Best Fly Fishing Reels

In this fishing reel buying guide, we’ll talk about how to find the best fly fishing reels. One mistake that many analysts make is to see a fishing reel as inferior. 

They talk endlessly about premium fishing rods or seem to want to have continuous conversations about the best quality fly fishing reel.

Best Fly Fishing Reels

You need to understand that fishing reels are some of the most important aspects of your gear and they all come with different qualities. Due to their unique features, you need to consider your needs while factoring in the upsides and downsides of choosing a particular fishing reel. 

That means you'll have to invest considerable time to understand each product to determine what's right for you.

Thankfully, I've done the necessary research to let you in on 5 of the most recommended fly fishing reels on-the-market. Keep in mind that no fly reel is wrong or right but it all depends on your fishing needs. But that's not to say some fishing reels aren’t better than others, especially when it comes to the target species and fishing location.

In this review of the best fly fishing reels, you will not only learn what the five trendiest products are but you'll also get to understand the factors to consider when choosing a fly reel. This will help you make a great buying decision. So, keep reading to find out what I have in store. 

Top 5 Best Fly Fishing Reels

OUR TOP PICK

Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 5/6 Gunmetal

Summary

Piscifun is a reputable creator of fishing reels and the Sword fly fishing reel is one of its outstanding products. Apart from being anodized to keep it durable and strong, you'll also love its machined construction. 

Being that its construction promises you a long-lasting product, this is arguably one of the best fly fishing reels you can find on the market.

One thing that makes the fishing reel even stronger is its concave spool. It also comes with a mid-arbor design and this guarantees that you’ll have access to increased line capacity. In addition to the fact that it is not as heavy as other fishing reels on the market, the retrieval is very smooth. 

When you check out the upsides and downsides, it’s easy to see why this product has many positive reviews and offers you value for your money.

Many fishermen also happen to like this particular reel from Piscifun because of the variety of colors from which to choose from. So, what you have here is a fishing reel that offers you great aesthetics. It also comes with a corrosion-resistant stainless steel drag system. You'll benefit from drag accuracy, as well as a silent retrieval.

PROS

  • Anodized finish
  • Lightweight fishing reel
  • Offers great value for money

CONS

  • Paint might scratch easily
Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 5/6 Gunmetal
  • THREE-YEAR WARRANTY - Your reel has been set at the factory for left-hand retrieve. To convert your reel to right-hand retrieve, please contact us for guidance.
  • SILKY SMOOTH DRAG - Multi-disc cork and stainless steel drag system with one-way clutch bearing for smooth immediate drag engagement. Accurate click drag and silent retrieve.
  • SOLID and LIGHT WEIGHT - Precision CNC-machined 6061-T6 aluminum alloy for high-impact durability; Larger CNC hollow design makes the reel lighter than ordinary ones.
  • CORROSION RESISTANCE - Hard anodized for surface protection increases abrasion resistance and weather fastness; Cold forged and tempered for superior strength and rigidity.
  • Mid-ARBOR DESIGN - Reducing line memory while also facilitating lightning-quick line pickup.

EDITORS CHOICE

Redington Reels Behemoth 5/6 Reel, Gunmetal

Summary

Even some of the very best critics I know have dished out amazing reviews to Galvan. They believe that some of its products are the best in their category and that isn’t any different for the Galvan Torque 5. 

This is a premium product that is worth getting your attention. The trick behind creating such an awesome product for this company was to study the designs already existing on the market.

Then, they set out to improve on what they saw to create something with more strength and longevity. The Torque 5 guarantees your safety and can be used in different fishing locations, even if you are a fan of saltwater fishing. 

Galvan designed the drag knob in a way that improves the experience you get from doing what you love.

Another interesting aspect is how nice the aesthetics look. The manufacturer knows how important the appearance of the product is and that's why they have introduced five different color variations for you to choose from. Keep in mind that you are also covered by a lifetime warranty should you experience problems under normal circumstances. But there is a sort of fee necessary to trigger the repair services.

Galvan also impressed by improving on the regular features to give you a fly fishing reel that is user-friendly and satisfying. This product promises you great balance, as well as durability and good drag. Rest assured that you won’t be making a mistake if you are a fly fishing guru that needs satisfying equipment to add to your gear.

PROS

  • Very easy to use
  • Comes with counterbalancing features
  • Five color variations
  • A very lightweight fly reel

CONS

  • Not the best for budget buyers
Sale
Redington Reels Behemoth 5/6 Reel, Gunmetal
  • Most powerful drag in its class, adjustable, Carbonfiber drag
  • Unmachinable, unique die-cast construction, twin molded, soft-touch ergonomic handles
  • Large arbor design speeds retrieve and reduces line memory, easily converts to left or right hand retrieve
  • Deep v-spool for increased backing capacity
  • Lifetime Warranty

BEST VALUE

Piscifun Aoka Fly Fishing Reels with Cork/Teflon Disc Drag System 5 6 wt Blue

Summary

Next on the list is a product that guarantees an awesome performance for beginner fishing enthusiasts. If you don't want to spend more than $200 to buy one of the best fly fishing reels, look no further than the Piscifun Platte. Any angler will benefit from the capability and great value offered by this product.

