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Best saltwater spinning reel 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated November 1, 2020

Kyle DunnHELLO! I’m Kyle Dunn. After more than 47 hours of research, including interviewing two experts and spending 10 hours testing 14 popular saltwater spinning reel, I found the best saltwater spinning reel of 2018.

Just read here for my top 3 recommendations. Why are these 3 saltwater spinning reel on top of my list? Well read on… What I would like you to remember as you browse my website is that I don’t work in the industry so the reviews I have are based on good old fashioned honesty.

Best saltwater spinning reel of 2018

The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more. There are dozens of choices for an saltwater spinning reel these days. These are composed of modern styling with modern technology to match it. Here are some good examples.

If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re scouting for the best saltwater spinning reel. So this is not only going to give you an insight to the best saltwater spinning reel of the 2018 but also those which are user friendly and easy to work with.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
5 points
4 points
5 points
5 points
5 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
4 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
Awards 1
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How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the saltwater spinning reel by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



№1 – KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel – NEW 2018 Spinning Reel – Carbon Fiber 39.5 LBs Max Drag – 10+1 Stainless BB for Saltwater or Freshwater – Oversize Shaft – Super Value!

KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel - NEW 2018 Spinning Reel - Carbon Fiber 39.5 LBs Max Drag - 10+1 Stainless BB for Saltwater or Freshwater - Oversize Shaft - Super Value!

NEXT-GEN – The brand new 2018 design KastKing Sharky III spinning reels look great, and even better, they are built tough to land trophy fish in all fishing conditions including saltwater and freshwater. Sharky III are superb lightweight fishing reels built with a high percentage fiber reinforced graphite body and rotor!
We’ve been using it for 4 months and didn’t notice any flaws.

Why did this saltwater spinning reel win the first place?

I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
















№2 – ECOODA Black Hawk II 1500/2000/3000/4000/4500/5000 High-strengthen Alu body Spinning Fishing Reels Saltwater/Freshwater Boat Rock Bass Fishing Reel 10BB+1RB Bearing 5.1:1 Gear Ratio

ECOODA Black Hawk II 1500/2000/3000/4000/4500/5000 High-strengthen Alu body Spinning Fishing Reels Saltwater/Freshwater Boat Rock Bass Fishing Reel 10BB+1RB Bearing 5.1:1 Gear Ratio

ECOODA is coming! Whole-Hearted to Fish-man
New Structure,Low Noise,Better Gear Feeling,High Strength Aluminum Body And Body Cover,Aluminum-Machined Folding Right/Left.
New Design For Friction System,More Comfortable For Using,Carbon Material Friction System,Good Function For Dragging,One Way Clutch System.
Hard to use.
Lack of sufficient storage space.

Why did this saltwater spinning reel come in second place?

Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
















№3 – Penn Pursuit II Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn Pursuit II Spinning Fishing Reel

Spinning fishing reel delivers premium fish-fighting power for anglers on a budget
Durable construction with graphite body, aluminum sideplate, and graphite rotor
Oiled felt drag system offers considerable drag pressure without sacrificing smoothness
Soft parts prone to damage.
It’s a lot heavier than expected.

Why did this saltwater spinning reel take third place?

It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great! This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.
















saltwater spinning reel Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy saltwater spinning reel, right? No!


When you know particular species of fishes; you can quickly set up your saltwater spinning reel to accommodate them. To catch larger fishes, you have to plan and prepare for a stronger line. Also, you may need more options to what spinning reel you should get.

Unique Features of the Product

Fargiant spinning reels come with six plus one stainless steel bearings and precisely machined pinion. Also, it is a powerful tool with a 5:5:ratio for fishing gear. The capacity of the line is 0.22mm/200mm, 0.3mm/100m, and 0.25mm/150m. Also, it has a computerized micro-balance rotor and micro adjusting front drag.

What’s even better is that it has an aluminum CNC machined spool that power drives the gear for increased strength. It is a lightweight product with a sleek design that comes with an EVA knob.

Piscifun Spinning Reels

It is a model that has several ball bearings. But, these are not ordinary bearings, these are actually stainless steel. Also, it comes with precision machined gears and a single roller bearing.

Piscifun spinning reel has a drag that has sealed-disc carbon fiber and some other components have stainless steel, including the main shaft. In fact, it is a high-quality corrosion resistant coil. It is a very durable product because of its aluminum base and even its cover. It has a titanium coat line roller and graphite rotor.

Sougayilang Fishing Reels

The manufacturer gives off two types of the combo. All you need to do is to choose what need starting from the color of the product. You will also get a rod and the reel. The fishing rod has a superior quality carbon fiber. Also, it has a durable and reliable carbon body. It has a piano porcelain colorful guide rings. Also, it has a high-quality rod for an extended length.

Plus, the reel comes with CNC machine and a cut collapsible handle. It is a right and left interchangeable bar that has an adjustable full metal screw coil. Moreover, it comes with 1plus one pieces of ball bearings and a one-way clutch. Lastly, it has an aluminum spool.

Find Your Perfect Freshwater Or Saltwater Reel

Freshwater reels are for use around inland lakes, streams and rivers, while saltwater reels are for large bodies of water, including oceans and bays.

Reels come in three basic styles: casting, spinning and fly fishing. Whether you’re after a largemouth bass or a wiley trout, you should understand the way your fishing reel works.

