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 Reel
- Clearwater Large Arbor II (4-6 wt)
- Orvis Battenkill Reel
Orvis Hydros Reel
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!
Clearwater Large Arbor II (4-6 wt)
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.
Orvis Battenkill 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.
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