10 Best Catfish Reels 2019 – Available On the Market Currently Reviewed

So, you have found a new hobby in catching trophy fish and updating the same on your social media channels. But before you head out for a fishing trip, it’s important that you are armed with the right kind of fishing gear.

It is worth keeping in mind the fact that catfish don’t go down without a fight. And, therefore, when choosing the right tools for the job, you need to ensure that they are heavy-duty ones.

The same rule applies to when choosing the best catfish reels.

More than Just Reels to Store Extra Line

Most people think that catfish reels are all about storing the extra fishing line – but they are dead wrong. With the right reel, you can actually do more than just that!

  • You can cast more accurately
  • Putting up with feisty fish will become much easier for you
  • It will help you set the hook perfectly for the job

The 10 Best Catfish Reels 2019 ​– Reviews

1. KastKing Rover Round Catfish Reel

If you are looking for a baitcasting reel that is versatile and will deliver a fantastic performance in both saltwater and freshwater, the KastKing Rover Round Reel is an excellent place to start. The manufacturer is located in Long Island, New York, and introduced this brand into the market in 2016, specifically targeting the professionals in the game.

Product Description

This fishing reel is versatile, and you can use it in freshwater as well as saltwater. It is bulletproof due to the reinforced anodized aluminum side plates. It also features aluminum alloy spool and plates, six stainless steel ball bearings, centrifugal brakes, and carbon fiber drag washers.

It is available in both left-handed and right-handed models and has a gear ratio of 5.3:1. It is durable due to its construction from corrosion-resistant materials, and it is well suited for bottom fishing and trolling as well.

Other Features and Benefits

The kastKing Reel has an ergonomic design that will make it comfortable to use. The handle is non-slip to ensure that it does not slip from your hands during use, and also ensure that you do not get fatigued even after using it for long durations.

The carbon fiber drag system has a maximum drag of 9kg and will comfortably handle heavy loads without breaking apart. This makes it very powerful in comparison to other, more expensive brands.

The centrifugal brakes will allow you to regulate the speed of the bait and you will find this handy when hunting for the big fish species.

Lastly, the ball bearings will reduce friction between the moving parts of the Reel and will give you an easy time in dragging the loads from the water.


  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Relatively affordable


  • Complicated for beginners

2. Penn Spinning Spinfisher V & VI Fishing Reel

If you want a fishing reel that is specifically designed for saltwater use, the Penn V & VI would be a decent selection. It is waterproof and has such a sturdy all-metal construction that you will not need to add any extra accessories to get the best out of the Spinning Reel. Although pricey, it is a worthwhile investment if you want to enjoy your fishing expedition in the vast ocean waters.

Product Description

This Spinning reel is available from sizes 2500-10500, with sizes 2500-5500 having an automatic bail trip while sizes 6500-10500 having a manual bail trip. It features an IPX5 Sealed body that makes it waterproof and prevents other debris such as sand and rocks from penetrating into the gears.

It utilizes the CNC gear technology for better movement while the HT-100 Carbon Fiber drag washers give it the strength to handle the big fish species with minimum effort.

Other Features and Benefits 

The watertight design of this Reel keeps the salty water from the gears and drag system to prevent rusting. As a result, it enhances the durability of the Spinning Reel.

The drag system with the 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings will allow for a smooth operation of the Reel. There is also the anti-reverse feature that gives you better control of the fishing line.

The Reel has an all-metal construction that enhances the strength of the spinning Reel and ensures that it will not be overwhelmed by the resistance of the catch.


  • Sturdy all-metal construction
  • Even line lay
  • Watertight design


  • The drag may be too high

3. Penn Pursuit II & III Fishing Spinning Reel

If you are on a budget and you are looking for a spinning reel that would suit your kid or any other beginner in mind, then the Penn Pursuit series is what you need. It is manufactured by a reliable and reputable firm and is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and very affordable. Our review of this Reel will make you understand the hype behind this spinning reel.

Product Description

The Penn Pursuit II was released in 2013 and is available from model 3000 to model 8000. It features a graphite body, a metal side-plate for durability, line capacity rings, 4+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings, and an instant anti-reverse system. It has an ergonomically designed handle to keep you comfortable as you use it.

Other Features and Benefits

The graphite construction makes this Reel lightweight and durable. The spool is machine-precisioned and will let you release the fishing line very smoothly.

The anti-reverse system will eliminate any playback in the handle and will give you a solid retrieval process. The drag system is oiled and will allow for a smooth operation.

The ball bearings as well are made of stainless steel for durability and a smooth retrieval process.


  • Lightweight and durable
  • Affordable
  • Oiled drag system


  • It is not sealed

4. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Catfish Reel

The Abu Garcia brand has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality fishing reels, and the Ambassadeur brand is not an exception. It has been in existence since 1952, and even the various modifications that it has undergone have never affected its performance. Once you go through our review of it, you should understand why we believe it is a worthwhile acquisition.

Product Description

This baitcast Reel is well-suited for catfishing, and it features three stainless steel ball bearings and one ball bearing. It has a smooth drag as a result of the Carbon Matrix drag system that will also offer you consistency. There is also the 6-pin centrifugal brake, the cranking handles and the power knob that will help you fight the resistance of the hard-fighting catfish.

