Best saltwater fly reels for the money

When it comes to Saltwater Fly Fishing and what are the best saltwater fly reels for the money, there are a few things to consider.

Ideally, you want to be pairing the weight of the saltwater reel with the same weight as the fly rod, this will enable the balance between the 2 pieces of tackle.

Also you need to ensure that the reel you are thinking to purchase is indeed built for Saltwater and not a freshwater reel.

In the remainder of this article, we will go over our best saltwater fly reels for the money and provide you with some pros and cons on each so that you may an informed decision prior to purchasing.

Redington Behemoth Fly Reel

The Redington BEHEMOTH saltwater fly reel combines a very powerful drag in its class with stunning and beautiful aesthetics that push the limits of fly reel 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 and allows plenty of fly line onto the reel.

With a super-heavy duty carbon fiber drag package it brings the utmost in drag strength, reliability and performance.

Sized for your favorite 5-weight trout rod, and all the way up to saltwater ready, big-game sizes.

The BEHEMOTH reels offer performance and affordability to beginner and veteran anglers alike and comes with the *Redington Lifetime Warranty!

  • Best option for those on a budget but want Quality!
  • Great drag system
  • Available in several colors
  • Redington is a strong brand
  • None to mention, i like this reel a lot!


The Maximumcatch Saltwater Fly Reel is another excellent choice as it combines a lot for the price. Using the latest multi axis machining techniques, this reel has been built to last!

With is supreme build quality-The Sprint Fly Reel is forged from fully-machined high-grade 6061 T6 aluminum, making this the toughest reel they’ve ever produced.

  • The X Factor- Innovative X structure design, resulting in enhanced engineering strength without any additional weight gain.
  • Durable Drag System:-The Sprint’s carbon, cork and stainless-steel disc drag system gives you the power the battle the biggest fish while also providing a smooth turning drag.
  • V is for Victory-Deep V-spool design results in greater line capacity – ideal for ocean and saltwater flats fishing.
  • Perfect Protection-Rubber inlay on the reel’s button allows you to seamlessly fix the line to the reel without the fear of scratching your flies on the reel’s surface.

*Comes with a Lifetime Warranty from Maximumcatch!

  • Holds a lot of line
  • Drag is very good
  • Retrieves line fast!
  • Brand not as well know as some of the other reels

Hardy SDSL Fly Fishing Reel

One of the latest additions to the Hardy Saltwater reel line up.

The SDSL series of reels is fully machined from barstock 6061 Alloy and they feature a fully sealed Carbon fibre disc drag system which is capable of generating up to 16lb of pressure controlled by a 340 degree colour coded regulator. This ensures you can play almost any fish!

An extremely incredibly strong yet maintenance free reel, the SDSL is also extremely lightweight for long days on the saltwater and features a stunning Silver and Blue colour scheme and Captive spool release system so you can change up your fly lines quickly and easily.

*Another great choice of saltwater fly reel from Hardy and again it comes with a 5 year Hardy warranty.

  • World-class drag system!
  • Anti Corrosion Materials
  • Top Brand and Manufacturer
  • High End Reel, High End Price

Redington Grande

This is one of the heavyweight champions of big game fly reels. The Redington GRANDE reel is a fully anodized, machined aluminum reel that features the new sealed SUPER-TORQUE carbon drag system that will KO any fish you hook!

This reel range has gone through years of field testing, resulting with an over-sized palming rim, increased backing capacity, and designed with an easy to locate handle and drag knob so you can make quick adjustments in the heat of the battle.

  • CNC machined, anodized T-6061 aluminum construction
  • Fully sealed, SUPER-TORQUE, carbon fiber drag system provides smooth and powerful drag in all conditions
  • V-spool with backing canal arbor for reduced line stacking and increased backing capacity
  • Oversized palming rim for increased drag application and spool rigidity
  • Optimized reel foot position for true center of gravity to prevent rod twist, and unique, rounded finish for line/leader protection when stowed
  • Enlarged soft-touch, anti-snag handle machined from Delrin to increased grip and ergonomic comfort
  • Easily converts between left-hand and right-hand retrieve
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Anti snag handle
  • Oversize spool to help with “palming”
  • Switch easily from left/right hand use


    As you can see from above there are plenty of options available for you when it comes to selecting a saltwater fly reel.

    The reels come in different sizes, colors and brands! Hopefully the additional youtube videos were helpful to get an idea of their capabilities and the specs.

    My favourite out of these if i were to say what are the best saltwater fly reels for the money would be the Redington Grande. Why? It offers a great value packed fly reel that is good on price as well as build.

    Ive been fly fishing with the Redington for well over 2 years now in very harsh saltwater conditions and it’s still standing the test of time.

    Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on these saltwater fly reels and i wish you a lot of continued success with your fly fishing journey!


    What is the difference between a freshwater and saltwater fly reel?

    The main difference between saltwater fly reels and freshwater fly reels is in the build and design.

    A saltwater usually has more emphasis on the seal around the drag as this is the part most prone to corrosion by saltwater. The same with the components in a saltwater fly reel in that they need to be anti-corrosive.

    Do Saltwater fly reels require a lot of maintenance?

    Not really, a good wash down after use with clean fresh water. I also give mine a service once every 6-8 months with some lubrication on the moving parts, mainly the drag system.

    How long will a saltwater reel last for?

    I like to say as long as you look after your gear it will last you! This is the same with many things in our possessions, look after them, service them and they will last you.

    I have some saltwater fly reels that I’ve been using for well over 10 years and they are still going strong, mainly cause I look after my fly fishing tackle!

    Check out our other articles here:

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