Cheeky Fly Fishing Reels | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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Among the plethora of reel manufacturers, Cheeky Fly Fishing has established itself as a standout choice for me in recent years, blending depth of line, price and reliability. This article explores how Cheeky reels incorporate essential aspects that every angler values, making them the one of the more superior manufacturers and a top tier choice in the fly fishing world.

Quality and Material Craftsmanship

Cheeky Fly Fishing reels exemplify manufacturing excellence in quality and craftsmanship. The ability to manufacture such a wide volume of quality in the varied sizes, types, etc. of reels is astonishing. There are few manufacturers out there that have been as successful as Cheeky in this respect, as far as I have seen.  Many of the reels they offer are easily 15-30% less expensive for similar models.  Regardless, the quality and ease of buying process has remained a high standard for them. Several ways they are accomplishing quality by integrating aspects such as:

Premium Material and Anodization: Using high-grade materials, Cheeky reels offer enhanced durability, crucial for withstanding diverse fishing environments. Their meticulous anodization process provides superior corrosion resistance, making them ideal for both freshwater and saltwater fly fishing. Specifically within the anodization process it appears the sealing process has been absolutely mastered. 

Innovative Design Principles: Besides making the process of purchasing a reel much easiest, form and function has been a driving force. Reels boast a design that ensures efficiency beyond price. They have clean designs that focus on clean casting, line management, drag and category based performance that is catering to the needs of diverse anglers.

Want to learn more about anodization from a process and a why standpoint?

Drag Systems for Designed Performance

  • Precise Drag Control: The sophisticated drag systems in Cheeky reels offer anglers control where needed. What I love is they don’t put overpriced drag systems into reels that are in need based on the species they are intended for.  However, where it is vital for handling various fish sizes and strengths with ease the drag systems used can be top notch.
  • Compatibility with Fishing Styles: As mentioned above, a pro with Cheeky is the versatility.  Whether targeting small trout or giant saltwater species, the versatile drag systems of Cheeky reels make them suitable for various fishing styles and conditions.

Balanced Sizes and Compatibility

Cheeky reels are designed with a keen understanding of size and compatibility, ensuring that reels are well within the realm of parameters needed for the particular class of species. You hear of balanced rods and reels all the time as being important. I talk about it as a realm of parameters because it isn’t perfect balance it is being within a range. Reason being the reel changes weight with the line applied and the line changes weight with how much you have coming out of the tip of the rod. Don’t get sucked into exact numbers but instead have a good variety of choices in your selection that can offer an ideal fit. Cheeky ensures this with several items. 

  • Efficient Weight Distribution: The reels are meticulously crafted to balance with various rod sizes based on the multitude of offerings.  Cheeky’s ability to have several reels in close proximity provides the ability for us to enhance casting efficiency and reducing fatigue.
  • Optimal Line Management: With a range of sizes, Cheeky reels cater to different line capacities, allowing for effective line management across various fishing scenarios. Drag systems, arbor sizes, etc. change which alters everything, including price and gives you tons of options.
Cheeky Fly Fishing Preload 2.0

    Cutting-Edge Technology in Arbor Design

    The arbor design in Cheeky reels is a testament to their technological prowess.  They focus on this within their website listing arbor details front and center.  This is ideal when searching for reels that are tailored toward specific species. It’s also great for select reels that arent’ because you have the choice based on drag, arbor size combination, etc.

    • Large Arbor Efficiency: Cheeky's large arbor reels ensure rapid line retrieval, crucial in dynamic fishing situations, allowing anglers to keep pace with fast-moving fish.
    • Improved Line Management: The large arbor design also minimizes line memory and coiling, ensuring smoother casting and retrieval.

    Exceptional Reel Construction

    Cheeky reels are a culmination of construction techniques. One they have a superior location that allows for testing in various aspects. The design team is enabled by this and can gather instant feedback. Next they have an extremely firm grasp on manufacturing. It’s obvious by the CNC generated pieces that their ability to create various models that are strong, lite and efficient. 

