5 Best Conventional Reels For Bottom Fishing – (2022 Top Picks)

If you are a fan of bottom fishing, assembling a box that has a line, spool, and gears can be an uphill task and an unnecessary effort. Hence, it becomes important that you turn to modern alternatives such as conventional reels. Although these can be an expensive choice to make, I can assure you that it is a long-term investment and assist you ideally with an efficient process.

In a hurry and don’t want to try all of our top picks which we have reviewed in this article? Don’t worry, if you are looking for the best conventional reel for bottom fishing which provides decent drag capacity then I would recommend you to choose PENN Squall II Level Wind reel. I tried this product on my different fishing journeys and it performs best in bottom fishing and in saltwater conditions.

As we know, the bottom fishing technique demands a decent drag capacity, fast retrieval rate, high gear ratio, and easy spool changes. So, for anglers specifically, it is ideal that you should have the proper equipment in a small-size package.

If you are in the process of buying the best conventional reel for bottom fishing, here is a review guide based on drag system, line capacity, spool, bearings, and durability.

Related: Best Conventional Reels For Surf Casting

Comparison of 5 Best Bottom Fishing Conventional Reels

PENN Squall II Level Wind conventional reel for bottom fishingg
  • Fast Gear Access Side Plate
  • Lightweight Graphite Frame
  • Angler Friendly
Daiwa SGT50H Seagate Star
  • Highest Rated
  • Reinforced Metal Body
  • Powerful
PENN Squall II Star Drag
  • Graphite Frame
  • Stainless Steel Pinion Gear
  • Reliable & Efficient
Penn Jigmaster
  • 30-Pound capacity
  • HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag
  • Lightweight & Durable
Daiwa Saltist Star Drag
  • Suitable For Braided Line
  • Machined Aluminum
  • Decent Drag capacity

Top 5 Conventional Reels For Bottom Fishing Review

1. PENN Squall II Level Wind – Best Conventional Reel For Bottom Fishing

I am starting my list with this Penn Squall II basically because it is exceptionally efficient with an exceptional drag capacity and retrieval rate. It is a realistic option for anglers who are interested in bottom fishing, having a decent line capacity and a sturdy construction quality.

Likewise, I really like it for its drag system and a well-organized design that works for almost all the complicated fish.

Furthermore, when it comes to design, this one is equipped with a graffiti body and lightweight that helps you in a long usage and easy handling all along.

It also features an aluminum spool that prevents any issues related to stacking and line memory. Another thing that makes this spool one of my favorites is its corrosion-resistant body that can withstand tough conditions easily.

Talking about the efficiency, you cannot find a reel that is as consistent and stable for large and heavy fish as this one from the Penn Squall series.

Thus, having a gear ratio of 4:0:1 with stainless steel bearings, this device is suitably equipped to catch fish at the bottom of the reefs.

In comparison to Star Drag from the same series, this one has a line capacity of 280 yards that is much larger than the first one, providing you with a convenient process without any external (wind) interference.

In the end, the fact that everything from drag system to spool and the handle is corrosion-resistant makes it ideal for saltwater.

The level wind system is also perfectly designed to increase the friction while using the spool, so you will have to deal with a reduced casting distance. This will help you in an easy and straightforward process without much debris and external weather interference.


  • Ideal for saltwater
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Exceptional line capacity
  • Offers consistency/ stability


  • The handle might feel uncomfortable

Final thoughts, if you are looking for something reliable that offers a decent drag capacity and line performance without any weather interference, this one from Penn is the one you should go for. It is equipped with an anti-reverse gear ratio and high line capacity of 280 yards that provide you with a straightforward and efficient fishing process. All in all, it can be used for bottom fishing, trolling, and so on in saltwater with absolute convenience.

2. KastKing Rover RoundConventional Reel For Bottom Fishing

Kastking is a leading name when it comes to fishing-related equipment, famous for its high-end brands and affordable options for different skill sets.

This Kastking Rover Round is a runner-up in my list of the best conventional reels for bottom fishing, all credits to its stainless steel bearings and a precise gearing option.

Likewise, this one has the large 30 pounds carbon fiber drag and non-slip design that helps you through the process with stability and strength at an affordable price range.

The first thing you will notice about this thing is its sleek and durable design that is completed with a line out ergonomics handle, making it great for additional comfort. Like a quality conventional reel, each part is made corrosion-resistant and made up of stainless steel, so you can use it in saltwater.

