Carp fishing is fun and rewarding. These fish know how to put up a fight, plus they taste divine. So here are the best fly reels for carp fishing that can help you land your dinner comfortably.
6 Best Fly Reels For Carp Reviews
Here are the reviews for the six best carp fishing reels I have ever tried:
1. Sage Fly Fishing Spectrum C Fly Reel – Best Carp Reel With Fast Lines Retrieval
The Spectrum C is the latest addition to the Spectrum series by Sage. This newer reel comes with a significant price decrease, so if you have been eyeing Sage reels, but your budget is getting in your way, this may be the one for you.
The Spectrum C is mostly die-cast, although it looks much more precise and refined. What do I mean by “mostly”? The handle and drag knob is made of CNC machined aluminum so that you can get the best out of your limited budget. The spools, too, don’t look or feel cheap and are powder-coated for added durability.
As far as performance is concerned, Sage reels have a reputation of having the most efficient drag system out there. It is sealed and cranks smoothly. The maximum drag output is 2 pounds, I would have liked more.
But what makes it the best fly reel for carp fishing is its blazing fast retrieval rates. The arbor is enormous, and the spools spin very smoothly to pick up lines freely when needed.
- A perfect quality reel within budget
- It is pretty refined for a die-cast reel
- Some parts are machined
- The drag system is sealed and smooth
- It retrieves lines very fast
- Drag strength may be insufficient for a bigger carp.
2. Redington I.D Fly Reel – Customizable Carp Fly Fishing Setup
How fun it is to have a customized fly reel just for you!
The Redington I.D fly reels can not only look as good as your imagination but are also big on performance. Initially, it looks plain and basic. The backplate is black with no porting, and that is where your decals can go to make it an art piece.
Performance-wise, this reel is towards the modest range. The drag is nice but nothing massive. There is noticeable startup inertia, but once it gets going, it is pretty smooth. The construction also looks solid and neat, although the reel is die-cast. Ergonomics are on point too. The handle and the knob are easy to find and grasp with nothing that troubled me.
So if you are looking for an inexpensive and beginners-friendly fly reel for carp, the Redington I.D may be your best bet.
- You can customize this reel with decals
- The drag is modest
- It runs smoothly
- The reel looks solid
- The handle and the knob are ergonomic
- Drag is not too powerful
- There is noticeable startup inertia
3. Colorado Fly Fishing Reel – Best Carp Reel Under A Budget
Many may not have heard of the brand Platinum Fly Gear before, but I found them when I was looking for the best fly reel for carp when I was low on budget. It is an Australian brand, and their Colorado fly reel is fire! It has all the right specs to be a quality budget fly reel.
The machined construction looks strong enough to withstand abuse. The color complements most wooden and glass rods, and the weight is also suitable for the rod-reel balance. I was impressed the moment I took it out of the box.
The drag strength is good enough for bigger fish like carp. Also, there is a bit of startup inertia but nothing too troublesome. My favorite thing about it is the fast retrieval rates and good backing capacity.
However, I have a complaint regarding the spool-release knob. It is too tiny and requires a lot of care to avoid incorrect seating of the spools back in their place.
- It is an excellent budget fly reel for carp
- The machined body is precise and durable
- The color and weight complement most fly rods
- It is strong enough for carp
- Fast retrieval rates and big arbor
- Non-ergonomic spool-release knob
- Some startup inertia
4. Cheeky Launch Fly Reel – The Best Reel For Carp
Cheeky is a trustworthy brand when it comes to fly reels. I have tried many of their products, and the Launch quickly became my best fly reel for carp fishing. It is incredibly lightweight, even with a large-sized arbor. The colors are all pretty and specific to each size, and the 350 or gold reel is the best pick for carp.
Next, its drag is much smoother and efficient than is advertised. There is little to no startup inertia, and the reel cranks without any bumps. The retrieve is silent, and there is no audible click when the fish hooks too. I would have liked a little sound here to get the perfect fly fishing vibes.
