Selecting the right fly reel is critical for any angler that takes their craft seriously. In fact, the right reel can make all the difference in a successful day of fishing.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a fly reel, such as the type of fish you plan to catch, the weight of your line, and the overall drag system. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best fly-fishing reels on the market in
2022. We’ll also provide a buyer’s guide to help you make a well-informed call on which reel is right for you.
So, whether you’re a beginner angler or a seasoned pro, be sure to check out our list of the best fly-fishing reels before you head out on your next fishing adventure!
What to Consider When Purchasing a Fly Reel
A fly reel is a specialized type of fishing reel designed for use with a fly rod. Fly reels are typically lighter and smaller than conventional spinning reels and feature a larger diameter spool. This allows for greater line capacity and faster
line retrieval when casting and fighting fish.
There are many types and styles of fly reels on the market, from simple and inexpensive models that are great for beginners, to high-end, precision machined reels that cost hundreds of dollars. No matter what your budget or level of
experience, there’s a fly reel out there that’s perfect for you and your wallet.
The drag system on a fly reel is also different than on a spinning reel. In order to protect light tippets from being torn off by strong fish, fly reels typically have a “drag” system that applies friction to the spool in order to slow down the rate at which line is pulled off.
There are two main types of drag systems: disc-drag and spring-and-pawl. Disc-drag systems are typically found on higher end reels, are more popular these days, and offer a wider range of adjustability. Spring-and-pawls are the original drag system, are simpler in functionality, and usually found on entry level or mid-priced reels.
The next thing to consider is the size of the reel. The size of the reel should be matched to the weight of your rod. A heavier rod will need a bigger, stronger reel, while a lighter rod can be paired with a smaller reel.
When choosing a fly reel, the first thing you need to consider is what type of fishing you’ll be doing. If you’re only going to be using it for trout fishing, then you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a top-of-the-line model. See our list at the bottom of this article for the best reels for trout fishing.
However, if you’re planning on going after big game fish like salmon or stripers, then you’ll want to invest in a higher quality reel that can handle the abuse from these bigger species.
Best Low-Priced Fly Reels in 2022
Redington Crosswater Reel
The Redington Crosswater fly reel is an impressive entry-level reel that performs well beyond its price tag. It’s made of a composite polymer material, making it tough as hell but also very lightweight. Able to accommodate a 4wt, 5wt, or 6wt fly rod, its rulon drag system applies the brakes on fast-running fish. Best of all, it’s priced at less than half the cost of some of its competitors.
If you’re just getting into fly fishing, or are on a budget, the Crosswater is a great option. It’s also a good choice for kids or beginner anglers, available in left- and right-handed models.
Orvis Clearwater Large Arbor Reel
The Orvis Clearwater LA is one of the best fly-fishing reels in the market. It is known for its durability and performance. This reel is made of high-quality materials, and it can last for a long time.
This reel’s die-cast design is finished with a matte-grey powder-coat, a carbon-to-stainless stacked disc-drag system, and its performance makes it stack up nicely to its competitors while beating them in price. Orvis is a well-known brand in the fly-fishing industry and their reputation stems from their high-quality products.
If you want any avid angler’s take on the Clearwater LA Reel, look no further than its Amazon reviews where plenty of 5 stars can be found.
Best Mid-Priced Fly Reels in 2022
Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel
The Sage Spectrum C is a great mid-priced fly reel. Its frame is machined diecast made and its concave vented spool makes it dynamic enough for both beginner and experienced anglers. Powder coated to protect its surface and resistant to any corrosion, the Spectrum C will last the test of time.
One of the best things about the Sage Spectrum C is that it comes in a variety of sizes. This makes it a great choice for different types of fishing. It also has a great drag system that can handle bigger fish if that’s what you’re after.
Coming in black, grey, or copper colors, if you’re looking for a solid, mid-priced fly reel, the Sage Spectrum C is a great choice.
Orvis Hydros SL Reel
There’s a lot to like about the Orvis Hydros SL Reel. It’s a great choice for fly fishing, thanks to its lightweight and smooth operation. And it’s also one of the best values in fly fishing reels, making it a great option for budget-minded
That all being said, there are a few things to keep in mind before you buy the Hydros SL. First, it’s not the most durable reel on the market. So, if you’re hard on your gear, or if you fish in tough conditions, you might consider a more heavy-duty option. Second, the drag system on the Hydros SL can be a bit finicky, so it may take some time to get it dialed in just right. Once you’ve got it dialed in though, its massive drag (14lbs on the high end) excites a lot of anglers because it can handle any and all action it comes across. Overall, though, the Orvis Hydros SL Reel is a great choice for fly anglers who are looking for a light and affordable option. It’s not the most durable reel out there, but it’s a great value and it certainly performs when put to the test.
Best High-End Fly Reels in 2022
Nautilus CCF-X2 Reel
The Nautilus CCF-X2 is one of the best high-end fly reels on the market. It’s made with a die-cast aluminum frame and spool and features a smooth drag system that can handle even the most challenging fish. The CCF-X2 also has a large arbor design that helps to prevent line tangles, and it comes with a handy carrying case.
Coming in four different size options to accommodate any line weight, if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line fly reel, the Nautilus CCF-X2 is a great option.
Galvan Torque 4
Luckily, for the modern angler, there are a lot of great fly reels these days, but the Galvan Torque 4 is definitely one of the best. It’s incredibly well-made and performs flawlessly. Plus, it’s got a great drag system that can handle even the
strongest fish. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line fly reel, the Galvan Torque 4 is definitely worth checking out. You can tell just by its design and engineering that the Galvan Torque 4 was made by well-experienced fly fishermen.
Best Reels for Trout Fishing
There are so many great fly reels on the market, but which ones are the best for trout fishing? Here is a list of the best fly reels for trout fishing, based on their features and performance.
1. Orvis Hydros SL Reel (mentioned above): This reel is designed for lightweight rods and comes in around $260.
2. Sage Spectrum C Reel (mentioned above): This reel is designed for versatile use and features a large arbor for quick line retrieval.
3. Ross Evolution R Reel: This reel is designed for high-performance trout fishing, is manufactured in Montrose, Colorado, and is the recipient of more than 10 different awards for both its design and engineering.
4. Redington Behemoth Reel: This reel is designed for big game fishing, so it can easily handle any trout species it’s put up against.
5. Lamson Litespeed G5 Reel: This reel is designed for lightweight rods and has a beautiful finish, although it should be mentioned that it comes with a bit of a sticker shock.
This article was written by our friends over at Riversmith, a roof rack fishing rod holder manufacturer based out of Boulder, Colorado.
For more information on these and other products go thttps://riversmith.com/collections/river-quivers/products/river-quivero