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Most Recommended Fly Reels under $250

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.

Result summary
  1. Orvis Hydros Reel
  2. Clearwater Large Arbor II (4-6 wt)
  3. Orvis Battenkill Reel
100 / 100
Orvis Hydros Reel
#1 in the Top Fly Reels under $250

Orvis Hydros Reel

From $198.00

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.

Fly Fishing Expert Baily Dent
Baily Dent
Verified Fly Fishing Expert • Reviewed Sep 7, 2021

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.

Fly Fishing Expert Kendrick Wilson
Kendrick Wilson
Verified Fly Fishing Expert • Reviewed Sep 7, 2021

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!

Fly Fishing Expert Ryan Peters
Ryan Peters
Verified Fly Fishing Expert • Reviewed Sep 1, 2021
Bass Pro Shops+ free shipping$249.00
78 / 100
Clearwater Large Arbor II (4-6 wt)
#2 in the Top Fly Reels under $250

Clearwater Large Arbor II (4-6 wt)

From $89.00

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.

Fly Fishing Expert Austin Wilt
Austin Wilt
Verified Fly Fishing Expert • Reviewed Sep 7, 2021

This is great for trout/bass/bluegill - just about any species you would be targeting on a 5wt rod.

Fly Fishing Expert Tommy Stornant
Tommy Stornant
Verified Fly Fishing Expert • Reviewed Sep 7, 2021

Great starter reel with a lot of line capacity. Easy to use and very durable.

Fly Fishing Expert David W.
David W.
Verified Fly Fishing Expert • Reviewed Sep 7, 2021
Bass Pro Shops+ free shipping$98.00
Cabela's+ free shipping$98.00
73 / 100
Orvis Battenkill Reel
#3 in the Top Fly Reels under $250

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.

Fly Fishing Expert Hayden B.
Hayden B.
Verified Fly Fishing Expert • Reviewed Mar 25, 2021

Very simple design, quality construction. It has a narrow spool which prevents line stacking, and its easily adjustable for left or right hand retrieve.

Fly Fishing Expert Jake Williams
Jake Williams
Verified Fly Fishing Expert • Reviewed Mar 25, 2021
We haven't found this product listed elsewhere. If you find a lower price, let your expert know - we'll match it!
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