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Best Spinning Reels For Fishing

last updated May 11, 2019

Spinning reels are relatively easy to learn how to use and don’t take long to master casting. Even though they are often the first reel a beginner comes into contact, this does not by any means mean that they are only for beginners. That being said, there is a multitude of spinning reels on the market and whether you are a beginner or a seasoned fisherman or angler buying the right spinning reel is important. We have taken an in-depth look at what to look for, gear ratios, body types, and drag systems - and other things you need to consider for the type of fishing and type of fishing you do. Take a look at the best fresh water or saltwater spinning reels of 2019.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research

icon
Pflueger Supreme 40XT
92.8/100 our score
Materials
93
Use
94
Adjustability
92
Durability
92
Pflueger Supreme 40XT
Why is it better?

Both salt and fresh water

Lightweight

The reversible handle of left or right handed

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Pflueger Supreme 40XT
Test Winner: Pflueger Supreme 40XT
Researched Sources
18
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
2k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
16
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
19
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Sami Kritz:

🎣 We are keepin' it reel with this list of top-rated spinning reels! Dedicated to bringing you the best, our newest addition to this list is the Shimano Spirex. If you're looking for an affordable and high-quality reel, you can't miss this one. We have also updated each review, making them more organized and easy to read. With our new interactive format, you can vote on which criterion is most important to you and re-order the list accordingly! 🎣

Sorting Options
Materials Use Adjustability Durability By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Materials
93%
Use
94%
Adjustability
92%
Durability
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.05.19)
$149.95
$149.99
See Deal
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.3
Materials
90%
Use
95%
Adjustability
91%
Durability
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.05.19)
$39.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.3
Materials
93%
Use
94%
Adjustability
87%
Durability
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.05.19)
$58.85
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.5
Materials
89%
Use
96%
Adjustability
93%
Durability
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.05.19)
$39.98
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Materials
93%
Use
90%
Adjustability
89%
Durability
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.05.19)
$629.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Materials
90%
Use
94%
Adjustability
88%
Durability
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.05.19)
$89.98
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Materials
88%
Use
95%
Adjustability
90%
Durability
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.05.19)
$34.95
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Materials
90%
Use
89%
Adjustability
90%
Durability
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.05.19)
$59.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Materials
90%
Use
88%
Adjustability
88%
Durability
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.05.19)
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Materials
87%
Use
90%
Adjustability
88%
Durability
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.05.19)
$98.35
$109.99
See Deal
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Pflueger Supreme 40XT
  • Piscifun Torrent
  • Piscifun Sword
  • KastKing Royale Legend
  • Okuma Makaira MK-20000LS
  • KastKing Speed Demon Pro
  • Penn Pursuit II
  • Shimano Spirex RG 4,000
  • Abu Garcia Revo SX
  • Daiwa 10 Crosscast 4000
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top Ten Spinning Reels

1. Pflueger Supreme 40XT

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Pflueger Supreme 40XT
Materials
93
Use
94
Adjustability
92
Durability
92
best offer for today
more shops
$149.95
$149.99
See Deal
Pros:

Both salt and fresh water

Lightweight

The reversible handle of left or right handed

Cons:

Magnesium material can suffer over time in saltwater

Pflueger got their hooks (literally) into the fishing world in 1881. Quality and attention to detail have always been their number one priority, and this reel is no exception. Crafted from strong and lightweight materials, this may just be your favorite new fishing companion.

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Materials
Weighing just one pound, The Pflueger Supreme is the lightest spinning reel from Pflueger. It achieves this from the manufacturing materials but does not lose any strength, The main body and rotor are made from Magnesium, which is incredibly light with a strength similar to steel. The rotor is aluminum and the crank handle is carbon fiber.

The inner workings of the reel are also of equal if not higher quality. The bearing system is a 10 stainless steel sealed and corrosion resisting unit, which will enable a smooth and even retrieval of the line on to the spool.

The look of the reel is good in black with orange details, although I’m sure the color of a reel is not forefront in your mind.

