Reel Improvement

Cheeky makes high performance, lightweight fishing reels that are backed with physics and attitude. With one of their boldly colored, well-designed reels, you can pull in a catch more quickly and easily. Any fisher worth his or her salt knows it’s all about the drag—the force that stops your line from swimming away when a fish pulls at it. Cheeky’s reels use an innovative stacked drag system that creates more tension. That makes reeling not just smoother but faster, too, because the reel retrieves more line than other designs. And the aluminum body keeps the reels lightweight yet strong enough to handle big catches. Ted Upton and his friends are avid fishermen, but they thought fishing reels had room for improvement—and could use a personality boost, too. So they started Cheeky to make better reels for both fresh and salt water fishing. Their first redesign was a fly reel, used in fly fishing. A revamped spin reel soon followed to suit other fishing styles. Both are made with the same signature drag system. There are no second chances in fishing—but with one of these distinctive, durable reels, we doubt you’ll need one.

Cheeky Fishing

Fishing Reels

Reel Improvement

Cheeky makes high performance, lightweight fishing reels that are backed with physics and attitude. With one of their boldly colored, well-designed reels, you can pull in a catch more quickly and easily. Any fisher worth his or her salt knows it’s all about the drag—the force that stops your line from swimming away when a fish pulls at it. Cheeky’s reels use an innovative stacked drag system that creates more tension. That makes reeling not just smoother but faster, too, because the reel retrieves more line than other designs. And the aluminum body keeps the reels lightweight yet strong enough to handle big catches. Ted Upton and his friends are avid fishermen, but they thought fishing reels had room for improvement—and could use a personality boost, too. So they started Cheeky to make better reels for both fresh and salt water fishing. Their first redesign was a fly reel, used in fly fishing. A revamped spin reel soon followed to suit other fishing styles. Both are made with the same signature drag system. There are no second chances in fishing—but with one of these distinctive, durable reels, we doubt you’ll need one.
Independent Maker
Made for a Lifetime
Tech & Innovation

Grommet Launch Conversation

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Ted
    Ted

    Hello Grommet fans! My name is Ted Upton and I am the CEO and Co-Founder at Cheeky Fishing. I am excited to have Cheeky Reels featured as today’s Grommet! Cheeky Fishing was founded in Boston by four passionate anglers who wanted to manufacture fishing reels differently. Tired of the same old fishing equipment, we manufacture high-end, innovative reels with edgy designs at affordable price points. We are breaking the mold, having fun with our designs, and aim to provide the best reels in the business to our customers!

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/26/2016 10:32 AM

    You left a corporate job to start Cheeky, was this something you had been thinking about for a while?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:35 AM

    Thanks for the question! I got bit by the entrepreneurial bug in college after starting a really small business my sophomore year (actually started it with one of my future partners at Cheeky). After college, I wanted to get some experience working for a bigger company, but the corporate life in downtown Boston was just not as satisfying as being out on our own, especially in an area I was so passionate about like fishing. It was a risky time to leave a stable job, but we figured diving in head first to Cheeky would be the best way to make the very best products.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/26/2016 10:36 AM

    Actually manufacturing the product and starting the business, was that something you were prepared to do?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:36 AM

    I don’t think you can ever be fully prepared for it, but diving in and rolling up your sleeves is half the battle. I’ve learned things take twice as long and cost twice as much as you think! We definitely ran into our fair share of challenges, especially early on, but we were determined and motivated to manufacture the highest quality fishing reels out there. We felt that if we had a fishing reel people could truly depend on and get excited about, the rest would take care of itself.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/26/2016 10:36 AM

    What has been the feedback from users?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:37 AM

    Probably my favorite thing about Cheeky is getting such great feedback from anglers around the world. We have beginners and experts alike fishing Cheeky Reels on six continents! I remember when our designs were literally scribbled down on paper, so it’s cool to see how far we’ve come. Today, we get comments from people all over the world about how much they love the reels. Our users are routinely impressed with the drag system and overall craftsmanship.

