Having a high-quality fishing rod is not enough. Every angler needs to look at the other elements of their fishing equipment to see to it that they get the best fishing experience. You may, therefore, have to upgrade some components on the fishing rod or purchase an entirely new one with better features. One component that you can upgrade to get better performance is your fly reel (you can get a great one under $300).
In this review, we shall look at a list of the best fly reels under $300, with the hope that you will get one that you like. Do not forget to look at the buyers’ guide since it lists out the most important features you need to consider when buying your fly reel.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks
These are our favorite fly reels, are under $300, and will serve you well.
The 5 Best Fly Reels Under $300
Sage Spectrum Fly Reel
- Sealed carbon System (SCS) drag keeps out water, sand, Grit, and salt
- One Revolution drag knob with numbered and detented settings
- Large arbor for fast line pick-up, concave arbor for greater strength and capacity
- Machined and anodized aluminum ergonomic handle, easy Conversion from left- to right-hand retrieve
- Fully Machined 6061-T6 aerospace grade aluminum, cold forged and tempered for superior strength and rigidity
If you are looking for a fly reel under $300, you should look at Sage Spectrum Fly Reel. Sage, the company behind this fly reel, is popular for the manufacture of quality products that have high-end features. This particular fly reel is made for all types of fishing operations. Therefore, you can use it in freshwater fishing and fight the large fish in the large saltwater bodies. You will, however, have to do some extra maintenance if you use it in saltwater.
Sage Spectrum Fly Reel has a 6061 T6 aluminum build coated in 4 different colors: black, lime, platinum, and copper. The reel also has a top anodize, which, together with the aluminum, fights rust, abrasion, and corrosion. This fly reel has a sealed carbon system that ensures that no dirt or dust goes into the drag system.
A look at the design will tell you a lot about the type of efficiency you can expect. As soon as you start using it, you will realize that you made a lifetime investment in that you can rely on it without experiencing barely any worthwhile mechanical issues at all. The large arbor in this fly reel is very useful in picking the line fast. Not forgetting that this fly reel has a lifetime warranty cover, so you can rest assured that its manufacturer had your financial needs in mind when crafting it.
What we like about Sage Spectrum Fly Reel
- Lifetime warranty
- Used in saltwater and freshwater
- Large arbor
- Made of 6061 aluminum & top anodize
- Sealed carbon to protect the drag system
What we do not like about Sage Spectrum Fly Reel
Galvan Brookie Fly Reel
This is one of the best fly reels from Galvan, a fishing equipment manufacturing company that mainly targets the middle-class and high-end market. This company has established its reputation as one that offers top-notch performance products, and the Brookie fly reel is definitely one that falls into that category.
The Galvan Brookie Fly Reel is specifically built for use in freshwater fishing. Those who buy it use it for fishing trout. It is built to last, and the good news is that you get a lifetime warranty if you purchase it.
This fly reel is relatively smaller in comparison to other fly reels in the market. It is also light in weight, which makes it excellent for small stream fishing. For those who care to know about the country of origin, this fly reel is made in the USA, thus its quality standards do not disappoint.
The main material used to manufacture this fly reel is machined 6061 aluminum, which is excellent at resisting corrosion, rust, and abrasion. The quality of the aluminum is so good to the extent that if you dent the reel, it will not give in to corrosion. It’s a great fly reel for less than $300
What we like about Galvan Brookie Fly Reel
- Lifetime warranty
- Corrosion, rust, and abrasion-resistant.
- High quality
What we do not like about Galvan Brookie Fly Reel
- Good for freshwater only
Hardy Ultralite CADD Fly Reel
- Constructed from bar Stock 6061 alloy
- Two-tone Anodizing
- Ultra-large arbor for a quick retrieve RATE
- 360-degree color-coded drag regulator
- Captive spool release System
The Hardly Ultralite CADD Fly Reel is one of the lowest-priced products in Hardy’s line of fishing products. However, the quality of this fly reel has not been compromised in the name of a lower price. Hardy is nowadays focusing on creating high-end products, but you can expect impressive quality even with its low range and middle-range products.
The Ultralite CADD fly reel presents a versatile design suitable for a wide range of fishing activities. If you prefer doing freshwater fishing, you can purchase this fly reel, but if you decide to switch to saltwater fishing, you will not need to purchase another reel. Such is the versatility that makes this fly reel worth the money it costs. In addition, we are looking at a lightweight piece of equipment with high performance, so you cannot go wrong with it.
This unit comes in different colors, but black and titanium are the most common ones. The color aside, you will enjoy the compact and smaller design that gives you some sense of control.
This fly reel is made of aircraft 6061 aluminum that is topped with a two-tone anodized finish. This adds to the durability of the fly reel and helps prevent the dinging and dropping of the reel. On top of that, this fly reel has a classic disc drag system that enables you to stop fish easily. What’s more? This drag system is made of carbon fiber that is lightweight and durable.
