Fly Fishing Reels

Fly fishing reels are an essential yet often overlooked component of the angler’s gear arsenal. These ingenious devices not only hold your backing and fly line but also prevent big fish from taking it all away, making them a true game-changer in various fishing scenarios.

With countless options available on the market, selecting the perfect reel can be both challenging and exciting. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of fly fishing reels, discussing their types and key features backed by expert insights to help you make an informed decision.

Top Fly Fishing Reels On The Market

Quick Recommendation: Our top Pick is the >>Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel

Sage Spectrum C Fly Fishing Reel with Rio Backing

Fast line pick-up for avid fly-fishers.


  • Aluminum bearings and handle for lightweight strength
  • Nylon and aluminum construction for durability
  • Gorgeous copper color adds a touch of style to your gear
  • Ambidextrous design accommodates both left and right – handed anglers
  • Premium Rio backing ensures high performance on the water
  • From a trusted brand in fly fishing, Sage Fly Fishing

As an experienced fly fisher, I always look for the perfect combination of functionality and durability in a reel. That’s why Sage Spectrum C Fly Fishing Reel with Rio Backing has earned my No. 1 choice on the list. The large arbor design ensures fast line pick-up while the machined and anodized aluminum One Revolution Drag Knob provides precise control with its numbered and detented settings.

The neoprene and embroidered ballistic nylon reel case offers excellent protection without compromising aesthetics. Furthermore, this Sage Spectrum C comes pre-spooled with high-quality Rio Dacron Backing – 100 yards for 3/4 and 5/6 reels, and 200 yards for bigger sizes like 7/8 or even 9/10 (keep in mind that you’ll receive it unspooled). The backing capacity is especially convenient when fighting those trophy-sized fish that tend to strip off plenty of line from your reel.


  • Quick line pick – up with large arbor design
  • Precise and easy drag adjustment with numbered settings
  • Comes with 200 or 100 yards of high – quality Rio Dacron Backing for added convenience
  • Durable neoprene and ballistic nylon case included for safe transport


  • May be too expensive for beginner or casual fly fishermen
  • May not have enough line capacity for larger fish or longer casts
  • Rio Dacron Backing may not be suitable for all fishing environments and preferences

Redington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel

Unbeatable Drag Strength for Versatile Fly Fishing


  • Carbon fiber handle for a lightweight and sturdy grip
  • Unique bronze color adds style to your fishing gear collection
  • Ambidextrous hand orientation perfect for both left- and right-handed anglers
  • Made with carbon material, ensuring durability during tough fishing conditions
  • Specifically designed for fly fishing technique, allowing for precision casting and retrieval
  • Compact size at 6 x 5 x 6 inches makes it easy to carry around on your next outdoor adventure.

The Redington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel is a powerhouse in the world of fly fishing, offering both impressive design and undeniable strength. As an experienced angler, I know how important it is to have a reliable reel that can handle everything from freshwater trout to larger saltwater species. This multipurpose fly reel delivers on that promise with its large arbor and adjustable drag system which provides exceptional performance for various fishing conditions.

One standout feature of the Redington Behemoth Fly Fishing Reel is its heavy-duty carbon fiber drag package, providing superior drag strength compared to other reels in its class. The unique die-cast construction and interlocking large-arbor spool design not only look great but also function efficiently – making line retrieval faster while minimizing line memory issues. Plus, the twin molded handle offers excellent feedback when pulling in those bigger catches! With all these features combined with its stunning aesthetics, there’s no wonder we’ve ranked this product as No. 2 on our list.


  • Versatile use for freshwater and saltwater fishing
  • Large arbor design for fast line retrieval and reduced line memory
  • Heavy duty carbon fiber drag package for strong, reliable performance
  • Unique die – cast construction with premium spool design for stunning aesthetics


  • May be too heavy for some anglers
  • Limited color options (only available in bronze)
  • Price point may be higher than other reels in its class

Orvis Clearwater Large Arbor Fly Reel

Affordable and Reliable Fly Fishing Reel with Smooth Performance.


