Best Saltwater Spinning Reels | Inshore, Offshore, and Pier Fishing

To fight the seawater and enhance your fishing experience one needs the sturdiest saltwater spinning reel that provides optimized gear technology, heavy drag powers, enhanced corrosion resistance ability, and of course bigger spools for greater line capacities. Fortunately, we are here to cover you with the best saltwater spinning reels that are built to handle bigger game fishes, withstand brutal corrosion, and are able to last a lifetime!

Best saltwater spinning reel

We have brought about the top 3 spinning reel brands and reviewed the best-rated saltwater reel in their lineup. These include Penn, Shimano, and Daiwa. Apart from that, the article covers the two best budget options from Kastking and Piscifun that compete with our top reels at a fair price point. Precisely, the entire list in this article has reels in all sizes, all gear and drag options, and all price levels for all saltwater activities that should match the needs of every angler on the sea!

7 Best saltwater spinning reels 

Best Penn Saltwater Spinning Reels:

Best Daiwa Saltwater Spinning Reels:

Best Shimano Saltwater Spinning Reels:

Best Budget Saltwater Spinning Reel:

Best Penn Saltwater Spinning Reels:

1. Penn Slammer III | Top-Rated Saltwater Spinning Reels

Penn Slammer III | Top-Rated Saltwater Spinning Reels
Penn Slammer is a win to hit any ocean or any beach with confidence!

Compelling features:

  • IPX6 Sealed System
  • Brass gears
  • Duragear technology
  • Increased number of bearings
  • Full metal body
  • CNC Gear technology

Specs:

  • Models: 8
  • Size available: 3500-10500
  • Ball bearings: 6 + 1
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1, 5.6:1, 4.7:1, 4.2:1
  • Drag power: 30-60 lbs
  • Weight range: 13.9 – 43.1 oz

The anglers with the craze of saltwater fishing for bigger and heavier species, Penn Slammer III is the way to go! The sealed Dura-Drag system with gigantic stopping powers is impressive! Even the minimum power they offer is 30 lbs which is 30 times more than the largest spinning reel drags. While the largest Slammer III has the magnificent drag power of 60 lbs which simply is WOW!

As sturdy as the picture!

Though, Slammer III is the predecessor model of the Slammer IV with consistent technologies and a more stabilized control system. The gear ratios in the reel are 6.2:1, 5.6:1, 4.7:1, 4.2:1 with fast ones in smaller reels and slow ratios in the bigger-sized reel for better resistance and retrieve.

IPX6 Sealed System means not a single drop of saltwater can harm your reel. Paired with the 7 ball bearing, which is a massic upgrade to the 5-ball bearing system of Spinfisher, makes the operation smooth and robust. Besides, there’s additionally one roller bearing that enhances the overall reel performance throughout the cast to retrieve.

Well, the sizes available in the reels are 3500-10500 for 8 models and all of them are Top-Rated Saltwater Spinning Reels for the bigger game fish like 140 kg Tuna or heavier salmon with ease and fun.

Cons:

The reel has built is exceptional quality materials and powerful drags which makes it quite heavier. Though, it can be used offshore or with the rod harness to stabilize the reel control and management.

Bottom line:

If you happen to fish offshore or love surf fishing from the boat, you should look at nothing other than the Penn Slammer III. The smallest sizes have the drags and the line capacities that a larger model of high-end reels fails to provide! Plus the 3rd party ratings make the reel additionally valuable, perform robustly, and stay longer!

Reel size Slammer III (Braided lb/yards)Slammer III (Mono lb/yards))Spinfisher VI (Braided lb/yards)Spinfisher VI (Mono lb/yards)
2500240/10 220/15 160/20255/6 175/8 140/10
3500310/10270/15220/20480/4360/6285/8310/10 270/15 220/20360/6 285/8 220/10
4500390/15320/20250/30425/8320/10235/12390/15 320/20 250/30425/8 320/10 235/12
5500500/20380/30335/40430/1330/12230/15500/20 380/30 335/40430/10 330/12 230/15
6500485/30410/40355/50390/12345/15205/20485/30 410/40 335/50390/12 345/15 205/20
7500530/40440/50400/65490/15330/20220/30530/40 440/50 400/65490/15 330/20 220/30
8500730/40600/50555/65455/20310/30260/40730/40 600/50 555/65455/20 310/30 260/40
9500730/50670/65435/80350/30300/40240/50730/50 670/65 435/80350/30 300/40 240/50
10500845/50780/65540/80435/30360/40255/50845/50 780/65 540/80435/30 360/40 255/50

2. Penn Spinfisher VI – Best Offshore Spinning Reels

Spinfisher has a design to die for!

