Best Fly Reel Under $200 : The Definitive Guide

Best Fly Reel Under $200
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Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel Review

4.7/5

Editor Rating

Why do we rate it highly?

  • Incredibly powerful, the Piscifun Blaze proved adequate for even the most demanding of conditions.
  • High-end build.
  • Made of fine grade aluminum.
  • Extra line capacity.

The best fly reel under $200 is the one which is proven reliable, efficient, and well-worth your 200 bucks. User experiences are fundamental for any review.

So this review on fly reels is going to focus entirely on experiences of the people who have bought the reels and are pleased with their purchase.

By considering their valuable opinion, a panel of five experts in the sport of fly fishing decided on four unbeatable fly reels. We understand that getting started with the best fishing gear can be empowering. But, some people forgo gear search, so they never get to complete their project. Since you’ve come to our site, you’re obviously not one of them.

With the minimum price set to $50, these reels feature solid build, smooth drag, increased backing, and above all excellent value for money.

If you’re targeting a large bass, or any other species likely to make long runs, you’ll need a reliable reel that can hold a lot of lines.

Those are our choice for the best fly fishing reels under $200 for the money:

  • Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel
  • Redington Rise Fly Reel
  • Piscifun Blaze Fly Fishing Reel
  • Piscifun Aoka Fly Reel
  • Fiblink Fly Fishing Reel
  • Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel
  • Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel

7 Best Fly Fishing Reels Review

Choosing the best fly fishing reels is absolutely crucial when you’re craving for an compromised result out of your fishing rod.

Oftentimes, you overlook the necessity of choosing a good fly fishing reel while buying your fishing gears. This reduces the overall potential of your fishing rod.

At the same time, using a good fishing reel can provide you with alluring fishing experience.

So keeping that in mind, we’ve made this comprehensive guide to present you the two best fly fishing reels’ reviews that are now available in the market.

Best fly reel under $200:

  • Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel
  • Redington Rise Fly Reel

#1. Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel Review

When it comes to durability, quality, and lightness, the Piscifun Platte is leading the pack. Everything about this amazing piece of engineering has been designed in mind for discerning professionals and beginners alike.

With a little to no experience required, the budget Piscifun Platte offers incredible value for beginners in the sport of fly fishing. In order to make sure you take home an outstanding accessory, the Piscifun Platte is built from the ground up. Purchasing this reel is a great idea for beginners, as it doesn’t complicate things with the bells and whistles like other models.

Stepping things up from the ordinary die-cast setup, the Piscifun Platte is machined with the finest grade aluminum. A precision-ground reel of the highest quality, the Piscifun Platte is CNC machined. Its anodized 6061 T6 aluminum construction translates to supreme durability and reliability.

To deliver a smooth retrieval experience, the Piscifun Platte spool delivers the fastest rate. With the spool CNC machined, you’re guaranteed a smoothly working reel. For faster drying, the spool exposes line and backing to air.

Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel Review

This is the current price of these piscifun platte fly reel at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

Piscifun Platte features a large Arbor design

An outstanding choice when picking up a lot of line for big water, the Piscifun Platte features a large Arbor design.

We wanted to see how this design performs with a large body of water, and negative was very hard to find.

The large Arbor design, combined with large line makes the Piscifun Platte perfect for going after salmon, striped bass, and other large fish species.

Suitable for both fresh and saltwater fish

Suitable for both fresh and saltwater fish, the drag is a technological marvel. Offering anglers a sealed carbon-to-stainless drag system, the Piscifun Platte is strong enough for large fish species, including saltwater species.

What will surprise you is the start-up inertia. When pulling off the line, the drag system keeps start-up inertia to a minimum.

Additionally, for making precise adjustments, the drag comes with an oversized knob. In combination with a knurled edge for a comfortable grip, you can make drag adjustments in the blink of an eye! 

Pros:
Cons:

Click here to buy these piscifun platte fly reel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

#2. Redington Rise Fly Reel Review

Redington is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the fishing gear industry. We could not miss this opportunity to include their Rise fly fishing reel on our list of best fly reel under $200.

Durable construction, smooth operation, and high-end features make the Redington Rise one of the best in this mid-level price range.

In some instances, you have to pick out an accessory best suited for particular needs. If you particularly fish for bass, then why not buy a fly fishing reel for bass. The Redington Rise is an ideal reel for bass and it’s a tremendous improvement from typical, spinning gear.

