Best Catfish Reels 2022 – (Reviewed & Compared)

If you love fishing, you must know the struggles everyone faces if they do not have a good fishing reel. Catfish are scratchy. They start up a good battle and are frequently ready to pursue bait. That renders them enjoyable to catch, whether in a boat or from the beach.

To keep your catfishing session even more enjoyable, you should invest in high-quality fishing equipment. There is nothing more annoying than a component of apparatus malfunctioning at a critical time.

The faulty catfishing equipment will give the fish an edge and not withstand the catfish’s stress. However, if you’re searching for a modern catfish reel, we have you prepared. Let’s take a look at the 8 best reels for catfish. We have examined the goods to ensure no issues when you go fishing the next time.

Related: Best Catfish Baitcaster Reels

8 Best Catfish Spinning Reels Comparison Table

PENN Battle II catfish reel
  • High Range
  • Good For Saltwater
  • Ability To Land Hard Hitting Species
runner up
Abu Garcia Revo SX
  • Provide Corrosion Protection
  • Efficient Gearing System
  • Lightweight Construction
premium quality
Cadence CS8
  • Ultralight
  • Magnesium Frame
  • Super Powerful
amazon’s choice
KastKing Sharky III
  • Oversize Shaft
  • Best Value
  • Good For Saltwater & Freshwater
Daiwa Tatula LT
  • Left/Right Hand Reel
  • ZAION Housing LT Concept
  • Strong & Lightweight
amazon’s choice
Okuma Ceymar
  • Monofilament Line Capacity
  • Oiled Felt Drag System
  • Premium Quality
  • Hagane Body
  • G-Free Body 
  • Durable
Penn Fierce Iii
  • HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag Washers
  • Superline Spool
  • Instant Anti-Reverse Bearing

8 Best Reels For Catfish Reviewed

1. PENN Battle II – Best Catfish Spinning Reel

Penn’s image has been developed in the saltwater, and if you’re a committed freshwater angler, you could be unfamiliar with this firm and its goods.

However, the Penn Battle II series is a tried-and-true option for saltwater fishing and surf anglers, so if these spinners can handle speckled trout and reds, they can also take cats.

This Penn catfish reel is my best selection since it is built to withstand the severe circumstances of seawater. It has a braid-ready welded, molded aluminum spool.

In addition, there are handy line availability circles that allow you to check how much thread you have remaining quickly. I am sure you will love this product.

It is notable for its all-metal structure. Metal is used to make the frame, side panel, and rotor. This construction increases the reel’s durability and renders it suited for severe or marine fishing situations. Furthermore, it helps the product seem costly and high-quality to the touch.

The PENN Battle II also includes protected ball bearings. These bearings enable the reel to be utilized in saltwater for catching catfish because they keep the pull from being rusted or filthy, which can harm the product and lead the dragging and retrieval to malfunction.

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

Furthermore, a rubberized inlay is included with the PENN Battle II catfish spinning reel. This rubberized insert helps to keep the line from sliding. This allows you to utilise braided threads without using monofilament or electric wire as a support.


  • Excellent drag mechanism
  • The sealed chassis ensures long-term reliability
  • Excellent casting ability
  • Capability is exceptional
  • Functioning is silky-smooth
  • Fantastic anti-reverse mechanism


  • The quick reverse process utilizes plastic springs that appear fragile
  • Casting will weaken with lines heavier than ten pounds

In conclusion, each of these reels spins smoothly, and while the gear relation changes, anticipate each bigger model to pull up more thread than the other lightest. So if you’ve not been a fan of catfish spinning reels, Penn Battle II could be the one for you.

2. Abu Garcia Revo SX – Best Catfish Reel

The Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel is constructed of high quality and durable materials that will endure for several decades. It has an Insert-Molded C6 graphite chassis and a one-piece aluminum gear mechanism. These elements contribute to the body’s durability and longevity.

The Abu Garcia Revo SX includes an Amgearing Mechanism as well. This method enables the reel to have accurately manufactured gears, resulting in better touch and increased longevity. Therefore this makes it suitable for catching catfish.

The Carbon Matrix Dragging Mechanism improves the efficiency of this catfishing reel even more. The Clutch Anti retrieve bearing limits the lever playback to a minimal, while the mechanism maintains the reel pleasant.