Compelling features:

  • Full Metal Body
  • Machined and anodized Superline spool
  • Techno Balanced rotor
  • Instant Anti-Reverse
  • Line Capacity Rings
  • CNC Gear System
  • Completely Sealed HT-100 Slammer Drag System

Specs:

  • Models: 9
  • Size available: 2500-10500
  • Ball bearings: 5 + 1
  • Gear ratio: 4.2:1, 4.7:1, 5.6:1, 6.2:1
  • Drag power: 20-50 lbs
  • Weight range: 10.7 – 38.6 oz

Water Tight Design of the Spinfisher VI makes it end up here as being the best offshore spinning reel featuring all reel sizes from 500 to 10500 with impressive specifications!

compact it looks, compelling it performs

The reel features a highly technological Machined and anodized Superline spool paired with HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers and CNC Gear System embedded in the full metal body that guarantees robustness no matter for which saltwater application you equip it.

What mention-worthy are the drag powers of the reel! They are completely sealed, saving them saltwater corrosion. Though the overall range is 20-50 lbs with the smallest reel having 20 lbs and the largest one giving off 50 lbs.

Then there is a variety of gear ratios throughout the lineup. Want to go after the game fish? Get the 4.2:1 in 9500 or 10500 sizes with heavier drag powers. Need the speed? 6.2:1 can complement you with rapid actions.

In addition, there are greater line capacities in the reel plus there are Line Capacity Rings which means you don’t need a mono backing in your reel which furthermore saves you from the lengthy process and enhances the strength and capacity.

Cons:

As compared to the Slammer, the reel lacks the bearing system which affects the performance in larger models of this lineup. If only it has 2 more bearings it could easily beat the Penn Slammer III.

Bottom line:

PENN Spinfisher V is a beast for deep-sea fishing that withstands corrosion and performs even underwater! Get any medium size of this lineup and see how it brings ease and success to your saltwater fishing at max thrill!

Best Daiwa Saltwater Spinning Reels:

Daiwa Saltist (Braided lb/yards)Daiwa Saltist (Mono lb/yards)
2500 20/170, 30/1206/210, 8/170, 10/140
300020/240, 30/1908/240, 10/200, 12/170
400020/240, 30/19010/300, 12/260, 14/210
450040/340, 50/27014/350, 17/280, 20/210
500050/360, 65/31014/470, 17/380, 20/280
650065/440, 80/33020/370, 25/310, 30/260
800065/590, 80/44020/550, 25/440, 30/370
Daiwa Tatula LT (Braided lb/yards)Daiwa Tatula LT (Mono lb/yards)
10006/320, 8/2004/250, 6/160, 8/110
20008/280,10/2154/340, 6/220, 8/160
250010/250, 15/1858/240, 10/210, 12/160
30008/220, 10/1858/160, 10/130, 12/110
3000-D15/250, 20/22010/280, 12/220, 16/160
400010/220, 15/18510/210, 12/160, 14/140

3. Daiwa Saltist – Best Inshore Spinning Reel

So far, Daiwa Saltist live to rule the saltwater

Compelling features:

  • Features a “HardBodyz” construction
  • Digitalized Digigear gear system
  • Stainless tubular Air Bail
  • Carbon ATD Drag System
  • Magsealed line roller and main shaft
  • Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool

Specs:

  • Models: 7
  • Size available: 2500-8000
  • Ball bearings: 8+1
  • Gear ratio: 5.3:1, 5.6:1, 5.7:1
  • Drag power: 15.4- 33 lbs
  • Weight range: 9.5 – 30 oz

The Daiwa Saltist is a banger with its medium-fast gear ratios ranging from 5.3:1 to 5.7:1. It has some imposing specifications that any saltwater angler can’t resist.

First of all, the Digitalized Digigear gear system that makes the reel workhorse! It functions tremendously when combined with an enormous bearing system composed of 9 double-shielded ball bearings. One of them is the roller bearing while the other is a Magsealed bearing – meaning a smooth and rigid functionality just as the saltwater requires!

The reel has a good drag power in each of its models plus being incorporated with Carbon ATD they are just deadly! The smallest one will enable you with 15 lbs that compete with most of the saltwater baitcasting reels. While if we reconsider the options, the largest one is able to give you grand max dragging power of 33 lbs, indeed an excellency, right?

Other than that, the weight is what surprised us the most, thanks to the Air Rotor system. It just starts at 9.5 oz keeping the reel compact and portable. Let’s come to the line management of the reel, and here Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool lives up to the mark by maintaining the line from getting dead in the bed.

