Anyone can buy a spinning reel but not everyone gets their hands on the ideal one.
In the market, you will see more than hundreds of spinning reels are displayed coming from different brands. And choosing the good ones from the bunch of hundreds is surely pretty tricky.
And for beginners, it becomes tough.
Doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or a professional, if you are looking for a guide that will lead you to the best spinning reels of 2021, then you would want to sit tight and roll your eyes below.
I have come up with 7 spinning reels that are dominating the market right now. Users seem to be pretty satisfied with them as well.
I have reviewed each of those reels thoroughly, so go through and pick the one that meets your needs.
Which is the Best Spinning Reel?
If you want a specific name, I would say the SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning reel is the one that I can say the best!!!
It is extremely durable and super smooth, enough to satisfy any saltwater angler. And since it works incredibly in saltwater, there is no doubt that it will do the same or even more in freshwater.
Just make sure to maintain the reel from time to time, and it might even last a lifetime.
You are going to know everything about it in the review section. But for now, have a quick peek at all the 7 spinning reels I have listed below.
- SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Reel
- Penn Battle III Spinning Reel
- Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Fishing Reel
- Pflueger President Spinning Reel
- Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel
- PENN Pursuit III Spinning Reel
- Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel
7 Best Spinning Reels Reviewed
If you want the best spinning reel, then go with the SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Reel without any doubt. A lot of saltwater anglers recommend this very reel due to its impressive performance.
It packs some features that no anglers will be able to turn down. Let me walk you through one by one!
The first thing I would like to talk about is the smoothness of this reel. It is smooth like water and the best part, it doesn’t make any noise at all. It feels satisfying just to look at this reel spinning, all thanks to the bearings used.
It features S A Rb bearings which are shielded, so saltwater can’t do any harm. Not only the bearings, but this entire reel is also resistant to salt.
Anglers have been using this reel in saltwater for a long time and they didn’t get any issue at all.
The reel features a taller spool, though not as tall as the surf fishing reel but taller than other reels of its class. This slightly tall spool helps to make longer casts.
Compared to other of its class, this reel comes with decent weight, not heavy at all. You can fish for long hours without fatigue.
It is a very powerful reel and extremely durable as well. The reel body is made of metal which has high rigidity, it is called a HAGANE body.
It also comes with X-ship technology. This supports the pinion gear on both sides with bearing which makes the pinion gear maintaining an accurate alignment with the drive gear. That will result in gear remaining in the exact position doesn’t matter how heavy the load is.
X-ship technology also improves the durability of the gear. And it also eliminates the friction between the spool and gear, which will help the angler to cast better.
Comes with Cross Carbon drag, you can adjust the drag according to your need on this reel.
This reel is a little expensive and that is completely fair I think considering the performance it delivers. And it comes in 5 different sizes, here we are looking at the large size 500. There are also 1000, 2500, 3000, and 4500 sizes, choose the one that fills your need.
With the right skill, an angler can land big fishes easily with this reel under any condition. The SHIMANO Stradic FL is the smoothest and high performing among all Shimano spinning reels. This is one of the smoothest reels of the market right now.
- Weight: 10.4 oz.
- Gear ratio: 6.2:1.
- Bearings: 6 + 1.
- Max drag: 24 lb.
- Monoline capacity: 10/240, 12/195, 14/165.
- Braided line capacity: 20/260, 30/235, 40/185.
Now what I have here is the most popular reel series of the country right now and that is none other than mighty Penn Battle.
Penn always tries to upgrade their gears so that they can offer something better. And this Penn battle III spinning reel is something like that.
They’re a bunch of features in this Penn III which are new and extremely beneficial.
Before Penn reels used to have a cast system but now they have replaced that with CNC-cut gears. And I must say, this is a great upgrade.
CNC-Cut gearings make the reel way too smooth and extremely durable.
Now they have sealed the drag system so well that doesn’t matter how often you use it on water, nothing will get inside the drag system. They keep the drag system well lubricated, which also helps greatly keeping water out.
