Best Spinning Reels

Fishing is an excellent hobby that a lot of people like to enjoy. It's a great way to get away and relax, by the water. Do you want to know what's even better about it? It will not even cost you much money. 

But wouldn't you want to have, at least, the perfect fishing experience in your busy, urban lifestyle? It's achievable if you have some knowledge about the best spinning reels to complete your fishing trip with. 

A Spinning/Fishing reel is an apparatus that is attached to a fishing rod that helps to wind and stow line. Especially for those who want high accuracy or angling, whether one does it competitively or leisurely, this is the device you've been looking for!  

 Selecting a fishing reel could be tricky business because there are different kinds of reels to choose from based on your preference about the kind of water you'll be fishing in or the kind of species you're going after. 

 After a considerable amount of research and carefully analyzing the best options available for all those fishing enthusiasts out there, the following reels have proved to perform better than most.

ImageNameLatest Price
product image 1. Penn Battle II Spinning Fish Reel 4000 Amazon
product image 2. Shimano Spirex FG Spinning Reel (6:2:1) Amazon
product image 3. Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Baitfeeder Reels Amazon
product image 4. KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III Spinning Reel Amazon
product image 5. Penn Pursuit II Spinning Fishing Reel Amazon
product image 6. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel Amazon
product image 7. PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel Amazon
product image 8. PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel Amazon
product image 9. Penn 1481260 Spinfisher VI Spinning Saltwater Reel Amazon
product image 10. Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel Amazon
product image 11. SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel Amazon
product image 12. Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel Amazon
product image 13. Pflueger President XT Spinning Fishing Reel Amazon

1. Penn Battle II Spinning Fish Reel 4000

Product Details

This high range spinning reel has a full metal body with a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire, which offers exceptional durability. There was no loss of smoothness of action when powerful drag achieved due to the HT 100 Carbon fiber drag system. Superline spool, while being braid ready, requires no backing up. If you want to master your skill in the saltwater, you've found what you're looking for.

Pros

  • Line capacity rings provide a better idea of how much reel it is left
  • The sealed ball bearings provide an extra layer of protection, establishing a secure system to prevent the entry of saltwater
  • Ying of the drag washers provides 20% more drag


Cons

  • Comparatively more costly
Penn Battle II Spinning Fish Reel 4000

Our Take

The reason I think this is a good option is due to its all-metal body and its smooth movements during usage. In my opinion, the main improvement made, since the original model, is the change from shielded bearings to sealed bearings, which helps to prevent saltwater intrusion. Anybody using this would notice the gearing on this reel is fantastic for fast retrieval, and I've also been able to cast far with this. I've seen that they keyed the drag washers into the spool, allowing both sides of the drag washers used. HT 100 is greased with the Penn blue lube. It's overall a solid reel, even a heavy one you would think, but I'm not the strongest, so it shouldn't be a problem for other fishers!

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2. Shimano Spirex FG Spinning Reel (6:2:1)

Product Details

The Spirex FG features quick-fire II for easy, One-handed casts and A-RB bearings for smooth retrieves. Paladin gear enhancement increases gear durability and improves operation, the propulsion line management system boosts casting performance. An even line laid with the help of the Aero Wrap II oscillation system.

If you're looking for reels for walleye or small-mouthed anglers who need a trouble-free reel with a dependable drag, you've found what you're looking for! It features a lightweight graphite frame, side plate, and rotor. It now comes with five shielded stainless-steel ball bearings to enhance smooth performance.

Pros

  • fire mechanism
  • aper and works considerably well
  • metal body


Cons

  • It doesn't have instant anti-reverse, so if you're not paying attention, it will cause a line to get tangled
Shimano Spirex FG Spinning Reel (6:2:1)

Our Take

The first feature I would like to mention that this reel is its Quickfire reel mechanism. What's there not to love in the ease of one-handed casting and the fact that I never have to look down at the reel to ensure its alignment for casting. As far as the performance, the drag is line winds evenly on the spool. I feel like the reel is quite solid, and being metal, it looks like it is durable. I won't say the drag is smoother than the more expensive models, but it's good enough for the money.