Furthermore, this Abu Garcia catfish reel has an excellent string control mechanism. The method integrates the Rocket Filament Lip Style with the Everlast Bail Technology. Irrespective of your fishing style or hook strength, this arrangement will enable the string to sit flat.


  • Sturdy
  • Pleasant
  • Excellent bail mechanism
  • Method of Amgearing
  • Anti-reverse gear button


  • There is no extra spool
  • Because it is lightweight, it is more susceptible to twisting

To sum up, the Abu Garcia Revo SX catfishing reel is constructed of high-quality materials which will endure for several decades. It has an Insert-Molded C6 carbon chassis and a single-piece aluminum geared mechanism. These elements contribute to the body’s durability and longevity. This is a fantastic option that may improve your fishing efficiency and create the session extra enjoyable.

3. Cadence CS8 – Ultralight Pick

Cadence is a comparative newbie to the fishing industry, but its reels are fast establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with.

The Cadence CS8 has an excellent line-up for catfish anglers, with the added versatility suited for ordinary river cats as well as tiny blues and bucktails. If you are new to fishing I suggest you to use this product.

The Cadence CS8 type reel delivers high functionality at a meager cost since components provide sturdiness without adding burden.

Moreover, the anodized aluminum spool minimizes line slide and incorporates a carbon fiber dragging mechanism that provides continuous pressure. In addition, the comfortable EVA grip handle decreases reel weight even further.

Apart from this, it’s a tremendous multi-functional spinning reel thanks to its excellent construction and accessibility in various sizes.

The Cadence CS8 is perfect for saltwater gamefish such as basses, bluegill, and herring, along with famous nearshore varieties such as redfish, spotted trout, and flounder.

Cadence CS8 Spinning reel for catfish

In last, the CS8 spinning reel model will surpass your standards with functionality, durability, and appearance you’ve come to anticipate from spinning reels spending nearly twice quite so much.


  • Excellent value for money
  • Good dragging
  • Capability is exceptional
  • Excellent casting
  • Functioning is silky-smooth


  • Line capacity needs improvement
  • The design may not be the most robust in the marketplace

To sum up, the CS8-series has a good drag and employs a sequence of carbon fiber plates to produce string tension. Its maximal position goes up when you go more extensive, and it is controlled by a lever on the reel’s base. It’s enjoyable in every situation, offering comforting stability with no slipping.

4. KastKing Sharky III – Cheap Catfish Reel

The KastKing Sharky III is a challenging and durable spinning reel ideal for almost any angling situation. This spinning reel, made of highly robust components, can capture great trophy fishes while providing ultra-quick retrieving, resilient characteristics, and low pricing.

Above all, the KastKing Sharky III is a very adaptable fishing reel that can handle almost any climate. Therefore, it is suitable for any fishing situation, implying that you will receive your cash value from this equipment.

If you’re looking for a multi-purpose spectacular spinning reel, the KastKing Sharky III is a good choice.

This spinning reel is designed to catch any catfish, irrespective of the angling conditions. In addition, this reel blends ultralight construction with strengthened components, resulting in a reel that is both pleasant and long-lasting.

Another excellent feature of this reel is it also has a beautiful Shark Fin Braided Prepared spool.

Again, there is no requirement for backing with this reel. Simultaneously, it keeps the braided thread from sliding.

Furthermore, because it prevents hooks, this helps make the angling session far more pleasurable. For all these reasons I have included this product in my list.


  • Versatile
  • Saltwater resistant 
  • It feels soft
  • Inexpensive


  • Smoothness deteriorates over time

In conclusion, KastKingSharky III is the best budget catfish reel for all-around use. You can’t go incorrect with this choice if you’re on a highly tight expenditure. At this rate, it isn’t easy to locate an alternative reel with similar longevity and capabilities as this model. However, the KastKing Sharky III reel isn’t without flaws. This does wither over the period and the softness decreases.

5. Daiwa Tatula LT – Great Value

If you are looking for a good reel for all situations you must check this. The Daiwa Tatula LT has advanced technology and a one-of-a-kind appearance that makes it ideal for catching fish.

This rotating reel is made of robust yet ultralight components, giving it the right blend of lightness and vital for the intelligent catfish angler.