Baitcasting Reels: These reels work with the weight of your bait or lure as it pulls on the line and turns the spool. They are typically preferred by more experienced anglers, especially when using heavier lures and lines for large game fish. Handles are usually located on the right-hand side of the reel.

Spinning Reels: These devices are great for beginners or novice anglers. They are simple to use and mount on the underside of a spinning rod. The handle of a spinning reel is usually located on the left-hand side instead of the right.

Spincast Reels: With these reels, the line comes off the top of the spool while casting. The spool, which runs parallel with the rod, remains enclosed by a cover that features a port, where the end of your fishing line exits the reel. The spool remains stationary until you use a thumb button to cast. As you release the button, your bait or lure will propel your line.

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

Just like the name implies, the Penn Battle II Spinning Reel is ready to go to the mat for you during your next fishing trip. This reel is a solid choice from a renowned and trusted reel manufacturer.

The construction: The Penn Battle II has a sturdy, full-metal body, side plate and rotor designed to stand up to wear and tear when tackling the big fish. Its weight varies from ounces to 30 ounces depending on the model chosen.

The handle: The handle is ergonomically designed for a comfortable, easy grip and accommodates both right-handed and left-handed fishermen.

The gear box: This reel has 5+ball bearings for optimal smoothness when retrieving a catch. Gear ratios are high and therefore fast. They vary among models of this reel from 6.2:to 5.3:1.

The HT stands for “high tech” and the number (100) refers to the original tests on the washers where 100 miles of fishing line were run against the drag of a wheel without any apparent change.

The bail: This is composed of heavy-duty aluminum wire for adjustable strength.

The anti-reverse: The anti-reverse is instantaneous thereby reducing loss of control over the line.

Shimano Baitrunner OC Reel

This beauty is designed for comfort and maximum durability, all the while offering some high-tech improvements on other reels. These improvements include a propulsion spool that fires off the line with minimal resistance.

Available in three models, it’s a little heavier despite its graphite construction with weights ranging from 1ounces to 20 ounces. The reel can be used with fluorocarbon, monofilament and braided lines.

The handle: This is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort.

The drag: The maximum drag is also somewhat lower than other brands at 20 pounds.

Penn Clash Spinning Reel

This reel features the brand’s patented Dura-Gear technology, which is designed for long wear and toughness. Though not completely waterproof, its bearings are sealed against saltwater damage. Its slow oscillation provides optimal control over the line, and line capacity rings let you know how much line is left at any time.

The construction: A strong, stiff, full-metal body stands up well against high drag pressure.

The handle: Bigger than handles on other brand models, it accommodates both right-handed and left-handed fishers.

The gear box: The gear box has an 8+stainless steel bearing system sealed against any infiltration from saltwater. The gear box also includes an instant anti-reverse bearing.

The high number of bearings assures a very smooth operation. Gear ratios range from 6.2:to 4.7:1among the models.

The drag: HT-100 drag washers particular to the brand give you a drag range that runs from pounds to 30 pounds among the models.

The bail: This is composed of heavy-duty aluminum for added strength.

The anti-reverse: The reel has an instant anti-reverse thanks to a dedicated ball bearing.

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning boasts that this reel is specifically designed for saltwater fishing. With that claim in mind, it does hold up well under the special environment posed by ocean waters. Its dual-force drag system promises intense stopping power.

Six models are available, ranging in weight from 1ounces to 2ounces. The light weight makes it easy to handle for beginning fishers who are using saltwater jigging as a technique. A smart, good-looking design makes this a good gift for those who are new to the sport.

The construction: The narrow frame is made of die-cast aluminum and the spool is composed of anodized aluminum, making it resistant to salt corrosion.

The handle: The handle is in the form of a knobbed, customized jigging handle.

The gear box: The box has 4+bearings and ratios from 6.2:to 5.1:giving the reel a fast retrieve. There are also oscillation gears in an elliptical shape that provide an easy spool stroke.


Saltwater fishing is by its nature a tough environment subject to elements that can eat away at your fishing equipment. Choose a reel that, at a minimum, has a sealed gear box. Also, look for an anodized finish, which stays fresher longer.

Select a weight that feels comfortable. Remember, metal reels weigh more and are stronger, but you may tire easily.

Match reel with rod

Your choice of rod is dependent on several factors including length, action and weight. While the subject of rod selection is not addressed here, it is an important factor in ultimately determining your choice of a cheap spinning reel.

The Fishing Line You Intend To Use

The fishing line you plan on using is the most important factor to consider when choosing the best fishing reel size. This is because the measurement of the line is directly proportional to the dimensions of the reel itself.

The lighter the line you plan on using, the smaller the dimensions of the fishing reel you should purchase. The highest diameter and strength of the fishing line is usually 10-pound test.

The Fish Species of Interest

A good example is if you will predominantly go for lightweight species like walleye or small mouth brass then you should choose fishing line with 8-pound test.

Conversely, if your hunting area always has more weighty species that weight pounds, you will have to go for a fishing line of 10-pound test.

A good practice would be to choose a fishing reel that is medium in size and rated for 8-pound, 9-pound and 10-pound tests.

Freshwater Vs Saltwater Fishing

Things are much different if you are talking about saltwater fishing. Their reels have heavy lines because the saltwater fish species are quite heavy. The saltwater reels are big and suited for saltwater fishing and or trolling scenarios.

Depending on the type of fishing you intend to do; you will have to choose the right size for you. It is also important to point out that you are free to choose the size that you are comfortable with depending on your preferences.