Use
The spool is suitable for braided lines as well as a standard line, great if you are looking to hook some big fish or small sharks from the beach. The maximum drag pressure is 13.89-pounds. This reel can be used in both fresh and salt water. There are ten barrings designed into this reel, making it very smooth. For each full turn of the reel’s handle (gear ratio), the spool makes 6.2 rotations.

Adjustability
The Front drag system is a seal carbon drag washer system. Washer drag systems use washer discs in a stack on the spool shaft, then pressure is applied to the washers or discs to increase and decrease the drag. The crank handle can be reversed to be left or right handed.

Durability
Altogether, Pflueger has used the lightest and strongest materials available in the construction on this reel. Each Pflueger reel comes with a one-year warranty. Customer feedback has shown us that the company provides stellar customer service.

2. Piscifun Torrent

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.3
Piscifun Torrent
Materials
90
Use
95
Adjustability
91
Durability
93
best offer for today
$39.99
Pros:

Durable

High-quality material

Comfortable handle

Cons:

Does not work well in saltwater

This reel comes to you from Piscifun which is known throughout the fishing industry for their fishing gear. This reel is no exception as it is built from highly durable material and made to last. A great reel and feels smooth when reeling in a fish that just got on the line.

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Materials
This reel is made from brass, stainless steel, and carbon fiber. It feels light but is quite durable. This reel is built with durability in mind and will hold up over time. It is a reel you will have for many years to become and will soon become your favorite reel.

Use
This reel is silent and easy to use. It has a long smooth handle to ensure a comfortable grip and that you will have no issues reeling in the fish that just grabbed your line. It also casts smoothly and reels in smoothly which is exactly what you want when you are looking to invest in a new reel.

Adjustability
This reel is quite basic and has a simple drag system. It also has magnetic brakes to ensure you cast accurately and can reel the line back in smoothly without tangling.

Durability
This reel is durable for the price and will hold up over time. When holding it in your hand you can feel and see the quality.

3. Piscifun Sword

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.3
Piscifun Sword
Materials
93
Use
94
Adjustability
87
Durability
95
best offer for today
$58.85
Pros:

Three-year warranty

High-quality material

Weather-resistant

Cons:

Takes some getting used to

This reel from Piscifun is sleek and stylish but may take some time to get used to. For the price this reel is one that will last you many years to come, it also comes with a three-year warranty so if there are any issues Piscifun will provide a replacement within the confines of the warranty. If you are in the market for a new reel, this may be the one for you.

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Materials
This reel is made from aluminum and is abrasion and weather resistant. The reel feels a bit heavy but that is due to the material and durability of the material.

Use
This reel is primarily used for fly fishing and if you are an avid fly fisherman, this reel will be a great addition to your gear. It casts smoothly and is easy to use.

Adjustability
This reel is quite basic and has a simple drag system.

Durability
This reel is quite durable and is weather and abrasion resistant. It also comes with a three-year warranty so if you have any issues, Piscifun will replace it, within the confines of the warranty conditions.

4. KastKing Royale Legend

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.5
KastKing Royale Legend
Materials
89
Use
96
Adjustability
93
Durability
88
best offer for today
$39.98
Pros:

Affordable

Dual brake system

Non-slip grips

Cons:

Gears can act up over time

This reel from KastKing comes at us with an affordable price tag and also with more than a thousand customer reviews that will allow you to know exactly what you can expect from this reel. If you are looking for a new reel and want something that will fit your budget, look no further.

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Materials
This reel is made from brass and carbon fiber. It feels light but is quite durable. The only issues that have been reported are the gear system which can act up over time.

Use
This reel is silent and easy to use. It also has dual brakes for smooth casting and smooth reeling in to ensure that if you get a fish on the line you will have no issue reeling that fish in with ease.

Adjustability
This reel is quite basic and has a simple drag system. It also has dual brakes to ensure you cast accurately and can reel the line back in smoothly without tangling.

Durability
This reel is durable for the price and will hold up over time. The only issue that has been seen is the gear system which can wear down over time but KastKing provides excellent customer service, so if you experience issues they will replace with minimal questions asked.

