We did the research to find the companies that are making fishing reels right here in the USA. Check out our full list below, along with a ton of details about each one. If you haven’t yet, check out our research on fishing rods made in the USA as well.
Full List of Fishing Reel Brands Made in the USA
The Abel TR is a trout fishing fly reel, ideal for tackling midweight fish. This reel features a bright finish and precision machined parts that are crafted for reliable performance. It makes a light dragging sound when reeling in line and the line is made to distribute smoothly and evenly while bringing it in very quickly. This reel is built to be very lightweight and comfortable enough for long-term use. This reel features a sealed drag system and operates smoothly while needing minimal maintenance. It’s a quick-action reel that’s ideal for trout fishing and fishing in fast-moving water. Made in Montrose, Colorado.
The Ross Reels Evolution LTX is a saltwater fly fishing reel, featuring a frame and spool that are both made from 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, making them resistant to corrosion over time, even when used in salty conditions. The drag system is built to run smoothly, and it features a stacked disc design that makes it durable enough to withstand the pull of some seriously big fish. The reel itself is made with very thin machined pieces, creating a lightweight feel to it. It comes with an oiled bronze bushing and it’s available in black and platinum color finishes.
Tibor Reels are world-renowned among fly-fishing enthusiasts. The Everglades is the smallest reel offered by Tibor, but is still versatile and maintains a good spool diameter and a wide bore for its smaller size. This makes line retrieval smooth and very rapid. The reel features mostly stainless steel internal parts and has ceramic-coated gear for maximum strength. It has a one-piece spool and a waterproof spool cap. It’s designed to be a lightweight reel and very comfortable for extended use. Made in Delray Beach, Florida.
The proprietary Click-Ball tension system that’s built into the Brookie reel means that tension can be adjusted with a few turns of an Allen wrench, and once it’s adjusted it stays put. This makes it simple to fish at just the right level of tension for different conditions and makes the reel particularly valuable for trout fishing on fast-moving water. The Brookie is designed from a 6061 aluminum housing and is nearly completely waterproof. It features a machined finish that gets rid of excess weight. The reel is available in four different weight options for 0 to 5 weight lines and it’s a versatile lightweight fishing companion that’s built to take out on a range of rivers and creeks around the world.
The Hatch Outdoors 2 Plus Gen 2 Finatic is a versatile reel that’s designed to accommodate lines from 2 weight to 4 weight. It weighs just 3.2 ounces and has a stacked disc drag system. The drag system features a mix of Rulon and stainless steel rings stacked up and offers an adjustment range for just the right amount of pressure in different fishing conditions. The whole reel is CNC machined in Vista, California, and protected by a Type 2 anodized coating, helping it stand up to moisture, dirt, and grime. The reel is also offered in four different color finishes.
The Lamson Liquid Fly Fishing Reel shows what you can accomplish with cast molding when you add in just the right amount of machining to finish off the process. This reel is well-constructed with full radius compound curves and inside corners with very little radius at all. The whole frame and spool of this reel is composed of pressure-cast aluminum. It’s an affordable reel that still offers high-end performance. The reel itself features a smooth conical drag system that’s completely sealed to keep it running smoothly over time. It’s offered in four different form factors and can accept between 100 and 250 yards of backing depending on the reel model that you choose.
Aspen Reels is a well-known American company out of San Marcos, California that specializes in fly fishing reels. The Aspen 400 is a large arbor fishing reel that has a highly adjustable drag system. Get just the right amount of tension on your line while fishing, and it will help you bring in those massive catches with relative ease. The Aspen 400 features a sealed drag system that’s made from a mix of Teflon and stainless steel for nearly frictionless performance.
The Teton Classic reel is made from machined aluminum and built from thick material that’s durable and meant to withstand corrosion effectively. It’s designed for use in salt water or fresh water conditions and features a sealed drag system that should be relatively maintenance-free. It has an epoxy-coated Dymond wood retrieve handle that’s made to be smooth and look classy. The fixed circle drag system on this reel is designed to run smoothly, but the whole reel is known to exhibit slight chattering when the drag is adjusted to low enough levels.
The Avet MX reel features a lightweight spool that’s narrow for fast casting and retrieving. The whole reel is made with one-piece construction and it’s composed of a mix of 6061-T6 marine-grade aluminum and stainless steel. It’s equipped with steel gears for durability and has a smooth reel thanks to the eight built-in ball bearings. This reel is 100% made in the USA (in Chatsworth, CA) and features a convenient alarm clicker for those moments when you look away.
