Top 7 Best Budget Fly Reels 2023 (Reviews & Buyers Guide)

Best Budget Fly Reels

Best Budget Fly Reels: You don’t need to break the bank for a quality fly fishing reel. We have reviewed some of the top affordable and cheap fly fishing reels on the market to find you the Best Budget Fly Reel.

If you are in a hurry:

Piscifun Sword is the Best Budget Fly Reel as per our reviews.

Now, let us move to our in-depth reviews.

Best Budget Fly Reels Reviews

Here is our list of the 7 Best Budget Fly Reels.

You need a good fly reel for a great fishing experience. So, we picked the ones that will fit your budget and still deliver excellent performance.

Piscifun Sword

Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with...

Piscifun Sword is one of the top-rated budget fly fishing reels. It is built with CNC-machined aluminum alloy which makes the reel strong, durable, and lightweight.

The reel is tough enough to sustain rough handling and different weather conditions. The hard-anodized surface increases corrosion resistance.

This reel comes in different weight options: 3/4 weight, 5/6 weight, 7/8 weight, and 9/10 weight.

The 5/6 weight reel is the right size for most anglers. It is versatile and you can use it to catch a large variety of small to medium-sized fish. You can even catch those fish that offer a fight before getting caught.

But you will need a 7/8 weight or 9/10 weight reel to catch large-sized fish.

The multi-disc drag system is smooth, solid, and durable. It is unlike the disc drag generally seen at this price point. It is built with premium carbon and stainless steel.

Available in four different colors, this reel is a showstopper in the fly fishing arena!

Pros

  • Excellent design and build quality make this the Best Budget Fly Reel.
  • It is available in a variety of models, several colors, and multiple sizes.
  • The aluminum alloy construction makes the reel lightweight, strong, and durable.
  • The hard anodized surface protects the reel from corrosion and abrasion.
  • The premium carbon and stainless steel drag system is smooth and powerful.

Martin Caddis Creek

Martin Caddis Creek Fly Fishing Reel, Size...

Martin Caddis Creek is a lightweight reel due to its aluminum construction. The aluminum construction makes it strong and resistant to damage.

The lightweight design ensures that you won’t get tired even after using the reel for a long time. You can direct all your energy toward fighting the big fish.

Also, the unique design ensures that it can tolerate mishandling without getting damaged.

This size 6/5 reel is ideal for trout, panfish, and bass fishing. The powerful drag makes it possible to control even the biggest fish you hook.

One more feature of this reel is its ability to be easily disassembled and repaired. Moreover, the attractive black color imparts a stylish look to this reel.

Martin Caddis Creek is a very inexpensive fly reel yet it offers you everything you need in a budget reel.

Pros

  • This lightweight reel is suitable for catching medium and large fish.
  • The 6/5 line weight is great for catching several species of fish.
  • It comes pre-spooled with 20-pound backing, a running line, and a 5X leader.
  • The smooth and effective drag reduces your effort while reeling in fish.
  • This reel is very portable and will not add much weight to your fishing great.

Redington Behemoth

Redington Behemoth Fly Fishing Reel,...

Redington is known for making high-quality fishing products in all price ranges. Following the brand’s reputation, this is one of the Best Budget Fly Reels on the market.

Weighing at only 4 ounces, Redington Behemoth is superbly lightweight and comfortable to use. The unique die-cast construction makes it durable and powerful.

The large arbor design increases line retrieval speed and reduces line memory. There is enough space so you never run out of line in case the fish decides to make a run.

The heavy-duty carbon fiber drag system makes the reel strong and reliable. It offers performance to halt even the biggest fish. The drag combined with the large arbor makes retrieval fast and easy.

All these features along with the twin molded handle and a soft ergonomic grip make the reel comfortable. It is easy to hold and even easier to use.

Pros

  • One of the most affordable fly reels on the market.
  • The reel comes with a lifetime warranty from Redington.
  • It is available in several sizes and five different colors.
  • The strong carbon fiber drag allows you to target a variety of fish.
  • The large drag knob allows better control when reeling in the fish.
  • Overall the reel is very lightweight, comfortable, and easy to use.

Piscifun Platte

Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel Large Arbor...

Piscifun Platte is one solid large arbor reel that comes at a very affordable rate. Don’t let the low price fool you away from the high quality of this reel.

The reel is built with CDC-machined anodized aluminum. It makes the reel strong, durable, and lightweight.

Unlike some of the other reels on our list, you can use this one for saltwater fishing as well. The fully sealed drag system protects the reel from sand and grit. Moreover, the drag system is very powerful. The click drag knob makes it easier to adjust and set the drag.