5. Okuma Makaira MK-20000LS

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Okuma Makaira MK-20000LS
Materials
93
Use
90
Adjustability
89
Durability
93
best offer for today
more shops
$629.99
Pros:

Forged machine cut aluminum body

The front dual drag system

9+1 bearing stainless steel bearing system

Cons:

Heavy

Best used in saltwater

Okuma is a Taiwanese based company operating since 1986. This golden beauty encompasses some of the company's truest values, which include "advanced materials and dynamic designs." The Makaira reel is incredibly strong and great for chasing big game fish.

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Materials
The main body is machine cut forged aluminum with an aluminum flow rotor and stainless steel gearing. The main spool shaft is also stainless steel for added strength. The Spool shaft is supported by nine ball bearings and a roller bearing enabling smooth line retrieval no matter what the pull on the line.

The front drag system is a Dual force drag system, meaning that instead of applying drag to just one surface area of the spool, this drag system has been designed to apply drag to all surface areas of the spool, therefore, maximizing drag and heat dissipation. In total, this reel weighs about two pounds.

Use
This reel is ideal for saltwater, and specifically for giant fish, Amberjack, Yellowtail, Marlin, Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna. It is definitely not for fishing in a lake, although it would work. It has a maximum drag pressure of 66-pounds. The gear ratio is 5.8:1.

Adjustability
The handle is non-reversible but the reel is available with either right handed or left handed.

Durability
The whole reel is sealed to prevent salt water ingress, with 23 different oil retaining O-rings and gaskets making all the internal mechanical parts are watertight. The body is forged aluminum and then machine cut, this is how they make a car engine, so imagine the strength of the body over a pressed aluminum body.

6. KastKing Speed Demon Pro

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
KastKing Speed Demon Pro
Materials
90
Use
94
Adjustability
88
Durability
91
best offer for today
$89.98
Pros:

Grips feel great

Great braking system

The reel feels well in your hand

Cons:

Tough to adjust

This Kastking reel is one to check out. It is built to be durable and last you many years to come. It also is quite stylish and will fit your rod nicely.

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Materials
This reel is made from brass, stainless steel, and carbon fiber. It feels light but is quite durable. This reel is built with durability in mind and will hold up over time. It is a reel you will have for many years to become and will soon become your favorite reel.

Use
This reel is silent and easy to use. It has a long smooth handle to ensure a comfortable grip and that you will have no issues reeling in the fish that just grabbed your line. It also casts smoothly and reels in smoothly which is exactly what you want when you are looking to invest in a new reel.

Adjustability
This reel is quite basic and has a simple drag system. It also has magnetic brakes to ensure you cast accurately and can reel the line back in smoothly without tangling.

Durability
This reel is durable for the price and will hold up over time. When holding it in your hand you can feel and see the quality.

7. Penn Pursuit II

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Penn Pursuit II
Materials
88
Use
95
Adjustability
90
Durability
89
best offer for today
$34.95
Pros:

Graphite corrosion proof body

Front drag system>Re

Reversible right or left-handed handle

Value for money

Cons:

Felt disc drag

Penn is one of the most well-known manufacturers in the fishing world. Since 1932, experienced anglers have chosen their products to take out to the open waters. This reel from Penn is one of the most cost-efficient on our list, without sacrificing style or durability.

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Materials
The Penn Pursuit II 3000 is an excellent all round reel. It has a graphite body and rotor to reduce the weight (1.54-pounds) and enable superior balance, matched with a machined and anodized to reduce corrosion spool. The spool is supported with 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings.

The drag system is an oiled felt disc system, being felt reduces heat and allows a more smooth pull through the line.

Use
The front drag system is smooth and easy to use. The maximum drag pressure of this reel is 9.9-pounds. This reel is incredibly versatile and available in six different sizes, making it possible to buy one of each and build up your tackle box. The gear ratio is 5.2:1.

Adjustability
The handle is reversible to the right or left handed.

Durability
This reel is great value for money for anyone wanting an excellent quality reel for saltwater fishing or freshwater course but without breaking the bank. The design and construction will give many years of trouble-free angling, from a reel manufacturer with years of experience in reels and fishing.

