Sometimes you need great fly reels on a budget. Curated experts make sure to take each fisher's budget into account every time they make recommendations. This list brings together their top recommendations for fly reels under $250. Want a more personalized pick? Don't forget to talk to a Fly Fishing expert for free advice and recommendations on the best reels for your needs.
- Orvis Hydros Fly Reels
- Redington Behemoth Series Fly Reel
- Redington Run Reel
- Redington Rise Series Fly Reels
- Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel
- Lamson Liquid Fly Reel
- Orvis Clearwater LA Reel
- Lamson Remix Fly Reel
- Orvis Battenkill Fly Reel
- Redington Zero Series Reel
Orvis Hydros Fly Reels
The Hydros series is perfect for novice and expert anglers looking to step up performance without breaking the bank. This is a lightweight large arbor reel with a fully sealed clutch bearing drag. Quick line retrieval and has a low start-up inertia which is great for hot fish in the fresh and salt.
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!
Rated for rods 3-5wt. Overall solid performance with good durability.
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.
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!
Great for trout, bass, carp, panfish. Solid drag.
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.
Smooth stopping power, quick line retrieval, very lightweight, smooth drag, interchangeable spools. Large arbor design, compact carbon fiber drag system.
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.
Redington Rise Series Fly Reels
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.
Very lightweight. Compact carbon fiber drag system, should make for smooth fish stopping! Oversize drag. Fully machined for high-class feel.
Great salt, fish stopping drag. Great price, super lightweight, large arbor.
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.
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.
Orvis Clearwater LA 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.
Lamson Remix Fly Reel
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.
Redington Zero Series Reel
Orvis Battenkill Disc 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!
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.
Holding your line and getting big fish to the net. I am frequently surprised by the smoothness and reliability of the drag on this reel.
Cheeky Tyro Fly Fishing Reel
This is an excellent trout reel that is best paired with a 5 or 6 weight. If you plan in sticking some monsters - you'll be glad you have the reliable drag system to slow them down! This is a brute of a reel that is very durable. Has a die cast casing but the spool and other components are CNC machined to reduce weight.
Solid reel with a nice flash and a great price. Good for 7+ weight rods.
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 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.
Redington Crosswater Series Reel
Sage Spectrum Spare Spool
The Spectrum is a well-made durable reel from Sage. At 4.7oz, this is a lightweight reel, but still has the strength to land the bigger ones! It is designed with a large arbor for quick line retrieval, and the arbor is concave for added strength
Redington Behemoth Series Spare Spool
This spare spool is great for making quick line changes on the water for the angler that wants to carry one rod, but tackle a variety of possible scenarios on the river.
Curated Experts don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. All of their opinions are their own and unbiased. Want to learn more about our experts? Check out the video or view some of their profiles to learn more!Meet the Curated Experts