You may not see them often, but the best automatic fly reels can come in quite handy if you want to save your arms some hard work.
Automatic fly reels work by having a spring attached inside of them, which, when triggered, collects the loose lines without you needing to do it manually. Sure, they have some drawbacks, such as limited storage capacity, but auto fly reel fishing can be fun when you are fishing for small to midsized trout.
After testing and reviewing dozens of auto fly reels, I conclude Pflueger Automatic Fly Reel as the best automatic fly reel, and Aventik Super Light Fly Fishing Reel as the Best Semi-Automatic Fly Reel.
Here are the seven best automatic fly reels that you must try at least once in your angling lifetime. But let’s first discuss the advantages and disadvantages of automatic fly fishing reels.
Advantages Of Automatic Fly Reels
Although automatic fly reels are not as common these days, they offer some advantages that you cannot overlook.
- A self-winding fishing reel minimizes the efforts you have to put in catching a fish.
- You don’t have to sit beside them while they fish
- Most of them are very affordable
- Automatic fly fishing reels reduce the chances of lines getting tangled
- The technique is relatively easy to master
Disadvantages Of Automatic Fly Reels
Despite the advantages, automatic fly reels are almost obsolete for quite a few reasons;
- Automatic reel fishing won’t give you a pure angling experience
- The capacity to hold backing is pretty limited
- There is little to no drag, so they are not practical for bigger fish
- There are no extra spools
- Automatic reels are complex when it comes to maintenance. The tension in them could be dangerous. Also, never disassemble them without wearing eye protective gear.
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Best Automatic Fly Reels Reviews
Below is the detailed analysis of each of the six best automatic fly fishing reels:
1. Pflueger Automatic Fly Reel – Best Automatic Fly Fishing Reel
- Color: black
Anyone into the best automatic fly reels knows Pfleuger as a timeless classic. They are a vintage piece of metal and, indeed, one of the best in the business. The reel structure is a durable aluminum alloy with the size of the spool fit for ⅞ wt lines. All of these specs make these self-reeling fishing reels fit for landing some modest-sized trouts.
The stainless steel spring recoils on pressing the trigger and collects the free line smoothly. It is a quick and efficient way of enjoying angling without dealing with tangled lines and sore arms. I can quickly bring my fish to the deck without any bumps.
The longevity, however, is something that worries me a little. The weight is slightly more than what I would have liked for something designed to give your arms some comfort. But still, it balances beautifully on my bamboo and glass rods, so that’s that.
- The structure is durable aluminum alloy
- Most of the inner components are stainless steel which seems to be sturdy
- It collects lines swiftly
- The size is perfect for mid-sized trout
- It also weighs a bit more
2. Aventik Super Light Automatic Nymph Fly Fishing Reel – Best Semi-Automatic Fly Reel
- Color: black
- Weight: 7.83 oz
When you get tired of casting all day, give the best automatic fly reel by Aventik a shot. It is super lightweight because what’s the use of an automatic fly reel if it cannot relax your arms due to its heavyweight.
The casing of this reel is matte black plastic, but the machinery inside it is all metal. You need to lubricate the insides before using them, and you are good to go. The click-and-pawl drag system is smooth and ideal for keeping the weight of the reel light. Plus, it is so moderately priced.
A lever on the side of the reel can retrieve almost 10 feet of line with a single pull. I found it very useful while fishing in a fast water stream where I had to cast a line on a long distance and needed to pick it up fast when a fish hooked in.
The only problem is that this reel is not fully automatic as advertised. It is semi-automatic and a perfect one!
- It is very lightweight
- It picks up the line swiftly
- The insides are all metal and durable
- The drag system is smooth
- It is affordable
- It is semi-automatic reel
3. Peerless Bam Ritm Semi-Automatic Fly Fishing Reel – Self Casting Fishing Reel With A Braking System
- Color: black
- Weight: 3.03 oz
This French reel is semi-automatic and has one purpose: make fly fishing simpler! The mechanics involve nothing too fancy for a plain or novice angler to understand. You cast the line in a river or a lake for trout, you hook one, you press the trigger, and this reel does the rest. It reels in extra lines and quickly brings the trout to your net.
It wounds lines at the speed of 0.8m per rotation which is quite impressive, I must say. The internal braking system is a handy feature that makes the angling experience even more pleasurable. And to top it all off, it costs well under $100.
But sadly, it isn’t as good as the best automatic fly reel would expect. The return spring seems a little weak and performs questionably. Mine even got stuck after a few attempts to get it going. The lever also has some issues and feels too tight. Overall, this auto fishing reel left me wanting more.
- It makes fly fishing uncomplicated and more enjoyable
- It brings in fish easily and quickly
- The return speed is impressive
- It is affordable
- Features a handy braking system
- The lever is little tight
4. 6 Mechanical Fisher’s Yo Yo Fishing Reels – Pack Of 6 Yo-Yo Auto Fishing Reels
- Color: silver
- Weight: 10.41 oz
These Yo-Yo reels rule commercial fishing. They are lightweight, affordable, available in bulk, and simplest. Plus, you can use them anywhere. They are compatible with decks, and limbs and are perfect for ice fishing. Just make sure to place them a few inches above water level, and you are good to go.