Other features and Benefits

This baitcasting reel has a synchronized level wind that will enable it to survive in the harshest conditions. The lever placement is adjustable and will allow both left and right-handed use.

It also has a maximum drag of 15lbs, a mono capacity of 320/12, a gear ratio of 5:3.1, and a braid capacity of 310/30. The centrifugal brakes will allow for consistent pressure, and this will allow for highly precise casting.


  • Smooth retrieval
  • Allows for left and right-handed retrieval
  • Customizable


  • Too expensive

5. Daiwa Heavy Action Black Gold (BG) Spinning Reels

Sometimes it is the reliability of the manufacturer that will attract you towards a particular brand of fishing reels. One such brand is the Daiwa brand which has been in existence from as far back as 1955 and has never disappointed in producing high-quality fishing reels that offer exemplary performances.

Product Description

The Daiwa BG Spinning Reel has a solid construction and remains lightweight. In this way, you will not experience fatigue even after using it for extended periods. It can accommodate various types of lines, with 25lbs using 275 yards, 30lbs using 225 yards, and 40lbs for 175 yards. It has a foldable handle for easy storage and transportation besides having a comfortable wooden grip.

Other Features and Benefits

This spinning reel has a rigid frame, and this means that it will not buckle under the pressure of heavy loads.

It has a smooth and powerful drag featuring a combination of Teflon and stainless steel washers and will deliver you an outstanding performance.

The Reel has an anodized finish that is corrosion proof, and this will enhance its durability. It also has an external gold appearance that makes it stunning and would be a beautiful addition to your cabin.

The handle is adjustable to allow for a left or right-handed retrieve. This means that no group will be left out in using this Reel.

Lastly, it has a maximum drag of 37lbs, and this makes it suitable for pulling out the big and heavy big species.


  • Smooth Drag
  • Solid construction
  • Allows for left or right-handed retrieve


  • Does not have a line clip

6. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4-6601 Round Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur does it again with the C4-6601 Reel that will give you the comfort and confidence to handle large scale fishing in the vast ocean waters. It has a 6.3:1 gear ratio that will deliver you a fast and smooth retrieve while a combination of other features will ensure that you have successful and unforgettable fishing experience.

Product Description

This fishing reel is designed to offer you durability, smoothness, and consistency. It features four stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing for smooth operation, and this is further backed by a Carbon Matrix drag system and a dura-gear two-gear system. It is also designed to give you comfort as you hold the Reel for long durations.

Other Features and Benefits

This Reel has a 6-pin centrifugal brake that will aid you in applying constant pressure that will combat the resistance from the fish that you are pulling out.

The handle is compact and bent, and this offers you a good grip while you pull out your catch. You will not experience blisters even if you go about your business for long hours.

Then there is the synchronized level wind system that provides an even line lay and also give you a wider cast.


  • Durable
  • Comfortable handle
  • Smooth retrieval


  • Smooth retrieval
  • Handle not adjustable for lefties

7. Quantum PT Accurist LP Baitcast Reel

If you want to experience power in a baitcast reel, this baitcast Reel by Quantum Fishing will solve your problem. It is rounded and has an aluminum spool with an impressive capacity that will allow you to load a huge line. It is also designed to give you a broader cast that will improve your chances of making a catch.

Product Description

The Quantum Accurist is manufactured in the USA, and it is lightweight as a result of the aluminum housing. This housing has a black finishing that gives it a classy look, and you can use it as a decoration when not in use. It features an ACS centrifugal cast control and adjustable reel settings depending on the size of the bait and the prevailing conditions. It weighs 8.2oz, has a line capacity of 12lbs for 125 yards, and has six ball bearings plus one roller bearing.

Other Features and Benefits

The Reel comes with a rod that is durable and in an E-glass blank that is very sturdy, highly responsive and will give you the ability to deal with the most robust fish comfortably.

The synchronous class stainless steel reel foot will give you the ultimate control and power in casting and pulling out your catch.

The guide-frame is double-footed and robust and is constructed out of ceramic, which is abrasion resistant and makes it very durable.

It has an EVA grip handle for comfort while the reel seat is hooded. Lastly, the gear ratio of 4.2:1 will give you a very smooth retrieval process.


  • Allows for a wide casting
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful to handle big fish


  • Too pricey

8. Ming Yang CL60 Fishing Baitcast Reel

If you have experience in fishing for catfish, then you should know that it is a huge and robust fish that requires a sturdy fishing reel to pull it out effectively. In this case, the Ming Yang CL60 will solve your problem. It has sturdy construction from high-quality materials to make it one of the best reels that can work in both saltwater and freshwater.

Product Description

The Ming Yang CL60 is made in China, and it features two ball bearings plus one roller bearing for a smooth operation. It also has anodized aluminum side plates and a one-way clutch anti-reverse bearing that will prevent playback in the spool. The Spinning Reel has a Selective on/off bait clicker and 4.2:1 gear ratio for a fantastic retrieval process.

