitive
Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with CNC

Our Take

It is a good looking product. An excellent reel for the price and very well made. It’s well-machined, especially when you’re on a budget. I think the finish has durability, and the drag feels smooth. If you are not angling for fast fish or if you’re a casual fly fisherman, this reel will suit you well enough. The drag is pretty good, adjustable, and the micrometer adjustment is consistent. It is gunmetal, and green accents make it look sharp, and the reel itself also has a very tight tolerance. It gets equipped with a mid-arbor design, which reduces line memory. It is quite a benefit while finessing big fish. It also has enough spool for additional backing as well. The anodization makes for better protection.

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3. Piscifun Aoka Aluminum Fly Fishing Reel

Product Details

This reel, along with its exquisite appearance, has a fully machined frame and an oversized handle. Its mid arbor design facilitates in the reduction of the memory line along with very quick pick up. Its quick spool helps in easy left to right hand retrieve change.

Pros

  • Less expensive
  • It’s lightweight


Cons

  • There’s a possibility that the roughhousing could damage the fly line if the spool gets filled
Piscifun Aoka Aluminum Fly Fishing Reel

Our Take

It is a lightweight reel and has good aesthetics for the price they’re offering. It’s pretty smooth, and in my opinion, it would suit any beginner through some experienced fisher.

It has a spool release button that gets inserted into the blue cap. It’s more secure due to the insertion of two screws. The smooth drag has a fully machined frame. It is equipped with Click Drag and silent retrieve, which helps in the reduction of line memory and enables quick line pickup.

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4. Piscifun Sword II Lighter Weight Fly Fishing Reel

Product Details

This reel, made of aluminum alloy, giving it high durability. It’s lighter than other reels due to its larger CNC hollow design. It has a stainless steel drag system aiding in silent retrieval. It also anodized, which helps in the protection of the surface. Its mid arbor design facilitates in reduction of line memory along with high-speed line pick up.

Pros

  • Lighter due to larger CNC design
  • Includes a stainless steel drag system


Cons

  • Drag adjustment could be unsatisfactory
Piscifun Sword II Lighter Weight Fly Fishing Reel

Our Take

This reel has a charming and smooth drag. Despite having to make some adjustments occasionally, it is not hard to change from right to left hand retrieve. It looks like a durable reel, especially with its extra protection of the surface. The Click Drag provides repeatable and accurate drag settings. The drag system shows a knurled surface making it easy for adjustment with a fish on which is better for heat dissipation and smoothness. The knob, too, is knurled for a comfortable grip and is ported to reduce unnecessary mass. It also presents a double screwed, damage-proof, and smooth operating handle with subtle grooving to enhance the grip. All kinds of people, including beginners and experienced fishers. Can bring this reel into productive use.

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5. Fiblink Fly Fishing Reels with Large Arbor 2+1 BB

Product Details

This fly reel, made from cold-forged, CNC-machined, and high-grade aluminum. It can get adjusted for right or left-hand retrieves. It has a fiber- composite drag system that aids in control to expand the system to a sporting level. It has a high strength to weight ratio due to its aluminum construction. The Fiblink fly reel is safe of saltwater due to the sealed drag stack. It is extremely lightweight, smart, practical, very sleek, and athletic.

Pros

  • Lightweight yet strong


Cons

  • Possibly much space may not left for the fly line.
Fiblink Fly Fishing Reels with Large Arbor 2+1 BB

Our Take

This reel is definitely worth its price. Its large arbor facilitates in providing room for loose coiling. I have to say, the fit and finish of the reel are quite impressive. It also has a very smooth movement and the drag did feel nice. It’s easy to switch hands for retrieve conversion. It’s sturdy, strong reel due to its quality aluminum structure.