Unlike its other competitors, the Redington Rise has been designed to deliver smooth, seamless operation and get the job done with absolutely no fuss. Tested in both fresh and saltwater of bodies, the Rise fly reel has become a global go-to for bass hunters.

Despite being a budget option for beginners, the features and performance of this reel are still impressive. 

Redington Rise Fly Reel Review

This is the current price of these redington rise fly reel at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

Different?

Yes.

The Redington Rise reel frame is machined from a solid block of aluminum. This frame provides an increased level of durability that die-cast reels don’t. However, the spool is die-cast. So, you can’t afford to toss it around.

Don’t worry!

A fish won’t break it.

My understanding is that Redington used the die-cast spool to balance between weight and cost. Overall, frame and spool maintain nice tolerances that are as useful as high-end reels.

In terms of the drag system, Redington utilized the latest technology. The fly reel features a carbon fiber drag system. The drag system is reliable if you tag into a large bass. In our testing, we did hook a large bass. The Redington reel provided plenty of torque to bring the bass home for dinner. The Arbor is large enough to handle a lot of line for larger water. 

When you’re battling out with a large fish, you want to have a handle that you can clutch quickly and easily.

The dual handles of this reel are reversible, allowing to switch from left to right hand quickly.  When it comes to quick retrieve, the over-molded rubber grip is a plus. 

Pros:
Cons:

Click here to buy these redington rise fly reel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

Best fly reel under $50:

The best fly reel under $50 is designed for any individual looking to set up a fly fishing journey on a very limited budget. Plenty of quality reels are in this price range.

Let’s check our round-up of the best fly reels under $50:

  • Piscifun Blaze Fly Fishing Reel
  • Piscifun Aoka Fly Reel
  • Fiblink Fly Fishing Reel
  • Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel
  • Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel

#3. Piscifun Blaze Fly Fishing Reel Review

What better way to start up our list for best fly reel under $50 than with another brilliant reel from Piscifun, one of the most trusted fishing gear brands in the market?

If you’re looking for the kind of reel that covers everything, including solid construction, smooth drag system on a budget, then the Piscifun Blaze will be a great choice.

Piscifun Blaze Fly Fishing Reel Review

This is the current price of these piscifun blaze fly fishing reel  at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

Designed by veteran anglers and for beginners and veterans alike, this outstanding fly reel boasts the rugged durability to take on even the saltwater species. A fully CNC-machined, this frame and the spool are made of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy. This construction makes the fly more durable and corrosion resistant.

This surprised me as this sort of durability comes with many high-end reels. Incredibly powerful, the Piscifun Blaze proved adequate for even the most demanding of conditions.

Enter mid-arbor.

The Piscifun spool features a mid-arbor, which allows you to retrieve line in a fraction of a second! You may be wondering that a large Arbor design would have been better. It might have been. But, the mid-arbor design is quickly gaining prominence.

And, it’s for a good reason.

With a mid-arbor, your line capability should be stronger than a large arbor design. The spool is designed to give the reel brute strength and offer you a quick possible retrieve rate. What surprised me is how lightweight the reel feels, yet offers decent line retrieval.

The spool of this fly reel has a conclave design. I particularly wondered where this reel gets its strength and extra line capacity. This simple conclave form actually packed a bigger punch than a level arbor spool.

Let me tell you more…

…the Piscifun Blaze appears to be a very high-end reel. The machining era, that’s common with high-end reels, is also used with this fly reel. To keep things solid, Piscifun used the fine grade of aluminum, 6061-T6 for the body and the spool.

Although budget-friendly, the Piscifun is not free from demerits. The drag is completely unsealed, hence exposing the drag housing to water, dust, filth, and other elements. This could definitely harm the system.

Here’s a word of advice: if you use the system in saltwater, you want to clean it out afterward. Initially, I had an issue with retrieve direction. Then, I pulled off the clip to change retrieve direction.

This is an effortless task as long as you don’t lose the clip. Flip the bearing if you need to switch from left to right hand retrieve or vice versa.

Pros:
Cons:

Click here to buy these piscifun blaze fly fishing reel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

#4. Piscifun Aoka Fly Reel Review

Generally speaking, a reel with increased backing and large line capacity is worth its weight in gold! Both veteran and beginner anglers will find such a reel immensely beneficial. Good news is the Piscifun Aoka is the epitome of such a fly reel.

So, it goes without saying that quality matters. Quality comes with a price. However, what if you were able to purchase a reel, that’s solid, smooth, and reliable, on a budget?