It further features an aluminum spool that is durable enough to last for the longest time with a perfectly aligned fishing process.

Similarly, the thing that struck me the most was its Drag System that is extremely efficient and difficult to find in conventional reels, especially for beginners.

Hence, with this system at hand coupled with brass gears, you can use it for heavy and large fish (up to 19.5 pounds). The manufacturers have also added three corrosion-resistant roller bearings that prevent any potential damage to the device and provide fast retrieval, even in toughest conditions.

Lastly, you will be pleasantly surprised by the line wind function that is exceptionally serviceable in battling harsh weather and extreme environments. It also has an anti-reverse feature that is quite impressive considering its potential for bottom fishing and fast retrieval.

Finally, it is noteworthy that this model uses a centrifugal braking system that is one of the best out there in the market.


  • Efficient drag performance
  • Great value for money
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Includes an ergonomics design


  • The spool is relatively fast

In conclusion, this KastKing Rover reel is a well-suited option for people with intermediate or basic skills, having an ergonomics design and endless features at a reasonable price. It comes with a Carbon drag system with suitable gear, line-out function, and an anti-reverse feature that helps you in catching fish even in tough saltwater conditions. I really like it for its spool capacity and ergonomics design that gives it an edge over others.

3. PENN Squall II Star Drag – Best Bottom Fishing Reel

To start with, this PENN Squall II Star Drag is another quality fishing reel, best-known for its powerful drag system, lightweight and well-organized construction.

It is one of the best conventional reels for bottom fishing, having a sturdy construction and precision-machined gearings that help you in catching large and heavy fish.

It further has corrosion-resistant properties that allow you to use it in tough saltwater conditions.

The model comes with a graphite frame and aluminum spools that are designed to last for the longest time.

For gears, you will be pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of stainless steel pinion gears and bronze main gears, both of which are highly precise and serviceable.

The design further features side steel plates that are not only durable but helps you in preventing physical damage or tangling.

When it comes to performance, this one has a Star Versa drag system that offers smooth performance and has a line capacity of 240 yards.

Also, it works for both the braided lines and monofilament lines that allow you to change the spool pretty quickly. It has a gear ratio of 6:1 that is ideal for catching big and heavy fish straightforwardly without much issue.

Lastly, another thing I really like about this bottom fishing reel is the anti-reverse function that keeps your reel in line when you are fighting big fish. This additionally helps you in increasing the friction on the spool, with reduced tangling issues and potential chances of damage.

The only downside to this model is the absence of the level wind system that can be a problem when it comes to tough weather conditions.

Penn Squall II Star Drag


  • Sturdy and durable
  • Offers great ease
  • Great drag capacity
  • Impressive line capacity


  • No level wind system
  • Not the lightest out there

In essence, this Penn Star Drag conventional reel is a well-suited option for anglers looking for a reliable and efficient product. It comes with an unrivaled drag system, a high gear ratio of 6:1, and a sturdy gearing system that helps you all along. Also, the durable anti-reverse function and serviceable line performance assist you in fighting the heavy and big fish. Overall, it is the best bottom fishing reel and also an impressive alternative for experienced users.

4. Penn Jigmaster – Best Reel For Bottom Fishing

To begin with, this Penn Jigmaster is another quality bottom reel from the brand, best known for its ergonomics design and drag capacity. It is specifically designed for experienced anglers who are interested in serious fishing and want something fast yet efficient.

I specifically liked this one for its spool adjustments, and precise gears coupled with sturdy construction quality that makes it even work in the toughest conditions.

The first thing you will notice about this device is its well-organized and sleek design.

It is made up of stainless steel and possesses corrosion-resistant properties, making it appropriate to be used in salt water without any physical damage.

One thing that makes it stand among others with a similar price is its quick take-apart feature that allows you to change the spools each time you land them in water. The spool is made up of anodized aluminum that is absolutely durable and long-lasting.

Moreover, the design features a lightweight and easy setup that contributes largely to convenience.

In addition, the handle and oversized power knob feel comfortable throughout the fishing process. The graphite frame is further lightweight and offers you easy handling.

The one thing I love most about this model is the backlight side plates that help you in fighting a fish irrespective of the frame flex.

Likewise, this model features a carbon fiber drag system that is famous for its exceptional stopping power and fast retrieval rate.

