The Best 6 Weight Fly Reels in 2023 – Buyers Guide

When in the market for the best 6 weight fly fishing reel, there are a few things to consider. What species of fish are you going to be targeting with the reel is probably your question. While a 6wt reel is a very versatile reel it can be too heavy for your lighter applications.

I have found a 6wt reel to be one of my favored reels over the past few years. Below is a guide to the best 6wt fly reels.

Image Product Details  
flyfisherpro-table__imageBest BudgetEcho Base
  • Maintenance Free Disc Drag
  • Backlash-Free
  • Durable Impact-Resistant Frame
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest LightweightMAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Gaze Trout
  • CNC Machined Frame
  • Teflon Drag
  • Anodized Drag Knob
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest ValueOrvis Clearwater
  • Molded Reel Frame
  • Click-Drag Knob
  • Metal Gray Powder-Coat Finish
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest DragWaterworks-Lamson Liquid
  • Anodized Aluminum Frame
  • Polyurethane Case
  • Concealed Drag System
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest OverallRedington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel
  • Die-Cast Construction
  • Adjustable Carbon Fiber Drag
  • Lifetime warranty
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest QualityOrvis Battenkill
  • Classic Styling
  • Large Spool diameter
  • Ultralightweight Body
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest VersatileRoss Reels Evolution LTX
  • Machined Canvas Phenolic Handle
  • High Performance Sealed Drag
  • Anodized
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Detailed Best 6 Weight Fly Reels Review

Echo Base

echo base fly reel

Echo Base Specs:

Available Size: 2/3, 4/5, 6/8 Overall Weight: 4.7 – 6oz
Arbor Size: Standard Material: Durable, impact-resistant frame
Spool Diameter: 3.0 – 3.9in Colors: Black
Spool Capacity: 75 – 175yds Warranty: 12 Month Limited Warranty
Drag Type: Disc Country of Manufacture: USA

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Key Features:

  • Maintenance-free Rulon disc drag
  • Easy left to right hand retrieve
  • Low start-up resistance
  • Backlash-free, instant drag engagement
  • Durable, impact-resistant frame

Echo fly fishing is a very popular fishing brand making various fly fishing equipment.

A durable, impact-resistant composite frame, equipped with a bomb-proof drag system.

Equipped with stainless steel inner parts.

Perfect for a beginner fly fisherman or a seasoned veteran.

At $44 you can’t go wrong with the Base reel.

MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Gaze Trout

Maxcatch Gaze

MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Gaze Specs:

Available Size: 2/4, 4/5, 6/7 Overall Weight: 4.5 – 4.9oz
Arbor Size: Large Material: Die-casting and CNC Machined combined technology
Spool Diameter: – Colors: –
Spool Capacity: 60 – 100yds Warranty: 2-Year Warranty
Drag Type: Disc Country of Manufacture:

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Key Features:

  • CNC machined frame
  • light in-hand feel
  • Teflon drag
  • The anodized drag knob
  • 2-year warranty

This 6 weight is super lightweight, waterproof, and has a modern, drag system, the stacked Teflon drag is smooth and engages immediately.

Die-casting and CNC machined combined technology results in a high-impact durability lightweight fly reel.

The cap and knob is cut from 6061-T6 Bar for long time performance

For $79 is a great fly reel that won’t let you down

Orvis Clearwater

orvis clearwater

Orvis Clearwater Specs:

Available Size: 4, 7 Overall Weight: 5.5 – 6.3oz
Arbor Size: Standard Material: Aluminum
Spool Diameter: 3 3/8 – 3 7/8in Colors: Gray
Spool Capacity: 100 – 200yds Warranty: Orvis Lifetime Warranty
Drag Type: Stacked Disc Country of Manufacture: USA

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Key Features:

  • Molded reel frame
  • Recommend as Best fly reel for the price
  • Rulon to stainless, stacked drag system
  • Click-drag knob
  • Matte-gray powder-coat finish

Nominated as one of the best fly fishing reels with a great performance-to-value ratio. The Orvis Clearwater 5/6wt reel is a very popular choice for fly anglers.

The Orvis Clearwater has a new frame with a stealthy matte-gray powder-coat finish.

A powerful Carbon-to-stainless, stacked drag that can hold its own against bigger fish. The easily adjustable click drag allows for a consistent setting.

The larger arbor holds sufficient lines and prevents memory.

At $98 the Orvis Clearwater 5/6wt makes for a great first-time fly reel or even as a spare fly reel.

Waterworks-Lamson Liquid

lamson liquid

Lamson Liquid Specs:

Available Size: 3+ – 9+ Overall Weight: 4.2 – 6.7oz
Arbor Size: Large Material: Pressure Cast Aluminum Frame and Spool
Spool Diameter: 3.34 – 4.65in Colors: Smoke
Spool Capacity: 100 – 250yds Warranty: Waterworks-Lamson Lifetime Warranty
Drag Type: Conical Country of Manufacture: USA

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Key Features:

  • Anodized aluminum frame
  • Polyurethane case
  • Sealed conical drag
  • 50% US manufactured, 100% Idaho built

Lamson is changing the way we look at die-cast reels. Usually imported, heavy, and very plain, Lamson is set to change this perception with the Liquid reels.

Lamson Liquid has a full-radius compound curve and a near zero-radius inside corners.

A larger arbor gives you fast line retrieval and less line memory.

Important to note the drag systems are completely sealed, preventing any grit or sand from getting in.

Imported casted frame, with the CNC machine drag system made in the USA.

At $109 the reel is very well priced and boasts great US content and quality.

