Best Fishing Reel Reviews and Techniques

Best Fishing Reels

Although outsiders may not appreciate it, the choice of a spinning reel is a very important decision that fishers have to make before they go out on a fishing session.

Certain reels are designed and produced for certain types of water conditions and specific species of fish.

With an ever-increasing market for fishing reels, it is no wonder that many feel confused about the process of purchasing the most suitable fishing reel for their own needs.

This article aims to ease any potential worries. Firstly, there is a comprehensive buying-guide which gives you all the essential information that you need to know about fishing reels, including size, brands, setup, and maintenance.

This is followed ​21 product reviews and purchasing links of existing fishing reels.

These 21 products are broken down into 7 categories to give you the most specific purchasing choices.

The categories for best fishing reels are: bass, trout, catfish, freshwater, surf, under $100 and under $50.

It is important that you take your time before purchasing a fishing reel. You have to first identify your own fishing needs and conditions to then guide you through the process.

Price does not necessarily guarantee a match with your needs. An affordable option may be the most suitable.

How Do you Pick the Right Fishing Reels by Type and Size?

Listing Type

Choosing the right type of fishing reel will depend on the type of rod that you are using.

Once you have already selected the fishing rod, you can then go ahead and by the reel.

There are three different types of fishing reels, each has its features and functions as explained below:

  • Spin cast fishing reel – This reel is useful if you are a beginner fisherman. It is easy to use it and the line doesn’t get twisted easily. There is no backlash when using this type of reel. It is cheaper compared to other reels but it is not accurate and does not cover that much of a distance.
  • Spinning fishing reel – If you are an intermediate fisherman, this reel could be your best option. It is more accurate and covers more distance than the spin cast reels. However, it is more expensive and may not work well when using a heavier line.
  • Baitcasting fishing reel – This type of reel is for the most experienced fishermen. It offers the best distance and accuracy you can look for in fishing. It has higher power and the ability to hold heavy lines to catch fast moving fish who fight. However, it is not only prone to tangles and backlashing, but also needs practice to be able to use it well.

Listing Size

There are different sizes for fishing reels, and it is important to choose the right one for your specific fishing needs.

Fishing reels can be categorized in three sizes as discussed below:

  • Small size fishing reels – The sizes of reels that fall under the category small include 10 or 1000, 20 or 2000, 25 or 2500, 30 or 3000 and 35/350/3500. These reels are ideal for light fishing in the rivers, lakes, harbors, and bays. The types of fish that you can catch using these reels include trout, bream, whiting, perch, flathead, luderick, mangrove jack, bass, and tarwhine.
  • Medium size fishing reels – These reels include size 40 or 4000, 50 or 5000, 45/450/4500 and 55/550/5500. They are suitable for offshore boat fishing, bays, rivers, harbors, and lakes. The most popular fish species you can catch are snapper, cod, barramundi, tailor, morwong, mulloway, and bonefish.
  • Large size fishing reels – The sizes include 60 or 6000, 70 or 7000, 80 or 8000, 100 or 10000, 12000, 14000, 16000, 18000, 20000, 25000, 30000, 65/650/6500, 75/750/7500, 85/850/8500, 95/950/9500 and 10500. These fishing reels are used for boat fishing, rock fishing, beach fishing. The type of fish you can catch when using these reels include small sharks, Mahi Mahi, large mackerel, tuna, marlin, kingfish, and grouper. 

What is the Best Fishing Reels Brands?

