Are you tired of the formation of bird nests while casting? Well, getting the best spinning reel is your answer to help you cast better and use your lures effortlessly on the water.
- 1 A word on spinning reels:
- 2 Reviewing the Top 10 spinning reels:
- 2.1 1. SHIMANO Stradic FL – Best Spinning Reel For All Reasons
- 2.2 2. PENN Battle III | Best All-Around Spinning Reel
- 2.3 3. Lew’s Speed Spin – Smoothest Spinning Reel
- 3 Top-Rated Spinning Reels:
- 3.1 Comparison chart for 3000 reels
- 3.2 4. Daiwa Bg – Best Saltwater Spinning Reel
- 3.3 5. KastKing Megatron – Most Versatile Spinning Reel
- 3.4 Bottom line:
- 3.5 6. Abu Garcia Revo IKE – Best Carbon Spinning Reel
- 4 Best Budget Spinning Reels
- 4.1 7. Piscifun Viper X – Spinning Reel With Powerful Drags
- 4.2 8. SHIMANO Sienna FG – Best Shimano Spinning Reel for the Money
- 4.3 9. Okuma Ceymar – Best Ice Fishing Spinning Reel
- 4.4 10. KastKing Summer and Centron – Best Freshwater Spinning Reels
- 5 How do you Choose a Spinning Reel?
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions:
- 7 Wrapping up:
A word on spinning reels:
Spinning reels are said to be the king of fishing reels. Why? Because they are the simplest and easiest to use, never backlashes, adaptable to a whole lot of fishing applications, and what’s more? They are the most affordable fishing reels to exist.
The best Spinning Reels at a glance:
- Shimano Stradic FL – Best Spinning Reel For All Reasons
- Penn Battle III – Best All-Around Spinning Reel
- Lew’s Speed Spin – Smoothest Spinning Reel
- Daiwa Bg – Best Saltwater Spinning Reel
- Kastking Megatron – More Versatile Spinning Reel
- Abu Garcia Revo Ike – Best Carbon Spinning Reel
- Piscifun Viper X – Spinning Reel With Powerful Drags
- Shimano Sienna – Best Shimano Spinning Reel for the Money
- Okuma Ceymar – Best ice Fishing spinning reel
- Kastking Summer And Centron – Best Freshwater Spinning Reel
Our Top Picks
Here is the comparison chart of size 4000 of the reels we selected as the best of these articles.
Reviewing the Top 10 spinning reels:
Though, there are plenty of them out there which confuses many of the anglers as to what to choose for me. Hence, here we narrowed them down in terms of features, specifications, quality, performance, and of course, disadvantages to make you finalize the perfect spinning reel for yourself that fits your needs.
1. SHIMANO Stradic FL – Best Spinning Reel For All Reasons
- X-Protect Water-Repelling Coating.
- Micro Module Gear Ii Technology.
- Hagane Body And Gear.
- S A-Rb Ball Bearings.
- Cross Carbon Powerful Drag.
- X-Ship Pinion Ger Support System.
- Anti-Fatigue G Free Body.
- Water Resisting Drags.
- Aerowrap Technology For Spool.
- Propulsion Line Control System.
Showcasing rigid Hagane body and X-ship gears, Shimano Stradic FL topped our list for being the best spinning reel loaded with technological features and captivating specifications.
The reel is composed of AeroWrap technology which is a two-speed oscillation system that makes the spooling super easy because of its worm gear design. Combined with a propulsion line control system, it provides a greater casting distance.
Well, there are five models of the Stradic FL from size 1000 to 5000. These have specifications to suit your different fishing techniques. For example, if you opt for 1000 size, the reel will feel 6.5 oz in your hand, providing the gear ratio of 6.0:1 with a drag power of 7lbs, while the line rating for braid will be 10/95, 15/75, 20/65. A perfect reel for finesse fishing!
Similarly, a 5000 reel can provide you with 24 pounds of drag in a gear speed of 6.2:1 at a greater line capacity of 20/260, 30/235, 40/185 which goes best for in-depth bass fishing techniques. However, the reel will be a bit heavy since the components elevate the weight to 10.4 ounces.