Despite its small size, the Tatula LT is exceptionally long-lasting and cost-effective.

To begin, the Tatula LT is highly robust, thanks to its Zaion Chassis.

The structure of the reel is composed of high-quality carbon, which is exceptionally vital to most other substances of a similar nature.

In addition, the air spinner of this reel is also more powerful than previous versions since it uniformly distributes pressure over the component.

The lightness of the Tatula LT is, without a doubt, perhaps the most remarkable characteristic. Each element of this catfish reel, from the frame to the airflow spinner, is made of ultralight components and pieces.

An additional advantage of the Tatula LT is its durable components. Many compact layouts lose sturdiness or longevity, but that isn’t the case with this rotating reel. Instead, the details have been selected to provide the most fantastic robust elements at the lowest mass.


  • Lightweight
  • Robust
  • Pleasant
  • Excellent bail mechanism
  • Digitally enhanced


  • Pricey
  • Doesn’t hold a large amount of line in one go

In summary, the Daiwa Tatula LT is an excellent fishing reel for even more advanced catching fish. Its lightness, sturdy, and smoothly functioning components effectively pull in fish while reducing operator strain. Using this spinning reel, customers can be confident that the fishing session will be valuable and enjoyable.

6. Okuma Ceymar – Big Catfish Reel

The Okuma Ceymar is the most premium quality and lightweight reel which is tested by professional anglers.

The dragging action of this big cat fishing reel performs greatly with a multi-disc drag mechanism, with reasonably easy throwing and retrieving for varied masses of catch. The dragging levels of this reel are simply adjusted, and the anti-reverse roller bearing keeps the product from spinning incorrectly.

The Okuma Ceymar is a lightweight and small size reel, along with its EVA handle levers and aluminium handle, providing a pleasant hold, enabling for a much more peaceful angling session.

Moreover, the structure of the equipment is small and elegant, decreasing total height without sacrificing performance.

It is designed to handle a large quantity of tiny diameter thread and to throw over great ranges. When utilized to capture a large number of species, the Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel performs admirably. In short, it is one of the best reels for big catfish.

When contrasted to the typical cost of a high-quality fishing spinner, the Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel represents fantastic pricing.

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

With a decent construction strength and longevity, this reel is an excellent alternative for novices who want to acquaint themselves with fishing techniques while utilizing a low-cost but acceptable quality reel.


  • Small size
  • A pleasurable fishing session
  • Adequate drag
  • Various sizes are available


  • Reduced gear ratioNot as flexible as other versions

To sum up, the reel is much thinner and lightweight than rivals’ comparable goods, yet the size does not affect the reel’s performance. Anticipate a similar level of strength as you would from a regular, high-quality reel, with proper load management and a wide throw. The lightweight and small length of the reel, along with its EVA grip levers and aluminum handle, provide a pleasant grasp, enabling a much more peaceful fishing approach.

7. SHIMANO Stradic FL – Best Shimano Catfish Reel

The Shimano Stradic Spinning Fishing Reel is an excellent choice both for freshwater and ocean angling. This is a compact spinning reel that provides a pleasant and seamless angling session.

The Magnumlite Rotor in this equipment is, in reality, another of the lightweight rotors accessible. At a very similar moment, the reel’s manufacturing components and grip make it a long-lasting investment.

Most significantly, the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is designed for lifespan and endurance. It’s made of CI4 carbon fiber plus an excellent quality aluminum spool.

These components are rigid and can withstand even the most challenging conditions, including seawater. Furthermore, the Shimano Stradic Ci4’s X-ship innovation assures its longevity.

In addition, the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is also available in a variety of sizes. These selections will help you to find the rotating reel that is ideal for your interests and requirements.

Don’t know what size to get? Don’t be concerned. Shimano includes a handy measurement guide to assist you in determining which model to purchase.

In last, this Shimano catfish reel is among the thinnest on the marketplace.

Check it out if you want to read the complete review on 7 best Shimano Spinning Fishing Reels.


  • Long-lasting
  • Multi-purpose
  • Compact product
  • Various sizes are available
  • Inexpensive


  • There is no anti-reverse switch
  • Back reeling is not possible

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ catfish spinning reel is great since it is long-lasting, compact, and easy to operate. It is built with high-quality components and seals, making it appropriate for both marine and freshwater environments. Simultaneously, the design is lighter, making the reel highly convenient to use. However, the drawback of this reel is it lacks an anti-reverse button and has specific plastic components.