One very useful feature of this reel is the ventilated spool. It can hold much extra length of backing.

The large arbor design increases the retrieve rate and line pick-up speed. It also ensures that the line recoil memory stays at a minimum. The curled knob and metal handle offer a comfortable grip.

Pros

  • Piscifun Platte comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • One of the best budget fly reels due to its very affordable price.
  • The fully sealed carbon drag makes the reel abrasion and corrosion-resistant.
  • A large arbor design gives you space for all the backing and line you need.
  • Anodized aluminum construction and a ventilated spool make the reel lightweight.

Maxcatch Eco

M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch ECO Pre-Loaded Fly...

Maxcatch Eco is one of the Best Budget Fly Reels out there. It offers excellent comfort and ease of use. Weighing only 4.7 ounces, this reel is superbly lightweight due to its aluminum construction. Yet it is strong and resilient enough to sustain even rough use.

In fact, this reel offers excellent strength and durability considering the price point. The 7/8 weight reel is well suited for catching medium to large-sized fish with ease.

The disc drag system provides more control in operation. The smooth drag is easy to use. It absolves any difficulty which may arise in the path of catching big fish.

The ergonomic handle reduces your effort and makes the reel easy to use. It also helps in driving more force into your act. Also, it has a quick spool-changing feature that lets you get working in a matter of seconds.

Pros

  • An affordable fly reel that is strong and durable.
  • It is well-suited for catching small-size fish.
  • The build quality is sturdy and durable for its size.
  • This reel can sustain roughness and does not get damaged easily.
  • The 5/6 line weight works well for small to medium size fish.
  • The disc drag system offers effective balance and ease of handling.

Lamson Liquid

Waterworks-Lamson Liquid Fly Reel (Smoke, 7+)

Lamson Liquid is an affordable fly reel with excellent drag, durability, and performance. There is nothing as attractive as a high-quality reel at an affordable price!

The premium die-cast construction and unique design make this one of the Best Budget Fly Reels. This reel is also very attractive due to its vibrant colors and stylish body.

The fully sealed drag keeps water and dust out to protect the reel in any environment. This makes the reel suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

It is really difficult to find an affordable fly reel that performs so well in saltwater. Although, we suggest you thoroughly rinse the reel after each saltwater fishing trip.

The conical drag system is very smooth and powerful. It allows you to halt your hooked fish without even a jerk. Lamson uses the same drag in all their fly reels. So, you are getting the same performance as their top-end fly reels.

The 7-weight reel holds around 225 yards of 20 lb. backing and 50 yards of 7wt fly line with room to spare. It is ideal for catching fish like reds, silvers, sockeye, or bass.

Pros

  • The Best Cheap Fly Reel that is high-quality and affordable.
  • The reel is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
  • The sealed drag protects the reels from water, grit, and dirt.
  • Polyurethane coating on the surface protects the reel from abrasion.
  • Large arbor design provides increased capacity for backing and fly line.

Angler Dream

ANGLER DREAM Pre-Loaded (1/2WT 3/4WT 5/6WT...

Angler Dream is an affordable reel made of excellent materials. It comes in an attractive design with different sizes and color options. The attractive design is a boon for this sturdy and lightweight reel. Overall, the absolute toughness coupled with an attractive design makes this reel a great pick.

The reel has amazing strength and it is resistant to damage. The aluminum alloy construction makes the reel strong and resilient. It can well sustain rough handling ensuing from passionate fishing. When used with a lightweight rod, this reel offers a killer performance.

It is not easy to find a budget fly reel for beginners that offer such performance, durability, and longevity.

7/8 wt reel comes pre-loaded with backing, 8 wt line, and leader. It is ideal for bass fishing. If you are planning to catch trout or fish small streams then you can go for a 3/4 wt or 5/6 wt reel.

Pros

  • Budget fly reel for beginners looking to get started.
  • Strong aluminum alloy construction makes the reel strong and sturdy.
  • It also increases abrasion resistance and longevity of the reel.
  • The reel comes pre-loaded with backing, a 100 ft forward fly line, and a 9 ft leader.
  • The reel has an attractive and very good looking design.
  • You can easily change the reel from right-hand retrieve to left-hand retrieve.

How to Choose a Good Budget Fly Reel

How to Choose a Budget Fly Reel

It is not easy to find the best budget fly reels among the many choices. The quality of reels depends on the material of construction, line weight, arbor diameter, and drag capacity.

You also need to assess fly reels for their line retrieval systems, the quality of their drag, and their weight.

Maybe you weren’t aware of the importance of these features. This is the thin line between good and quality fishing gear that serves you a lifetime. And for a low price, a reel like that would be an asset.