    We also hear frequently that the styles and colors are just more fun than other reels out there. Customer service and warranty would be another area. We take care of our customers and that’s really fundamental to what we do at Cheeky.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/26/2016 10:37 AM

    Why should every fisherman or woman use Cheeky?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:38 AM

    In fishing, you don’t get second chances. You need a reel you can always depend on. Cheeky reels are loaded with technology you won’t find elsewhere that ensure you can worry less about your equipment and more about the actual fishing. Plus, it’s cool to be a bit different. Cheeky is a small, independent manufacturer competing in an industry that’s dominated by much larger companies. When you buy a Cheeky Reel for yourself or as a gift, you are supporting small business and getting a top notch product at the same time.

  • David
    David
    5/26/2016 10:50 AM

    @Ted

  • David
    David
    5/26/2016 10:51 AM

    what reel would you suggest for a beginner ?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:53 AM

    @David Thanks for the question! I would recommend the FLOTR series for spin fishing and the Tyro series for fly fishing. Do you know which you plan to do more of? Also, will you be fishing fresh or saltwater?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:54 AM

    All of our reels will work very well in both fresh and saltwater and will stay safe from the elements!

  • David
    David
    5/26/2016 10:54 AM

    spin fishing / saltwater

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:57 AM

    @David Go with either the FLOTR 3500, or step up to the CYDRO 3500. The difference is that the CYDRO reels are an all aluminum body whereas the FLOTR body is injection molded plastic, so the CYDRO will be a bit stronger for larger saltwater species. If you're going for larger fish, the CYDRO 4500 and 5500 are just larger versions with more line capacity and added drag strength.

  • Joe
    Joe
    5/26/2016 11:13 AM

    Ted, How about a baitcaster?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 11:18 AM

    @Joe Thanks for the question. Right now we offer the spinning reels and fly reels and do not make a traditional baitcaster reel. That said, the spinning reels are a great option for almost any body of water.

  • Todd
    Todd
    5/26/2016 11:26 AM

    Are your reels manufactured in the United States or overseas? Do you use any imported parts in your reels?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 11:34 AM

    @Todd Thanks for the question. All of our reels are made overseas in China. We do all our design work on all reels in-house in Massachusetts, as well as quality control, materials control, etc. Quality is VERY important to us, especially in an industry like fishing where people really need to depend on their equipment. We used to do our manufacturing here in the US back when we first started, but the reels were $600 for the end customer, and we quickly realized we could make a very high quality product overseas, and pass all that savings along to the end customer. I don't know how much you know about machining, but it's essentially like a recipe. Our recipe was designed here and now we make the exact same recipe overseas for a more affordable price to the end customer. That's one of the main ways we're able to offer such great features in our reels, but without the multi hundred dollar price tag to go along with it.

  • Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    5/26/2016 11:42 AM

    Hi Ted. I am thinking about getting my father a fly fishing reel for Father's Day. However, I don't know very much about the sport or the equipment. My dad mostly fishes the rivers in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. I would guess that he is an intermediate fisherman. Can you give me a suggestion on which reel he would enjoy the most? Thanks!

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 11:48 AM

    @Elizabeth You're in luck! I was born in NH and grew up in Maine. I would recommend the Tyro 350 or Boost 350. Those will be perfect for New England fishing! The difference between the two is that the Boost Reel is fully machined which adds some additional strength and rigidity. The Boost one fly reel of the year in 2015 from Outside Magazine. The Tyro is also an excellent choice for a little less money and both come with lifetime warranties.

  • Ann-Marie
    Ann-Marie
    5/26/2016 12:04 PM

    @Ted Would you also recommend those reels for salt water fishing on Cape Cod? What's your return policy if I choose the wrong reel? Is the Boost for fly fishing only?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 12:13 PM

    @Ann-Marie Thanks for your question Ann-Marie. For saltwater on Cape Cod, I would recommend the Boost 400. We just returned from hosting the largest saltwater fly fishing tournament in the country on Cape Cod and many of the participants we're using the Boost 400. The Return Policy for the Grommet can be found here and it looks like 60 days, so you should be fine: https://www.thegrommet.com/customer-service/returns. The Boost is for fly fishing only. If you wanted a spinning reel option for Cape Cod, it would be the CYDRO series.

