Best Fly Fishing Reels for 2021
Piscifun Fly Fishing Reels
Piscifun in Latin means “fishing is fun” and Piscifun promises to make super high quality tackle at reasonable prices so everyone can enjoy their products and using them. Piscifun is a family owned business and excels at being responsive to customer needs. And I have to say that Piscifun fly fishing reels are some of the nicest available.
Piscifun fly fishing reels are some of the lightest and smoothest fishing reels. The price range is $50 – $150.
Sword Series Fly Fishing Reels
The Piscifun Sword series fly fishing reels feature CNC machined 6061-T6 aluminum alloy construction. This makes this reel super stronger and very lightweight. The CNC machining produces a super precise product with very small tolerances. This makes the reel reliable and smooth. Other fly fishing reels are cast aluminum or injection molded. These are weaker and heavier manufacturing techniques. They are inferior to Piscifun.
Piscifun Sword series reels all have a multi-disc cork and stainless steel drag system. This is one of the best drag systems available. The multi-disc cork drag system is able to maintain an accurate drag weight so you don’t loose the big one. Stainless steel and cork discs are able to withstand high temperatures due to drag friction. Other systems will seize when they get too hot.
Sword fly fishing reels are hard anodized for corrosion resistance and reduced wear. You can fish in salt water or fresh water without worrying about corrosion. Sword series fly fishing reels are ready for everything from brown trout to 50 lb bluefin tuna.
Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing reels retail for $64.89 to $89.89.
Crest Series Fly Fishing Reels
The Piscifun Crest series fly fishing reels are a notch above the Sword series. The Crest series reels are all CNC machined from 6061-T6 aluminum allot just like the Sword series. 6061-T6 aluminum alloy is a super lightweight alloy that has been tempered for strength and durability. Nothing beats 6061-T6.
Crest fly fishing reels feature fully sealed carbon to stainless steel drag systems. Carbon is a great brake/drag disc material. It provides high friction with high temperature resistance. It’s the best braking material. The sealed drag systems is impervious to salt water or fresh water or sand and dirt. It is maintenance free.
The Crest fly fishing reel has a large U-shaped arbor design to limit line memory and provide fast line retrieval. Slack line is one of the top reasons fish get away.
Click drag is standard and provides accurate adjustments. Line retrieval is silent as to not spook fish.
Hard anodizing prevents corrosion and resists abrasion from fishing line and salt water or sand and dirt. It’s the best all weather metal treatment.
The drag knob is oversized for easy adjustment. The knob is knurled for a non-slip surface.
All Piscifun Crest reels feature a lifetime warranty against defects and wear.
Piscifun Crest fly fishing reels come in 2 colors, green and black. They retail for $94.00 to $105.00.
Platte Series Fly Fishing Reels
The Piscifun Platte series fly fishing reels are the ultimate. They feature all the high quality CNC machining that the Crest reels have but in a different design. Platte series reels are made from the same 6061-T6 aluminum alloy with hard anodizing. The multi-disc cork and stainless steel drag system has a one way roller clutch for immediate reaction. This drag system is a step above the Crest reels. The drag knob is on the front instead of the back of the reel.
The Piscifun Platte series fly fishing reels retain for $139.99 to $159.99.
Ross Evolution Fly Fishing Reels
The absolute best fly fishing reel you can buy is the Ross evolution LT fly reel. These are fully CNC machined fishing reels…no molds or stampings. Ross reels are the best in the world bar none. These are super premium reels. Ross reels are made in the USA.
Ross reels are a machining masterpiece and could be mounted and called art. They are absolutely beautiful. Only the best materials are used in Ross reels. The Evolution is the lightest fly reel in its class. Here’s a link if you are interested in the Ross Evolution….Ross Evolution LT Fly Fishing Reels at Amazon.com
Ross Evolution LT Fly Fishing Reel Features
- Fully machined, 1 piece frame, 1 piece spool – manufactured on automated CNC machining centers
- Drag Material- Delrin 500AF with impregnated Teflon – space-age polymer that is durable, heat resistant, self-lubricating and maintenance free
- Drag Mechanism- Delrin 500AF to anodized aluminum interface – conical friction drag system with triple redundancy radial pawl engagement, and seamless transition between line-in and drag engagement (no start-up friction)
- Spool Rotation, Connection and Conversion Oil impregnated bronze bushing rotating on a stainless steel spindle
- Quick release locking spool
- Easy left-hand to right-hand retrieve conversion
- Designed for use in all freshwater, warm water and saltwater fishing environments
- Triple drag redundancy system
- Made in the USA
Orvis Fly Fishing Reels
Orvis has been making fly fishing reels for 100 years and still makes some of the top fly fishing reels available. Orvis reels are made in the USA and are not cheap. But you get what you pay for. All Orvis fly reels are CNC machined from 6061-T6 aluminum barstock. These reels are not cast and then machined. They are machined from a solid piece of 6061-T6 aluminum. That’s quality.