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3. Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Baitfeeder Reels

Product Details

These spinning reels mostly used for anglers. Baitfeeders are not only used in saltwater but could be used in freshwater applications also, in fisheries like trout and catfish. It makes sure the angler's advantage to ensure fish have a solid hold of baits before setting the hook.

Pros

  • You can flip the switch and catch fish without worrying about the rod or reel
  • Dual drag with free spooling


Cons

  • Having to manually flip the switch the rest of the way before the front drag engages. Trying to set the hook before doing this will cause you to lose fish
Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Baitfeeder Reels

Our Take

The first thing I noticed about this reel is how much modern it looks despite having the same structure as the older models. It has a new cyclonic rotor, so as you turn the handle, and it gets more airflow. It's got a rigid handle, so if you're fighting a big catch, and it's easy to switch, all you've got to do is unscrew the other side. It has a corrosion-resistant frame, side plate, and rotor. It has an On/Off auto trip bait feeding system that makes your experience even better.

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4. KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III Spinning Reel

Product Details

This reel has a 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings. It consists of a T-grip aluminum handle and a stainless steel metal shaft. It also has precision matched gears and has a gear ration of 5:5:1, which makes it powerful.

Pros

  • Reel comes with two spools, so it's easy to swap according to usage
  • It can hold a lot of lines and has the power to reel in all that line


Cons

  • It's more robust to use with more significant or medium-sized fish (or) in good moving water
KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III Spinning Reel

Our Take

A big selling point about this reel is how it can use in both saltwater and freshwater; hence, it's not going to rust. The reels are smooth and quite pleasant looking. It has two different drag systems that engage separately by the flip of a lever. Its instant anti-reverse function works well, and it lays down the line on the spool evenly.

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5. Penn Pursuit II Spinning Fishing Reel

Product Details

Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 3.5 inches; 1 pounds

If you're on a budget, this reel is the best choice for you. It has a graphite body, metal side plate, and a graphite rotor delivering long durability. The reel exhibits smooth yet forceful drag performance aided by the reel's oiled felt drag. It has a thick aluminum bail wire, which facilitates leverage and strength.

Pros

  • Fairly lightweight
  • For people on a budget


Cons

  • Washers needed to be oiled
Penn Pursuit II Spinning Fishing Reel

Our Take

To start with, it doesn't have an anti-reverse, which is beneficial if you don't want an extra opening where sand and grit could get into the case. It could be a little challenging to get the spools off the spool shaft, but that's not that big a concern. It has a graphite body, a metal side plate, and a graphite rotor. Live capacity rings have been added to the spool, so that's an improvement. It's overall an excellent functioning reel and is worth the month.

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6. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

Product Details

Ceymar spinning reels offer a fantastic experience to all anglers due to their sleek design and smooth performance. It is built on a fluid 8-bearing drive system, featuring Okuma precision elliptical gearing. A rigid, machined aluminum spool creates a foundation of strength for monofilament and braided fishing lines. The heavy-duty solid aluminum bail wire and oversized line roller deliver confident performance over the long term. Refined and compact, the Blade Body Design reduces bulk and minimizes the overall size of the Ceymar spinning reel, so anglers can focus on the fish they're catching.

Pros

  • Has value for money


Cons

  • Not as smooth as the higher models
Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

Our Take

Well, what's great about this is that it's got a graphite body and rotor. It has a stack of different sizes to suit your application. I like that it's lightweight and corrosion-resistant. I've also noticed that its high speed makes it easier to pick up line. The unique feature about this is the reel itself is so compact that it only fits six ball bearings and one roller bearing as compared to the rest of the line that has an extra ball bearing, making it a total of 8. The aluminum handle arm offers complete control over the reel while the EVA handle knobs are very comfortable.

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7. PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel

Product Details

The PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel is a watertight spinning reel that performs reliably in saltwater and sand environments. It prides itself on its durable construction with a full metal body, side plate, and rotor and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire. The fishing reel has a sealed HT-100 Slammer drag system, which provides a robust and silky-smooth drag, while its friction trip ramp prevents premature bail trip when casting. It is also fitted with fluid cranking with five shielded stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse bearing as well as a super line spool that requires no backing, is braid ready, and has line capacity rings marked at 1/3, 2/3, and full capacity.