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 12:19 PM

    @Ann-Marie. Also, all fly reels have lifetime manufacturers warranty and spinning reels have 1-year warranty. We like to think we have some of the best customer service in the business!

  • Sheila
    Sheila
    5/26/2016 11:45 AM

    They look great can reels be set for left handed fishing?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 11:49 AM

    @Sheila Hi Sheila. All Cheeky can reels can easily convert from left to right hand retrieve. Instructions are in the box and it's a very easy DIY process that takes no more than a minute.

  • Jan
    Jan
    5/26/2016 12:49 PM

    I am a 73 year old beginning fly fisherwoman, and am seriously left handed. Will only be fishing at our local pond for trout or on the truckee river for trout. Which reel do you suggest? (I'm also using an ancient rod. Any suggestions there?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 12:58 PM

    @Jan Thanks for the question! I would recommend the Tyro 350 or Boost 350 depending on your price range. Both will ship left handed, but can be converted to right handed as well. The difference between the two reels is that the Boost Reel is fully machined which adds some additional strength and rigidity as well as fit and finish. The Boost won fly reel of the year in 2015 from Outside Magazine. The Tyro is also an excellent choice for a little less money and both come with lifetime warranties.

  • Jan
    Jan
    5/26/2016 1:33 PM

    @Ted

    How about a suggested rod?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 1:42 PM

    @Jan - I would say that's largely personal preference. There are so many great rods out there! The good news is that Cheeky Reels are compatible with any rod you do end up choosing. Hope this is at least somewhat helpful.

  • Rebecca
    Rebecca
    5/26/2016 12:34 PM

    My husband is an avid bass fisherman and also likes to topwater fish. I don't know much about the sport. Would one of your products be appropriate for him?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 12:38 PM

    @Rebecca Thanks for your question. Yes, absolutely. We also love to bass fish here at the Cheeky offices. I would recommend the FLOTR 2500 or 3500 for your husband. He will love the reel. It's loaded with features and a fast retrieval rate that make it a dream on bass.

  • John
    John
    5/26/2016 12:52 PM

    I'd like to try the spinning reel. Is possible to skip the colors and a a completely black model?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 12:57 PM

    @John Thanks for the question. Unfortunately the colors are a "what you see is what you get" sort of thing, so that's what we have to offer at this time. Above all else though, it's about performance, and Cheeky reels are second to none, so hopefully you're still interested to give the reels a try!

  • John
    John
    5/26/2016 1:17 PM

    @Ted Thanks for the quick response. I'll keep watching.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

 

Cheeky Fishing

Fishing Reels

Reel Improvement

Cheeky makes high performance, lightweight fishing reels that are backed with physics and attitude. With one of their boldly colored, well-designed reels, you can pull in a catch more quickly and easily.

Any fisher worth his or her salt knows it’s all about the drag—the force that stops your line from swimming away when a fish
pulls at it. Cheeky’s reels use an innovative stacked drag system that creates more tension. That makes reeling not just smoother but faster, too, because the reel retrieves more line than other designs. And the aluminum body keeps the reels lightweight yet strong enough to handle big catches.

Ted Upton and his friends are avid fishermen, but they thought fishing reels had room for improvement—and could use a personality boost, too. So they started Cheeky to make better reels for both fresh and salt water fishing.

Their first redesign was a fly reel, used in fly fishing. A revamped spin reel soon followed to suit other fishing styles. Both are made with the same signature drag system.

There are no second chances in fishing—but with one of these distinctive, durable reels, we doubt you’ll need one.
Read More Read Less
Don’t lose your drag.

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Ted
    Ted

    Hello Grommet fans! My name is Ted Upton and I am the CEO and Co-Founder at Cheeky Fishing. I am excited to have Cheeky Reels featured as today’s Grommet! Cheeky Fishing was founded in Boston by four passionate anglers who wanted to manufacture fishing reels differently. Tired of the same old fishing equipment, we manufacture high-end, innovative reels with edgy designs at affordable price points. We are breaking the mold, having fun with our designs, and aim to provide the best reels in the business to our customers!

