You may buy the best fishing rod of all times but it will be quite pointless with the wrong reel in it. While the fishing rod is the medium you catch fishes with, the reel is the canter of all activities. If your reel is of high quality and functionality, your fishing rod will follow suit. That is why you have to find the best fishing reels out here and choose from among them.
It is not easy to choose a fishing reel. Many things in it can go wrong. Therefore, you have to have knowledge about the parts and other features of the fishing reels to choose the right.
Our buying guide and the reviews of the ten best fishing reels will help you choose one that perfectly suits you.
1. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel.
Do you want a reel that you can take out to the ocean of saltwater and come out unharmed? Then, this Penn Battle II reel may be what you are looking for. At its price and with its type, it is a great choice for a beginner fisherman.
In fact, it is an affordable spinning reel which is quite easy to use. Firstly, it has an HT 100 carbon fiber drag system. Apparently, this drag system is quite powerful and also very durable. You will be able to cast far and straight with this unit. It can handle the larger fishes well too.
Furthermore, Penn Battle II reel has a good line capacity along with marks on it for easy installation of lines. The five ball bearings along with one anti-reverse bearing make the operation of this reel very smooth- and you will find no complaints about that at this price range.
The reel has a full metal body with aluminum bail wire. While it does a great job in saltwater but you cannot really expose it much as it will corrode with time. Other than that, while the size of the unit is alright- it’s weight isn’t. A number of customers claimed that this reel is quite heavy.
While the handles are great, the weight can be quite uncomfortable for a fisherman to handle for long hours. Overall, there definitely are better spinning reel for saltwater out there but this one is one of great value mainly because of the price.
2. Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting Fishing Reel.
Looking for a baitcasting reel to start your journey in the baitcasting world? Well, it is not easy to deal with baitcasting reels so you need a reel that is forgiving. Plus, a reel that you won’t regret buying as you may find out that baitcasting is not for you.
The Abu Garcia baitcasting reel is, in fact, the best choice beginners can make. It is well built and it is quite easy to handle. The casts are quite long and fast. You can retrieve the line easily too.
This unit is very smooth, thanks to the four stainless steel bearings in it. Furthermore, it has a graphite build which makes it quite long-lasting. Other than that, it has a nicely placed handle along with an ergonomic grip which makes it comfortable for you to use.
The problem you may face with this unit is with the brake system. Many customers had a hard time adjusting the brake system. Apparently, Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting Fishing Reel is not equally forgiving and easy as the other parts. However, once you set it right it performs really well.
The learning curve for this unit is not as steep as other baitcasting reels but it still needs some learning and getting used to. It has a good capacity. Also, what makes it an amazing choice is the price it comes at.
You rarely get such good quality and well-performing reels at such a price.
3. KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels.
Looking for a reel that you can use in ice water? Well, such a reel has to be strong, right? Apparently, the KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Centron 500 is suitable for ultralight fishing and also ice water fishing.
You will live a spinning reel even more after you experience this beauty. It casts far and is very smooth. Why would it not be smooth? It has nine ball bearings in it to keep it going flawlessly!
Furthermore, it is very lightweight and easy to use. It’s 17.5 lbs weight limit for fishes makes it quite capable of everything- it can deal with the larger fishes. The drag system is great too with its CNC machined aluminum build.
However, the unit does not have the best quality. It corrodes and rusts at some point even after lubrication. Thus, KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels is not suitable for saltwater.
But, the price it comes at makes up for all that.
4. Penn Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel.
Penn Pursuit has proved its integrity and quality and it is back on our list with the Penn Pursuit III. You may have other things to complain about but never its functionality. This unit has a design and builds that is meant to make your fishing experience easier.
Penn Pursuit III Spinning Reel comes with an HT-100 Carbon fiber drag system which ensures that the drag system lasts long. You can deal with small to medium size fishes well using the power of this reel. It has quite a good line capacity as well.
