Fly Reels on Amazon – Are They The “Reel” Deal?

Online ShoppingCan You Find Quality Fly Reels On Amazon?


Amazon has become a place for users to purchase everything from school supplies to fresh groceries. Amazon has also opened up the market for overseas markets, providing us with inexpensive products. The question is, are these products any good, and can I find quality fly reels on Amazon?

Fly fishing has also been affected by Amazon’s success, and we’re going to be deciding whether these products are as good as the name-brand products we know and love.

Before we take a look at the quality of a few fly fishing reels on Amazon, let’s think of a few reasons why we buy “expensive” fly rods.

What Should You Look For In A Fly Reel?


I want to preface that this list won’t include every reason why anglers buy a fly reel but this list should include most of the crucial features we look for. I also will give a breakdown of the anatomy of a fly reel for our new anglers.

Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing ReelThis is a breakdown of the Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel on Amazon.

When most anglers look for a new reel they are definitely concerned about the price but more than that we are worried about the features and construction.

For example, the build material of the reel is usually the first thing I look for. I look for machined aluminum or CNC milled aluminum. Other materials might include some type of plastic, stamped aluminum, cast aluminum, milled aluminum, aerospace-grade milled aluminum, or even aerospace-grade milled titanium.

Arbor Size:

The next thing that I look for would be the arbor size. Fly reels come in different arbor sizes and some people are partial to certain sizes. I for one, prefer reels with mid to large-sized arbors. My reasons for liking larger arbors are that you can reel line in faster, they offer more consistent drag when fighting fish, you need less backing line, and your line will have less memory.

Drag System:

Another component I look at is the drag system. There are two main types of drag systems, disk drag, and click-and-pawl, but they are very important. Think of the drag like the brakes on a bike, it slows the rate that the line leaves the reel. If your drag fails while fighting a fish it could lock up and cause the line to break, or it could provide zero resistance and the fish could run out all of your line.

Expensive rods tend to have a disk system with either a cork friction disk or a type of composite friction disk. The expensive reels also tend to make “fully sealed” drag systems, meaning they are closed off from outside elements. This is nice because when you get sand or dirt in your drag system it will wear down the friction disk so you would have to regularly have to clean it.

Spools:

This brings us to our next point, quick release spools. What I mean by this is the ability to quickly remove the spool from the reel frame. This is a huge plus if you don’t have a sealed drag and want to clean it. It is also really helpful if you have more than one spool rigged with a different line. This makes switching lines much faster than switching the entire reel.

You should also make sure that the tolerances are good, meaning that the reel doesn’t have a lot of play between the spool and the frame.

You should also look at what you’ll be fishing for and where. Obviously, there are different weight sizes on reels but you also need to look at construction if you are planning on fishing saltwater. Certain materials will corrode in saltwater and ruin your reel.

Customer Support:

Customer support is another big one. If something breaks or I have a question about the reel it’s important that I can contact customer support. Usually, this means that the reel is USA-made (since I live in the USA). That way you have similar time zones and there is no language barrier.

Aesthetics:

I also will definitely look at the aesthetics of the reel, nobody wants an ugly fly reel! Like I mentioned earlier, this is not a full list of everything you might look for in a fly reel but it covers the basics.

Amazon Fly Reel – Piscifun Sword


Now that we have looked at important reel features, let’s see if Amazon’s fly reels meet the same marks!Fly Reels on Amazon

Number one on our list is the Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel. Here is a list of features that this reel has. I will include a rating of 1-3 after each point to signify whether it meets our standards or not.

  • CNC milled frame and spool (3)
  • Medium-sized arbor (3)
  • Disk cork drag (not sealed) (2)
  • Quick-release spool (3)
  • 0.04inch tolerance between spool and frame (3)
  • Corrosion resistance, anodized finish (not for saltwater) (2)
  • Not made in the USA but does include 3 yr warranty (2)
  • Visually appealing, 4 available colors. (3)

Bonus Features:

  • This rod costs less than $50 for a 4/5wt! (1)
  • They offer this reel from a 3/4wt up to a 9/10wt! (1)
  • There are 1,768 reviews and 4.6 stars! (1)
  • There are 172 answered questions! (1)

Overall rating: 21 + 4 bonus points = 25 points

Amazon Fly Reel – Angler Dream


The first Amazon reel we looked at scored quite well and seems like it would make a great freshwater reel. Let’s take a look at another Amazon fly reel to see if it, also, can compete with expensive high-end fly rods.

Number two on our list is the Angler Dream Fly Reel. Here is a list of features that this reel has. As I did earlier, I will include a rating of 1-3 after each point to signify whether it meets our standards or not.Fly Reels on Amazon

  • Cast aluminum frame and spool (2)
  • Large-sized arbor (3)
  • Disk Teflon drag (not sealed) (2)
  • No quick-release spool (1)
  • Tolerance unknown (1)
  • Corrosion resistance, anodized finish (not for saltwater) (2)
  • Not made in the USA (1)
  • Not super visually appealing, 2 available colors. (2)

Bonus Features:

  • This rod costs less than $40 for a 7/8wt! (1)
  • They offer this reel from a 1/2wt up to a 7/8wt! (1)
  • There are 786 reviews and 4.1 stars! (1)
  • There are 36 answered questions! (1)
  • This rod comes pre-loaded with backing and fly line! (1)

Overall rating: 14 + 5 bonus points = 19 points

 

Some Amazon Reels Are Worth It


We looked at two fly rods from Amazon but there are MANY more available reels on Amazon. In fact, there are more than 1000 results on Amazon for fly reels.

What I decided in this experiment was that you can definitely find fly reels on Amazon with similar specs to high-end reels for a fraction of the price. If you want to add another reel to your collection then you can definitely find one on Amazon.

After looking at the results of our little experiment, I would definitely recommend the Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel. This reel received really high makes and had some of the same components offered on very expensive rods. By no means do I think this reel is better than a $1000 Abel reel, but this reel is less than $40 and for that price this reel is incredible.

Go pick up one of these reels and go catch something! If you are new to the sport check out my article on fly fishing techniques for beginners. I also have an article on a few knots you should know when fly fishing that you could check out.

Please reach out through the comments if you liked this article or if you have any questions!

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