Though, there are 3 more models in-between sizes; 2500, 3000, and 4000 having specifications in between these two models. Whereas, the ball bearings are the same in all these models e.g 6+1.
Well, the specifications are not only attractive but they also have gone under incredible technologies. The drags do not only claim to hold 24lbs but are also water-resistant and composed of cross-carbon technology that promises to get you a fish you intend to cast. The ball bearings, on the other hand, are shielded both sides and they got the name S ARB bearings from Shimano.
Lastly, the reel is covered with an amazing 3D design wrapped up with X protect water-repelling technology that seals the quality for several years to come.
- A little bit expensive
What you have been looking for is all here in this reel, in fact, more than that. There are features that you would have never heard of in a spinning reel, so wait no more and get yourself equipped with Shimano Stradic FL and experience the fun and thrill!
2. PENN Battle III | Best All-Around Spinning Reel
- Instant anti-reverse technology.
- Exclusive HT-100™.
- CNC Gear™ technology.
- Line Capacity Rings.
- Superline Spool.
- Stainless steel bearing system.
The black-gold Penn Squall is a vast lineup of exceptional spinning reels of all sizes ranging from 1000 to 10000. For this reason, Penn battle III is the best all-around spinning reel having gear ratios and drag powers that suit every angler and every fishing technique.
This aluminum reel is incorporated with CNC Gear technology that gives a smooth reel operation throughout the fishing activity.
Along with the gear, there is a stable bearing system counts to 6 that make sure the reel works as wants it to with the least wear tear since they are double shielded. Comes to the HT-100 drags that operate efficiently with as much power as it labels.
Since there is all the reel size available so here’s a guide to how to choose the right size with respect to the specifications it offers. The 1000 Penn battle is the smallest one in this lineup and weighs only 7.8 oz. This reel can hold a line capacity of 275/2 135/4 105/6 yards/lbs with which you can go for lightweight application considering the speed of 5.2:1 gear ratio and the drag having the power to hold 9 lbs.
In contrast, the larger reels on this lineup (6000, 8000, and 10000) can hold larger line capacities and allow you to cast in greater depths of up to 200’ to catch heavier species under the sea. These are the long casting spinning reels with you can have gear ratios of 4.2:1, 4.7:1, 5.6:1 having the slowest associated with the largest model to give you enough resistance.
Other than that, you can also go for the fast-speed gear ratio of 6.2:1 or 7.0:1 that you may obtain in the 4000 reel size. The 15 lbs drag power combined with the weight of 12.2 ounces makes the flipping and pitching techniques are much easier and worthwhile.
- A few more ounces on each size option are extra which could be chopped down.
Simple and straight “you are not getting any better than this”. The quality is what you can trust while the 9 models offering all the weight sizes, drag options, and gear ratios will not let you look past it.
3. Lew’s Speed Spin – Smoothest Spinning Reel
- Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing.
- Double anodized aluminum spool.
- Pre-spooled braided line.
- Graphite frame and side plate.
- Oversized multi-disc drag system.
- stainless steel double-shielded ball bearings.
Lew Speed Spin for its better greater 10-bearing system landed up here as the best spin reel for the right reasons.
Though, there are four options for this reel having sizes of 10,20,30, and 40. Starting from the 7.4 oz for the 10 sized reels and 10.3 oz for the larger ones. Though, 4 of them are quite ergonomic having a gear ratio of 5.2:1 in the smallest one while the rest three shares the same gear ratio of 6.2:1.
The reel has an excellent combination of materials with which they built the different components. There are graphite side plates and a frame that makes the reel extremely lightweight while the aluminum handle shields it from corrosion and makes it sturdy. In addition, the handles are further incorporated with combat grips to give you maximum ease.
Besides the external look, the reel has mention-worthy internal components as we explore the Double anodized aluminum spool with which spooling is super easy while it also maintains the quality of the line. While the Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing makes sure the spool is not spinning in the opposite direction making it the smoothest spinning reel.
Speaking of line, there is an Oversized multi-disc drag system with 7 lbs power as the minimum through 15 lbs for the larger model. The drags along with the 10-bearing system enhance the reel performance at max.
