Best Fly Reels Under $200

Last Updated: November 18th, 2019

When it comes to buying a fly fishing reel, the options out there can be endless. A reel is something you are going to use a lot and you want to be sure that you make the right choice when it comes down to buying one. You don’t want a reel that does not work for your fishing, ends up failing or getting in the way when you are fighting that fish of a lifetime. Naturally, we do not want to spend all our savings on one either but are looking for a mix of good quality for good value. We want to get the most for our money in every situation, so we have created a list of options for you of the best fly reels under $200.

OUR TOP PICKS

Goture Fly Fishing Reel - Large Arbor 2+1 BB with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body Fly Reel Sizes 3/4
Goture Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel
  • Pretty reel
  • Well made
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Maxcatch Tino Fly Fishing Reel (3/4wt 5/6wt 7/8wt) and Pre-Loaded Fly Reel with Line Combo (Reel Only, 7/8wt)
Maximum Catch Tino Fly Fishing Reel
  • Quality materials
  • Good value
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Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel Large Arbor Fully Sealed Drag with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 9/10 Ice Blue
Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel
  • Sealed drag
  • Can be used in saltwater
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Piscifun Blaze Mid Arbor Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 5/6 Sapphire Blue
Piscifun Blaze Fly Fishing Reel
  • Good quality materials
  • Light
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Okuma SLV- 2/3 Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel, Light Silver, 50/12
Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel
  • Quality materials
  • Good value
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Fishing On The Fly | Fly Fishing Reel | Premium Die Cast Aluminum | Black (Black, 7/8 Weight)
Fishing On The Fly, Fly Fishing Reel
  • Quality materials
  • Good value
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ANGLER DREAM (1/2WT 3/4WT 5/6WT 7/8WT) Fly Reel with Line Combo Aluminum Alloy Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reels Weight Forward Fly Line with Braided Backing Taper Leader Pre-Tied
AnglerDream Fly Reel
  • Quality materials
  • Good value
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Redington Zero Fly Fishing Reel, Lightweight Design for Trout, Clicker Drag System, Black, 2/3
Redington Zero Fly Reel
  • Simple
  • Lightest in its class
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Goture Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel

Goture Fly Fishing Reel - Large Arbor 2+1 BB with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body Fly Reel Sizes 3/4

This large-arbor reel ticks all the boxes except the saltwater box. The drag would probably hold up in the salt but nothing is sealed, so you will have to rinse, clean and oil it after every use just to be sure.

It is light, well made and will stand up well to bumps and scrapes thanks to the machined aluminum. The drag is smooth and powerful, when set to full it is surprising how much pressure you could put on a fish. It is made up of cork and stainless steel, a very trusted combination in the drag world.

It is easy to switch from left to right-hand retrieve but be careful when opening it up as some pieces can fall out easily. It is pretty, stylish and comes in a large range of sizes.

Pros

  • Pretty reel
  • Well made
  • Quality material
  • Smooth drag
  • Powerful drag
  • Lightweight
  • Good value
  • Can be switched from left to right-hand retrieve

Cons

  • Not made for use in saltwater
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Maximum Catch Tino Fly Fishing Reel

Maxcatch Tino Fly Fishing Reel (3/4wt 5/6wt 7/8wt) and Pre-Loaded Fly Reel with Line Combo (Reel Only, 7/8wt)

The value of this large-arbor reel is astonishing and is hard to beat. It is made of high-grade die-cast aluminum and the drag consists of Teflon and stainless steel, what is not to love about those materials. The reel is light and will take a beating in a freshwater environment.

The drag is silky smooth and is not designed to go to full lock on a big fish, it is an intermediate drag. It is not sealed and I would advise against taking this reel into the salt.

The spool has a quick release on it, so it is super easy to switch it from left-hand to right-hand retrieve and the only actual sad thing about this reel is that it only comes in 2 sizes, 5/6wt, and 7/8wt.

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • Good value
  • Smooth drag
  • Light
  • Can be switched from left to right-hand retrieve

Cons

  • Not for use in saltwater
  • Only comes in 2 sizes
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Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel

Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel Large Arbor Fully Sealed Drag with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 9/10 Ice Blue

Finally, a reel that is good value and is made to go in salt water as well as freshwater, thank god for that. Piscifun has hit the nail on the head with this reel. It is made from machined aluminum for durability while keeping it light. You can drop this reel and expect it not to dent, just don’t drop it from too high up, or at all. There are some comments that it is a little heavy on the smaller models and that is most likely because of the sealed drag.

