Fishing reels are a crucial part of fishing gear for both casual fishers and experts. In fact, you cannot go fishing without a fishing reel unless you are into a fishing nest. And when it comes to that, spinning reels are the most common types of reels you will find on the market.
Their popularity is a result of their ease of use and versatility. Spinning reels are straightforward to use, and novice anglers will easily find beginner spinning reels to hone their skills. On the same note, expert fishing enthusiasts can use advanced models to showcase their decade-long skills. Seasoned anglers certainly know how to set fishing reels of various types.
Again, these precious devices come in various sizes. And as you will find out, the size of a fishing reel is one of the significant factors to consider when purchasing your reel. A small reel means convenience in handling your fishing machine and less fatigue. Therefore, you can use such a fishing reel for fishing for more extended periods.
On the other hand, an enormous reel is challenging to handle and may need more muscle and fitness. However, they are the kinds of fishing tools you will need for catching large fish.
There are thousands of fishing reel brands in the market, and selecting the best is an uphill task. But you don’t have to worry.
We have taken our precious time to develop a list of the best fishing reels. We aim to help you choose the top brand without sifting between the many available options.
Our selection is based on quality, experience, technology, and customer reviews. Here are our best picks!
Top 8 Spinning Reels
Best Value Spinning Reel: KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel
KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel was introduced in the market in 2018. It is the third generation of the prestigious Sharky series. It is the upgraded version of Sharky II, and as you would expect, it features more advanced design and technology changes.
The Sharky III fishing reel is a versatile warrior that can handle any monster in the river, lake, or ocean. It is also smoother, lighter, and stronger than its predecessors. KastKing combines efficiency, effectiveness, sensitivity, and ways to save money to ensure you enjoy your fishing.
Key Features and Benefits
This KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel features a tremendous high-efficiency triple disc carbon fiber that drags up to 39.5lbs. So, this reel will easily handle medium and slightly larger fish species. The drag is strong enough to hold onto anything that gets into your hook.
The braided fishing line-ready aluminum spool and the new shark fin allow you to get rid of the backing line and spool up wholly with the braided line to provide more line capacity for the fishing battle with the big one. The aluminium material also gives the spool incredible strength without adding too much weight.
This fishing reel is also equipped with ten double-shielded robust quality stainless steel ball bearings. As a result, the reel delivers a buttery smooth performance for effortless fishing.
The KastKing Sharky III fishing reel also features high-density EVA grips. The grips provide maximum comfort and convenience during fishing. Besides, they allow complete free control in wet conditions. More convenience comes with the anti-twist line roller, which offers you less chance of line tangles and snarls.
Plus, the fishing reel has an oversized stainless steel main shaft. Such a rare feature creates an ideal spinning rod and reel combo in sizes 1000-5000, providing brute force to fight larger game fish.
It is sealed with KastKing Intrusion Shield System (KISS). The sealing provides exceptional protection against saltwater. In turn, dirt, debris, salt, and sand will not get into the reel’s internal elements, including its body, spool, and rotor.
- It is lightweight hence ideal for prolonged fishing periods.
- It is sturdy and takes pride in a high drag system for fighting larger fish species.
- The fishing reel is versatile and ideal for a variety of fishing applications.
- It offers smooth casting, making it ideal for any angler.
- The fishing reel is affordable and a good product for anglers on a budget.
- It is relatively undersized than its rivals.
KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel is the best value fishing reel in the market today. It comes with a wide range of features that are ideal for both seasoned and novice anglers. No doubt you will love its smoothness and reliability. And despite being lightweight, this fishing reel is pretty sturdy and durable.
Best Big Bang Spinning Reel for the Buck- Daiwa Exceler LT Spinning Reel
Daiwa has been in the fishing industry for more than 60 years. The company is famous for its commitment to quality and superior craftsmanship. In Daiwa Exceler, LT Spinning Fishing Reel, the company incorporates industry-leading innovation that offers exceptional performance.