8. Penn Fierce III Catfish Reel

The Penn Fierce, two spinning reel’s construction, provides exceptional efficiency, flawless casting, and simple retrieve.

The pull is robust and easily adjusted throughout a catching through the reel’s upper lever. It bends the rods correctly and releases them associated with a particular degree of additional drag, avoiding bouncing and increasing precision.

In addition, the reels can store a significant number of tests line and have huge, enlarged grips for more straightforward operation.

The Penn Fierce Il needs no repair and will show no indications of excessive wear even following decades of usage.

Furthermore, The Penn Fierce Il needs no repair and will show no indications of excessive wear even following decades of usage.

Apart from this, it comes in a range of variants and dimensions (FRCII1000 to FRCII8000), may be utilized for angling in a diverse array of circumstances and with a range of hook kinds to capture a range of fish of various sorts.

Penn Firece III Spinning Reel

Even having a spinning reel mechanism, the Penn Fierce II produces tiny knots and may be utilized whenever unfavorable climate conditions.


  • There is very minimal maintenance needed
  • Various types and sizes are available
  • System of spinning reels
  • Drag may be adjusted
  • Appropriate for novices


  • It is protected but not sealed
  • Disturbing drag noise

To sum up, this Penn catfish reel is an ultralight but robust and forceful reel, allowing it to handle larger prey. The gearing is snug and provides almost no back mobility. The Penn Fierce 2 reel is an incredibly fantastic worth for price choice, coming in at a lower price than comparable reels made by competing companies. The reel meets the required criteria for the type and dimensions, and it is made of high-quality components.

Things You Should Know Before Buying Spinning Reel For Catfish

Whenever shopping for a spinning reel to capture catfish, there are several factors to keep in mind. The dimension of the fish species you’ll be angling for, the line length, spool retrieving, how well the reel is built, the grip, and the gearbox are by far the most significant factors to examine when purchasing.

Size of the Fish

To choose the right reel, take into account the dimensions of the catfish you want to catch and the quantity of the fish species in the region. You don’t wish to tackle a place that routinely produces catfish weighing more than 100 pounds with such a reel that’s not designed for it. You will damage the spool and end up losing the fish.

To capture the fish, you’ll require a reel with appropriate strength and rope length.

Line Capacity

When it comes to line capacity, you should seek a large thread volume to ensure that you can utilize a hefty line load. Catfish are not the same as marine fish. As they rush off, they usually won’t take a lot of thread off your hook, at least not typically.

However, the extensive line capacity allows you to utilize a much more substantial thread, such as a 40-pound braided, to apply stress on the creature. In addition, while chasing a large fish, thicker ropes are much less prone to crack.


Before purchasing, examine the components used to make the reel, and look for catfish rotating reels composed of solid alloys on the interior and are adequately closed. Galvanized metal is among the finest elements to search for since it prevents corrosion and lasts for ages.

However, before purchasing an aluminum reel, be sure it is anodized or has aluminum components.

Best catfish reel buying guide

Catfish Spinning Vs Catfish Baitcasting Reel

We have explained the two types of catfish reels spinning and baitcasting:

Catfish Spinning Reel

Catfish spinning reels are not a preferable choice over baitcasting reels. You can do catfishing using these reels, but if you can have a better fishing experience with bait casters, why not? Some of the main reasons are:

1. Reel Size

You can use a small reel size for catfishing depending on the type of water you are going for fishing. But it only limits its use for catching the small catfish. The average recommended reel size is 4000-6000 for catfish and stripers.

2. Line Capacity

Heavier lines are preferable for catfishing, especially in saltwater fishing. So, you must go for a larger reel size for good output. But it limits the selection of fishing rods.

3. Spool Capacity

Catfish spinning reels are easy to operate and have an interchangeable spool that saves time. But it can be problematic while using rod holders.

Catfish Baitcasting Reel

Baitcasting reels are professional anglers’ choices because of so many reasons. Despite it takes some time to learn and practice using it in the right way but once you have learned it, you will enjoy some of the perks:

1. Good Gear Ratio And Line Capacity

You can use these reels for heavy water catfishing with large baits and heavy-duty lines. These reels are best for giant catfish, and their ability to hold up the more notable species at much distance is incredible.

