A great reel and rod combo is key to a great fishing experience. If you are tired of using poorly aligned and low-quality fishing reels, we have got a solution for you. While roaming around the market, you will come across hundreds of spinning reel models.
However, in reality, most of these are nothing more than a toy and completely fail to perform. Also, spinning reels come in different sizes, with different casting ranges, drag capacities, and weights making it difficult to choose the right one.
We are here to help you avoid such utter craps available in the market. We picked up nine top-rated spinning reels to see what they have to offer. This review explains some important features and performance of the nine best spinning reels so that you can choose a reel that perfectly matches your requirements.
Related: Best Spinning Reel For Bass Fishing
10 Best Spinning Reels For The Money – Quick Comparison
Best Fishing Reels Review
1. Abu Garcia Revo SX – Best Spinning Reel
Abu Garcia Revo SX spinning reel with a lightweight body and impressive performance makes its way to the top of our list. This reel features a C6 carbon body and rock-solid frame, giving you an impressively comfortable fishing experience. You can expect zero flex while cranking in a big bass.
What we found most impressive are the line management system and casting capacity. We found its line flat and compact even in the windy weather- thanks to Rocket spool lip design.
Rocket spool lip design and the Everlast bail system keep the line compact and straight even in windy conditions and heavy lure weights.
Additionally, the grip offers an incredible holding grip to minimize slippage. It comes with an aluminum braid with a perfectly adjusted lineup that gives incredible grip to the anglers even during the daytime.
The drag system of the reel is also very smooth and hassle-free. The reel is equipped with K-clutch and AM gearing system, making the anti-reverse and casting a real breeze.
If you are looking for a high-performance spinning reel without breaking the bank, consider Abu Garcia Revo SX. This reel, with a lightweight body and anti-slip aluminum grip, can outperform many expensive spinning reels.
2. Okuma Ceymar – Top Rated Fishing Spinning Reel
Okuma Ceymar is one of the most affordable spinning reels you can buy today. The reels are equally useful for fresh water and saltwater and deliver exceptional performance for light-duty applications.
What impressed us most is its solid and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire coupled with an oversized roller.
Plus, the Okuma RES II computer balancing helps you get the smoothest and hassle-free casting even at higher speeds. We also found this reel pretty easy to handle. It comes with EVA handle knobs and an aluminum handle offering exceptional grip and drags for long-distance casting.
The reel has an anti-reverse feature that prevents the reel from turning backwards, giving you the best fishing experience even in tough conditions.
The reel is made up of highly durable corrosion-resistant materials, making it ideal for all types of water and weather conditions.
We tried out C-65, which is the largest variant of Okuma Ceymar, with a casting capacity of 310 yards. However, you can choose from its smaller variants like C-10, C-30, and C-55.
If you are looking out for an affordable spinning reel for all water types, Okuma Ceymar is the best option you can have. This spinning reel with a smooth drag and anti-reverse function gives you a handy and uninterrupted fishing experience.
3. Pflueger President – High End Spinning Reel
The next product on the list comes from a reliable and trusted brand Pfluger. Pfluger has been manufacturing quality fishing reels, fishing gear, and combos since 1881. Pfluger President spinning reel with 10 balls bearing design offers smooth retrieval and is an ideal choice for beginners.
What we found most impressive is the lightweight and durable graphite body, rotor, and rod giving incredible control on the reel.
The reel has a maximum casting range of 10 yards and a drag of up to 8 lbs. These figures reveal that the reel is designed for small games and is equally useful for professionals.
The gear system with an anti-reverse feature is another standout feature of this reel.
The reel features a stainless steel line and spool for smooth casting and the ball bearing for anti-reverse and instant stopping of the reel.
The reel comes with an aircraft-grade aluminum handle offering maximum durability and grip in all weather conditions. Additionally, the stainless steel and graphite body parts are completely resistant to corrosion, giving you the freedom to use them in all water types.
Pfluger President Spinning reel is a competitively priced spinning reel that offers smooth retrieval and durability in all types of waters. This reel can outperform many expensive spinning reels with a 10-ball bearing design and impressive anti-reverse and auto-reverse features.
4. PENN 1338220 Battle II 5000 – Best Value
Penn Battle II 5000 is a premium spinning reel designed for big fish precision anglers. The feature that helps it stand out as one of the best spinning reels is its durability.
Its metal body, side plates, and rotor coupled with a stainless steel ball-bearing system help it withstand the harshest conditions ever.
It is highly resistant to damage, impact, and corrosion and is, therefore, the best reel for saltwater you can buy in 2021.
What we found most impressive is the drag. It uses carbon fiber drag washers, offering a smooth drag of up to 30 lbs.