Give It a Gentle Bath

The first thing after a fishing trip is to give your gadget a gentle bath with misty water. This will dissolve any salt accumulations allowing it to run off the fishing reel with ease.

If you use harsh water or pressurized water, the salt accumulations will be pushed further inside the reel leading to malfunctions.

Wipe the Reel Down

Using a cotton cloth or dry paper towel, wipe down the reel gently. Some people usually bow to the temptation to blow the reel with compressed air. This can be counterproductive. It will drive water into the internal parts of the device accelerating its wear and tear.

Once you give the spinning reel a gentle bath and wipe it down, you should loosen the reel’s drag system before you keep it. Doing this will relieve the tension on the discs, springs and drag washers.

While doing this is important, some people might forget to re-tighten their drags before making their next cast on their next fishing trip. Be safe by re-tightening the reel’s drag system before your next trip.

Penn Pursuit II Spinning Fishing Reel

An angler never wants to spend time on water without landing any fish. If you want to have an ideal saltwater fishing reel then you must consider a reel that has comparatively more gears as it will determine the speed of casting. A saltwater spinning reel with more gears is capable of retrieving fast as well.

Drag Adjustment

The drag adjustment system in saltwater spinning reels works similarly as in other devices. An effective drag system make sure that the speed at which the line is pulled off the spool is regulated after the fish takes the bait. For example, if you are casting a large fish such as Tuna, the drag will assist you in preventing it from snapping the fishing line.

Sturdy Frame

Fishing in saltwater can be challenging compared to freshwater as you are not sure what will you land by the end of casting. It’s quite possible that you reel a pound snapper and end up with foot barracuda. Frames can be constructed from both graphite and aluminum. These types of frames reduces the spin on the spool and reel while you are struggling with a heavy fish.

Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel

The Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel is designed with the idea of casting large fish clearly in focus. It features an unmatchable large dual drag system that provides up to 60 pounds of drag pressure. The system disperses heat to land heavy fish efficiently. The saltwater spinning reel is built for high level performance. The impressive durability and reliability makes this tool a versatile addition to the angler’s fishing kit.

It features an aluminum body, rotor and side plate. The drive gear and the center drive shaft are made up of stainless steel thus giving additional strength to the reel. Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel comprises of four dual shielded stainless steel ball bearings. Whereas the powerful line control system features a large multi-stack offshore drag system with the gear ratio of 4.4:1.

The heavy duty shaft is capable of handling pressure and keeping the solid feel while landing heavy fish. The oversized bearings on the shaft and pinion gear ensures a powerful base and full control over the landing fish. Overall, it’s a heavy duty saltwater spinning reel offering smooth, consistent and powerful performance.

Pflueger President Spinning Reel

Pflueger President Spinning Reel is one of the best saltwater fishing reels constructed from the highest quality components. It features nine stainless steel ball bearings with a one-way anti-reverse clutch bearing.

The spinning reel is equipped with an anodized spool and oil felt stainless steel drag system for resistance against corrosion and maintains pressure. Coming towards the construction, the body and rotor are made up of graphite thus adding minimal weight to the reel.

Pflueger President Spinning Reel offers soft touch knobs to enhance ease and grip. Additionally, it comes with an aluminum bail wire which is thick and prevents any mishap. Overall, it’s a great functional reel that you can purchase at extremely affordable price.

Wrapping It Up

After a thorough research and interviews from the professional anglers, we have listed our top Saltwater Spinning Reels. All these units are successfully leading the fishing market. They offer you superior and reliable performance every time you are out on water. However, if you are looking for a specific Best Saltwater Spinning Reel, we would recommend you Penn Spin fisher V Reel and KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Fishing Reel. Both these spinning reels are designed specifically for saltwater fishing. They have durable construction and effective functioning. These reels are corrosion resistant and can withstand high pressure without damaging themselves. If you are looking for best value for money investment, selecting any one of the reel listed above will be a wise decision that you won’t regret later. Hopefully, this buyer guide will help you in making a better selection. Purchase your best spinning reel and start casting heavy fish from today.

Heavy spinning reel

A heavy reel is another kind of reel you can use for your grouper fishing. If you want to hunt in inshore waters, you may not require heavy reel because the fish are not large enough to require a heavy-duty rod. If you are hunting for fifty pound grouper, a bigger reel is needed and this why you need heavy reel. In deciding the type to buy, then you have to consider the fish strength and size. The bigger the fish the bigger the rod, this is very important.

Low gear ratio

Another important factor to consider when you want to catch grouper is the gear ratio. Low gear ratio gives more power, and when you talk about grouper, issue of power is paramount, and you need a reel with a great power to tackle the fish. Moreover, conventional reels and rods can equally be used for grouper. Whether you want to fish offshore, inshore, as well as bottom fishing, you must use strong reels. This is the best for grouper.

Conventional reels

Conventional tackle has an edge over spinning tackle, especially when it comes to tackling of big grouper. If you compare the conventional rod with a spinning rod, you discover that their reels are differently located. For instance, in case of the conventional rod, the reel is on its top. This is not the case with a spinning rod, which has its reel on the bottom to be used with your grouper fishing rig which makes the line parallel to the fish. You are not going to find it difficult to catch the grouper because it would make it easy for you to pull away the fish from the rock where it could hide itself whenever it is hooked.

You have seen that both conventional and spinning rods can be used for grouper. It appears that many people are more conversant with conventional reels, and the reason for that is the benefit it offers, as well as the better fishing leverage it provides for its users. When you use them, it is going to force even the heaviest and the strongest grouper from its holes and hiding places. how to fish for grouper read here.