8. Shimano Spirex RG 4,000

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Shimano Spirex RG 4,000
Materials
90
Use
89
Adjustability
90
Durability
90
best offer for today
more shops
$59.99
Pros:

Long and smooth casting

Strong materials

Rear Drag

Cons:

Not for saltwater

Shimano is a well-known name in many sports. They create high-quality cycling, fishing, and rowing equipment. This reel is one of the few on our list that utilizes rear drag. Considering the affordability and high-quality function, this is a great reel.

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Materials
This reel has been described as “rock solid.” Multiple strong materials band together this make this masterpiece. The frame, side plate, and rotor are made from graphite and the spool is made from cold-forged aluminum. There are six stainless steel ball bearings, allowing for smooth flow with just a hint of tension. This reel weighs in just under one pound, at 14.5-ounces.

Use
Due to the small size of this reel, it is mostly recommended for fresh water. The maximum drag of this reel is nine pounds. The gear ratio is 6.2:1. It is one of the few reels on this list that uses a rear drag. Past users have enjoyed using it to catch trout, catfish, and bass.

Adjustability
This reel is capable of both left and right-hand retrieve.

Durability
Thanks to the excellent mash-up of graphite and aluminum, you can depend on this reel to last for quite a long time! Customers claim that this reel continues to function like new even after owning it for many years. Shimano offers a two-year warranty on all reels and rods.

9. Abu Garcia Revo SX

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Abu Garcia Revo SX
Materials
90
Use
88
Adjustability
88
Durability
87
best offer for today
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Pros:

Lightweight

Aluminum body and gears

Machined aluminum braid ready spool

Cons:

Only can be used in fresh water

Oddly enough, back in 1921, the founder of Abu Garica started out making watches and taxi-meters. After WWII, there was less demand for these products and the brilliant founder focused his efforts into something else, fishing reels. Over the years, the company has continued to improve and is dedicated to designing quality products.

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Materials
Visually, this reel looks great, it is matte black with red and silver details. This reel is designed for freshwater so it doesn’t need to stand up the corrosive conditions of a saltwater reel. This enables Abu Garcia to use different materials which reduce the weight while making the performance tailored to fresh water. The body is carbon with an aluminum gearbox, which is incredibly light (7.2-grams) and offers good feel through the handle, giving confidence to the angler and reel. The spool is supported with 9 stainless steel bearing for smooth line retrieval.

Use
The front drag system uses carbon matrix discs, which gives a smooth and reliable performance. The gear ratio is 6.1:1 and the maximum drag pressure is 9.9-pounds. This reel is small, but do not let that fool you into thinking it can catch good fish, large Bass should be no problem with this reel. There is also an anti-reverse switch to prevent backward spinning.

Adjustability
The handle is reversible for right or left-handed positions.

Durability
This reel is designed with strong materials and is a dependable addition to this list and your collection. Abu Garica offers a 30-day full money back return policy, even though we think it is unlikely that you will not be pleased with this reel.

10. Daiwa 10 Crosscast 4000

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Daiwa 10 Crosscast 4000
Materials
87
Use
90
Adjustability
88
Durability
88
best offer for today
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$98.35
$109.99
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Pros:

Reasonable priced

Reversible right and left-handed handle

Aluminum body and handle

Cons:

Only can be used in fresh water

This is a very versatile reel that can be used to catch a multitude of fish. Daiwa got its start in the fishing world back in 1955. They have a great reputation for producing quality and innovative products. This Crosscast reel is one of their most versatile designs.

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Materials
The body and reversible right and left-handed handle are both aluminum, the spool is aluminum and designed for long accurate casting. The reel weighs 1.5-pounds. The spool shaft is supported with 3 ball bearings, which is a lot lower than the other reels I have reviewed here but it is enough for a smooth line return. The drag is a front drag. The bail has to be returned to position manually after casting, but this is no great hardship. The reel also includes a spare spool which is always handy to have.