It comes with an HT-100 carbon fiber drag system and even after being sealed so well, you will hear the drag sound when you hook a big fish. It delivers 25 lbs drag power.
One more satisfying thing about the Penn Battle III is, the spool is marked which tells the angler how much line has left on the spool. The spool is braided ready but still, I would suggest backing the reel with a monoline.
This one is an extremely durable spinning reel. Features metal side plate and the body. It also has 6 bearings that make the reel super smooth. All the bearings are stainless steel and sealed well, so doesn’t matter how often you go saltwater fish salt wouldn’t be able to harm the reel in any way.
If you are looking for a proven spinning reel for everyday inshore fishing, the Penn battle III is the way to go.
- Weight: 20.8 oz.
- Gear ratio: 5.6:1.
- Bearing:5 + 1.
- Max drag: 25 lbs.
- Bradedline capacity: 30 lb/ 490 yd.
Here comes another extremely smooth saltwater spinning reel, the Daiwa BG saltwater fishing reel. It is one of the best Daiwa spinning reels. This reel weighs around 9.3 oz. which isn’t heavy at all. So if you do a lot of long-distance castings, this might come in handy.
Does look matters to you? Then I must tell you, you are going to love it because it looks damn classy though that doesn’t make any difference since beauty doesn’t catch fish performance does. So let’s move there.
It features black anodized machined aluminum housing along with an oversized Digigear system. The spool is Dynamic cut aluminum made and it is braid ready.
Comes with an extremely well-sealed drag system, doesn’t matter how often you use the reel, water wouldn’t get inside in any way. Also comes with an air rotor and a handle with a very comfortable knob.
Features a total of 7 bearings including one reverse bearing, they play a major role in the overall smoothness of the reel.
Since this reel is corrosion and scratch-resistant, you can expect this reel to last for a long period. And if maintained well, this might even last lifetime.
What impresses me is the price of this reel. Compared to another reel of its class, this one is price pretty reasonable. A good choice for all inshore saltwater anglers.
This one is the 6500 version, there is one more big one which is 8000. And if you need a smaller one, then there are1500, 2500, 4500, 5000 versions as well. Choose that meets your fishing need.
- Weight: 9.3 oz.
- Gear ratio: 5.6:1.
- Bearings: 6BB + 1RB.
- Max drag: 33 lb.
- Monoline capacity: 20/370, 25/310,30/260.
- Braided line capacity: 50/550, 65/440, 80/330.
I would suggest this reel to beginner and intermediate anglers, I think it would be the best catch for them. It offers good durability and is pretty affordable as well.
Features 10 corrosion-resistant stainless steel bearings that make the reel perform very smoothly. And since the bearings are corrosion-resistant saltwater cannot do any harm to them or the reel.
The rotor and the body of this reel are made of Graphite material. This is material is durable and is very lightweight as well. And since it is a lightweight reel you can do longer casts easily. And also can fish for longer periods without fatigue.
If I talk about comfort, the reel features a soft touch handle along with a knob that offers a good grip. The handle is constructed with aircraft-grade aluminum, so you don’t need to worry about the handle, it is going to last long.
Whoever is looking for a good saltwater spinning reel at a reasonable price, the Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel would be a great catch for them.
- Weight: 0.45 pounds.
- Gear ratio: 5.2:1.
- Max drag: 10 lb.
- Bearings: 10
- Monoline capacity: 255/4, 145/6, 130/8.
- Braid line capacity: 275/6, 190/8, 160/10.
Well, this Penn Spinfisher VI spinning reel is an expensive one. If you want to invest in a reel that will serve you for years without trouble, you can consider investing in this Spinfisher VI reel.
The gearbox and the drag system are sealed with IPX5 sealing, so doesn’t matter how often or how long you use the reel on saltwater, water wouldn’t be able to get into the drag system or the gearbox. That makes this Penn Spinfisher Vi a top-notch spinning reel for saltwater fishing.
Features HT-100 drag washers and they are housed in a spool which is also fully sealed and offers the needed stopping power to tackle the big fighting saltwater fishes.
