Cleaning Fishing Reels – [How to Guide]

​Do you want to keep your spinning reel for longer while maintaining its effectiveness?

Well, the secret to that lies in its proper cleaning. Do you think that you have been cleaning it right? Just hold on because you will soon find out.

Most people including the experts among anglers still do not know how to clean fishing reels. If your reel is dear to you then be responsible enough to give it a proper clean up.

As much as reels have different uses, the basics necessary when it comes to cleaning them are almost similar even when using a baitcaster rod and reel.

Simply create some time off your busy schedule and administer proper cleaning to your fishing reel. It’s actually one of the best decisions you can ever make as a focused angler.

Below is a guideline that will assist you in performing proper cleaning for your fishing reel.

​Cleaning Fishing Reels - Step by Step

​1. Cleaning Equipment

Laying out the appropriate items for cleaning the reel and supplies. Before you commence your cleaning, exercise ensure that you have the following tools at your disposal; unused toothbrush, two screwdrivers small in size, tweezers and a piece of toothpick. Have the parts list in your hand that accompanied the reel during purchase and a wrench.

Among the supplies for cleaning you should have during this initial stage include a portion of hot water, a reel cleaner, Simple green product for cleaning or a lighter fluid (Ronsonol). Such components will help you to easily remove the accumulated oils or grease. Do you have all this on your checklist? If yes, then you are ready for the next step.

2. Taking Apart

​Careful separate your fishing reel in parts keeping each piece nicely laid out on a mat. In order to keep track of each piece laid out, try marking each piece using a masking tape and numbering them. This step will help to ensure that during assembling the pieces back none of it will get lost or forgotten. Remember the reel will only function effectively when you fix all its pieces separate.

​3. Handling

Try to be very cautious about how you handle your fishing reel when dissembling it and also during its reconstruction. You should hold the reel using your left hand while the right-hand does the rest of the activities. Practicing this ensure that everything stays in place and you can manage easily. It will be more rewarding if you adopted handling the exercise in a similar manner. Why is this important? It’s important because that way putting the pieces back together is also made easier.

4. Separate

Take proper precautions by ensuring that a metal isn’t placed against another.  Putting a mental on another could have adverse effects on your reel. This is because different parts of a reel are tailor-made to fit a metal to fiber.  Always keep that in mind.

5. Use a Tweezers

Employing the proper use of the tweezers when it comes to handling clips made of wire and the springs. This will help ensure that the pieces are not flying and dropping all over the place while reducing their chances of getting lost. Keep in mind that for your reel to keep functioning after this, all its pieces are important.

​6. Secure your Line 

Ensure to take off your fishing line and securing it before getting to remove the spool. You can choose to either have it secured first using a masking tape before getting the spool away from the reel or simply pulling out the fishing line from the spool.

If you don’t exercise the above precaution, you may find your line end up stuck between the frame and the spool.  If this happens it may become very difficult for you to remove it. Such an occurrence might end up spoiling your fishing reel in the long run.

​8. Clean the Parts

Use Simple green in keeping your reel parts clean. Do not attempt to employ gasoline or other products with similar effects when it comes to cleaning off grease and dirt for your reel. This is because gasoline has an effect on plastics that melts them.

Simple green is a biodegradable component that won’t pose such effect on the parts of the reel made of fiber. Using it together with a used toothbrush will work wonders on your reel giving it a very clean look.

​9. Greasing

Keeping your gears greased by applying the grease on the lower end of the teeth. Applying grease on the upper ends of the teeth will make the gears to splash the grease all over. To ensure that you achieve great greasing for your gears, simply apply a light coverage using a tiny brush or toothpick. Actually, a light cover of grease is all good to go.

​10. Clean Bearings 

Adopt using lighter fluid during the cleaning of oil bearings. This will ensure that all the dirty and unwanted disposals are all cleaned out. Run a spin in order to be sure of their clean condition thereafter.

With the help of a toothpick keep them oiled using the Rocket fuel (TG) which has an average velocity. Placing one drop on each bearing is enough to make it even more effective.


As an expert angler, it’s important to note that exercising proper cleaning of your reel will as well help increase its durability and performance. Salt water is one of the major dangers your reel has to face as you continuously use it. But this does not mean that sand and dirt are exceptional. However, it’s still very easy to manage the effect of salt water. You will only need to exercise immediate cleaning of your reel after every fishing activity compared to anglers who fish in fresh waters.

Note that this doesn’t mean that you don’t clean it when fishing in fresh waters. The only difference is that with the fresh waters it’s still safe to clean you reel a number time in a year, weekly and even monthly. Do not allow your reel to get spoiled because you failed cleaning it using the right approach. The above guideline on how to clean fishing reels as very simple and easy to follow. Take your chances and improve the lifespan of your reel as you engage in more and more fishing activities.

Best Baitcaster Combos 2019 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Looking to step up your casting game from a spinning outfit but confused about what exactly you should buy?

​Why buy a baitcasting combo?

​In a word;


​The best baitcaster combos combine both value and performance in one package.

Often when combos are sold from the reputable big brands you end up getting much more bang for you buck than if you were to purchase a separate rod and reel.

There is a lot of cheaper junk out there ​and often with fishing tackle you really do get what you pay for.

No one wants to loose that fish of a lifetime because the rod tip snaps or your reel jams.

If you stick to the major brands like Abu Garcia, Ugly Stik, Lews and 13 Fishing you can generally rely on the quality of the materials and build.

Top Pick

​Ugly Stik Elite Combo

The best baitcaster combo for the money

A perfect combo for both beginners and experienced alike. Legendary "Elite" range of casting rods ​paired with a quality reel for smooth casting performance.

​Who Should Buy a Combo?

​Anyone who is thinking of switching over from a spinning setup and are looking to try their hands at using a baitcasting rod and reel should definitely think about opting for a combo.

Personally I keep one in my truck for the occasional sneaky hour after work.

I would not keep a high end casting rod and reel in my truck as they are likely to get either damaged or stolen, but a decent baitcaster combo under $100 no problem!

​Baitcasting Rod and Reel Combos

If you are new to casting rod and reel setup then there are a few subtle differences to be aware of

  • Reel - line runs off the spool as it turns, requires thumb to control cast, not suitable for ultralight gear
  • Rod - line guides sit flusher to the rod blank, reel seat may have what is called a trigger grip above it

A baitcasting reel is a major departure from a spinning or open face reel.

The spool runs horizontally across the rod and and once the brake is disengaged the spool will run freely. 

This free-spooling can give you immense casting performance and control however it can result in what is called a birdsnest tangle.

When your lure slows down at the end of a cast often the spool continues to turn at a higher rate than the line is coming off it. This results in the spool running over the line on itself and resulting in a big tangled mess.

You need to adjust to this type of casting technique and there is a significant learning curve.

However, once mastered it is noticeably superior to using a spinning reel on all but the lightest of tackle.

A biatcasting rod only really differs from a regular spinning rod in that the line guides and reel seats are slightly different.

The line guides on a spinning reel need to take into account the circular motion of the line as it comes off the spool. To accommodate this the line guides closer to the reel are much larger in diameter.

On a casting rod there is no such issue. So, the guides are generally smaller and closer in to the rod blank.

The reel seat may have a trigger trip that allows you to grip the rod with your thumb in an optimal and more natural position for casting a baitcaster.

​Below we have reviewed the 7 Best Baitcaster Combos for the money.

​Best Baitcaster Combos 2019

​The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo has proven to be a popular option for many people.

If you're looking for a solid rod and reel combo, then this is likely going to be of interest to you.

Take a look at some more information about the rod below. It'll help you to figure out if this one is going to suit your needs. 

​Lightweight and Easy to Use

Overall, this rod is very lightweight and easy to use. It's going to be a rod that will be simple enough for beginners to use while still offering good enough functionality to appeal to veteran fishermen.

You should be able to use this to reel in plenty of fish, and it's going to hold up when you're trying to reel in the big one. Having this combination of power and ease of use is certainly going to appeal to many.

