Cheeky Reels – Gettin Cheeky With It

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Cheeky Reels - Photo By: Louis Cahill

Many of you probably did get the correlation between the post title and Will Smith’s 90s rap hit, “Gettin Jiggy With It”. I just couldn’t help myself. This Friday we interview Ted Upton from Cheeky Reels about their new reel models for 2013.

Cheeky Reels

Cheeky Reels focuses on upholding four primary elements in all their reel designs. These four elements are durability, simplicity, affordability and style. Cheeky reels are built to stand up to the toughest fishing conditions, while being assembled with the least amount of parts possible. The less working parts you have, the less opportunity you have for failure on the water. With the tough economic times we’ve been dealt the last five years, it’s great to see a reel manufacture in the market that’s offering both quality and affordability to fly fisherman for both saltwater and freshwater reels. No matter where it swims or how big the fish, Cheeky Reels has a model that’s ready for the fight.

For more information about Cheeky Reels please visit their website.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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8 thoughts on “Cheeky Reels – Gettin Cheeky With It

  1. REALLY?!! $340 for a 2-4 weight reel is affordable? I don’t even think it’s made in the USA, since I can find nothing about product origin on their sight. I KNOW you guys at G&G appreciate USA made. Not to mention its 5.5 ounces! There is no way they can call that light weight. I can get an abel or lamson for well under $300, made here in the USA, and way lighter! You guys should stick to what you do best, putting out great fishing content, and leave the marketing of over-hyped products to the mainstream magazines.

    • Noah,

      If you look at all the reel models together you should see the affordability I’m talking about. Price some high-end saltwater reels and Cheeky comes in — well under average.

      Here’s some Big Game Saltwater Reel Prices for you to look at. :

      Abel Super Series 10 – $820
      Tibor Gulfstream – $735
      Tibor RipTide – $851
      Hatch Finatic 11+ – $825
      Nautilus Monster – $850
      Lampson Vanquish VA LT – $799
      Sage 6010 Reel – $650

      Cheeky’s Largest Big Game Reel – $460 with a spare spool for $175

      Thanks for our first negative comment in a very long time. I knew it was only a matter of time. And yes, we do proudly support fly fishing products made in the USA. It would be an added bonus if Cheeky made their reels in the states, but a quality product, know matter where it’s made, we support, because that’s good for all fly fishermen. Do you use only USA made fly fishing equipment? I don’t remember us ever claiming that’s all we use.

      Thanks for the comment, even if you were giving us a chew’in.


  2. Kent,

    I don’t use only USA made equipment, and I didn’t say that, but when I have a choice I will choose USA made. That’s why I think a $340 2-4 wt, offshore made reel is overpriced. That’s also why I don’t mind paying a premium for my Scott fly rods and Lamson reels. Just like you state on your personal website about Scott fly rods, “They build the highest quality fly rods in the industry and they are designed and constructed 100% in the United States. There isn’t anything more to say.”

    I fail to see how driving up the price of fly-reels, imports at that, is good for the average fly-fisherman. Their salt reels do seem about average in price, but again, I would choose USA made.

    Please don’t take my comments the wrong way, they are directed at the product, I think the site is great.

    • Noah,

      I respect your opinions man. I just felt like I had the right to back up you claiming their reels aren’t affordable. Well, that and the fact that you pretty much said you don’t think we should be showcasing product reviews. I think it’s pretty cool that Cheeky has made a point to not have a giant price difference between their largest reels and their smallest. If you fly fish all types of water and species like I do, that provides me the ability if I choose, to outfit myself with multiple sized reels with a pretty good savings when it’s all said and done. Some anglers, no matter how bad they want to support USA made products, just can’t afford the added cost incurred to go that route for all their fly fishing gear. And I don’t think they should ever feel like their letting the country down by purchasing these imports when their limited spending budget calls for it.



  3. Nor should they have to sacrifice quality in order to hit their affordability level. There are plenty of less expensive and decent quality 2-4 wt reels out there, Noah. Not many of them are are as good as a Cheeky reel for less money. Look at a Lamson or Okuma that is fully machined from barstock aerospace aluminum, for example. (vs. partially machined from cast aluminum) Oh, that’s right. You can’t. Sorry. Yes, that does drive the weight up, too. You know why? There aren’t any air bubbles in barstock aerospace grade aluminum. That’s why it doesn’t pit, chip, or break and takes a deep anodized coating better, providing for superior finishes and greater corrosion resistance.

    The Cheeky trout size reels are over-built. You don’t truly NEED that much reel on a trout stream…unless you guide for a living and have folks in your drift boat every day abusing your gear, dunking your reels in rivers, and dropping them on the rocks and in the sand. But when you move up to the 5-7wt, 7-10wt, 10-12wt, and 12-14+, these reels offer capabilities based on superior design and manufacture that few, if any, other reels on the market can match. Best of all, they do so at about HALF the price of their nearest competitors made in the USA. Cheeky TRIED HARD to find a way to keep the cost affordable for the typical hardcore fly angler and mfg in the USA. In the end, it could not be done. They would have had another $600-900 salmon/steelhead and saltwater series of reels that only rich folks could afford. That was NOT the goal!

    • Ken,

      Great job on breaking it all down and pointing out the truths. I’ve personally got two lamson reels with bent spools from clients setting them down too hard on the floor of my driftboat to untangle line around the end of the rod tip. Light weight often decreases strength and limits the abuse it can take. Spot on for saying guides need heavy duty gear it’s true.


      • Kent,

        I never appreciated the need for a barstock milled trout reel until I began teaching and guiding. I just needed a place to store line that wasn’t being used and a drag to play with SERIOUS trout…a job virtually any drag can handle now and then. Frankly, I have a hole reel case full of Okuma Cascades to prove it. I was buying them direct on Okuma’s pro program for $20 each and never had one fail in any way.

        Then I started teaching – children and college kids at first. Then wounded warriors and disabled veterans, whom we also guided trips for regularly. Oh boy! I was going through fly rods and cheap reels faster than kids eat candy at Easter! You can’t keep an eye on 10 kids with fly rods at the same time. One of them lays a rod in the grass. Another one steps on it. It happens almost every lesson or fishing trip. How they break reels so easily I still cannot fathom, but they do!

        Get in a boat of any kind and watch what happens: bang! thud! scrape! wack! ker-plunk! People will literally throw your rods and reels into the bottom of the boat as if it were a fluffy mattress on a bed, supposing it will do no harm. They sit on your reels and step on them, too. It’s amazing how fast clients can tear up your gear while you’re looking for the next fish, checking the weather forecast, or getting them a drink from the cooler.

        That’s when I started to understand the $100 to $400 trout reels. I still don’t understand one that costs any more than that, though. After about $350, it seems to me you’re paying for “art.”

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