What you see here is a fully machined fly reel that comes with great durability which tends to be absent in a lot of die-cast reels. It also has a large arbor design to help you pick your line very fast whenever you want. 

The manufacturers also did a good job with the spool and frame as they both offer great tolerance that you’ll mostly find in more expensive fishing reels.

You should also know that Piscifun guarantees that this product will perform whether you use it in freshwater or saltwater locations. Your backing and line get all the exposure they need to perform, thanks to a CNC-machined spool and reel. These features help to make the drying process quicker. 

You'll also notice that the Piscifun Platte is lightweight and that's because of the level of porting incorporated in its design to create good balancing.

Another aspect that will surprise you when you want to pull off line is how low this drag system's startup inertia is. 

You will experience a smooth release and the clicking sound you get is very much subdued in retrieval or outbound situations. With the help of a significant drag knob that happens to sport a knurled edge, you can make quick adjustments to the drag while getting a good grip. 

The Piscifun Platte has a drag mechanism that is fully sealed to make it resistant to grit and water. This means your product will serve you for a long time to come. You don’t have to put in so much maintenance effort as you can just rinse it after every use. 

If you want to make basic spool swaps, that’s no problem as you can use the quick-release button to get the lines changed.

PROS

  • Quick-release spool
  • Very durable and fully sealed
  • Available in five size varieties
  • Guarantees you a durable performance
  • Large arbor design

CONS

  • Not the most lightweight design on the market
Piscifun Aoka Fly Fishing Reels with Cork/Teflon Disc Drag System 5 6 wt Blue
  • Three Year Warranty - Your reel has been set at the factory for left-hand retrieve. To convert your reel to right-hand retrieve, please contact us for guidance.
  • Smooth Drag - Cork/Teflon disc drag system with one-way clutch bearing for smooth immediate drag engagement.
  • Mid-arbor Design - Reducing line memory while also facilitating lightning-quick line pickup.
  • Click Drag and Silent Retrieve- Quick spool release with easy left to right hand retrieve change.
  • Exquisite Appearance - Fully machined frame and die-cast spool; oversize handle, as with all of our reel series.

RUNNER UP

Redington Reels Behemoth 5/6 Reel, Gunmetal

Summary

If you have researched fly reels over the years, you will notice that the Rise fly reel from Redington was the interest of many industry critics at the time. Yet, it came out on top and received accolades for many of its amazing features. 

And this is not any different for the Redington Behemoth fly reel. Not only is this product lightweight but it also competes favorably against other reels.

Apart from being available in different color options, it is also very affordable and won't cost you an arm or a leg. Regardless of your fishing level, all enthusiasts can benefit from the Behemoth. 

Most beginners may consider this to be a somewhat significant investment but you have a lot to gain when compared to other expensive models. Redington designed this product to get you impressed, especially with pro fishermen in mind. 

I noticed that some people tend to think that the carbon-fiber build means that the product isn't as durable as all-metal fly reels. 

But if you are keen about fishing and don't have the least bit problem with carbon fiber material, you've got everything to gain from the Behemoth. Keep in mind that you also benefit from a lifetime warranty and the spool gives you a great line capacity.

PROS

  • The drag control knob is large
  • The spool is deep
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Various color options

CONS

  • Comes with a carbon-fiber construction instead of metal
Sale
Redington Reels Behemoth 5/6 Reel, Gunmetal
  • Most powerful drag in its class, adjustable, Carbonfiber drag
  • Unmachinable, unique die-cast construction, twin molded, soft-touch ergonomic handles
  • Large arbor design speeds retrieve and reduces line memory, easily converts to left or right hand retrieve
  • Deep v-spool for increased backing capacity
  • Lifetime Warranty

RUNNER UP

Piscifun Crest Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel Saltwater CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Fly Reel 5/6 Black

Summary

Next is another impressive creation from Piscifun and also one of the best fly fishing reels on the block. If you are an angler, you've got many reasons to fall in love with this reel because of the amazing features it comes with.

It is interesting to know that this fly fishing reel is resistant to water and also comes with a stainless steel drag system. 

All your worries about depreciation from a long time of use resulting from grit and sand are also taken care of. Keep in mind that you will benefit from a lifetime warranty then you buy the Piscifun Crest fly fishing reel. 

With this guarantee from the manufacturer, you can shop with confidence and rest assured that the product will deliver on its promises. 

Feel free to get in touch with the customer service at any point in time and they will help you. 

The arbor comes in a U shape and is equipped with a fast pickup to guarantee that the device performs excellently. Making adjustments to the drag system isn't a problem and can be done with ease. Even though it is recommended for left-handed users, right-handed enthusiasts can still make use of this fly fishing reel. 

