If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what best fly reel for your money is, then we recommend the Lamson Liquid S-Series as the best one.

Buying the best fly reel from the market can be daunting. Fly reels come from assorted brands and models, which can confuse you on which one is best for your needs.

In this article we are going to review the following best fly reels for the money:

It is even more confusing when you must consider the unique features such as weight, material, sound, arbor size, and drag system to find one that suits your needs. Besides, fly reels come in different price points, some are affordable, and others are expensive.

Profile of Fly Reel

If you are on a budget, you must search around to find one that is perfect for your needs and within your budget range. For that reason, we review the best fly reels for money that you can consider buying for your angling needs.

But first, let’s look at how to choose the best fly reel for the money.

How to Pick the Best Fly Reel for the Money?

For you to find the best fly, there are some things you must look out for. Here are a few of those things:

Weight

Weight plays a significant role in choosing the best fly reel. The weight of the fly reel isn’t necessarily referring to the exact weight of the fly reel in kilos or ounces. But more of a way to classify your fly reel to match it up with the fly line and fly rod.

So, don’t choose a 3-weight reel for a 7-weight rod. Both the fly reel and the rod should have the same weight.

Pre-set Up Fly Fishing Kits

If you are a beginner, buying a ready to go angling kit is the way to go. This way, you will be able to ascertain whether the reel, rod, backing, leader, and line match and well set compared to when buying everything separately.

When buying pre-set up fly fishing kits, ensure the person selling know the hand you cast with. This way, you can avoid the inconveniencies of buying a right-handed when indeed you are left-handed.

Reel Material

Fly reels sold in the market today feature different material construction. Some are machined bar-stock aluminum while others are die-cast. The bar-stock kinds are carved from a solid piece of aluminum by machine, die-casts constructed after pouring molten metal to mold a reel. Though both made to be durable, the machine ones are of a higher quality and maintenance-free, but a little expensive. So, if you can pay a higher price, don’t hesitate.

Reel Drag System

The drag system is located inside the reel and enables you to either tighten or loosen the line peel. There are three types of drag systems to choose from, and they include click-drag, spring-and-pawl, and disc drag. Whereas the disc and click-drag systems are exceptional, the spring-and pawls are traditional and are becoming difficult to find in modern fly reels.

The Disc-drag system is ideal if you intend to angle larger fish while the click-drag is perfect for smaller fish. Make sure that you don’t set your drag too high that the snapping point of the line or tipper.

Arbor Size

The larger the arbor is, the larger the diameter at the center of the reel. As such, you will retrieve the line quicker than a small arbor size. If you intend to fish in saltwater, a larger arbor is the most ideal since you will often angle larger fish. As such, you will require quicker retrieval as well as larger backing capacity.

However, it doesn’t imply that if you’re fishing trout you don’t need a large arbor for a reel. Large arbor reels are common in saltwater fishing. Besides, smaller arbor reels are simply fine for trout fishing. They are lightweight, responsive, and easy to cast. If you are looking for the best on both saltwater and trout fishing, find a good mid-arbor reel that comes with extra load capacity, excellent retrieve speed without compromised weight or agility.

Price

Price is a major determinant when it comes to buying a fly reel. You can find both expensive, affordable, and cheap fly reels in the market. If you’re not on a tight budget, you can go for a high-end fly reel. Otherwise, consider getting a fly reel that is within your budget range. Narrow your search based on the features and size that suits your need.

Reviews of the Best Fly Reels for the Money

Lamson Liquid S-Series

Have seen a dozen fly reels, mostly the affordable ones. But this reel has the best drag by far compared to the other reels have seen so far. Whether you fish anywhere with sand or below freezing, its drag system comes in handy. It could be the best you can find at this price range. If you also fish in a light tippet, the drag system is smooth and will prevent breaking off fish.

The reel features a lightweight design for its size, and super solid to deliver a strong feeling. And since the drag is so smooth, you will experience no startup friction. Moreover, there is no slop, jiggle, or run out anywhere on the reel, making it the simplest yet versatile.

The reel comes with a little excess capacity even for a bass taper 7-weight line. Nonetheless, it isn’t heavy. With no ball bearings, it is perfect for a fly reel. Its high retrieve rate is better as you won’t wind it a lot. I have tried many expensive and inexpensive reels in my fishing expeditions, and I can honestly say this one is the best fly reel for the money.