- Bot suitable for heavier game fish.
Lew speed spin is a versatile reel that lives up to its name by enabling you with speed and power. Having high-end features these reels come with a very attractive price tag to suit your budget as well as your fishing needs.
Top-Rated Spinning Reels:
The following section covers three of the top-rated reels that you can use for lure fishing, saltwater, and inshore. For their sturdy constructions combined with the technological features, these are the best lure spinning reels.
Comparison chart for 3000 reels
4. Daiwa Bg – Best Saltwater Spinning Reel
- Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing.
- Infinite Anti-Reverse System (single and dual).
- Digigear technology.
- Solid Screw-In Handle.
- Strong aluminum built.
- Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool.
- Anti-slippage function.
Daiwa BG with its rigid aluminum-built offering comes to the rescue for heavy saltwater fishing. The BG series has 10 models in all sizes designed to complement beginners as well as the experts.
The 4.4 lbs drag with a stable gear ratio of 5.6:1 makes a perfect due to suit the anglers who have just begun their fishing career. Though, the gears are a bit larger in these reels which is why there is additional weight on each model e.g the lightest one has 8.8 oz.
There is a Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool that is connected with the gear on which you can rely for a great casting at a great distance with respect to the drag powers provided in each model.
The 7-ball bearing system built with stainless steel furthermore makes the reel work smooth and sleek. 6 of them are double shielded while one is the anti-reverse roller bearing. Over the bearing, there is a gutter system that helps serve the Anti-slippage purpose while protecting your reel from slipping away.
The comfortability is ensured by the Solid Screw-In Handle that provides comfortable anti-slip grips all the time. The reel is water-proof as well worked with the Carbon ATD, meaning that you can use them for saltwater application while opting for a medium-slow gear ratio of 5.6:1.
- The reel is a bit heavier than expected.
Daiwa BG provides an edge for saltwater as well as freshwater fishing with its excellent cranking power, casting ability, and magnificent drags. The line capacities plus the build really make it an incredible addition for your next trout fishing.
5. KastKing Megatron – Most Versatile Spinning Reel
- Aluminum Skeletal Frame with Geometrical Design.
- Maxidur Double-Shielded Stainless Ball Bearings.
- Zinc Alloy Main Gear and Brass Pinion Gear.
- Triple-Disc, Carbon Drag.
- EVA Grips.
- Full Metal Frame.
The Kastking Megatron is one of the highest-rated spinning reels out there with its classic geometric design composed of a rigid aluminum alloy skeleton frame.
There are five mid-size lineups that make out the Megatron collection. Starting from the 2000 size that a beginner can equip and enjoy a slower gear ratio of 5.0:1 combined with the drag pressure of 33 lbs for casting bass, fluke, and even the bluefish- a beast with ease!
The weight is what we think is the amazing feature of the reel. Even the largest size in the lineup i.e 6000 has a weight of 13.4 oz with 4.5:1 gear speed and 39.5 max drag. Whereas you can spool a heavier braided line having considered the capacity it provides of 65/195 80/155. In contrast to other reels, such specs normally take the weight to over 20 oz.
All the models share the same 8-ball bearing system that is double-shielded as well as anti-corrosive making the process smooth while allowing you to step from fresh to saltwater. The CNC Machined Aluminum handles packed with the EVA grips make them comfortable too to be in more control and balanced throughout, casting, dragging, and cranking.
- The retrieve with the larger reel is not much smooth. However, it’s more than considerable at this price point.
Looking for a trustworthy option? Go for the Kastking Megatron a promising reel that never disappoints. Stay lightweight and fish heavier with ease and success!
6. Abu Garcia Revo IKE – Best Carbon Spinning Reel
- Unique IM-C6 body design
- Rocket line management system
- K-Clutch anti-reverse
- Power Stack Carbon Matrix Drag System
- HPCR bearing system
- IKE EVA Knob
Abu Garcia strikes with its 8.0:1 fastest gear ratio and a more sleek bearing system composed of 9 HPCR ball bearings and 1 roller bearing.