Use
The Daiwa Crosscast is a great reel for a beginner in freshwater fishing whether you are going to fish on lakes, course fishing, river bank or canal fishing or even in the middle of a lake in a rowboat. It doesn’t matter what type of fish you are trying to catch, Carp, Perch, Pike, or even Bass, this reel will be able to catch them. When you decide that you really want to catch for example Carp then you may choose a different reel for that fish, and even if you do I guarantee that you will still have the cross-cast with you on your spare rod because you know it will always perform. It has a maximum drag pressure of 14-pounds. The gear ratio is 4.1:1.

Adjustability
The handle is reversible for right or left-handed anglers.

Durability
The aluminum used to make this reel provides it with a strong and sturdy feel. There is a one-year warranty associated with all Daiwa reels.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

The body of the reel is just as important as everything else. The Body gives the reel strength. Most good quality reels are made from either, Aluminium, Graphite, Magnesium and sometimes steel. You will see spinning reels with plastic bodies, these are to be avoided, they are made mainly for beginners and children’s fishing rod and reel combos, however even if I was buying for a child under 10 I would still buy equipment that the child will have success with. Just imagine you have bought an 8 year their first rod and reel and on the first trip, they get a bite and then their reel falls apart before the fight has even begun. Aluminum and graphite are all very good materials for reel bodies, Stainless steel is strong but heavy and rarely seen in the whole body but rather components inside the body. If you are planning to fish in salt water, graphite will be more durable against the harshness of salt water, but on the whole, Graphite bodies are not as strong as Aluminium.

Aluminum is OK for saltwater and definitely strong enough, but over time the body will show fatigue due to the exposure to the salt water and to prolong the usable life you should always clear your reel after a trip. If you are only going to be fishing fresh water, lakes and rivers then I would recommend the aluminum body as they are strong and often slightly less expensive than graphite. Magnesium is expensive but has as strong as aluminum but a lot lighter. I have not used a magnesium reel, but due to the weight, I feel they might take a bit of getting used to with regards to rod balance. I believe that they would be great for freshwater fishing, but I am concerned about salt water. Magnesium as metal corrodes readily with salt water, and the magnesium reels sold as saltwater reels all need a thick epoxy coating. If you do use a magnesium reel for saltwater I would check the coating and paint on the body for signs of chips or scratches. If anyone wants to send me a magnesium reel to test to destruction I am happy to do so.

Use

A gear ratio is a number of turns of the crank handle compared to the number of times the spool turns. You will see gear ratios with numbers such as 6.2:1 this means that the spool will turn 6.2 times for every 1 turn of the crank handle. The higher the ratio the faster the spool reels in line. Most spinning reels have a gear ratio between 5.0:1 to 7.0:1. But just because you have a gear ratio of 7.0:1 does not necessarily mean that it will reel in line quicker than s 6.0:1, you have to factor in the diameter of the reel. A large diameter reel will pull in more line per turn than a small diameter reel. Another set of numbers you might see are IPT (inches per turn) this is a number of inches reeled in per one turn of the handle. I have never found that gear ratio makes a huge difference in the actual job of catching fish, but others swear by a specific ratio for specific fish and waters.

The spinning reel is simple and easy to learn. With a few outings, one can master the basics and cast with confidence. One can memorize this line: reach back, aim, throw and let go. Assuming the reel has properly threaded fishing line through the pole guides and a lure or bait, the task is to launch the bait out into the water and catch fish.

The first step is to hold the pole and reel correctly. If right-handed, hold the pole with left hand on the lower handle and right hand above on the pole. The stem of the reel should be between the middle and ring fingers of the right hand. Put the index finger of the right hand on the line curling it in the joint of the fingertip.

Then use the left hand to open the bail so that the line sits across the index finger. Return the left hand to the handle. Looking out over the water to the area where the bait should land, one must reach back, aim, throw and let go of the string.

The bait will fly out over the water and plop into the surface and sink. Holding the pole in the right hand, one should immediately turn the handle of the reel and tighten the line. This motion will start the bait moving toward the pole. The retrieve gives action to the lure. If bait fishing, one must tighten the line and wait for a strike. Fishing with lures tends to be more active and interesting than the bait and wait routine. The lure engages the angler in a match of wits with the fish to entice a strike. The art of fishing with lures involves making the lure move in a way that triggers the fish to strike it. Most of the time that means making the lure swim like something the fish recognizes as food or prey.

