Costs of Reels
Reels can cost a few dollars to almost $1,000, and you probably don't want or need one at either end of that range. Cheap reels are worth what you pay for them and won't hold up. High-end reels are made for very specialized types of fishing for anglers who have a lot of money to spend, or who want to impress others more than they want to catch fish. Look for reels priced in the midrange for their type.
You can buy spinning reels for anywhere from $10 to $900, but very few are priced above $100. A good spinning reel that will last you for years can be bought for around $60, the midrange of the price of the majority of spinning reels.
Bait-casting reels are usually a little higher in price, ranging from the cheapest around $40 to several hundred dollars for top-of-the-line reels. You can get a bait-casting reel that will meet all your needs for less than $100.
A good ultralight spin-casting reel will cost you less than $15 and will do a good job. Some of the best spin-casting reels on the market cost less that $70, so they're much cheaper than other kinds of reels. Although many fishermen start with spin-casting reels, very few that fish a lot use them except for special types of fishing.
Fly-fishing reels can cost as little as $20 for freshwater reels to several hundred for saltwater reels designed to fight big-game fish. Many beginners find the spring-loaded reels easier to use but most experienced fly-fishermen prefer manual reels.
Good combo fly-fishing outfits can be bought for less than $100 and a very basic combo can cost as little as $30. Just remember that you get what you pay for, and this is very true with reels. Start with a good basic fly-fishing reel and you won't be disappointed.
For all reels, look for those made by well-known manufacturers that have been around for a long time and have established good reputations for quality products. They will usually stand behind their products if you have a problem, too. Also look at house brands from the big mail-order companies. They're usually good basic reels that will serve you well for a long time. And they're usually not very expensive for their quality.