Cheeky Limitless vs Sage Spectrum Max – Best Fly Reel Comparison

The Cheeky Limitless and the Sage Spectrum Max are two comparable fly fishing reels that provide great performance at an affordable price.

A side-by-side of the Cheeky Limitless vs sage Spectrum max
Cheeky Limitless vs Sage Spectrum Max

Cheeky Fly Fishing Limitless Fly Reel

Cheeky Limitless sizes and colores
Cheeky Limitless Fly Reels

Price Range

$325.00 – $525.00

Compare pricing on Amazon here:

Company Information

Cheeky Fly Fishing was founded in 2009 in Boston, MA by three young fisherman. These fisherman have a passion for the sport of fly fishing, but saw the fly fishing community as sometimes having a “stuffy” vibe.

They also saw an industry that was stuck with traditionally manufactured reels that had an unimaginative bland look with performance that matched.

They set out to make an innovative reel that was advanced in technology, performance and looks…and, they succeeded. Their reels were lighter and stronger than reels offered by their competitors, and had a larger line capacity.

Not to mention they were designed in colors that had never been seen in the industry.

Cheeky reels were once made in the USA, but are now made in South Korea. This change was done to save on manufacturing cost, which then transitions to a more competitively priced product. 

For more information on Cheeky Fishing, click here: Cheeky Fishing

Warranty

Limited Lifetime Warranty to the original owner that covers workmanship and defects in the reel. Cheeky promises to repair or replace a reel covered under warranty within a few days.

If your reel is not covered then Cheeky will give you a quote for repair or replacement.

Available Line Weights and Specs

Line SizeDiameterWidthWeight
2/43.24″.8″5.8 oz
5/73.75″1.0″6.6 oz
7/104.25″1.1″7.5 oz
10/124.75″1.3″10.9 oz
12/165.25″1.4″12.8 oz
Cheeky Line Weight and Specs

The Drag System

A view of the Cheeky Limitless Drag
Cheeky Limitless Drag

Fully sealed Gasket Drag System (GDS). Features a carbon fiber drag system with a titanium casing. This disc drag system is noted as being smooth and reliable with great strength.

Reel Construction

  • Fully machined from 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Large arbor design
  • Multi-axis machining technique.
  • This machining technique creates a bevel that redistributes metal to key stress points, making the reel stronger without adding extra weight. The reel foot is integrated into the reel body which increases the reel’s strength and durability.
  • Left hand retrieval, but easily converted to right hand retrieval

Fly Line Weight and Backing Capacity

See the below chart. 

Limitless Line Weight and Capacity

Application

The Cheeky Limitless fly reel comes in 5 different options to match any of your fly rods. This is the best fly fishing reel for small trout in streams to bass, steelhead, salmon and tarpon.

Limitless fly reels have several notable features that set a new standard in fly fishing gear. The fully sealed drag system and aluminum construction makes it a great reel for fresh and saltwater fly fishing.

The Cheeky Limitless in the water
Cheeky Fly Fishing Limitless

Customer Reviews

These reels have great reviews. Most of the reviews are 5 star reviews from people who have actually used the reel. Reviewers found it to be a sturdy reel that was both rugged and reliable, while still having a classy new age design and feel. Several reviewers found they enjoyed using the reel so much that it became their primary reel.

Video Review

Here’s a video review from Cheeky Fishing:

Pros

  • Fully machined aluminum frame, including the reel foot
  • Sealed drag system that is noted as being strong and reliable
  • Smooth drag system
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Easy and smooth drag adjustment
  • Large arbor reel for faster line retrieval, which puts less stress on a fighting fish
  • Great color designs

Cons

  • Silent retrieval system in not liked by some
  • A Bit Heavy for its weight rating

Related Article: Check out this comparison of the Lamson Liquid vs Redington Behemoth

Sage Fly Fishing – Spectrum Max

A display of the different sizes and colors of the Sage Spectrum Max
Sage Spectrum Max Fly Fishing Reel

Price Range

$347.36 – $542.71

Compare pricing on Amazon here:

Company Information

If there is one thing the Sage Company seems proud of, it’s Craftsmanship. That’s why they have been so successful with both their rods and reels. They place a high value on the quality of their products and their quality control. This shows through reviews of their products from their customers.

I have yet to meet someone who wasn’t proud of their Sage product, whether it was a rod or a reel.

Sage is always looking for ways to improve and innovate their products, having a high standard for craftsmanship and attention to detail. Sage prides themselves in employing people who enjoy their craft and always push to have the best products on the market.

They encourage innovative thinking that strives to make their products better. 

Sage was founded in 1980 and is based out of Bainbridge, WA. Their reels are designed by their US based team and manufactured in South Korea.

Here is a link for more information on Sage’s story and why they are leaders in fly fishing innovation: Our Story -Sage Fly Fishing

Warranty

Sage puts a Lifetime Warranty on their reels that covers the reel from material and workmanship defects. The warranty covers the original owner only, so if you buy this reel secondhand it will not be covered.

Sage will also repair reels that aren’t covered under the warranty, but at a cost.

Available Line Weights and Specs

Line WeightDiameterWidthWeight
5/63.6875″1.3125″5.5 oz
6/73.8125″1.375″5.6875 oz
7/84.125″1.5″7.5 oz
9/104.375″1.6825″8.5 oz
11/124.6875″1.6875″9.375 oz
Spectrum Max Line Weight and Specs

The Drag System

The Sage Spectrum max taken apart to show the drag
Spectrum Max Drag

The Spectrum Max features Sage’s Sealed Carbon System (SCS) Drag. The drag in sealed and constructed of high grade US made carbon discs. Sage has found that the carbon discs are the most efficient material in dissipating extreme heat. It features an oversized drag knob with a single revolution and 40 dented drag settings for easy adjustment and repeatable pressure.

Reel Construction

  • Fully CNC machined from cold forged 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Large vented arbor for high retrieval rate
  • Widened palming ring
  • Rigid frame to spool connection
  • Finished with Sage’s unique porting pattern and spoke design.
  • Left hand retrieval, but easily converted to right hand retrieval

Fly Line and Backing Capacity

  • 5/6 – WF5 line + 200yds/20lb backing
  • 6/7 – WF7 line + 200yds/20lb backing
  • 7/8 – WF8 line + 200yds/20lb backing
  • 9/10 – WF10 line + 200yds/30lb backing
  • 11/12 – WF12 line + 200yds/30lb backing

Application

With the available sizes, there is a size for most any fishing application or scenario. The sealed drag makes it a popular reel for saltwater fly fishing and for any other situations where dirt and debris may get into the reel.

The Sage Spectrum Max partially submerged in the water
Spectrum Max is Waterproof

Customer Reviews

The Sage Spectrum Max has a 5 star rating on Amazon, but there aren’t many reviews. It’s hard to find any real customer reviews; however, there are some.

Reviewers found it to be very durable reel that is comfortable and easy to adjust. They also found that the drag was not as strong as it should be in the larger sizes that would be used for saltwater fishing.

Video Review

Here’s a video review from Trident Fly Fishing:

Pros

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Large arbor reel
  • Sealed Drag
  • Positive click drag knob that’s easily adjustable
  • Large backing capacity
  • CNC machined aluminum construction
  • Competitive pricing
  • Variety of different colors

Cons

  • The drag is lighter than needed on the larger reels.

Conclusion

The Cheeky Limitless vs Sage Spectrum Max. Either one of these reels will offer you great value for your money.

It’s a matter of choosing the one that would work best for you and the type of fishing you plan on doing with the reel and your expectations of the reel and the manufacturer.

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