Adjustability

Drag is important. The drag on a reel will enable you to land bigger fish than the line strength suggests is possible. Fish put up a fight and will pull, most of this strain is taken in the rod bend and flex, but you don’t want the line to break, for one you lose the fish, but also the fish swims away with the hook still in its jaw, which is not good for the fish, and your tackle. The drag system helps to stop this happening. The drag system is a mechanical system which allows pressure to be applied to the line spool, via the use of fiction plates inside the reel to brake the spool. The idea is to give even and constant pressure without jerkiness. As the fish pulls the reel will allow the line to spool instead of braking. This along with good technique can land you some big fish, and big fish is what it is all about.

There are two types of drag systems for spinning reels. Rear or Front drag systems. Front drag systems have the drag adjustment on the front of the spool, they are simpler mechanically and produce a constant drag and usually with higher drag forces. They are easy to set, but not as easy to adjust whilst mid-fight. Rear drag systems the adjustment is at the rear of the reel. They have a more complicated mechanically, and not as consistent or smooth a drag as front drag systems, but they are a lot easier to adjust mid-fight. I prefer front drag systems and I would recommend beginners to use front drag systems, set the drag strength before casting based on your line strength and then just leave it alone.

Most front drag systems use a washer drag systems where washer discs are stacked on the spool shaft, then the pressure is applied to the washers or discs to increase and decrease the drag by the screw on the front of the reel. If you are fishing for big fish which will have a greater pulling power will generate quite a lot of heat in the drag washers. For this reason, drag washers are made from Teflon and Carbon fiber. Steel is sometimes used in reels designed with lower drags.

This really depends on the condition, line strength and type of fish you are trying to catch. But as a rule of thumb set the drag to 1/3 the breaking strength of the line, no more than half then the breaking strength. For example, if you have a 10kg line, set the drag to 3kg to 5 kg.

Durability

Spinning reels must be strong enough to handle heavy loads and strong shocks. In some large saltwater and freshwater species, fish weigh more than 100 pounds. Bluewater species like Marlin run above 500 pounds.

Fishing reels must withstand the sudden shocks of the strike on the baits and then handle the load of landing the large fish. The average species are much smaller, and the reels are sized to the lower weight ranges. The spinning reels must handle the loads and forces the small and medium fish exert.

The strength of a spinning reel comes from the metal shaft and gears inside the housing. These precision metal pieces fit together exactly and move in unison to pull the line in towards the angler and land the fish. The case or housing keeps the shaft and gears in the perfect alignment so that the shaft and gears turn and pull the line back onto the spool.

The important construction values are high-strength materials, precision engineering, corrosion resistance, internal seals, and high-quality components.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
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#1
Use
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#2
Materials
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#3
Durability
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#4
Adjustability
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Saltwater and Freshwater need different gear

Fishing is a great sport and the most popular sport in terms of participants worldwide. But fishing is not just fishing and no two fishermen or anglers are the same. You can’t really even just divide it into salt water and fresh water, as both have multiple disciplines and different types of fish the angler is trying to catch.

Other Factors to Consider

Terrain

Saltwater fishing differs from freshwater for the corrosion effects that salt water has on metals and other surfaces. Saltwater species are different than freshwater types, and some of the largest fish on the planet are saltwater species. The oceans are vast and deep and offer many types of fish environments not found in freshwaters such as coral reefs and thermal vents. The salty or brackish water affects fishing equipment and reels in particular. Reels must be strong to handle severe shocks and strong forces from powerful fish.

They must operate with precision gears and prove durable for many years of reliable service. Metals work best for these conditions, and manufacturers must protect the metals from the effects of salt water and salt spray. The most important comment in saltwater spinning reels reviews tells whether it holds up to large fish and heavy use. The best saltwater spinning reel offers lasting value and reliable performance with the angler’s budget.