The grill comes with a heavy-duty aluminum braid that doesn’t twist and turn over even in wild weather conditions. Plus, an instant anti-reverse feature prevents the rolling off, giving you a safe and smooth experience once you hook up.
We also loved the superline spool with line capacity rings to prevent underloading and overloading of the line. The stainless steel ball bearings and impressive paint layer on the reel help you deal with the corrosion in saltwater.
With an impressive drag and premium construction quality, Penn Battle II performs exceptionally well for big game fishing and challenging conditions. If you have no budget constraints, this is one of the best spinning reels you can buy in 2021.
5. Okuma Fishing Tackle BF-30 Trio – For All Types of Water & Weather
If you love high-speed reels but cannot tackle hefty weights, consider this lightweight Okuma BF-30 spinning reel. The reel combines exceptional quality and lightweight construction, making it equally useful for amateurs and professional anglers.
The reel uses aluminum components and graphite making the reel exceptionally rugged and lightweight.
The reel comes with a black sealed drag system and a high-density paint coating to prevent corrosion and increase the lifespan. The aluminum forged handle design offers an impressive grip on the reel taking your fishing experience to the next level.
The reel delivers uninterrupted and smooth performance, thanks to dual force drag and an Oiled Felt Drag system. Although it’s a lightweight reel, we found it pretty stable in windy and harsh weather.
It uses a heavy-duty aluminum anodized bail wire that minimizes the twisting and turning of the line.
For extra precision and stability, the reel is equipped with elliptical Pinion gear and stainless steel bearing. Plus, a quick setup anti-reverse feature gives you the confidence to hunt for big.
Okuma Fishing Tackle BF-30 delivers incredible performance in all types of water and weather conditions. The feature that sets this reel apart from its counterparts is its dual force drag style, offering the best-in-class control.
6. Okuma Cedros Saltwater Cj-8000 – Quality Reel For Saltwater
Okuma Cedros Saltwater spinning reel comes with advanced features, and innovative design making big game fishing real fun. The reel offers a high retrieve and gear ratio, making it the best option for deep ocean fishing. You can easily prey on small ocean species with this reel offering long-range casting.
It has a simple and straightforward operation with a multi-disc Oil-felt drag system and five balls bearing design. Therefore it is a great choice for novice anglers who want to get their hands on deep ocean fishing.
The reel is meant to be used in brackish water and is therefore backed by some amazing corrosion-resistant features.
The stainless steel ball bearings, perfectly sealed drag, and aluminum body fight well against rusting and corrosion, increasing the lifespan of the reel.
Despite the impressive anti-corrosion feature, this reel requires a little maintenance to prevent damage. It is recommended to wash the reel with normal water after use to prevent gear damage.
Okuma Cerdos spinning reel is built to fight small and big ocean species with a large retrieve and smooth drag. With smooth drag and advanced technology, it delivers the best-in-class performance, making it a real deal-breaker.
7. Penn Spinfisher VI – Best For The Money
Penn Spinfisher VI reel comes with improved design features, making it one of the best spinning reels in 2021. The reel boasts of a full metal body and side plates that promise exceptional durability and ruggedness even under power use. Also, the metal body adds sufficient weight that makes it exceptionally stable in windy conditions.
However, if you are new to angling, you might face issues in tackling the reel’s weight. What we found most impressive on the reel is its improved seal system.
The water intrusion to the internal parts is minimized by adding an improved seal system. This prevents damage and corrosion, and also you can store it dry right after use.
We found this reel very smooth in operation-thanks to CNC gear and HT-100 drag. The HT-100 drag washer and superline spool make the rotation super easy. Also, there are line capacity rings so that you can have an idea of how much line is left.
If you are looking for a reel with long-range castability and precise performance, Penn Spinfisher is a fine choice. The reel is designed to tackle salty and freshwaters and offers impressive stability in windy weather.
8. Daiwa Bg – Top Rated Fishing Reel
Daiwa BG spinning reel is an affordable reel offering increased torque and smooth drag at a very fair price point. What sets the reel apart from other reels under Daiwa Bg Spinning Reels $100 is its quality construction. It uses an anodized aluminum body that makes it extremely rugged and durable.
Also, unlike a simple paint coating, anodized aluminum can fight against corrosion for years, giving you a long-term performance. We found this reel pretty straightforward to cast. It comes with an ABD swept spool with an air rotor that casts the line perfectly.
Plus, a larger roller and pick-up on the reel minimize thermal wind loops and twists, making it ideal for all weathers. This straightforward casting on the reel makes it a great choice for beginners.