Cons:

The drags in bigger sizes should have more power than just 33 lbs.

Bottom line:

The reel can be a workhorse for any inshore casting or flipping baits from the pier. The powerful drag makes it the best inshore spinning reel that backs you up for a successful retrieve while the sturdy components live up to the mark for providing flawless operation throughout the encountering of a mid-weight fish.

4. Daiwa Tatula LT – Best for Bass Fishing

beat that bass with the Daiwa Tatula LT

Compelling Features:

  • Automatic Tournament Drag 
  • Air rotor weight control 
  • ZAION Housing LT Concept
  • Machined Aluminum Alloy Digigear

Specs:

  • Models:
  • Size available: 1000-4000
  • Ball bearings: 6 + 1
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1 
  • Drag power: 11 – 26.4 lbs 
  • Weight range: 5.8 – 7.4 oz 

Daiwa Tatula LT is another heavy-duty reel with a compact design and control-oriented features built into its 6 models from 1000 to 4000 sizes.

The entire lineup shares the same fast gear ratio of 6.2:1 with which the operates fast. Though it is effective in all sizes, however, the smaller sizes of the reel have them work splendidly when combined when lower drag power.

Not just that, the bigger sizes i.e 3000 or 4000 function incredibly in which the 26.4 lbs power of drags will back you up for using 15 lbs test line while the weight of 7.4 oz will make you use the reel for pier fishing or casting from the shoreline for bass.

Speaking of drags which is another feature we admire in this reel, it is made of Automatic Tournament Drag with a range of 11 – 26.4 lbs delivering throughout the lineup.

Above all, the construction of the reel is to die for! There is what they call ZAION Housing LT Concept which employs rigid carbon construction making it lightweight and sturdy. Embedded with Machined Aluminum Alloy Digigear paired with a double-shielded 7 bearing system that keeps up the reel running smoothly!

Cons:

Well, the reel sizes are limited to 4000 only which is quite a drawback since the weight and overall specifications could make exceptional larger models in this lineup with heavier drag power and lower gear ratios.

Bottom line:

Daiwa Tatula LT is a blessing in any bass fishing angler’s tacklebox! An excellent blend of lightweight, performing gears and rigid body – all with speed and efficiency. Perfection at its best for the flawless construction.

Best Shimano Saltwater Spinning Reels:

Shimano Baitrunner D (Braided lb/yards)Shimano Baitrunner D (Mono lb/yards)
400050/505, 65/310, 80/23012/550, 16/350, 20/265
600015/270, 20/190, 40/1458/240, 10/200, 12/160
80030/245, 50/210, 65/13010/300, 12/265, 16/170
1200040/295, 50/290, 65/18014/295, 17/250, 20/195

5. Shimano Baitrunner D – Best Pier Fishing Reel

Hook that blue runner with the Shimano Baitrunner

Compelling features:

  • Wider and larger handles 
  • Propulsion spool lip design
  • Bail arm with seamless design 
  • S-ARB bearing system

Specs:

  • Models: 4
  • Size available: 4000, 6000, 8000, 12000
  • Ball bearings: 3 + 1
  • Gear ratio: 4.4:1, 4.8:1
  • Drag power: 15-25 lbs
  • Weight range: 13.5 – 30 oz

The 6000 sized Shimano Baitrunner D stands out for its flawless run time on the water with heavy corrosion. Like the Slammer III, this gear is also for heavier game fish but the lightweight is a win here that keeps you in control. 

The reel has greater control and comfort aspect as it is incorporated with bigger and wider handles that give never-ending comfort for extended fishing hours. Like the comfort, the sturdiness is exemplary as well.

The S-ARB bearing system lived up to impressed us! The bearings inside are shielded on both sides plus the oxidization combatting ability of them is simply marvelous! In addition, it has excellent baitrunner settings for using effective saltwater baits.

comfiest handles, stiff construction, and smooth performance is what it promises

The gear has a slow ratio in all of its models which makes the reel perform brilliantly when dragging up the heavier species out of the seawater. The largest model has 4.4:1 while the rest of the lineup follows 4.8:1. Want to catch up on the bigger one? You can further enjoy the max drag of 25 lbs with a 40 lbs test line with a minimum to no backlashes! 

Besides, the excellence has in the spooling and capacity areas as well. Propulsion spool lip design enhances casting distance. Plus the seamless design of the bail arm helps in spooling and casting with reduced friction and enhanced smoothness. 

Cons:

The reel has inadequate ball bearings makes the reel perform slowly which limits the use of the reel for relatively bigger fish i.e smaller fish require a fast operation. 