Piscifun Aoka Fly Reel Review

This is the current price of these piscifun aoka fly reel  at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

Game changing, isn’t it?

Priced under $50, the Piscifun Aoka fly reel offers almost every feature, common among high-end reels. This reel performs surprisingly well for the price. The fly reel is made of CNC-machined aluminum alloy. This material delivers durability in tremendous measures.

Very important in shopping for a fly reel is the rod size. The fly reel size has to match the size of your rod. The Aoka fly reel has two sizes to choose from: 5/6 and 7/8 spool sizes. The undeniably lightweight Piscifun Aoka is sturdy in the extreme as well.

The solid block of aluminum used on this fly reel will give it high-end appearance. Keeping additional backing, the fly reel is able to maintain about 100 yards of 4-weight line.

While you may want to spend over a hundred bucks on a reel for handing large fish, the Piscifun Aoka promises size-able catch. The build quality of the drag system is no less than outstanding, allowing you to handle larger fish. The one-clutch, in this particular case, is worth mentioning as it contributes to a smooth drag.

The drag system limits the loss of line while helping you pull in those large catches. Beginners who just took up this sport will find the ergonomic drag set easy to use. The only gripe I have is it’s a click and pawl drag set. It doesn’t allow adjusting to your preferred setting, thereby limiting your power to stop.

However, the drag system is disc drag. This gives the braking system a truly efficient and smooth mechanism.

Although one could argue that you won’t enjoy a powerful retrieve in this price point, the Piscifun Aoka will change this. The mid-Arbor design of this fly reel allows you to pick up line fast when required. As a result, you will have an edge over both freshwater and saltwater species.

How’s that for a MAGIC trick?

Pros:
Cons:

Click here to buy these piscifun aoka fly reel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

#5. Fiblink Fly Fishing Reel

The Fiblink Fly Fishing Reel is another great option for any new or professional fly-fisher.

The reel comes with four different size options and is completely saltwater safe.

Besides, you’ll also notice its strong aluminum body that ensures the overall durableness of the reel.

Here’s what these fiblink reel look like:

Fiblink Fly Fishing Reel with Large Arbor Design

This is the current price of these fiblink reel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

Let’s explore some of the other features offered by this particular FLY-REEL:

  • Design: The reel has a large arbor design that ensures a bigger diameter of the reel. Besides, the large arbor design enables a great backing capacity and a fast retrieval rate of the line. You’ll find the reel pretty much light in weight. In addition, they are designed in a way to reduce the highest weight possible without reducing its structural stability.
  • Durability: The reel is made with CNC machined aluminum that is highly strong and durable. Besides, the material was also cold-forged which means, you’ll experience a lightweight body of the reel.
  • Drag System: The reel features a sealed drag system which falls in the category of disc-drag. Now the fact is disc-drag uses materials like Titanium or Carbon fiber for dragging. This particular sealed drag is made of pure fiber-composite that will give you more control over your fishing line.
  • User Flexibility: The Fiblink fishing reel features a manual for switching the hand retriever. You can easily follow this guide to change the retrieval position as per your convenience. This ensures the ultimate user-flexibility as you can retrieve the reel with the hand that is more comfortable for you.
  • Accessories: The package comes with a Drawstring bag with the reel.

Click here to buy these fiblink reel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

#6. Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel

The Piscifun Sword fly fishing reel is a high-quality fishing reel that comes in a variety of sizes and colors. So, you can choose your favorite one among plenty of alternatives. This fishing reel comes with stainless steel construction.

It is abrasion-resistant and holds up against the weather quite well. It’s also precision-crafted, so you won’t need to worry about rusting and other damages while using this reel.

Also, this reel includes a comfortable grip handle that feels easy to operate. The drag system performs well and can lock down when needed, even during the startup inertia. Besides, this reel features a cork that provides you complete control over the drag.

Here’s what these piscifun sword fly reel look like:

Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel

This is the current price of these piscifun sword fly reel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

#7. Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel

Having a fly fishing reel that can withstand in both freshwater and saltwater is a bit challenging. However, the SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel from Okuma is such an excellent piece of fishing equipment that can last in any harsh weather condition.

This fly reel is the construction of a die-cast aluminum frame. It has a non-slip positive grip with rubberized handle knobs so that you can feel comfortable while changing left to right-hand retrieval conversions.

Besides, it comes with a multi-disk cork. It also features a stainless steel drag washer so that you can accurately drag while fishing on the water. If you’re looking for a good quality fly fishing reel, the Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel may be a suitable option for you.