Since there are a lot of brands for fishing reels, it is easy to get confused and not know which brand to trust and buy from them. It is important to buy the best reel with good quality so that you cannot miss that catch. Here are the best brands for fishing reels:

  • DAIWA – Established in 1955, this company manufactures fishing reels used for fishing in salt water. This company adapts the best innovations in technology to make reels that are able to withstand harsh weather condition.
  • SHIMANO REELS AND FISHING RODS – This company is based in Japan and known all over the world for manufacturing the most appealing fishing reels. this company has over 79 years of experience in manufacturing fishing reels known to the world to perform best.
  • SHAKESPEARE – Established in 1898, Shakespeare is known by its customers to manufacture a high quality, strong and powerful fishing equipment including reels.
  • EAGLE CLAW – Established in Colorado in 1925, this company is known to manufacture the best fishing reels as well as fishing rods and tackles.
  • PENN FISHING – Since 1932, this company has been manufacturing the best fishing reels for saltwater fishing. The reels this company manufactures, are durable and effective because they are made of stainless steel and aluminum to withstand the conditions of the salt water.
  • OKUMA – This is a Taiwan based company most popular for manufacturing a durable and lightweight fishing reel. This company designs their reels to be used by both a left-handed and right-handed angler. The reels can also slow a fast moving fish in water for you to catch.

How To Set Up Fishing Reels

Fishing reels

Superior big surf pinning fishing reels

To make your fishing experience more adventurous and successful, it is important for you to know how to set up the fishing reels.

First, you need to gather your fishing equipment—which includes the following:

  • Fishing reel – Find one that is suitable for your fishing needs.
  • Fishing rod – Find one that works well with the reel that you have selected.
  • Fishing line – Find a line that is perfect for the fish that you want to catch.
  • Hook and bait – This will also depend on the type of fish but it is advisable to bring more than one bait.

In addition to the tools, you also need to understand how the different parts of the fishing reel work for you to set it up well.

  • Spool – To wind the fishing line.
  • Handle – Turning it makes the line to go back to the reel.
  • Bail – It is a metal made arm used to stop the line from moving out of the spool.
  • Reel foot – Connects the reel to the rod.
  • Drag knob – Used to set the speed of the line which comes out of the spool.
  • Line roller – Used for guiding the line to the rod from the spool

The fishing rod has the following parts:

  • Rod tip – this part enables you to feel the fish biting the bait.
  • Guides – these are the circles that the line pass through to keep them close to the rod.
  • Reel seat – it is the reel foot that connects the reel securely on the rod.
  • Handle – to wind the fish.

Connecting the Reel to the Rod

The reel seat should be loose and big enough for the reel foot to go through it. Tighten the reel foot on the reel seat.

Spooling the Reel

This is an important step in setting up the fishing reel. First, you need to bail, put the line on the reel and then tie a knot at the end. A foot away from the reel hold the line and turn until you get your desired amount.

String the Rod

Open the bail arm while grabbing the tip and then put the line through the guides without letting it go.

Tie the Knot

Tie the knot tightly on the bait to enable it to hold the fish that you are catching.

Set the Drag Knob

Tighten or loosen the drag knob by turning it in both directions. You can check the affected drag by pulling the line from the reel. Repeat this until you get your preferred amount.

Cast the Bait

Hold the rod so that it is a few inches above the base, and then let the line hang from the tip and start reeling. Release your hand and swing the rod to the target. If you feel some tugging, then you have caught yourself some fish. You can start reeling now.

YouTube Videos

If you want a visual explanation of how to set up fishing reels, check out these videos below:

InnovativeFisherman – Explains how to use a spinning rod and reel. Good for extra knowledge beyond fitting the reel.

Angling101 – Targeted at beginners who need basic tips with fitting a reel to your rod.

How Do You Maintain Your Fishing Reels?

Taking good care of your fishing reel is very important because it will serve you for a longer period of time. In order to keep your fishing reel to work well, it requires some effort from you in as much as it is an easy process.  The steps can be as basic and simple as rinsing the inside and outside of the reels with clean and fresh water after a fishing day and letting it dry out in the air.

Lubricating the reels after rinsing is important especially if you have been fishing in salt water all day. By doing this simple step, you will be a step ahead into maintaining your fishing reel.

Useful Tools Needed for Maintaining a Fishing Reel

The following are the tools that you need to have in order to clean your reel, and you can carry them with you in a maintenance kit:

  • Screwdrivers at different sizes.
  • Jewelers’ tool kit for small screws.
  • Imperial and metric keys.
  • Adjustable wrench for bigger bolts.
  • Needle nose pliers.
  • Bodkin for removing dirt from the corners.
  • Tweezers.
  • Cleaning tools including rags, toothbrush, cotton bud, and a paintbrush.

