The Takeaway:

1. Our Pick: Waterworks Lamson Liquid

2. Runner-Up: Pflueger Trion

3. Also Great: Redington Path

Fly fishing is one of the most enjoyable ways to connect with the outdoors and challenge your fishing abilities. Unfortunately, it can also be very expensive, something which often keeps new anglers from giving it a try. But it does not need to be so. There are a plenty of reliable gears available for less than the cost of your last car.

Let me show you some quality product in the best fly reels under 100 dollars category, reliable enough to get you started and cheap enough to let you do so without replacing all your other hobbies.

Find out more about my personal favorite, Lamson’s Liquid, assembled at the same shop responsible for producing top of the line custom reels. Or for other options, see the many other economical reels reviewed below. It is easy to see that fly fishing does not have to consume all your money – just your free time.

Despite the image portrayed by the high-end equipment manufacturers and even a large percentage of hardcore fly fishers, fly fishing does not need to cost you an arm and a leg. Tell one of these hardcore anglers you are packing a reel that cost under $100, and I guarantee you will get a quizzical look in return. But land a monster trout or your first bass on that reel, and you will both forget about any initial doubt. After all, the name of the game is not how much you gear costs but how many fish you land.

Our Pick: Waterworks Lamson Liquid

Lamson created the Liquid with one goal in mind – to produce the best under 100 possible. Although they just barely accomplished this in terms of the price limit, the end product is worth every penny. The Liquid boasts a sleek modern design, which by appearance alone should cost much more than it does.The frame and large arbor spool are pressure cast aluminum and finished in polyurethane which produces an end product much cheaper than machined competitors. However, it’s still able to withstand the rigors of heavy use under extreme conditions.

An image of Lamson Liquid fly reel
Waterworks Lamson Liquid

The sealed conical drag is both easy to use and dependable, and the large knobs will be a welcome feature when wearing gloves or using wet fingers. Despite the use of lower cost components, each Liquid is assembled in Boise alongside the company’s more expensive, exclusive models. It is also subject to the same high level of quality control.

This unique combination of affordable from the ground up design, attention to detail, and superior quality control is why Lamson’s Liquid is my top pick for best fly reel under 100 dollars. You may even wonder if they didn’t send you one of their high-end reels by mistake.

Runner-Up: Pflueger Trion

Pflueger is known for their high quality, dependable reels and the Trion is no exception. The forged, machined and anodized Aluminum frame and spool are designed to stand up to anything a beginner or mid-level fly fisherman will encounter, including extreme weather conditions.

Pflueger Trion Fly Reel

The Mid-size arbor is also excellent for new fly anglers as it is less likely to create line memory. Oversized ball bearing and one-way clutch bearing, as well as a patented center disc drag, will provide control and dependability far beyond what one would expect. Even in a reel that costs twice as much.

It is also easily converted to either right or left-hand retrieve. Simply handling this reel will demonstrate why it is one of the best fly fishing reels under $100, even if it does make the cut with only a few dollars to spare.

Also Great: Best Saltwater Fly Reel – Redington Path

Redington produces a broad range of economy-priced fly fishing gear designed to let the beginner test the sport without getting in over their head. The PATH reel system is a quality starter reel intended to allow the full fly fishing experience minus the expected expense.

Redington PATH Fly Reel

The durable aluminum frame is cheaper to produce but robust enough to withstand heavy use. Its spools, available for less than $40 each, can be quickly changed when your specific adventure calls for a different line choice. It can also be easily converted to either right or left-hand use. A strong disc drag system and large arbor design will deliver the fish stopping power needed to be successful in your early adventures.

While I would not go as far as claiming the PATH as THE best fly reel under $100, I would feel comfortable claiming it is the best saltwater fly reel under $100. With easy to change spools and reasonably priced replacements, you do not need to worry as much about possible corrosion. Just remove them and wash off or have a second set for saltwater use.

Other Products to Consider

Temple Forks Outfitters TFR NXT

Temple Forks Outfitters has recognized the need to provide value-priced fly fishing equipment without sacrificing quality, and the TFR NXT is their flagship reel.

The lightweight aluminum reel is die-cast to reduce cost without foregoing fish fighting strength or being too heavy for a full day of use. The spools, also available separately, can be easily changed and designed with a large arbor many beginners find easier to use.

TFR NXT Large Arbor 

The adjustable disc drag allows on-the-go changes and will enable anglers to tackle a wide array of fish species under a variety of conditions.

Even experienced anglers will find this to be a quality reel and understand why it is one of the best fly reels under 100 dollars. It is indeed capable of providing hassle-free fishing for many seasons to come.

Tica G-series Veteran

The G-Series Veteran by TICA is a quality reel designed to help land the big ones without burning a hole in your savings. Whether you are chasing stocked trout in your backyard stream or searching for big boys in Montana and Idaho’s, the Veteran will provide the dependability and time-tested reliability needed to fill your creel time after time.

The CNC-machined aluminum frame, spool, and stand are far more advanced than you would expect for the cost. It has been proven more dependable than similar die cast models.

TICA G-Series Veteran Large Arbor

The power drag system, oversized drag washer, precision ball bearings and one-way clutch provide the fighting power needed to land your next trophy. Also, the versatility to bring in native mountain stream brookies. Finally, the easy conversion from right to left-hand use, carved wooden handle, and free carry bag are a nice bit of icing on the cake.

Final Thoughts on Best Fly Reels Under 100 Dollars 2024

So there you have it, the top picks for the best fly reels under 100 dollars categories. Now it is time for you to get your own reel for under $100 and prove that it is not about how much your gear costs but rather how well it works. See if you do not have just as much fun on an affordable but dependable set up as your buddy does with his custom reel costing 3 or 4 times as much! Whether you select the Lamson Liquid, my personal favorite, or one of the other examples, I am sure you will agree that fly fishing does not need to be expensive only fun!


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