Is there such a thing as the "best" fly fishing reel? Here at Curated, we believe that there's only the best reel for you. This list compiles our experts' top recommendations, but be sure to chat with a Fly Fishing Expert to ensure that you find your perfect match!
- Orvis Hydros Fly Reel
- Redington Behemoth Series Fly Reel
- Redington Run Reel
- Redington Rise Series Fly Reel
- Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel
- Ross Animas Fly Reel
- Orvis Clearwater LA Fly Reel
- Sage Spectrum Fly Reel
- Lamson Liquid Fly Reel
- Redington Zero Series Reel
Orvis Hydros Fly Reel
This is an awesome mid range reel. Orvis has a variety of reels in different price categories with different features. If you're looking for a really well built, machined aluminum body, large arbor reel in the 5-7wt range I would highly recommend this. This won't break the bank as much as some of the higher end reels, but will certainly pack a punch in it's performance and has a great value.
This is an excellent reel for the money. It has the same technology as Orvis' Mirage reels, and has a high performance smooth drag, and the large arbor retrieves line faster. Great reel for the money!
All around trout - even and especially when you have to put a good size fish on the reel! Durable, dependable, and a great drag ratio!
Redington Behemoth Series Fly Reel
A heavy-duty, durable real that will be perfect with a 7/8 rod! Super versatile reel that will allow you to fish both fresh and salt water without a problem. A great option that is affordable. comes in a variety of colors! Good for big trout to bass, pike, salt water fish.
Certainly a high quality first reel, from a respected manufacturer. Die-cast construction and large arbor reel will make tackling larger fish a possibility.
Perfect size for 5wt rod - will hold plenty of backing and fly line. Large arbor means super fast pick up speed when reeling in fish!
Redington Run Reel
This is a die-cast reel, which will not be as light as machined aluminum, but offers tremendous stopping power and durability for the price. A good entry level reel for large freshwater species and smaller inshore species in the salt.
Super lightweight - only 5.8 oz. Awesome carbon drag system that will handle anything that comes its way! Designed for both fresh and salt water.
Fighting medium to small fish. Throwing drys, nymphs and small streamers.
Redington Rise Series Fly Reel
- Salt friendly
- Strong smooth drag
- Easy to clean
- Fighting and reeling in your next hog!
Machined aluminum for the perfect balance of weight and durability, a U-shaped arbor to stack line more effectively, and a carbon fiber drag system that stops torque in the reel.
Quality reel with a great drag system. Great fit on a 5wt rod. Will handle larger fish if needed.
Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel
Good for everything freshwater. Small streams and rivers up to very large rivers like the Missouri. The spectrum has an incredible drag system which gives flawless line to reel transition to keep those big fish on the end of your line.
The large arbor design gives you fast line pickup. Great all-around trout reel that is reliable over many trips.
Will handle any fish with ease. Aluminum construction ensures it is built to last.
Ross Animas Fly Reel
Landing big fish. This reel has an incredibly smooth drag, and will do much of the work for you. The drag adjustment knob is large and easy to use in the heat of the moment. It is arguably the best looking reel on the market. It has a large arbor, and can hold tons of line and backing.
Great for any type of fishing, however because of the wt. the reel is aimed towards streamer fishing and big nymph rigs.
Orvis Clearwater LA Fly Reel
Smooth, easily adjustable drag, and lightweight build allow you to dial in your drag settings while playing many different sized fish. Pairs well with the 5wt Clearwater Fly Rod.
This is great for trout/bass/bluegill - just about any species you would be targeting on a 5wt rod.
Great starter reel with a lot of line capacity. Easy to use and very durable.
Sage Spectrum Fly Reel
Large arbor fly reel that offers a ton of performance, line capacity and a run stopping drag system. CNC machine aluminum construction designed to match and balance any and all quality fly rods.
Large line capacity and a smooth feel. It is a great match for any rod.
Perfect for chasing large brutish fish that hog the line.
Lamson Liquid Fly Reel
Any freshwater application. Smooth, conical drag system. Large arbor design. A lot of the components are CNC machined here in the US and the reel is assembled in Boise Idaho.