Orvis Mirage Fly Fishing Reels
Orvis Mirage comes in 2 models, one for small freshwater fish like trout and the other for saltwater big game fishing like tuna. The Mirage LT is the smaller reel while the Mirage II – IV are the larger fly fishing reels for big game.
The Orvis Mirage fly fishing reels was designed from scratch to battle large open water big game fish. It’s made to work in harsh saltwater environments without failure. The dray system is totally sealed and features carbon and stainless steel washers to create the most reliable drag system. The drag knob is knurled for a sure grip even when wet and goes from zero drag to maximum drag in one rotation. There is no need to have to turn a drag knob several times to adjust the drag. The Orvis Mirage drag system is patented ball and ramp drag mechanism and is 100% reliable.
The Mirage reel is a large arbor style to increase the line retrieval rate. Less cranking and more line retrieval reduces lost fish. The reel handle is machined form aluminum for strength and corrosion resistance. It’s also large enough to get a good hold on when retrieving line. The spool is a quick release type to enable switching from right to left hand use. The spool shaft is machined from titanium for maximum wear resistance, strength and light weight.
Orvis Mirage reels are hard coat anodized to Military Spec Type III. This makes it impervious to corrosion and surface abrasion or wear. It also look really nice.
Orvis Mirage Fly Fishing Reels retail for $498 – $849.
Here are the Orvis Mirage Models
- Mirage II for line weights 3-5; Weight 5.6 oz., 3½” in diameter
- Mirage III for line weights 5-7; Weight 6.2 oz., 3⅞” in diameter
- Mirage IV for line weights 7-9; Weight 8.9 oz., 4¼” in diameter
- Mirage V for line weights 9-11; Weight 9.7 oz., 4½” in diameter
- Mirage VI for line weights 11-13; Weight 12.9 oz., 5″ in diameter
- Mirage VI-Deep for line weights 13-15; Weight 13 oz., 5″ in diameter.
Orvis Hydros Fly Fishing Reels
The Orvis Hydros is the best seller among all Orvis fly fishing reels. It’s less expensive than the Mirage but no less spectacular.
Orvis took their best selling reel and made it better. They reduced the weight by removing unnecessary material without sacrificing strength or reliability. The drag knob was moved to a more ergonomically accessible location. The new location makes the drag knob more comfortable to use. The seal on the drag system was also improved or upgraded in order to provide more protection to the clutch mechanism.
The Orvis Hydros reels retain the carbon and stainless steel stacked disc drag system, since it is simply the best and is 100% reliable and accurate.
Orvis Hydros reels are hard coat anodized with a matte Type II finish. There is no coating that out performs this finish.
Hydros reels are available in 2 color schemes, Mattte Black w/ Silver Accents and Matte Silver w/ Charcoal Accents.
Here are the Orvis Hydros Fly Fishing Reel Models
- Hydros I for line weights 1-3; Weight 4.7 oz., 3.1” in diameter
- Hydros II for line weights 3-5; Weight 5.0 oz., 3.4” in diameter
- Hydros III for line weights 5-7; Weight 5.5 oz., 3.7” in diameter
- Hydros IV for line weights 7-9; Weight 6.6 oz., 4” in diameter
- Hydros V for line weights 9-11; Weight 7.7 oz., 4.25” in diameter
Orvis Hydros Fly Fishing Reels retail for $198 – $279 from Orvis.
Orvis Clearwater Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reels
The Orvis Clearwater fly fishing reels are die-cast and not CNC machined like the Mirage fly reels. The Clearwater series fly reels start at $98.00. If you’re looking to spend about $100 then this is one fly reel you will want to consider.
The Clearwater fly reel is die-cast and powder coated in matte gray. It looks fantastic and performs very well. It has a large arbor to make line retrieval quick and easy. It also prevents line kink. The drag system is a Carbon to Stainless steel stacked disc that measures up to any drag system on any reel. It’s accurate and the adjustment is very precise. You can switch it from right hand to legt hand easily.