  • Large arbor design for faster line retrieve and reduced memory
  • Ambidextrous hand orientation for versatility in casting
  • Made from durable carbon material for long – lasting performance
  • Stainless steel bearings for smooth and reliable operation
  • Specifically designed for fly fishing techniques and lines
  • Trusted brand name in the world of fishing equipment – Orvis

When it comes to top-quality fly fishing reels, the Orvis Clearwater Large Arbor Fly Reel is an exceptional choice. This high-performance fly reel offers a smooth and efficient casting experience while maintaining an affordable price point. The carbon-to-stainless stacked disc drag system ensures consistent settings every time, making adjustments on-the-go hassle-free. With its die-cast design and matte-gray powder-coat finish, the Clearwater reel provides excellent durability without compromising on style or performance.

One of the standout features for any angler using this reel is its ease of conversion between left- and right-hand retrieve. This versatility adds convenience when sharing equipment with other anglers or adapting to varying fishing situations. Additionally, the larger arbor size IV (7-9 wt) accommodates heavier lines perfect for reeling in larger fish species effectively.


  • Easy conversion between left and right – handed fly line retrieve
  • Carbon-to-stainless stacked disc drag with positive click knob for consistent settings
  • Die-cast construction with matte-gray powder-coat finish delivers performance comparable to more expensive reels
  • Smooth, reliable performance at an incredible value


  • Relatively heavy compared to some other fly reels on the market
  • Not as durable as some high – end machined fishing reels
  • Some users may find the drag system isn’t quite sensitive enough for their preferences

LAMSON Liquid Fly Reel

Affordable Fly Reel with Strong Drag for Any Angler


  • High – quality aluminum construction for durability and strength
  • Designed specifically for fly fishing technique and fly line
  • Left – handed orientation option available
  • Sleek Glacier color adds a touch of style to your gear
  • Compact size makes it easy to handle and transport
  • Highly rated by customers with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

As an experienced angler, I’m always on the lookout for a high-performance fly reel that offers exceptional value. The LAMSON Liquid Fly Reel Glacier 3+ fits the bill perfectly! With its pressure cast aluminum construction and smooth, powerful conical drag system, this durable reel provides everything you need to tackle any fishing situation with confidence.

One of my favorite features of the LAMSON Liquid Fly Reel is its large arbor design. This not only increases backing capacity but also ensures rapid line pick-up when reeling in your catch. Additionally, it helps manage line stacking and prevents tangles—a must-have feature for any avid fly fisher. Plus, switching between left-hand and right-hand retrieve has never been easier; no tools required!


  • Easy switch between left and right hand retrieval without tools
  • Large arbor design increases backing capacity and quicker line pick up
  • Smooth, strong drag with a broad range of power on the high end
  • Affordable yet durable pressure cast aluminum construction with polyurethane coating


  • May require occasional maintenance to keep the drag system functioning smoothly.
  • Not suitable for larger fish species, such as tarpon or billfish.
  • Some users may prefer a more premium finish and feel compared to its polyurethane coated construction.

Types Of Fly Fishing Reels

There are two main types of fly fishing reels: click-and-pawl reels and disc drag reels.

Click-and-Pawl Reels

Back in the day, click-and-pawl reels were the go-to option for many fly fishing enthusiasts. Simplicity and reliability define these classic reels that operate through a straightforward mechanism involving a spring-loaded pawl attached to a gear.

While click-and-pawl reels may not have all of today’s modern bells and whistles, they still offer some significant benefits over other types. For instance, their lightweight design appeals to anglers who value simplicity and ease-of-use while casting for hours on end.

These reels work exceptionally well when pursuing smaller species like trout or panfish, where you don’t need an elaborate drag system to wear down your catch.

Disc Drag Reels

Disc drag reels have become increasingly popular among fly fishing enthusiasts, providing a smooth and consistent resistance when a fish is trying to take line off the reel.

One memorable experience with a disc drag reel was during an intense battle with a sizable bass. The precise control and steady pressure offered by the disc drag system allowed me to effectively tire out the fish without risking breaking my fly line or losing all my backing.

