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Best Spinning Reels Reviewed
Who goes fishing with hopes of catching the smallest fish they can find? That’s right…no one! Anglers are always looking for that trophy fish when we hit the water.
With that being the case, it is a wise investment for anglers to purchase a quality spinning reel to be well prepared for when that prize-winning fish comes along. The truth is, you are much more likely to lose a real trophy if you rely on low-end gear.
Spinning reels with smooth drag systems and solid build quality will always out-perform herky-jerky drag systems and cheap components.
Big fish will test the drag system on your spinning reel whether you fish fresh or saltwater. But we all know the corrosive effects saltwater has. For that reason, it’s important to purchase a spinning reel that is designed for your application.
The best spinning reel for your needs will depend on how you want to use it. That’s why we produced an in-depth review of our top spinning reel picks for both fresh and saltwater below.
Spinning Reel Features To Consider
- Rod Balance – A well balanced spin fishing setup will feel great in your hand. But more importantly, it will cast much easier and prevent arm fatigue throughout your day on the water.
- Line Retrieve – The ability to pick up line fast can be a game changer. Big fish can move fast, and if they make a break straight at you, you’ll need to retrieve line fast. Line retrieve is measured by how much line you can pick up with one revolution of the handle.
- Smooth Drag – A smooth and strong drag is super important when big fish are on the line, and a good range of adjustment is a big plus. Large spinning reels designed for big fish will often have stronger drag systems than their smaller counterparts.
- Sealed Reel – Saltwater fishing will test your spinning reel, but surf casting can add a whole new layer of potential destruction-by-sand. Spinning reels with sealed designs will lock out the destructive effects of sand and salt, and greatly extend the lifespan and performance of your reel.
Top Spinning Reels Comparison Chart
Best Spinning Reels
1. PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel
- Full Metal Body, side plate, and rotor
- CNC Gear technology
- IP6 Sealed body and spool design
- Sealed Slammer drag system with Dura-Drag
- 6+1 stainless steel bearing system
2. Shimano Stradic 4000 Spinning Reel
- The stradic spinning reel utilizes shimano's latest technology while also drawing on ways of the past and every part has been designed to improve the angler's experience on the water
- X-ship technology provides improved gear durability and eliminates friction between the spool shaft and gear enhancing the casting performance and allowing for longer casts
- Incorporates shimano's flagship hagane gearing and hagane body that provides long-lasting; strong; and durable performance and smoothness giving anglers the strength for both inshore and offshore action
- The built-in dyna-balance rotor and fluidrive ii system accompanied by shimano's propulsion line management system offers exceptional smoothness and casting capabilities while mitigating line management issues
- Max drag: 24 lbs. / gear ratio: 6.2:1. / weight: 9.7 oz. / line retrieve: 39" / bearings: 6bb + 1rb – powerpro line cap: 15/280; 30/170; 50/150 – mono line cap: 8/240; 10/200; 12/160
3. Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel
- Spinning fishing reel delivers smooth, reliable performance in a feather-light magnesium frame
- Sealed carbon washers exert powerful drag that remains smooth under pressure
- Smooth operation with 10 stainless steel ball bearings and SMARTretrieve technology
- Braid-ready spool allows braid to be tied directly to spool
- Slow oscillation gearing, lightweight carbon handle, and EVA knobs offer smooth, comfortable cranking
4. Shimano Spheros 5000 Spinning Reel
- Retrieve: Reversible, Gear ratio: 4.6:1
- Line capacity lb/yds: 10/240, 12/195, 6/140
- Weight: 16.0 ounce
- line retrieve per crank: 38.2 inch
- Bearings: 4 S ARB, dragforce: 22 lbs