Bottom line:

Either flipping or pitching with the jigs or planning to retrieve a bigger game fish from the ocean, the reel is a “need in your tackle box”. Enhanced casting distance, smooth line management, powerful drags – the reel is totally a hit!

Best Budget Saltwater Spinning Reel

KastKing Sharky III (Braided lb/yards)KastKing Sharky III (Mono lb/yards)
100020/200 30/1706/200 8/170 
200020/200 30/190 6/220 8/190 
300030/220 40/1758/220 10/175 
400040/220 50/20010/220 12/200 
500050/220 60/19012/220 14/190 
Piscifun carbon X  (Braided lb/yards)Piscifun carbon X (Mono lb/yards)
5004lb/87yd8lb/87yd
100010lb/110yd6lb/100yd
200015lb/150yd8lb/120yd
300020lb/165yd10lb/140yd
400030lb/270yd12lb/215yd

6. KastKing Sharky iii Fishing Reel – Best Saltwater Spinning Reel For The Money

There have been a lot of discussions about how Kaskting manages to impress every angler, every time.

Compelling features:

  • KastKing Intrusion Shield System
  • High-density EVA grips 
  • Quite and a smooth retrieve 
  • Saltwater rated double-shielded ball bearings 

Specs:

  • Models: 5
  • Size available: 1000-5000 
  • Ball bearings: 10+1 
  • Gear ratio: 5.2:1 
  • Drag power: 33-39 
  • Weight range: 7.4 – 10.6 oz 

KastKing Sharky III is a revolution to the pricier reels with solid construction and advancements to the reel components at a budget. 

It has a brilliant bearing system that goes with the massive number of ball bearings counted to 11 which one is the roller bearing keeping the reel stable and robust all the time. 

The best thing about the reel is its graphite built which makes it super lightweight. The largest reel weighs only 10.6 oz which can make any angler fall in love with it.  While the drags and gear on that are what make it stand out. 

The 1000 size has a drag power of 33 lbs meaning that you can stay comfortable and strain-free with its lightweight while letting it pull out the bigger game fish with a speed of 5.2:1 inches per handle crank. 

All in all, KastKing Intrusion Shield System is the reason for its sturdiness in saltwater. It keeps all the dirt and water at the bay, protecting the quality and performance of the reel.

Cons:

We think that the graphite frame of the reel makes it less durable than the other reels on the list, a metal body or aluminum could help maintain the lifespan healthy and longer. 

Bottom line:

KastKing Sharky III is the Best Saltwater Spinning Reel for the Money that depicts excellency in each of its components making it a solid gear for inshore and offshore bay fishing. Whether it is casting, retrieving, or the controls – the reel just never disappoints!

7. Piscifun carbon X – Most Lightweight Saltwater Spinning Reel

The feathery lightweight reel that handles pounds of fish!

Compelling features:

  • Lightweight carbon fiber built
  • Shielded stainless steel ball bearings
  • Oversized carbon washers
  • Direct drive screw-in aluminum handle with EVA knob

Specs:

  • Models: 5
  • Size available: 500-4000
  • Ball bearings: 10 + 1 
  • Gear ratio: 5.2:1, 6.2:1
  • Drag power: 8.8 lbs to 33 lbs
  • Weight range: 5.1 – 9.6 oz 

Piscifun Carbon X breaks the rule of “added weight on spinning reels for heavier applications” by manufacturing the reel with as low of weight as 5.1 oz. the lightweight doesn’t risk the durability and performance of the reel which is ensured by sturdy Carbon built. 

You’ll get 5 models in this reel with sizes available from 500 to 4000. Our favorite one in this lineup is the 3000 reel for its excellent blend of the specifications and brilliant work of the features. 

It has a drag power of 22 lbs plus the weight will remain at 8 oz helping you to fill your buckets with the most delicious saltwater species when fishing from the shoreline. There are two gear ratios for the entire 5 models and all of them deliver high-speed retrievals with either 5.2:1 or 6.2:1 gear ratios. 

Though, the heavier drag powers of the spinning reel might make it difficult to set low when fishing for lightweight species which is solved here. The biggest benefit with this reel is its 8.8 lbs drag power that you may use for smaller species in which you require a lower drag power. 

Being incorporated with a direct drive screw-in aluminum handle keeps you in touch with the overall casting and enables you with better handling ability, plus the EVA knob keeps you comfortable and fatigue-free. 

Cons:

There is no anti-reverse line switch in the smaller reels i.e 500 and 1000. 

Bottom line: 

Worried about the durability? Piscifun Carbon X can help! The impressive lightweight, solid carbon built, and wonderful bearing system is a total bargain at this price point.

