Last Updated on June 21, 2021 by Donnell Henderson
If you are shopping for a fly fishing reel on a budget, you may be in for a challenge. This is essential fishing gear we’re talking about, and while 200 dollars can afford you high-quality ones, you’d still want to get the most out of your money, right?
I’m sharing with you my picks for the best fly reels under 200, and I’ll review each one for you so you’ll have a better idea of what you want for your next fly fishing excursion.
My Top Pick
My first choice is this Piscifun Platte Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel. It is designed with high-grade machined aluminum and comes with features that every angler would want to see on a high-quality fishing roller.
- The Best Fly Reels Under $200 Are…
- 1. Piscifun Platte Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel – First Choice
- 2. Redington RISE Fly Fishing Reel – Runner Up
- 3. Waterworks-Lamson Liquid Fly Reel
- 4. Orvis Clearwater Large Arbor Reel
- 5. Redington Behemoth Fly Reel
- 6. Fiblink Fly Fishing Reel
- 7. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Fly Fishing Reel
- How to Pick the Best Fly Reel Under 200 Dollars
- Final Thoughts
The Best Fly Reels Under $200 Are…
- Piscifun Platte Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel — First Choice
- Redington RISE Fly Fishing Reel — Runner Up
- Waterworks-Lamson Liquid Fly Reel
- Orvis Clearwater Large Arbor Reel
- Redington Behemoth Fly Reel
- Fiblink Fly Fishing Reel
- M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Fly Fishing Reel
1. Piscifun Platte Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel – First Choice
Piscifun is one of the most revered fishing gear brands, and their products have become very popular among experienced and amateur anglers. This Platte Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel grabs the first position on our list because of its quality construction.
This roller is designed with strong yet lightweight anodized 6061 T6 aluminum, which is very strong. I also liked the heavily ventilated spool that makes it pretty light while maintaining its strength. The sturdy construction and large arbor design further make the roller a good pick when targeting large fish in either freshwater or saltwater.
Another notable feature of the roller is its fully-sealed carbon to stainless drag system, which means that no dirt can easily get into the inner moving parts. Therefore, you will require little or no maintenance, except rinsing the water that splashes on the surface.
- Material: Aluminum
- Weight: 0.39-pound
- Drag: Fully sealed carbon-to-stainless system
- Comes with a large arbor design
- Strong and durable
- A great pick for both freshwater and saltwater fishing
- Accurate and repeatable drag settings
- A flattened drag knob reduces the risk of the line entangling around it
- Available in four size options
- Set for left-hand retrieve only
2. Redington RISE Fly Fishing Reel – Runner Up
Mention the name Redington and seasoned anglers will tell you one thing, “you can never go wrong with their fishing gear.” Their determination to ensure every item they make great is evident in this Redington RISE Fly Fishing Reel, and it takes the second position on our list of the best fly reels under 200. From the durable construction to smooth operation, this roller is what I would describe as a perfect find for an angling excursion.
The angling roller frame is cut from a solid block of aluminum, which is stronger than die-cast models. However, the spool is die-cast. The combination helps to achieve three things; keeping the overall weight low, enhancing the unit’s strength, and balancing the cost.
When it comes to the drag system, Redington opted for the latest technology to make the roller standout. The roller particularly uses a carbon drag system that provides plenty of torque when angling. I found it strong enough to comfortably pull out large fish, such as bass.
- Weight: 0.5-pound
- Material: CNC Machined, anodized 6061-T6 aluminum frame
- Drag: Compact carbon fiber drag system
- Available in five color variations
- Sold with a lifetime warranty
- Plenty of torque makes it a great pick when targeting large fish
- Smooth spool performance
- Lightweight and durable
- Drags wears out fast
Are you an angler looking for an entry-level fishing reel? One of the top options is this Waterworks –Lamson fly reel, a superlight model that makes fishing all-day easy and enjoyable. If aesthetics is also an important consideration for your trip, this roller is equally beautiful.
While it is true that machined aluminum rollers are very strong, we must indicate that die-cast models come with unique benefits that Waterworks –Lamson sought to deliver with this model. For example, the fly reel is constructed using die-cast aluminum and rocks fully-radiused compound curves close to the zero-radius inside corners. This design makes the roller light, easy to use, and attractive.
Another awesome thing about the roller is that it comes with a sealed conical drag system that provides you with enough drag to retrieve a relatively large catch. Furthermore, the seal on the drag helps to prevent dirt and water particles from getting to the moving parts.
- Weight: 0.45-pound
- Material: Cast aluminum frame
- Drag: Sealed conical system
- Sold with a lifetime warranty
- Lightweight construction
- One of the cheapest models on our list
- Attractive design
- The sealed conical drag system reduces the cost of maintenance
- Less durable compared to other models on the list
For fishers who love using bulky reels, one of the top options on the market is this Orvis Clearwater Large Arbor Reel. It is made with a large arbor, which we found perfect when targeting large fish in deep waters. Although those with small hands on our team took some time to get used to the roller, it has become one of the best options for deep-sea angling.
Although big, it has a die-cast reel aluminum that makes it pretty light. Besides, it has a stealthy matte-gray powder–coat finish that makes it long-lasting. The large arbor also makes retracting the line together with the fighting fish fast and enjoyable.
The roller will work well no matter your hand orientation because it is easily converted for left-hand or right-hand retrieve. Again, it uses a positive click drag knob for consistent settings. So, if you target a large catch the entire afternoon, the roller will be pretty easy to use.