Key Features To Consider When Choosing A Fly Fishing Reel

Consider the arbor size, material, and drag system when selecting a fly fishing reel to ensure optimal performance in various fishing scenarios.

Arbor Size

One key aspect you should consider when selecting the perfect fly fishing reel is the arbor size. The arbor refers to the central hub around which your backing and fly line are wound on the reel.

Arbors come in different sizes: standard, mid-arbor, and large-arbor models. While standard arbors offer greater line capacity due to their smaller diameter, they have slower retrieval rates compared to their larger counterparts.

Large-arbor reels provide quicker retrieval speeds because of their wider spool diameters but could compromise on overall line capacity. Mid-arbor reels bridge the gap between these two extremes – offering a good balance between fast retrieval rates and decent amount of backing storage space.

Remember that every angler’s preferences vary; some might prioritize speed over capacity while others may need extra storage for longer casts or more powerful species like bass or salmon fishing scenarios.


One of the most important features to consider when choosing a fly fishing reel is the material it is made of. The construction materials used for fly reels vary, and each has its pros and cons.

Some common materials include aluminum, graphite, and composite. Aluminum reels are strong but can be heavy, while graphite reels are lightweight but may not be as sturdy.

Personally, I have found that composite materials like those used in Redington’s Behemoth Fly Fishing Reel strike a perfect balance between durability and lightness. They’re also corrosion resistant which makes them ideal for saltwater applications where resistance to rusting or erosion due to saltwater exposure is crucial.

Drag System

The drag system on a fly fishing reel is critical in controlling the fish once it’s hooked. It applies resistance, or pressure, to the line so that you may fight against the fish without breaking your tippet (the last section of monofilament line tied to your fly).

The drag can be adjusted manually by loosening or tightening a knob found on top of many modern reels. This allows for better control over how much pressure is applied and can make fighting larger fish more manageable.

Some high-end saltwater reels also feature sealed drags to prevent seawater from corroding the internal components, while others use carbon fibers or ceramic discs for even smoother and consistent performance.

A good example of such quality reels with excellent drag systems are Nautilus reels which have been tested rigorously in various fishing scenarios, including trout and salmon fishing.


In conclusion, choosing the right fly fishing reel is crucial to a successful and enjoyable day on the water. When considering which reel to purchase, be sure to take into account the type of fish you’ll be chasing, whether in saltwater or freshwater, and what kind of gear you already have.

If you’re looking for a high-quality reel from a trusted brand, we recommend product 1 –the Sage Spectrum C Fly Fishing Reel with Rio Backing.

But if you’re looking for something that’s durable yet still stylish enough to stand out among your other angling equipment collection consider getting product 2 – Redington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel.

Whether trout fishing or going after big game like bass or salmon, these two products are worthy investments and will last long so they’re worth buying.


1. What is a fly fishing reel and how does it work?

A fly fishing reel is a type of fishing reel specifically designed for use with fly fishing rods. It works by allowing the angler to control the amount of line that is released during a cast, as well as providing drag when reeling in fish.

2. How do I choose the right size fly fishing reel for my rod?

When choosing a fly fishing reel, it’s important to consider the weight of your rod and the size of fish you’ll be targeting. As a general rule, you should choose a reel that matches the weight rating of your rod (i.e., if you have an 8-weight rod, choose an 8-weight reel). Additionally, larger reels are better suited for larger fish species.

3. What are some common materials used in constructing fly fishing reels?

Fly fishing reels are typically made from materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber or plastic composites. Aluminum is often used in higher-end models due to its durability and resistance to corrosion, while plastic composite reels can be more affordable and lightweight.

4. Can I use any type of line on my fly fishing reel?

The type of line you use on your fly fishing reel will depend on both your location and target species. In general, most experienced anglers recommend using specific lines that are designed for particular conditions – such as floating lines for surface-level baiting or sinking lines when targeting deep-water species like trout or bass – but ultimately personal preference plays large role selecting appropriate gear best-suited toward individuals skill set & goals.

Related Posts

Fly Fishing Net
Fly Fishing Chest Pack
Fly Fishing Waders

Scroll to Top