It has been made using lightweight graphite, and it has a composite frame with double paddle aluminum. This reel also sports a machined aluminum ported spool. You'll even be able to make use of the adjustable magnetic cast control. Overall, the durability and versatility of this rod are to be commended.

Great Price

Another thing that helps this rod and reel combo to stand out from the competition is the price. It's very reasonably priced and is going to be perfect for a first fishing rod for someone who is getting into the hobby.

This is a premium rod that performs well while still being priced very low. It's a bargain, and you won't find many rod and reel combos out there that are a better deal.

In Conclusion

This is definitely a rod and reel combo that is worth your time. It's reasonably priced, and it'll even work great for saltwater fishing. Consider picking this up if you need a good rod or if you're buying it as a present for someone who is just starting out. It'll be simple to use, and it'll always be a reliable fishing rod.

  • ​Legendary Ugly Stik Elite rod blank
  • One piece Ugly Tuff guides
  • Super sensitive Ugly Stik Clear Tip
  • Aluminum machined and ported spool
  • Perfect for beginners

​This baitcasting rod and reel combo from Abu Garcia offers fishermen a very versatile experience.

There are many features that help this rod to stand out among other rods that are similarly priced.

Look at the details below so that you can see if this rod is worth your time or not. It'll help you to find the perfect rod for your situation. 

​Durability and Power

One great aspect of this rod is that it is quite durable. It has been made to last, and you won't feel like this rod is in danger of breaking due to overuse. This also helps when it comes to power. You're going to be able to use this rod to reel in big catches, making it a very useful fishing rod to own.

Superior Feel and Responsiveness

The feel and responsiveness of this rod need to be commended as well. This 24-ton graphite rod gives users a lightweight option that is never going to feel cumbersome. It also allows you to really feel what you're doing and is responsive to your subtle movements. You can get great results if you choose to make use of this rod.

Great Reel Design

The reel design on this rod is actually something special. It is incredibly lightweight and sleek. It has a one-piece graphite frame as well as graphite side plates. Making use of the reel feels very natural, and you should have a good time reeling in your catches.

In Conclusion

It's hard not to recommend this rod as a good option to consider. This is going to be a good choice for any fisherman who wants an affordable rod that performs up to a high standard. It's lightweight, it has great feel, and the reel design is fantastic. Don't hesitate to pick this rod and reel combo up if you've been looking for something new.

  • ​4 + 1 stainless steel bearings
  • Power Disk drag system
  • 24-ton graphite rod blank

​If you've been looking for a lightweight rod and reel combo, then you're likely going to be intrigued by this rod from Lew's.

It offers fishermen a very good experience and excels in several areas.

Look at the information below to see what it has to offer. You'll be able to determine if this rod is going to be able to live up to your high expectations. 

​Very Low-Profile Design

The design of this rod can definitely be considered low-profile. It has been made to be as light as it can be, and it also has a smaller reel design than usual. It also has both a graphite frame and side plates.

The u-shaped spool really is quite fast, and it was crafted using anodized aluminum.

Double-Shielded 10-Bearing Drive System

It's also important to make note of the double-shielded 10-bearing drive system that this rod and reel combo uses. It features a zero-reverse anti-reverse clutch bearing that is made out of stainless steel.

External adjustments are possible due to the magnetic control system that is being used here. You'll be able to make use of up to ten pounds of drag power.

Great Performance

The performance of this rod is actually really great. You're going to be able to feel what you're doing, and the rod works to help make things easy on you.

The double-anodized aluminum spool works superbly, and you'll be able to quickly release when necessary. This is going to be a good rod and reel combo for anyone who wants a rod that will perform to a high standard.

In Conclusion

Making use of this rod is going to be simple, and you'll definitely feel like you got your money's worth. It's a pretty good overall value, and it has many premium features that make it worth owning.

The speed spool is one of the standout features of this rod and reel combo, but the entire rod is good. Give this one your consideration if you like what it has to offer.

  • ​Low-profile high performance reel
  • Machined anodized aluminum spool
  • 10 main bearings

​Abu Garcia is a pretty well-known source for fishing rod and reel combos.

This option here is one that has many people curious. Is it worthwhile, or is it just another rod that people can go ahead and ignore?

Taking the time to look over what it has to offer below can help you come to a conclusion. 

​Made to Be Low-Profile

You'll note that this rod has a very low-profile design. It has been made to be sleek and feels a bit easier to use than normal because of it. This is also going to be a fairly lightweight rod that is easy to use. This makes it a good choice for a first fishing rod for someone who is just learning the ropes.

High-Quality Materials

You should know that this rod has been made using high-quality materials. The graphite used to make this rod allows you to enjoy a lightweight fishing experience. It's also durable enough to help you catch fish without having to worry if the rod can handle it. This rod and reel combo uses 30-ton graphite blank and stainless steel guides to ensure that casting is always as simple as can be.

Good Reel Sensitivity

The reel sensitivity on this rod is also very good. It has an extreme-exposure reel that really boosts the overall sensitivity. It makes it easier to reel in a big catch or to make subtle changes when necessary. You'll really be able to feel what you're doing when you own this rod.

In Conclusion

This is a solid rod and reel combo that will offer you a lot for the money. It has good reel sensitivity, it's made from high-quality materials, and it's low-profile. If this appeals to you, then it's an option that is worth thinking about. It isn't the best rod and reel combo on the market, but it stands up to the competition as a solid offering.

  • ​Medium power casting rod
  • 7 stainless steel bearings
  • Carbon Matrix drag

​Those who are looking for a good baitcast rod and reel combo might want to consider this one here.

This rod actually has a lot to offer, and many people have been really happy with it.

Take your time to go over a little bit about this rod so that you can see what all the fuss is about. It just might be a great rod and reel combo to add to your collection. 

​Smooth Casting

The smooth casting of this baitcast rod and reel combo is one of its standout features. You're going to be able to cast out very easily, and you never feel any resistance.

It's very simple to put your line right where you need it to be. If you want casting to be as easy as it can be, then you should definitely consider picking this one up.

Feels Natural in Your Hands

You should be able to feel really natural when you make use of this rod. It feels like it fits in your hand comfortably, and you'll be able to use it for long periods of time if you have a fishing weekend planned. Anyone who cares about comfort will find this rod to be a good fit. It has been designed to be very ergonomic, and it shows.

Great for First-Time Baitcast Users

If you are new to using baitcast reels, then this is going to be a good rod to start with. It feels really easy to get the hang of using this rod.

If you're coming to this rod from using a spinning reel, then you'll note that you don't have to use as much muscle or effort to get the best results. It feels good after you spend a bit of time with it, and it's a great entry-level rod for baitcast newbies.

In Conclusion

Now that you've seen what this rod has to offer you, it's easy to tell that it's worthwhile. This is definitely a good rod that is going to be able to provide you with a premium experience.

If you want a rod with a great baitcast reel, then you'll be thrilled with how this one performs. It feels great in your hands, and you're going to be able to put it to great use.

  • ​One piece IMX graphite rod blank
  • 10 main bearings
  • Magnetic control brake system

​When taking a look at the rods offered by Abu Garcia, you'll note that there are some very good ones and others that are just kind of average.

Knowing this, you might be curious where the Pro Max rod and reel combo falls on this scale.

It's time to take a look at what this rod can do to determine how worthwhile it is. You'll be able to read all about it to see if this one is worth buying or not. 

​Super Lightweight

You're going to love how lightweight this rod feels. It is going to be easy to hold and maneuver, allowing you to have a better experience. This rod will work well in both saltwater and freshwater, too. You should enjoy using this in many different situations.

Casting Is Very Simple

Luckily, casting is very simple with this rod. You're going to be able to cast out with ease. Configuring this reel to your liking and getting things calibrated will be easy. This allows you to get the best possible casting even if you aren't that experienced. This is one of the best rods for casting for an inexperienced fisherman.

Good Action and Average Power

This rod has good action, and you're going to be able to feel the fish biting your hook. 