Here’s what these okuma SLV fly reel look like:

Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel

This is the current price of these okuma SLV reel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

3 Things to Consider When Buying Top Fly Fishing Reel

There are several factors you shouldn’t miss to ensure you’re going to purchase the best fishing reel. The factors that help you make the right decision are outlined below.

1. Right Backing

At first, you need to make sure that the fly reel has the right amount of backing for the weight of the rod. Most fly reels are available in the market for plenty of fly rods to ensure that they are suitable for different fly lines. So, consider one that has the right amount of backing.

2. Water Resistance

While fishing, it is best to ensure all your tools are water-resistant. Your fly reel may only spell doom on the qualitative backing received. Check out the components of the fly reel before getting it.

3. Drag System

Most of the time, money speaks quality. A 30-dollar fly reel will fail compared to a 150-dollar fly reel. However, to make an informed decision, you have to know the kind of fishing you’re going to do.

Keep in mind that the type of drag system you’ll choose matches the fishing expedition or not. If you pick the wrong one, it might crash when faced with a robust fish.

How to Find the Best Fly Fishing Reels

There are several factors you shouldn’t miss to ensure you’re going to purchase the best fishing reel. The factors that help you make the right decision are outlined below.

Now, we’ll talk about some of the essential aspects that you must know in order to find the best fly fishing reel for your fishing rod. So let’s explore them:

There are generally three types of fishing reels in terms of its design. They are the Standard Arbor, Mid Arbor, and the Large Arbor reels.

1. Standard Arbor:

These types of reels are mostly used in traditional kinds of fly rods which are generally used for fishing in a Small River. The spool is placed on the middle portion of the reel.

Besides, they can provide more powerful backing but the drawback is the frames are pretty much narrow and store the line in a poor manner.

2. Mid Arbor:

The Mid Arbor stands on the middle of Standard and Large Arbor designs.

They provide a strong backing capacity while reducing the memory with the help of a large loop and also increase the retrieval rate of your line.

The metals are highly machined to reduce its weight as far as possible.

3. Large Arbor:

Lastly, the large arbor has a bigger diameter than the other two designs.

This also provides a powerful backing and has a fast retrieval rate.

Although they look a bit bigger for your rod, they’re considered as very light in weight.

Not-to-mention, the highly machined metal brings it to a lighter weight without reducing the structural stability.  

Now, let’s talk about the drag systems. There are two types of drag system that can be found on any flying reel.

One is the Click drag and the other is the Disc drag. In our experience, both of them can be a good option for you.

But if you’re planning to fish mostly on saltwater, you can choose the second one.

Look for the body material that has been used in the making of that reel. Die-cast & CNC machining can be an ideal choice if you’re looking for a reel that is durable and strong.

4. Right Backing: 

At first, you need to make sure that the fly reel has the right amount of backing for the weight of the rod. Most fly reels are available in the market for plenty of fly rods to ensure that they are suitable for different fly lines. So, consider one that has the right amount of backing.

5. Water Resistance:

While fishing, it is best to ensure all your tools are water-resistant. Your fly reel may only spell doom on the qualitative backing received. Check out the components of the fly reel before getting it.

6. Drag System:

Most of the time, money speaks quality. A 30-dollar fly reel will fail compared to a 150-dollar fly reel. However, to make an informed decision, you have to know the kind of fishing you’re going to do.

Keep in mind that the type of drag system you’ll choose matches the fishing expedition or not. If you pick the wrong one, it might crash when faced with a robust fish.

Finally, look for whether the reel has a switching function to change the side of your retrieving handle from left to right or vice-versa.

How to Choose the Best Fly Reels of All Time?

When it comes down to buying a fly reel what matters, in the end, is your needs and preferences. If you haven’t bought a fly reel before or are looking to upgrade your fishing gear, the range of options can confuse you. The best fly reels reviewed here can give you a start.

Still, you want to find a reel most appropriate for your requirements. That’s where this guide comes in.

In this section of the article, we discussed a number of factors you should consider before purchase. Use these 5 factors we’ve outlined below which should help you decide on the right fly.

Although fly reels have a very limited number of components, a few aspects of the design make all the difference. Do not let your reel dissuade you from catching that large trout anymore. Remember these important factors when shopping for a reel.

Retrieval System

The primary job of a reel is to retrieve line. The retrieval system of a reel is of vital importance in the sport of fly fishing.

Most fly reels collect line in one of the 3 ways: single action, multiplying action, or through automatic action. These action types refer to how fast the reel retrieves line.