Redington BEHEMOTH Fly Reel

redington behemoth

Redington Behemoth Specs:

Available Size: 4/5, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12 Overall Weight: 5.2 – 11.4oz
Arbor Size: Large Material: Die-Cast Aluminum
Spool Diameter: 3.4 – 4.7in Colors: Bronze, Gunmetal, O.D Green, Black, Desert
Spool Capacity: 75 – 250yds Warranty: Redington Warranty
Drag Type: Carbon fiber Country of Manufacture: USA

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Key Features:

  • Most powerful drag in its class
  • Adjustable, carbon fiber drag
  • Die-cast construction
  • Oversized drag knob for easy adjustment
  • Deep V-spool for increased backing capacity
  • Lifetime warranty

The Redington BEHEMOTH fly reel combines the most powerful drag in its class with aesthetics that push the limits of fly reel design.

The reel has a die-cast construction and is one of the best fly reels on the market

The large-arbor spool design that looks and functions well ensuing minimal line memory.

A super-heavy duty carbon fiber drag package brings the utmost in drag strength

The Redington BEHEMOTH reels offer performance and affordability to beginner and veteran anglers alike and at $149 it’s a very competitive price.

Orvis Battenkill

orvis battenkill

Orvis Battenkill Specs:

Available Size: 1 – 3 Overall Weight: 2.8 – 3.2oz
Arbor Size: Large Material: Bar Stock Aluminum
Spool Diameter: 2.75 – 3.25in Colors: Black
Spool Capacity: 100 – 150yds Warranty: Orvis Lifetime Warranty
Drag Type: Click-Pawl Country of Manufacture: USA

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Key Features:

  • Four-position click-and-pawl drag system
  • Classic styling with really stylish looks
  • A narrow spool means less line stacking
  • Large spool diameter for high retrieval rate
  • The ultralightweight body balances well on a shorter rod
  • Easily adjustable left- to right

The Orvis Battenkill has a lovely old-school look to it and if you are a click and pawl fan then this is the reel for you.

These reels are used by very classic fly fishermen who like the look of the older style fly reels.

Simple design and flawless construction make this the perfect click-and-pawl fly reel for nearly any freshwater fly fishing situation.

A minimalist’s dream the all-new Battenkill features a classically styled, yet technically enhanced, four-position drag system.

The drag design works in tandem with the palm of your hand for those sizzling, screaming runs.

This is one of the best reels for trout fishing. It isn’t a higher-end reel and fit will fit your budget at $139.

It’s important to note that this is not a saltwater fly reel

Ross Reels Evolution LTX

Ross Evolution LTX

Ross Evolution LTX Specs:

Available Size: 3/4, 4/5, 5/6, 7/8 Overall Weight: 4.2 – 4.91oz
Arbor Size: Large Material: 6061 T6 Aluminum
Spool Diameter: 3.42 – 4.03in Colors: Matte Olive, Black, Platinum
Spool Capacity: 60 – 175yds Warranty: Ross Limited Lifetime Warranty
Drag Type: Stacked Disc Country of Manufacture: USA

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Key Features:

  • Machined canvas phenolic handle reduces weight and adds grip
  • Frame / Spool made from a 6061-T6 proprietary aluminum
  • High performance sealed drag system
  • Anodized for the perfect balance of durability and color
  • Black and Platinum colors

These Ross reels have really changed the way we look at modern trout reels.

This is no entry-level reel and is firmly placed in that high end reels category. The Evolution LTX is one the best fly reels on the market today.

The ultra-smooth drag found in the Evolution LT has a long and revered history

The ross is designed for trout fly fishing really but it can be used as a light saltwater reel as well.

At $395 its a big price to pay for a fly fishing reel but it is a beautiful reel that will be with you forever

When to use a 6 Weight fly reel

A 6wt reel is great when it comes to targeting larger freshwater species. It’s important to note that I would not recommend using your 6wt reel in the saltwater unless it has been treated accordingly.

It’s still light enough to fish those delicate nymph rigs and has enough power to handle a large bass.

You can also see our post here for more selection of 6 weight fly line.

What makes a good 6 weight reel

What makes a good 6 weight reel

A few correct choices here will really help you when fighting fish. If you chase big fish with your 6wts and fly rods they generally pull harder and take more backing so when it comes to Drag and Arbor it’s worth knowing what to look for.


The two most common drag systems you will find on a 6wt reel will be a classic click and pawl or a disc drag.

The click system is the lighter drag of the two with a more classic approach to fighting a fish, recommended for the smaller trout species and streams. It makes an awesome sound when the fish runs which I love!

The disc drag is the stronger more modern drag that can be used for larger fish, freshwater, or saltwater.


You generally start thinking about this from 6 weight reels and up. You want a large-arbor to accommodate extra backing. It also gives a faster line retrieval.

The larger arbor helps with minimalizing line memory which is important when fighting a fish.


CNC machined aluminum is the strongest and most common material in 6wt fly reels. This is because it’s cut from a single piece of aluminum. These are the more pricer options of reels.

The composite, cut reels are less durable but they are cheaper to make and often fit the budget better.



Whether you are a well-versed fly fisherman or just starting out, 6 weight fly fishing reels are good reels to have because you can do so much with them

It will also fit a 5 weight fly rod, it may be a little bit too heavy but it won’t matter

Use this guide when it comes to making your decision, make sure your reel is balanced with your rod many anglers forget this.

I would have to say my choice would be the Orvis Battenkill reel. I love the old school look and feel it has and with my larger trout and yellowfish streams that I fish it would work great. I think it’s one of the best fly reels for its price point.

I hope the above guide has helped you make your choice.

Happy fishing

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