Unlike other reels on the list, Abu Garcia narrowed down the size options to only two and built them with more than possible features they could have. A decent construction composed of a unique IM-C6 body design that makes the reel extremely lightweight. You can see the larger size weighs only 12 oz which is why it is rated as the best Abu Garcia spinning reel.
Besides being lightweight, the reel is ergonomic and compact as well with IKE EVA grips that get you more connected with the fish through your stabilized controls.
While the carbon fiber drag system delivers 11 lbs drag which is a treat to watch when it works. Rocket spool lip design and line management system enhances the casting experience with a smooth line flow giving you a position to cast with a capacity of 155/0.15 in the 20 size and 160/0.17 in 30.
Though, both the 20 and 30 sizes share quite similar specifications. This means that you will get the gear speed of 6.2:1 in both models, while the 11 lbs drag and 10-bearing system are also identical.
- Not available in larger sizes
Abu Garcia is an all-in-one spinning reel that enables not only speed but consistency, power with control, efficiency with style, and features with quality! So equip the reel to fasten the actions and never miss out on accuracy at all.
Best Budget Spinning Reels
Here we have compared the size 2000 of these reels in the chart below. These are your four best options when looking for a budgeted reel. However, all of them have been explained in detail further with respect to all the sizes and features they are built with.
7. Piscifun Viper X – Spinning Reel With Powerful Drags
- CNC machined spool with pre-spooled braided line.
- Extremely dense EVA knobs.
- O-ring sealed drag knob.
- Carbon drag washer.
- Anti-corrosive zinc alloy drive gear.
Piscifun viper caught our attention with its cost-effective price tag paired with charming features that provides a great casting experience with 5 small to medium size ranges.
The smoothness of the reel is backed by double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings that you may get in excessive amounts counted to 10. Other than the bearing, the gears are composed of stainless steel with teeth-shaped anti-corrosive zinc alloy drive gear that keeps up the quality while working alongside the drag washers.
Talking about gears, the reel offers one high speed 6.2:1 gear ratio in its 2000, 3000, and 4000 models that allow multiple retrieves in a short period of time. While the rest of the lineup follows a 5.2:1 gear ratio which enables a decent speed to retrieve a slightly heavier species on the sea.
Though, the reels come pre-spooled with the braided line having respective capacities offered in each model. Even in that, the reel happens to be extremely lightweight – thanks to the carbon fiber drag washers and lighter aluminum spool.
Furthermore, the reel keeps all these features waterproof by incorporating a one-way clutch and one-way bushing while the gears and bearing are of stainless steel which not only makes it waterproof but also helps prevent corrosion. These characteristics make the reel pretty attractive to cast with drop shots in saltwater.
- No anti-reverse switch in the smaller models
Piscifun Viper X makes its entry into the top-rated spinning reels not only by its price but quality and consistent operation on the sea. Packed with decent gear ratios and a bearing system, the reel lives up to the mark!
8. SHIMANO Sienna FG – Best Shimano Spinning Reel for the Money
- Propulsion line management system
- Gravity free body feature
- Instant-anti reverse feature
Sienna is currently the best Shimano spinning reel for the money. It is an ultralightweight reel having a weight range between 7.2 – 8.8 oz for sizes between 500 through 4000.
Though Sienna features comparatively fewer features than the Strategic FL yet the specifications are what make the reel quite sturdy and incredible in a vast range of size options. These fewer features include propulsion line management with which line flow is extremely smooth, even and longer.
The components comprise specialized Shimano technology that starts with a hybrid spool in a Nautilus design made of aluminum and stainless steel. While the anti-reverse system keeps the line from reversing backward.
The reel has a bearing system based on 4 stainless steel ball bearings paired with slower gear ratios of 5.0:1 and 5.2:1 whereas the medium-fast is 5.6:1 and 6.2:1.
Although the reel sizes in this lineup are quite identical i.e the smaller ones share similar specs while the larger ones are also incorporated with the same.
For instance, reel sizes 3000 and 4000 have the same drag pressure of 19 lbs with slightly similar gear ratios of 5.0:1 and 5.2:1. Though, the latter one is 3 ounces heavier so you can opt for the lightweight option while compromising a bit on the line capacity to enjoy using heavy applications.