Pros

  • Great and smooth drag
  • Durable
  • No premature bails


Cons

  • Can have several dunks and drops sometimes
PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel

Our Take

Casting this new Spinfisher was exciting and fun! No premature bail flip and never a wind knot, which is probably due to the line lying from the very slow oscillation. This fishing reel could be very heavy, but it was an absolute beast. It has had numerous dunks and drops, but all you need to do is rinse it with fresh water.

So far, putting this Penn to the test has proven the SpinfisherV to be a very good reel. The slammer drag, being sealed, I think, is a big part of that. I fully immersed it, a few times in the surf, and it performed flawlessly. The reel is pretty beefy; you'll feel it's "Heft" right when you take it out of the box. The bail system is very solid, not flimsy, and the drag system is quite sensitive and smooth.

Not bad at all for a fishing setup. I'm sure with a better casting technique; it will achieve 150+ yds. It is an improvement over a standard spin design.

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8. PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel

Product Details

The PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel is built for heavy-duty fishing from either boat or shore, and trusted by charter captains all over the world. This reel also features PENN's new IPX6 Sealed System, which keeps water out of the gearbox and drag system and has an updated Slammer Drag System, which now utilizes the brand's original and proprietary Dura-Dragg material. The Slammer III is also fitted with CNC gear technology and has a retrieve rate of 40 inches (102 cm).

Pros

  • Well-built and durable
  • Excellent sealing
  • Smooth drag and action


Cons

  • Minimum drag
PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel

Our Take

When it comes to high-quality fishing reels, the name of PENN definitely stands out. That is not only because of decades-old reputation in the industry but also for a series of new releases that stamps the brand's name in the hall of fame of fishing reels. That being said, the PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel has definitely lived up to that reputation. This reel is Well built, including all machined brass gearing that comes with it.

Furthermore, PENN is well-known for its up-to-standard sealing. Well, the Slammer III is also IPX6 rated. It has a smooth drag and smooth action as well. Because of the extra bearings that come with this reel, it has become unbelievably smooth to use. It may not be the smoothest among the best reels in the market, but this one does it enough.

The main problem that I, as well as other reviews online, found with this reel, though, is that the drag is way too tight even at the lowest setting on the 3500; you can remove the drag cap and still not go very low. In practice, it will likely be fine matched up with the 20 lb braid I'm currently running. According to Tackle Advisors, the minimum he experiences was about 1-2 lbs. It feels close to that, but I didn't bother to measure.

In conclusion, this reel is not perfect. However, this does the job and more. So if you're looking for a new reel that is going to provide high-quality performance, the PENN Slammer III should be considered in your choices. Definitely great!

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9. Penn 1481260 Spinfisher VI Spinning Saltwater Reel

Product Details

The PENN Spinfisher VI features IPX5 sealing. This technology allows the reel to be protected from saltwater getting into the gearbox or drag system whenever it gets hit with a wave, or you let it ride in the spray all the way home. The SpinFisher VI's HT-100 drag washers are housed in a fully sealed spool to give the stopping power needed for big saltwater fish. A full metal body and side plate keep the CNC Gear System in precise alignment under heavy loads, making this reel one of the most durable out there. Lastly, it is available in standard, Live Liner, Long Cast, and bail-less models.

Pros

  • Sealed with high-quality IPX5 sealing.
  • Strong and durable
  • Smooth drag


Cons

  • Can be very heavy
  • Expensive
Penn 1481260 Spinfisher VI Spinning Saltwater Reel

Our Take

As anglers, we all know how important it is that our reel's drag system is protected from saltwater whenever we are fishing. Because of that, it is highly crucial that the reels we use have superior quality sealing that prevents water from taking over the gearbox or drag system whenever it gets wet by the water (which totally going to happen, especially if you're in a kayak). That is why I highly recommend the PENN Spinfisher VI as it has a high-quality IPX5 sealing, which is compliant to international standards.