Pros

  • High-quality aluminum construction for durability
  • Great adaptable drag
  • Lightweight design for easy carrying
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • A bit large and heavy for 3-weight rod

Sage SPECTRUM Fly Reel

The Spectrum fly reel is a demonstration of great-workmanship and performance in fly reel making. It is a lightweight design fly reel constructed from durable aerospace-grade aluminum for long-lasting.

The drag of this fly reel is super smooth to make the dragging experience great. Besides, the drag system is made even smoother, and the drag-assist feature makes it quite easy to use. If you are an avid angler and you want to hold more lines, this is the fly reel for you. Its large arbor is ideal for that purpose.

The reel comes with an ergonomic design handle that is handcrafted from anodized aluminum to allow easy conversions from left- to right-hand retrieve. You don’t have to order for another fly reel, designed for both left- and right-handed.

Even though the fly reel is quite expensive, its great-workmanship and excellent performance are worth every dollar. If you think you are going to fish for a while, invest in this fly reel to make your fishing expeditions unforgettable experience.

Pros

  • Excellent drag
  • Extremely durable with aerospace-grade aluminum construction
  • Curved in arbor design for greater capacity

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Piscifun Fly Reel

Are you looking for a fly reel for the money? Well, don’t look further. The Piscifun Fly Reel comes with the lowest price in this review. However, it works better and rivals the high price point fly reels.

Made from aluminum materials, it holds up the backing and line quite well without bulging out at the top. Its drag set is ergonomic for ease of use. Besides, its retrieve is smooth, so you don’t have to guide the line with your fingers when reeling in.

The well-made fly reel is easy to maintain. Its arbor size is a bit small but still fits a lot of backing and line. With a click, you can remove the spool. The drag knob is ergonomic with its grooved design making it easy to turn. Even though this isn’t a ross reel, it gets the job done!

The fly reel has a lightweight design not only for easy carrying but fishing as well. Its decent quality in every aspect makes the reel durable and pleasant for occasional fishing expeditions.

Pros

  • Min-arbor spool for reduced line memory
  • Lightweight design for pleasant fishing
  • Smooth and consistent drag

Cons

  • Low-quality handle material
  • No option to buy a spare spool

Orvis Clearwater Fly Reel

If you are a beginner is angling, this could be your ideal fly reel. It features a new die-cast reel design that is complemented by a stealthy matte-gray powder-coat finish for durability and good styling. The fly reel doesn’t have a sealed drag system but still works great.

The latest version of the Clearwater reel is silent compared to the older version. That is true owing to the improved changes in both the frame and the drag knob. Moreover, the swap and fitting of spools are perfect.

The reel drag is smooth and consistent with the clicker alerting you whenever a big fish is taking line. The fit and finish of the reel are perfect for a better user experience as well. The large arbor is not obtrusive handles well like a machined reel.

The Clearwater Fly Reel is easy to convert to the left- or right-hand retrieve. That makes it versatile for both left and right-handed anglers. Overall, this is a good looking and better performing fly reel that can take your angling experience to the next level.

Pros

  • Great price for the quality
  • Drag adjustment for a consistent drag
  • Die-cast design for durability

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a sealed drag system

Redington ZERO Fly Reel

The Redington ZERO is a great fly reel that comes with default tension to hold the line in, especially when in a dragging current. The reel features a super straightforward design, which makes it reliable and easy to maintain.

The reel features a lightweight design making it easy for angling in the different fishing ground. The lightweight design is perfect for quick-change of the spool as well as easy converting of the reel from left- to right-hand retrieve. Besides, the skeletonized design makes it look neat and good-looking with some fun colored backing.

It features a larger arbor design that makes retrieval easy and faster while reducing line memory. The ergonomic design handle has a soft touch feel for easy and comfortable handling of the fly reel. The exception die-cast construction makes the fly reel long-lasting with flawless functionality.

Pros

  • Minimalist fly reel for easy change from left to right hand retrieve
  • Simple reel design for easy use and maintenance
  • Larger arbor design for quicker retrieve

Cons

  • Easily dents

Conclusion

Now, we already helped you to know and narrow down to some of the best fly reels for the money you can buy from the market. What you need to do is think about the features based on your needs. By taking our recommended best fly reels, you can be sure to make an informed buying.

In the review, Lamson Liquid S-Series is our clear winner. Like most of the fly reels we reviewed, it has a smooth drag and lightweight but with a study for a strong feeling. But with its affordable price, no other fly reel can beat it in the review!

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Ron Lawson

Ron Lawson

Ron grew up in Central Maine. He has been fly fishing rivers and creeks in Northern and Western Maine for the past 25 years. He likes learning everything there is to know about fly fishing and wants to pass that knowledge on to others.

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