This reel also comes with a full metal body and side plate which keeps the CNC gear system in proper alignment even when the load is heavy. And this feature of this reel makes it very reliable.
It is a very smooth fishing reel, features a total of 6 bearings including 1 reverse bearing. The bearings are stainless steel bearings and they are properly sealed as well so that saltwater cannot damage the performance.
Plus, the reel has a superline spool which also increases the smoothness and it helps a lot in casting. One cool feature is, the reel has marks that will tell the angler how much line is left on the reel, and this helps a lot.
This also has a techno-balanced rotor that gives a very smooth retrieve.
Penn has used Carbon fiber, stainless steel, and metal in the construction of this reel. And it is a pretty durable spinning reel for saltwater use. This Penn spinning reel comes in 9 different sizes, 10500 being the largest size. Choose any size depending on your need.
- Weight: 18.5 oz.
- Gear ratio: 5.6:1
- Max drag: 25 lb.
- Bearings: 5 BB + 1 RB.
- Monoline capacity: 430/10, 330/12, 230/15.
- Braided line capacity: 500/20, 380/30, 335/40.
If you are looking for an entry-level saltwater spinning reel at a very low price, then Penn Pursuit III spinning reel is your grab. One of the best rated spinning reels under 50 dollars. Though the larger sizes cost a little more than 50 dollars still the price is very low.
This reel is lightweight and corrosion-resistant, all thanks to the Graphite material construction. This construction makes the reel pretty durable as well. Comes with the HT-100 drag system that can tackle down hard-fighting saltwater fishes. It offers smooth and needed drag even under heavy pressure.
The reel is smooth, a big thumbs up to the Stainless-steel ball bearings. It comes with 5 bearings, 4 ball bearings, and 1 reverse bearing. However, do not expect this reel to be as smooth as high-end spinning reels.
This reel also has a line capacity mark on it that tells you how many lines are left on the reel. And this reel has a superline spool.
Let me tell you something, hope that will make you more clear about this particular reel. No doubt that this is one of the best cheap spinning reels. I mean the cheap price of this reel doesn’t reflect much on the performance.
It is durable, lightweight, offers needed drag power, performs smooth enough, and is corrosion-resistant. For the price, I think it is a fair reel. If you are a beginner or seasoned angler, trust me, this would be a great catch for you.
You can use the reel roughly if you want to. Because disassembling this reel is very easy so you can clean it well.
- Weight: 19.7 oz.
- Gear ratio: 5.6:1.
- Max Drag: 20 lb.
- Bearings: 4 BB + 1 RB.
- Monoline capacity: 225/12, 200/15, 135/20.
- Braid line capacity: 420/20, 300/30, 240/40.
Before you go further let me tell you, this Okuma Ceymar Spinning reel is small. The picture might look decent but the reel is small in reality. That being said, the performance it offers is pretty good. For the price, this reel offers a lot.
Comes in a very sleek design, it is lightweight and is very easy to use. Offers the needed amount of smoothness, thanks to the 8 bearing drive system including a reverse bearing.
Features an oversized line roller along with a high-quality solid aluminum bail wire. The reel has an Okuma RESII computer balancing rotor system which makes this reel spin at a high speed without any wobble.
The aluminum handle arm gives good control over the reel and the handle knob is made of custom EVA which makes it very comfortable. Features a highly powerful multi-disc drag system that delivers good drag. Also has precision machine-cut brass pinion gear and a machined aluminum spool.
It is a suitable reel for saltwater fishing because the body has a corrosion-resistant blade design. But still, be careful when using this reel in saltwater since the bearings are not corrosion-resistant and neither the drag system and gearbox are sealed very well.
You shouldn’t expect these much from a reel that comes at around 50 bucks. If you are an occasional angler or a beginner, grab this Okuma Ceymar spinning reel, it will be a win for you. It is a very lightweight reel and will be best for freshwater fishing.
- Weight: 9.9 oz.