PROS

  • User-friendly even for beginners
  • Excellent quality and amazing build
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Waterproof and sand proof

CONS

  • Difficult to control
Piscifun Crest Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel Saltwater CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Fly Reel 5/6 Black
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - Piscifun offers Life Time Warranty for all Crest fly reels without Human Damage problem. The Crest fly reel has been set at the factory for left-hand retrieve. To convert your reel to right-hand retrieve, please contact us for guide.
  • FULLY SEALED CARBON-to-STAINLESS DRAG - Impervious to water, sand and grit, requiring no maintenance except for simple rinsing. Can be used for both fresh and saltwater fishing.
  • PRECISELY CNC MACHINED - Strong yet lightweight anodized 6061 T6 aluminum, sports a heavily ventilated spool to shed weight yet keep its strength.
  • LARGE ARBOR DESIGN - The U-shaped arbor limits line memory and, paired with the large, flared cranking handle, allows for rapid line pick-up. The fast line pick-up gives you the edge over freshwater and saltwater species.
  • CLICK DRAG AND SILENT RETREIVE - Click drag design provides accurate adjustment. The Crest reel features an innovative crew free spool disassembly design, easy to change the hand retrieve.

Best Fly Fishing Reels Buying Guide

If you haven't taken the time to consider what your adventure involves and what type of fish you wish to haul in, you need to do so right away. 

This is very important when looking to select some of the best fly fishing reels. You want something that matches the length and weight of the road.

You should also be interested in choosing a fishing reel that holds enough line for the kind of fishing weight you will encounter. This is where you have to come up with a little variance. Go for a fishing reel that has what it takes to hold rods of 4 to 6 weight if you are working with a 5-weight rod.

Another thing you have to consider is your fly fishing reel’s drag system. Once you identify what sort of fly fishing adventures you’re embarking on and the fish type to be hauled in, consider whether you have the right drag system to handle this or not. 

Are some reels better than others?

Never make the mistake of choosing a fly fishing reel because of what it looks like. Remember that looks can be deceiving and doing so means you might be buying some trouble for yourself. Most people tend to get attracted to fishing reels that look flashy. 

There are lots of those on the market but the disadvantage is that they are constructed with very inferior parts.

Another disadvantage of buying flashy reels is that you need to put in more maintenance efforts to get them to serve you well. You'll also have to battle with the drag system which cannot compare in any way to the performance of more quality equipment.

You need to go for a fishing reel with a very rugged drag system if you wish to haul in heavy-duty fish. But you can settle for something less expensive if you'll just be fishing for trout. 

Don't forget to examine whether or not your fly fishing reel has the right weighting to create a balance between the rod and itself. That way, you won't have to worry so much about fatigue no matter how long you spend fishing.

Will your fly reel require backing?

On your fishing reel, the fly line backing is that line on the reel that is braided and has a small diameter. You need to fix it on your fishing reel before attaching the fly line (which happens to be thicker). The purpose of designing the fly line backing is to ensure that your line has even more reach should you encounter troublesome fish that push past your limits. 

The kind of fish that you intend to haul in will determine how necessary it is to work with a fly line backing.

Does size matter?

This is mostly about what you feel is best for your needs. But you can consider some things to help you decide what fly fishing reel size suits you best. One thing to look at is your rod's line weight. The more the line weight, the more the line diameter. So, you need a larger reel to take care of a thicker line. 

The type of fish you intend to catch also comes into play here. If all you want to do is some lightweight local fishing, you don't need to worry about buying a bigger reel as a small one will suffice. 

But you need a bigger reel if you are going to hunt for larger fish as they tend to require more fishing line. 

Best Fly Fishing Reels - FAQ's

What makes a good fly fishing reel?

There are many things to consider before deciding if a fly fishing reel makes sense to buy. It should produce a good sound and the drag system has to be super impressive. That’s because the drag system is responsible for speed regulation and resistance. A reliable and credible manufacturer of fly fishing reels equips them with great drag systems.

Are Piscifun fly reels any good?

Piscifun has built a reputation for producing quality fishing reels and their fly fishing reels are very smooth. You benefit from a good drag system that gives you value for your cash. You will also enjoy impressive quality, tolerance, balance, and machining. 

What are the best fly fishing reels?

  • Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel 
  • Galvan Torque 5 Fly Reel 
  • Piscifun Platte Fly Reel
  • Redington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel
  • Piscifun Crest Fly Fishing Reel

Can you use a freshwater fly reel in saltwater?

There’s no limit to the number of ways a freshwater rod can be utilized. So, yes, you can also use it in saltwater. But never make the mistake of using freshwater reels in saltwater. 

The only way that could be possible is if the equipment comes with some features that allow it to operate well in saltwater. It has to be resistant to corrosion and come with sealed bearings. 

Why does my fly reel click?

You need to check and verify whether you rigged the fly reel backward. This can cause a click and pawl drag on the side of retrieval. That means you have to swap it from left hand to right hand based, or vice versa, based on the initial setup.

Conclusion

If you are just looking to get into the game of fishing as an angler, your goal should be to purchase good fishing gear for beginners. Once you do that, you can start to upgrade as your experience increases. 

This buying guide provides the necessary information to select the best fly fishing reels.

Before clicking away, consider following the links above to each product sales page. From there you can ask more questions to get useful insights from other experienced users. Do not forget to check the return and replacement policy before placing your order.