What’s your go-to rod and reel for fly fishing? If you’ve been fishing a while, you already know how important it is to make sure you have the best equipment. Your reel should work nicely with your rod, and your line should be properly paired with your gear.
There are a few things you should consider when choosing your reel. You’ll need to pair it with your rod, sure. But you should also pay attention to the weight, the durability and the feel of your reel.
Experienced sportsmen usually have a few favorites that they love to fall back on. But what’s new for 2017? Here are the best fly fishing reels for fishermen of all skill levels. Try them out to see which feels best for you.
Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel
This is one of the least expensive reels you can get. It made the list of the best fly fishing reels because it’s so basic. Beginner fly fishermen can learn well on this reel, and it won’t carry a hefty price tag like some others.
The Okuma SLV should be used for freshwater fishing, but the stainless-steel spool and washers will be rust resistant. What you may not like about this reel is that it’s a bit heavier than others. To keep costs down, aluminum was used to construct it. It will be a bit heavier than reels you’d find at a higher price point.
Orvis Battenkill Reel
This reel is a bit more pricey than the Okuma, but that extra cost will buy you some cool features. First of all, it just feels nice. Like the sound of a click and pawl drag system? This reel’s got that, too. The drag system is automatically adjusted, and will help you keep your line under control.
The Orvis Battenkill reel weighs in at just around 10 ounces. It’s not as heavy as the Okuma, and it’s easy for both left- and right-handed sportsmen to use.
Echo Ion Fly Fishing Reel
If you’re looking for a reel that will last you a lifetime, try out the Echo Ion. This reel is very affordable at around $80. It’s made of cast aluminum, so you don’t have to worry about snapping plastic pieces. It’s also coated to keep rust away.
There are quite a few sizes, too, so no matter your rod and line, you’ll find an Echo Ion reel to pair. The Echo Ion was made for freshwater use, but can be used in saltwater as well.
Ross Evolution LT 2
If you’ve got a little extra money to spend on your fly fishing reel, check out the Ross Evolution LT 2. This reel is a bit more expensive than the others, at over $300 from most retailers. But the reel is very lightweight, and can handle a lot of drag.
It’s made from an aluminum alloy, and to make it even more lightweight, Ross has added ventilation to the spool and the frame. The price tag might be a bit high on this reel, but you’ll be buying a reel that will last for quite some time.
This reel makes the list because it’s so easy to maintain. It’s lightweight, at just over four ounces. And fly fishermen give this reel great ratings for its stopping power. The Mirage uses the same technology as fighter jets’ brakes.
The Orvis Mirage series is available in any size you could need to pair with your rod. And they look great, too. You can choose from black nickel or gold. They’re not cheap reels, though. Depending on the weight you need, you could pay as much as $500 for an Orvis Mirage.
L.L. Bean Quest
If you’re looking for something in a more manageable price range than the more expensive reels, take a look at L.L. Beans Quest. It runs around $50 from the outdoors company, and is backed by their customer satisfaction guarantee. In short, if anything goes wrong with this reel, L.L. Bean will replace it.
L.L. Bean has been making the Quest for about 20 years, so it’s not technically “new” for 2017. But every year, they improve just a bit more on the Quest, and it consistently gets good ratings from fly fishermen. The weight of the reel is now around nine ounces for the largest size; most sportsmen recommend the Size 2 for most freshwater fishing.
The Lamson Litespeed is one of the best fly fishing rods on the market today. It’s super lightweight, with the mid-weight reel weighing just under four ounces. You won’t get tired using this reel, and you can fish in salt or freshwater. The reel has a sealed drag system which will protect it from salt, dirt and sand.
The price for this fly fishing reel will depend on what size you need, of course. But you can expect to pay between $200 and $500.
Whether you’re just beginning fly fishing or are an old pro, you know the importance of buying good gear. This list of the best fly fishing reels for 2017 has something for everybody. Regardless of your budget, you’ll find a reel you love.