Best Fly Reel Under $200 : The Definitive Guide

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.

So let’s begin:

Are You In A Hurry?

Our Test Winner After 25 + Hours Of Research (Piscifun Blaze Fly Fishing Reel):

4.7/5

Our Honest Star Rating

Piscifun Blaze Fly Reel

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.

94%

Our Score

researched source from honest fishers

12

RESEARCHED SOURCES

reviews considered from honest fishers

172

REVIEWS CONSIDERED

time researching from honest fishers

25 +

HOURS RESEARCHING

product compared from honest fishers

15

PRODUCTS COMPARED

Best fly reel under $200:

Here’s our round-up of the best fly reel under $200:

01. Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel

02. Redington Rise Fly Reel

1. Piscifun Platte Fly Fishing Reel Review

4.5/5

Our Honest Rating

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 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:

  • Durable, solid build
  • Great reel performance
  • Comes with five size options
  • Fully sealed drag for durability
  • Large Arbor design and quick spool release

Cons:

  • A bit heavy
  • Switching to right hand retrieve is difficult

2. Redington Rise Fly Reel Review

4.5/5

Our Honest Rating

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.   

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:

  • Affordable
  • Smooth reel performance
  • Plenty of torque
  • Suitable for large bodies of water
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Flimsy construction
  • Drag wears over time

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:

1. Piscifun Blaze Fly Fishing Reel

2. Piscifun Aoka Fly Reel

1. Piscifun Blaze Fly Fishing Reel Review

4.7/5

Our Honest Rating

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.

how to choose the best fly reel of all time

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:

  • High-end build
  • Made of fine grade aluminum
  • Extra line capacity
  • Click Drag design for accuracy
  • Mid-Arbor design for lightning-fast line pickup

Cons:

  • Unsealed drag
  • Prone to jam

2. Piscifun Aoka Fly Reel Review

4.5/5

Our Honest Rating

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?

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:

  • All-aluminum build
  • Solid disc drag
  • Lightweight spool
  • Solid backing and line
  • Efficient and smooth braking system

Cons:

  • Semi-closed drag, requiring maintenance after each use
  • Less adjustable

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.