Best Fly Fishing Reels: Top Picks for Success

Fly fishing is not just a hobby; it’s a lifestyle, an art, and a source of endless outdoor adventures. 

If you’re passionate about this exquisite sport, you’ll understand the importance of choosing the best fly fishing reel. 

After all, the right reel can make or break your fishing experience.

 In this article, we’ll dive into the world of fly fishing reels and help you discover the best options available, ensuring that your next fishing excursion is extraordinary.

Best Fly Fishing Reels

What Makes a Fly Fishing Reel Special:

A fly fishing reel isn’t just a line holder; it plays a crucial role in the sport. 

These reels are designed to hold the line securely and provide smooth control when it’s time to bring in your catch. 

Their lightweight design complements the finesse required for fly fishing, allowing you to cast with accuracy and control. 

The key components of a high-quality fly fishing reel include the drag system, arbor size, and materials used in its construction.

5 Best Fly Fishing Reels:

Before we delve into the specifics of fly fishing reels, it’s essential to understand the uniqueness of this sport.

 Unlike traditional fishing, fly fishing is characterized by its delicate and graceful casting technique. 

The weight of the line propels the fly, and the angler’s skill allows for precise placement.

 Fly fishing is often associated with peaceful rivers and stunning landscapes, making it a favorite among those who crave a connection with nature.

Now, let’s explore some of the best fly fishing reels for beginners reviews that stand out in the market:

  1. Orvis Mirage LT Fly Reel 
  2. Hatch 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic Reel 
  3. Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel 
  4. Lamson Force SL Series II Fly Reel
  5. Abel ROVE series Fly Reel

1. Orvis Mirage LT Fly Reel: 

Orvis Mirage LT Fly Reel

Are you in search of a fly reel that beautifully complements your lighter freshwater rods, offering a seamless, precision-driven angling experience? Look no further than the Orvis Mirage LT Fly Reel. 

Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, this reel is a testament to Orvis’s commitment to providing fly anglers with the best tools for the trade.

Design and Functionality:

The Orvis Mirage LT Fly Reel is purposefully designed to balance flawlessly with lighter freshwater rods, making it a versatile choice for a variety of angling scenarios. 

Whether chasing after the wily trout, casting for bass, pike, or musky, or even testing your skills against carp, this reel is more than up to the task.

One of the standout features of this reel is its remarkable zero start-up inertia and precise low-end control. 

This game-changer protects light tippets, ensuring that the fight remains evenly matched between you and your catch: no abrupt jerks, no sudden surges, just smooth, controlled power.

Innovative Drag System:

The Mirage LT Fly Reel boasts a lighter version of Orvis’s acclaimed sealed and maintenance-free carbon and stainless steel disc drag system. 

This design ensures consistent and reliable performance, adjusting from zero to full drag in a single drag knob rotation. 

The result is that you can effortlessly fine-tune your drag to meet the exact requirements of your fishing scenario.

Lightweight and Compact:

Orvis has taken it a step further by making the Mirage LT 30% lighter and 30% narrower than its predecessor, the Mirage.

 This reduces the overall weight of your setup and enhances the balance, letting you fish comfortably for extended periods without fatigue.

Durability and Convenience:

Crafted from strong, yet lightweight, 6061 T6 aluminum and featuring Type II anodizing, the Mirage LT Fly Reel is built to withstand the rigors of the fishing environment.

 It’s both corrosion-resistant and abrasion-resistant, ensuring it retains its sleek appearance and top-notch functionality through seasons of use.

The quick-release spool feature allows for easy conversion from left- to right-hand retrieve, catering to the needs of both right- and left-handed anglers.

This adaptability adds a level of convenience that’s sure to be appreciated by many.


Mirage LT I: Suitable for line weights 1-3; 4.1 oz, 3.1″ diameter.

Mirage LT II: Ideal for line weights 3-5; 4.3 oz, 3.4″ diameter.

Mirage LT III: Perfect for line weights 5-7; 4.5 oz, 3.7″ diameter.

Mirage LT IV: Designed for line weights 7-9; 5 oz, 4″ diameter.

In the world of fly fishing, precision, control, and balance are everything.

The Orvis Mirage LT Fly Reel encapsulates these qualities beautifully, making it a must-have for anglers who value the art of the catch. 

Known for its lightweight design and impeccable construction, the Orvis Mirage LT is a top choice for discerning fly anglers.

2. Hatch 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic Reels: 

Hatch 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic Reels

For the discerning fly angler who seeks precision, finesse, and reliability, the Hatch 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic Reel is a true gem. 

This reel delivers exceptional power and performance and is designed to cater to the ultralight niche with line weights ranging from 0 to 2. 

Let’s dive into what makes the Hatch 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic stand out.


