Best Saltwater Reels to buy in 2022

Best Saltwater Fly Reels For Every Budget (With Buyer Guide)

Salt can corrode anything and everything. Such a powerful reagent found in the oceans that you cannot even imagine using your freshwater reels in the sea. You need a reel made out of robust metals that can stand the salty water without corroding, as well as helps you pick big fish. No matter you’re a beginner or a pro, when it comes to choosing a reel best suited for saltwater, you cannot compromise on anything.

Read the full article to find out our top 7 picks for the best saltwater fly reels, tried and tested for years. Nothing beats their quality, compatibility, durability, endurance, and shine. Let’s go easy on the pocket and harsher on the saltwater. Let’s make investments that are worth the money. Let’s skim through the best saltwater fly reels to help you decide on one that suits your requirements perfectly.

IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURESPRICE
Top Pick
Reddington Rise
Reddington Rise
  • Features: CNC Machined, Anodized, Quick Spool Release, Ultra-large Arbor, Carbon Fibre Drag
  • Benefits: Lightweight, Lifetime Warranty, Sealed Drag, Durable Aluminum Design, Easy-to-Use Large Knob
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Editor’s Pick
Ross Animas
Ross Animas
  • Features: Composite-Disc Drag With Stainless Steel Interface, Ultra-Large Arbor, 0.55 Pounds For 7/8 Weight
  • Benefits: Extremely Lightweight, Smooth, Flawless Drag, Consists Of A Self-Lubricating Reel
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Editor’s Pick
Orvis Hydros
Orvis Hydros
  • Features: Lighter Weight, Large Arbor, Fully-Sealed Drag, Clutch Bearing, Zero Start-Up Inertia
  • Benefits: Waterproof, Lifetime Warranty, Rust Free Anodized Design, Fully Sealed Drag
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Editor’s Pick
Redington BEHEMOTH
Redington BEHEMOTH
  • Features: Adjustable Drag, Unmachinable, Die-Cast Construction, Large Arbor, Deep V-Spool
  • Benefits: Super Budget Friendly, High Backing Capacity, Lifetime Warranty
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Editor’s Pick
Redington Grande
Redington Grande
  • Features: CNC Machined, Anodized T-6061 Aluminum Construction, Fully Sealed, Super-Torque, Carbon Fiber Drag
  • Benefits: Completely Sealed Reel, Smooth Drag, High Backing Capacity, Easily Adjustable
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Editor’s Pick
Waterworks Lamson-Guru S Series Fly Reel
Waterworks Lamson-Guru S Series Fly Reel
  • Features: Large Arbor, Machined 6061 Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Type Ii Anodize, Sealed Conical Drag System
  • Benefits: Adjustable Drag, Completely Sealed, Lifetime Warranty, Comfortable Grip
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Editor’s Pick
Piscifun Sword
Piscifun Sword
  • Features: 3 Years Warranty, Multi-Disc Cork And Stainless Steel Drag, Hard Anodized Surface, Mid Arbor Design
  • Benefits: Affordable Price, Smooth Drag, Corrision Resistant
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Editor’s Pick
Piscifun Palette
Piscifun Palette
  • Features: Fully Sealed Carbon-To-Stainless Drag, Click Retrieve & Positive Click Drag Knob, Large Arbor
  • Benefits: Lifetime Warranty, Comfortable Grip, Anodized Reel
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Choosing Best Saltwater Fly Reels That Fit Your Budget

The list below contains options not only specific to a certain group of people in expertise or financial affordability, but to everyone that is enthusiastic about fishing. Let’s find the one for you.

Reddington Rise

Reddington Rise

All Redington reels are designed to accommodate the diverse needs of fly-fishing enthusiasts. Reddington rise is designed for saltwater nomads due to its design features.

An advanced carbon fibre sealed drag system provides smooth fish stopping torque while featuring a u-shaped large arbor and a large carbon fibre rod.

Its lightweight and soft-touch handles and oversized drag lever make this reel comfortable to hold.

No plastic is used for the drag knob. Like the rest of the reel, it’s made from machined and anodized aluminium thus making it very suitable for saltwater fishing.

