For both saltwater and freshwater fishing, fly fishing reels provide a smooth drag. Two popular drag choices are spring and pawl or disk drag. Spring and pawl which you hear with its clicking sound when you cast the line. Disk drag is a quiet silent reel to catch the big fish. Fly fishing reels have less of a chance getting tangled than most fishing reels. It also ads great tension resistance making it harder for the fish to take your line far out into the water.
A single action retrieval system is the most popular reel among fisherman and the lightest weight. For a faster retrieval of your fish, the multiplying retrieval system will do the job well. The automatic retrieval system pulls your line in automatically by pressing on the button or the lever depending which version you have. The latest fly reel is the large arbor reel which is a single action real but larger retrieving more line for every turn of the crank.
The fly fishing reels line weight is another factor to keep in mind. Each reel has a different amount of yards of line for which type of fishing you are doing. If you are saltwater fishing, a large amount of line will benefit you letting the fish take the line out far to wear him out till you are able to slowly pull him in for the catch. Freshwater fishing does not require as much line, especially if you are in a small lake.
The most important function of a fly fishing reel is to hold your line and how fast they can retrieve your line. Know what type of drag systems it has and what materials the fly fishing reel is made of. If you fish for hours and hours, a lighter reel will not exhaust you and dries quickly. A big part of choosing fly fishing reels is the rod it will be attached to. If the rod is a 6 weight then adding a 6 weight line would be the wiser choice. Adding more line to a lighter pole will only add a heavier weight to hold and vice versa.
Saltwater fishing requires saltwater fly reels which have a unique coating to protect the inner workings from being damaged. Rinse your reel well after your adventure from the ocean trying to capture the big fish. Letting your reel sit in a bucket of fresh water will give it thorough cleaning it may need if you were saltwater fishing for the day.