- Fewer features than the Stradic FL.
Shimano Sienna FG is a well-constructed reel with all the necessary features needed for a greater, longer, and smooth cast having excellent cranking and powerful dragging availability. Besides, the quality can’t get any better with that budget it comes under.
9. Okuma Ceymar – Best Ice Fishing Spinning Reel
- Multi-disc drag system
- Machine-cut brass pinion gear
- Forged zinc anodized handle design
- EVA handle knobs
- Precision Elliptical Gearing system
- 2-tone anodized spool
- RESII: Computer balanced Rotor Equalizing System
- Narrow Blade Body Design
- Cyclonic Flow Rotor
Okuma Ceymar is a graphite reel for ice fishing and species like trout, crappie, and walleye. This reel has some serious wow features like the Elliptical Gearing system, RESII technology, Multi-disc drag system, and much more – all at a budget! which can truly bring wonders to your fishing trips.
It features a 2-tone anodized spool incorporated with Rotor Equalizing System allowing a perfect line flow and smooth cranking. There is Machine-cut brass pinion gear that furthermore enhances the quality of how the reel operates.
The narrow blade body design compromising of forged and strong zinc anodized handle design paired with EVA knobs provides anti-fatigue control over your gear. While you’ll experience a Cyclonic Flow rotor that constantly flows air to prevent the reel from corroding from the saltwater.
What we found the most interesting about the reel is its size of it. Its 10 size of 5.9 oz is what Shimano offers in its 500 size making it captivating for small lures and jigs application. Although, there are 8 sizes available in this reel among which the smaller ones are perhaps a beast.
Other than ice fishing, the reel is very effective on saltwater as well when equipped with a 65 size operating on a gear ratio and drag of 4.8:1 and 16 lbs.
- Comparatively, reduce drag power in each model.
Are you an angler with an ice fishing obsession? Well, here to pair you up with the Okuma Cetmar – a fully packed reel with more than max features – to make you meet with the thrills of ice fishing.
10. KastKing Summer and Centron – Best Freshwater Spinning Reels
- Two-color anodized aluminum spool
- Compact design
- Precision pinion gear system
- Rigid metal main shaft
- anodized aluminum spool
The 5 models of the KastKing Summer and Centron are the last to review in this reel having a graphite frame making them the best bet for freshwater.
The reel has a compact and ergonomic design plus a fair weight distribution. The biggest size in this lineup only has 13.5 oz with excellent gears providing a stable speed of 4.5 times per handle turn.
There is CNC machined spool that has greater line capacity for each model e.g you may enjoy a 50/200 lbs/yards in a 5000 reel enabling you to get your line cast at the sea beds. The 9 stainless steel bearing system paired with a 1 anti-reverse roller bearing makes the reel silky smooth – the characteristics that make it the best freshwater spinning reel.
The mention-worthy components are the drags that are super smooth and accurate. It delivers the pressure between 11 t0 17.5 lbs throughout the models and the best part is, that they are not wobbly at all.
- The bail takes longer to open and close
Kastking Summer and Centron for the budget-minded anglers is a total steal as it gets them in optimum comfort with greater casting distance backed by a powerful drag system to cast with ease and fun.
How do you Choose a Spinning Reel?
Some spinning reels offer greater drag powers while the others work on providing fast gear ratios. Few are lightweight and in the same size as compared with other reels. While some are affordable while others increase the quality with a hefty price tag.
So, how will you decide what is the best spinning reel for you? Don’t worry here is the guide explaining all the features a spinning has to offer so read them yourself and make your purchase a wise one.
Yikes! The size is undeniably the most confusing factor when it comes to choosing a spinning reel. Well, there are a total of 50 to 10,000 commonly manufactured spinning reel sizes. Some have a 10 to 100 lineup while a few go with 100, 200, and so on.
Here, the simple hack is the “smaller reel for a lighter application and vice versa”, so consider the application you want to fish in and then choose the reel size. Besides, the weight rating will also help you decide on the reel size.
