Parachute Adams



Best Fly Rods for the Money

Best Fly Fishing Rod

Best Trout Fly Rods

Best Steelhead Fly Rods

Best Fly Reel For The Money

Best Bass Fly Rod

Choosing the Right Fly Line

Best Saltwater Fly Rod

How to Tie a Stimulator Dry Fly

Selecting a Fly Rod

Best Travel Fly Rod


Sage 3200 Series and Rainbow Trout

Best Fly Reel for the Money

By Chris Jackson

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Recommended Reel:

4wt-9wt Reels: Sage Reels (click here)

From 4wt to 9wt, I have mostly narrowed it down to one brand that offers a reel to fit any budget. It is from the #1 seller of highend fly rods: Sage. Their line up of reels will run in the price range from just under $100 all the way up to their flagship 6000 series that top out at $700. Most series offer reel sizes from 4wt to 9wt. To check out more information on Sage Reels (click here)

Spey and Big Fish Reels

For Fly Fishing Reels larger than 9wt and large enough for long spey lines, the choices of reels are far less and the prices go up quite a bit. Here are a few that you will not be upset with.

Spey Reels: Spey lines are typically over 120 feet long, which is 50% longer than some regular lines. Therefore it takes a bit more room to fit all of the line on the reel. Unless the reel you choose is a designated Spey Reel, you will want to make sure get a reel that is 3-4 weights larger than the line you will be fishing just to be on the safe side that you have plenty of line room.

Ross Momentum: Line sizes 7-15wt or 6-12wt for spey. These reels start out at $445 for the smaller models and up to $645 for the largest. Check out in more detail here:

Galvin Rush: Line size 12-13wt, this reel is less expensive, but will do all that it is needed for whether it be on Roosterfish in Central America, or on a 10wt spey rod in search of a 20lb+ Clearwater River Stealhead and Salmon. The Galvan Rush series is also availble in 3wt -12wt and is priced well. For more detail go to:

Click Here to go to the Gear Guide to check out other reccommeded Fly Fishing gear such as reels, lines, rods, ect.

Choosing the Right Fly Fishing Reel

Fly reels can get expensive.  Do you need to spend that much to get a high quality reel?  A fly reel is the third most important item to a standard fly fishing set-up, with fly fishing rod and fly line being number one and two.  Let’s look at the aspects that you do not want to leave out when trying to save money on a fly fishing reel as well as some that you can get by without, so you can have the best fly reel for the money.

Before you buy a fly fishing reel, it is important to know a few things so that you can be confident you are buying a fly reel that will fit the fly rod you are buying, the fish you are after, and the technique you are to use.  A fly reel must match these aspects before it can even be considered as the best fly rod for the money.

Size of Reel Needed

A fly reel’s size is determined by the line weight (wt) you will be using.  For example, dry fly fishing for trout will typically be done with a 4wt or 5wt rod and line.  Therefore you will want to use a 4wt or 5wt reel.  If a fly fisherman were to use a 4wt fly reel just because it is inexpensive, with an 8wt line, he would find out pretty fast that there is not enough space on a 4wt reel to hold 8wt line.  Nor would the drag system be strong enough to effectively control a fish that an 8wt is made for such as a steelhead or salmon.
For a fly fishing set up to feel right the rod and reel must have a good balance.  Having a balanced fly fishing setup will help the rod load better resulting in a much further and smoother cast.  A fly fishing setup with a reel too small or big for the rod not only feels weird but also looks weird.

Size of Fish

It is important to purchase a reel that will be able to handle the fish you are after.  With big fish, the reel becomes more of a necessity than with smaller fish.  For example, a 16 inch trout is going to put on a good fight for a 4wt fly fishing setup, but mostly a fly angler will be able to land the fish by pulling on the line and not rely on the reel at all.  If a fly angler was to be using his 10wt fly rod and reel to hook into a King Salmon, then the reel will get a lot of use as simply pulling the line in will not cut it.  With these bigger fish that are prone to run a long ways, a quality, smooth drag system is essential.  For this reason, it is possible to get all the reel you need cheaply to outfit a 4 or 6wt rod, but as you go up in weight, price should and will follow as the reel is depended on a lot more.


There are a couple fly fishing techniques that will help determine the best fly reel for the money.  Of course there are the standard setups that are pretty straight forward; just buy a reel that matches the line and rod weight and your set up should be pretty well balanced.  If a fly fisherman was to buy a spey rod (an advanced two handed fly rod made for long casts), then he will want buy a reel that is a couple sizes bigger than the line he is fishing.  This is because spey line is quite a bit longer than traditional fly fishing lines due to the ability to make longer cast.  Spey rods also need bigger reels because the rods or typically long, 13-14 feet, and it takes a little more weight to balance one out.

So, What Is the Best Fly Reel for the Money?

The best fly reel for the money is one that covers all the basics mentioned above, but also fits into your budget.  A good rule of thumb is to buy the best fly fishing reel that you can afford.  The price ranges a lot, but any model made by Sage will more than get the job done at a fair price.  A person can spend as little as $99, or as much as $700.  All are good reels, but the change in quality definitely makes a difference as you go up in price.  Do not fear though, if this is your first fly reel purchase, Sage’s lower end reels will feel as smooth as baby skin if you only have cheap reels to compare it too.


While a fly reel will not see near as much use as the fly rod or line for lightweight setups, a quality reel is essential when it is needed, especially when using heavier equipment and fighting bigger fish or big fish on light line.  Click here: to check out the complete line of Sage Reels, as well as all other equipment that is needed to be a successful fly fisherman. The is a great source to learn the art of Fly Fishing, starting with using the right gear.