Cleaning Guidelines for Fishing Reels

The following are simple guidelines to follow when cleaning your fishing reel:

  • Remove the parts in a logical sequence and reassemble them in reverse order.
  • Correctly use the right tool for the right part.
  • Understand how the parts are removed and do not use to much force when removing them.
  • Use the right cleaners and lubricant recommended by the manufacturer.

Now let’s look into maintaining the different types of fishing reels.

Maintaining a Spin Cast Reel

This type of reel is mostly used beginner anglers as it is easy to use. It has a closed face and its important components are inside the cover. The following are the steps to follow when cleaning and maintaining a spin cast fishing reel:

  • First, remove the covers of the reel.
  • Disassemble the essential parts, including the spool, spinner head, center shaft, clutch ring, and bearing.
  • Using a small painting brush or a toothbrush, scrub the parts with a dishwashing liquid which is mild.
  • Lubricate the parts using a liquid oil designed for fishing equipment.

It may be necessary for you to learn how to disassemble and re-assemble the parts through an online video or a manual. If you are fishing in salt water, it is necessary for you to thoroughly remove the salt residue from the reel as it may cause wearing just like dirt and sand.

However, if you cannot trust yourself with disassembling and re-assembling of the reel parts, find a local service person or the manufacturer’s maintenance center to do it for you. You do not have to skip cleaning your fishing reel.

Maintaining a Spinning Reel

This is the most popular used fishing reels because it has an open-face design for more accuracy. For you to properly clean and lubricate this open-designed face reel, you will need to understand how to disassemble and re-assemble it. It will be helpful for you to have a manual or an online video describing the steps to follow.

The guidelines for cleaning the spinning reel daily is the same as you would do for any other reel. Oil and grease are used for different parts. Oil should only be used for pick-up pins, handle knobs, clutch screw and spool, kick lever and arm lever and the ball bearings.

While the grease is used for the pick-up arms, crank gear, crankshaft, center shaft, spool washers, roller wheel, and bushings.

Maintaining a Bait Casting Reel

If you are an experienced angler, chances are you are using a baitcasting reel for your fishing. You can use a damp, clean cloth to maintain your baitcasting reel as well as regular maintenance using a light oil on the ends of the spool shaft, rivets and the parts that are in contact with the pinion gear.

For the disassembly and reassembly, always use a manual or seek help from a pro who can clean your fishing reel. If you are fishing in salt water, soak the reel in clean water, rinse it with a spray of water and dry any excess water with a soft cloth then let it air dry.

Do not forget to lubricate the parts with oil specifically made for maintaining reels. Note that grease is meant to be used on pinion gear, main gear, release slider, worm gear, worm-shaft guard, bushings, and pinion yoke.

On the other hand, oil should be used on handle knobs, spool shaft and its ends, stabilizer bar, spool release mechanism, and ball bearings.

Bass Fishing Reels

Spinning Reel

Gear Ratio

Max Drag

Shimano Stradic Ci4+


24 lbs

Okuma Helios SX HSX-40


13 lbs

KastKing Royale Legend


18 lbs

1. Shimano Stradic Ci4+

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is a newly developed spinning reel that is a quarter of the weight of its predecessor due to the rotor that is constructed from the Magnumlite (MGL) rotor. The lightweight feel is also created by the carbon fiber elements. The addition of this rotor ensures the operation of the reel is very smooth and requires less inertia in the retrieval process.

The addition of CoreProtect 360-degree which is water-resistant ensures the Ci4+ is durable to all water types and weather conditions. This is also aided by the corrosion-resistant 6 S R-AB stainless steel ball bearings, which help prevent any water, salt or dirt from entering the reel system.

Thanks to the remarkably hard Hagane drive gears and aluminum stool being cold forged, the i4+ is able to perform more powerfully compared to graphite or die-cast aluminum reels. This power enables the reel to reliably catch fish weighing up to 24 lbs. In addition to power, the pickup is very smooth requiring less pressure on your wrist and arms which is perfect for someone who may have weakness in those areas.