There's also a lot of things that make this reel particularly impressive. It's very solid, very smooth, and I'm sure it will perform just fine. It has plenty of drag and line capacity for just about everything you'll catch inshore or nearshore in Florida, including Bonnethead Sharks.

It doesn't take much salt water to start corroding parts, so keeping saltwater out and grease/oil in was a big selling point for me. The only possible issue I have with this reel is that it could be really heavy, but that's only a matter of preference.

These reels aren't cheap, so it is important that they will last. And they do last. All in all, this reel is really value for money!

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10. Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel

Product Details

The Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel has a black anodized machined aluminum housing and over-sized Digi-gear, making it a durable fishing reel for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Daiwa BG spinning series have integrated the largest drive gear in the history of Daiwa spinning reels. The benefit of having this oversized gear increases gear-tooth contact points; this provides smoother and extended gear life as well as more power and increased torque. It comes with a solid screw-in handle (which is removable), an air rotor, and a dynamic cut aluminum ABS spool. Furthermore, if you are keen on using braided lines, this product is ready for it. It also has a waterproof drag system that keeps your drag system and gearbox away from corrosion - adding more protection to your reels.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Smooth drag
  • Has a ton of line capacity
  • Very inexpensive


Cons

  • Doesn't have a line grip on the spool
  • Can be very heavy in the hand
Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel

Our Take

Let's get this upfront: for a reel that can be purchased under $100, the Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel is definitely a great deal. I got the 8000 series, and I put 400 yards of reaction tackle 80lb braid on it, and it casts very well. It is a bit heavy in hand indeed, but the quality and size you get with this reel are completely unmatched at this class of reel.

This is an awesome reel and very sturdy, where others reels have locked up while trying to reel in just one triggerfish (cochito) at a time. This reel allowed me at times to reel up three triggerfish at a time with no hesitation. And that is no easy task. It also handles saltwater splash with ease, has smooth drag, and feels great in the hands. There is no doubt that it is well built and it has a ton of line capacity.

One minor complaint, however, is that it doesn't have a line grip on the spool. But I understand that there are just some compromises that have to be done, especially for the price point where it is at. But all in all, this is a highly commendable fishing reel. It could be better, but still performs nonetheless!

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11. SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel

Product Details

The SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel is designed with inside shield ball bearings, anti-water, and anti-dust spool. The anti-corrosion coating stainless steel components create excellent anti-corrosive ability in saltwater fishing, which has been corrosively tested more than 72hrs in saltwater. It also has an anti-corrosion coating aluminum alloy drive gear that meets the inexhaustible pursuit for durability, strength, and power. On top of that, the new Rapid spinning reel specially designed drag knob with washer enhances the ability to prevent water and dust.

Pros

  • Smooth
  • Excellent anti-corrosion coating on gears
  • Inexpensive


Cons

  • The handle can be slippery
  • The drag needs to be corrected every now and then
SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel

Our Take

Saltwater fishing reels need to have a level of sealing and anti-corrosion properties and features to ensure that it would not be easily damaged as it is typically exposed to the harsh composition of saltwater. The ability to respond to this need is what sets the SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel apart from many other fishing reels in the market.

The reel feels very solidly built. No play in the spool, rotor, or handle. The infinite anti-reverse works flawlessly, and the reel is SMOOTH. It is also important to note that the reel is relatively light without feeling cheap. This is particularly crucial when choosing for the reel to buy as the smoothness of the reel correlates to how efficient it is when used during fishing.

A critique, however, has to be made with its EVA handle knob. It would have been better to have a rubberized handle to make it less slippery when wet, but I guess it's just a matter of preference rather than a technical problem in its design.

In conclusion, this is an excellent reel for the money. It is inexpensive and works okay. If you are looking for a new saltwater fishing reel, then you definitely have to check this out.