Till now, single action reels are by far the most popular. For normal fishing, these reels are highly reliable. Single action here refers to one full revolution of the handle completes one turn of the spool as well. Single action reels are considered the most durable.

Multiplying reels, on the other hand, turn the spool two or three times for every full crank of the handle. Multiplying reels incorporate a series of gears to produce two or more turns of the spool. With multiplying reels, your line gets reeled in much quicker. But, this type of reels comes with a downside. Since there are gears and sensitive parts involved, multiplying reels are more likely to break than a single action reel.

The third type of retrieval system I’ll be discussing is the automatic fly reel. This retrieval system follows a different mechanism for retrieving line. This system employs the safety latch for pulling in the line. This system has a trigger, which is activated by the tension created by the line.

The drawback here with the automatic fly reel is that they do not hold backing as good as other reels do. Besides, the reel is not durable, for they have the motorized system.

Spring-and-Pawl vs Disc Brake

Spring-and-Pawl drag system is also known as Click-and-Pawl. This system harkens back to the time of fishing when components were simple.

This system relies on a spring to apply drag on the reel. The tension of this system is increased or decreased and adjusted through a triangular shaped pawl.

By applying pressure through this pawl, the drag system pulls out line very smoothly. To make tension seamless, the fly reel does everything required to protect the tippet. But, the spring-and-pawl drag system is not free from drawbacks. The prime one is that going after large fish with this system will be nearly impossible.

Similar to disc brake on a car in function, the disc drag reel works on creating friction by pressed discs. Consequently, the line’s tension is tightened by friction.

Disc drag reels will definitely help you catch large fish species, such as bass, trout, salmon, and steelhead. The disc drag reel keeps a seamless, but adequate pressure on the fly line.

In practice, you can work both the styles. The discerning factor for both the systems is drag settings. Click-and-Pawl reels work on a discrete drag value, whereas disc drag systems offer nearly infinite drag options.

Weight

We want things that we hold and carry as light as possible. Without a doubt, you don’t want your reel to pack extra weight. Lightweight designs for reels help you not only handle, but also cast the rod. A lightweight design makes sure you fish for a long day without fatigue.

What you need to remember is to keep the weights of the reel and the rod matching. A lightweight reel on a heavier rod, or vice versa makes it almost impossible to cast with precision.

For example, for a 5 weight line, the reel and the rod need to be in the 4 to 6 weight range.

Check out the following guideline of rod-and-reel setups for optimum performance.

SetupsBest For
  1-wt to 3-wt    Panfish, trout, small streams
  and ponds  
  4-wt to 6-wt    Small and largemouth bass  
  7-wt to 9-wt    Salmon, bonefish, and larger
  bass   

Construction

The construction of fly reels mainly involves processing of metal elements. The cheapest reels are usually constructed through metal stamping. These reels tend to be heavier than other metals.

An improved model usually is made of die-cast manufacturing process. This process is used to produce mid-tier models.

The best fly reels come fully CNC-machined. In this process, operated by computers, a machine removes a solid block of metal, leaving perfected shaped components.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a fly reel?

Ans: A fly reel is an important aspect of fishing gear that mainly holds the fishing line and necessary backing. A fly reel adds great value to your fishing gear.

Q: How do you pick a fly reel?

Ans: Pick a fly reel that holds necessary backing and fly line for the weight of the fly rod. Besides, take its drag system into consideration.

Q: What is the arbor on a fly reel?

Ans: An Arbor design allows you to retrieve line much quicker and reduces line memory. Mainly there are two arbor designs available – large Arbor and mid-arbor. A large arbor design allows you to handle a lot of line in a large body of water, whereas a mid-arbor design picks up line lightning fast. 

Q: What size reel do I need?

Ans: A fly reel may bear a notation for the size line the reel is intended to hold. For optimum performance, the weight of the reel should match those of the rod and line.

Q: What is the difference between a salt and freshwater fly reel?

Ans: A saltwater reel relies on a large arbor and uses more line. You want to avoid using steel reels in salt water. Besides, any corrosion-resistant reels will work in either of these environments.

Conclusion

Hopefully, after going through our guide, you can easily choose the best fly reel under $200. Our round-up of the best fly reels will help you narrow down your choices.

Now all you have to do is simply go through the factors above, pick a reel from our recommendations based on your needs.

In addition, we’ve also shown you two of the best fly fishing reels reviews that are currently available on the market. Thanks for being with us. We appreciate your presence.

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