The reel has a waterproof drag system and a tough aluminum body with a waterproof seal ensuring reliability and stable performance in years to come. Plus, it has a screw-in-handle that offers incredible grip and can use braided lines giving you better control of the reel.
Daiwa Bg spinning reel with advanced spool design and large roller pick up makes the long-range casting a real breeze. It uses a screw-in-handle and braided lines to get a more controlled and precise fishing experience.
9. KastKing Sharky III – New Spinning Reel
If you want to have a good time while enjoying fishing this product is amazingly designed with a number of specific quality features. Kastking Sharky III spinning reel is not only eye-catching but also is super lightweight and helps you fishing in both saltwater and seawater.
It has a high fiber percentage in the body and rotor. It has an oversized stainless steel shaft and manganese brass pinion gears which give more precision and accuracy.
Its specified sharky III spinning reels are protected with a Kastking Intrusion shield system which makes it water-resistant and keeps the water and dirt out.
You will be astonished by its super smooth retrieve, with its quite amazing shark fin braid-ready aluminum spool you will not need a backing line, and most of all it is the most affordable and innovative product of its type.
It gives you an ultra-smooth fishing experience and eliminates the chances of tangles in the reel. Its high-density grip helps you in providing slippage free fishing experience. While choosing for fishing in different environments it becomes tough to find a reliable and budget-friendly spinning reel. This product will never disappoint you in giving you amazing and exciting experiences while fishing.
10. Piscifun Flame – Lightweight Ultra Smooth Spinning Fishing Reel
Piscifun introduced this reel in 2019 and it is widely known for its amazing quality and functioning. From its exquisite appearance to 9 quality ball gearing and from its extremely smooth buttery flame spinning fishing reel it is one of the top quality products.
Its brass pinion gear and triple drag washers make fishing very easy.
Drive gear is made of zinc which protects it from rust and fishing reel oil when applied on it helps it to manage and retain itself in the best possible condition giving you a consistent and powerful operation every time.
It offers 19.8lb power and reinforced metal shaft and high-quality gear makes an excellent fishing experience.
It has designed different series specific for the type of waters, e.g 2000, 3000 series are for freshwater fishing while 4000 and 5000 are for saltwater fishing. Its braid-ready spool technology makes it a highly valued reel.
This reel has one of the best quality and one of the cheapest and ready to tie in braid line, even line lay which is facilitated by balanced rotor design helps in the smooth spinning of the reel. Its unique hollow body, X-shaped spool, and astonishing grip providing handle will make you buy it at first glance.
How To Choose The Best Spinning Reel
Spinning reels come with complex mechanical parts making them difficult to understand. There are many technical features you must consider to get the best fishing experience. Also, different anglers have differing requirements for lure weights and casting ranges. This guide explains some important features you must take into account before buying a new spinning reel.
Construction and Weight
Construction quality and weight of reels are two important features you should consider. Too lightweight and too heavy reels are difficult to handle. Lightweight reels tend to turn and twist in windy weather, while heavy reels require a lot of effort to handle. Therefore you should look for a reel offering modest weight and higher strength.
Aluminum and graphite are two common materials used in the reels. These materials make the reels exceptionally rugged while keeping them lightweight. Such reels are ideal for small game fishing and normal weather. However, you should look for slightly heavier metallic bodies for windy weather and fight the big fish.
Drag is another critical feature of any spinning reel. A smooth and strong drag is key to precise and effortless fishing. If the drag system is not strong enough and smooth, broken lines and lost fish are inevitable.
Therefore, it is advised to go with reels offering uninterrupted and highly responsive drags. Advanced reels come with a dial on the front to control the drag, while older versions have rear control knobs.
Spinning reels come with the lines wrapped on the spool with bail. The line wraps around the spool as you turn the reel handle. The gear ratio refers to the number of times a line is turned onto the spool with a single turn. In simple words, the gear ratio decides the reel’s speed.
The reels with a gear ratio of 4:1 are relatively slower and are ideal for light-duty applications and beginners. Professional anglers prefer high-speed reels offering a gear ratio of 6:1. These reels offer high-speed retrieval, making them perfect for deep water fishing and big game.
Ball bearings are the moving parts inside the reel that provide smoothness and stability to the reel. The more the ball bearings, the more smooth the reel is. In general, reels feature 5 to 8 bearings and are ideal for regular fishing. However, to fight big fish, long-range casting, and professional fishing, you will need a reel with at least 10-11 ball bearings.
Spinning reels with more than nine ball bearings are expensive but offer incredible stability, control, and smoothness. As ball bearings are moving parts, they should be strong enough to withstand impact and rough use.