What we like about Hardy Ultralite CADD Fly Reel
- Classic drag system
- Durable aluminum build
- Top performance
- Good for salt and freshwater fishing
- Compact and small
- Ultra-large arbor
What we do not like about Hardy Ultralite CADD Fly Reel
- It’s almost perfect
- BEHEMOTH FLY REEL: Combines the most powerful drag in its class with stunning aesthetics that push the limits of fly reel design. Sized for your favorite 5-weight trout rod, and all the way up to saltwater ready, big-game sizes.
- QUALITY DESIGN: The unique, un-machinable, die-cast construction is coupled with a durable, interlocking, large-arbor spool design that both looks and functions like a premium reel.
- HEAVY DUTY DRAG: A super-heavy duty carbon fiber drag package brings the utmost in drag strength, reliability and performance to the family.
- EASY RETRIEVE: The large arbor is designed for speedy line retrieval and reduced line memory. Twin molded handle with soft-tough ergonomic grip gives you great feedback when pulling in larger species of fish.
- BACKING CAPACITY: [5/6] 125 yards / 20 lb, [7/8] 200 yards / 20 lb, [9/10] 200 yards / 30 lb, [11/12] 250 yards / 20 lb
The Redington Behemoth is certainly one of the most affordable fly reels under $300 that works super efficiently. It is a behemoth amongst the fly reels, just as its name suggests. It is made through the die-cast construction technique, which is what most fly fishers are looking for.
This fly comes in several different sizes, making it a great choice for anglers who want to catch freshwater trout in the mountain streams or bonefish in the saltwater flats.
This fly also has a carbon fiber drag system that is coupled up with an oversized drag knob. These features make it easy for you to feel the fish on the other end of the line and allow them to take their eyes off of the water (if so desired). Every angler can benefit a great deal from this effectiveness, and this is the reason behind the popularity of this fly reel.
In addition to the above features, you can benefit from the Redington Behemoth’s strong drag, which rates higher than most other fly reels in this range. This feature assures you that the big fish will not get away, which is pretty much every angler’s delight. Additionally, the large arbor design in this fly reel facilitates the rapid retrieval and reduction of line memory.
What we like about Redington Behemoth
- Carbon fiber drag system
- 4 different sizes
- Good for freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing
- Large arbor
- Very affordable
What we do not like about Redington Behemoth
- It is not the lightest in this category
Galvan Rush Light Fly Reel
Galvan does not disappoint when it comes to quality, as you can see with the Galvan Rush Light Fly Reel. You will love this lightweight yet strong fly reel that is made to impress its users with its excellent design, for starters. Even as a lightweight fly reel, the Galvan Rush Light Fly Reel is quite durable. It is, however, recommended for use in freshwater fishing. Most anglers have found it quite useful in saltwater fishing, but they are forced to clean it afterward.
This fly reel features a very simplistic tri-spoke design, which actually contributes to its overall lightweight profile. It is also based on 6061 aluminum, which can resist rust, corrosion, and abrasion. So you do not have to worry about it succumbing to rust even after it gets a dent. The aircraft aluminum also has a T2 anodize finish that boosts the corrosion-resistance ability while adding to the durability.
This fly reel has a large arbor that is quite needed when fighting large fish. Not forgetting the drag system that is made of carbon fiber and thermoplastic for durability. These materials do not require any maintenance and can be something you can buy for life.
What we like about Galvan Rush Light Fly Reel
- Made of aircraft aluminum
- Has T2 anodize finish
- Carbon fiber & thermoplastic drag system
What we do not like about Galvan Rush Light Fly Reel
- Recommended for freshwater fishing
Fly Reel Buying Guide
Ready to go fishing, but you have not decided which of the above-listed fly reels is best for you? Here are some of the features that you can use to settle on the best fit:
- Arbor size – A larger arbor collects line faster than a small arbor. A large arbor will, however, cost more than a small arbor. If you do not have a fixed budget, purchasing a fly reel with a larger arbor is better.
- Type of water – Not all fly reels are meant to be used in fresh and salty water bodies. Depending on the type of water body you intend to fish in, you may need a corrosion-proof reel.
- The drag system – A fly reel under $300 should have a smooth drag system that protects your gear by smoothly applying tension to the fishing line. Carbon fiber is the best material used to manufacture drag systems.
- Weight– You will have the best fishing experience if the components on the fishing rod are all light, including the fly reel. If you are torn between two fly reels whose other properties are all similar except their weight, then you can pick the lighter one.
Conclusion: You Can Get a Great Fly Reel Under $300
If you have read the entire review, we believe you are well equipped to pick the best fly reel under $300. If you consider the features in the buyer’s guide, you will end up with a fly reel that will serve you for a long time. The arbor size, drag, weight, price, and type of water you intend to use the fly reel in are the main features to look at. With that, you can go ahead, purchase your fly reel, and get ready for the fishing action.
Last update on 2022-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API