2. Okuma Helios SX HSX-40

The Okuma Helios SX HSX-40 is constructed from carbon fiber that weights considerably light than fish reels using a graphite design. An added bonus of the carbon fiber is the strength, which is deemed to be 50% stronger than graphite. The material also comes completely corrosion-resistant, guaranteeing reliable performance no matter what the weather conditions are. Corrosion-resistance is also helped by the C-40X cyclonic flow rotor that has a quick drying process to minimize corrosive elements from entering the reel system.

The maximum drag of the SX HSX-40 is around 13 lbs, which is ideal for those seeking medium-sized bass. The reel may be limited in its ability to retrieve larger fish and could break down. If you purchase this reel, make sure you have medium-sized fish targets.

The 25.2 inches in line per crank enables a speedy retrieval when fish are caught. The retrieval process is also pretty smooth due to the rotor equalizing system (RESII) that is computer balanced as well as Torsion Control Armor, which is helpful in eradicating that annoying twisting effect that occurs on retrieval.

3. KastKing Royale Legend

The KastKing Royale Legend guarantees strong and smooth performance at a relatively affordable price. With a maximum drag weight of 18 lbs, the Legend can take on some of the larger freshwater fish and due to the centrifugal 10-level braking system, the reel is straightforward to adjust and minimizes any backlash. 

Control and feel of the reel is a huge consideration in the product design. Featuring huge stainless steel handles that are ergonomically designed with EVA padding, the reel is really easy to operate and adjust when encountering pressure from fish in the retrieval process.

While the KastKing Royale Legend is best suited to cold, freshwater conditions, the carbon fiber design material and corrosion-resistant ball bearings, leave the reel also well equipped to tackle the famously more corrosive saltwater conditions. The ball bearings are 11+1 noise free, ensuring you can have a peaceful fishing experience without bothering your neighbor. If you are a tournament bass fisher, the KastKing Royale Legend could be a decent choice for you. Affordable with strong performance under pressure.

Trout Fishing Reels

Spinning Reel

Gear Ratio

Max Drag

Abu Garcia Revo SX


20 lbs

Pflueger PRESSP30X


9 lbs

Shimano Sedona 1000 FI


7 lbs

4. Abu Garcia Revo SX

It is not often that you discover a trout reel that can is super lightweight but can also tackle some of the larger fish in the water. The Abu Garcia Revo SX is renowned for exceeding expectations as it is able to deliver a great balance of power and feel. Weighing at only 6.66 ounces, the Revo SX is able to drag fish weighing up to 20 lbs.

Retrieving well above average with 33-35 inches of line per crank, the Revo SX is ideal for fast retrievals if you have time pressure. That said, the reel is comfortable and smooth in handling the longer and more challenging drags, which is enabled through the 6.2.1 gear ratio. Smoothness in operation is also guaranteed because of magnets in the brake system which are adjustable and can withstand any fightback from aggressive fish.

Strength and durability of the reel are a key feature of the Revo SX. The corrosion resistant elements including carbon handle side plates and body materials increase the reel’s ability to perform over a significant period of time.

5. Pflueger PRESSP30X

The Pflueger PRESSP30X is built with a 10 ball bearing system that is highly resistant to corrosion from the elements as well as being very smooth to operate when retrieving trout. Since the body and rotor of the reel are constructed from graphite, ensures a lighter feel that does not compromise on durability.

This reel is ideal for catching smaller fish with a maximum drag of 9 lbs, which does not fair too well compared other reels at a similar price point. Especially when considering that the overall weight of the reel is 8.3 ounces which is heavier than its rivals. That said, its added weight, lower inches of line per crank (27.4) and low gear ratio at 5.2.1 ensures the PRESSP30X is robust in battling with aggressive fish. This is a useful point for those who may be inexperienced in dealing with challenging fish.

