Spinning Reel Buyer’s Guide: Best of 2021 [And How To Choose]

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Article Categories: Fishing | fishing tips | Gear

Choosing a perfect spinning wheel for your needs can be tricky with all of the options out there. This article will help you choose the best reel for your particular needs.

Having the best reel for your particular fishing situation will enable you to catch more fish, and simply have a better day on the water. For instance, if you want to catch a bass, you’ll want a spinning reel for bass, and likewise, you’ll want specific spinning reels for your target species.

What Is A Spinning Reel | Considerations For Choosing A Reel | Best Spinning Reels

In this article, we cover some best spinning reels of 2021, we’ll also go over everything you should know if you are in the market to buy a spinning reel.

So, let’s start with the basics, and then we’ll move on to the options of spinning reels.


What Is Spinning Reel?

In simple words, a spinning reel is a type of open-faced reel with a visible spool attached to the rod’s underside. It is very easy to use as compared with other casting reels. This is good for beginners and experienced anglers. Also, spinning reels are efficient in both freshwater and saltwater. If you are interested, take a look at our article, how to spool a spinning reel which will help you with setting up your spinning reel, and understanding all of the components and parts.

How Does A Spinning Reel Differ From A Fly Reel or Baitcasting Reel?

A spinning reel is quite different from a fly reel and baitcasting reel. A baitcasting reel is the most advanced type of reel and is specifically designed for more experienced anglers and not recommended beginners. It has more moving parts than a spinning reel.

While spinning reel works well with smaller baits and lures, a baitcasting reel can also handle large lures and baits. With this being said, there are plenty of spinning reels that can handle some really large lures and baits. Another type of fishing reel is the fly reel used in fly fishing that involves an angling method to catch the fish using a fly or lure cast to catch the fish.

So, all three are very different from each other and have different purposes as well.

What Are The Key Considerations For Choosing A Spinning Reel?

Well, there are several things that you should consider while selecting a spinning reel for your work. Following are a few key considerations:

Where Are You Fishing?

The first thing that you must remember is the location where you want to go fishing because once you know the location, you have to choose the type of spinning reel accordingly.

Your fishing location will decide what type of water is present there and how much salt is present because if you choose the wrong spinning reel for your location, it can damage your reel, which is not a good thing. You’ll want a saltwater reel for salt water or brackish water, and a larger reel for an area with larger fish. Basically, you’ll just need to use common sense here.

Species Targeted

The next thing is the species of fish that you want to target. Trout reels are often much smaller, while a striped bass or other ocean fish is going to require a significantly larger reel. Use the chart below to understand the weight line you need, which will help you pick a reel that fits that line. Every reel will tell you the line weight it can handle, and how much length of that weight.

Type of Fishing Weight Target Species
Freshwater 2-4 lbs Trout, Panfish
6-12 lbs Bass, Catfish, Walleye, Salmon
14-20+ lbs Catfish, Stripers, Pike/Musky
Saltwater 8-14 lbs Sea Trout, Flounder, Sea Bass
16-25 lbs Redfish, Stripers, Blues, Sea Trout
30+ lbs Tuna, Marlin, Shark

Freshwater Vs. Saltwater Reel

If you love to fish in freshwaters or your target species live in freshwaters, then it’s quite evident that you need a freshwaters reel. These reels are suitable for fishing in rivers, ponds, and lakes that require light lures. Also, the line capacity is often much shorter in freshwater.

On the other hand, if you want to go inshore or deep offshore saltwater for fishing, you need to choose a saltwater reel because these types of reel don’t get damaged with high salt amounts in the water. They also often tend to be larger, and capable of handling heavier line, an longer lengths of line.

Weight of Spinning Reel

This is two-fold. The weight determines the line at which it can handle. A higher weight rod can handle thicker line, and a lower weight rod handles lower weight line. Also, consider the actual weight in pounds, grams, or whatever your measuring system is. Some anglers love ultralight gear for backpacking trips, while other anglers couldn’t care about the actual weight. This is a consideration depending upon where you are fishing.

Anti-Reverse Handles

This feature on reels prevents the the reel from spinning backwards in situations. This will cause less tangles, and help with hook sets. This is an important feature to have.

Reel Gear Ratio

The gear ratio controls the speed of reeling in the line. The most common reel ratios are: 5.4:1, 6.4:1, and 7.1:1.

The first number represents how many revolutions the spool makes with one turn of the reel handle. Therefore, a higher ratio means a faster reel. (The less reeling needed per section of line). When anglers need to bring in line fast, a higher ratio is best.

Warranty

This is a pretty straightforward item. A reel with a lifetime warranty, or multiple years is likely a high quality reel. Knowing you have a warranty is valuable. If you fish often, you’ll inevitably break a rod or reel. You’ll want a company and reel that has a warranty to get you back on the water ASAP without dishing out too much cash. This is especially the case if you fish in areas where you can get sand, dirt or debris in your reel easily.

