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Fly Fishing Reels

From cast budget reels to the most durable machined reels, from basic drag systems to sophisticated adjustable ones, we've got a tremendous selection of fly reels here at Golden Fly Shop. By pairing a durable, quality reel with the right fly rod, we can help you create a set-up for the most rewarding day on the water. Browse our selection here. Need help finding the best option? Check out our Selection Guide Below.

Fly Fishing Reels Guide

Looking for the perfect fly fishing reel? Look no further than the extensive collection at Golden Fly Shop. We offer a wide range of options, from budget-friendly reels to high-end machined reels, with drag systems ranging from basic to advanced and adjustable. We believe that pairing a high-quality reel with the right fly rod is essential for a successful day on the water, and we've chosen each reel in our collection with this in mind.

Our selection includes top brands such as Hatch, Bauer, Hardy, Ross, Nautilus, Lamson, and Orvis, so you can trust that your gear will meet the highest standards of performance and durability. If you need help choosing the perfect reel for your needs and budget, our knowledgeable and friendly product experts are just a phone call away.

At Golden Fly Shop, we're committed to enhancing your angling experience, and we believe that the right reel is an essential part of that experience. So why wait? Browse our collection today, or if you need help choosing the perfect reel for your next fishing trip, we can help!

How to Choose a Fly Fishing Reel

The reel is one of the most important aspects of your fishing setup. Not only does the reel hold your line, ensuring its longevity, but it can be the determining factor in successfully landing a fish. Selecting a reel isn’t as easy as selecting a rod, and you can’t cast a reel and know it’s the one for you. Instead, there are a number of factors that need to be considered when choosing a fly reel, including the size, build, drag, and cost, to name a few.

What Makes a Good Fly Reel?


You might be asking yourself, do I need an expensive fly reel? Obviously, cost is the number one factor; not everyone can afford a high-dollar reel. Luckily, with modern technology, it isn’t super necessary to spend a ton on a reel to get a quality product. There are obvious negatives with lower-cost reels, but they absolutely do the job. That said, there are huge advantages to fishing a higher-end reel, including the build, drag system, and weight.


For the most part, we want to match the reel's size with the rod's weight. For example, when fishing a 5wt rod, it is best to match it with a reel that is sized in a ⅘, ⅚, or 5+ configuration. Most manufacturers will intentionally create reel sizes and their physical weight in order to properly balance with the configuring rod size.


The build of the reel is often an overlooked factor when selecting a reel. Reels are predominantly built in two different ways: die-cast and CNC machined. Modern die-cast reels are a big upgrade from their ancestors but still have their big flaws. Die-cast reels are created by pouring a molten substance into a mold in the shape of the reel. The materials used are often plastic, composite, or cheap metal materials. The casting process leads to air pockets and similar weak points within the reel, which inevitably makes them easier to break.

On the other hand, CNC machining is done by taking a solid chunk of metal and using a machine to directly cut the shape of the reel out of the material. This results in fewer weak points within the reel, which leads to an overall longer-lasting reel.


The drag of the reel isn’t super important to consider for trout fishermen unless you’re consistently targeting and catching bigger trout. For those who are catching large trout, as well as saltwater and other big game species, your drag should be a huge consideration when purchasing a reel. Any reel you consider should have a sealed drag system; this ensures that outside factors such as dirt, sand, ice, and saltwater don’t interfere with proper performance.

There are also different types of reel drags, mostly conical and disc drags. If you need a lot of stopping power from your reel, consider a conical drag because their minimal surface area can apply heavy pressure more effectively. Disc drag systems are great for trout or other species that don’t require a lot of stopping power.

What Fly Reel Do We Recommend?

Golden Fly Shop carries numerous high-quality reel brands, including Lamson, Abel, Ross, Hatch, Bauer, Orvis, Sage, Redington, Nautilus, and Hardy. We carry this many brands to ensure we have the proper reel that meets your criteria. Here are some reels we recommend to get started fly fishing or if you are ready for an upgrade.

Best Selling Reels:

Saltwater Reels:

Freshwater Reels:

Beginner Reels:

ALL REELS ship in the US with FREE SHIPPING.
Not sure what reel is right for you?

Not sure what reel is right for you?

Talk to the Experts at Golden Fly Shop for personalized recommendations.


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