Penn US11US Senator Casting Reels

This is one of the best casting reels and it is perfect for different kinds of fish, especially grouper. The brand is popular because of the solid construction of a single aluminum frame which makes it very strong. Furthermore, because of the quality of materials used to make, it does not rust or corrode easily. Apart from the aluminum material, it is produced with stainless steel material.

It consists of washers and gears and the gear is massive. The body is composed of superior quality stainless steel. It is equally composed of heat pickled pinion gear. The gear train is unique and it was designed in such a way that it can serve you for a very long time. In terms of value, you discover that the products offer you real value for your money.

It is machine framed. This serves two purposes. The first purpose is that it makes the product to be very durable. Secondly and very important, it makes for the complete alignment for easy catch.

These models are not the same and this means that they have features that are unique to them. They are designed in such a way that they would suit your saltwater need.

Any model of the product that you want to buy features backlight side plate, which makes this unique feature inbuilt in this product. They are designed to serve your needs and if you are looking for the best, you can opt for this brand.

When it comes to the fishing world, Daiwa has earned a reputation for the superior quality of their grouper rod and reels. This brand is simply designed so nobody would find it hard to operate it. It has a one touch gear shift system which offers enormous power and speed. Any grouper fisherman who requires a very powerful and strong product then this product is for you.

Saltwater Spinning Reel Sizes​

Our list of best saltwater spinning reel’s is a mix of both inshore spinning reel and offshore spinning reels.

Our top saltwater spinning reel is the Penn Clash. It combines everything you would look for in an inshore spinning reel. Great casting performance, legendary Penn build quality, and lots of corrosion resistant features make it ideal for light to medium inshore work and beach casting.

For heavier offshore reels that require a bit more power then you can ​look at the Shimano Saragosa or the Van Stall VR150 both of which have proven themselves time and time again as being some of the best offshore spinning reels available.

We have also included a spinning reel for jigging. The Okuma Cedros high speed reel makes for a great introductory saltwater jigging reel. It is reasonably priced and with a 6.2:retrieve ratio it can pull rigs up from the depths as quick as you like.

Of course there are much more expensive deep sea fishing reels and electric reels if you budget can stretch to them. However if you only do the occasional bout of jigging then the Cedros is more than capable.


The VR150 is one of Van Stalls lighter reels and is perfectly suited to inshore and beach fishing yet you will still see this on offshore boats in the larger sizes. ​It’s relatively lighter weight is thanks in part to it not being as over engineered as some of the heavier reels in the Van Stall range such as the VS.

Although priced on the high end compared to some of the other reels here the VR150 is the type of reel you end up owning and using for decades long after the others have reached there end of service.

Okuma Cedros High Speed

One of the best saltwater spinning reels for jigging if you are on a tight budget.

Shimano Baitrunner D

The Shimano Baitrunner D is one of the most popular saltwater spinning reels for bait fishing.

Shimano’s Baitrunner system allows you to have two different drag settings.  ​One lighter drag to be used as you live line or drift bait and another(main) drag for when you set the hook and start to play the fish.


Corrosion resistance is directly influenced by the materials as discussed above. However it is not just what the individual materials are made from that helps to repel saltwater.

Abu Garcia Classic Spinning Reel

With an anti-reverse RB, long distance casting becomes both accurate and smooth. The design incorporates centrifugal brakes. They make it easy to switch casting ranges, giving you more flexibility without affecting your casting accuracy. The reel makes use of three stainless-steel ball bearings. With just one roller bearing and stainless steel BB, you will not have to worry about corrosion.

Okuma Trio Spinning Reel

It has hybrid construction. The combination of aluminum and graphite makes this reel resistant to corrosion, light in weight, and durable as well. The reel has a dual Force Drag (DFD) System, which offers optimum stability and controlled drag.

It has 10-stainless-steel BB and 1-RB with the anti-reverse feature. That combination eliminates most of the friction that makes reeling a struggle and minimizes wear and tear. It is made of aluminum and graphite. The hybrid design consists of an aluminum lip and graphite arbor, which protects the fishing line from wear and the reel from corrosion.

Abu Garcia Orra Power Finesse Spinning Reel

The Abu Garcia Orra comes with a gear ratio of 5.8:1; with that optimized gear ratio, you can be sure spinning it will be quite easy. It has a silver color and black color scheme; there are a fewer colors that will blend or look neutral used on a reel, but a combination of silver and black looks marvelous.

A wide spool construction; this reel has a wide spool which leaves plenty of room for the line and therefore eliminates line memory. This reel as 8-HPRC and 1-roller Bearing made of stainless steel. The bearings enable a smooth operation and protection from corrosion.

Shimano Thunnus Spinning Reel

This reel is lightweight, sturdy, and easy to use. It compromises on functionality neither does it show any drop in performance. What distinguishes this reel from the pack? Let us find out.

It has a Saltwater Bait Runner and a gear ratio of 4.8:With that low gear ratio, reeling in your even a swift fighter will not be a problem. The Shimano Thunnus Spinning Reel has Mono Line Capacity construction with a mono line of capacities of up to 240 yards. That is enough for distance casting even in deep waters.

It is equipped with a high-Speed retrieval at 30 inches per crank; which makes it possible for you quickly retrieve your catch at a rate of 30 inches per crank. The design also includes an efficient Bait Runner Drag. The Bait Runner Drag offers unmatched adjustability, which comes in handy when fighting a big catch.

