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Pflueger Fly Reel

Pflueger makes great inexpensive fly fishing reels, ranging from about US $25 to US$180. The Medalist 1400/1500 series are simply saltwater fly fishing legends and dirt cheap.

They are probably the most popular fly reel ever built and they've been making them since 1930.

My first saltwater fly reel was a Pflueger Medalist Fly Reel modified with a hacksaw for rim control. A friend gave it to me in 1987, it was older than me, it worked great, and I eventually passed it along. I'm sure it's still catching fish, and yes, they still make that model.

Pflueger makes four lines of fly fishing reels suitable for saltwater, the Medalist 1400 Series, Medalist 1500 Series, Triton Fly Reels, and President Fly Reels.

Pflueger Medalist 1400/1500 series - inexpensive yet indestructible legends!

The Medalist 1400 and 1500 series are inexpensive yet indestructible and suitable for most species except big game like tarpon, sailfish, marlin, etc. That said, they've landed plenty of tarpon! Unfortunately the 1500 series is tough to find as it seems to be discontinued.

They are made of aluminum alloy with a non-reflective black finish, are convertible from left to right hand retrieve, and have quick release spools.

The Medalist 1400 series, for freshwater the models 1492, 1492 1/2, and 1494 are great reels for under $25. For saltwater use, models 1494, 1494 1/2, and 1495, are great fly reels at the $25 price point, but I don't recommend them for salt twater only because the Medalist 1500 series is much better and only a few bucks, say 5 or 6 dollars, more expensive.

The Medalist 1500 series Fly Fishing Reels are similar to the 1400 series except they have a better drag including an exposed rim for rim control, allowing you to easily "palm" the reel to slow running fish.

They range from the model 1594 which accommodates a 7 or less weight line without backing, to the  1594 1/ 2 RC which holds up to a #8 fly line and 35 yards of 20 pound backing, to the model 1598 RC which holds up to a #12 fly line with 75 yards of 30 pound backing.

All models except for the smaller model 1594 are suitable for most saltwater fishing, although the lower backing capacity limits them to small to medium fish.

The 1500 series is difficult to find as it had been apparently discontinued although there are still a few on the market. The Trion Series is a great replacement and although somewhat more expensive, still a great deal.

Trion and President Fly Reels - great low to mid priced reels

The Trion and President fly reels are a big step up quality (although not durability as the Medalists are close to indestructible).

They are made of forged, machined, and anodized aluminum, are convertible from left to right hand retrieve, have quick release spools, and great drags.

Trion Fly Reels have a mid sized arbor (inside reel spool diameter) and the President Fly Reels have a large arbor design.

They range in price from around $130 to under $200, are great deals and great reels, and range in size up to the President Model 2012 which holds up to a #12 fly line and 300 yards of 30 pound backing.