Pros
  • Very Lightweight Reel among Salt-Water Reels
  • Comes with Lifetime Warranty
  • Sealed Drag with Durable CNC Machined Design and Large Easy-to-Use Drag Knob
  • Nylon Pouch Included
Cons
  • Need cleaning after every use
  • Limited backing capacity for lighter weights

Ross Reels Animas Fly Reel

The Ross Reels Animas Fly Reel is manufactured by one of the top reel brands, well known in the world for its durability, quality, and strength.

It is made up of stainless steel and aluminium which allows it to function without catching rust in the seawater.

The large arbor, nonconventional design, and the huge knob may seem weird but plays their part exceptionally when it comes to drag performance.

It is an in-budget option and definitely an investment that would last, as there also is a lifetime warranty for the reel to the original owner.

Pros
  • The reel is extremely lightweight
  • Smooth, flawless drag
  • Consists of a self-lubricating reel
Cons
  • Lacks water resistance
  • Bit expensive

Orvis Hydros Reel

Orvis is a name that is not new in the market. They have been manufacturing top-quality fishing reels and that is why we absolutely love them.

Our second most favourite pick that we classify under the best saltwater fly reels is the Orvis Hydros reel. It has a sleek design, large

The most commendable feature that the reel has is the zero startup inertia that lets you uncoil and fish without extra pain. The fully sealed drag lets you experience butter smooth drag. The knob has an excellent overall grip that increases control and comfort while fishing.

It is defined, ergonomically modified, and lightweight too.

Pros
  • Completely sealed drag system
  • Anodized reel which makes it rust free
  • Is waterproof
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Small drag knob is difficult to grip
  • Difficult to replace reel covers

Redington BEHEMOTH

Pick number three on our list is a cost-effective option. If you’re a beginner and have budget constraints, Redington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel got you covered.

Even though this reel is made up of plastic, it resembles the heavy-grade aluminium and stainless steel professional reels are available in four colours.

It gives a powerful yet smooth drag that can be adjusted according to personal preferences. The carbon fibre torque system that contains frictionless stainless steel plates and the aluminium knob improves the pulling range.

Get ready to level up with the heavy-duty saltwater performance at an affordable price. Redington doesn’t let you down, ever since 1992.

Pros
  • The reel is highly affordable
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • High backing capacity
Cons
  • Compromised durability
  • A Little Heavy Reel

Redington Grande

Next on our list, we have the Redington Grande Fly reel, designed and manufactured specifically for marine fishing.

The reel is made up of a tough aluminium handle that is perfect to protect against erosion after corrosion and makes it a reel that would help you through the oceanic waves.

To mention the super smooth drag, which is one of its most-loved features amongst all its users, the super torque along with the carbon fibre drag system gives you the best drag experience

What we love about the Redington Grande is that it comes in various sizes which are quite uncommon for brands to produce for the same model and it provides all the exquisite features such as smooth drag, aesthetics, and durability in a fair price range, which other brands are selling for approximately double amount.

Pros
  • Completely sealed reel
  • Smooth drag
  • High backing capacity
  • Easily adjustable
Cons
  • Too Heavy
  • It is not pre spooled

Waterworks Lamson-Guru S Series

The Waterworks Lamson-Guru S Series fly reel is going to capture your heart at first glance just like it captured ours.

Made up of stainless steel and top-grade aluminium that keeps it away from even an inch of corrosion even after years of use, this super elegant olive green reel is a top choice for many professional fishers.

The large arbor is a bonus for linebacking. The sealed conical drag system is commendable and makes you enjoy the process.

The model is upgraded geometrically and provides exceptional balance and stability, alongside being light weighted. Perfect isn’t it?

This is the lowest-priced model from the fully machines reels that you may come across while doing your research.

Pros
  • Adjustable drag
  • It is completely sealed
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Comfortable grip
Cons
  • Not durable
  • Drag is not resistant to saltwater

Piscifun Sword

The Piscifun Sword Fly fishing reel is the best saltwater fly reel that one could have for recreational purposes. The price is decent and the ratings are sky-high.