Lamson reels tend to have a very smooth drag, and don't "click" much when you reel them in. These reels have the backbone to deal with any trout that you may encounter.
It has an adequate, large arbor that will harbor more fly line and backing than you will ever need. Fits nicely both size wise and aesthetically onto the Path II.
Redington Zero Series Reel
Lamson Remix Fly Reel
Ross Evolution LTX Fly Reel
Ultra-smooth drag - the best of the Original LT feel and the Evolution R performance all in one high-performing reel.
Anglers looking for one of the lightest reels with one of the strongest drag systems on the market.
5 weight is best for trout and will handle that buck nasty brown that runs for days.
Orvis Battenkill Fly Reel
I cannot recommend this reel enough. It is perfect for anything from small streams to medium sized rivers. Its simple mechanics allow you to focus less on things like drag, and more on line management and control. Hiking long distances to water and negotiating woody areas, you'll come to appreciate the ultra-light, minimal nature of this. For small streams and rocky rivers, you'll want a reel that can withstand the conditions. If you find yourself climbing, skirting, bouldering, and crawling to get to some of those waters, you need something that can withstand more than a few bumps and scrapes. With its solid aluminum build, it still looks and performs like new after years of abuse. Unlike heavier duty drag reels out there, the click-pawl mechanics put you in control and make a killer classic sound when you have a fighter on your line. It's a wonderful way to fish. This is a generational piece of gear you can expect to pass on some day.
Very simple design, quality construction. It has a narrow spool which prevents line stacking, and its easily adjustable for left or right hand retrieve.
Orvis Mirage LT Fly Reel
This reel was designed to balance perfectly with lighter weight rods, and yet offers Orvis' legendary reel engineering. The drag is sealed and maintenance free that offers zero to full drag with a twist of the knob. Zero start up inertia and precise low-end control that eliminates line shock and protects light tippet. This reel is going to feel like butter in your hands.
This reel was designed to balance perfectly with lighter weight rods, and yet offers Orvis' legendary reel engineering. The drag is sealed and maintenance free that offers zero to full drag with a twist of the knob. Zero start up inertia and precise low-end control that eliminates line shock and protects light tippet. This reel is going to fee like butter in your hands.
This is a top-quality reel at a great price. It is extremely lightweight while maintaining a high level of durability, so it will last a lifetime. Good for trout and most freshwater species.
Orvis Battenkill Disc I Fly Reel
Fresh water or salt water fishing on 5-7 weight rods. Another classic 5-weight fly reel that Orvis has been producing for 70 years. This is another reel that will last you a lifetime with the classic trout reel styling. Super smooth drag system that is fully sealed when the spool is engaged. You just cannot go wrong with this reel for this price point.
The Orvis Battenkill Disc reel features the same drag and arbor system as higher-end models and is well-suited for trout streams and lakes alike! It is a 5-7 weight, so it will work well for trout (5wt) and bass/lake trout (7wt). With old-school looks, don't underestimate the Battenkill line of reels! This updated version features new internals taken from higher-end reels, all packaged into a classic look. Smooth drag and adjustability makes it easy to land any fish within its weight range!
Sage Click Fly Reel
Great reliable reel that will last years and years. Good at handling anything you get on the other end of the line, great drag if a fish is really fighting.
Redington I.D Series Reel
For the price, its hard to beat! Smooth line collection and a larger arbor makes it much easier to collect line when fish is on. Will set nicely on your rod selection. All around good choice!
A sturdy cast aluminum construction, smooth rulon disc drag, and larger arbor. Speedy line retrieve, customization decals, very low price point.
This will be stellar for a lighter weight and sturdy drag, and allows for super slick line work and fish play.
Sage Spectrum LT Fly Reel
This Sage LT reel balances out incredibly well, as it is much lighter than you would think. It has a sealed drag system with ample stopping power, which can be helpful when you hook up to those monster fish that want to run. Adjusting the drag is very easy as it is a numbered drag system. It is built out of space grade aluminum so its a built to last and will take abuse. Sage is top notch and their warranty program is hard to beat. Use this in fresh and salt water as it is a sealed drag system. Easy maintenance and will last a life time.