  • Line Weight: 0 – 2 Weight
  • Backing Capacity: 60-80 yd. #20
  • Weight: 3.2 oz.
  • Diameter: 3″
  • Width: 0.875″

Lightweight Brilliance:

The Hatch 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic Reel is a testament to the design ingenuity of Hatch Outdoors. 

Weighing in at a mere 3.2 ounces, this reel is incredibly lightweight, making it an ideal companion for ultralight fly fishing setups.

 Its compact dimensions, with a 3″ diameter and a width of 0.875″, contribute to a balanced and responsive feel on your rod. 

You’ll find that casting with this reel is a joy, and it ensures fatigue-free angling even during extended outings.

Remarkable Backing Capacity:

While designed for ultralight line weights, the Hatch 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic doesn’t compromise on backing capacity. 

It is possible to tackle a wide range of fish species, including those that may take you on a thrilling adventure, with 60-80 yards of #20 backing. 

This blend of fine-tuned performance and versatility is a hallmark of Hatch reels.

Exceptional Craftsmanship:

Hatch reels are renowned for their durability, and the Hatch 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic is no exception. 

Precision-machined from high-quality aluminum, it is both strong and corrosion-resistant, ensuring it remains pristine even in harsh environments. 

The Type II anodizing adds an extra layer of protection, making it resistant to abrasions and wear.

Smooth Drag System:

The Hatch 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic boasts a silky-smooth sealed drag system, offering precise control over your line. 

This is invaluable when dealing with ultra-light tippets, where sudden, jerky movements can lead to break-offs. 

With the Hatch 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic, you can apply the right pressure to tire out your catch without risking line breakage.

For those who savor the delicacy and challenge of ultralight fly fishing, the Hatch 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic Reel is a superb choice.

 This reel is celebrated for its durability and precision. The Hatch Gen 2 Finatic offers a sealed drag system, a large arbor for increased line retrieval, and a stunning design.

3. Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel: 

Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel

The Sage Spectrum C Fly Fishing Reel is a remarkable piece of angling equipment that seamlessly balances versatility, precision, and robust performance. 

Crafted to cater to a wide spectrum of fly fishing applications, this reel is a game-changer for both freshwater and saltwater enthusiasts. 

Let’s delve into what makes the Sage Spectrum C a standout choice for anglers.

All-Purpose Versatility:

One of the defining features of the Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel is its adaptability.

This reel is expertly engineered to cover the entire gamut of freshwater and saltwater fly fishing applications, from the delicate pursuit of Brook Trout to the thrilling challenge of Tarpon. 

This versatility makes it a go-to reel for anglers exploring different fishing environments.

SCS Drag System:

The Spectrum C boasts Sage’s proprietary high-grade US-made carbon SCS Drag System.

 This robust system can effortlessly handle high-pressure scenarios, quickly converting the kinetic energy of a running fish into thermal energy. 

Furthermore, tailored configurations allow for precise drag systems to be developed for each model, size, and fishing application. 

The system is sealed to keep out water, sand, grit, and salt, ensuring consistent and reliable performance in even the harshest conditions.

 One-Revolution Drag Knob:

Setting your preferred control level has always been challenging. The Sage Spectrum C Fly Reel features a one-revolution drag knob with numbered settings, detents, and audible clicks.

 This makes adjusting your drag a breeze, eliminating the guesswork. Whether you need decreased tension for stripping or increased pressure for battling fish, this reel helps you spend more time fishing and less time fiddling with settings.

Large Arbor Design:

The Spectrum C sports a large arbor with a rugged machined die-cast frame. This design ensures faster line pickup, giving you the upper hand when you need to retrieve a line in a hurry.

 The generous concave vented spool is a testament to the reel’s thoughtful engineering.

Durable Finish:

Sage has gone the extra mile to protect your investment. The Spectrum C is powder-coated for surface protection and corrosion resistance, making it an ideal companion for fishing in all conditions.

 Its lightweight aluminum die-cast construction is fortified with a machined finish for added strength. 

The reel also features an easy conversion from left to right-hand retrieve, catering to anglers of all preferences.

The Sage Spectrum C Fly Fishing Reel is a versatile and reliable companion for fly anglers looking to explore a variety of fishing environments. 

With its superior drag system, large arbor design, and durable finish, it’s engineered to handle freshwater and saltwater fishing rigors.

 The Sage Spectrum C offers a perfect balance between performance and affordability. 

Its smooth drag system, lightweight construction, and ergonomic handle make it a favorite among beginners and seasoned anglers.

4. Lamson Force SL Series II

Lamson Force SL Series II

The Lamson Force SL Series II has redefined the boundaries of what an angling reel can achieve.

 Building upon the legacy of the Force Superlight reel lineage, this reel sets a new standard as the lightest machined reel available in the market.