Purchasing Guide for a Saltwater Spinning Reel:

Preciously, Spinning reels normally are not very ideal for saltwater applications as compared to the baitcasters. However, recent development and technologies compelled the manufacturers to go above and beyond limits and built some workhorses that perform in saltwater. 

That being considered, purchasing a saltwater spinning reel is not that easy and you generally cannot expect normal spinning reel features and specifications in that. Don’t worry, we got you covered with the following factors that make the best saltwater spinning reel you should go for. 

Drag Powers:

As a naturally understood fact, salt water is not a fishing area where you can cast for smaller fish species (unless by luck). Therefore, powerful drag power is something you don’t have a chance without. In terms of “powerful,” the drag power must be at least 15 lbs while the best option is definitely the 50-60 options that mostly 9000 or 10000 reels provide. 

In addition, the drag built should be in your consideration as well. They should be constructed with quality like there is HT-100 Slammer Drag System in Penn reels or Automatic Tournament Drag in Daiwa’s. 

Weight:

To the point, saltwater spinning reels are generally weighty unless they are made of carbon. The mechanical works and technical components that make it saltwater friendly unknowingly add a few more ounces to the reel. 

If you opt for the large-sized spinning reel, expect the weight to be 30 to 40 oz. Though it does feel heavier on the hand, so you can balance the weight by pairing it up with a lightweight rod or a rod harness.  

Ball Bearings:

When it comes to ball bearings, nothing is more acceptable than the complete double-shielded bearing system that could withstand corrosion. Well, the quality should be considered before the quantity and yes, we are not compromising on the quantity since the more the merrier. 

We think 5 is a great number to go for as in Penn and Daiwa reels. They are, by far, super smooth and give you the feeling that you are actually using a spinning reel. Let’s double the number and that is what Piscifun and Kastking are able of, the functions of these reels are exemplary on saltwater.  

Line Capacity:

The unexplainable amount of line is exactly what you need for saltwater fishing. Hence, the reel should have deeper spools that hold a greater amount of test line. While having a deeper spool, line management technologies is a plus that keeps it flowing smoothly with less friction. 

Gear Ratio:

On a road of all these specs consideration, gear ratio shouldn’t be missed. Well, slower ones are more valuable for saltwater fishing as these provide enough resistance and consistency for retrieving bigger fish. 

Although, the high-speed gear ratios have specialized perks and can be helpful for pier fishing and going inshore and offshore. 

Sealed Gears:

Here comes the most important factor, the SEAL! In the saltwater reels, gears, and drags are sealed so that saltwater can not enter it.  It is the characteristics that make it protected from corrosion and abrasion. 

However, as of personal experience, it is not that necessary since it all comes down to the maintenance and building of the reel. If your reel has been built with aluminum and you keep it clean every time you fish in saltwater are, there are 90% chances it can stay longer than the sealed ones for sure. 

Besides that, carbon reels as they lack corrosion-resistant properties might not stay with you longer even if sealed properly. Though, you can keep them sturdy and enhance their lifespan by keeping them properly cleaned. 

Price:

Last but not the least, how much you should spend on the saltwater spinning reel? Though we are not being biased, the added price is worth it for all reasons! On the saltwater, you need the built and resistance that only a sturdy reel could provide, and that means an increase in the dollars. 

However, that doesn’t make the budget options completely void. You can have a budget reel if you are down for regular maintenance. Well, it shouldn’t be misunderstood that the expensive reels will require minimum upkeep, plus you must always check the features and quality o the reel as the pricier is not always the better! 

Wrap up: 

We hope that the reviews and the purchasing guide covering all the ins and outs are enough to help you narrow down what’s the best saltwater spinning reel for you. Though, as we have reviewed each of them in detail, we’d like to conclude the article with spinning reels and their best applications below. 

From Penn, Slammer is the inshore saltwater spinning reel that also performs well for offshore as it functions splendidly with a greater bearing system as compared to the Spinfisher VI. besides, Spinfisher VI is the unbeatable reel for surf fishing. 

Daiwa Tatula LT for the weight and compact design is best suited for pier fishing and bay fishing with lightweight jigs and Daiwa Saltist is for heavy-duty applications. 

Shimano Baitrunner D is the best reel for fishing with live saltwater baits. 

Other than that, you can fish in saltwater on a budget as well. Piscifun carbon X will give you an edge for fishing where you need reduced drag power while the KastKing Sharky III is all about heavy drag powers, lighter weight, and superb construction! 

Hope that was pretty much enough! beat the salt and corrosion with your tough gears! Good luck!

Clinton Shannon

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