The Sage Spectrum LT reel gives you a lightweight feel without sacrificing drag strength. The drag knob is very sensitive and easy to adjust, so you can add light resistance without risking break-offs when you're locked on a fish. This is also a larger arbor reel, which will help you pick up line much faster. Full 6061-t6 aerospace grade aluminum build. Good for saltwater applications and larger freshwater species.
High-performance drag system on an ultralight, rigid frame. One Revolution drag knob offers quick and precise drag settings and provides the kind of power and smoothness you would expect from a large, traditional drag system, only without the bulk or weight!
Sage Trout Fly Reel
This reel has a smooth drag and is tough and durable to stand up to your 25+ days a year on the water. Has a fully sealed drag which is going to help keep it in working order for many years to come. It is perfect for the trout specialist, but with the sealed drag, it is good for any type of fly fishing including salt.
This is a modern designed reel but with an ode to the more traditional styled reels. It has a large arbor for quick line retrieval, machined aluminum full-frame construction, easy conversion for left or right hand retrieve, and a concave arbor design for greater strength and more capacity.
Sage Spectrum Max Fly Reel
The Spectrum features Sages Sealed Carbon System drag technology. Sealed to keep the water out and carbon makes it lightweight and durable. This reel is built to last.
Reeling in the fish you catch and slowing the fish's runs. It also has a sealed drag system and carbon made so it is super light.
Saltwater functional. Plenty of room for backing and line.
Lamson Speedster S Fly Reel
Redington Grande Reel
This reel is saltwater ready for trips to the coast, with plenty of line capacity for large diameter fly lines needed for throwing big musky flies! It also has one of Redington's best drag systems if you ever get into some serious sized fish. This reel is comfortable throwing flies all day with its light weight, and substantial amount of line and backing to keep you safe while fighting larger freshwater and saltwater species!
Great for slowing down the hardest fighting species. Saltwater components will provide corrosion resistance. 5/6/7 models is suited for 5-7 weights
Orvis Mirage USA Fly Reel
All around awesome reel for balance and performance. Durable long lasting 6061 T6 Aluminum, zero start up inertia, drag can go from 0 to full in one click motion.
Sage Spey Fly Reel
Ross Evolution R Salt Fly Reel
This reel is fully machined of aluminum alloy which makes it super light! The Ross Evoultion has the7 disc drag system that is the strongest on the market. You will be able to stop even the strongest fish when they run. All internal components are stainless steel and coated with a special coating to increase durability when exposed to saltwater.
Winner of the Gear of the Year Award in 2018, this reel has continued to be a breakthrough of performance and precision in saltwater fly fishing.
Lamson Remix HD Fly Reel
One of the best reels in this price range hands down! Made completely in the USA with one of the best drag systems on the market! This beast will handle anything you hook into! Large arbor, quick retrieve, lots of power.
Ross Evolution R Fly Reel
This reel sets up perfectly for fishing dry flies. One will be able to have a smooth presentation with precision. It has a fully carbon drag and a built-in clutch, which helps in landing the fist. It's also light with a large arbor!
Fully sealed carbon fiber drag with one of the best power-to-weight ratios in the industry. Innovative shape and ultra large arbor.
Redington Crosswater Series Reel
Lamson Liquid 3-Pack Fly Reel and 2 Spare Spools
The Lamson Liquid is a fantastic reel at an excellent value. Lamson makes some of the most durable reels on the market, and the Liquid offers a sealed, conical drag and an aluminum frame and spool. Perfect for budget-conscious anglers who want be able to fish a variety of tactics and different line without purchasing an entirely new reel.
This is good for having multiple options to fish above or below the water. It provides the option to load different lines to fish top water as well as deep with a sink link.
Lamson Remix 3 Pack Fly Reel and 2 Spare Spools
The Lamson Remix has an awesome drag system is extremely durable at a tremendous value. The -7+ is best for 6-8 weight lines/rods. For a 6 weight you may want to choose the -5+ to save weight, but you will at a lower spool capacity.
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