Just as a saltwater reel should be 100% corrosion-free, made up of aluminium alloy, Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel is corrosion resistant.

The drag system is smoother than butter and the knurled handle makes its grip unmatchable.

The mid arbour design reduces the line memory and also efficiently facilitates pickup as quickly as the speed of light. The reel is engineered to ensure that your fishing experience is just as amazing as you have imagined.

What else would you ask for in a reel that comes with a three-year warranty also?

Pros
  • 3-year free warranty
  • Affordable price
  • Anodized reel makes it corrosion resistant
Cons
  • Not as much durable as other reels in this class
  • Instruction manual unavailable

Piscifun Palette Fishing Reel

Piscifun Palette fly reel

At last but not least, we decided to add a cheaper option, probably for beginners who do not plan on investing hundreds of dollars in a fishing reel.

The Piscifun Palette Fishing Reel weighs 6.4 ounces, comes in three bright colours, is made up of aluminium and stainless steel.

The fully sealed carbon to steel drag system is easy to maintain, provides precise drag settings and the larger working surface lets you adjust them easily.

The knob attached is great for gripping and reduces extra force being exerted on your hands.

Many expensive reels also are unable to deliver such a strong, yet lightweight and classy design.

Pros
  • Comfortable grip with its oversized knob
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Anodized reel
Cons
  • Bit Heavy
  • No instruction manual provided

Saltwater Fly Reel Buying Guide

A saltwater fly reel also called simply a reel, maybe the most important piece of fishing gear you own (yes, more important than your rod and your fishing line). As the name suggests, it’s used to reel in the fish you catch after casting your line. If you’re going to be doing any fly fishing, then you need to have one of these reels at the ready! Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the right one for your needs and budget.

Why Use a Saltwater Fly Reel?

Fly reels are a tool used for fishing by casting. Most anglers fish with saltwater fly reels because they are stronger and more reliable than spinning or baitcasting reels. If you have never owned one before, it is important to know how to choose a fly reel that will properly meet your needs. To find an appropriate reel, you must determine what kind of fishing you will be doing with it, as well as how much money you want to spend on a new piece of equipment.

Here are some general questions you should ask yourself before buying a fly reel: How much do I want to spend? Do I need additional features? What size fly line do I use? Do I prefer aluminium or graphite? What type of drag system do I prefer? Will it fit my current rod and mount? Will it fit in my current gear bag or backpack?

These are just some of the questions you might ask yourself when looking at fly reels online. To help you decide which fly reel is right for you, we’ve done all of your research for you by writing a comprehensive guide to buying fly reels. We’ll tell you about different kinds of fly reels such as top-loading, bottom-loading, and side-loading; we’ll also explain different kinds of drag systems such as centrifugal and disc drags.  We’ll even show you how to test fly reels and help you avoid scams online. We hope our buyer’s guide helps demystify fly reels so that soon enough, you can go out there and buy a quality product that meets your exact needs!

The average price of fly reels ranges from $200 – $800 depending on features, brand name and whether or not extra accessories are included like backing or leaders. The most popular sizes are 5/6 weight models although companies like Shimano make up to 12 weight models.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Fly Reel

To get yourself started with fly fishing, all you really need is a rod and reel, a few flies, and some knowledge. But if you’re looking to optimize your experience in terms of enjoyment (and catch rate), here are some things to consider when purchasing a fly reel.

Quality comes with Price so Think about it

As with everything else in life, nothing comes for free; one alternative may be more suited for you than another depending on what’s most important to you—fly reels can range from being highly affordable (think $20 or less) to being astronomically expensive ($1,000+). Some of these options might be right for beginners or those just getting into fly fishing; others are simply specialized iterations designed for certain types of anglers or certain types of waters.

Must be Easy to Use

A traditional spinning reel is generally easier to use while fly-fishing because they have a drag knob that allows users greater control over how many lines they let out—however, it doesn’t allow users to detect whether or not their fly has been struck by a fish.

