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.
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Best Spinning Reels
Best Baitcasting Reel
Best Spincast Fishing Reel
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 were and learned a little more about them before you make any hasty decisions.
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.
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.
These reels are among the most advanced reels on the market. They’re 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.
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.
Now that we know the four types of reels, let’s take a look at the three most popular reels:
If you’re looking for some of the top rated spinning reels, we have two options that we think are excellent options.
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:
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.
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:
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 possitive 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.
If you’re looking for some of the top rated baitcasting reels, we have two options that we are particularly fond of.
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:
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.
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 MgagTrax 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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.