The flat trigger is very sensitive and better than the standard wire one. All you have to do is place the reel, add bait to the hook, set the trigger, and sit back and relax. This fly fishing reel will do the fishing for you. As soon as a fish hooks, the line will retrieve automatically and get the fish out of the water before it starts to run away. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
The stainless steel assembly is long-lasting and robust. Plus, it comes pre-spooled with a nylon line. The only not-so-nice feature is that it did not have an instructions manual. I recommend watching some tutorials on setting them up online to get some sense of using them.
- They are effortless to use
- They are lightweight and affordable
- You can set up your camp while this reel catches fish for you
- Stainless steel construction is sturdy
- It comes pre-spooled
- No instructions manual
5. White’s Auto Fisher 6 Yo Yo Automatic Fishing Reel – Best Automatic Fishing Reel For Handicap
- Color: silver
- Weight: 12.80 oz
Here’s another in the yo-yo fishing reel reviews, designed to make camping easier. How is this different from the one we just reviewed? These are better suited to hanging on ropes and trees than the former ones which are more compatible with rods and deck. Also, the release spring in these is not corrosion-resistant and will need rigorous oiling.
But with care, these reels are tough enough to last you a lifetime. You can set them up at your camp, maybe three or four of them, and by the time you are ready for cooking dinner, you’ll have loads of fish at your disposal.
The spring is strong, and the construction is solid. Plus, the pack includes a booklet of instructions, unlike Mechanical Fisher’s YoYos. But before using these yoyo reels, make sure to research the rules and regulations in your area. Many states don’t allow them or have certain restrictions on their use. Here’s why.
- Better suited to hanging on trees and ropes
- Offer handless fishing
- The release spring is strong
- The pack offers an instructions manual
- The stainless steel construction is sturdy
- The spring is prone to rust
6. Ellen Archery Inline Ice Fishing Reel – Best Semi-Automatic Reel For Ice Fishing
- Color: gold
- Weight: 220g
At a glance, the Ellen Archery Inline reel looks like another ice fishing reel. Still, on closer inspection, I found that it has some automatic features worthy of getting included in the best automatic fly reels line up.
Exactly what automatic reels do. The tackle cable is automated to help with preventing lines from tangling and turning into a wild spaghetti dish while reeling. Plus, the lines discharge automatically, so you don’t need to put a lot of unnecessary effort into it.
Numerous bearings help you reel in your fish smoothly. The spool is also completely free and has a considerable drag force to play with. Also, the construction is wholly corrosion-resistant and solid as a rock. The handle is a comfortable EVA, and the reel overall oozes quality.
However, you may find it a little heavier than other ice fishing reels. Also, I could not get past the fact that they have a typo right on the face of the reel.
- Automatic tackle cable to prevent tangled lines
- Automated lines discharge to minimize manual efforts
- It reels thanks to 8+1 bearings smoothly
- Free tension spool and considerable drag force
- Corrosion-resistant and sturdy construction
- The handle is a comfortable EVA
- It is a bit heavier
- There is a typo on the label
How Do Automatic Fly Reels Work?
Reels have evolved over time, All that is special about the best automatic fishing reels come from a small but strong spring. When you pull out the line and put it in water, the spring winds up and locks in place with the help of a trigger.
As soon as a fish hooks in, the trigger, which is sensitive to the vibrations created by the fish, releases the spring and line retrieves with the fish attached to the hook.
Related Post: Best Fly Fishing Reels
Q. What are some excellent vintage automatic fly reels?
The Martin automatic fly reel is an excellent piece to add to your antique collection, whereas the Pfleuger automatic reel is more readily available and gives an old-school vibe.
Q. How do auto fishing devices help handicapped people?
Auto fishing reels and rods give the advantage of hands-free fishing, which allows handicapped people to enjoy the sport. These devices are widely used in rehabilitation and therapy centers.
Q. What is the difference between an automatic fly rod and an automatic fishing pole?
An automatic fishing rod has lines, a reel seat, and a reel attached to along with a spring where the rod bends. As soon as a fish takes on the bait, the spring tips up the rod so you can reel the fish out of water.
A self-reeling fishing pole, on the other hand, has no reel. Simply a line attached to the tip of the pole and a spring that recoils the lines when a fish hooks.
The best automatic fly reels have many uses. They are great for handsfree fishing, hunting, or camping. They let you enjoy the sport without putting in much effort.
Among the six best automatic fly reels reviews, I found the Pfleuger Automatic fly reel to be the most practical, efficient, and straightforward to use.
I hope you will give these reels a chance and try them out just for fun. Check my blog on the best fly reels for trout for more serious fly fishing.