- Drag: Stacked disc model
- Material: Aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon
- Weight: 4.54-ounce
- Designed with a large arbor that makes line retrieval fast
- Easy to convert for right or left retrieve
- Positive click drag knob helps to keep settings consistent
- A great pick when targeting large fish in either freshwater or saltwater
- Takes time for new anglers to get used to
Are you planning for a fishing outing and want to make it satisfying and unforgettable? You can achieve the two by selecting the Redington Behemoth fishing roller, which combines a powerful drag and awesome aesthetics. With this roller, even big trout or steelhead will not be too big to get out of the water.
Like most roller models from Redington, this roller comes with a carbon-fiber torque system. The friction plates are designed using carbon fiber enriched with stainless steel, meaning that you can expect a high level of torque to pull out the fish you are targeting. Furthermore, it features an oversized aluminum drag knob that gives you better control when retracting the line.
Another awesome thing about the design is that it allows you to easily convert to right or left retrieve. So, whether you have different people in your group who will use the roller or want to try retrieving with different hands, the roller will be a perfect pick.
- Weight: 0.5 pound
- Material: Aluminum
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Has one of the most powerful drags in niche
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Available in multiple colors
- Strong and durable
- Easy to shift from right to left retrieve
This Fiblink Fly Fishing Reel is another remarkable model that you can pick and expect high-value for money. Fiblink designed the roller to make it one of the best in the industry, which is why it is very popular today. Indeed, we were surprised that even with the state-of-the-art features that would qualify it for a higher price tag, it was tagged less than $30 at the time of writing this review.
The angling roller is designed using cold-forged, high-grade aluminum that makes it strong and durable. Also, it uses a sealed drag stack that helps to protect its bearings and moving parts. Whether you prefer angling in saltwater or freshwater, this roller will serve you for a long period without needing a replacement.
If your right or left hand is the dominant hand, getting a non-matching reel can make angling pretty tiresome. However, you can say goodbye to that challenge with this roller because it is uniquely designed so that you can easily adjust it for either right or left retrieval. Although my dominant hand is right, I really enjoyed shifting from left to right.
- Weight: 5.9-ounce
- Material: Aluminum
- Drag: Advanced fiber-composite system
- Aluminum construction
- Uses advanced fiber-composite drag system
- Adjusting for left or right retrieve is easy
- Designed with high-grade aluminum for strength and durability
- Available in five different sizes
- Sold in one color only
If you want to catch a lot of fish, you need a roller that makes casting the line and retrieving the catch easy and fast. One reel that meets these attributes is this Maxcatch Fly Fishing Reel from M MAXIMUMCATCH. Its design is aimed at making every fishing outing a success, and I could not put the roller down – so lovely!
The reel is made from a fully Machined 6061-T6 Aluminium & T2 Anodized surface that makes it very strong even when pulling out large fish fighting hard to escape. Furthermore, the reel comes with a corrosion-resistant coating that makes it a good pick even when fishing in salt waters.
You will also love the hybrid cork and Teflon disc and stainless steel disc drag that uses a one-way bearing. The drag model provides immediate drag engagement that makes line retrieval easy and fast. This drag model, coupled with lightweight construction, allows you to fish the entire day or afternoon without getting tired.
- Material: CNC-machined 6061-T15 aluminum alloy and stainless steel
- Drag: Patented pending drag design
- Weight: 4.6 ounces
- Uses a smooth and reliable drag system
- Superlight housing
- Strong and durable
- Anti-Rust and Dustproof Construction
- Easy to use
- Comes with a warranty of only three years
How to Pick the Best Fly Reel Under 200 Dollars
The first factor to consider is where you’ll be fishing and what type of fish you’ll find there. Then there’s the rod and the line that you’ll be using — you have to pick a fly reel that works with them in catching your targeted fish. Keep these in mind as you’re checking out the features of your fly reel options.
The material used to construct the fly roller is one of the most important parameters to consider because it determines its strength and durability.
The best models are those machined from single blocks of high-quality materials, such as aluminum. You can also get models made from die-cast aluminum or composite materials.
The Drag System
The term “drag” means the braking system used on fly reels to help slow down the rotation of the spool, giving you greater control over the fish fighting for its life on the end of the line.
Furthermore, the drag also helps to prevent backlash and spool from overrunning. The two main drag systems are the disc and click-and-pawl.
The disc drag system works like disc brakes in bikes, meaning that it provides friction when the line is pulled by the fish but allows you to reel freely to retrieve the line. It is recommended for anglers targeting big fish.
The click-and-pawl system on the other hand works through a revolving toothed gear on a spring clip. The system derives the name from the clicking sound it makes when the line is being drawn. This drag system works well when targeting small fish.
Size is another crucial factor that you need to get right when selecting a fly roller. Because fly rollers are sold based on their line weight, it is important to ensure you match it with your rod. For example, if you have a #6 line, make sure to go for a matching reel.
Note that most rollers work with a range of rods, such as #2-3, #3-5, and #6-8.
The growing demand for fishing gear has attracted a lot of manufacturers, and, sadly, a number of them are rarely focused on quality.
To be sure of getting high-quality rollers, consider only buying from the top brands. These are manufacturers such as Piscifun and Redington that have been in the market for some time and previous users of their products can give positive feedback.
When looking for an affordable fly reel, it is paramount to go for the model that is designed with quality in mind. The seven models in the reviews above are not only designed with high-quality materials, but they also have features that enhance your fly fishing experience. Finally, they are all from trusted brands that are committed to delivering value for money to their clients.
While I can vouch for the fly reels reviewed above (they are excellent), Piscifun Platte Large Arbor Fly Reel stood out from the pack. From its state-of-the-art features to ease of use, this roller will make your fishing outing fun and satisfying!