Yes, it has a sealed carbon to stainless steel drag that is impervious to water and dirt, so all you have to do after fishing is give it a rinse, whether you have been in salt or freshwater.

The reel can be changed from left to right-hand retrieve but it is a little harder than other reels. It is a bit more expensive and you are paying extra for its survival skills in saltwater. It also comes with a lifetime warranty so this one is a reel for life.

Pros

  • Sealed drag
  • Can be used in saltwater
  • Pretty reel
  • Well made
  • Quality material
  • Smooth drag
  • Powerful drag
  • Lightweight
  • Good value
  • Can be switched from left to right-hand retrieve
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • A little heavy
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Piscifun Blaze Fly Fishing Reel

Piscifun Blaze Mid Arbor Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 5/6 Sapphire Blue

This is a great reel from Piscifun. It is made of quality CNC aluminum, making it very lightweight and corrosion-resistant. It feels like a much higher quality reel of bigger brands but for a much better price.

The reel is mid-arbor and comes in a lot of sizes to match whichever weight rod you have. The drag is made from cork and stainless steel and uses a multi-disc system. It is very smooth but can get a bit glitchy after time in some cases.

The drag is not sealed and I wouldn’t be taking this into the sea anytime soon but it works perfectly as a freshwater reel.  The drag knob itself is a little loose and easy to turn by mistake, be aware of that.

It is easy to switch it from left to right-hand wind, so whichever way suits you, the reel can do it for you.

Pros

  • Good quality materials
  • Light
  • Stylish
  • Great Value
  • Can be switched from left to right-hand retrieve

Cons

  • Drag is not very smooth
  • Not for use in saltwater
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Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel

Okuma SLV- 2/3 Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel, Light Silver, 50/12

Okuma makes quality gear as we know and they haven’t fallen short on this reel. Firstly it comes in a super large arbor, so you can cram a lot of backing on there or use them for salmon and steelhead fishing where your fly lines are a little bit longer.

The reel is made from aluminum, brass and stainless steel. What more could you want? It is lightweight and the drag system is a multidisc cork system with stainless steel drag washers. It is super smooth and will stand up to some big fish but has been known to get a bit clunky if engaged while fighting a fish, instead of before.

This reel comes in a range of sizes to suit you including the 10/11 which is made for saltwater. The only negatives are that it bruises easily. There are some reports of the reel being dropped and it being dented quite badly.

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • Good value
  • Smooth drag
  • Light
  • Can be switched from left to right-hand retrieve
  • Spare spools are readily available
  • Can be used in saltwater

Cons

  • Drag can be clunky when engaged under pressure
  • A bit fragile if you drop it
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Fishing On The Fly, Fly Fishing Reel

Fishing On The Fly | Fly Fishing Reel | Premium Die Cast Aluminum | Black (Black, 7/8 Weight)

This reel is amazing value. It is made from a die-cast aluminum alloy making it very light and corrosion-resistant. The drag is multi-disc although the materials it is made out of are not mentioned in the product specs. There are reports of it being smooth and easy to adjust but do not take into the salt until you have opened it up and checked it out.

It comes in all the sizes you need for freshwater, from 3-8wt, and the 7/8wt can handle a big salmon reportedly, so for all you fly swingers out there, this is a good option for you.

The company also stands by their product and offer great customer service. If you are not happy, they will do anything they can, from replacing the reel to giving you a full refund.

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • Good value
  • Smooth drag
  • Light
  • Can be switched from left to right-hand retrieve

Cons

  • Not for use in saltwater
  • May dent when dropped
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AnglerDream Fly Reel

ANGLER DREAM (1/2WT 3/4WT 5/6WT 7/8WT) Fly Reel with Line Combo Aluminum Alloy Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reels Weight Forward Fly Line with Braided Backing Taper Leader Pre-Tied

This reel is a bit on the low-quality side in terms of construction, there have been reports of a bit of wobble and it not quite feeling up to standard. If you dropped it, it might dent easily. It is still made for quality materials and is excellent for the price though.

It is a large-arbor reel and the drag is smooth but again they are not telling us what it is made out of. You can use it in the salt although it states it is not made for it and if you do, open it up and clean it thoroughly or the bearing made corrode. I wouldn’t want to see what a bonefish would do to this reel but for freshwater, you will be fine.

It is easily switched from left to right-hand retrieve and it comes with backing and fly-line which is a bonus. The line is not the best quality though so you may want to switch it out for a better one if you’re a pro.