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6. Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body

Product Details

The Piscifun sword Fly Fishing Reel has been set at the factory for left-hand retrieve. To convert your reel to right-hand retrieve, you can contact the Customer's Service for guidance. This product has a three-year warranty and has a silky smooth drag. Its multi-disc cork and stainless steel drag system with one-way clutch bearing for smooth immediate drag engagement. This has an accurate click drag and silent retrieve. The precision CNC machined 6061 t6 aluminum alloy for high impact durability that makes it solid but also lightweight at the same time. Larger CNC hollow design makes the reel lighter than the ordinary ones. This is also corrosion-resistant because of the hard anodized for surface protection increase abrasion resistance and weather fastness. Cold forged and tempered for superior strength and rigidity.

Pros

  • Has four colors to choose from
  • Silky smooth drag
  • Corrosion-resistant


Cons

  • No instructions in disassembling
Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body

Our Take

This reel is very well machined, especially when you factor in the cost. I worked in a machine shop a long time ago and have a critical eye for poorly machined metal. The job on this Sword reel (I have the green one) is better than good. I am not convinced that the Sword is hard anodized or that it has a cork disc drag. However, I think the finish will be durable enough, and out of the box, the drag feels smooth. The drag adjustment dial is loosely threaded so that it spins easily and quickly goes from light to heavy. I would not want to be on a big steelhead and accidentally bump the dial or lock it down by mistake while adjusting it with a fish on.

Secondly, there are no instructions on disassembling the complicated drag system to clean it, and it is difficult to figure this out yourself. My experience with two other inexpensive Chinese fly reels is that the drag washers need to be periodically cleaned and lubed since the drag is not fully enclosed like more expensive reels. I occasionally use another one from Piscifun for trout fishing, and if I don't clean the drag every few times, it will lock up due to the oxidation on the washers. To say that the Sword drag is as good as reels costing five times as much is ridiculous.

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7. Redington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel

Product Details

The BEHEMOTH reel combines the most powerful drag in its class with stunning aesthetics that push the limits of fly reel design. The unique, un-machinable, die-cast construction is coupled with a durable, interlocking, large-arbor spool design that both looks and functions like a premium reel. The large arbor design speeds retrieve and reduce line memory. Easily converts to the left to right hand retrieve. A super-heavy duty carbon fiber drag package brings the utmost in drag strength, reliability, and performance to the family. Sized for your favorite 5-weight trout rod, and all the way up to saltwater ready, big-game sizes, the BEHEMOTH reels offer performance and affordability to beginner and veteran anglers alike.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Has a good capacity of backing
  • Drag knob was big and powerful


Cons

  • The drag is not as smooth; the knob has a gritty feel to it.
  • Weight (it is heavy)
Redington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel

Our Take

The thing is, as long as this reel is durable, and it seems well made, it is a really nice product. I am keeping it. The big let-down, though, is that one of the main selling points is the quality and adjustability of the drag. There is a big drag knob, but the startup tension is high. I don't know if it is adjustable, because it is heavy for a tarpon reel, and this is a six weight reel. On a six weight, I want a startup that is so light that all it does is stop the reel from backlash on startup, no drag at all, right on up to heavier weight. But I would need it to protect light tippets. This reel is not going to work like that and is pretty much unusable even if it's in the lowest setting.

Although not a very expensive reel, it sure seems to fit the bill for the 5/6 wt rod that I got it for. The drag is a little bit over sensitive. It is large and easy to grab quickly when you need to, but if you turn it too far, you will definitely snap fish off. This drag will hold a D-8 Cat from sliding down an icy hill, so you only want to turn it a quarter-inch at a time. It seems to balance the rod out pretty well without being overly heavy.
For the money, it did just as well as the high-end reels, but will definitely last over time. No regrets and would buy the reels again.

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8. Redington ZERO Fly Reel

Product Details

The ZERO reel sets a new standard for lightweight performance and affordability as the lightest reel in its class. We utilized die-cast construction to create an incredibly lightweight design not achievable with CNC machining processes. An all-new, durable clicker drag system compliments the design to make for the ultimate in lightweight trout reels. This reel weighs 0.16 ounces, which makes it lighter of its kind.

