If you’re using a 10+ weight fly fishing reel then chances are you’re going after saltwater fish or very large freshwater fish such as pike or muskie. This reel is going to have a lot of power behind it.

Quick-Look: Best 10+ Weight Reels

#1 Best 10+wt Reel Overall: Redington Behemoth 

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You’ll be able to throw big flies to big fish and have the strength to reel them in. On top of that, you’ll also be able to cast in the wind.

So, if you’re looking for something like that then check out what we have below. We’re going to cover 3 different 9 weight fly reels and go over some of their features.

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When To Use 10-Weight+ Fly Reels

If you want to go out and chase some of those big freshwater fish or throw large flies to big bull red’s then this is the size for you.

A fly rod on a beach with fly line on it.

You’ll be able to land large fish at your boat while also being able to throw big flies to attract even bigger fish. The heavy size will help you cast in the wind too.

What Makes a Good 10 Weight Fly Reel?

A good 10 + weight fly reel is going to have a strong drag system while also being durable. The best 10 + weight fly fishing reel is going to be out in saltwater so they need to be impervious.

Besides that, they need to have a large arbor as well as several other features. Below, we’re going to go over some of the most important ones.

Drag System

When fishing with a 10 weight you’ll be targeting large fish. So you’ll need a drag system that can handle them.

A disc drag system is going to be the strongest and the best 10 + weight fly reel you can get. Click and pawls are fine for smaller fish but they won’t be able to hold up to the power of a muskie or a saltwater fish.

The Sound

The sound of your reel can add a great aesthetic to it. Hearing line zip off the reel can raise the heart rate and let you know you have a big fish on.

Bonefish Saltwater Fly Fishing

However, it won’t actually help you catch fish. It’s just an added bonus and can be nice to hear.

The Weight

Once you start getting into the 9wt reels and higher you’ll notice they begin getting a little bit heavy. You should be careful with this

You don’t want a reel that’s too heavy because it can wear your casting arm out. Making for a shorter day out on the water.

The Price

This all depends on what you can afford or what you want to spend on a reel. If you want to splurge on the latest and greatest then be prepared to drop a payment of over $600.

Don’t let that number scare you though because there are other great reels out there that don’t equal up to a car or rental payment.

The Material

Milled or machined aluminum is going to be the best reels out there. These are strong and lightweight. However, they do come with a hefty price tag.

Plastic, composite, and cast aluminum are also available but these will typically be heavier and more expensive. There are some reels out there that are made of the above materials though.

The Arbor Size

The size of the arbor is going to play a role when targeting large fish. The larger the arbor the quicker you’ll be able to reel in line.

Best 4 weight arbor size Fly Reels

Making the fight shorter and raising your chances of landing the fish. You might not be able to have much backing on the reel though, so keep that in mind.

Best 10+ Weight Reel Brands

Below we’re going to go over three different reel brands. Each of them makes great products that are going to help you out on the water.

Galvan

Some of the finest fly reels out there. Galvan is known for making quality reels that not only work exquisitely but are also works of art.

Hardy

Similar to Galvan, Hardy makes beautiful reels that are also extremely technical. They have a reel for every type of fishing you could dream of doing.

Redington

A brand that makes reels in a wide array of prices. Redington is great for someone who wants to go top-shelf, or mid-range.

Orvis

Long-standing as one of the best reel manufacturers, Orvis has some incredible reels. Surprisingly, none of our team has used any of their 10+ weights yet, so we may update this list when we get our hands on some.

Saltwater Fly Reel

Angler Dream

A super budget reel manufacturer for those who really don’t want to spend a lot on their gear. In the 10+ weight, these drags are unsealed so not good for saltwater, but what do you expect for reels under $55?

The Best 10+ Weight Fly Reels

Below, we’re going to cover 3 different reels. Each of them is going to be in their own distinct price range so everyone can take a look at them.

Angler Dream EX-ALC

  • Drag system – Disc (unsealed)
  • Pros – Very Cheap, can switch reel from left to right easily
  • Cons – Unsealed drag

Ideal for the angler who is just starting out and doesn’t want to spend too much money on equipment. The Angler Dream EX-ALC will get you started in the world of fly angling but not much else.

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Redington Behemoth

  • Drag System – Disc
  • Pros – Great reel for the price, strong drag
  • Cons – Weak handle, can have issues with salt water if not cleaned properly

Perfect for taking the next step in your gear. The Behemoth is not too expensive so you get a lot of the features of an upper-end reel without the upper-end prices. It might even be the best 10 + weight fly reel for the money.

If you’re interested in this amazing reel, be sure to check out our full hands-on Redington Behemoth Review.

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Galvan Torque

  • Drag System – Disc
  • pros – Incredibly strong and durable drag system. very lightweight
  • Cons – Price

The Galvan Torque reel is hard to beat in this high weight category. The only real negative is how much it costs. If you want a premier fly reel then you can’t go wrong with Galvan Torque. Fish anywhere and everywhere with this reel and feel true manufacturer quality in your hands.

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Conclusion

10 + weight fly fishing is great for someone looking to target saltwater species or big freshwater fish. They are strong and can deliver big flies to big fish.

With the information above you should be all set to go out and check out a 10 wt on your own. So head on down to your local fly shop and pick one up!

Some images in this post are courtesy of Shutterstock.