Reviews

It is always nice to see a reel with a lot of reviews. Give Amazon a check, or any other site selling a reel to see what other anglers are saying about that reel. Are there common issues? Does the company have quality customer service? This social proof is a great way to determine if you should go for a reel or not. Especially of other anglers report going for the same species as you plan on going for. Don’t be afraid to go ask fishing forums or other fisherman for advice.

Price

Simply put, know your budget. Have a price range you are willing to pay for. Keep in mind that you will get what you pay for. Generally speaking, more expensive reels will be more reliable, more durable, can handle larger fish, and will avoid tangles more frequently..

If you keep the above considerations in mind, you’ll likely choose a reel that is well suited for you.


The Best Spinning Reels of 2021

KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels

KastKing Centron Spinning Reel

KastKing Centron Spinning Reel

Kastking Summer and Centron spinning reel is loaded with many features and still is easily affordable. It has an excellent build quality, which is lightweight as it has a narrow graphite frame design.

Moreover, the drag system of this reel offers you incredible stopping power of up to 17.5lbs. Also, Centron’s nine quality ball bearings along with one instant stop and anti-reverse bearing provide an ultra-smooth performance.

Its brilliant finishing and high strength two color anodized aluminum spool that has a power launch lip for farther casting makes it an ideal choice. However, it’s not recommended to use it in saltwater.

Pros:

  • Easy and comfortable to use
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Perfect drag system

Cons:

  • Not recommended for fishing in saltwater

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Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn Battle II Battle III Spinning Reel

Penn Battle II Battle III Spinning Reel

Penn Battle models of spinning reels are durable for a long time, and also they are ideal for catching big fish. Its full metal body, side plate, along with its rotor and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire, increases its performance and durability.

Furthermore, it offers you an HT 100 carbon fiber drag system that gives a powerful drag with smoothness. Also, it has fluid cranking with 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse bearing.

Its superline spool doesn’t require backing and has line capacity rings marketed at ⅓, ⅔, and full capacity. Apart from all these features, it’s a bit heavy.

Pros:

  • Durable for a long time
  • Smooth drag system
  • Suitable for medium and big fishing
  • Anti-reverse feature present

Cons:

  • A little heavy
  • Not sealed completely

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Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels

Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel

Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel

Piscifun flame spinning reels come with exquisite appearance with a matte black body along with red aluminum spool. It has a relatively narrow hollow graphite body, and lightweight reel gears give you a comfortable usage.

Also, the 9 quality ball bearings and one roller bearing paired with gears make the overall performance smooth.

If you want to fish in freshwaters, then you can select 2000 and 3000 series reels, while if you love to catch big fish or want to do fishing in saltwater, then 4000 and 5000 series is the best for you.

It has plenty of features that make it easy for you to fight with the giants and is also compatible with braided lines.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design
  • Ultra-smooth working
  • Compatible with braided line

Cons:

  • 2000 and 3000 series are not suitable for saltwater

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Daiwa Bg Saltwater Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Daiwa Bg spinning reel has a black anodized machined aluminum housing, which gives it good strength and stability. It features an over-sized Digigear system as well that increases the contact points of the gear-tooth.

Also, it has seven bearings drive systems, which includes six ball bearings and a single roller bearing. Furthermore, it features carbon ATD (Automatic Tournament Drag), which is waterproof and gives you a smooth performance.

In 4500 and larger, there is manual return bail as well. The 4000 and smaller features an anti-reverse system while the 4500 and larger, have infinite dual anti-reverse systems. So, you can choose the series that suits you the most.

This reel also has freshwater and saltwater variations.

Pros:

  • Easy and comfortable to use
  • Durable and lightweight design
  • It gives maximum drag

Cons:

  • The 4000 series is quite heavy

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Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

This braid ready, sealed drag system reel is durable, easy to use, and has thousands of happy customers. With over a thousand reviews to look at on Amazon, you can be sure you are getting a reel that has been tested.

The sealed drag system is great to keep debris out, and your reel operating smoothly.

Pros:

  • Sealed drag system
  • Braid can be directly tied to spool
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • This reel is on the smaller size, so those with large hands may prefer a larger reel.

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Conclusion

In this article, we’ve covered the most important aspects to consider while choosing a spinning reel. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us as we would be happy to help. As a disclaimer, the above links are affiliate links, so when making a purchase through our links, we receive a small commission to help support the site. These commissions and links by no mean effect our reviews as our goal is to provide readers with the most helpful content possible.

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the creator of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and sharing his experiences. Max is a published author for various outdoor websites, and digital marketing websites. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about

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