Blog posts & pages

View all results (0)
Cheeky Spray 400 Fly Reel Review

After unboxing our first shipment of Cheeky's brand new Spray Reel this past November, we immediately noticed the improved looks and components over the Spray’s predecessor, the Limitless. Unfortunately, Cheeky’s new flagship saltwater reel arrived after our fishy friend’s southbound migration, so we’d have to wait to test its capabilities. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to put the Spray to task in Mexico and the Bahamas before New England’s spring run. Read on to see the results.


The Limitless was used and abused by Kismet’s guides for years; It was our dependable workhorse. We know countless anglers relied on it for both New England striper pursuits and DIY missions abroad. However, all good things must come to an end, and when Cheeky announced its replacement was in the works, we were optimistic the North Adams, Massachusetts crew would deliver a worthy successor.

Before we could get our hands on the new Spray, it had already made shockwaves by winning ICast’s Best New Fly Reel category. ICast is the largest angling trade show open solely to industry insiders: Retailers, wholesalers, guides, reps, media, and manufacturers. When those in the know say a product is the ‘best of the best,’ it means something. 

First Impressions

The Spray looks how a modern, high-performance, premium fly reel should and is a major cosmetic upgrade over the Limitless. Electric Blue/Gold and Burn/Steel are attractive options that match most fly rods. The anodized aluminum machining is on par with reels double the Spray 400’s $450 price point.

The Spray feels incredibly light in hand; the 400, rated for lines 7-9wt, weighs 6.8 ounces! Perfect for balancing today’s scant eight-weight rods. The drag knob is easy to grip, and I was able to access its max drag after two rotations, the perfect amount of drag adjustability. The reel handle feels comfortable and is fully anodized! There are no cheap, plastic, corrosion-prone parts anywhere on the reel!

Another nice feature is the integrated hook keeper slot on the reel seat, which is perfect since many rod makers are doing away with hook keepers. The Spray is as ergonomically solid as it is aesthetically pleasing. 


Cheeky designed the Spray’s drag to tame the hardest charging saltwater gamefish on the planet. The drag should be as smooth as it is powerful, which is rather contradictory since stopping power requires friction. The Spray boasts little startup inertia, meaning it starts and stops smoothly. 

I put the Spray’s drag to work on tough running bonefish in the Bahamas. A smooth drag is paramount when battling fish that can reach speeds of 40 mph, stop abruptly, and then make several screeching runs into the backing. This especially rings true when fishing the lightweight tippet often required for bonefishing. The Spray easily kept its end of the bargain by effortlessly subduing line-peeling bones taken on ten-pound tippet. 

Quickly retrieving line is critical when fighting fast-as-lightning fish. The Spray’s large 4” diameter helps pick up 12.6” of fly line per rotation! The Spray holds a whooping 300 yards of 20lb Dacron backing with an 8wt line, so getting spooled isn’t a problem. The fully sealed drag seems bombproof, and I had zero issues with debris accumulation in two weeks of flats fishing.

Final Thoughts

The Spray 400 serves a rare deal in today’s hyperinflated fly fishing market. Sure, you can go cheaper, but it will come at the cost of performance, components, and build quality. The Spray looks great, is light as a feather, and features one of the smoothest drag systems I’ve ever used. Cheeky has succeeded in building a reel that out-punches the reel's $450 price point. 


Purchase HERE