But, the construction is very sturdy, and even though I dropped the reel a few times on the rocks, it didn’t budge at all. A well-built and machined reel under $259, what else can you ask for?
- It is very lightweight for its arbor-size
- The drag is smooth and sufficient for big fish
- There is little to no startup inertia
- This reel is very sturdy and takes abuse well
- There is no clicking sound when the fish hooks
5. Waterworks-Lamson Liquid Fly Reel – Best Fly Reel For Carp For The Money
The Liquid fly reel by Waterworks-Lamson has been my all-time favorite since the time it was released. It is one of the best budget fly reels for carp due to its infinite drag adjustment ability. There are no clicks when you turn the drag dial, meaning you can set it anywhere you like.
Moreover, the drag system is pretty unique. It features Lamson’s signature conical discs that rub against each other for creating resistance against the fleeing fish. You can find the same assembly even in the most high-end reels by Lamson so that you can be assured of its top-notch quality.
But the feature that attracts most customers is its highly affordable price tag. With a die-cast construction, the manufacturers have managed to keep the prices pretty low. Sure, the body isn’t as indestructible as you would expect a machined reel to be, but the durability is still pretty impressive due to the outer polyurethane coating.
- Smooth drag dial gives infinite settings
- The conical drag system is more efficient
- Low price as compared to high quality
- Durable body because of polyurethane coating
- Die-cast construction isn’t as robust as machined reels
6. Redington RISE Fly Fishing Reel – Best Looking Carp Reel
Redington Rise was released after most anglers were fans of the great Behemoth. So even when the bar was set pretty high, Rise still managed to impress with its striking looks and fantastic performance.
The design is functional and eye-catching. There is just the right amount of porting to cut on weight while keeping the structure sturdy too. The colors are beautiful too. The arbor is U-shaped and maybe a little insufficient for storing ample lines compared to a V-shaped one.
But the drag system is where this reel shines. The assembly is pretty compact yet powerful enough to take on bigger fish. The drag is not fully sealed i.e not a best sealed drag fly reel. So you’ll have to spend some time on its maintenance after every use if you want to avoid any bumps during cranking.
The handle and the knob are the correct sizes. The single push-button for releasing the spools is a cherry on top. What I found strange about it was the reel base foot which looks a little larger than usual. It fits on my rod, but I wonder if it will do the same on all rods or not.
- Porting keeps the weights light without compromising on structural integrity.
- The drag assembly is compact but powerful
- The handle and the knob are ergonomic
- Push-button spool release system makes life easier
- It looks fantastic and has beautiful colors
- The capacity for storing lines may not be sufficient
- The reel foot looks a bit larger than usual
Carp are big, powerful, and can run fast. You’ll need the best fly reel for carp if you dream of even standing a chance against them.
Here’s what you need in your carp fishing reel:
1. Big Arbor
Small ones won’t do. The best reels for carp fishing have large arbor and fast retrieval rates and ample capacity of backing on a fly reel.
2. Strong Drag
Carp are powerful and need an equally powerful drag to stop them while they run.
3. Sturdy Construction
The best fly fishing reels for carp will last you a lifetime. Buying one, again and again, can be a waste of money.
Q. Which carp reel has the most powerful drag?
The Cheeky Launch fly reel has the most potent drag among the above six carp fishing reels reviews.
Q. Which reel makes the best fly fishing tackle for carp?
When carp fishing, a strong reel with loads of capacity and fast retrieval rates is necessary. One such reel is the Colorado fly reel by Platinum Fly Gear.
The best fly reel for carp needs to match the fish when it comes to speed and power. The better your gear is, the higher your chances of catching the biggest fish in the river.
The Cheeky Launch Fly Reel is my favorite when it comes to reels for carp fly fishing setup. It has a drag system that can stop a giant carp and is light as a feather. The arbor size is suitable too.