    • Robust Manufacturing Methods: Whether machined or die-cast, Cheeky reels are built to withstand the rigors of intense fishing, exemplifying durability and reliability.
    • Aesthetic and Functional Design: The construction process results in reels that are not only strong and durable but also aesthetically pleasing.

    Adaptability with Interchangeable Spools

    Adaptability, facilitated by interchangeable spools is often overlooked. Price and availability are typically my focal point here.  You’ve done most of the selection and now defining if the spool will be available is a big key. Next, if it is available is it price worthy?

    • Versatility Across Conditions: The easy-to-switch spool system allows anglers to swiftly adapt to different fishing conditions without the need for multiple reels.
    • Economical and Space-saving: This feature makes Cheeky reels a cost-effective and convenient option for anglers who value versatility and efficiency.

    I have several articles detailing reels so if you want to learn more about the inner-workings of fly reels and why they are important, then check this out. 


    Cheeky reels are some of the more affordable reels on the market without losing quality! The reels range from the PreLoad 2.0 series at $119, Sighter series reels are all under $200, the Launch series are all under $300, and the Spray series are all under $500.  If you are a cost effective angler looking for a great reel then Cheeky should be a top brand of choice to select from.

    Lifetime Warranty

    Cheeky stands behind their reels with a robust lifetime warranty for original owners.  Here are simple details on the warranty program if you want to review.  The key is submitting a return authorization form so they know it is coming and get it turned around quickly. They also track all the details to ensure that if there were a large scale issue they could inform other patrons and resolve the issue rapidly. The top two areas I appreciate are as follows. 

    1. Commitment to Long-Term Quality: This warranty underscores Cheeky’s commitment to producing reels that endure the test of time.
    2. Angler’s Peace of Mind: The lifetime warranty offers anglers confidence and assurance in their investment, knowing that Cheeky is a brand that prioritizes customer satisfaction.

    Commitment to the Buying Process and Fly Fishing

    Here are 5 reasons why Cheeky has excelled as a brand, product and a top choice for many anglers. It's been my experience that all five have become useful at one point or another and solidified my opinion of them and their commitment.  I am the kind of angler that goes back to the well and appreciates commitment when I'm looking for gear. This tends to be especially true when I'm procrastinating and buying right before a trip...not advised!

    1. Reel Selection Tools: Cheeky has a self built reel selection tool that systematically enables you to work your way through the product selection process. This tool is not only a time saver but it enables you to hone in on the reels that are ideal for your circumstances. 
    2. Reel Details: One of my favorite aspects of the website is the details correlated to the reels. Arbor size, yards of expected backing, line, etc. All the details a laid out for you so you aren’t left guessing and assuming. This Launch 324 Trout Reel is a great example. 
    3. An Extended Line of Products: New for Cheeky is that you can purchase your reel and have it delivered along with Backing, Fly Line, Leader, and Tippet all from Cheeky.  You can literally receive the package, line it up and be on the water knowing everying was ordered as expected and needed.
    4. Great Customer Service: Service levels from Cheeky are top knotch and readily available. You can chat online, call support and dial in all the details you need without having a ton of hassle. This is on the front end of things and on the backside if you ever want an additional spool, spare part for travel, etc.
    5. Giving Back: I love supporting fly fishing and Cheeky has committed to a 3% giveback program related to all purchases. Meaning for every purchase made they are committed to giving back back 3%. 1% goes to 1% for the Planet and the remaining two are distributed to various non-profits.  Here is a quick list to review.  
    Cheeky Fly Fishing Giveback Program

    Choosing a Cheeky Fly Fishing reel means opting for a product that blends critical aspects like quality, design, technology, and versatility. Each feature, from the advanced drag systems to the interchangeable spools, is thoughtfully integrated to enhance the angling experience. In a sport where every detail counts, Cheeky Fly Fishing reels emerge as the top choice, offering anglers the perfect blend of performance, durability, and adaptability. If I were to put it all together, I am always happy to purchase from companies that are committed to well thought out product mixes filled with high quality products and service that give back to the community and support the activities of my interest.   

    Christian Bacasa, Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

    By Christian Bacasa
    Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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