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
- Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel
- Redington Rise Series Fly Reels
- Orvis Clearwater LA Reel
- Lamson Liquid Fly Reel
- Lamson Remix Fly Reel
- Orvis Battenkill Fly Reel
- Redington Zero Series Reel
Orvis Hydros Fly Reels
Great value for the money. Has the technology of the Orvis Mirage reels the only difference is it is not fully sealed. Also has a different mix of aluminum from the more expensive lines. The balance pairs perfectly with the Recon rod, as it was made to pair with it. High preforming smooth drag. Large arbor for faster recovery. Overall, great freshwater reel with a hard working, smooth and reliable drag system.
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!
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.
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.
Redington Rise Series Fly Reels
- 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.
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 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.
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!
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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 Crosswater Series Spare Spool
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