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • Good value
  • Smooth drag
  • Light
  • Can be switched from left to right-hand retrieve
  • Comes with backing and fly line

Cons

  • Not for use in saltwater
  • Not the best quality overall
  • Not so durable
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Redington Zero Fly Reel

Redington Zero Fly Fishing Reel, Lightweight Design for Trout, Clicker Drag System, Black, 2/3

Reddington are a well-known player in the fly fishing game and they have made this reel for one reason. To be a super lightweight trout reel where the feel is everything and it does that perfectly.

They have used new processes and different materials than usual to accomplish this and if you are a fanatic trout fisherman this is a great reel for you, and I have no doubt you have seen it before.

The reel does have zero drag but that is on purpose, so don’t buy it expecting to get it. Due to its lightweight nature, it is not the most durable piece of kit, so if you are going to be clambering around rocks and catching your reel on them, consider that before thinking about this one.

It comes with a lifetime warranty, not one can argue with that, this reel is for life no matter what happens to it. It is a bit expensive but that is because it is made for a purpose.

Pros

  • Simple
  • Lightest in its class
  • Well made
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • No drag
  • Made for small fish only
  • Not very durable
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What To Look Out For – A Buyers Guide

There are a few things to look out for when buying a fly reel to ensure you get what you need. Here is a guide to the key factors you need to consider.

Size and Arbor

I’m sure you know this but just in case, make sure you buy the right weight reel for your rod. They are made with the same weighting system, so a 3wt rod needs a 3/4wt reel. Simple.

Reels these days come in a range of arbor sizes. Arbor simply refers to the diameter of the spool and the range is from small to medium to large. The larger the arbor the quicker you can wind in your line and the more line you can get on your reel. As a rule of thumb, always go for a large arbor, and why not if it’s there, it is only beneficial. Don’t be discouraged if a reel you want is a medium or small arbor, it will still work just fine.

Drag

Some fly reels come with a drag or a sealed drag and others do not have any drag at all. Think about what you are planning to catch, do you need a drag? If you do, what quality? If it is for trout you may not use a drag that often so a simple or no drag reel is fine. For salmon or steelhead, you will need a reasonable drag, and if you are going to fish in saltwater, you need a drag that can handle salt and big fish.

Durability

Most reels these days are made from aluminum and the way the aluminum is forged makes a big difference to durability. Die-cast aluminum is not as strong as machined aluminum. A reel made from die-cast is likely to dent easily whereas a machined reel will be a lot more durable.

Our Favourites

If you are looking for the best value, this reel is the one for you. It is well made, comes with everything you need and is designed to last. You can treat this reel badly and it’ll still be there ready to work the next day, and for a great price.

Sale
Maxcatch Tino Fly Fishing Reel (3/4wt 5/6wt 7/8wt) and Pre-Loaded Fly Reel with Line Combo (Reel Only, 7/8wt)
  • ONE-YEAR-WARRANTY – we as a 16 years fly reel factory, offer “No Hassle” warranty for all our reels. If you are not 100% satisfied with our reel, you can return it in any time.
  • OUTSTANDING COST EFFECTIVE VALUE – this reel incorporates all of the features of reels that costing much more money. Without break the bank and you can stop any fish smoothly. We just wish to bring the experience of Fly fishing to more people

This guy is the allrounder, it can go anywhere and do everything you want it to do, and for an amazing price. Just be very careful if you are going to use it in the salt.

Sale
Maxcatch Tino Fly Fishing Reel (3/4wt 5/6wt 7/8wt) and Pre-Loaded Fly Reel with Line Combo (Reel Only, 7/8wt)
  • ONE-YEAR-WARRANTY – we as a 16 years fly reel factory, offer “No Hassle” warranty for all our reels. If you are not 100% satisfied with our reel, you can return it in any time.
  • OUTSTANDING COST EFFECTIVE VALUE – this reel incorporates all of the features of reels that costing much more money. Without break the bank and you can stop any fish smoothly. We just wish to bring the experience of Fly fishing to more people

And the best reel, in my opinion, is, of course, the most expensive one. Thanks to the sealed drag and the fact this comes with a lifetime warranty, make it my favorite. It can truly go anywhere and will be a reel for life. Yes, the price is high compared to the rest but it is a lot less than similar reels from big brands.

Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel Large Arbor Fully Sealed Drag with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 9/10 Ice Blue
  • Lifetime Warranty - The fly reel has been set at the factory for left-hand retrieve. To convert your reel to right-hand retrieve, please contact us for guide.
  • Fully Sealed Carbon-To-Stainless Drag - Impervious to water, sand and grit, requiring no maintenance except for simple rinsing. Can be used for both fresh and saltwater fishing.