2. Appropriate Baitcasting Reel Size

The ideal baitcasting reel size for catfishing is 6500, but you can switch depending on the type of line you will use. You can also swap for a small reel size. You can enjoy catfishing from these reels with much ease and comfort.

3. Better Power and Control

Baitcasting reels power handle will maintain the equilibrium while casting and has good line capacity compared to spinning reels.

What Type of Catfishing Reel Is The Best?

Are you going to catch catfish? What reel are you using, and what’s the best among them. Let me briefly describe all the three types of catfish reels

Spincast Reels:

It’s a very formal type of reel that everyone learns, even a layman. In this, you must press /push the button, cast the fish and reel it in. It has,

  • Unreliable drag system
  • No bait clickers
  • Composition of plastics

Spinning Reels:

Much better choice than the spin-cast reel; the spinning reels are easy to learn than the baitcasting reel. That’s why many anglers choose spinning reels over baitcasting reels.

  • Complications you may encounter by using it are
  • It limits the selection of catfish rods and baits clicker reels
  • Long durability may cause a problem in catfishing

Baitcasting Reels:

Professionals and intermediate players prefer baitcasting reels over all reels. These are the best for catfishing,

  • They have the better line capacity
  • Suitable gear ratio
  • Specially designed drag system for larger fish
  • Possibility of Better selection of catfish rods

Final Thoughts On Best Catfish Reels

Catfish fishing is hard on equipment, and all but the tiniest river cats require robust, dependable reels. With any of the goods on our selection, you’ll be well-prepared for a trip on the stream, and if you hook up with a massive fish, you can trust that your reel can perform its duty.

Following are our 3 recommended best spinning reels for catfish:

1. Penn Battle II The most robust and high-quality spinning reel for catfish.
2. Abu Garcia Revo Sx It is made to endure and to succeed.
3. Cadence CS8 If you want to catch the largest and most challenging fish, the Cadence CS8 is a fantastic choice, and it employs a sequence of carbon fiber discs to produce thread pressure.

Consider purchasing aspects such as durability, line length, dragging mechanism, and gearbox when selecting the best catfish reel for your requirements. I trust that this information has assisted you in making the best decision for you.

People Also Ask About Catfish Reels

1. What is the best size reel for catfishing?

Small and medium-sized species are typically caught by ordinary fishermen and novices using spinning reels for catfishing. You don’t need the same feel as a pro if you’re after a monster-sized wels catfish. However, even if you hunt tiny ones, resist using lightweight freshwater reels since they will not be enough. Avoid sizes smaller than 4000. Instead, you might select marine reels since they are more tough and durable.

2. What is the best catfish reel?

As you know, there are three significant kinds of reels, each with its own set of pros and limitations. To summarise, spin-cast reels are simple for use, inexpensive, and suitable for novices. However, they aren’t excellent with thicker hooks, which is a problem if you’re after larger catfish.

Spinning reels are a superior option, but don’t simply purchase an ordinary spinning reel. If you’re looking for a catfishing spool, we believe baitcasting reels are the most acceptable option.

3. What Is the Function of a Fishing Reel Drag?

The drug acts as a “buffer” between the reel and the catfish, providing for “give” and preventing the angling thread from snapping. This accounts for the differential in braking power between the fisherman thread and the degree of pressure exerted on the angling thread. Correct drag levels and expertise allow you to catch larger species than the braking power of your angling thread.

4. What is the finest gear to use for catfishing?

More excellent gear ratios are required for catfish. These increase your velocities and strength. A suitable ratio limit is 5:1 to 6.5:1. With a larger gear ratio, you receive more excellent rope in every grip movement, but you waste considerable strength as a consequence. Smaller ratios produce tremendous energy but less pace.

5. How do you search for catfish?

Search for catfish in filthy water regions throughout the daytime, especially as a stream and its outflow. Deeper aspects, such as river curves, drop-off bases, more bottomless pits, and ridges, are also beneficial. Catfish will also congregate near the shelter, such as standing wood and thick weed margins. Decent fishing occurs at night.

Thanks For Reading The Article… Good Luck!