Being able to react to subtle changes is definitely possible when you're using this rod. The power that this rod offers is pretty average, as it comes in at a medium weight. You should be able to haul in a bigger fish without many issues, though.

In Conclusion

You'll find that this rod is going to provide you with a solid overall experience. It isn't going to blow you away with any one feature, but it performs well in several areas. If you want something that you can rely on while you're out fishing, then this is a sensible rod to purchase. You're going to be able to enjoy a solid experience the entire time

  • ​7 main bearings
  • Power Disk system
  • 24-ton graphite rod blank

​Today you're going to be able to take a look at the 13 Fishing Origin Fate Black Casting Rod and Reel Combo.

Many people have been curious about this rod and everything that it has to offer.

You'll be able to see what the best features of this rod are so that you can determine if it's right for you. Take the time to read all about it below. 

​Great Power

One of the biggest reasons to consider buying this rod is that it has great power. If you want a durable rod that is going to allow you to haul in the big catches, then this one is a great option. It has the right weight and size to give you the power that you need. When compared to other rods at similar prices, this one definitely stands out for having solid power.

Comfortable to Grip

You're also going to fall in love with how comfortable this rod is to hold in your hands. It has a very comfortable grip that is going to make it simpler to use. You'll feel just fine when you're fishing for long periods of time. Even battling with a fish will feel better on your hands due to the comfortable grip design.

Baitcasting Made Easy

Baitcasting is made easy with this rod and reel combo. You're going to be able to make use of the smooth design of this baitcasting rod to put your line where it needs to go. This is going to be a good option for people who want to get better at casting. It's very accurate, and you'll definitely be pleased.

In Conclusion

This is certainly a very good rod and reel combo to consider purchasing. It offers great power, a comfortable grip, and great baitcasting. You shouldn't hold back on purchasing this one if you feel that it fits what you want out of a fishing rod. It's definitely worth the price, and you'll be happy with what you're getting.

  • ​Super tuned reel
  • Low resin rod blank construction
  • Tangle free guides
  • High quality cork handle

​Baitcaster Combo Buying Guide

​When purchasing your baitcaster combo don't go buying the most expensive one. 

It's much better to purchase a cheaper combo an once you become a more experienced caster you can then upgrade to something better.

Chances are you won;t need to change for a few years so learn with a basic model and then from there figure out what your style of fishing might require.

Shore Fishing Vs Boat Fishing

​For lots of people, fishing from the shore is something that brings them a lot of joy in their leisure time.

To be sure, there are those fishers who have been fishing from the shore for years but have always dreamed about buying a boat and getting out onto the wide open sea.

It seems as if people who fish from boats always bring home the biggest fish; is it something about being out there on a boat that makes the catches bigger and more exciting?

Shore Fishing vs Boat Fishing

The real answer is more complex than the size of the catches would suggest. In fact, there are a number of reasons why one might prefer one or the other but it’s not a “one size fits all” equation.

Why Should You Fish From the Shore?

The truth is that most young anglers don’t have the kind of financial resources to buy a boat of any size, let alone one that would allow them to go out to the best fishing spots at sea and all of the expensive gear like a good trolling reel.

Because of this, many young anglers find themselves fantasizing about buying a boat because it seems as though this would improve the rate and size of their catches.

If you’re in this situation, you might be surprised by some of the distinct benefits of shore fishing, including:

  • Stealth: One thing that can really spook fish is noise and movement but if you’re stealthy enough when you’re fishing from the shore, you will hardly make a noise at all. This means that you’re also less likely to scare the fish away and more likely to catch something. Boats might be great for a lot of things but they are big, cast a shadow in the water, move around, and can make lots of noise. All of this can definitely spook the fish away. This is especially going to be the case in shallow waters where any noise from the boat is going to be heard a long way through the water and cause the fish to move away.
  • Time Is Yours: You might not consider it but having a boat means that you’re also doing lots of extra things and all of this takes time. You have to maintain the boat in good condition, make sure that it’s fueled up ready to go out, and do all of the other stuff that is the domain of boat ownership. If this isn’t really your thing, you might just prefer shore fishing instead. Time is on your side when you’re fishing from the shore. You can just get what you need, go out to the shore, and fish as time allows. There's no hassle and no worrying about all of the time-consuming stuff that is a big part of boat ownership. In many ways, this quiet approach suits the angling lifestyle.
  • Easier to Land Fish: When you’re fishing from a boat, you need a net a lot of the time to pull the catch up and into the boat. Not only does this take more work but sometimes the net gets forgotten altogether. By contrast, if you’re fishing from the shore, you can more easily land the fish. All you have to do is reel it in. There’s no nets and no hassle this way.

Why Should You Fish From a Boat?

It might seem as though shore fishing really has the big advantage over fishing from a boat but it’s not quite that simple. There are definitely some good things about boat fishing that you need to think about if angling is your game, including:

  • Range and Coverage: When you’re shore fishing, you tend to stay in the same spot for hours unless you pick up everything and walk to a new spot. When you’re boat fishing, you have miles and miles at your disposal! If you’re not catching much in one spot from a boat, you can just motor off to a new area and re-cast. It’s easy and less tiring doing it this way. The range that a boat can cover in a single day of fishing makes it a really attractive proposition for many anglers.
  • Fish Diversity: Most shore anglers tend to come home with the same types of fish because they can’t move around easily. Distance is no obstacle to boat anglers so if you think that the fish are spooked in one area, you can just go to another area. This also means that boat anglers tend to come home with a greater diversity of fish species in their buckets. Furthermore, lots of boat anglers invest in electronic fish finders which give them lots of information that shore fishers simply don’t have access to.

What Should You Choose?

In reality, shore fishing and boat fishing are different enough that they can appeal equally to different kinds of anglers.

Fishing boats give a lot of access to fish and can cover a large range but it’s going to be a big financial investment too. Do you want to dock it, pay for service and maintenance, and register it every year? Or is it going to sit in the dry dock for much of the year while you are busy doing other things?

Shore fishing certainly offers the sort of ease and convenience that lots of anglers enjoy but it’s never going to appeal to those who enjoy covering a large fishing area and maximizing their catches.

If you’re shore fishing and still fantasize about boat fishing, one way to scratch the itch is to invest in a much smaller boat. This will ensure that you can cover more area but will not be as much of a financial burden.

Ultimately, fishing is really about what you enjoy and get the most out of. Some people see the distinct advantages to both types of angling and enjoy both differently, of course. In this sense, it’s really a highly personal decision and there is no “one size fits all” kind of solution that’s right for everyone.

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How to Reel in a Big Fish

​One of the most exciting things about fishing is landing a really big one!

Landing a big catch is what lots of anglers dream about, but there’s not a whole lot of specific information about the details of landing one.

This leaves lots of inexperienced anglers out in the cold when it comes to the basics of landing a big catch. The last thing you want after getting a bite on the hook is to see it swim off because you don’t know what to do.

How to Reel in a Big Fish

How Can You Land a Big Fish?
The thought of landing a big one really keeps many inexperienced anglers going out on cold mornings, but actually landing one is about more than just pure luck.

It takes skill and experience to fight the fish successfully and land it properly. Here are some things that you definitely need to know to land your huge catch:

1. Keep Your Rod Held Properly

One thing that many inexperienced anglers forget to do is keep their rod in a good position. When this isn’t done, the fish is more likely to get away and you’re not going to be ready when a fish does eventually bite the hook.

Landing a fish is all about leverage and maximizing your position against the strength of the fish. Ideally, you should be holding the rod with both hands and keep it in the center of your body mass.

Lots of inexperienced anglers extend their arms or hold the rod off to the side.
As comfortable as this might be sometimes, it’s not a good position when a fish strikes. You’ll lack good leverage in this position and the fish is more likely to get away.

You may even snap the line or lose your rod altogether if the fish strikes hard enough and you’re not positioned well.

2. Be Thoughtful

One thing that many anglers miss is to check their surroundings. If, for example, you’re fishing in a river you should check for any overhanging branches that might impede your movement. You definitely won’t have time to do this when you’re in the middle of fighting the fish and trying to land it!