- Gear ratio: 5.0:1.
- Max drag: 17 lbs.
- Bearings: 7 BB + 1 RB.
- Monoline capacity: 0.25/240, 0.30/170, 0.35/125.
How to Choose the Best Spinning Fishing Reel?
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Spinning Reels and Casting Reels Differ?
To put it simply I would say, spinning reels are for casting light baits. Casting with a spinning reel is very easy and that is why spinning reels are suggested for beginners. On the contrary, if you want a good casting distance, good control, and accurate casting then you will have to use a baitcasting reel.
Both spinning and baitcasting reels are good at different perspectives. If you are new, just starting to learn fishing then there is no way you can go with a baitcasting reel, you will have to pick a spinning reel. Baitcasting reels are for the intermediate and mostly it is for the professionals.
Plus, baitcasting reels sit on the top of the rod when spinning reels are attached under the rod. Beginners surely don’t want to invest a large chunk of money on their very first fishing reel which is why I put together a list of under $100 spinning reels and baitcasting reels. If you are interested check out under $100 baitcasting rod and spinning rod as well.
How do Conventional Reel and Spinning Reel Differs?
Conventional reels are lighter than spinning reels. Plus, conventional reels are easier than spinning reels, and they have very few moving parts on them, unlike spinning reels. You will be able to cast further using the right lure with a conventional reel.
Why Would I get Backlash when Using a Spinning Reel?
The major reasons for backlash in spinning reels are, not spooling the line properly. When spooling, there should be a slight tension on the line so that it can be spooled properly. Usually, anglers put that tension by pinching the line slightly.
Another reason is, spooling the line. Going beyond the capacity will surely cause a backlash. Apart from these two reasons, there are other reasons as well such as magnet braking issue in baitcasting reels, issues in the rotor, etc.
Can you use Spinning Reel on Any Spinning Rod?
Yes, you can! Spinning reels are suitable for all spinning rods.
Are Expensive Spinning Reels Worth It?
Surely they do! But you will have to be very careful when buying an expensive spinning reel or rod or anything. In present times some junks are also being sold at a high price and you don’t want to end up landing on those. First, determine what you need, know the materials, try to find out how that item is doing by researching or reaching out to the people who are already using it. And then pay the price.
My suggestion would be to go with the well-reputed big brands. In the case of spinning reels, go with Shimano, PENN, Okuma, Kastking, etc. Even if something goes wrong the warranty will cover-up.
What Makes a Good Spinning Reel?
A spinning reel that is lightweight, durable, smooth, and has a great drag system, that is a great spinning reel. However, in some cases, you might need to sacrifice the weight for durability and others. But never sacrifice smoothness and the drag system of the reel for the sake of anything. If these are not good enough, then that is a loss.
Do Professionals use Spinning Reels?
Yes, they do! Both professional and beginner anglers use spinning reels. When needed professionals go with spinning reels as well.
What is the Best Small Spinning Reel?
If it comes down to picking a small spinning reel that delivers good performance, I would choose the Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel. It is small, very lightweight, delivers good drag power, features a corrosion-resistant body design, and is very smooth. However, wouldn’t suggest using this reel much in saltwater, it will be best for freshwater fishing.
Go with the SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning reel if you want the best. I can say this is the best spinning reel you will find in the market right now. This reel delivers everything a professional angler will need to fish for long hours in saltwater. However, with time it might change since every manufacturer is bringing new reels to beat the competition.
But still, I will urge you to do little research on your own, reach out to your people for recommendations, check the user reviews, and then make the decision.
However, I hope this guide helps. If there is anything else I can assist you with, please make sure to let me know.
This is so pleasing that you wanted to know about me 🙂
Well, I am Richard Francis founder of Fishersline.com. I am a fishing enthusiast and I remember the very first fish I caught at a park in Oregon, it was a bluegill, that feeling was fantastic. I know there is a lot of people who want to be a good angler and this very website is for them!
Here you will find all the information related to fishing and for beginners, we suggest products as well so that they invest their money on a good one.