The Clearwater Large Arbor Fly Reel is available in 2 sizes; Clearwater LA II for 4-6 line weights and the Clearwater LA IV for 7-9 line weights
Orvis Battenkill Disc Fly Fishing Reels
The Orvis Battenkill Disc Fly Reels are the next generation of Battenkill fly reels. They are machined from heavy duty aluminum bar stock and not die cast like other fly reels. The drag system is a 4 position click and pawl system that can be adjusted internally. The narrow spool reduces line stacking while the large spool diameter means you can retrieve line much faster. The Battenkill fly reel is a classic and used by many professionals. There are 3 models; Battenkill I, Battenkill II and the Battenkill III. The retail price is $119.00.
Redington Fly Fishing Reels
Redington fly fishing reels are high tech and precision made with the latest CNC machinery. They are all performance. Made to bring in big fish and to withstand lots of abuse.
Redington Grande Fly Reels
The Redington Grande is just that and appropriately named. It’s the biggest and baddest and was designed for saltwater big game fish like tuna, marlin, swordfish and sailfish and sharks. Here is an example: The size 14+ Grande fly reel can hold over 700 yards of 50 lb backing. That’s huge!! That’s enough line to take on 500 lb tuna or sharks.
All Grande fly reels are machine with CNC machinery from high grade aluminum bar stock, not casting here. They only use T-6061 aluminum alloy bar stock. This is super strong lightweight material. Nothing is stronger. The Super-Torque drag system is a carbon fiber disc drag system and is accurate and super tough for sustained periods of high tension drag. It’s fully sealed to keep out water, sand and other debris that may cause a drag system fail. The machined spool is a V design with a backing channel to reduce line stacking and increasing capacity. The reel handle is enlarged for a secure grip and machined from Delrin. All Grande fly reels are easily converted from right hand to left hand and carry a full lifetime warranty. The retail price range is $299 – $349.
Redington Rise Fly Reels
The Redington Rise fly reel is the perfect reel for most freshwater fly fishing like trout, salmon, bass, crappie, pike and carp. The design is simply superb. Redington wanted to make an “out of the box” fly reel and the Rise is it. It looks as good as it performs.
The Rise fly reel is all CNC machined from 6061-T6 aluminum alloy and then anodized to make it impervious to corrosion and reduce wear. This is the lightest and strongest material suitable for fishing reels. It doesn’t get any better than this. The large arbor design allows quicker line retrieval to prevent loosing big fish. The top of the line carbon fiber drag system is dependable and accurate. It applies drag very smoothly to prevent line breakage. There are 2 molded ergonomic handles that make reeling comfortable and fast. The drag knob is oversized to facilitate easy adjustments. You have to be able to adjust the drag in the heat of a fight quickly. Small knobs don’t cut it. The Rise fly reel easily converts from right hand to left hand. A nylon reel case and lifetime warranty are included with every Redington Rise fly reel. The Price range i s $199 – $219.
Redington Behemoth Fly Reels
The Redington Behemoth fly reel features the most powerful drag in its class and a unique die cast construction that makes it affordable while performing like machined fly reels. Redington did it right. The drag system is a super heavy duty carbon fiber that gives you super smooth drag even under high tension.
The large arbor design makes line retrieval super fast. The drag adjustment knob is oversized to assist with adjustments during the fight. The reel spool is a deep V design to increase capacity. The 11/12 size Behemoth reel holds 250 yards of 30 lb backing line. That’s some serious backing to fight 100+ lb fish. The reel has 2 ergonomic handles that are large and easy to grasp. The Behemoth comes in 6 colors which are Black, Gunmetal, Desert, Olive Drab, Green and Orange. The Price range is $129.99 to $149.99. This is a ton of fly reel for a little over $100.
Redington Run Fly Reels
Redington Run fly reels are super lightweight and constructed from die-cast aluminum. They are strong, smooth and light as a feather. They are perfect for trout, bass and salmon. The drag system is the same as on the other Redington reels, its the carbon fiber drag. It’s unbeatable. It has the power to stop any fish you will hook. The drag knob is recessed to prevent it from catching the line. The spool release is a push button.
The Run fly reels will also accept Rise spools. There are 2 molded handles that make reeling a breeze. The Run converts to right hand or left hand operation. A nylon case and lifetime warranty are included. The retail price is an amazing $109.99. It’s available in Burgundy, Black and Sand colors.