The other thing you need to think about, even before you cast out your line, is your hook set and your technique. Are you trying to catch bottom feeders? If so, you’ll likely need a sweep set.

3. Remain Calm

There’s a huge thrill when a fish has bitten the line and you find yourself in the middle of a fight. Despite the excitement, the rule of thumb is to remain as calm as possible. Yes, there’s going to be a pull on the line. Yes, there’s going to be some struggle as you try and work with your reel and rod to tire out the fish and land it.

The thing you really need to remember is that the drag you’ve set on the line is intended to do a big part of the work when exhausting the fish. You need to be calm so that you can work with the equipment and maintain a proper position.

If you keep calm and let the line and the drag setting do what it’s supposed to do, you’re more likely to tire out the fish and land it successfully.

It’s definitely one area where inexperienced anglers have a disadvantage, but the only way to get to the level of calm that you need is through experience.

4. You Should Always Adjust

If there’s one thing you really need to learn in fishing, it’s that you must always be willing to adjust to the fish during the fight. Depending on where you are, the fish itself, and your level of experience, you’ll have to make small adjustments to how you tire out the fish.

5. Use a Landing Net If You Have to

Some anglers think that it’s uncool to use a landing net when out on the boat. Sure, there’s definitely a level of excitement to watch an experience angler flip out a massive Bass and into the bottom of the boat, but it’s also not an easy thing to do.

If you use a landing net, you’re actually more likely to catch more fish. Landing those big fish such as the competitive anglers do, might look cool, but unless you have a lot of experience it can actually damage your fishing gear, your boat, and your hands. A big fish that’s moving around wildly in the boat on the line can even cause hooks to go flying and cause injury.

Don’t Do These Things If You Want to Reel in a Big Fish

There are plenty of things that help you to land a big fish, but what about things that you shouldn’t do? Consider the following:

1. Don’t Overreact When You Get a Bite

Inevitably, if you fish for long enough, you'll get a bite. This can be a bit strange at first when you feel tugs on your line, but the thing not to do is to jerk at it. If you feel a fish on the end of the line, don’t simply jerk it up and try and land it all in one movement. Fishing is about patience as much as it is about skill and experience.

One thing that you’ll quickly learn is to develop a feel for the tip of the rod. You'll soon learn when a fish is having a bite at the bait and you’ll be able to remain calm.

2. Apply Steady Pressure

One thing that many inexperienced anglers do is tug too hard on the line when they feel a bite on the hook. The problem is that a sudden jerk of the line will set up a loose line after the initial jerk. This is not what you want when you’re fighting a fish, as it’s more likely to get free and swim away.

The answer is to maintain a steady pressure when you’re fighting the fish. This applies maximum drag through the line and makes the fish tire out more easily.

Make Your Fishing Trips a Great Success

Fishing can be both relaxing and exciting. As you develop more skills and have more experience, you’ll learn the intricacies of fighting the fish and landing a big one.

How to Set the Drag on a Fishing Reel

​Setting the level of drag on a fishing reel is an essential skill for any angler.

Many beginners find that if they struggle to set the drag properly, the line tends to snap as they try to land the fish on the hook.

This is because the weight of the fish and the force of the pull works against the drag setting and places too much stress on the fishing line. Consequently, the line itself can’t take the weight and it snaps, leaving the fish to swim free.

How to Set the Drag on a Fishing Reel

In this context, it’s essential for all anglers of any level to learn how to properly set the drag on their reels so that this doesn’t happen. The last thing that keen anglers want is to see the fish they’ve struggled to catch swim away because they didn’t set the drag right!

Why Is the Drag Setting Important?

Apart from the fact that you really don’t want broken fishing lines, the right drag setting will actually make your fishing easier. In fact, experienced anglers don’t rely too much on their brute strength to land a fish. They also rely on the force of the drag on the reel to help tire out the fish and land it more easily. In this context, any way you look at it, setting the drag correctly is going to be essential learning.

Things to Consider When Setting Drag

It’s important to set the drag properly because applying too much force will likely snap the line and you’ll have to start all over again. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • What kind of reel do you have and how much drag can it handle?
  • How strong in the line?
  • How much experience do you have as an angler

Ideally, if you’re new to all of this, you should set your drag to a medium setting. This will avoid snapping the line in most cases but will apply enough force to make landing small to medium-sized fish easier. The one thing you should never do is adjust your drag setting while you’ve got a fish on the hook and you’re trying to land it.

The right drag setting will also allow an angler to land fish that are rated above the grade of the line so it really is important to get it right.

​Drag Adjustment Knob on a Fishing Reel

If you’re just starting out in the world of fishing, it’s good to have some understanding of how the drag mechanism works so that you can work out how to set it and use it to your advantage.

In the most basic terms, the drag reel mechanism is a pin that can apply varied pressure to the spooled fishing line. This force can be varied and this is where it’s important to understand how much pressure is necessary via the pin.

When a fish has been caught on a line, it’s important to tire it out so that it can be landed more easily. A drag setting will use the strength of the fish against itself as it struggles on the hook and becomes exhausted.

The pressure applied by the pin on the spooled line forces the fish to use its own energy more quickly and decreases the reliance of the angler on his or her own brute strength. When you hear the reel clicking as the fish struggles, this is the force of the drag setting at work.

The drag mechanism varies across different reel types but the principle is exactly the same: a variable force is applied by a pin to the spooled line.

Setting the drag on a baitcaster reel or a trolling reel is very different to that on a spinning reel.

Some Advice on Setting Drag

Experienced anglers understand that it’s important to set the drag right when they go out for a trip. If you’re not very experienced, here are some tips:

  • Not Too Tight: It’s vital to not set the drag too tight; otherwise, this will break the line. Obviously, there’s a need to control the fish and a tighter drag will allow this to happen more easily. If it’s too loose, the fish will be able to swim more freely and it could be a long while before you can land it because it’s not being exhausted quickly. In this sense, setting the drag is a fine line between being too tight and too loose.
  • Test it Out: The best and easiest way to test the drag on your reel is to pull the line away from the reel once you’ve set the drag. If the line snaps, you’ve applied too much pressure and it will need to be loosened. If it comes away too easily and without much resistance, it’s too loose and you’ll need to tighten it.
  • Feel the Tension: The other way to test out how much drag you’ve set is to attach a weight to the end of the line and then lift it up carefully. This will give you some indication of how much tension there is in the line and you can then gauge whether or not to change the drag setting.

Getting the Drag Setting Right

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve already had a few fishing trips, the best way to learn how to set the drag is just to experiment and learn. Playing around with the pin mechanism will allow you to experiment with different tension settings.

Setting the drag properly is something that you’re going to have to learn pretty quickly because the last thing you want is to burn through a ton of lines because they snap! You also don’t want to work harder than you have to when you’re landing a catch because the drag is too loose.

As with most things in life, the best guide when setting drag is experience. There will be some trial and error but by following the advice above, it can be done more easily. Eventually, setting the drag will just become something that you do automatically and your judgment will inform how much pressure you set.

Baitcaster vs Spinner Reel – Which Reel do you Need?

​Many of us will fondly remember the early ​fishing reels we used as kids. They were lightweight, simple to use, and allowed us to concentrate on fishing without all of the fuss. Of course, technology has changed since those innocent times and we now have access to more reels than ever. 

Baitcaster vs Spinner Reel

Despite all of the marketing and models available, there are two main types of fishing reels: baitcaster and spinning. So, which one should you use and why?

Why Should You Use a Spinning Reel?

Sometimes, you really just want to get out there and fish, without all of the fuss with equipment. If this is your goal, a spinning reel might just be for you. So, what do they offer to anglers? Consider the following:

1. Ease of Use and Convenience

The biggest advantage to the spinning reel is that they are easy to use and operate. There’s a good reason why lots of young anglers use them. This means that you can focus on what you really love: fishing.

