Anyone who is in the market for a new Saltwater fly reel knows that there are plenty of options to wade through. Both expensive and cheap reels will get the job done, but many fishermen take pride in the quality of the equipment used.
Throughout this article we will help you find the right reel for the job by discussing the benefits and construction of salt water fly reels as well as reviewing some of the top reels.
Table Of Contents
- Best Saltwater Fly Reels
- What Are Saltwater Fly Reels?
- Benefits of Saltwater Fly Reels
- Considerations Before Buying Salt Water Fly Reels
- How To Choose Your Saltwater Line Weight
- Must Have Saltwater Line Weight for Popular Fishing Destinations
- How Many Rods Should You Bring?
- Best Salt Water Fly Reels Reviewed
- What Is The Best Saltwater Fly Reel For The Money
- Conclusion – The Best All Around Saltwater Fly Rod
Best Saltwater Fly Reels
- Redington Path Fly Rod Kit
- Piscifun Crest
- Isafish Fly Fishing Reel
- Fiblink Saltwater Fly Fishing Reel
- BluFied Fly Reel
What Are Saltwater Fly Reels?
Saltwater fly reels are some of the toughest pieces of fishing equipment found on the market today. Built like freshwater reels saltwater fly reels are elegant, and tough with a beautiful look that is also functional.
Saltwater reels are made specifically for the angler that is looking to tackle the challenge of fly fishing in a saltwater environment, which means these reels are less apt to end up rusty and corroded by the end of fishing season.
This alone makes this piece of equipment a must have for the saltwater fisherman. The reason saltwater fly reels are some of the toughest pieces of equipment out there is because of one simple fact, Saltwater fishing will push both the angler and the equipment to the limits in a different way than freshwater fishing ever could.
Any angler with saltwater experience will tell you that even the toughest reel is apt to break, so ensure you have a quality reel, and always bring a backup.
Benefits of Saltwater Fly Reels
The first and most important benefit to using a saltwater fly reel is the simple fact that saltwater reels are stronger and more durable than freshwater. Saltwater fish are larger and fight harder than freshwater fish, which will put a lot of stress on the equipment, stress which a saltwater fly reel is designed to handle.
Another major benefit to using one of these tough but elegant reels is the fact that most of them are anodized, a coating which will keep the saltwater from corroding the reel.
Saltwater fly reels are also larger in overall construction. Not only to make them tougher to handle landing the big one, but to hold more line than their smaller freshwater cousin, as an angler may need to let out more line when freshwater fly fishing.
These large-arbor reels are becoming increasingly more popular among anglers as they have a quicker retrieval rate than other reels as well. Now that you know a little about why to use a salt water fly reel, lets take a look at what you should be looking for when buying a saltwater fly reel.
Considerations Before Buying Salt Water Fly Reels
Materials and Overall Construction
Fly reels are made up of several parts, the reel foot, the Arbor, the drag and drag knob and the spool release. What these parts are made of can influence how the reel stands up to use.
Stamped metal or injection molded reels are the cheapest to buy, but will not last as long, these metal reels do not have an anodized coating and will corrode with too much salt water exposure.
Cast aluminum alloys are a bit more durable and stand up to more corrosion. These reels are moderately priced. Carbon fiber composite reels are mixed with some metal parts, these reels do not need a corrosion resistant coating, and are a little higher priced, but will last a lot longer.
Machined aluminum alloys are the most durable reels on the market and come with an anodized coating that can come in multiple colors. These reels are the most expensive, but highest quality available.
The fishing conditions will play a large part in fly reel durability. If you are a once in a while angler with smaller fish in mind any reel construction and material will more than likely be fine.
When we talk about salt water fly reel construction becomes an important topic because (hopefully) your reel will be exposed to larger fish.
Having a sealed drag on a saltwater fly reel is extremely important to ensure the corrosive saltwater doesn’t get into the discs in the drag system and break them down. Having a good sealed drag is important on a salt water reel as it will help when the big one puts up a fight.
Fly reels have two types of drag, disc drag and the older click and pawl. Disc drags are more efficient and create a smoother drag because of the construction of the system.
A disc drag is basically a set of small discs that applies pressure on the reel giving it a smooth drag. There are great reels available with the antiquated click and pawl drag system, but disc drag is the best for your buck.
Plenty of Backing
A large amount of backing is important when saltwater fly fishing because the small amount of line on a fly reel can run out fast with the larger fish.
Backing is designed to ensure that when a fish runs with your line you don’t lose a fish from running out of line on a hard run. Because backing is small and cheap any angler can easily add it to the reel and not have to worry about running out of line.
The size of the reel chosen should directly correlate to the size of fish being chased. The smaller lightweight reels that are used for freshwater fishing rarely hold up to the rigors of salt water fishing.
A larger reel will be able to support the larger fish that come with salt water fishing and will make the fight much more enjoyable.
How To Choose Your Saltwater Line Weight
There are many factors that will come into play when determining what line weight, you will be using. Everything from the conditions, the size of the fish, and even the fly rod being used. In order to decide what line, you must use you need to asses your situation, as there is no one solution for every situation.
Must Have Saltwater Line Weight for Popular Fishing Destinations
As previously stated, there is no one line that will match all situations. There are however some types of line that every angler should have on hand. For Saltwater fly fishing this line is saltwater braided line.
This line is light enough that it doesn’t feel stiff and will sink faster but it will be able to stand up to the fight of a large saltwater fish.
How Many Rods Should You Bring?
Once again, this topic is of some hot debate within the fly-fishing community, but the general consensus seems to be that 2 fly rods are all that is necessary.
A lighter weight line and rod such as a 5 weight for freshwater fish or smaller fish, and a heaver weight rod 8 weight is a popular for the heavier fish encountered while saltwater fishing.
Best Salt Water Fly Reels Reviewed
The Redington Path II is a great kit for the angler that is new to the sport but willing to spend a little money. At almost $200 this kit contains everything you need to hit the water. With a medium-fast action this rod and reel combo can be used for just about every fishing situation. The anodized reel makes this corrosion resistant and great for saltwater fishing.
Machined from anodized aluminum this reel coming in at around $100 is a tough mid-level reel for the angler that is looking to upgrade reels. The sealed drag makes this reel ideal for saltwater use.
The Isafish reel is made from aluminum alloy and sealed in a carbon fiber and stainless-steel finish which will somewhat stand up to corrosion. At about $40 per reel this is also a good candidate for those just beginning in the sport.
The Fiblink large arbor reel is also machined aluminum alloy and boasts a corrosion resistant coating, and at $30 for the reel it is on the cheap side, but overall is a good product for light to moderate use.
The BluFied reel is a highly rated $30 aluminum reel that would be perfect for a beginner and a master angler alike. The carbon fiber and stainless-steel coating makes it great for light saltwater fishing trips.
What Is The Best Saltwater Fly Reel For The Money
The best saltwater reel for your buck is the Isafish Fly Reel. This reel comes in at a moderate $40 and while not anodized, for the fisherman that is not constantly on the ocean, this reel will be the best quality.
The carbon fiber and stainless-steel parts will hold up to most saltwater use, as long as the reel is cleaned after each use in saltwater it will last years.
Conclusion – The Best All Around Saltwater Fly Rod
The best all around saltwater fly rod will depend greatly on the fishing situation. There are, however, some general things you should look for in a rod. Like the reel the rod should be covered in an anti-corrosion material, as well as have anti-corrosion hand wraps.
Several freshwater rods will begin to deteriorate with too much use in saltwater environments. Finding a comfortably affordable flyrod that is corrosion resistant is the goal here.