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/26/2016 10:32 AM

    You left a corporate job to start Cheeky, was this something you had been thinking about for a while?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:35 AM

    Thanks for the question! I got bit by the entrepreneurial bug in college after starting a really small business my sophomore year (actually started it with one of my future partners at Cheeky). After college, I wanted to get some experience working for a bigger company, but the corporate life in downtown Boston was just not as satisfying as being out on our own, especially in an area I was so passionate about like fishing. It was a risky time to leave a stable job, but we figured diving in head first to Cheeky would be the best way to make the very best products.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/26/2016 10:36 AM

    Actually manufacturing the product and starting the business, was that something you were prepared to do?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:36 AM

    I don’t think you can ever be fully prepared for it, but diving in and rolling up your sleeves is half the battle. I’ve learned things take twice as long and cost twice as much as you think! We definitely ran into our fair share of challenges, especially early on, but we were determined and motivated to manufacture the highest quality fishing reels out there. We felt that if we had a fishing reel people could truly depend on and get excited about, the rest would take care of itself.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/26/2016 10:36 AM

    What has been the feedback from users?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:37 AM

    Probably my favorite thing about Cheeky is getting such great feedback from anglers around the world. We have beginners and experts alike fishing Cheeky Reels on six continents! I remember when our designs were literally scribbled down on paper, so it’s cool to see how far we’ve come. Today, we get comments from people all over the world about how much they love the reels. Our users are routinely impressed with the drag system and overall craftsmanship.

    We also hear frequently that the styles and colors are just more fun than other reels out there. Customer service and warranty would be another area. We take care of our customers and that’s really fundamental to what we do at Cheeky.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/26/2016 10:37 AM

    Why should every fisherman or woman use Cheeky?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:38 AM

    In fishing, you don’t get second chances. You need a reel you can always depend on. Cheeky reels are loaded with technology you won’t find elsewhere that ensure you can worry less about your equipment and more about the actual fishing. Plus, it’s cool to be a bit different. Cheeky is a small, independent manufacturer competing in an industry that’s dominated by much larger companies. When you buy a Cheeky Reel for yourself or as a gift, you are supporting small business and getting a top notch product at the same time.

  • David
    David
    5/26/2016 10:50 AM

    @Ted

  • David
    David
    5/26/2016 10:51 AM

    what reel would you suggest for a beginner ?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:53 AM

    @David Thanks for the question! I would recommend the FLOTR series for spin fishing and the Tyro series for fly fishing. Do you know which you plan to do more of? Also, will you be fishing fresh or saltwater?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:54 AM

    All of our reels will work very well in both fresh and saltwater and will stay safe from the elements!

  • David
    David
    5/26/2016 10:54 AM

    spin fishing / saltwater

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 10:57 AM

    @David Go with either the FLOTR 3500, or step up to the CYDRO 3500. The difference is that the CYDRO reels are an all aluminum body whereas the FLOTR body is injection molded plastic, so the CYDRO will be a bit stronger for larger saltwater species. If you're going for larger fish, the CYDRO 4500 and 5500 are just larger versions with more line capacity and added drag strength.

  • Joe
    Joe
    5/26/2016 11:13 AM

    Ted, How about a baitcaster?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 11:18 AM

    @Joe Thanks for the question. Right now we offer the spinning reels and fly reels and do not make a traditional baitcaster reel. That said, the spinning reels are a great option for almost any body of water.

  • Todd
    Todd
    5/26/2016 11:26 AM

    Are your reels manufactured in the United States or overseas? Do you use any imported parts in your reels?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 11:34 AM

    @Todd Thanks for the question. All of our reels are made overseas in China. We do all our design work on all reels in-house in Massachusetts, as well as quality control, materials control, etc. Quality is VERY important to us, especially in an industry like fishing where people really need to depend on their equipment. We used to do our manufacturing here in the US back when we first started, but the reels were $600 for the end customer, and we quickly realized we could make a very high quality product overseas, and pass all that savings along to the end customer. I don't know how much you know about machining, but it's essentially like a recipe. Our recipe was designed here and now we make the exact same recipe overseas for a more affordable price to the end customer. That's one of the main ways we're able to offer such great features in our reels, but without the multi hundred dollar price tag to go along with it.

  • Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    5/26/2016 11:42 AM

    Hi Ted. I am thinking about getting my father a fly fishing reel for Father's Day. However, I don't know very much about the sport or the equipment. My dad mostly fishes the rivers in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. I would guess that he is an intermediate fisherman. Can you give me a suggestion on which reel he would enjoy the most? Thanks!

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 11:48 AM

    @Elizabeth You're in luck! I was born in NH and grew up in Maine. I would recommend the Tyro 350 or Boost 350. Those will be perfect for New England fishing! The difference between the two is that the Boost Reel is fully machined which adds some additional strength and rigidity. The Boost one fly reel of the year in 2015 from Outside Magazine. The Tyro is also an excellent choice for a little less money and both come with lifetime warranties.

  • Ann-Marie
    Ann-Marie
    5/26/2016 12:04 PM

    @Ted Would you also recommend those reels for salt water fishing on Cape Cod? What's your return policy if I choose the wrong reel? Is the Boost for fly fishing only?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 12:13 PM

    @Ann-Marie Thanks for your question Ann-Marie. For saltwater on Cape Cod, I would recommend the Boost 400. We just returned from hosting the largest saltwater fly fishing tournament in the country on Cape Cod and many of the participants we're using the Boost 400. The Return Policy for the Grommet can be found here and it looks like 60 days, so you should be fine: https://www.thegrommet.com/customer-service/returns. The Boost is for fly fishing only. If you wanted a spinning reel option for Cape Cod, it would be the CYDRO series.

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 12:19 PM

    @Ann-Marie. Also, all fly reels have lifetime manufacturers warranty and spinning reels have 1-year warranty. We like to think we have some of the best customer service in the business!

  • Sheila
    Sheila
    5/26/2016 11:45 AM

    They look great can reels be set for left handed fishing?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 11:49 AM

    @Sheila Hi Sheila. All Cheeky can reels can easily convert from left to right hand retrieve. Instructions are in the box and it's a very easy DIY process that takes no more than a minute.

  • Jan
    Jan
    5/26/2016 12:49 PM

    I am a 73 year old beginning fly fisherwoman, and am seriously left handed. Will only be fishing at our local pond for trout or on the truckee river for trout. Which reel do you suggest? (I'm also using an ancient rod. Any suggestions there?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 12:58 PM

    @Jan Thanks for the question! I would recommend the Tyro 350 or Boost 350 depending on your price range. Both will ship left handed, but can be converted to right handed as well. The difference between the two reels is that the Boost Reel is fully machined which adds some additional strength and rigidity as well as fit and finish. The Boost won fly reel of the year in 2015 from Outside Magazine. The Tyro is also an excellent choice for a little less money and both come with lifetime warranties.

  • Jan
    Jan
    5/26/2016 1:33 PM

    @Ted

    How about a suggested rod?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 1:42 PM

    @Jan - I would say that's largely personal preference. There are so many great rods out there! The good news is that Cheeky Reels are compatible with any rod you do end up choosing. Hope this is at least somewhat helpful.

  • Rebecca
    Rebecca
    5/26/2016 12:34 PM

    My husband is an avid bass fisherman and also likes to topwater fish. I don't know much about the sport. Would one of your products be appropriate for him?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 12:38 PM

    @Rebecca Thanks for your question. Yes, absolutely. We also love to bass fish here at the Cheeky offices. I would recommend the FLOTR 2500 or 3500 for your husband. He will love the reel. It's loaded with features and a fast retrieval rate that make it a dream on bass.

  • John
    John
    5/26/2016 12:52 PM

    I'd like to try the spinning reel. Is possible to skip the colors and a a completely black model?

  • Ted
    Ted – Special Guest
    5/26/2016 12:57 PM

    @John Thanks for the question. Unfortunately the colors are a "what you see is what you get" sort of thing, so that's what we have to offer at this time. Above all else though, it's about performance, and Cheeky reels are second to none, so hopefully you're still interested to give the reels a try!

  • John
    John
    5/26/2016 1:17 PM

    @Ted Thanks for the quick response. I'll keep watching.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.