2. No Drag to Set

Setting the drag is essential when you need the reel to do a lot of the work of landing a fish, but it’s not for everyone. This is especially true if you’re not intending to catch anything too big. With the spinning reel, all you need to do is place your finger on the line and cast it out. This gives you all of the control you need.

3. Great for Light Baits

If you primarily use plastic lures and light baits, a spinning reel is going to be a good investment. Because there’s no drag on the line and no pressure from a pin, you can cast out your lures and baits as far as you can. The line will simply flow right off the spool and you can get on with fishing.

The other advantage here is that there’s also no reel backlash to deal with. Lots of anglers don’t like to deal with the backlash from a reel with a set drag, and the spinning reel has none of this tension.

What Does the Baitcaster Offer?

If you’re thinking about moving to a baitcaster from a spinning reel, you need to know that there is an extra level of skill required. Here’s what you can expect when you use a baitcaster:

1. You Can Use Heavier Lures and Baits

If you’re into using jigs, crankbaits, and heavier lures, then you really need to use a baitcaster for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. Unlike the light plastic lures that are fine for spinning reels, the baitcaster allows an angler to use heavier lures and cast them out with greater accuracy. This also means that you can use heavier baits and catch bigger fish.

2. Set the Drag Resistance

If you’re going to move to using baitcasting reels , you absolutely have to learn how to set the drag resistance on your line. By setting the drag on a reel, you can let the reel do much more of the work when you’re trying to land a fish. This also means that you can catch bigger fish.

Drag is a mechanism by which a pin places pressure on the line. This pressure can be set anywhere from loose to tight. The higher the level of drag, the more the fish has to fight against it and the easier it is to exhaust a fish for landing.

The biggest issue is that setting the drag too tightly can snap the line, which is not what you want to be doing.

If you’re new to setting drag, here are a few things you need to know:

  • Setting the drag too tightly will likely snap your line because there’s too much pressure on it
  • Setting it too loosely will make landing a big fish much more difficult
  • You can test out the pressure of the drag by pulling out some line from the spool to see how much resistance there is
  • There’s a sweet spot for drag and you have to learn how to use your thumb on the line as it spools off, otherwise you’ll get too much backlash and a tangled line
3. Cast Out Further and More Accurately

When you cast out with a spinning reel, the line flows off the spool easily in a circular motion. Unfortunately, this also makes it less accurate.

When you cast from a baitcaster reel, the line flows off the spool in a straight line, and this means that you can pinpoint the lure more accurately and much further out. Of course it takes some time to master this, but those who do it regularly really enjoy how much further a line can be cast and how accurate they can pinpoint it.

This may not make much of a difference to anglers who just enjoy the activity, but in areas of water where control over where the bait and lure is cast is required, using a baitcaster is much more important.

Which One Should You Use?

So, which one should you use: spinning reel or baitcaster? Ultimately, it’s a matter of need versus comfort. Obviously, there’s more that goes into using a baitcaster, and in this sense it may not be suitable for everyone.

Where precision, use of heavier lures, and casting distance are important, the baitcaster is really the only choice.

The spinning reel is a great choice if you just want to get out and enjoy a spot of fishing by yourself or with your friends and family. It’s certainly the least demanding of the reel types and is good for general use.

The ease of use and convenience of the spinning reel also makes it the ideal choice for beginners and anglers who don’t have a lot of experience.

In the end, there’s so much about fishing that is based on personal preference, so choose a reel that is intimately connected with your personal experience.

If you feel comfortable with the spinning reel, it’s the best choice for you. If you want to push yourself, then moving to a baitcaster would be the better choice.

Types of Fishing Reels

​Depending on who you ask, there are going to be reels that are going to stand out and then there are going to be some that you’ll want to stay away from. Well, it would be prudent if you knew what the different types of fishing reels were and learned a little more about them before you make any hasty decisions.

The best fishing reels will always be made from high quality materials regardless of what kind of reel it is.

​Types of Fishing Reels

The type of reel that you choose will be determined by what kind of fishing you intend on doing.

However there is some overlap between the different types.

Spincast Reels

The spincast reel is the easiest reel to use, which is why often times you will see children or adults who are new to the hobby using them.

These tend to be looked at as introductory reels that can get the job done.

All you have to do is press a button and flick your wrist in the direction you want the lure to go, and that’s it. The mechanics of the reel is simple and it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort—or money.

Be mindful that because they are intended for beginners, the spool is going to be shallow and best suited for lighter lines.

These types of reels are not really capable of fighting against a large or more powerful fish as the they are generally built with a low quality drag.

Spinning Reels

The spinning reel is going to be the most popular type of reel you’ll find anglers using today. They have an array of uses and there are numerous selections to choose from.

There are so many options, any angler would be able to find a reel that is going to work for them on the regular basis.

With these reels, they are going to be on the bottom of the rod instead of the top like the spincast reels.

You’ll find that with these reels, you’re going to have more control and they are going to be built much more solidly than the spincast.

Some would consider these to be the best surf fishing reel, especially if you’re hoping to catch medium sized ocean fish.

A spinning reel is a step up in performance from a spincast reel.

They are available in a large range of sizes from ultralight sized 1000 up to a massive 13000 that is capable of handling some very large saltwater species.

They are easier to cast than a baitcaster and are also not prone to birdnesting.

Baitcasting Reel

These reels are among the most advanced reels on the market. They’re also known as a conventional reel and they’ve been around for quite a long time.

This is going to be your go to reel if you’ve mastered the other designs and you want to go after the larger, stronger fish.

These reels give you the strength and durability that the other two simply cannot give you. Not only that, they are going to give you the accuracy that they cannot give either.

The spool is capable of handling heavier types of line, which is going to be necessary if you want to catch the big fish. Keep in mind that because these are heavy duty reels, you don’t want to use light tackle because it will not pull the line sufficiently, thus limiting your casting range.

A good Baitcasting rod and reel combination will have exceptional casting abilities and will generally perform better than a spinning reel at casting medium to heavy lures.

Trolling Reel

The trolling reel is similar to a baitcasting reel.

They’re designed the same way, but they aren’t intended for casting.

They’re used for large game fish like catfish, lake trout and even large ocean fish like the marlins.

Before you choose what kind of reel you purchase, you fish must know what type of fish you’re hoping to catch, where you’re going to be fishing, and your skill level. You don’t want to take a spincast reel out on a fishing trip if you’re hoping to catch a prized trout or a marlin.

There are two types available a level-wind, and a traditional one.

The level wind will move the line back and forth over the spool so that it is laid down evenly. The more conventional type will not and you have to use your thumb to help guide it so it lays on the spool in an even manner.

Best Trolling Reels

When people talk about trolling, it isn’t in reference to some internet fight or a cruel joke. For an angler, it’s in reference to the type of equipment they use, but trolling is also in reference to the method in which they fish.

To go trolling, you will use lines with hook-rigged lures that are dragged behind the boat to lure the fish to bite.

Trolling reels are designed to give you the most versatility in terms of fishing line options. If you prefer to fish in fresh water, you’ll want to use a monofilament and lead core to catch fish like walleyes and salmon. A saltwater troller will want to use a wire line that is made from stainless steel, titanium, or a combo of metal alloys that will prevent fish with teeth from cutting the line.

In this guide, we want to share with you our top three trolling reels. In these mini reviews, we will provide you with a breakdown of the reels features and a general summary of what customers had to say about their experience with the reel.

Then we are going to provide you with what to look for when shopping for the best trolling reel, so that it will meet your needs and perform efficiently and well.

Best Trolling Reels

Let’s take a look at the top 3 best trolling reels.

Winner – Penn Squall Level Wind Reel

Penn is known for bringing anglers top quality reels and the Penn Squall Level Wind Reel is just one example of the fine craftsmanship you can expect from the Penn company. The reel features bronze gears with a stainless steel pinion that is responsible for greatly reducing corrosion.