For example, a freshwater course Angler might want to catch Carp and is not interested in catching Perch or Pike, and so the Angler will set up their rod and reel to be best for that fish, whereas the Angler in the next swim just want to enjoy catching anything and a more general setup is used. If you are thinking of competing then Freshwater Bass is the most popular and again you will be looking to set up your rod and reel for this. Whatever your setup it doesn’t mean that you will only catch the fish you are aiming for but just gives you a better chance of landing that type of fish when one bites the hook. And as always you never know what you have caught until you land it.

It’s the same with saltwater fishing. If you are fishing off a pier or jetty or off the beach in the surf, or out in the ocean on a boat. Each of these you would definitely use different rods or poles. For example if you are fishing from a pier or jetty you may have a 7ft or 2m pole or rod as you don’t need to cast as far, but if you are on the beach, standing at the edge of the surf you will want a 10ft or 3m pole or rod to give you the leverage to throw the line way out past the breakers. Then add to this what you want to catch, is any fish OK, or are you looking for snapper, or mackerel or even shark.

Few reels are suitable for everything, but some exceptional reels although designed for one type of fishing be it salt water or fresh water, are able to cross over and be used in the other environment with success. The reels I have reviewed in this best of review, I have tried to find the best all-around spinning reels that will be great for whatever fish you want to catch and where ever you want to catch it. If you are just starting at angling or fishing, don’t let all the choices scare you.

If you know that you are only ever going to fish in fresh water, then the Abu Garcia Revo SX REVO2SX10 and Daiwa Crosscast QDA CC5500QDA are the best choices. If you are only going to fish saltwater and are not sure if surf/beach casting or pier/jetty then Penn Pursuit II Spinning PURII3000 is a good choice.

If you might fish fresh water and sea water and you want to use the same set up on both then the nest reel is either the Pflueger Supreme 40XT or the Penn Pursuit II Spinning PURII3000 both are excellent all round reels.

Spinning reels are devices that hold, release, retrieve, have a handle attached to a spool, engage a braking line which slows a fish from taking all the spool line, and has a bracket for attaching the reel to a rod.

The operation of a spinning reel is easy to learn, and the versatility allows the spinning reel rod to be used throughout a wide range of conditions for all sorts of fish.

The Pflueger Patriarch Spinning Reel is hands down the best spinning reel out there. Spinning reel reviews come in handy when evaluating the product by helping you gain knowledge allowing you to formulate your buying decision. This reel also maintains the best value award.

Versatility

Selecting the best trout reel is not an easy chore; freshwater trout vary in size from a few pounds for brown and golden trout to lake trout in the range of 15 to 40 pounds. Saltwater or Steelhead Trout range from a few pounds to upward of 50 pounds. To pick one reel as the best spinning reel for trout would have to be a medium to heavy reel with a large line capacity to accommodate tough line in the range or 14 to 20 pounds test. The reel would be a saltwater rated reel to find trout in estuaries and ocean shore areas.

The best approach for spinning reels for trout would be to have more than one combo. A light to medium reel and rod combo would be an excellent choice for smaller trout species such as brown trout, rainbow trout, and golden trout. Anglers pursue these species in small rivers and streams.

In the Western US in places like Montana and Colorado, major rivers are legendary for holding large trout, and they would test the power of light to a medium rod and reel combos.

A medium combo would be the best selection for large steelhead and lake trout. These lunkers can hold in deep cool waters and provide a thrilling fight for the angler using medium weight tackle.

The best fly fishing reels are those that can match the top-rated poles. In fly fishing, the poles are just as important as the reels that hold line and tippets. Fly reels keep the line in order for casting and organize it during the retrieve. After a strike, the reel plays a vital role in letting the fish run then landing the fish after the fight.

In saltwater environments like the flats, fly reels have an important role for drag, letting the fish run, retrieving with smooth operation, and keeping the line in order. When casting the reel releases line. After casting, the angler moves the bait by reeling and moving the tip of the pole to swim the fly or bait. After a strike, the angler moves line by stripping it down the pole and into a pile at his or her feet. The reel must pick up this pile and keep it neat and ready for the next cast.