Redington Zero Fly Reels
Redington Zero fly fishing reels are the ultimate in lightweight and ideal for trout fishing. The Zero reel is a die-cast construction which is superior to CNC machining for super lightweight. It also features a all new clicker drag system that is accurate and very durable. The large arbor design makes line retrieval fast and easy. The reel handles are soft and dual density for better performance. The grip is excellent and unbeatable. Zero fly fishing reels are easily converted form left hand to right hand retrieval. All Redington fishing reels feature a lifetime warranty.
The Redington Zero fly fishing reel comes in 3 colors, Black, Sand and Avocado. They are priced at $99.99.
Redington I.D Fly Reels
The Redington i.D fly fishing reels are designed to allow the owner to customize the appearance with decals. The full-frame back provides a great surface to apply custom decals to. You can customize i.D reels with your name, state, favorite game fish or anything. The i.D fly reel is die-cast construction with an aluminum alloy. It’s lightweight and strong. It features a very smooth and accurate rulon drag system. As with most Redington fly reels, the i.D has a large arbor design and twin molded dual density handles for a sure grip in any situation.
The Redington i.D fly reels retail for $74.99 and come with a lifetime warranty. It is available in Black and O.D. Green.
Redington Crosswater Fly Reels
The Redington Crosswater fly fishing reel is ideal for those budget minded. It sells for $49.99. What a bargain!
The Crosswater is constructed from a super durable polymer. No more worries about corrosion and it only weighs 5 oz. It also features the rulon drag system that will bring in the fish. It’s very accurate and durable. It has a large arbor design for fast line retrieval and a very comfortable handle. Like all Redington fly reels, it easily converts from right hand to left hand.
The Redington Crosswater fly reel retails for an amazing $49.99 and comes with a cloth reel bag. It is only available in black.
Galvan Fly Fishing Reels
Galvan Fly Reels is a family owned business that offers high quality made in USA fly reels. If you want to buy American, then take a close look at Galvan.
Galvan has over 25 years of fly reel designing and manufacturing. The founder, Bonifacio Galvan was a fly fisherman himself. Who know more about fly reels than a fisherman? Exactly!
Bonifacio Galvan wanted to make fly reels because when he was young, he was not satisfied with his current fly reel and wanted to get something better. When he went into a tackle store and started looking at better quality fly reels, he noticed that he could not afford one. He then decided to make his own fly reel to meet his needs. Galvan Fly Reels was born.
Galvan is committed to designing and manufacturing via CNC machining, the very best fly reels at an affordable price. All materials that go into a Galvan fly reel come from the USA. It’s a 100% American made product.
Let’s take a look at some of the Galvan fly reels.
Galvan Brookie Fly Reels
If you’re looking for a trout fishing fly reel, look no further. The Brookie is ultra lightweight, compact fly reel with an all new Click-Ball tension system that produces customizable tension with minimal moving parts which means less failures and easy of operation. It’s an ideal system for palming which makes trout fishing all the more enjoyable. It puts more feel into trout fishing. Simplicity has its merits.
The Brookie is all 6061 aluminum alloy bar stock and machined on the latest CNC machines. Tolerances are very precise and quality is very high. You really can’t buy a higher quality fly reel but you can certainly pay more. The Brookie is bullet proof and designed to last a lifetime or 2. It’s available in 0 – 5 weight lines and retails for $245 – $275.
Galvan Torque Fly Reels
The Torque is the premier fly reel from Galvan and was designed and manufactured because Galvan wanted a revolutionary reel with a heavy duty drag system for big game fish. The Torque is the salt water fly reel with the mighty Torque Drag System. It was ranked #3 in the Yellowstone Angler’s 8 weight fly reel shootout.
The Galvan Torque is machined from 6061 aluminum alloy. It doesn’t get any better than this. 6061 is super lightweight and strong. The Torque is maximally ported for weight reduction while maintaining superior strength. It’s very unique in appearance. The spool is counter balanced for glass smooth operation.
The Galvan Torque can hold up to 300 yards of 20 lb micron backing on the T-12 model. That’s a lot of backing. You can land 100+ lb fish from tuna to tarpon to redfish and sailfish.
The Galvan Torque retails for $370 – $560 for the T-12 fly reel. It’s much less expensive than other reels in its class. It’s available in 5 colors, black, blue, burnt orange, clear and green. It looks as good as it performs.