It gives you more design technology and concept than reels twice the price. It’s ideal when fishing in saltwater options. But that does not imply that you cannot tag this reel into freshwaters.
Key Features and Benefits
The fishing reel has a machined aluminum handle that is comfortable and provides a solid connection to the main gear of the spinning wheel. The handle is resistant to rust and will remain perfect for a long time.
The airball and air rotor designs help decrease the weight, making this device a relatively lightweight fishing gear. The airball technology also helps in efficiently dispersing the line’s pressure over the bail to the whole part. Also, this reel is tremendously smooth since it utilizes five ball bearings and one roller bearing for optimal performance.
The carbon light material housing is designed with the LT concept, making the reel easy to manage and control over the long haul. Besides, the Light and Tough concept makes this reel ideal for both
Its line capacity is (Lb. Test / Yards)-MONO: 8/240, 10/210, J-BRAID: 10/250, 15/185.
- The fishing reel is super light and ideal for fishing for long hours.
- It is durable, thanks to its composite body.
- It offers incredible performance and versatility.
- The reel is user-friendly and suitable for both beginners and experienced fishing professional.
- It spools unevenly with more concentration towards the spool’s top
Daiwa Exceler LT 6.2:1 Left/Right Hand Spinning Fishing Reel is a must-have if you are looking for a reel that balances price and quality. It is suitable for an average angler and can handle large fish with a lot of ease. In addition, the reel overall build and drag work exceptionally well to give you the consistency you want.
Best Premium Spinning Reel – Abu Garcia Zata Spinning Fishing Reell
Fishing is fun, and having the right gear will make fishing more enjoyable. Abu Garcia fishing reel is a fishing gear that will add fun and value to your fishing routine. Of course, all this is not empty talk. The fishing gear has all the qualities that will make the fishing gear an excellent pick.
Abu Garcia fishing reel is from the Zata family. It is a spinning model, a baitcasting model, and combos, making the reel more versatile. Ideally, not many fishing reels fall under more than a single fishing reel category. The reel allows you to have smooth casting, and it’s able to tackle everything that comes its way.
Key Features and Benefits
The Abu Garcia fishing reel has a rocket line management system that offers better control for all fishing line types. In addition, the rocket spool lip design ensures there is a suitable run of line coming off the spool.
It has ten stainless steel ball bearings plus one roller bearing that helps to provide smooth operation. So, expect to have a smooth casting and retrieval experience. As you will find out during your fishing experience, your ability to cast and retrieve your line accurately determine your precision and overall success.
The machined aluminum braid-ready spool allows you to tie the braid directly to the spool without slipping. Thus, there is nearly no chance of losing your line.
The reel has a lightweight aluminum frame that makes it less weighty for easy control and management. Although the entire system is pretty light, you cannot fault it when it comes to longevity. The stainless steel main shaft & components are ideal for enhanced corrosion resistance. In addition, the everlasting bail system guarantees reel durability.
- It has a lightweight design.
- The reel offers an ergonomic handle for maximum comfort and a strong grip in all weather conditions.
- The reel is great for the price.
- It has an efficient brake system for easy control.
- Not smooth as advertised
The Abu Garcia Zata spinning reel has a sleek design, and you will like to show it to your friends. It takes pride in a compact design that is a pleasure to admire. But beyond the looks, you will marvel at the reliable performance. Also, it offers you a smooth and long-lasting in all your fishing conditions.
Best Saltwater Spinning Reel – Piscifun Salis X Trolling Reel
Piscifun Salis X Trolling Reel is designed to catch real monsters in freshwater and saltwater. Therefore, you can literally throw this reel into any water mass and still see it survive. It is also a perfect choice for anglers who like big game fishing.
Piscifun Salis X Trolling Reel is made with high-quality materials. It is a robust fishing gear that is unbelievably durable. Plus, the reel provides pure power to help you battle with any saltwater species.
The reel comes in two different models: 3000 model and 5000 model.
Key features and Benefits
Piscifun Salis X Trolling Reel has a sensitive bait clicker that instantly alerts you when you hook a fish. This means that it boosts your precision, and you will rarely let go of a prospective catch since you will know when to hook. Besides, the linkage line wind provides a smooth and even line release.
