Sage 3850CF Fly Reel

MSRP: $260

Featuring lightweight strength through the utilization of carbon fiber, these reels balance with the best fly rods but come in at a rather nifty price-point. The sealed carbon drag provides all the braking power you’ll need for stopping Alaska’s freshwater gamefish; we tested the 3850CF on our 6-weights this past summer and had nothing but the highest reviews.


Lamson Velocity 2

MSRP: $259

At an exceptional price for a Lamson-quality reel, the Velocity 2 is rated for 5/6-weight rods and has now been enhanced to make it perform even better, offering a stouter drag, and more line-pickup speed and capacity, while remaining as light as ever. 


Sage 4260 Fly Reel

MSRP: $304

Light, powerful and smooth, the Sage 4260 was just the ticket for targeting spring rainbows in the Susitna tributaries and then again when chasing silvers on Prince of Wales Island in September, proving to be as versatile as it is dependable.


Redington Delta 7/8 reel 

MSRP: $219.95

This is a good introductory fly reel for an Alaska angler. Suited for a 7- or 8-weight fly rod, a common fly rod size for Alaska’s salmon, steelhead and big trout, you will be happy with the operation of the reel before you even start to count the money you saved. We especially liked the one-way clutch bearing that engages the drag immediately.



Okuma Helios Fly Reel

MSRP: $150

With a one-way clutch and waterproof, sealed multi-disc drag, the Helios provided plenty of muscle for tackling Alaska’s hottest fish last year, while not forcing us to break the bank. 


Lamson Arx 4+

MSRP: $499

If you have taken up two-handed casting on a regular basis, you will love this Lamson Arx 4+. This reel is engineered to offer a full-cage frame to prevent line from escaping or snagging in critical areas and the user can still palm the reel effectively.



Okuma Raw II Saltwater Spinning Reel

MSRP: $139.95-$169.95

These new saltwater spinning reels are constructed of Okuma’s proprietary, highly corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy and feature the Dual Force Drag system, making them ideal for Alaska’s inshore waters and species, which we certainly found to be the case this past year while fishing from Prince of Wales to Kodiak.


Wright & McGill Sábalos Spinning Reel

MSRP: $79.99-$99.99 

With an ultra-light aluminum body,  this new reel paired well with the highest-end saltwater rods and provided exceptional performance, from drag function to the speed of line pickup. 


Quantum Antix Spinning Reel

MSRP: $54.99

What’s not to like about a new spinning reel that keeps grinding through trip after trip, helping to haul in fish after fish, but costs a fraction of the price of most top-end reels? Absolutely nothing, of course, which is why the Quantum Antix ended up in our tackle bags more often than not.


Okuma Komodo Baitcast Reel

MSRP: $199.99

With a proprietary T480 aluminum frame, aluminum sideplates and an aluminum spool, the Komodo low-profile baitcasting reel weighs just 6.5 ounces, yet delivers powerful performance and durability for salmon and steelhead anglers anywhere in Alaska.


Okuma Serrano Baitcast Reel

MSRP: $169.99

Designed for harsh saltwater conditions, the Okuma Serrano was a go-to casting reel for those silver forays into Resurrection Bay and beyond last year, holding up to long, acrobatic runs and plenty of abuse from the elements.