You should look for high-quality stainless steel ball bearings for protection against corrosion and durability.
Anti-corrosion features are critical for both freshwater and brackish water reels. We found some inexpensive reels highly prone to damage due to corrosion and rusting. Such reels have poor waterproofing, and water intrudes easily to the internal parts.
Therefore it is critical to look for corrosion-resistant construction, paint-coating, and waterproof seal around the body and drag system for a long-term experience.
Advantages of a Spinning Reel
Spinning reels have several advantages over bait-casting reels. Some of these are as follows:
Versatile In Nature | For Different Fishing Environments
Spinning reels are more versatile as compared to baitcasting reels. These reels are for various species depending upon your fishing expertise. Also, these reels give you the leverage of using them for different techniques at variable environmental conditions while using distinctive casting lines.
Easy-Operability | For All Level of Fishers
These reels are easier to use, and anglers get along with them quickly. That is why they are more likable for beginners than baitcasting ones. If you are good at fishing, you can use these spinning reels for heavy lures or jigs to catch the larger species and take up the heavy casing burden. Such as, you can use a spinning reel of size 3000 with a 30pounds braided line for Mackerel.
Cost-Effective | Good Value for Price
Lastly, these spinning reels are a cost-efficient choice for anglers. You can find low-priced reels with high-quality features, making them suitable for anglers with a limited budget. Also, you can use it to practice for a better angling experience.
Spinning Reels Methodology
As diverse types of spinning reels exist, the working methodology will help you pick out the best. It works like this the anglers in the reel rotate the handle.
Through this rotation, the spool retrieves an extensive fishing line. The pace of angling and the line released by the spool vary from type to type.
Additionally, the fishing reels are set on the rod in a specific manner. The casters/ anglers must know the features and essential functions of using the fishing reels.
While discussing methodology, I want to mention that an angler must know how to operate a fishing reel.
Drag and Spool:
Drag is positioned at the top of the spool for adjusting frictionless plates, and helps increase and decrease tension. The other spool is for housing the fishing line.
How to Operate Handle:
A knob on the opposite side of the handle can be unscrewed; you can switch from right-hand retrieve to left-hand retrieve from
How to use Anti- Reverse switch?
While fighting with fish, the best component to use is an anti-reverse tool. From this switch, you may reel it back or reverse it. You don’t have to rely on the drag system.
How Does A Spinning Reel Differ From A Fly Reel or Baitcasting Reel?
Let’s differentiate spinning and baitcasting reels to determine what’s better. The reels with fixed spools are spinning, and those with rotating spools are baitcasting reels.
The spinning reels avoid backlashes while baitcasting reels are vulnerable to them. If I talk about durability and accuracy, that might be the buyer’s first concern, and the baitcasting reels overcome the spinning reels in this matter.
The baitcasting reels are cast at a longer distance. Although baitcasting reels are a little more expensive than spinning reels, it’s one of the best options to buy.
Remember, baitcasting reels are harder to use, so these are not for beginners.
Final Thoughts On Best Fishing Reels
All the products on our list come from the trusted fishing gear brands. It is recommended to figure out your casting and drag requirements first to get a perfect spinning reel. Plus, you should focus on the casting ability and number of ball bearings to get a smooth and uninterrupted fishing experience.
Our top three picks from the list are:
- Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel for its modest weight, HT-100 drag, CNC gear, and improved water-resistant design.
- PENN 1338220 Battle II 5000 Spinning Fishing Reel for stainless steel precision bearing, 30 lb drag, quality construction, and instant anti-reverse bearing.
- Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel for its 8 ball bearings, long-range castability, corrosion-resistant construction, and aluminum spool.
Corrosion resistance is a critical factor for spinning reels, especially in brackish water. Therefore it is important to ensure that the reel you buy has sealed drag and body and is protected against rusting. Also, you should store the reels dry to avoid internal damage.
FAQs About Spinning Reels
1. Are expensive spinning reels worth it?
Yes, expensive fishing reels are worth it a lot if you do big game fishing or go fishing often. Expensive spinning reels feature more ball bearings, stronger and smooth drag, and fast retrieve, making them ideal for fighting big fish and withstanding extreme conditions.
2. What is the best fishing reel for the money?
Okuma Fishing Tackle BF-30 Trio Spinning Reel is the best spinning reel for the money. The reel comes in a slim body design with an impressive oil felt drag system and fast retrieval. It offers impressive control, making it ideal for inexperienced anglers.
I’m James Smith with more than 7 years of experience in fishing. My passion has always been fishing so I did my bachelor’s in Zoology from University of North Carolina – Charlotte. I write about fishing on my blog and I am always looking to provide fishing solutions for my readers.