Good in Handling

Alternatively, saltwater fly reels tend to give anglers more power to fight with large and heavy fish (often needed in saltwater environments), as well as allowing them to detect strikes quicker than with a spinning reel; they are also better suited for recasting. While both types of reels are appropriate for beginners and experienced anglers alike, those who plan on going fly fishing regularly should take some time researching different options available before purchasing one (or multiple). By familiarizing yourself with what’s on offer and knowing exactly what you want from your reel before you make your purchase, you’ll be more likely to avoid buyer’s remorse later on!

Must be Affordable to Buy

Fixed spool fly reels, meanwhile, feature larger arbors which make casting heavier flies a little easier; these usually cost around $40–$80 dollars and can range from five up to twelve weight versions depending on need/preference. Either type can serve an angler equally well depending on personal preference!

Basic Types of Fly Reels

Spin cast, Lever Drag, and Centrepin

There are 3 basic types of fly reels: spin cast, lever drag, and centrepin.

Spincast reels are quite a bit different than lever drag or centrepin reels, so they are going to be left out of our discussion.  That leaves us with 2 types of fly reels which we will look at in detail below. The main difference between these two types is that lever drags feature an adjustable-pitch mechanism which makes them easier to turn while casting when compared to centre pins.

This comes at a price, however; while you can easily add a line with a finger flip on most spin-cast models, doing so would damage your reel’s mechanisms if you had a lever drag model and performed that same manoeuvre. This means you must always let down your fish manually with these models since you cannot adjust downline tension once it has been added under load. That isn’t something most anglers are used to doing because with spin casts we usually just flip down the excess line when needed.

What to Look for in a Fly Reel?

Before you start looking at fly reels, it’s important to understand what they are and what they do. Fly reels don’t cast a line like a bait-casting reel, so they are not used to catch fish. Instead, they are used to fly fishing with artificial flies instead of living bait.

With that said let’s take a look at each type in detail

  1. Pay Attention to Line Capacity. When shopping for your first fly reel it is important to pay attention to line capacity (the amount of line you can store on your fly reel). The reason is that a bigger fly reel can potentially catch more fish when it comes time for you to land them! If you choose too small of a fly reel you might not have enough line stored up when it comes time for one big fish after another. This could happen if you plan on fishing around structures such as weeds or lily pads.
  2. A few extra feet of the line could potentially be worth its weight in gold when fighting several large fish at once!
  3. In addition, there are also fly rod combos that come with a fly reel already installed. These days there is a huge selection of fly reels available on the market, but there are some basic features all good ones should have.
  4. The most important one is weight—it doesn’t matter how durable or fancy your fly reel is if it weighs 5 pounds! Most models weigh less than 4 ounces and some as little as 2 ounces. Fly rod combos will add some extra weight since they require more components to work effectively—that’s why these types of reels tend to cost slightly more than simple models without them included in their design.
  5. Must be good for beginners as they can handle saltwater fly reels with ease and have a friendly user interface.

Conclusion

There are millions of fishing reels available in the market, both in stores and online. You may get confused among so many options that you

Keep in mind that you need to look for the overall quality, fishing method, the weight and shape of the reel, and above all options that fall within your budget. We’ve got you covered with the in-depth analysis of the best saltwater fly reels.

Good luck finding the reel that you have been looking for.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between saltwater spinning reels and freshwater spinning reels? 

The main difference between the two is that saltwater spinning reels are made of non-corroding materials while freshwater spinning reels are made of any durable material. In addition to that, saltwater reels have extra line capacity and are also expensive as compared to freshwater reels. 

Are spinning reels better for saltwater?        

Two most common reels used while fishings are the spinning reels and the bait caster. Both have their pros and cons. While spinning reels are easier to cast, bait casters provide more accuracy. Both kinds of reels are good for saltwater fishing, however, the decision comes down to what you are comfortable with.

Can you use any reel in saltwater?

Yes, you can use any reel in salt water but it is most definitely not recommended to do that. Saltwater reels are designed specially to bear the great pressure and harsh environments of saltwater. Normal freshwater reels are not strong enough to withstand these high pressures of the sea and are more prone to getting rusted and broken. This is why you should use a reel designed for saltwater only.   


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