Best Saltwater Fly Reels

When you going saltwater fly fishing, you have to make sure your equipment can withstand corrosion and other harsh elements that come with saltwater. That’s why choosing a good saltwater fly reel is important. Here we will review some of the best saltwater fly reels to use on your next fishing trip

Best Saltwater Fly Fishing Reels

  1. Piscifun Crest Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel Saltwater CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Fly Reel
  2. Redington Behemoth Fly Reel
  3. Piscifun Platte Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 5/6 Gunmetal
  4. Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel
  5. Orvis Hydros SL Fly Reel

1. Piscifun Crest Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel Saltwater CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Fly Reel – Best Saltwater Fly Reel for the Money

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Piscifun
Weight: 8.8 Oz
Line Weights: 5/6, 7/8, 9/10
Material: 6061 T6 Aluminum
Sealed Drag: Yes

Our number one pick is the Piscifun Crest Saltwater Fly Fishing Reel. This reel is made from anodizes 6061 T6 aluminum making it ultra-durable. It has a fully sealed carbon drag which makes it able to withstand saltwater, freshwater, sand, and any other elements. The reel features a U-sharped arbor and large flared cranking handle for a rapid pickup. It also features a click-drag system. The only drawback with this reel is that it is factory set for a left-handed retrieve. You can switch the retrieve to right-handed by following the instructions in this video. 

Pros
  • Large U-shaped arbor for fast pickup
  • Adjustable click drag system
  • Fully sealed drag
Cons
  • Designed for left-handed retrieve. Can be changed to right-handed by following this guide

 

2. Redington Behemoth Fly Reel – Best Saltwater Fly Reel Under 150

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Reddington
Weight: 8 – 15 Oz
Line Weights: 4/5, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12
Material: Die-cast Aluminum
Sealed Drag: No

The number two spot on our list goes to the Redington Behemoth Fly Reel. It is made from die-cast aluminum construction and features ergonomic handles. The larger arbor is made to speed retrieve and reduce line memory. The reel also features a deep V spool for backing capacity and a powerful adjustable carbon fiber drag. The only drawback with this one is that the drag is not sealed. Since the drag is not sealed, you just need to take extra care to keep sand and other contaminants out, and the reel should stay durable and work flawlessly for years.

Pros
  • Easily convertible to right or left-handed
  • Powerful Drag
Cons
  • Not a fully sealed drag

 

3. Piscifun Platte Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel with CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy Body 5/6 Gunmetal – Best Saltwater Fly Reel Under 300

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Piscifun
Weight: 6-8.3 Oz
Line Weights: 5/6, 7/8, 9/10
Material: 6061 T6 Aluminum
Sealed Drag: Yes

The next spot on our list is brought to you once again by Piscifun with their Platte Fully Sealed Fly Fishing Reel. This reel is made from lightweight 6061 T6 Aluminum and features a large arbor design and fully sealed drag. It picks up line fast which makes it efficient for saltwater and freshwater fishing. It has a click-drag knob and retrieve while featuring diamond knurling on the drag knob for an easier grip. Like their previous model, this one is set to left-handed and you will have to manually change it to right-handed.

Pros
  • Fully sealed drag
  • Click-drag knob and retrieve
  • Powerful drag
Cons
  • Set to left-handed, but can be changed to right if needed

 

4. Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel – Best Cheap Saltwater Fly Reel

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Okuma
Weight: 7.2 – 11.2 Oz
Line Weights: 5/6, 7/8, 8/9, 10/11
Material: Diecast Aluminum
Sealed Drag: No

The number four spot belongs to the Okuma SLV Fly Reel. This budget-friendly reel is made from diecast aluminum and features a large arbor design for fast line retrieval. The reel features a multi-disc cork drag that slows down hard-charging fish. It also has a roller bearing that engages the drag in one direction, and non-slip rubber handle knobs. The reel is made to easily convert to right or left-handed. The best thing about this option is how affordable it is compared to other reels. If you’re shopping for a budget-friendly reel, this is a great option to consider.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Smooth easy to adjust the drag
  • Non-slip rubber handle knobs
Cons
  • Not a fully sealed drag

 

5. Orvis Hydros SL Fly Reel – Best Saltwater Fly Reel for Large Fish

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Orvis
Weight: 10.1-14.7 Oz
Line Weights: 1-3, 3-5, 5-7, 7-9, 9-11
Material: 6061 T6 Aluminum
Sealed Drag: Yes

The final spot on our list goes to the Orvis Hydros SL Fly Reel. This fly reel is made from 6061 T6 Aluminum and features a fully sealed drag, which makes it excellent for withstanding salt water, sand, and other elements. It features a narrow spool which is designed for less line slacking and increased backing capacity. It has a large arbor for fast retrieval, retrieve clicker and ergonomic drag knob. Overall this is an excellent high-performance reel, with the only drawback being that it is a little bit expensive.

Pros
  • Fully sealed drag
  • Large arbor for fast retrieval
  • Less line slacking and increased backing capacity
Cons
  • A little expensive compared to other options on the list

 

Saltwater Fly Reel Buying Guide

When shopping for a good saltwater fly reel, there are a few things you want to pay attention to

  1. Saltwater Resistant Material
  2. Large Arbor
  3. Sealed Drag
  4. Disc Drag

Saltwater Resistant Material

The first thing you need to look for is a reel that is made from anti-corrosion material that will withstand saltwater. Make sure when shopping that the reel is described as a saltwater reel. Usually most aluminum reels are fine for saltwater. Even if your reel is saltwater friendly, it is probably still a good idea to rinse it off in freshwater after use. This will keep your reel working flawlessly for years and years.

Large Arbor

The arbor refers to the diameter of the spool. Having a large arbor offers increased line retrieval rates, which means fewer cranks to regain your line. This is important when fighting a large fish that may take a large amount of line. Always look for a reel with a large arbor

Sealed Drag

The drag is the part of the reel that is more vulnerable to wear and tear. A sealed drag means that your reel with withstand dirt and grime better than a nonsealed drag. We usually recommend sealed drags over non-sealed ones, but if you take proper care of your reel, a model with an unsealed drag is not a deal-breaker.

Disc Drag

Fly reels with a disc drag are more powerful at slowing down a fish. Disc drags are made from a set of discs or washers applying pressure to the spool which slows it down. You will need a drag that offers poundage that is dependent on the type of fish you are looking for.  A larger fish species will need more poundage. Most saltwater fly reels these days are disc drags, which we recommend over older click and pawl drags.