The line release switch allows you to disengage or engage status. It comes with visible OFF or ON indications to help you achieve this more flawlessly. It has earplugs that are loaded on size 5000 for connecting straps when need be.
The fishing reel has a stainless steel riveting reel foot that offers enhanced stability when battling against monsters. Such an inclusion makes battling bigger game easier as you can easily control them without any significant problem.
The top-class carbon fiber washers help deliver up to 37 lbs of drag power to fight larger fish with ease. In addition, the reel is equipped with a precise Japanese Hamai Cut Gearing System that ensures consistency, giving you the best in class performance.
Piscifun Salis X Trolling Reel comes with a forged and machined aluminum spool. Such a spool delivers exceptional performance during casting. Besides, the spool is braid-ready and will help you get rid of mono backing anytime you are spooling a braided fishing line.
It also features a 6.2:1 gear ratio that is incredibly higher compared to most fishing reels in the market today. This capability allows you to easily control the reel for any battle and gives you a better reel-in speed.
The tremendous stainless solid steel crank handle offers an ergonomic grip. Other incredible features that Piscifun Salis X Trolling Reel has include a super comfortable power knob and a long-lasting and stable three-bushing supported line winding.
- The reel is salt-resistant and will not corrode even with extended saltwater use.
- It is a high-speed fishing reel with fast casting and fast retrieval capabilities.
- It’s ideal for catching big fish.
- It alerts you when you hook the fish, thanks to the sensitive bait clicker. This feature improves your fishing accuracy and success.
- The fishing reel is durable, thanks to the graphite frame and side plates.
- It doesn’t have a line counter.
Piscifun Salis X Trolling Reel is an excellent reel for real monsters at a better price. You will love the line retrieval rate, uniqueness, and it’s suitable for bottom fishing. It is equipped with the best design features for exceptional performance. Besides, the reel is lightweight and will help you carry out any form of saltwater conditions.
Best Entry Level Spinning Reel – Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Fishing Reel
Are you looking for an entry-level fishing reel? Then, Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Fishing Reel is a perfect choice for you. The reel is ideal for beginners, children, hobbyists, professional anglers, and adventure lovers. So, this is a fishing reel that you can confidently go for.
Zebco has been manufacturing its fishing brands since 1954. It is currently one of the most reputable brands you will find in the market. Many professional anglers credit this brand with helping them discover and enjoy the outdoors.
And if you are in the market for a good Zebco brand, the Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Fishing Reel will not disappoint. It boasts a unique design and quality that the company has invested heavily in. As a result, it will give you outstanding power and performance. The reel is 20% lighter compared to the standard Omega.
Key Features and Benefits
Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Fishing Reel comes with a soft-touch thumb button and an extra dual-paddle handle that helps to facilitate easy and smooth casting. The automation makes using this fishing gear a breeze, and you will find it ideal for gifting a child or a novice.
The reel features seven bearings that aid in smooth line movement. The bearing system makes it smooth, responsive, and suitable for starters and experienced anglers. Plus, the premium components allow you to have extended years of great fishing.
It has a gear ratio of 3.4:1 that increases your fishing efficiency. It is simple to install and use with a 19-inch retrieve rate. The reel allows you to select either left or right-side retrieval. Thus, both left-handed and right-handed anglers will find using it a breeze.
This fishing reel has all-metal gears that help it withstand harsh conditions for a wide variety of fishing adventures. The gears can withstand the harshness of the ever-unpredictable Mother Nature. So, if you want a fishing reel that will serve you for years, trust the Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Fishing Reel.
The instant anti-reverse technology allows you to secure your next prized catch, increasing the success of any fishing trip because of its reliability and smoothness. Finally, this reel is versatile, thanks to its mono capacity of 85/10. It is suitable for catching heavy species like catfish, bass, striper, and walleye.
- The patented no-tangle design increases efficiency.