You can cast far, easily and smoothly too. In fact, with its four+one bearings and an anti-reverse system, you will never have any trouble with the smoothness of the reel.
Other than that, the parts last as they are well built to handle the humid environment. But, this unit may be a bit noisier than the other models. Also, Penn Pursuit III may not be the best at handling larger, aggressive fishes as it is meant for the less aggressive ones.
The price is very reasonable.
5. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel.
If you are looking for small but mighty you do not have to look farther, this Okuma Ceymar spinning reel will definitely amaze you with its build and performance. Apparently, this unit will strike you as ‘small’ and ‘weak’, one of which it is and the other not. It sure is small but it is not weak.
In fact, you can deal with small to medium-sized fishes easily using this reel. The lightweight and the ergonomically built handle will keep everything easy and comfortable for you. However, the handle may have some flaws in how it’s connected making it a bit difficult to use.
This unit casts far and has quite a few bearings in it to make the casts smooth. In fact, you get 7+1 bearings with an anti-reverse feature. However, there are complaints about the reel not being as smooth as other reels that are available.
Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel is not very cheap but it does have a quality that makes it worth investing in.
6. KastKing Spartacus Baitcasting Fishing Reel.
Do you have trouble with backlashes and just do not want them to be a problem? Want someone to take care of them? This Kastking Spartacus baitcasting reel will take care of it all!
In fact, it’s incredible braking system is the one to take credit for it all. It has a magnetic and centrifugal braking system. The only problem you will face is with the casting distance. Apparently, in order to prevent the backlashes, the reel does not cast very far. So, if you need long casts, this one is not the one for you.
Other than that, as the name suggests, KastKing Spartacus is very powerful! The drag system is a durable and strong one- can handle 17.5 lbs of weight easily. Furthermore, the line capacity is great too.
The casts are not only smooth but also fast thanks to the 6.2:1 gear ratio. It has 11+1 bearings in total that keep it going smooth. Again, it’s not the cheapest but its powerful and high-quality nature is worth investing in.
7. Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel.
Do you have trouble attaching the line to your reel? Well, it is time the reel helped you with this trouble itself. The Pflueger fishing reel has a braid-ready spool that lets you tie the braided line directly to the spool. Therefore, you do not have to struggle as much when braiding the reel.
However, in a few cases, the line did not perform that well when cast. It could get caught but that also depends on how you fish. Most customers are more than happy with the design.
The drag system has a lot of power and is well built. Furthermore, it is sealed and thus it does not corrode easily- you do not even have to take care of it much. The casts are very smooth thanks to the seven bearings on this unit which are also corrosion-resistant.
You may experience a bit of rattle and noise when you are using this unit. On the other hand, Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel reel is very small and lightweight. It won’t ever put a strain on your hands. Also, you have many options to choose from- it is quite fast as well.
8. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel.
When you are dealing with the larger species, you need something that is not only strong but also fast. The Piscifun Torrent baitcasting reel is both. In fact, it has a carbon drag system that lets you handle up to 18 lbs of fishes easily.
Furthermore, it has a gear ratio of 7.1:1. Can you imagine how fast it will be? You can cast easily and also far. The problem is that even though the reel features stainless steel bearings- it is not completely smooth.
You will find other reels that are smoother than this unit. Apart from that, it has brass gears building it which makes it very durable. It is a unit that is built to last- there is no doubt about it.
Apparently, Piscifun Torrent has an easy maintenance approach which lets you lubricate the machine easily through a port. But, you may be disappointed using it. Other than that, while it has a great design making it convenient for you to hold, it is rather heavy.
For the price, as long as it works fine it provides good value.
9. Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel.
You may not require the strongest and fastest reel that is available, right? If you are fishing the lighter, less aggressive fishes, you just need something that can handle them well. Furthermore, if you are fishing in saltwater, you need something that can handle that water.
The Daiwa BG saltwater spinning reel does not boast to do more than what it can. What it can do, it does best. In fact, it has a high-quality drag system that works magic on the lighter species. The unit itself is a bit heavy so it can be bothersome to handle for many hours.