The grip of the reel has an ergonomic design due to the aircraft grade aluminum handle. This material also protects the handle against corrosion and increases the durability of the reel. The PRESSP30X is ideal for those on a limited budget and who want extra protection when encountering aggressive fish.

6. Shimano Sedona 1000 FI

The Shimano Sedona 1000 FI is an affordable and sustainable fishing reel that is able to reliably perform in both inshore and offshore fishing environments. The addition of an upgraded Hagane gears’ design which has also been cold forged improves the chances of stronger performance on the water as well as the overall lifespan.

Although the reel weighs a minimal 7.6 ounces, the maximum drag of the product is quite underwhelming at 7 lbs, meaning the reel is best used against smaller sized fish. Fitted with a propulsion line management system that can deliver long casting distances rivaling the capacity of other reels, the 1000 FI is strong in preventing backlashes and line knotting.

The center of gravity is located close to the body of the rod due to the incorporation of G-Free body technology. This advance in technology also reduces stress and fatigue on the side of the fisher. The low gear ratio ensures the 1000 FI is well-equipped to tackle heavier fish, however, the low drag means you may struggle to bring the trout out of the water.

Cat-fishing Fishing Reels

Spinning Reel

Gear Ratio

Max Drag

PENN Spinfisher V Live Liner



Pflueger Patriarch Spinning Reel 


30 lbs

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C-7001 


15 lbs

7. PENN Spinfisher VI 4500

The PENN Spinfisher VI 4500 performs remarkably in both freshwater and saltwater conditions. Featuring IPX5 sealing, the VI 4500 is able to withstand any wave or water spray and prevents it from entering the gearbox or drag system. This means the reel can be fully immersed in water and still perform excellently. Included in the product design are HT-100 drag washers which are protected by a spool that is fully sealed. These washers give all the essential stopping power needed for tackling larger fish such as catfish.

In addition, when encountering heavy loads, the CNC Gear System steps up to ensure alignment precision at highly pressurized situations. The reel is one of the heavier and chunkier ones available in the market, if you prefer a lighter reel, this may not be your preferred choice. What you get in added weight though is a greater degree of protection and power when encountering catfish.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of the VI 4500 is its ability to cast long distances, stretching in excess of 150 yds. If you want to maximize your potential retrieval area, the VI 4500’s power and reach will assist you greatly.

8. Pflueger Patriarch Spinning Reel 

The Pflueger Patriarch Spinning Reel is a super light reel with a remarkably smooth drag that is able to catch fishing up to 30 lbs in weight. This reel is the lightest reel ever produced by Pflueger. The lightweight feel exists because of the ultralight magnesium body and rotor. In addition to being light, these design elements produce a level of rigidity that is able to withstand the onslaught of medium-heavy catfish.

The inclusion of a 10 bearing system made with stainless steel ball bearings ensure the Patriarch is protected against corrosion. Anti-corrosion is also enhanced by the sealed carbon drag system which is permanently lubricated. This prevents the entry of water into the drag system and enables the Patriarch to perform in conditions where water is likely to encounter the reel.

The SMARTretrieve feature is another advantageous element of the product design. This guarantees a precise line-lay every time you cast, giving you that consistency that the majority of anglers crave. The reel system is really easy to operate and does not require significant expertise. The inclusion of an ergonomic EVA carbon handle ensures the retrieval process is comfortable and that there is minimal strain to your wrist.

9. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C-7001

The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C-7001 is constructed with a 4 stainless steel ball bearings system which includes one roller to guarantee smooth retrieval operation. Built with a Carbon Matrix drag system, the C-7001 gives a reliable smooth drag performance that can carry a weight of up to 15 lbs. While this is a lower maximum drag weight compared to other reels specializing in cat-fishing, the C-7001 offers very reliable performance and is very light to operate.

The inclusion of a compact bent handle which is ergonomically designed, ensures that the drag system is very easy to operate and does not put added stress onto your wrist and arm. The brake system contains a 6 pin centrifugal design that enables anglers to apply consistent pressure throughout the duration of a cast. Also, the synchronized level wind system assists anglers with the positioning of the line and quality of casting in challenging conditions.