- It has a changeable left- or right-hand retrieve hence ideal for both hand orientations.
- It features an oscillating quick-change spool for unbeatable flexibility.
- A very comfortable soft-touch thumb-button design, making it ideal for extended usage.
- It’s durable, thanks to the all-metal construction.
- The reel has a low gear ratio
- Slower recovery
Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Fishing Reel is a powerful fishing tool that offers flawless performance and a lot of flexibility. It has an incredible design and is user-friendly; hence it’s ideal for every angler. Moreover, its minor drawbacks don’t interfere with its general performance.
Best Baitcasting Reel: SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel
SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel is one of the popular fishing reels around the world. While it is not exclusively a spinning reel, we still found it necessary to include it in this review just if you would like to have a second thought. Baitcasting reels are equally pretty effective if you know how to use them.
Ideally, Shimano is a trusted partner to many generations of anglers. It guarantees you both durability and reliability. Besides, the reel is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater.
Key Features and Benefits
SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel is equipped with an SVS infinity braking system that offers an easy-to-manage, consistent spool control and brake force. Plus, the SVS infinity helps control the spool speed for accurate casting, more so when using lighter lures.
The external adjustment knob allows you to quickly adjust the knob for both harsh conditions and when you want to switch the baits. Besides, the adjustment process is straightforward. It features a micromodule gear that creates a smooth retrieve. In addition, the reel lasts for an extended period, thanks to the all-metal Hagane body.
The super-free spool helps to get rid of friction on the spool shaft during the cast. The pinion gear is usually supported by a ball bearing such that when the clutch is disengaged in preparation for a cast, the spool shaft and pinion gear are perfectly aligned.
It has a super stopper that uses a one-way stainless steel roller bearing that gets rid of back-play. This offers the angler immediate hook setting power. Of course, not so many fishing reels have this feature.
The reel employs X-ship technology to enhance performance and durability. Plus, it has a gear ratio of 8.5:1, which is relatively high for enhanced efficiency and performance.
- The reel is lightweight; hence easy to carry, and you can conveniently use it for long periods.
- More sturdy and powerful and can handle most large fish species.
- It has a bearing that lasts ten times longer than standard stainless steel ball bearings in salinity environments.
- You can easily access the spool.
- Not suitable for deep casting
SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel offers you a smooth, efficient, and precise casting. It also provides effortless cranks, and it’s suitable for smaller fish species. In addition, it has a compact design that even a child can comfortably enclose.
Best Spinning Reel for Both Freshwater and Saltwater: Sougayilang Spinning Reels
Sougayilang Spinning Reel allows you to cast for longer distances and prevents backlashes formation. It’s a powerful reel and will give you tremendous performance that you will love.
The company has been manufacturing great reels for several decades, and it has gained an excellent reputation due to its quality products. Of course, you will find lots of fishing reels from this brand. And if you think that the brand is all about numbers, you are in for a rude shock.
Key Features and Benefits
Sougayilang Spinning Reel has a graphite body enhanced with a stainless steel shaft that helps deliver a reliable reel for many years of great fishing. It is durable and takes pride in a strong drag that will enable you to catch big fish such as kingfish, bass, stripper, yellowtails, shark, and Tuna.
It has a gear ratio of 4.7:1 that is designed to fight against monster catching. The compact self-balanced system rotors and robust and oversized shaft offer rock steady retrieve anytime you are about to land to big fish.
The reel has a sturdy aluminum spool that helps hold braid lines or heavy-duty monofilament for long-distance casting. Such lines also help in containing larger fish species.
It has a pinion gear that maintains precise alignment with driver gear, meaning the gears will remain in the same position even under the heaviest loads. This helps eliminate the friction between the gear and spool shaft, enhancing the reel’s cast performance with lighter lures.
The new spool lip design offers extended casting and prevents wind knots formation. In addition, the 11 ball bearings guarantee smooth operation.
- It features a super steady oscillation for unparalleled reliability.
- It has a compact size hence effortless to carry and handle.
- It offers a wide range of drag adjustments for various fish sizes.
