“Larger diameters are equivalent to better performance”, says every other angler I’ve asked. There are countless ways the best large arbor fly reels are better than the standard ones; hence the market is filled with some decent options that offer bigger diameters.
Larger diameter reels have more storage capacity, less line memory, and faster retrieval rates. Moreover, larger arbor reels also dry pretty quickly.
Considering all these basic features of the best large arbor fly reels in this article we have reviewed the 6 best large arbor fly reels. And from my experience, Redington Grande tops the list in the best large arbor fly fishing reels review. It is suitable for heavy saltwater fishing. e.g salmon, tarpon, etc
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Here I have reviewed the top six best large arbor fly fishing reels packed with the benefits and aren’t too heavy on the pocket. So stay hooked!
Best Large Arbor Fly Reels – Quick Overlook
I will be reviewing the following best large arbor fly reels in detail:
- Redington Grande Fly Reel – Best for saltwater
- Orvis Hydros Reel – Best Value
- Echo Ion Fly Reel – Best Under 100
- M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Sprint Fly Reel – Best Budget
- Maxxon XMX Fly Reel – Best Lightweight
- Loop USA Q Fly Reel – Best For The Money
If you want to check out some more products, I am listing a few additional ones towards the end.
Best Large Arbor Fly Reels Reviews:
Here are the six large arbor fly reels:
1. Redington Grande Fly Reel – Best Large Arbor Saltwater Fly Reel
After the massive success of Behemoth, Redington kept up its trend of bringing bigger-game reels into the market without a hefty price tag. Grande is another such reel. With features and power that can compete with the fishing industry’s priciest offerings, this reel has stunned anglers with its affordable cost. And a best saltwater large arbor fly reel.
First, the colors are spectacular. They go with every fly rod I own. And because this reel targets bigger, marine fish, performance has to be its main selling point. That is why Grande has an enormous drag that can fight everything from a colossal steelhead, false albacore, to even a 200 pounds shark. The system is smooth and can also protect light tippets. I detected no startup inertia and am confident it will keep like this because the drag housing is fully sealed.
Apart from the drag, the construction is rock solid. The body is machined from high-quality aluminum and anodized for durability. The only thing that could improve about it is the weight. Grande is considerably heavier than most reels of its league, and even though it is the best fly reel for seawater fishing, it is a pain to carry it to the beach.
- It is an affordable big-game fly reel (you don’t hear that often)
- The drag is enormous and fully sealed
- It is smooth and protects tippets
- The construction is durable
- It is considerably heavier than similar reels
2. Echo Ion Fly Reel – Best Large Arbor Fly Reel Under $100
A massive drag or a lofty price tag isn’t necessary when you catch smaller fish. Any of the best large arbor reels with sufficient backing storage can do the job. Echo Ion fly reel is one such option where you get all the basic features of a decent reel in exchange for a die-cast construction.
The finishing and durability are not that great since it is a die-cast reel. But the design and ergonomics are on point. The drag knob is indented and elevated so you can hold and turn it quickly. There are crisp, loud clicks for all settings and when the fish hooks. The reel handle is thicker than usual for better grip.
The smoothness, however, is not something Ion is good at. I found the reel pretty bumpy and even had it stuck at a point.
- It is a primary reel for smaller fish and water bodies
- The drag knob is elevated and indented
- The reel handle is thicker for better grip
- The clicking sound is loud and crisp
- The die-cast construction isn’t the most durable and refined
- The drag is not so smooth and can even get stuck at times
3. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Sprint Fly Reel – Best Budget Large Arbor Fly Reel
Are you on the lookout for the best large arbor fly reels that are seawater compatible? Dare I suggest this efficient and affordable option that is both lightweight and has good enough capacity.
If you want to try your luck at the ocean and don’t want to spend more than $200 on the fly reel, Maxcatch Sprint is the right choice. It is a solid reel with an equally impressive drag system. The machined body is rugged against the abuse by seawater, and the drag housing is completely waterproof for protection. Furthermore, the carbon and cork drag system is robust and heat-resistant, hence ideal for bigger sea fish.
There isn’t much I don’t like about this reel. There are a few basic design errors, like the arrows on the drag knob point towards the same direction for increase and decrease in the torque force.