Pros

  • No backlashes
  • Very affordable
  • Convertible to right hand retrieve


Cons

  • None
Redington ZERO Fly Reel

Our Take

It's a cool reel. It feels like the box is empty because the thing is so light when I first handled it. Just remember that it is a click and pawl system and is, to a degree, drag-less. It will last for many years, looks great, and sounds like classic fly fishing. I don't have problems with backlash when I take an outline. I would suspect that the people who do have put the reel on backward. You can convert it to right hand retrieve. It is easy; you just have to take out a screw and swap over the springs.

The instructions are clear and easy to follow. This reel helps me a lot because it is simply sturdy. I used it with the butter stick as a dry fly rod for small streams. It doesn't go wrong with the click and pawl. The sound feels great, and it has an easy button release for the spool. It also has an excellent design and operation. This is an ultralight reel for backpacking trips, or to balance with a light line rod, this is a great value for the price. Reddington, for me, is hitting the fine line of affordable quality. I would recommend you to try this product for a light fly fishing experience.

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9. Redington RISE Fly Fishing Reel

Product Details

The all-new RISE continues the ongoing quest to think beyond the bounds of traditional reel designs. It features a u-shaped large-arbor and a compact carbon fiber drag system that offers over 20lbs of sh stopping torque.CNC Machined, anodized 6061-T6 aluminum design with quick release spool, easily converts to left or right hand retrieve
Lightweight design shows through in the modern aesthetic of the RISE, and thoughtful details like twin molded soft-touch handles and oversized drag knob help the reel perform in the hands of any angler. Easily converts to left or right hand retrieve. It has a lifetime warranty with a nylon reel case included.

Pros

  • Easy to handle
  • Soft-touch handles and oversized knobs


Cons

  • Not smooth plastic button
Redington RISE Fly Fishing Reel

Our Take

I used it for my Steelhead fishing in size 7-8 weight; it works very well, if not great. The drag is very good and very strong. It's been in use for a few weeks now, so it hasn't gotten too much abuse, but I'm hoping it holds up well. I wanted a reel that I could use for a long time and be happy with it.

At this price point, the reel was within my budget, and everything I read about it seemed to indicate it was a good reel. I am not disappointed. I pulled a couple of big fish with it and had no issues with the drag; it holds the fish in place well yet will allow for smooth drag and no broken lines. It works, and it works really well. The only caveat is that if you have a light trout rod with a western-style grip, you may need to counterbalance it with a heavier reel. Can't go wrong on the price either, for the money it is a great reel.
Great for the money, and really good positive and smooth drag.

I will buy it again and you should really give this reel a chance.

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10. REDINGTON Crosswater Fly Reel

Product Details

The all-new CROSSWATER reel offers style and function at an affordable price. The unique design is constructed from durable polymer, and it features a reliable disc-drag system that offers fish-stopping performance with head-turning looks. The durable composite design has an easy change spool. It also has a large arbor designed for easier and quicker retrieval. The strong disc drag system is used for the stopping power. It easily converts to right or left hand retrieve. This reel includes a cloth bag and has a 1-year warranty.

Pros

  • Lightweight and handy
  • Durable composite design
  • Strong disc drag system


Cons

  • Tanglings between the gap of the spool and frame.
REDINGTON Crosswater Fly Reel

Our Take

When I had this reel, I really loved how light it was. It’s not metal, but it’s great. I was looking for a 5wt reel for my 2wt spey outfit and ended up buying this. It makes the whole setup light. Even if it’s not metal, I still experienced great drag. The nice clickiness to the reel when drag is going out. I got the composite one over aluminum because I wanted it to stay true if I drop it and so it will be lightweight if I want to take it backpacking with me in the mountains.

The only issue is the gap between the spool and the frame. The floating line gets caught in it and causes unnecessary concern while trying to land the fish. This really makes great trouble when you land your fish because it tangles the spool. I’m having a hard time untangling it. But overall, I still love the convenience it gives me when I need it the most. If this suits your needs as I do, I highly recommend this.

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Joshua Keaton

Joshua is our senior staff writer for Fishing.org and Shooting.org. He is an avid hunter, clay shooter and amateur photographer.