- The reel allows both left and right-hand use hence unbeatably versatile.
- It’s super light, and you can use it for long durations.
- Not durable as advertised
Sougayilang Spinning reel is lightweight, making it ideal for traveling. It has superb quality and offers better performance. The reel comes with a pocket-friendly price and provides a firm and soft grip. It’s ideal for people who want to make quick and straightforward cranks.
Best Overall Spinning Reel: SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel
SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel will help you improve your fishing experience. It is a product of continuous evolution, and it’s equipped with incredible features that make it the best overall fishing reel in the market.
Shimano has dramatically invested in the reel’s quality and design. And apart from this particular reel, most of the company’s reels will give you exceptional power and performance.
Key Features and Benefits
SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel has a Hagane body, which is a metal reel body with a high rigidity level. The body helps to eliminate flexing, thanks to its impact resistance and stiffness.
The X-SHIP offers enhanced gear durability. Besides, the pinion gear helps sustain accurate alignment with the diver gear since it supports the pinion gear on either end with the bearings.
The G-Free Body technology has been designed to switch the reel’s center of gravity near the rod. This helps decrease hand fatigue and increase casting comfort by moving the center of gravity near the angler’s hand position.
The reel has cross carbon drag that offers numerous drag settings. The performance is incredible, and you will easily contain any fish size irrespective of the distance. The S A-RB bearings feature shields on both sides that decrease the possibility of sand or salt inhibiting the bearing’s rotation.
The X-PROTECT offers a high water-resistant level without necessarily sacrificing light gear and rotor rotation by combining the specially designed water channeling and water repellent coating.
It has micro module gear II that is advanced with Shimano’s exclusive manufacturing technology for enhanced performance.
- It is highly durable, thanks to the G-Free body.
- The reel incorporates Hagane gear for optimal flexibility in any fishing condition
- It delivers smooth casting.
- The X-SHIP offers improved gear durability.
- It has no reverse direction switch, but this should not be a big problem for seasoned anglers.
SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel will help you conquer and endure the most blistering runs and the most powerful fish. It will serve you for an extended period because it’s made of premium materials.
Factors to Consider when Purchasing Spinning Reels
There is nothing good like having the right fishing reel for all your fishing activities. Choosing the correct reel can be a bit challenging, especially for beginners. But you don’t have to worry.
The following are some of the factors that you need to consider when buying a fishing reel:
A good reel should offer a reliable and smooth drag by providing significant drag pressure without sustaining any heat damage from the friction. In addition, the reel should generate enough force to help stop any game fish with ease.
Size and weight
The weight of your fishing reel is mainly attributed to material components. A better fishing reel should be lightweight to help reduce fatigue. If you are targeting to catch big fish, an enormous reel is a perfect choice for you. Similarly, if your target is small fish, a small-sized reel will do a great job.
Freshwater or saltwater
Almost all fishing reels are ideal for freshwater fishing, but not all of them can survive in salty waters. Therefore, choose a fishing reel that is corrosion-resistant if you want to venture into salt water.
This is a crucial factor to consider before buying any fishing reel since it determines the target fish, whether larger or small fish. A reel with a high gear ratio works fast, and it’s suitable for small targets. On the contrary, a reel with a lower gear ratio is slightly slow, and it’s ideal for heavier loads.
The materials used to build the reel influence the durability of the reel. Select a reel that is made of premium materials and sturdy enough to tolerate different conditions and regular use. Finally, the durability of your gear will depend on rod storage and how often you clean your fishing reel.
Now you have a better grasp of the best fishing reels in the market today and the essential factors you need to consider before buying a fishing reel.
Modern fishing reels are equipped with technologies and other incredible features for smooth casting and flawless performance. The good thing is that most of them are sold at a pocket-friendly price.
Since there are so many fishing reel brands available, you can simply select one of the above that perfectly fits your price and specifications.
Anthony has been an angler for the past 15 years. His experience makes him an invaluable asset to FISHING GEN and writes on fishing expeditions as well as fishing gear.