The IRT line of spinning reels, made in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania are carefully designed to make them as comfortable as possible when reeling the line in. The IRT spinning reels all come outfitted with aluminum machined spools that are known for their symmetrical line wrap. This offers smooth casting, drag, and line performance compared to other reels. Each reel features the patented Spin Power Grip, which alleviates common pressure points during reeling for enhanced comfort. The reel also features a longer lever arm for enhanced casting capabilities. These reels operate smoothly with a total of 9 ball bearings in action at the same time during standard use. They are made from machined aluminum and hold up well to corrosion. They also feature a reversible handle for left or right-handed fishermen.
Video: How to Find Fishing Reels (and Other Tackle) Made in the USA
How to Find Fishing Reels Made in the USA
Any fisherman will know that the reel they choose to use has a huge impact on their ability to catch the best fish. It is very important to find a reel that is the right size and shape for your needs, and to make sure it is made of good quality materials. Finding a reel that is “made in the USA” is a great way to ensure that the reel is of the highest quality. This guide gives an overview of how to find the best fishing reel for your specific needs.
What Does “Made In the USA” Mean?
For quality assurance, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) helps protect consumers from false “made in the USA” claims. In order for a product to have a “made in the USA” label, the company must claim that the product was “all or virtually all” made in the United States. These guidelines can be quite confusing to understand, due to there being a large grey area around what it means to be “virtually all” made in the USA. Completing research is necessary to ensure that products were both sourced and assembled in the USA.
To develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be “made in the USA,” you can check out our full guide on how to spot made-in-the-USA products.
Fishing reels can be made out of many different materials, mostly different types of metals. It is very important to pick a reel that will assist you in your specific needs. Depending on the material you choose, you can find different fishing reel options that are made in the USA.
Most fishing reels are made of brass. Brass provides a sturdy reel that is less prone to rust than most other metals. Chile is the highest producer of brass in the world, followed by China. The USA ranks fifth in brass production. When searching for a brass reel, we would suggest double checking with the manufacturer that it is sourced and assembled here in the USA.
Aluminum is lightweight and can withstand a lot of pressure, making it a very popular material for fishing reel production. China, by far, produces the largest amount of aluminum compared to any other country. The United States does produce some of its own aluminum, but a relatively low amount compared to other countries. When buying a reel made out of aluminum, it would be best to research and check with the manufacturer that the aluminum is actually produced in the USA.
The most lightweight reel you can get would be one made of graphite. However, a tradeoff for being so lightweight is that they cannot hold as much weight as other heavier materials. China is the largest producer of graphite. Graphite has not been produced in the USA since the 1950s, so this material is not going to be your best bet for an American-made fishing reel.
Stainless steel reels are much less common. They easily rust and therefore are less sought after by fishermen. The United States ranks fifth in the world on the total percentage of stainless steel production. This means that more caution should be taken to ensure that the steel in the reel is both produced and assembled in the USA.
The appeal of a fiberglass fishing reel is that they do not rust. This quality makes them a great option for more advanced anglers. These reels are a more expensive option. The United States produces the second highest percentage of fiberglass of any country, ranking it behind China. This means that while the USA is not the top producer, it is still easy to access American-made fiberglass.
The United States has legislation that requires companies to label their products with the country of origin. Title 19 Chapter 4 Section 1304 of the United States Code requires that companies must label imported products. The FTC put these rules in place but does not keep a close eye on how these labels are used by companies. This means that it falls on the customers to watch for false claims and bring them to the FTC’s attention when they are found.
Companies will purposely try and manipulate their customers by using confusing wording. The most important verbs to watch out for are “made” and “assembled.” The verb “assembled” is used when the material for the product was imported and merely put together in the USA. Similarly, when a label says “made in America” rather than “made in the USA,” it signifies that the product was made in either the USA, Canada, or Mexico.
Because there are so many deceiving tactics that companies can use to mislead their consumers, it is important to do thorough research. Proper research includes checking the manufacturer’s website and looking for clues that may suggest where the materials for its products are sourced and assembled.
Companies that have products that are truly “made in the USA,” will typically advertise this and use it as a major selling point. Conversely, if a product is made in China or Bangladesh, this fact is not likely to be advertised. Unlike physical labels, on websites, companies are not required to label the country of origin. So, if a company is not upfront about where their product is made, this could be a clue that it is an imported product.
Here are some of our other top tips to find fishing reels made in the USA.
Don’t Be Fooled by American Flags
Some products have American flag stickers on them, which many may think means that they were “made in the USA.” However, the American flag stickers are not government regulated, meaning that companies can use them however they please. These stickers are often used as a way to deceive customers.
Call the Company
If you are just not sure where a specific product is made, consider calling the company. Customer service will be able to answer your question about where a certain product is made and assembled.