Although this is a mid-range Penn reel, it rivals higher end reels. Left handed anglers aren’t left out, as you can purchase a left handed version of this reel as well. Notable features of the Penn Squall Level Wind Reel include:

  • Material: Graphite frame, forged aluminum spool
  • Gear Ratio: 4:1
  • Monofilament Capacity: 455yd/25lb to 285yd/40lb
  • Braided Capacity: 1020yd/30 to 590yd/65lb
  • Braking System: Mechanical
  • Bearings: 3

The drag stack uses 3 carbon fiber drag washers that are backed by two drag spin. The reel is rated at 15 pounds, but even at maximum, the drag is going to be smooth and effortless. There are two anti-reverse systems in this reel: anti-reverse bearing and a backup anti-reverse bog. Also, the gear ratio allows for fast line recovery.

When looking at what people had to say about the Penn Squall Level Wind Reel, the vast majority of consumers had wonderful things to say about their experience using this trolling reel. Customers report that they were able to reel in large fish like 80 pound tunas and mahi.

They go on to say that that you can fish for deep water fish like sheepshead, ling cod, and rock cod and this reel makes retrieving the line easy. One customer said that they were able to pull an 18 pound snapper from 150 deep and the reel worked perfectly.

While there were an overwhelming amount of positive reviews for the Penn trolling reels, there were some people who were disappointed in them. These customers felt that the design was poorly done. One customer said that sand can get into the reel causing the unit to not work properly.

Another said that the guide on their reel stopped working only after using it for five fishing trips. Others reported that they were disappointed to see plastic gears in their reel.

Runner Up – Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel

The Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reels features a corrosion resistant frame and side places. The reel also features sport quality external components like an aluminum spool engage lever, a ratcheting aluminum star drag, a wide mouth levelwind coated in titanium, a machined aluminum spool and a stamped aluminum power handle.

Inside the Okuma trolling reels, you’ll find a series of heavy-duty machine cut brass gears, a dual anti-reverse system, and a complete carbonite drag system. All of this is held inside the reel with the Okuma Mechanical Stabilization System. Notable features of the Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel include:

  • Beautiful machined aluminum spool
  • Okuma's "QuickSet" infinite anti-reverse one-way bearing
  • Precision cut, heavy-duty brass gears
  • Corrosion resistant frame and side-plates
  • Titanium coated level wind
  • Oversized, super smooth, multi-disk Carbonite drag system
  • Ergonomic stamped aluminum power handle with oversized, comfortable knob
  • Line counter measuring line in feet
  • Large star drag mechanism
  • Line clicker
  • 1 year warranty

This system will ensure the gears and shafts are held in place for the life of the reel. The reel also features two ball bearings and a one-way roller bearing. The reel also features clear view technology that is treated with anti-fogging agents to prevent a buildup of condensation.

When looking at what people had to say about the Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel, they had great things to say. Customers who are left handed like that there are several options for them to choose from. Customers have reported that they like that this reel has a smooth drag that is comparable to more expensive salt water trolling reels, without that high price tag.

People have said that the reel feels comfortable in the hand and that it works really well – saying the line counter is especially useful because they have better control of their lure depths.

Other customers were not as impressed with these trolling reels and they left critical reviews. Several people were disappointed that while the reel has the clear view window with the anti-fog treatments, they still experienced excess condensation which made it difficult to see the line.

Some said that the line counter on their reel had a tendency to get stuck, which was a nuisance that they hadn’t anticipated. Others said that the reel was bigger and bulkier than they had expected.

Alternative – Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Level Wind Trolling Reel

The Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Level Wind Trolling Reel is a versatile fishing reel that features a several different models within the line that are great for left handed and right handed people alike.

The reel is made from stainless steel that also has reinforced side plate rings. The reel also comes with a mechanical line counter function that will measure (in feet) the line, but you can also press a rubber button to reset. Notable features of the Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Level Wind Trolling Reel include:

  • Lightweight, corrosion-resistant frame and side plates
  • ​Corrosion-resistant graphite spools
  • ​Mechanical line counter function measures in feet
  • Multi-disc Carbonite drag system
  • 2 Stainless steel ball bearing
  • 16-point anti-reverse for improved hookups
  • Automatic trip spool engaging mechanism
  • Line counter screw port for improved air access
  • Durable Machine cut brass gearing
  • Self-Lubricating Gear System
  • 20 – 45 sizes with Ergo grip power handle knob design
  • ​15-size features a twin paddle handle configuration
  • ​Stainless steel level wind line guide system
  • ​One-year manufacturer's warranty

The trolling reel is made up of durable, self-lubricating brass gears. The carbonite drag system displaces the heat and friction by consistently provides a wider and smoother drag range, making it a great option for those who are looking for a lightweight (and affordable) reel when you go fishing for walleye, lake trout, steel head, and even salmon.

When looking at what people had to say about the Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Level Wind Trolling Reel, they had great things to say. Of these positive trolling reels reviews, customers were most impressed by how well the reel performs.

They like that the reel is durable and it consistently is smooth when they are reeling in. Several people have said that they like the auto-flip on the spool that will latch instead of having to do it manually.

Though there were a lot of customers who were very happy with this reel, there were a few who were not as impressed with the way the reel worked. There were a few people who reported that their reel didn’t last as long as they had liked – one stated that even after rinsing the salt water away with fresh, the gears rusted.

Another customer reported that the drag adjustment doesn’t work properly and it is inconsistent. Other customers reported that the counter reset button doesn’t work and it gets stuck more often than not.

Features To Look For In The Best Trolling Reel

While you’re looking for your next trolling reel, here are some of the features that you’ll want to look at before you make your purchase:

Body Construction

There are three types of materials used in the construction of the body. They can be made from:

Graphite – Graphite isn’t going to be very strong in terms of construction, but they will be more affordable and they are going to be lightweight.

Aluminum Frame – An aluminum frame is going to give you a stronger reel and it is a higher quality material.

Machined Aluminum – A reel made from a solid block of aluminum is going to be the best because they are more rigid, they hold bearings and gears in alignment, which prolongs the life of your reel.


A clicker is going to be useful because it provides you with an audible signal that lets you know the line is completely out. You want to make sure the clicker is loud enough for you to hear over the noise from the boat, wildlife, and your chatty fishing partner.


The drag is designed to absorb the energy from a fish fighting against you. It is important that the reel has a smooth drag so that it can adjust quickly and easily to the differences in depth and distance. An efficient drag will be able to bring up a larger fish – even if it wants to fight you the entire way.

Dual Speed Reel

When you fish in salt water, you may want to think about getting a dual speed reel. These reels are going to be able to fight against large fish like marlin and tuna. All you’ll need to do is flick a lever and you’ll be able to take up line quickly when your fish charges the boat.

Line Capacity

Line capacity is an issue when you are fishing for something that can strip a spool. Depending on the type of line you want to use, you may need a reel that is larger (such as for a lead core line) or smaller (if you are going to use a monofilament or braided line).

Line Counter

A line counter can either be manual or electronic and they are used to help anglers get the same line depth for each drop. This is extremely helpful because you don’t have to guess when you drop your line. For example, instead of counting in your head after each time you drop your line – the counter will do that for you.

Line Guides

A line guide is going to be important because it will make sure when you drop the line, it drops smoothly into the water. The line needs to be steady when it is being reeled in so that it doesn’t tangle or break. Look for reels with a solid line guide construction because it will balance tension and the wind to make reeling in larger fish easier.

Final Thoughts

Of all the trolling reels for sale, to say which is the best trolling reel really depends on what you’re looking for. We believe that any of these three reels are worthy of your consideration. However, the Penn trolling reels edged out the other two only by a little, simply because it had many more positive reviews.

​How to Choose a Fishing Reel

​If you walk into a fishing ​tackle store, you will find fishing reels in many varieties. With so many choices, perhaps it can be confusing when you go to buy reels , especially for an amateur or newcomer anglers. 

Choosing a fishing reel is easier if you know the main features and components because each reel is different than others and may be better than another similar product. 

Knowing your specific fishing needs, area and fishing situation/condition will help you to make a clear decision when purchasing your fishing gear. Below are things that you can consider when shopping

​How to Choose a Fishing Reel

​There are some factors that you have to consider besides a reel’s main features.