Other Features and Benefits

The anodized aluminum side plates are corrosion resistant, and this makes it suitable for saltwater fishing. This feature adds to its durability while the material makes the reel lightweight.

The overall construction is sturdy, and you will deal with the big fish effectively. It has a drag capacity of 16lbs and a line capacity of 14lbs for 180 yards of mono braids.

Lastly, it is very affordable and straightforward to use.


  • Sturdy construction
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable


  • Some anglers find it too small

9. Okuma Level Wind Classic Trolling Reel

The Okuma brand of fishing reels has a reputation for durability and versatility, and the Classic Level Wind model is not an exception. It is lightweight, and it will offer you several features that are sure to capture your attention. Below is our review on why we believe you should go for this fishing reel if you are a serious angler.

Product Description

The Okuma Classic Level Wind is a lightweight fishing reel that features a graphite frame that resists corrosion. It also features a graphite spool and side plates that enhance its durability. The stainless steel reel root gives it incredible strength for pulling out the catfish while the aluminum power handle features t-style buttons that are easy to press and are accessible.

Other Features and Benefits

The corrosion-resistant materials used in the construction of this Reel give it impressive durability and makes it the ultimate saltwater fishing reel. It will save you the hassle of rinsing your Reel any time you go fishing.

It has a stainless steel gearing system that will never disappoint as it is very sturdy. This gearing system is also self-lubricating, and the parts will always move with maximum ease.

The level wind guide system will help you in making a precise cast as you will be able to guide the line in whichever direction you prefer.

Lastly, it is backed by a one year warranty to give you peace of mind as you use it.


  • Versatile and durable
  • Easy to use
  • Very affordable


  • Only allows a right-handed retrieval

10. Abu Garcia C3-7000 Ambassadeur Reel

The Abu Garcia Company has been in existence for close to a century, and it has continued to upgrade its reels to face the competition efficiently. The C3 series, in particular, has undergone numerous upgrades over the years, and we believe that this has never compromised its quality and performance. In our case, we are interested in the C3-7000 Ambassadeur reel.

Product Description

This fishing reel is assembled in Sweden, and it weighs 17.8oz with a gear ratio of 4.1:1. It has a line capacity of 17lbs per 325 yards, 20lbs per 270 yards and 25lbs per 230 yards. It features three ball bearings, a 6-pin centrifugal brake, a carbon matrix drag system, and an anti-reverse bearing for a smooth retrieval. This reel will offer all anglers an impressive casting range together with the power to fight resistant fish.

Other Features and Benefits

The three stainless steel bearings will give the Reel a smooth operation capability. Still, on these bearings, they are made from DD400 material that is sturdy and makes the bearings tough and durable. They are rust-resistant and will allow for a smooth operation for a long time to come.

The drag system is robust and low profile to enable you to handle the big fish efficiently. It is also smooth and offers you constant pressure for a successful expedition.

The 6-pin centrifugal brake offers you stability while the anti-reverse bearing will eliminate any chance of playback in the spool.


  • Powerful
  • Affordable
  • Sturdy construction


  • Noisy when in use

What to Look For In Your Next Catfish Reel

Not every reel that you’ll come across on Amazon is wort adding to your collection. In fact, there are quite a few poorly made reels out here. And to help you avoid those, we would like to provide you with the following key guidelines for making the right buy.

Build Quality

Catfish are probably one of the most aggressive types of fish. They are capable of fighting to the very end. I mean, how do you darn kill these things?

Given their strong fighting skills, your best bet is to invest in reels that are designed to handle persistent pressure. As such, you are better off going for something with a heavy-duty body.

The handle should also be stout and, most importantly, it should be made of metal gears so it can handle pretty much anything thrown at it.

How Much Line Do You Intend To Use?

First things first, the best kind of line to invest in when it comes to this fish species is the braided one. And of course, the braided line is quite thick which means you are better off with a reel that has got a huge capacity.

Remember, you need lots of line to put up with heavy-fighting fish species. Therefore, our recommendations are that you should look for a reel that can accommodate 20 lb or more of fishing line.

Think about Gear Ratio

Although most people tend to overlook the issue of gear issue, we’d recommend that you give it the attention it deserves. Think of it this way, if your reel has a gear ratio of 6:1, it means that for each turn your make using its handle, the spool will automatically make 6 rotations.

When targeting fish that are as aggressive as the catfish, your best bet is to go for a unit that operates at above average speeds. In that regard, we’d suggest going for anything within the 5:1 and 7:1 range.

Which One Is The Best?

The Penn Spinning Spinfisher V & VI Fishing Reel is in our view the best catfish reel there is on the markets currently. Its handle is our absolutely favorite part of it. We also like the fact that it has an IPX5 sealed body and a revolutionary spool design.

That said, we would have wished for a lower drag. Fortunately, the reel is quite well made and can withstand many of the challenges other competing reels would struggle to manage.

Final Thoughts

In our view, the best catfish reel is yet to be built. Therefore, we hope that the buying guidelines provided above will come in handy in helping you make an informed decision based on what’s currently available on the markets.

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