Abu Garcia Spinning Reel

The Abu Garcia High-Speed Reel is a highly adjustable reel that combines precision engineering and quality materials to deliver an outstanding performance. It is light in weight but with a strong frame. Its rotor is equipped with nine stainless-steel ball bearings in its rotor. Those give it a smooth performance without suffering effects of corrosion.

The high gear ratio of 7.9:offers a balanced speed and torque. You can retrieve 2inches of line with a complete turn of the handle. The frame is made of a magnesium alloy while the side plates are made of carbon. Together, these materials deliver a strong and corrosion resistant reel.

Shimano Stradic Spinning Reel

This reel is resistive to any bending forces and delivers more cranking power to the fishing line. It works with minimal friction between the spool shaft and the gear. Overall, this reel offers a better casting performance.

It comes with shielded roller bearings. This reel has bearings that are shielded to protect them from salt and sand, which makes the reel last longer. The Metallic Hagane body is rigid and therefore prevents flexing when casting.

This reel uses X-Ship Gear technology where the gears bearings have pinion gears at each end to eliminate excessive friction. The design features a cold forged aluminum spool. That makes the spool not just stronger, but also corrosion resistant. That is an important and basic feature for any reel meant for saltwater fishing.

Shimano Curado Spinning Reel

This reel is durable, easy to operate, and made in China. That is why it comes at a great price without a drop in performance. The reel’s stainless-steel BB eliminates most of the friction. That makes this reel one of the smoothest spin casting reels. It is smaller but has the same line capacity as its predecessor the 200DHSV.

Material Used To Make the Reel

Some of the best fishing reels are not suitable for use in saltwater. That means while they may perform superbly in freshwater angling, they will fail if used in saltwater after a while. Reels meant for use in saltwater are made of materials that resist corrosion such as graphite and aluminum.

Depending on the type of fishing reel that you go for, you will notice that different models feature different coating. Some spinning reels are more sealed than others.

Now that you want a saltwater spinning reel, you need to look for a model that is corrosion resistance so that it can last for many years.


This reel is really special. It has forced me to write a review about it. Let me tell you honestly, this thing is super smooth and is performing seamlessly. The rear to front drag transition is really an awesome feature.

It is very durable, trust me. Talking about grips, it has best in class grip. Oversized septon provides amazing power and comfort. And the line capacity is really great.

Why you should trust me

I’m a United States Coast Guard–certified master captain, and I have been fishing since I could walk. I grew up working on charter boats in and around Long Island Sound, and reliable fishing gear has been paramount not only to my profession but also to my life. Having fished on a budget in settings as varied and diverse as the spring brooks of the Adirondack Mountains, the brown sludge that is the Hudson River, and the emerald coastal waters of New Zealand, I can say that a careful selection of the most durable all-around tackle has been essential to me.

Your guide, Owen James Burke, testing our picks on a beach in New Zealand.

To supplement my own expertise, I enlisted the help of veteran spinning-reel reviewer Alan Hawk and also consulted Salt Water Sportsman editor-at-large and NBC Sports television host George Poveromo on what would be the ideal spinning-rod-and-reel setup for a casual fisher.

Who this is for

Like most fishers, I’m not able to carry, store, or afford a different rod and reel for every species of fish or method of fishing. So I picked an affordable, high-quality spinning-rod-and-reel combo that can work in as many fishing conditions and settings as possible—including saltwater and freshwater. This spinning-rod-and-reel setup is approachable enough for a novice to learn on, yet it performs well enough for a seasoned veteran to depend on.

Pull Quote

This spinning-rod-and-reel setup is approachable enough for a novice to learn on, yet it performs well enough for a seasoned veteran to depend on.

If you’re more experienced and looking for a specific rod and reel, apart from the size of the fish you’re targeting, you’ll also have to take into account what kind of fishing you’ll be doing: Will you be casting artificial lures (objects designed to look like fish or other prey with a hook attached), or using bait (smaller fish, worms, or other natural prey, either alive or dead)? Most lure fishers will want a stiffer rod composed of graphite (or mostly graphite) so that they can “work” a jig or plug to imitate the movements of prey, while bait fishers might seek out a rod that’s a little looser or more sensitive, so as to detect the slightest strike. Our rod recommendation can do both things decently, but if you know you’ll be doing only one or the other, you should look into a more specialized setup.

How we picked

First off, I had to decide what kind of rod and reel we would focus on, which was an easy choice—if you’re going to own only one fishing rod and reel, a spinning-rod-and-reel setup is the most versatile and the easiest to use.

Compared with a baitcasting or fly-fishing setup, a spinning setup is more comfortable to use and is usually easier to repair; it also requires less finesse to cast. Think of it as the “automatic transmission” version of a fishing rod and reel. If you’re starting from nothing, a spinning outfit offers the highest chance of success. If you’re a beginner, it’s much easier to pick up than either of the other options, and it’s far less likely to become tangled than a baitcasting setup.

Key features of a fishing rod

In my 20-plus years of fishing, I’ve come to learn that when you’re shopping for fishing rods—as for any tool—paying a little attention to a few key features can be telling before you even pick up one. The rod’s material, flexibility, sensitivity, and line-guide construction all make a difference in how well the rod will perform and last.