Apart from that, it has a gear ratio of 5.6:1, which is not the fastest but very suitable. You will love using this unit because Daiwa BG casts far, is smooth, and durable. However, it is not completely sealed so it can get dirt in it easily.
Apart from that, it does come at a high price.
10. SHIMANO SYNCOPATE Front Drag.
Handling a reel is not easy and that is why this Shimano reel tries to ease as much of the path as it can for you. Line management is the toughest on reels and this one has a Propulsion line management system in it. It lets you put the line on the spool easily and also cast far.
However, you may still face backlashes and bird nests if you do not learn how to do it correctly. Other than that, this unit is very smooth and strong. It is a great option for beginners as it is quite easy to use.
Apart from that, SHIMANO SYNCOPATE Front Drag has a good sensibility and also it has an easy to adjust the drag. Finally, the quality is great as expected of Shimano and the reel lasts a while. You get it at a reasonable price as well.
Best Fishing Reel: The Buying Guide
If you keep in mind a number of things when considering a fishing reel, you will be able to handle most of your problems and ensure that you face no big problem with your reel. Let’s check these few things out.
1. The Size of The Reel You Want.
There are a lot of things that are related to the size of the reel. Therefore, you can consider it one of the most important considerations when buying a fishing reel. The more the capacity of the reel, the bulkier or larger it will be.
However, there is another thing you will have to consider if you have already bought a fishing rod. Will the reel fit inside the rod? If it does not, the whole point of choosing a great reel will be gone because you cannot even use it with your rod.
Other than that, the reel will be bigger in size if it holds a lot of lines and casts far. Therefore, it is best to settle for the bigger reels. If you are buying the fishing rod separately, buy your reel first to match the rod with it.
2. The Type of Reel you want.
Apparently, there are quite a number of types of reels. You will have to make a choice among them based on how you fish. Let us check the types out.
Spinning Reel: Spinning reels are simple, lightweight reels that are an excellent choice for beginners. Apparently, not only are they easy to use but they are also much cheaper than other reels.
Baitcasting Reels: You have to mount the baitcasting reels above the rod. Apart from that, these are very lightweight yet well capable of handling the larger fishes- very strong.
Spincast Reels: They fall somewhere between the spinning and baitcasting reels. Apparently, they are easy to control and stay on top of the rod.
Trolling reels: These reels are something you use for offshore fishing. You can cast them from a moving boat from behind to catch fishes.
3. The Drag System.
You have two options in this case- a star drag system and a lever drag system. Apparently, a star drag system works inside a handle while a lever drag system has a lever for you to control it.
Other than that, a star drag system helps you cast farther and also catch smaller fishes. The lever drag system lets you catch the larger heavier fishes but the casts are shorter than the start drag ones. It is up to you to decide which system suits your fishing style and species better.
A carbon fiber drag is quite famous because of both its durability and functionality. So, you can opt for one as well.
4. Line Capacity.
This is also something you have to consider depending on where you will be fishing and what you will be catching. Well, everyone likes to have more lines than necessary on the reel anyway so a greater capacity is always appreciated. However, you still should check it out when buying. Make sure you can also use the type of line you want, braid or mono, easily on the unit.
5. Open and Closed Reels.
You will again find that reels can be of two types- open and closed reels. Closed reels are most common and they are easier to use. However, these reels offer you less control when you are casting.
On the other hand, open reels need a bit of expertise for you to use them perfectly. Then again, they offer you to have great control over your casts. So, if you are a beginner, a closed reel will be more suited for you, otherwise, you can go for open reels if you think you need it.
6. The Gear Ratio.
When you finally get hold of a fish, you have to be quick or else it will escape- it, after all, is a matter of life and death. Therefore, you need the reel to be quick and the way to determine the speed of a reel is the gear ratio.
