Jay_paternostro

Best fly reel under $200

Rate this topic

32 posts in this topic

Posted (edited) · Report post

Fly reels for trout need not be complicated. Buy what suits your interest and budget. You might want to give some consideration to the balance of the outfit so the reel and rod hang level in your hand. If I had a choice I would buy a cheap reel and put the money in a better quality fly line and rod.

Edited by JEFFSOD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Second the Battenkill suggestion.  The older mid-arbor ones are bombproof.  Can find them for $175 or less used. 

 

The other reel that I think you should look at for even less money, though, is the Lamson Liquid - currently available for $119 with two extra spools at Sierra Trading.  Hard to beat that deal.  Spend another $25 for a 150 yard spool of good quality 20lb dacron backing to fill them all up with at ~50-60 yards each.  And then pick up a Scientific Anglers MPX line on closeout at Sierra for around $29  Total = ~ $170. Later on add a double taper or triangle taper (e.g., Airflo Delta) line for lighter delivery (i.e., small dries) and a type 2 or 3 full sinking line for lake fishing.

 

But then again I'm a bargain hunter when it comes to fly gear, especially for trout (where the reel is basically just a fancy line holder).

waterworks-lamson-liquid-5-plus.jpg

scientific-anglers-mastery-gpx.jpg

Edited by Killiefish
add photos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Killiefish said:

Second the Battenkill suggestion.  The older mid-arbor ones are bombproof.  Can find them for $175 or less used. 

 

The other reel that I think you should look at for even less money, though, is the Lamson Liquid - currently available for $119 with two extra spools at Sierra Trading.  Hard to beat that deal.  Spend another $25 for a 150 yard spool of good quality 20lb dacron backing to fill them all up with at ~50-60 yards each.  And then pick up a Scientific Anglers MPX line on closeout at Sierra for around $29  Total = ~ $170. Later on add a double taper or triangle taper (e.g., Airflo Delta) line for lighter delivery (i.e., small dries) and a type 2 or 3 full sinking line for lake fishing.

 

But then again I'm a bargain hunter when it comes to fly gear, especially for trout (where the reel is basically just a fancy line holder).

waterworks-lamson-liquid-5-plus.jpg

scientific-anglers-mastery-gpx.jpg

I always look there first. I have two lamson trout size reels and two lines this year. I think one of them is a liquid but in Black color. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the Lamson Liquids are a bit fragile and dent if you are on any rocks.....believe me.  I still use an older Bauer LM5 with 10wt line.  I purchased that used for that price point.  The Colton CGR ll has been great.  I got it for under $200

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any reel dropped on rocks will dent, just a matter of how hard the knock.  For freshwater trout use you can pick almost any modern reel and it will be sufficient because it's just a line holder.  My thinking is if someone is strapped for cash, and has a $200 budget, they should at least look at what that amt. of $ can buy.  The best deal currently that I know about is the Liquid 3 pack for less than one would spend on an extra spool with most other current offerings.  I'd still prefer an older Battenkill mid-arbor, if just looking for one reel under $200, which is why I recommended that as well.  BTW, the Colton CRG II will also dent, and the spool will bend if dropped.  Another good option though, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another vote for the liquid.  I think I have 3 of them now.  You can get the liquid spooled with a Rio trout line for like $150.  Add a rod and good to go for years to come.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

A 16" trout is a fairly large trout and can give you a good fight. 

 

What kind of drag do you want? A "click & pawl" is less expensive if you don't mind having to palm the reel for the fight. Some folks really like that action. Some of us prefer a disc drag that can be loosened or tightened depending on the situation. These are more expensive; but well worth the money. 

 

Machined and anodized aluminum is the material of choice. Cast aluminum can shatter if dropped on a hard surface (rock or driveway). Stay away from graphite!

 

;) You can always start with a less expensive reel and "trade up" when ready. The best reel under $200 is a lightly used $300-$400 reel. No issues with any of the above recommended reels; but if I'm going to spend $200; then I will save for the better reel or go used. As examples I bought a Ross Evolution with spare spool for $250 this spring. Bought a couple Tetons (full cage for nymph rods) and paid about $100 ea. Also bought a Ross Rhythm 2 for around $100. All are fully machined disc drag reels and all were in excellent condition. Used gear is always about condition!

 

Edited by Ladyfish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would call a 16" trout in the a decent fish in many rivers in the east.

 

what length and line wt rod are we talking about? 

 

Dont be scared away from cast aluminum reels. The Lamson reel @Killiefish posted above  is a fine reel with a drag that is more than enough for any water. I currently have a cast aluminum orvis clearwater that I have used heavily for the past 4 or 5  years that has been dropped, bumped, knocked into, tossed around in boats. It is not any worse for the wear than machined reels I've previously used and abused.

 

As fly anglers we tend to make things more complicated than they need to be. Please don't get caught up in paralysis by analysis thinking you have to find the 'best' reel for this application.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.