As mentioned previously, bait-hucking fishers will want something that’s more sensitive and flexible, while lure fishers will want something stiffer (known as “fast action” in fishing jargon). Most rods are made out of fiberglass, graphite, or a mixture of both. The more graphite in a rod, the lighter and stiffer it is, but such rods are also more brittle, so you wouldn’t want to hand one to a 3-year-old. Fiberglass is heavier but more flexible (“slow action”)—like a whipping stick—and nearly impossible to break. For a beginner or an all-around angler, a combination of both materials offers the most versatile package: It gives you enough stiffness to adequately manipulate a lure, while maintaining enough sensitivity for detecting small bites.

The next most important specification you’ll want to consider is the material that makes up the guides—the loops that lead, or guide, the line from the reel to the tip (the skinny end) of the fishing rod. Lower-end fishing rods (and many higher-end ones, too) usually feature guides made of either thin stainless steel or aluminum oxide (ceramic) frames holding cheap ceramic O-ring inserts (rings designed to protect the insides of the guides and prevent line wear) that chip or corrode, and eventually fail.

The rest, including the grip material and the number of pieces the rod itself breaks down into, is up to you. I will suggest that, if you can accommodate it, a one-piece rod will almost always outperform a two- or three-piece rod. A one-piece rod offers better stiffness and more control—fewer pieces make for fewer problems with durability and performance, although portability suffers.

How we tested

We got into the weeds to find the best rod-and-reel combination for most anglers.

I tested all of the rods and reels from beaches, rocks, boats, and riverbanks. I fished with lures in rivers for trout and salmon, and I set 1- to 1½-pound live baits from my skiffs, catching ocean fish up to 20 pounds with each rod and reel. I also tested the gear on smaller bottom fish, including summer flounder, sea bass, and porgies (or scup), as well as red drum and spotted seatrout in Charleston, South Carolina. While I didn’t test much in lakes or ponds, I did spend several days fishing freshwater rivers for trout and smaller salmon, and a couple of days fishing private ponds and lakes for largemouth bass. I beat up these rods and reels, from the mouth of the Hudson River in New York to the Cook Strait of New Zealand.

Initially, I washed everything down well after each use as I usually do. Then, a week in, I decided to see what leaving salt and grit on and in them would do, which was extremely telling—especially after I took the gear apart.

Testing drags with a force meter.

After logging plenty of catches (and abuse) on each reel, I took them to Henderson’s Ltd. Tackle and Repair Shop in Blenheim, New Zealand, to get them disassembled so that I could examine the insides for signs of quality construction, design, and materials (or lack thereof). The teardown test made it easy to see why some brands earn reputations for lasting longer than others, and it allowed us to discover how some seemingly similar models are actually quite different inside.

Who else likes our reel pick

When rinsing a reel, first tighten the drag, sealing it so that water doesn’t work into the washers. Lay the reel out horizontally so that any water that gets in has an easy path out, and don’t blast a reel with water to avoid blasting out the grease; just make sure it receives a thorough flow. If you want to be particularly diligent when cleaning your fishing gear (it will pay off in the long run), you can soak a cloth in freshwater (even with a little soap—boat soap works) and wipe everything down. Once finished, loosen the drag; if you leave reel drags tight, they tend to get stuck that way and lose their precision.

Additionally, keeping your reel packed with grease will reduce corrosion and improve longevity. You can find reel grease in almost any outdoor-sporting store, but if you’re not confident in taking your reel apart to apply grease, having it done in-store would be worthwhile.

For more tips, see expert reel reviewer Alan Hawk’s reel-care guide.

The competition

We also tested Shakespeare’s original Ugly Stik (now discontinued) alongside the GXjust to get an idea of the differences. While Ugly Stik loyalists familiar with the original series complain that the GXis not as flexible overall, I find that it is more applicable to a wider variety of fishing methods, which is good for people who want to buy one rod to do it all. Besides, the original is no longer being made.

We looked at Lew’s Mach II Speed Stick due to its popularity with bass anglers. The IMgraphite and “Carbon Nanotube Coating” make this rod ultra-stiff and, as the name states, speedy, but it’s so stiff that it would never serve as a bait-fishing rod. It’s a great rod for freshwater bass fishing and inshore saltwater fishing, though in all honesty, it’s so obscenely hideous that I would never want any of my fishing buddies to catch me with one in my hands—at least not in the light of day. The soylent-green decor on the handle and decal is a color that belongs only on a NASCAR vehicle. But if you can bear the coloring and graphics, it is a highly serviceable rod for casting lightweight artificials to spotted seatrout, redfish, and largemouth bass. Maybe I’ll sneak out with it for some low-lit night-fishing excursions.

We also tried the Penn Battalion and the Shimano Teramar, which are both great rods. I found the Battalion to be somewhat lightweight for its action and recommended line weight, which you could easily solve by ordering the next weight up (for example, if you want a “medium action” rod, order the Battalion in “medium heavy”). I’m also a fan of the Teramar, which is extremely well-balanced—both in weight and in guide placement—but Shimano rods come with only a one-year warranty, and I prefer the high-end cork on the Triumph and Battalion anyway. On the other hand, if you’re going to spend the majority of your time bait fishing, consider the Teramar, which offers a little more play and would be a delightful tool when you’re fishing cut bait for striped bass from a boat in Long Island Sound.