You will find gear ratios mentioned in the ways: 4:1, 5:1, 6.2:1. What these basically mean is that the reel takes 4 rotations with one turn of the handle (When the ratio is 4:1). Therefore, the greater the first number, the better. However, the highest the reels usually go is 7.5:1.
It helps you retrieve the line super fast.
7. Saltwater or Freshwater- The Material of The Reel.
This is quite an important consideration when you are buying a fishing reel. Where will you be fishing? Will you fish in saltwater or freshwater?
If you know saltwater, you know that saltwater is quite harsh on the reel. In fact, a reel without anti-corrosion properties will rust and corrode when around saltwater. Therefore, you will have to choose a reel that either comes caged in a protective box or one that is built with anti-corrosion materials.
When it comes to freshwater reels- you have no such worry. You can just settle for one that does not rust because the humidity around the reel will be quite high. All you have to do is just make sure that the material is of high-quality.
8. The Bearings.
The total task of your line depends on the movement of teh reel- thus you need the ree to be smooth in its function. However, metal alone can never be so smooth- most machines need bearings.
Apparently, reels come with one to twelve bearings that are ball-like parts that help to make the movement of the reel smooth. You will rarely get stuck anywhere with great quality bearings. The material of the bearing also matters, therefore, check the quality and build of the bearing.
9. The Handle.
You will be using the fishing reel for quite a while and while you are at it, you have to feel comfortable to fish at your best. Therefore, check that the handle is well-built, well-padded, and placed right. In fact, it is best if you choose an EVA handle. These are the most common nowadays and they are lightweight and comfortable to hold.
10. Other Features.
Many reels include extra features just to make the whole job easier for you. For example, reels have brakes in them that help you stop them immediately. What you can do is select from the various kinds of brakes available- magnetic, centrifugal, and tension.
Then, there is the anti-reverse feature. While it helps you work smoothly, it can also weigh heavy on durability as its parts can be a bit flimsy. You can also find level winds that help you distribute the lines in a proper way. Therefore, look for such features that you think will make your job easier.
There is no point in spending extra for features you will not even use.
11. The Overall Design.
Till now, you have examined each of the parts that are important separately. It is time to check how they are placed together and well they work together. You have to see how easy the design is for you to handle.
Where the handles are placed, where the lever is, knobs are, lines are, etc are things you have to consider now. Apart from that, also consider the size and distance between all of them as it plays a huge role in how easily you can operate the unit.
12. The price and more.
You can definitely just go out and buy an expensive reel that is of high quality. But, will it be suitable for you? Will the expenditure be worth it all? I do not think so.
It will be a waste of money. You should set a budget for the reel and then look for the best ones within the budget. Also, consider how easily you can replace the parts. Check out the warranty terms as well because you will need it. Stay safe and do not waste your hard-earned money.
Best Fishing Reel: The Benefits
Your own fishing reel comes with a package of benefits dedicated to you. Let’s check them out.
Best Fishing Reel: Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to take care of a fishing reel?
Answer: Since the fishing reels are exposed to a lot of humidity, they have a high chance of rusting despite all the protection. Thus, after every fishing session, you should wash it with freshwater and then dry it properly. You can lubricate it periodically but the most important thing to do is keep them dry when you store them.
2. What does the best fishing reels come with?
Answer: It is mainly the reel and its part that a reel package includes. However, you may find some accessories with it but the rod, lines, etc are things you have to buy separately.
A fishing reel seems like a complicated machine, doesn’t it? Quite often you will find that it is not working the way it should. The problem is either in they build or in how you are using it. And, the solution to both the problem is choosing the right one for yourself.
You have to ensure you are choosing one that is suitable for you and one that will last and perform correctly. Once you ensure that, your fishing experience will be worth sharing with other people.
After researching long time we came into the decision that one fishing reel will not fulfill all your requirements but you may choose the following for specific purpose.
1. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel :Best Fishing Reel for Saltwater
2. Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel:Best Fishing Reel for the Money
3. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel:Best Fishing Reel for Freshwater