First, you have to know about the fishing situation or application. There are tons of fish in the water and you need to match the right tackle to the style of fishing.

Which one do you want to catch? What is the size of those fish? Is it a big, medium or small fish? Regarding the pound-test line that you will use, what is your angling technique? Casting lures or bait, trolling or bottom fishing?

You have to know about this. And make sure you choose a proper fishing reel based on its size and type in order to catch the specific kind of fish that you want. Resolving all questions above will help you search for a fishing reel faster and accurately.

Discover the basic category of fishing reel that you desire to use later.

A spinning reel is probably easier for a starter or an amateur angler to cast and fish. It’s simpler and has no problem with backlash.

For a skilled caster, a conventional reel or baitcasting combos are better gear with additional adjustable casting control. It will help you to maximize your casting distance and performance during a fishing time.

However, choosing a reel category is not just about experience. Everyone has their own and favorite preference.

​Many pro anglers still choose spinning preference because that way works best for them. The most important parts are the comfort of use and operation.

You can use whatever type of reel you want; just make sure you are comfortable when using it. This will give you the best performance. Fishing is all about enjoyment and refreshing yourself.

Understanding Drag Systems

Another important aspect that you have to look at is the drag system. During the fishing battle, it will help to give pressure to a hooked fish and let your fishing line out.

With a high-quality and smooth drag, the risk of losing a fish can be minimized. To get the best results, you have to choose a fishing reel with a smooth drag system. Whatever tension setting that you are using, the fishing line has to go out steadily.

Drag ​Types

There are two drag models: front drag and rear drag types (if you prefer to use spinning reels).

Generally, a front drag model is larger and has multiple disc drag washers for whoever wants a higher level of performance and durability.

On the other hand, rear drag spinning reels are better for convenience and ease of use.

Against a big fish, it probably won’t stand up for a long just like the other one. It’s really important to look at the smoothness and precision of a drag system. Whatever model you like, ensure the drag can be tightened immediately in small increments.

Another thing you have to watch for is consistency. Make sure the pressure remains constant when pulling on the fishing line in any special drag setting all over the spectrum. An inconsistent system will cause you to lose your big catch someday.

​Ball Bearings

​A ball bearing’s function is to give smoothness, support and stability to your fishing reel. There is a roller bearing in the line roller. You can find it in most spinning reels.

Usually, the more bearings in a reel, the smoother the fishing reel will perform. (Stainless steel is preferred for anyone who is looking for control and durability.)

However, it also depends on your budget. If you can handle it, then choose a reel with the most ball bearings. I suggest you to choose a reel with four ball bearings at minimum.​

​Gear Ratio

Gear ratio is another important factor to consider before purchasing any fishing reel. It shows the number of revolutions that a spool makes each turn by the reel handle.

As the result, it also determines how rapidly the fishing line is rolling back when the angler cranks the handle.

Some reels, such as baitcasters, spinning reels and conventional models, enable you to change gear ratios, ranging from slow retrieval speed (2-1 or 3-1) to a higher speed (4-1 to 6-1).

High-speed gear ratios work better if you need to roll back the fishing line faster in case a fish charges toward to your boat. On the other hand, low-speed gear ratios give you more cranking power for bottom fishing.

If you need good, balanced retrieve speed and cranking power, consider using two-speed reels, although the price is a little bit more than a single speed reel.

​Body and Frames

​There are two most-used materials for reel housing, aluminum and graphite. If you are looking for a stronger and durable reel body, aluminum is the better choice. But aluminum material is heavier than graphite, of course.

Graphite reels are the solution for anyone who is looking for a light reel that is more resistant to corrosion. Compared to aluminum, graphite is weaker and less durable than an aluminum reel.

​If you choose to fish in fresh water, choose an aluminum reel. For saltwater, go for a graphite reel due to its anti-corrosion advantage.


​A spool is needed to hold the fishing line, which also affects the casting distance and smoothness during fishing. On the market, you can discover spools that are made with aluminum or graphite.

Similar to the frame and body, a graphite spool tends to be lightweight while aluminum is better in strength and rigidity.

​Two basic spool styles that you can find are internal and skirted.

Internal spools are old; manufacturers still make a few models but not many. Internal spools have one disadvantage where the fishing line can become entangled with the reel’s housing easily.

As a solution, skirted spools were made to solve this problem. With the skirted spool, you can choose to use a standard spool or shallower and a “long cast” spool. In the real life, a long-cast spool has less line friction and greater casting distance.

In the end, make sure you check the spool to see whether it can hold a sufficient amount of pound-test line before purchasing any reels.

​Anti-Reverse Handle System

​When looking for a good spinning reel, you need to look at its anti-reverse handles. This part is important in order to avoid the handle spinning backward accidentally and make the hook sets stay powerful and accurate. If you notice any sort of backward motion, I suggest you to look at another model.

In addition, make sure your reel has a big arm and knob. It will help you to find the handle quickly and reduce slippage during wet weather or in case your hands are sweaty.

Conclusion: Choosing a Reel

​At first, choosing a reel can be a tough decision. But soon, by learning and doing, you will know it better than ever. 

If you are serious about fishing and want to get full satisfaction from this hobby, choose the best reel that you can afford. By having the best product, you also will get the best result in the end.

Best Fishing Reel

​There is a reason why old men enjoy fishing. It’s peaceful out there in the middle of nature and you don’t have to think about anything.

You can take in the beauty of nature and truly appreciate your surroundings. Plus, if you have a good day out on the lake, you’ll even be able to go home and feed your family with the freshest fish possible.

To truly get the most out of your fishing experience, you’re going to want to make sure that you have the best gear possible. Sure, you have the top rated pole and the right kind of line, but none of that will be any good if you don’t have the best fishing reel to go with it.

In this guide, we are going to go over the different types of fishing reels and give you several options that are worthy of your consideration.

Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Best Spinning Reels

If you’re looking for some of the top rated spinning reels, we have two options that we think are excellent options.

Pflueger President Spinning Reel

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel is a product that has been designed to stand out from the rest and give you a quality fishing experience that you can truly appreciate. This spool is anodized with aluminum and it features a unique hole design that helps to reduce the weight of the reel, but also adds to the look as well.

The lip of the spool is coated in titanium so that it is going to be around for a long time. The line roller is also titanium-coated. As you use the reel, you’ll be amazed by how smoothly the stainless steel front drag system works as you cash.

This redesigned reel shows signs that the company certainly took their time in creating it, and they stand behind their product and offer a 1-year warranty.

Notable features of the Pflueger President Spinning Reel include:

  • Graphite Body and Rotor - Lightweight graphite reel construction
  • Braid Ready Spool - Allows braid to be tied directly to spool Stainless Steel/Oil Felt Drag
  • ​Consistent drag pressure, and corrosion resistant
  • Aluminum Handle - Aircraft grade aluminum, extreme durability

Size Range:

  • 4 pound – 100 yards
  • 4 pound – 110 yards
  • ​6 pounds – 145 yards
  • ​8 pounds – 185 yards
  • 10 pounds – 230 yards

When looking at the reviews for the product, the large majority left positive reviews. Of these reviews, customers said they could really notice the difference between a cheap reel and this one, although this particular reel is affordably priced.

With daily (or near daily) use, customers have said that they can feel the quality of the construction and they enjoy casting and reeling because its “crazy smooth,” as one person stated.

Some people feel that this is the best spinning reel under $50, and because of the high praise this reel has received, it was an easy choice to purchase it. Of the remaining customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was the bail was difficult to open—sometimes it would get jammed.

A few people have said that the reel stopped working properly only after a few uses. Several customers have said the handle grip is so stiff and it needs a lot of oil for it to be usable.

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

The Penn reel has been a favorite reel for anglers for a while now and with the newest addition to the line, the Battle 2 reel is among the best spinning reel contenders, after all it does come from a very well-known and respected brand.