Coupled with this, this bottom fishing reel has a brass gearing system that is precisely engineered and helps you in changing drag settings easily. The gearing system has machine-cut brass and pinion gears that help you with smooth performance and stability. All in all, you can use this for Cobia, Stripers, and small Tuna.

Penn Jigmaster Conventional bottom fishing reel


  • Unrivalled drag performance
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Easy and convenient
  • Precise gearing system


  • Not recommended for casting
  • Not for beginners

Final thoughts, this Penn Jigmaster is a great option for anyone in search of an efficient model for anglers. It is designed with a carbon fiber drag system and a highly engineered gearing system that helps you through the process for large and heavy fish. It further features an aluminum spool and a comfortable handle that provides you with ease and convenience.

5. Daiwa Saltist Star Drag – Most Powerful

If you are in the initial stages of your fishing process and want something budget-friendly yet highly efficient, I would recommend you go for this Daiwa Saltist conventional reel. It is one of the best conventional reels for bottom fishing because of its decent gear ratio and fine drag system.

I really like this one for its sturdy and lightweight design that accommodates you with durability and easy handling.

Talking about the design, it has a steel frame with an aluminum spool that is long-lasting. The fact that it possesses corrosion-resistant properties makes it great for saltwater.

Additionally, this one features four different CRBB ball bearings that are able to withstand tough situations without any weather interference.

It can also be used for both the mono and braided line capacity. Having a capacity of 330 yards and 14 pounds, it is ideal for tough fish.

When it comes to efficiency, this one has a carbon drag system (with two different speed settings) that is famous for its ability to catch heavy fish with fast retrieval.

Further, having a gear ratio of 6:4:1 helps users with a straightforward and convenient process. Thus, apart from bottom fishing, you can also use this for jigging and surfcasting.

All in all, you can ideally drag fish upto 19.8 pounds with ease in saltwater.

In the end, another thing that makes it famous among others is its centrifugal braking system that offers you a fine and smooth stopping power. The brakes offer great friction on the spool that creates reduced casting distance that helps you with convenient and simple operations.

Finally, it comes with an anti-reverse feature that prevents any problems related to tangling and helps you with suitable pressure. However, it will not be favorites for anglers.


  • Offers great durability
  • Ideal for newcomers
  • Great drag performance
  • Simple and straightforward


  • Not for experienced users

Wrapping up, this one from Daiwa is a great option for anyone looking for a pocket-friendly and effective reel for basic operations. This one is equipped with a decent drag capacity and quality spool, not to mention the brass gearings that help you in the whole fishing process. Its sturdy design and aluminum spool make it further ideal for saltwater. I also really like it for its sleek design and easy assembly.

What Is Bottom Fishing?

Bottom fishing is a technique that refers to catching fish from the seafloor. Most of the time, these fishes are living around the buoys, on the sea floors, or on reefs. Many anglers do bottom fishing from the shore as well as boats. For this process, you need proper equipment, including a hook, line, and sinker, with a decent drag capacity and a quality spool.

Bottom fishing can be very exclusive as most hidden species are explored while doing this type of fishing. As the name indicates, bottom fishing refers to catching the fish from the bottom surface of the water using variable fishing techniques. You can choose different styles and set up for other waters according to your fishing expertise.

It is better to seek an expert’s advice for a better fishing experience beforehand. Trolling is the most common method of bottom fishing. You can use heavy lustrous lures for deep fishing. Another advanced technique for bottom fishing is the pier fishing technique. You can also opt for traditional fishing techniques using baitcasting for better outcomes.

How To Choose Conventional Reel For Bottom Fishing

Are you looking for a conventional reel for bottom fishing? If I am not wrong, you are searching for a quality reel, you should go through with the following guide for the best product:

Conventional reel is used for catching big fish i.e. flounder, groupers, and halibut. These reels are expensive; therefore, you may first decide your budget.

After that you should consider,

Casting Rod: Your preference should include a 6-7 foot casting rod, which can perform duty with heavy action. Moreover, the conventional reel should have high quality.

Spool Size: Do you know spool size matters a lot and depends on the type of fish you are looking for? The heavier fish, let’s see who weighs 15 pounds, will need at least 25 lb. of drag system.

Weight: Priorities lighter weight reels.

Material: Never accept quantity over quality.

Design: The design must be economical

Gear ratio: As you know, the gear ratio is directly proportional to line retrieve; a more gear ratio means a good selection.

Why Is a Conventional Reel Great for Bottom Fishing?

Bottom fishing refers to fishing in the deep water of an ocean or lake.