For example, a 7 oz reel can allow you to use a 7 lb test line so you can narrow down your options based on the test line you use for fishing.
The ball bearings are yet another crucial factor to consider. Although the best part about them is, that they share the same amount in all the models of one reel despite the different sizes. So, you may have less thinking time as to what numbers of ball bearings will be enough for a specific reel size.
Again, don’t compromise on the quality. Check out if they are stainless steel and wrapped with a double shield to work as smoothly as one expects them to.
The next thing to look into is the material of the reel and your possible options for that are; carbon, aluminum, and graphite.
Carbon reels are sturdy as well as lightweight for which they are a go-to reel for freshwater to inshore fishing applications. Aluminum is anti-corrosive with which saltwater fishing is safe as it brings no corrosion to the reel.
Finally, graphite is a lightweight option. However, these reels are not sturdy enough to bear the corrosion of saltwater but the lightweight plus the ergonomic design totally makes them worth it for the application for which the spinning reel is used.
All in all, your best option for selecting the right material comes down to the composite reel where different material is used to build several parts. For instance, aluminum spool, carbon drags, and graphite frame – all make the reel lightweight, durable and sturdy, and solid enough to stand against saltwater corrosion.
Though, spinning reels are for fast and lightweight fishing applications which is what makes most anglers go for the fast gear ratio. Even though, this is the reason that a fast gear ratio (onwards 6.0:1) is commonly known as the best one for a spin reel.
That debate, however, is true to some extent because, in recent times, the bigger size reels with a slower gear ratio turn out to be a great success for fishing species like trout, salmon, and even pike. So, don’t limit your spinning reels for flipping and pitching. Instead, you can go with a stable gear ratio in a big size and have some big bass in your bucket!
Similar to what the braking system does in baitcasting reels, here is the anti-reverse roller bearing that performs the same function of controlling the spool from spinning backward. However, the quality of ball bearings must be considered in this case, because the more they are well-shielded and constructed, the merrier will be the performance.
You definitely don’t want a simple reel to weigh a ton. So, the matter comes down to deciding the weight as well as figuring out what options you should go for.
Well, here we’ll consider the build of the reel because the more efficiently it is built, the lighter it’ll be, compared to others. A combination of different materials, as explained above, is a good way to go. However, you can also select the reel by choosing a specific size in a few reels, comparing all the features, and selecting the one offering the least.
Ever thought, what makes this simplest-looking reel work so fine? Never mind, credit goes to the drag system that makes the spinning reel efficient. There are front and rear drag systems in spinning reels with the front being the more robust. Besides, you can opt for waterproof ones if you are concerned about the functionality. However, a few extra pounds than the fish you aim for is always recommended.
Another thing to look at is the spool size or the line capacity. Normally, it also depends on the reel size. Plus, they give ratings for both mono as well as braided line. However, some reels have bigger spools than the size they offer i.e a size 10 has a spool of size 50.
Finally comes the price of the reel and the good news here is you may have a good chance of having a budget reel that performs exceptionally. Though spinning fishing reels are naturally affordable since they are the most common and in abundance.
However, it’s always worth spending a few more dollars for the gear you find attractive with features that capture your heart. An expensive spinning reel, like that of Shimano Stradic, is a hundred times preferable over 10 budget reels because of the operation it provides.
So, overall, it’s a personal preference as to what features you find compelling and useful in a reel, and then calculate them with regards to the price and you’ll have your answer to which reel you should go for.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Were we able to answer all your questions? Are your confusions cleared up regarding which spinning reel to go with? Well, we hope that yes! However, if you still haven’t decided which one you want, don’t worry, think a little more about your needs and requirements and then find out which fits your needs perfectly. And for helping you a little more we have selected our top picks among the best spinning reels reviewed above!
We chose these three because these will be ideal choices for anyone, looking for a perfect reel and willing to spend some extra dollars? Go for Shimano Stradic FL. Just a beginner who is practicing and there’s a chance you might break the reel? PENN Battle III 5+1 Ball bearing spinning reel is just perfect for you. Looking for a moderate price range reel with all good features? Lew’s Speed Spin Spinning Reel is the reel you need.
Let us know which one you decided!