Its evolution encompasses several innovations that anglers are bound to appreciate. 

Let’s explore what makes the Lamson Force SL Series II stand out.

Record-Breaking Lightweight Design:

Lightweight is the name of the game with the Force SL Series II. It goes further to break its record as the lightest machined reel in the market. 

This attribute translates to enhanced performance, allowing anglers to fish longer without experiencing arm fatigue.

 The reduced weight makes it a perfect fit for long casting sessions and lengthy battles with strong fish.

Larger Arbor for Improved Retrieval:

An even larger arbor has been integrated into the design, increasing line retrieval rates significantly. 

This enhancement is particularly valuable when you need to quickly bring in your line, whether you’re pursuing a fish on the run or reacting to fast-changing fishing conditions.

CNC Machined Structural Development:

The Lamson Force SL Series II features an enhanced CNC machined structural development. 

This precision engineering ensures that the reel’s components work together harmoniously. 

The result is a reel that performs with seamless efficiency, while the refined styling adds a touch of elegance to your angling setup.

Pursuit of the Holy Grail:

Since its introduction in 1997, the Force reel series has strived to achieve the Holy Grail of fly reel performance – delivering the highest possible ratio of retrieve rate to reel weight. 

While some super arbor reels add extra weight to gain speed, Force reels take a different approach.

 They maintain their featherweight specifications by being pure muscle and bone. This approach ensures that every ounce of weight in the reel contributes to performance and durability.

The Lamson Force SL Series II is a groundbreaking reel that defies conventions in fly fishing. 

Its relentless pursuit of lightweight design without compromising performance sets it apart in the market.

5. Abel ROVE Series Fly Reel

Abel ROVE series Fly Reel

The Abel ROVE Series Fly Reel is a testament to the marriage of artistry and functionality, where form meets function to create a reel that’s as visually stunning as high-performing. 

This fly reel from Abel boasts impeccable design and offers an array of features that make it a top choice for discerning anglers. 

Let’s dive into what sets the Abel ROVE Series Fly Reel apart.

Partially Ported Frame for Aesthetic Balance:

One of the most striking features of the Abel ROVE Series Fly Reel is its partially ported frame. 

This design is a harmonious blend of sound and visual appeal. 

The porting reduces weight and adds to the reel’s unique and visually captivating look, making it a piece of art in its own right.

Caged Frame for Line Safety:

The caged frame design is engineered to prevent any possibility of your line getting caught between the frame and the spool. 

This feature ensures smooth line retrieval, eliminating the potential for snags or tangles during those critical moments when battling a fish.

High-Capacity Large Arbor Spool:

The high-capacity large arbor spool is designed to accommodate both single and two-handed rods.

 This versatility makes the Abel ROVE Series Fly Reel an excellent choice for anglers who want to transition seamlessly between rod types and fishing scenarios.

Structurally Integral Machining:

The structurally integral machining design is the backbone of this reel’s durability.

Able to withstand the rigorous demands of the traveling angler, it is built to endure the wear and tear of the road and the rigors of various fishing environments, ensuring you can rely on it wherever your angling adventures take you.

Artistry in Motion:

The Abel ROVE Series Fly Reel doesn’t just perform well; it’s a piece of art in motion. On the reverse side of the drag plate, the reel has laser-engraved freshwater and saltwater flies. 

These exquisite engravings rotate as the line is retrieved, adding an element of artistry to your angling experience.

Quick Change Spool and User-Convertible Drag System:

This reel boasts a quick-change spool for added convenience, allowing you to adapt to different fishing conditions easily. 

The user-convertible drag system provides versatility, letting you fine-tune your setup to your preferences.

The Abel ROVE Series Fly Reel is a remarkable angling equipment combining aesthetic beauty and robust functionality. 

Whether you’re seeking a visual masterpiece reel or a versatile performance on the water, the Abel ROVE Series Fly Reel delivers on all fronts.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fly Fishing Reel:

To find the best fly fishing reel for your needs, you should consider the type of fish you plan to catch, your skill level, and your budget. 

Additionally, the reel’s weight, arbor size, and the quality of the drag system should align with your specific fishing requirements.


A passion for fly fishing connects us with the serenity of nature and the thrill of catching fish. 

Choosing the best fly fishing reel is pivotal in making your experience unforgettable.

 Whether chasing elusive trout in a mountain stream or casting for bass in a tranquil pond, investing in a high-quality fly fishing reel will undoubtedly enhance your enjoyment of this beautiful sport.

With our recommendations and insights, you can make an informed decision when selecting the best fly fishing reel for your next adventure. 

So, get out there, cast your line, and embrace the joy of fly fishing with the right reel by your side. Happy fishing!

Check out the Fish Finder Review available on our website.

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