Weight

The weight of a spinning combo has two meanings, and they can be confusing. The physical weight in pounds and ounces describes how heavy the combo is and how much weight one carries around when using it. The other and more important definition has to do with the action of the combo and the amount of weight it can hold in forces from the fish.

In this regard, ultralight combos are small, thin poles and small reels meant to take small fish like panfish or for fishing where the combo must be extremely sensitive. This phrase tells the angler what to expect from the fish.

For largemouth or smallmouth bass that can go easily from 6 to 12 pounds depending on the region, one needs light or medium light combo. Some tournament anglers would use heavy combos for working in weeds and around dense structures. These weight classes will allow for the force of a strike, which can be quite strong and the fight to pull the fish out of the water or in some cases water and thick mats of foliage.

The best light spinning reel offers strength, power, and durability in a package that is easy on the hands and arms. Fishing when done with lures, imitation baits, and live baits requires a lot of repetitive motion. For example, when fishing for largemouth bass in an area not known to the angler, the best practice is to cover the water. This involves a lure such as a spinnerbait that one can cast long or short distances and retrieve rapidly. Using this technique one can discover where fish are holding and the nature of the underwater environment such as structure and fallen logs.

The weight of a rod and reel combination can add an enjoyable dimension to fishing the and the best ultralight fishing combo can transform a fishing experience. By selecting an ultralight spinning reel combo, the angler creates a balance between the targeted species and the power of the equipment. For example, a technique like using live minnows to catch crappie, the lightest rod and spinning reel allows the angler to sense the motion of the bait and the precise moment of the strike.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is jigging?
a:

Jigging is similar to bottom bouncing with the exception that you are instigating the movement of the lure manually by controlling your rod. The goal of jigging is to get an up and down movement to your lure using your wrist. Simply lift up the rod tip and then lowering it back down will create the ideal movement of your lure.

After casting out your lure, allow it to settle to the bottom of the water, usually done only in a few seconds. Oftentimes, you will physically feel the lure, or spoon, strike the bottom. Once on the bottom, simply snap your wrist up just slightly, lifting the lure off the ground, then letting the lure settle back down. You simply repeat as you slowly retrieve your lure towards you, keeping your line tight so that you can respond to a bite if needed.

Jigging can be done in different directions, including up and down, as described above. However, alternatives to this method are side to side motions and a combination of up/down and to a side.

q: How should I maintain my reels?
a:

Regular maintenance is important for spinning reel care; it is important for long life and for top performance. The inner workings of a spinning reel involve metal and composite parts that must work in close contact and in connections.

These moving parts build up heat from friction. The heat from friction can damage parts if not protected by oils and lubricants. Dirt can build up in the parts form the fishing environments which involve vegetation, mud, sand, and salt water.

After every use one should inspect the rel for signs of excessive dirt, sand, or foreign material from the day of fishing and traveling. One can wipe the reel down with clear water to remove surface grime. In the offseason, one should follow the directions for the reel and disassemble it for a thorough cleaning and oiling of all recommended areas.

q: What type of reel should I get if I want to fish for trout?
a:

Selecting the best trout reel is not an easy chore; freshwater trout vary in size from a few pounds for brown and golden trout to lake trout in the range of 15 to 40 pounds. Saltwater or Steelhead Trout range from a few pounds to upward of 50 pounds. To pick one reel as the best spinning reel for trout would have to be a medium to heavy reel with a large line capacity to accommodate tough line in the range or 14 to 20 pounds test. The reel would be a saltwater rated reel to find trout in estuaries and ocean shore areas.

The best approach for spinning reels for trout would be to have more than one combo. A light to medium reel and rod combo would be an excellent choice for smaller trout species such as brown trout, rainbow trout, and golden trout. Anglers pursue these species in small rivers and streams.

q: How do I know if the reel size is right for my rod?
a:

The reel size needs to suit the size of the rod or pole you are using. Although a large reel on a small rod will not cause a major problem but may feel unbalanced, whereas a small reel on a long large pole is not a good idea as the reel may be placed under more strain than it is designed for.