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12. Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

Product Details

The Daiwa BG Spinning Reel sports high-quality components and industry-leading ingenuity and is equipped with a "Hard Bodyz" machined aluminum body and side cover for strength and internal part stability. It also is fitted in a Black Anodized body and body cover to increase the strength in the form of corrosion and scratch resistance. This spinning fishing reel prides itself with its air rotor that weighs 15% less than ordinary rotors because its unique shape cuts out the fat while distributing stress more evenly for maximum strength in a lightweight design. The ABS spool's maximized core diameter and reversed taper means there is no dead line buried deep in the core, which in turn causes less casting friction for longer and easier casting. It's also braid-ready. Daiwa's machined aluminum Screw-in-Handle design provides zero movements or play between the main gear and handle arm, offering the angler both confidence and control when rotating the handle.

Pros

  • Weighs 15% lighter than other reels
  • Best when catching bigger fish
  • Inexpensive


Cons

  • Could be deformed with aggressive usage
  • May have a problem fitting some rods
Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

Our Take

The weight of a fishing reel should always come into play when choosing for the best ones to buy, and I think for that alone, the Daiwa BG Spinning Reel is an excellent contender. I am very impressed by the way that they have designed its air rotor, which effectively cuts down a portion of its size without compromising the efficiency of its stress distribution. With that, I think this reel is comparatively more lightweight than other reels I have tried in the past. This is particularly important as heavy reels tend to become a problem, especially when catching heavy fish. Thus, it is my determination that the Daiwa BG Spinning Reel gets an A+ just for its lightweight-ness alone.

That being said, it's a great reel, compared to other reels, this feels smooth and has a ton of power behind it. It feels smooth, steady, and provides you with confidence that is required to handle bigger species. Adding to how impressive this product is, is that it has a rubber gasket around the spool to make it easy to spool braid without any hassle or need for a monofilament backing. The handle just screws on, it seemed kinda shady to me, but it hasn't loosened or threatened to come off yet, so I'm pleased so far.

All in all, you should consider getting this fishing reel, especially if you want a lightweight one that brings good performance.

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13. Pflueger President XT Spinning Fishing Reel

Product Details

Pflueger President XT Spinning Fishing Reel is a lightweight reel that is ultra-fast thanks to a high-speed gear ratio. With ten bearing systems, this fishing reel can ensure seamless and smooth reeling and spooling. Featuring an aluminum main shaft, aluminum pinion gear, sealed drag, carbon fiber handle, and a rubber cork knob, the President Pflueger President XT Spinning Fishing Reel is one of the best that are available in the market.

Pros

  • Makers have a long-standing reputation for quality
  • Ultralightweight
  • Has a SMARTretrieve feature


Cons

  • More expensive than other similar products
Pflueger President XT Spinning Fishing Reel

Our Take

When it comes to the quality of fishing gears, the Pflueger President is one of the most trusted brands. It has been in the business for a long time, and it has a reputable name that, through time, became synonymous with "high-quality." And of course, the Pflueger President XT Spinning Fishing Reel did not disappoint.

With its feather-light design and buttery-smooth drag, the Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel empowers anglers to perform at their best. The lightest Pflueger reel in its class, this spinning reel features an ultra lightweight magnesium body and rotor that offers superb rigidity without burdening your rod with excess weight. Built for a silky-smooth drag performance, the sealed carbon drag system brings hard-pulling fish to a halt and remains well-lubricated even after long periods of harsh use. Seasoned anglers will also appreciate the SMARTretrieve feature, which ensures a high-precision line lay with every cast. The Supreme XT spinning reel is incredibly comfortable thanks to its EVA handle knob, effortlessly smooth retrieve, and a carbon handle that is 21 percent lighter than aluminum. A braid-ready spool allows braid to be tied directly to the spool without a monofilament backing, making this fishing reel an ideal choice for a wide range of species and angling applications.

However, it also comes with a slightly higher price tag than other similar products out there. Nonetheless, the quality that this reel has makes it an absolute value for money.

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Carla Arbuckle
Carla Arbuckle

Carla is a staff writer for Fishing.org and Shooting.org. She is an avid outdoors enthusiast and photographer. She can be found most weekends fishing and exploring the wilderness.