The Duragear 2 gear system is also noteworthy with this reel. Adding an extra element of versatility, the gear system increases the strength of the reel when the situation permits. If you fish in different conditions, this feature is very beneficial.

Freshwater Fishing Reels

Spinning Reel

Gear Ratio

Max Drag

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel


17 lbs

Sougayilang Interchangeable


11 lbs

Shimano IX


15 lbs

10. Piscifun Destroyer

The Piscifun Destroyer is a freshwater spinning reel that has been designed with stability, smoothness, and durability in mind. Featuring a composite body constructed from aluminum and graphite components, the Destroyer contains the benefits of both materials, including strength and lightweight. With the inclusion of a carbon drag system, the Destroyer is also lightweight and will not be too much of a burden to anglers.

One of the most significant benefits of the Destroyer is the inclusion of an interchangeable handle in the product design. This ensures that the handle can be manipulated left and right, depending on who is operating and as well as changing conditions that may necessitate a handle change. This gives anglers a greater degree of flexibility in their fishing style and choice.

With a gear ratio of 7.0.1, the Destroyer may not cater to everyone’s needs. That said, depending on the online retailer, there may be versions of the Destroyer which have a different gear ratio. It is worthwhile to research before purchasing. As an affordable freshwater choice, the Destroyer certainly packs a punch.

11. Sougayilang Interchangeable

The Sougayilang Interchangeable does exactly what its name suggests, providing anglers with a great degree of versatility and reliability when freshwater fishing. This reel is known for being one of the top-selling reals produced by Sougayilang. The interchangeable element is brought about by the collapsible metal handle that is ergonomically designed. The handle can be changed and manipulated with ease from left to right, based on personal preference.

The inclusion of a 12+1 ball bearings system is designed to deliver a smooth casting and retrieval experience. The smoothness is supported by an S-curve oscillation capability that creates a strong line winding before casting, as well as an aluminum spool which contains a gear with a high-tensile to provide added strength.

The low gear ratio of 5.2.1 may not be ideal for anglers who prefer a faster retrieval operation. However, for those who prefer the more leisurely experience, this ratio will give you a slow and steady operation that delivers reliable performance. While this reel specializes in freshwater, the strong construction and product design ensure that it can also perform well in saltwater environments.  

12. Shimano IX

The Shimano IX is built with a graphite construction with the focus being on a lightweight feel that can also deliver decent strength and is versatile for a variety of different fishing lines including fluorocarbon, monofilament, and PowerPro. The reel harbors are medium size with gear ratio being a low 4.1.1. This is not ideal for the speedsters. However, for those who prefer a slower drag, this ratio means that the Shimano IX performs slower than the majority of basic reels on the market. The rear drag mechanism is very helpful when anglers are looking to either tighten or loosen the line.

The reel comes fitted with an adjustable handle which can be changed depending on the orientation of the angler who wishes to operate it. This in addition to a durable metal frame that can easily withstand the demands of freshwater conditions, ensure that users will get good value for money over a long period of time.

For an affordable product that is able to drag a maximum weight of up to 15 lbs, the Shimano IX is certainly an interesting freshwater spinning reel to choose. It performs best on lighter weights and at 12 ounces is somewhat heavier than more premium ‘lightweight’ spinning reels.

Surf Fishing Reels

Spinning Reel

Gear Ratio

Max Drag

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel


15 lbs

Daiwa BG Spinning Reels


22 lbs

SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel


33 lbs

13. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

If you’re looking to get into war at your next fishing outing, the Penn Battle II can help gear you up for a battle that you’ll win.

Designed with durable materials, this fishing reel is made to fight fish—with years of reeling them in ahead of it. It is founded with a full metal body, a side plate to match, and a rotor that is attached to the five, sealed, stainless steel ball bearings.

Not only will this help you catch the big one—but also land it. It includes a Versa-Drag system that gives you great dragging power on both sides of the reel. It is also backed with an anti-reverse bearing feature, that allows you to reel it in without any kind of stoppage or interruption.