The Fin-Nor Lethal is another excellent reel that came highly recommended by expert spinning-reel reviewer Alan Hawk. I had never fished this reel before seeing his recommendation, and I was thoroughly impressed. With its all-metal body, it’s definitely a workhorse. The only real issues I had were that the line lay wasn’t even (line seems to bunch up in one place on the reel) and that the bail (the metal part that holds the line when the reel is engaged) was finicky. You have only one way to open it, and if you’re not careful to handle it right, it closes back over. This presents a hazard when you’re casting, as it can close midcast and stop your bait or lure short, flinging your hooks back at you or a nearby friend. One other problem was that the clicker on the drag (the noise that you hear when line is running off the spool of a reel) sometimes didn’t engage. Twice I looked over, and the line was spinning off the spool (a fish was on the other end), but I hadn’t noticed. Fish I had hoped to release had already swallowed the hook and had to be brought home. All in all, it’s a very strong reel, and I think it could live a long life, but after seeing both novice and avid fishers nearly knock me out while attempting to cast with it, I hesitate to recommend this reel for an inexperienced fisher or a child. According to Alan Hawk, Fin-Nor’s next model up is its best, but it’s much heavier and geared toward fishing larger game.

Features of a Spinning Reel

People, who like to turn their fish over other fishing methods, know who vital the right kind of spinning reel can be. Thus, we bring some features that spinning reel should be having. Read on, and you can thank us later.

Choosing the most suitable spinning reel for oneself becomes a cumbersome thing when one is clueless about the brands and features to take into consideration.

These features mentioned here are imperative, and one can surely get their hands on the best if these points are considered carefully.

Added Features

The more the features, the more costly the spinning reel for the money one is to spend on it.

Rae drag systems are not dependable and robust when compared to the front drag systems.

When it comes to internals, precisely for the saltwater fishing conditions, brass internals is more durable and stable when compared to other internals.

However, the brass internals also cost more. Thus, people should keep the fact mentioned above in mind.

Spinning Reel Matches the Fishing Rod

Also, people should avoid buying the reels and rods together because the combination packages are made out cheap materials.

No matter how much money you have invested in purchasing the reel but if one fails to maintain the reel properly then the entire reel can go wasted.

One should always keep the reel clean and grease it regularly as this will help it last longer.

One can easily find lots of guide on ‘how to clean and oil a spinning reel’ online.

Majority of the people are unaware of the fact the number of ball bearings a spinning reel has, the less work it will have in the crank. However, the number of ball bearings a spinning reel is to have is all about one’s fishing preference.

How To Select A Spinning Fishing Reel

If you happen to stumble upon this article, then you, my friend are looking for a dependable spinning reel but know nothing about it.

Buying the best spinning reel for the money that one spends is not an easy task, especially when there are different kinds of spinning reels available in the market today.

Okuma Trio Standard Speed Spinning Reel

The Okuma​ Trio Standard Speed Spinning Reel is tested for being quality efficient and reliable during varied kinds of fishing experiences.

The aforementioned fishing reel is preferred by professional fishers from all over the world. The reel features a multi-disc as well as drag washers that come with Japanese oils.

The reel also incorporates the Dual Force Drag System along with a Hydro Block water drag seal which is pretty tight.

The spinning mentioned above reel is the perfect choice for people who like to fish in both freshwater and saltwater bodies.

One can buy the Pisfun Spinning Fishing Reel Metal Spool in a variety of series options depending upon one’s needs and requirements.

The aforementioned fishing reel is preferred by professional fishers from all over the world. The reel features a multi-disc as well as drag washers that come with Japanese oils.

The reel also incorporates the Dual Force Drag System along with a Hydro Block water drag seal which is pretty tight.

Picking the right reel size is just as easy as determining what fish size you are intending to catch. If you are looking to go deep, you probably need something that can hold a large line capacity.

Small to medium line capacity is perfect if you are looking to fish in-shore and not go much deep.

What it means is that the lighter the line you are looking for, smaller the spinning reel size you need to choose.

Fishing in saltwater is much more different than fishing in freshwater. The condition is large and the saltwater might corrode the gear used.

Saltwater reels are specially designed to withstand the harsh environment and corrosion. They are generally made with rust resistant ball bearings and generally are made with graphite and aluminum.

On top of that, saltwater species are more aggressive for which the saltwater reels are designed with enough line capacity to allow long runs with a drag that can handle the fish fight without much pressure on the bait.

Okuma Avenger Bait Feeder Spinning Reel

For beginners to experts, the Okuma Avenger ABF Baitfeeder Spinning Reel is one of the best saltwater reels I’ve ever came across.

It is designed with the Okuma patented live line bait feeding system and tournament grade spinning reel that not only make fishing exciting but comfortable as well.

Be it to catch a walleye, rockfish, catfish or stripers, the Okuma Avenger is perfect for any fish types. Its operation is ultra-smooth as it features six sealed ball bearings and is so precise that the larger fish can be caught with very little resistance.

Made from aluminium and stainless steel, it’s extremely durable and corrosion resistant. Since the drag can be maximum which could result in breakage, it comes in six different sizes which are light and great to use for children, men and women of all age.

On top of that, the quick set anti-reverse system features great hook sets that eliminate handle plays making it one of the favorite saltwater reels for most tournament pros.

Features I like​

It’s constructed to be extremely durable and is so versatile with a gear ratio of 4:6:that no anglers need to sacrifice either of speed or power.

It is also extremely reliable and prevents any kind of slack from developing in the line while also preventing tangles with its convenient tab.

Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel

The shielding bearing makes it suitable for heavy conditions with no compromise on the retrieval and fish fight.

Abu Garcia Finesse Spinning Reel

The Digi gear digital gear design is what makes it operate smooth and precise in saltwater.

Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel

Auto ON/OFF trip bait feeding system includes extra ease on your fishing, because of one set quick anti-reverse roller bearing included. 5.0:and 4.5:gear ratio and 2inches to 40 inches line retrieving power help you dragging pounds to 2pounds. This is a lightweight spinning reel that ensures convenient, long time fishing.

Highlighted Features

To review this spinning reel, I spent a few hours in different blog and forums. I didn’t notice any drawbacks of this amazing design spin fisher reel. But I noticed only a few blames on customer review section and they complained, they received the broken product on their purchase. This is rare and no one can guarantee perfect delivery. So you can avoid this kind of complain while buying any fishing product.

Penn Fierce Spinning Reel

If you are searching a spinning reel for a beginner, Penn Fierce Spinning Reel can be a perfect reel for you. Affordable price, metal body and side plates and precise gear alignment are some invaluable features for newbies. Stainless steel metal body ensures scratch resistant use for long-time. Techno-balanced rotor helps in the smooth retrieve. This spinning reel has two different color variations that help to identify the best color for you.

This is the light duty reel for the layman. If you are searching for a heavy duty professional reel, you should check the features of KastKing Kodiak Saltwater Spinning Reel.

Shimano Spin Reel Clam

Shimano reels are known for their affordable price and premium quality. If you are searching medium duty affordable price fishing reel, Shimano Spin Reel Clam can be your perfect choice then. It has all the necessary features, not powerful, but you will find all features available in this spin reel.

Fish Finder

A fish finder adds extra advantages on your fishing. Having a fish finder ensures identifying a fishy area effortlessly. You can measure the currents of the water using a fish finder. Using a high-quality fish finder also display the movement of fish. When you are planning to move for fishing, you should consider owning a fish finder to make your fishing success.


Wearing fishing friendly cloth ensures comfort and joy on your fishing. If you wear uncomfortable cloth, this impact negative on your fishing. Most of the people try to save themselves from being wet. This break concentration and hampers on better fishing.

Fishing Accessories

Fishing accessories like a fishing rod, hook, line and fishing reel are some considerable fact that impact a lot of your comfort fishing. If you choose low-quality accessories for your fishing, this will spoil your delight and joy.

The Size

The size of fishing line you are planning to use is a determinant of the size selection. The highest diameter and strength used on a reel is 10-pound test line. For heavier line, you should go for medium to bigger reels, and for lighter lines, you should go for smaller reels. You can check the product charts for the line capacity information.

Consider The Drag System

For you to be able to work with the perfect line, the drag should be properly calibrated. Even though recently, manufacturers equip their products with fantastic drag system, you still need to check for the right one. The drag system is responsible for applying the accurate pressure to catch a fish and let out the line.

Gear ratio- this solely depends on your fishing style. It is either you go for a high-speed reel or a slow speed reel. 4:is considered as a low gear ratio that provides low speed while 5:and above offers optimum speed. With the higher gear ratio, you could pull in a fish faster.

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

Wondering why this is one of the best ultralight spinning reels? Penn Battle II features a full metal construction. This is an exceptional feature that provides unique leverage and durability. It has a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire to help you land your catch. Included in this rugged spinning reel is balls bearing forged with stainless steel.

With this great feature, you don’t need to worry about the fierce salt water battles as it ensures smooth performance and operation. Included is also an instant anti-reverse bearing. This would help you catch a fish without interruption because it helps remove rotor back play.

Additionally, it has a spool fitted with a rubber gasket. This ensures the superline does not slip under pressure. So, anglers, you can use braided line without a monofilament backing. The drag system is made of carbon fiber delivering smooth and powerful drag.

Sougayilang Fishing Reel

The handle is collapsible and interchangeable. It is made of metal. It features an oscillation system with the S-curved shape. This characteristic makes it very suitable for winding. The spool is made of aluminum making it stronger and durable.

It Can Do Many Things

They are very popular among bass, walleye, and panfish anglers because they are commonly used in presentations such as live bait or finesse. Small crankbaits, spinners, and small jigs are in every way fit for use on a spinning combo. For most spinning reels for freshwater, six to ten-pound test line.

Due to the open and fixed spool on the cast, spinning reels can handle light line, and cast lightweight lures easily. It ensures that the line flows off in coils and then channeled along your rod guide system. With this, tangles or backlashes are not very often created.

The material a fishing reel is made from has a vital impact on the overall performance of the reel. Best saltwater fishing reels are made of high-quality material.

They should be made from durable material so that they can withstand harsh saltwater corrosive elements. You should always look for reels made from materials such as aluminum or graphite.

Weight Distribution

Saltwater fishing can be so much fun if a good spinning reel is used. Lightweight spinning reels are often the best because they allow you to take control of the angling.

If you are thinking of buying a good saltwater fishing reel, and you must consider the weight of the reel being you are thinking of buying.

Heavy reels impart additional weight and can, therefore, interfere with its effectiveness. That don’t, however, mean that the weight should be too small.

Ease Of Operation

Reels vary in the way they are operated. You need a reel that is easy to operate so that it don’t compromise your catch. It must be easy to cast the baits and must allow for smooth drags and retrieves.

There are reels that are a little challenging to operate. Some are complexly structured, and stressful to use. You must look closely at this before you make your decision and pick your choice.





How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the saltwater spinning reel by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your saltwater spinning reel wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of saltwater spinning reel



Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about saltwater spinning reel is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!

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