While it is not easy to assess the different features of fly reels, we’ll help you in raising your analysis skills.

Material

Many different materials are used in making fly reels. Most of them are unnoticeable under a variety of colors and designs.

While composite plastic, aluminum, and die-cast metals are common, aluminum is the most reliable choice.

If you intend to use your fly fishing equipment in saltwater as well, there is no choice but aluminum. It is resistant to corrosion and damage by rough use and dirty water. Aluminum is also comparatively cheap.

The next choice in line is die-cast metal. These reels will not be as strong as aluminum reels and will certainly cost way less. But they will be durable and resistant to corrosion to an extent.

Composite plastics are also very popular in the realm of fly reels. For one thing, they are very light in weight and extremely comfortable to use. But their low durability doesn’t render them quality fly reels.

But, if you are not a serious fly fisherman or you are just starting, then such reels may be a good option. You can always go for better reels once you have fallen in love with fly fishing.

Retrieval System

Fly reels are different from spinning reels and baitcasting reels in this aspect. Fly reels have to retrieve a lot of lines while reeling in a hooked fish. It is accomplished by the means of a single action, multiplier, or automatic retrieval.

Single-action reels are the ones in which a single turn of the handle turns the spool around one time. Multiplier reels are more efficient. They contain a network of gears that create more than one revolution in the spool for each turn of the handle.

Automatic retrieval reels don’t rely on the methods used by conventional reels. They work by storing the tension in the line and then releasing it later through a safety latch to make the spool rapidly spin and retrieve the line.

Beginners can work well with single-action reels available. Experienced anglers rely more on automatic reels for fly fishing.

Arbor Size

Fly Reel Arbor Size

Arbor refers to the large wheel on the reel that holds your fishing line.

The performance of your fly fishing equipment depends upon the size of your arbor to an extent. It is economical to go for a small-sized arbor which will make your equipment lightweight. Small and light arbors are more comfortable to use.

Consider a large-sized arbor only when your target fish requires a chase with a long line. Also, it is important to consider the weight of your fly line.

Line Weight

You can catch bigger fish with a heavier line. Keep in mind that the size of your target fish will determine the weight of your fishing line. For small fish, you require lines that weigh much less, like ⅔ wt.

Most anglers choose a line weight of up to 5 for fly reels. It works well enough for both small and large-sized fish. A heavy line will be tougher to handle than a lighter line.

Drag System

Fly Reel Drag System

The purpose of a drag system is to stop the reel from spinning so that the fish cannot escape with your fly in its mouth.

Good drag power is essential to stop your target. A drag system provides the requisite braking power when you have to stop your catch from running away.

Your drag system needs to be smooth. Otherwise, the fish might just break your tippet and run off.

A rough drag system could also be very detrimental to your gears. Jerks can build a large amount of tension in your line which will allow the fish to break away.

Some of the best budget fly reels either have click-and-pawl drag systems or ones that use friction.

The click-and-pawl systems involve a gear in combination with a spring to create drag for the reel. A frictional drag system relies on pressed discs to enable friction and stop the reel.

Experienced anglers recommend disc-brake drag systems over click-and-pawl. Disc-brake drag allows more versatility in operation.

Reel Weight

Your fly reel needs to be light in weight. It will enable you to cast easily and handle the rod with more accuracy. It will also reduce the discomfort associated with holding equipment for long hours. Plus, the reel should have enough space to hold your backing.

It is also essential to ensure that your reel is compatible with your fly rod. Your fly reel’s weight must coordinate with the weight of your fly rod and the fly line.

You should use only lightweight fly rods with lightweight reels. The same goes for the opposite.

One should also pay adequate attention to the construction of their fly reel. Quality reels use machined metal and the worst quality fly reels use metal stamping. The quality of the construction of your reel will define its durability.

Conclusion

We have reviewed some of the top-rated fly fishing reels on the market. All of these reels are affordable and cheap. But your choice of the new reel will depend on your needs.

Piscifun Sword and Maxcatch Eco are great options if you want to save money. Piscifun Sword is the Best Budget Fly Reel as per our reviews. It offers unbelievable performance for the price.

Maxcatch Eco offers some of the same features for an even lower price. Lamson Liquid is suitable for even saltwater fishing for catching medium and large-sized fish.

We hope you like our pick of the Best Budget Fly Reels. Please let us know if you think we have missed your favorite reel. We can review it and include it in our list.

Please feel free to ask us anything. We will be happy to answer your queries about our reviews or fly fishing in general. You can contact us using the comments sections.

Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by Joel Hays.