This feature is also treated with proprietary grease that will allow it to last as long as possible. It is a compatible reel for Berkley or Spiderwire Superline, finalized and fitted with a rubber gasket that can eliminate slippage when trying to catch the big one.

14. Daiwa BG Spinning Reels

If you’re looking to upgrade your reel to catch the big one, the Daiwa BG Spinning Reel has the traditional make—dating back to 1955—to back up your skill set. Designed by one of the largest and most influential tackle companies still present in the market today, innovation and quality are welded into the product.

Upgraded from the previous generation, the Daiwa BG Spinning Reel has an ultralight freshwater feel but can still get down and dirty with the heavy game in saltwater. Featuring a HardBodyz body and an air rotor design made out of dynamically cut aluminum, the side cover also features an ABS Spool Braided line.

Backed by various features to help land your best catch, right out of the water, the Daiwa BG Spinning Reel ready spool also features Digigear digital gear design, a waterproof Drag System, and an infinite anti-reverse system, among many other “big-one” catching features.

15. SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel

The SeaKnight Rapid Spinning Reel also has some history behind it, with the branded company founded back in 1983. From a small workshop to a modern company, they’ve released this innovative line of reels that live up to the expectations of their biggest avid fishers.

Put through hundreds of high-strength laboratory tests and professional fishing outdoor measurements, the SeaKnight is a dual, rapid fresh and saltwater spinning reel that is designed with an anti-corrosive coating to protect it from natural corrosion.

This line is also built with a thicker main shaft and also is bound by stainless ball bearings. The drag system is what sets it apart—with a carbon fiber build and capability of landing a 15kg/33 pound fish—one the heaviest here on our list.

It gets the job done and looks good, too, with the craftsmanship and an artisan-looking design that also integrates the most advanced production technologies. Trust this reel while inshore fishing for Bass, Stripers, Walleyes, Catfish, and Northern Pike.

Under $100

Spinning Reel

Gear Ratio

Max Drag

Penn Fierce II 3000


12 lbs

Daiwa Revros Spinning Reel


22 lbs

Pflueger Supreme XT


6 lbs

16. Penn Fierce II 3000

The Penn Fierce gives you an opportunity to catch the over 10-pound game—if you dare. With a 6.2:1 ration and premium performance, you can be sure that it’ll back you up when trying to catch the big one!

Offering durability at a great value, the Penn Fierce II is an upgraded model that gives you everything that was leaving you feeling lacking in the last edition. With durable construction and full metal body, the construction of the reel is sound.

It also features side plates and a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire to complete the durable constructions. With its fluid cranking, you’ll never have to worry about losing a catch due to getting caught in the wind. The Penn Fierce II also has four shielded stainless steel ball bearings with an instant anti-reverse bearing to help you have optimal control.

A few other features also include a techno-balanced rotor, which gives superior leverage and torque, as well as a superb line spool that can assure no backing while fishing.

17. Daiwa Revros Spinning Reel

For quality at a good price, the Daiwa Revros Spinning Reels are not only light on your wallet, but they’re also pretty lightweight in feel. However, despite their airy nature, they’re tough as a heavy-duty reel.

What truly makes it lightweight is the rugged composite housing, which gives your experience that high-end feel but it’s actually something you can afford for your hobby. You can get the quality of a $500+ spinning reel without having to break the bank. Designed with innovative and economical materials, the newest model is also lighter (about 2-5 ounces) than its previous models.

This lightweight design can also do wonders for your strength-to-weight ratio while fishing. However, regardless of all that lightweight talk, it still has a pretty solid framework to stack on all your gear.

You can also enjoy the pre-equipped, machined, aluminum handle. The "Air Rotor" design makes it truly unique, reducing that unnecessary weight, giving a great shape, and distributing stress more evenly throughout.

18. Pflueger Supreme XT

The Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel is not only corrosion-resistant, but it also brings what was previously offered in other models and takes it up a few notches, giving you next level performance from a brand you already trust.