- Sprint is an affordable seawater reel ( it costs less than Grande)
- It is lightweight and has good capacity
- The drag housing is completely waterproof
- The drag system is robust and smooth
- It is sturdy and seawater compatible
- Minor design errors, nothing functional
4. Maxxon XMX Fly Reel – Best Lightweight Large Arbor Fly Reel
The Maxxon name may be unheard of for you, as it was for me when I first bought this reel. But there have been quite a few instances in my angling career where I have been pleasantly surprised by an underrated product, and the Maxon XMX is one such example.
The skeleton of the reel is lightweight and machined. I had been quite rough with it during my fishing trips last summer, and it is still good as new. The drag is super smooth, and the rate at which it picks up lines is fantastic. Also, the no-tool spool removal is a handy feature that makes it easier to swap spools even on the river.
The only nitpicking I can do here is the reel handle. I would have liked it a bit chunkier and contoured better to make it easier to grasp with my stubby fingers.
- It is the best large arbor fly reel for backup
- It is lightweight
- The skeleton is machined and sturdy
- The drag is super smooth
- Spool removal requires no tools
- The reel handle could have been chunkier
5. Loop USA Q Fly Reel – Best Large Arbor Fly Reel For The Money
The Loop Q is the best large arbor fly reel for novice anglers within a budget. Even though it looks like it’s much more expensive cousins from the Opti range, the price is pretty moderate and best for someone within a budget.
The drag is smooth and completely sealed, and it means you can use it for seawater fish, too, without worrying about sand and salt messing up its interiors. It is quiet, so Q is perfect for you if you are embarrassed by other shrieking reels. Among other best arbor reels, this one stands out in terms of appearance.
However, the construction is die-cast, so you cannot expect it to be ultra-lightweight and indestructible because that is something rare to find in this price range. Hence, best fly reel for the money.
- It is cheap but looks expensive
- The drag is very smooth
- It is waterproof so can be used in seawater
- There are no loud clicks
- It is die-cast, hence a little heavy
6. Orvis Hydros Reel – Best Value Large Arbor Fly Reel
Orvis has been a big name in the angling market for as long as I can remember. They recently discontinued their Hydros SL reels and replaced them with the Orvis Hydros. The newer reels have several improvements over the former ones and are considerably better in all aspects. Let’s see how:
The new Hydros reels have an updated design for the drag knob since the last one was plain horrible. Now it is much comfier and requires fewer turns to reach maximum drag. The spool handle is also tighter, and the reel has shaved down some weight overall. Also, the whole collection has new sizes, and I find this rating more accurate.
The performance is top-notch, just like the last model, and one of the best fly reels for trout. The maximum drag force reaches 4 pounds which are good enough for trout. I found no hint of startup inertia, but I cannot say that the reel cranks perfectly smoothly all the way. There were a few minor bumps that did not affect the outcome. In short, for the best large arbor reels, Orvis Hydros is undoubtedly a steal.
- Several design improvements over the last model
- The drag knob is comfier and more efficient
- The drag force is enough for trout
- No startup inertia
- The spool does not glide perfectly smoothly
Some More Best Large Arbor Fly Reels Worth Checking Out:
Here are some more large arbor best fly reels options:
- Waterworks-Lamson Liquid Fly Reel – Best Value
- Redington Behemoth Fly Reel – For Bigger Fish
- Sage Fly Fishing Click Fly Reel – Best Click & Pawl Drag System
- Maxcatch AVID PRO Fly Fishing Reel – Most Affordable
- Temple Fork Outfitters TFO 425 – Premium Choice
Relevant article: Top Fly reels made in the USA
Mid Arbor vs Large Arbor Fly Reels – Why Are Large Arbor Fly Reels Better?
The best large arbor fly reels provide the following benefits:
- Less line memory
- More storage capacity
- Faster retrieval rates
- Lines dry quickly
Modern-day anglers prefer more oversized arbors over the standard ones, and rightly so—the greater the diameter, the more benefits.
I think the Redington Grande wins in terms of versatility and strength among the six best large arbor fly reels I have reviewed above, it is the best reel for saltwater with a powerful drag. Ineffective for all kinds of fish, it is a must-have in every angler’s collection.
I hope these reviews were helpful to you in selecting the best large arbor fly reel for you. Till next time, happy fishing!