Galvan “The Grip” Fly Reels
The Grip fly reel is for those who seek the very best. The Grip was designed to withstand the very worst operating conditions. If you fly fish salt water for big game fish then The Grip may be what you need or want. It features a totally sealed drag system with 2 hybrid ceramic ball bearings. The drag system uses carbon fiber to create silky smooth drag tension that is consistent and accurate. The drag system is 100% watertight. All exposed surfaces of the reel are anodized for corrosion resistance and reduced wear. The monster grip handle is large and easily grasped.
The Grip is CNC machined from 6061 aluminum alloy for strength and lightweight. No material known to man is better suited for fly reels. The Grip is available in line weights from WF-5 up to WF-12. It retails from $510 – $660.
Waterworks-Lamson Fly Reels
Waterworks-lamson fly reels are made in Idaho, USA. They are CNC machined from 6061 aluminum and feature stainless steel parts. They are ultra precision and ultra lightweight. If you are wanting the the very best in fly fishing then shop Waterworks-lamson.
Waterworks-lamson Cobalt HD Fly Reels
The Cobalt HD fly reel is a big game powerhouse designed to tackle tuna, sailfish, bass, tarpon and sharks. The size 12 Cobalt HD fly reel will hold 250 yards of 30 lb backing. It is CNC machined from 6061 aluminum and built with titanium and stainless steel parts. The exterior finish is Micralox. Micralox is as hard as Type 3 anodizing but with 20X the corrosion resistance. It’s pretty much bulletproof in saltwater.
The Cobalt HD fly reel is certified to be waterproof at a depth of 100 feet. The bearings and drag system are sealed. The conical drag system rides on ABEC 5 ceramic bearings. The drag discs are made from a proprietary high temperature graphite alloy that can create 12+ lbs of line out torque.
The Cobalt HD reel has an ergonomic drag dial that is easy to manage in the heat of battle. The spool is precisely machined such that a counterbalance is not needed. The handle is large, smooth and very attractively designed.
The Cobalt HD reel is space-age designed and performs as well as it looks. The Cobalt HD fly reel retails for $699.99 – $849.99.
Lamson Litespeed G5 Fly Reels
The Litespeed G5 fly reels are a 5th generation and feature higher retrieval rates and a narrower spool for improved line handling. The drag system is integrated for a stiffer and stronger frame. The drag handle is ergonomic and easy to adjust. The finish is the super tough Hard Alox. All Litespeed G5 reels are CNC machined form solid 6061 bar stock. No castings here.
The Lamson Litespeed G5 fly reel is ideal for trout fishing in your favorite stream. It’s super lightweight and smooth as silk. It’s available in line weights of 3-11 and retails for $389.99 to $449.99.
Lamson Speedstar S Fly Reels
This fly reel is named “Speedstar” for a reason…it retrieves line super fast. So how does it do this? The Speedstar fly reel as a very narrow spool, an inboard mounted handle and a very large diameter spool. This makes line retrieval very efficient to say the least. The Speedstar is known as the “Hot Rod” of fly fishing reels.
The Lamson Speedstar is CNC machined form 6061 Aluminum bar stock with the utmost precision. Lamson does not die cast any of their reels. The external finish is Type 2 Anodizing and is pretty much the best coating for corrosion resistance and wear reduction. It’s also very attractive. The Conical drag system is sealed and very accurate.
The Speedstar comes in Ember and Midnight colors. The Midnight option is shown above. It’s a real beauty.
The Speedstar is a great fly reel for trout, salmon, pike, bass and carp fishing. It’s available in line weights of 3 – 9. The Lamson Speedstar retails for $349.99 to $429.99. I found this reel on Amazon.com for less than $200.
Lamson Remix Fly Reels
The Lamson Remix fly reel is a hybrid. It features a CNC machined 6061 Aluminum case or frame mated with a high precision pressure cast aluminum spool. The machined 6061 aluminum case gives the reel strength and integrity while the pressure cast spool reduces cost without sacrificing quality or functionality. It’s the best quality you can get for $200. All of the critical drag components are CNC machined.
The Lamson Remix gives you outstanding quality at a very affordable price. It’s also a very attractive fly reel. It look very expensive.
The pressure cast aluminum spool is polyurethane coated while the case is Type 2 Anodize. It’s available in line weights of 3 – 9. The retail price is $189.99 – $209.99. The Remix is one heck of a fly reel for under $200.