The Supreme XT is designed with an aluminum main shaft and holds aluminum pinion gear. To top it all off with quality, you can also enjoy the sealed drag, its carbon fiber handle, and its rubber cork knob.

This 7 Bearing System also makes it unique, standing it out from not only previous models but other fishing reels out there. The steel ball bearings are also corrosion-resistant, as well as its Braid Ready Spool. This spool can also make fishing a breeze, for beginners and masters alike, since it allows the braid to be tied directly to spool.

The Sealed Drag System contains sealed drag washers, which are always lubricated and always smooth to bring in your fish. Although it only has a max drag weight of 6 lbs, it’s still a perfect tool to use for small catches.

Under $50

Spinning Reel

Gear Ratio

Max Drag

Mitchell 300 Reel


10 lbs

Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning Combo


20 lbs

Penn Pursuit II Spinning Reel


20 lbs

19. Mitchell 300 Reel

Backed by the history and innovation of the brand Mitchell, which was responsible for one of the first modern spinning reels, this next generation is backed by the trust of the brand that lasts a lifetime.

The Mitchell 300 Reel is not only in correlation with the Bail Halo design, which is innovative in its own right, it also has great line management properties and strength. This ground feature alone will set it apart from other fishing reels on the market.

Not only is it durable, but it’s also ridiculously lightweight, backed by an increase in strength of the rotor. The Mitchell 300 reel consists of eight bearing reels—all which have an instant anti-reverse feature, for smooth and uninterrupted operation.

The Multi-disk drag system is also responsible for giving consistent drag pressure while you’re trying land both light and heavy loads. And to help with the heavy ones? The reel has an immensely strong and advanced polymeric body.

The aluminum handle and spool are also great features to add to the reel’s strength.

20. Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning Combo

For smoothness and drive like no other, Okuma’s Tundra Surf Spinning Combo is what the name describes—a spinning, versatile, and strong reel design.

With a 1BB ball bearing drive, you can rest assured that each of your catches will be smooth as butter, allowing you to reel in the most game you’ve ever had before. The Okuma Tundra Combo also features a corrosion resistant graphite spool, with its 10-foot combo and sized 80 spinning reel.

Its durable glass fiber rod blank construction makes it possible to really and truly handle any catch coming your way (up to 20 lbs, of course).

The multi-disc oiled-felt drag system feature, as well as the ceramic guide inserts can help any fisher get the catch of their dreams—no matter if they’re a beginner or master.

You can also fish in comfort, with EVA foam fore and rear grips to help you handle the water’s worst.

21. Penn Pursuit II Spinning Reel

If you’re a serious fisher but find yourself on a budget, the Penn Pursuit II Spinning Fishing Reel gives you that performance you need to reel in even the toughest of fish.

From its reliable spinning reel to its proven drag system, this lightweight frame has all the features you need to reel in the catch of your life.

The Penn Pursuit II is designed with a durable frame, graphite body, metal side plate, and graphite rotor. However, since it’s so lightweight, this is one of the only reels on the market that can give you high-quality performance without the extra bulk.

It has an oiled felt drag system that gives you optimal and smooth drag performance. Its featured aluminum bail wire is also thick enough to give you proper leverage and strength for the heavy ones.

All that performance—and comfort? The Penn Pursuit II has ergonomic handles and instant anti-reverse bearing to help reel it in, smoothly.

Unlike other reels on the market, this reel has not one but four shielded stainless steel ball bearings for fluid cranking, as well as an instant anti-reverse bearing.

Reeling It In

Hopefully, this article has given you an extensive look at all the information and potential products to guide you in the process of finding the most suitable fishing reel to meet your needs.

It is vitally important that you identify where you want to fish (freshwater or saltwater), what species you are looking to catch and roughly the weight of the species you are wishing to catch.

Very few of the products reviewed will work for all situations.

Before committing to a product purchase, you should read online reviews of the product and company. Good tips to examine are also the warranty agreement and delivery charge.

Finding the right fishing reel is a complex but not impossible task. This article has given solid steps to guide you in this process. Over to you.

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