Conventional reels are best for bottom fishing technique because it has a good gear ratio. In bottom fishing, anglers target catfish, bream and sucker fish.

Conventional reels work similarly to the baitcasting reel, and these reels have a rotating spool that helps feed the line better. These reels are suitable for angling deep water because they possess a high gear ratio and quality materials.

How to use a conventional reel

If you want to learn the conventional reel usage, you are in the right place.

Here, we will discuss it briefly,

The conventional reels are made for catching groupers, flounders and halibut, and their structure design specifically allows them to withstand heavy duty.

When you target fish like snappers, flounders and groupers that weigh more than 15 pounds the best reel is one that can endure at 25 pounds of drag and 50 pounds of line. Choose the reel wisely.

While using conventional reel, you will know that the tension brake declines the swiftness of either side of the reel with the pressure of the knob; you should set the brake as per the bait weight to reduce the spool speed. It will surely help you avoid tangling and overrunning

Top Conventional Reel Brands

Conventional reel manufacturers produce a wide range of sizes for their customers. You, as a buyer, need the size of the perfect reel for your palm; otherwise, it can slip.

Like the size, level wind systems and drags differ based on the customer’s need.

The top brands manufacturing conventional reels are as follows,

  • Shimano
  • Torium
  • Saltaiga,
  • Trinidad
  • Penn
  • Daiwa

These brands are working enthusiastically to provide the reels that suit a customer.

Conventional Reel Tips

You can use conventional reel through non-cast with it. The feed line out and reel it again can manage the rotating spool.

These days, many reels have two-speed options, including dual gear ratios, i.e., retrieval gear-faster speed and powerful gear speed-slower.

  • While using it, you will know that the tension/spool brake decreases the speed of either side of the reel with the pressure of the knob.
  • You should set the brake as per the bait weight to reduce the spool speed.
  • This will surely help you avoid tangling and overrunning.
  • This process will make spool movement and line easy. Moreover, it leaves no chance of mishap during bait down for spooling out.

Bottom Fishing Tips and Tricks

There are certain tips and tricks that you should follow before going for bottom fishing. We hope that these helpful tips will make your fishing experience better and more comfortable.

  • Choose the shape of the bait according to the current or flow of the water.
  • The rod of 7 to 9 inches, spincast, spinning reel, or baitcasting reel are the perfect picks for bottom fishing.
  • Also, select the heavy braided line and the fluorocarbon leaders for serious water bottom fishing for a robust setup.
  • Go for the lures according to the type of fish you want to catch. You can choose artificial lures for small to medium species.
  • But if you are after the big catch, we suggest you go for live bait that gives you more positive results than the dead one.

FAQs About Conventional Reels For Bottom Fishing

1. What is the best conventional reel for bottom fishing?

Penn Squall II Level Wind is one of the best reels when it comes to bottom fishing because of its high-end features and modern design. It comes with a Tournament Carbon drag system with a high gear ratio that helps you with a smooth and straightforward process.

Additionally, it has an anti-reverse function and high line capacity of 280 yards that help anglers in efficient and convenient fishing.

2. What makes the best conventional reel for bottom fishing?

There are many things you should look into when it comes to bottom fishing. The primary things you must make sure of are a quality drag system, a high gear ratio, and sturdy bearings that have the ability to withstand tough conditions of saltwater. In addition, it is significant to consider the bearings quality, spool changes, and retrieval rate overall. Lastly, it is equally important to have an idea about your individual requirements.

Final Thoughts On Best Conventional Reels For Bottom Fishing

Wrapping up, these conventional reels have become an impressive alternative for anglers when it comes to bottom fishing. These old inventions are best known for their exceptional drag systems, fast retrievals, unrivaled spool changes, and precise gearings.

Bottom fishing is a technique of catching fish on the seafloor that demands proper equipment for a smooth and straightforward experience.

If you are currently in the process of buying, there are a number of models out there that can match your style preferences and budgets. For this purpose, you can take help from this review guide.

From the above-mentioned review, here are my favorites;

1. PENN Squall II Level Wind is known for its high drag capacity, fast retrieval, and quality bearings.
2. KastKing Rover Round is a top rated conventional bottom fishing reel and it is famous for its ergnomic design and endless features.
3. PENN Squall II Star Drag is famous for its easy setup, exceptional drag system, and line capacity.

Finally, I hope you soon will find the one that suits your individual needs. Thanks for reading!!!

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