The Battle 2 reel features an improved paintjob that will help keep your reel from corroding, be it from the salt water or chemicals. The reel also features 5 stainless steel ball bearings that only improves the durability of the reel when you’re saltwater fishing. This reel utilizes the same washers in previous Penn models, which was part of the reason why Penn reels are one of the best spinning reel under $100.

Notable features of the Penn Battle II Spinning Reel include:

  • Full Metal Body, sideplate, and rotor
  • HT-100™ carbon fiber drag washers
  • 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings
  • ​Instant Anti- Reverse bearing
  • Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire
  • ​Superline Spool
  • ​Line Capacity Rings
  • The PENN Battle II offers

Size Range:

  • 1000
  • 2000
  • ​2500
  • ​3000
  • ​4000
  • 5000
  • 6000
  • 8000

When looking at the reviews for the product, most customers positive reviews. Of these reviews, customers were impressed by the overall construction and the fact that the majority of the reel was made of metal and not plastic. 

They said that the reel is “the smoothest quality” they have tried, and it is perfect for bass fishing. Anglers enjoy how fast it is and some of have even said it is the only reel that you’ll need.

Of the remaining customers who left less positive reviews, the common complaint was that while they can appreciate a solid reel, they felt that the Battle 2 was too solid and downright heavy. One person said that the extra 30% weight caused their wrist to hurt because of the pressure from casting all day.

Another point a few people made was that the line doesn’t go on the spool evenly. While Penn does provide two extra washers to fix this, customers felt like this problem should have been addressed in the design and not as an “afterthought.”


If you’re looking for the best spinning reel for the money you’re going to spend, we feel that they are both great candidates. Both products have the same approval ratings and they both have some impressive features.

However, if you are mostly concerned about the price point, we feel that the Pflueger President Spinning Reel is the way to go because it is priced under $45, while the Penn Battle II reel is under $80. It is a sizable difference if you’re on a tight budget but don’t want to use horrible fishing gear.

Best Baitcasting Reel

If you’re looking for some of the top rated baitcasting reels, we have two options that we are particularly fond of.

KastKing Stealth Baitcasting Reel

The KastKing Stealth Baitcasting Reel uses carbon fiber and aerospace-grade aluminum micro mesh gears to ensure that this is one of the lightest reels, weighing in at a mere 6 ounces. The carbon sides, frame and handle are designed to give anglers a fishing experience that they’ve never had before. 

The gear ratio on the reel is 7.0:1, so if you’re upgrading, you’ll be able to feel a significant difference. With this reel, there is a 165 yard spool capacity with 12 pound test line. The reel also uses an anti-corrosive, shielded 11 ball bearing system. Combine that with the one-way clutch system and 7 magnet brake system, you’ll have an incredibly smooth fishing experience.

Notable features of the KastKing Stealth Baitcasting Reel include:

  • Carbon fiber handle
  • Braided line ready ceramic line guide insert
  • ​Sure grip EVA knobs
  • 7 magnet brake system
  • 11 anti-corrosion shielded ball bearings
  • Right and left hand models available
  • 1 year warranty

When looking at the reviews for the product, most people left every positive reviews. Of these reviews, customers said that they love that they can use this reel when they go saltwater fishing and trust that it isn’t going to corrode over time because of the salt.

Customers like that they are able to cast further with this particular reel in comparison to their previous reel. One person loved this model that they even called it the “Cadillac” of fishing reels.

Of the remaining customers who less positive reviews, the common complaint was that the instructions on how to use the fishing reel were in Chinese and there weren’t any English instructions—they had to use YouTube to figure out how to use the drag system.

Customers also mentioned that they experienced serious birdnesting when using the reel—one even said they had to re-spool the reel after each fishing trip. A few people said that they discovered the reel began rusting, even though it is made from anti-corrosive carbon fiber.

Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Reel

If you’re looking for the best baitcasting reel that is going to give you incredible performance and maximum value, this is going to be a great option. The lightweight, one-piece graphite sideplates and frame are going to create a solid foundation that is ergonomic and so comfortable that you’ll want to fish all day. 

The reel features a 5 stainless steel ball bearing system that is going to give you an incredibly smooth experience. Also, for added winding power, the Black Max Low Profile reel features a Power Disk Drag System that is going to deliver smooth drag performance so that you can reel in the stubborn fish that put up quite a fight.

Also, the Black Max features the MagTrax brake system that will allow you to fine tune the cast control for whatever lure or fishing condition you encounter. This is going to be the reel for anglers of all skill levels.

Notable features of the Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Reel include:

  • Machined aluminum spool
  • Power Disk drag system
  • Duragear brass gear
  • MagTrax brake system
  • Compact bent handle and star
  • ​Recessed reel foot
  • One piece graphite frame
  • Graphite sideplates

When looking at the positive reviews for the product, customers said that it does take a bit of getting used to, if you aren’t familiar with baitcasting. However, once you do get the hang of it, they said that they enjoyed the reel and the distance they were able to achieve while casting their line.

Customers said that it is great for new anglers because it is very affordable and it is capable of performing as smoothly as more expensive reels. Anglers are especially fond of how lightweight the reel is, but that the build quality is there and it’s impressive.

The common complaint was that the handle would catch at a particular spot while in rotation, causing it to get stuck in that position and it would be difficult to get it out of it. Some felt that it was just an okay reel, but they weren’t too disappointed because it was so affordable.


If you’re looking for the best baitcasting reel under $100, both of these products stand out from the rest. We like the KingKast reel a bit more because it has 11 stainless steel ball bearings, a strong magnet brake system and it is designed to withstand salt water and not corrode. While the KingKast is a little more expensive than the Abu Garcia, we feel that that extra bit of money will be well worth the investment.

Best Spincast Fishing Reel

If you find the spinning reels and baitcasting reels aren’t what you’re looking for, perhaps this Spincast reel may be more your speed.

Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel

Spincast reels tend to get a bad rap from serious anglers—they’re often thought to be something only a child or an amateur would use. That is not the case with the Zebco Omega Spincast reel! Sure, beginners will enjoy how easy it is to spin fish with this reel, but anglers who don’t want to fiddle around with a reel’s adjustments will appreciate being able to cast their line into the water right away. 

This reel features a high gear ratio and an incredibly durable construction. The sturdy covers on the reel are made from a lightweight aluminum and the gears are made to resist breakage and the ceramic line guide will provide you with smooth performance.

Notable features of the Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel include:

  • 3X positive pickup system
  • Triple-cam multi-disk drag system
  • ​Aircraft-grade aluminum covers
  • ​Ceramic line guide
  • All-metal gears
  • ​Auto Bait Alert
  • Oscillating spool
  • Includes limited one-year manufacturer's warranty

When looking at the reviews for the product, customers said that this is great for beginners, but it shouldn’t be written off by more advanced anglers. Customers like how simple it is to use this reel and even though they’ve been fishing for years, they like that they can start fishing right away.

Customers like that the unit comes with two handles and spools for back up in case something goes wrong with one set. When reeling in, the spool moves up and down to evenly distribute the line on the spool and customers appreciate this small, but helpful detail. Customers especially appreciate that when you’re retrieving the line, it’s fast and easy, helping to make the fishing experience more enjoyable.

The common complaint was that it stopped working after only 2 dozen casts or so. One customer took the reel apart to discover that the threading didn’t line up correctly and it was barely holding the unit together. Some people pointed out that the line release button rubs against the side of the reel, which is a bit of a nuisance.

Our Recommendation

Fishing—the great American past times. Well, one of them anyway. There are so many reels on the market, it’s understandable that some people are a little hesitant in choosing the best fishing reel without actually being able to test it out for themselves.

With that said, we did the hard part and searched through some of the best saltwater spinning reel and baitcasting reels available and we’ve chosen five great options.

All of these options are great and have their own special qualities. However, if you’re on a budget, we feel that the Pflueger reel is going to be the best bet, as its priced under $45 and it has the highest rating. However, if you want to spend a bit more money, the Penn Battle 2 is a great choice. Whichever reel you do go for, you’ll be glad you made that purchase.