Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Jigging Reels Reviewed

We have reviewed & compared the best jigging reels on the market. Find a high-quality model for your jig fishing needs.

by Andrew

Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Jigging Reels Reviewed

We have reviewed & compared the best jigging reels on the market. Find a high-quality model for your jig fishing needs.

by Andrew

by Andrew

Imagine jigging and reeling in a hefty catch, but your reel stutters and slams because of a poor quality reel that's unsuitable for the situation. Not only have you lost a catch, but a reel, too.

Have no fear, there are many good quality jigging reels on the market, and we’re here to help you narrow down the right one for your needs. Continue reading to find out the best jigging reels available.

Preview

Product

Reel Material

Reel Weight

Gear Ratio

Check Price

Shimano Torium 20 HGA Saltwater Star Drag...

Shimano

Torium SW

Stainless Steel

1.9 Pounds

6.2:1

Penn Warfare Level Wind Conventional Fishing...

Penn Warfare

641-1366185

Graphite

1.4 pounds

5.1:1

GOMEXUS Jigging Reel Large Capacity 6.3:1...

Gomexus

SX450

Marine-grade aluminum

0.69 Pounds

6.3:1

ACCURIST 100SZ LH BAITCAST Reel

Quantum

Accurist S3 PT

Aluminum frame

7.8 oz.

7.0:1

One Bass Fishing Reels Level Wind Trolling...

One Bass

TA 5000

Die-cast aluminum

34.21 oz.

6.3:1

Gomexus Slow Jigging Reel Saltwater 7.1:1...

GOMEXUS

LX50

Cold-forged Aero-Aluminum

0.69 Pounds

7.1:1

Reels Spinning Penn SLAIII8500HS Slammer III...

Penn

Slammer III

Full metal body and side plates

24.3 oz.

5.6:1

Understanding Jigs & Jigging Reels

Jig fishing is just one of many fishing styles that can help you catch large or small species. Rather than casting a lure and hoping for a bite, for jig fishing, you’ll need to dance your bait in a “jigging” motion. This requires specialized gear, and a jigging rod and reel, and your two main elements.

There are three main types of jigging reel types: spinning, conventional, and overhead. If you’re hoping to fish with a lot of speed, both spinning and conventional reels work well.

At the same time, slow pitching or finesse fishing will require a conventional reel. We’ll go into this in a little bit more in detail within our guide and jigging reel reviews.


Choosing Quality Jigging Reels

Type of Fish & Environment

A common mistake many anglers make when buying a new jigging reel is that they're precise on the environment and fish you can catch with it. If you're fishing in freshwater, expect to catch anything from catfish or carp to striped sea bass with a medium-sized, fast action rod and reel.

Saltwater jigging reels do exist as well, but before you buy, be sure it has corrosion-resistant properties. This will ensure your reel won’t wear and tear from any splashback. You can catch snappers, tuna fish, bluefish, and more. Just be sure to match your reel, line, lure, and leader so you have the right set up.

Reel Weight & Size

A jigging reel’s weight and size will differ based on the intended fish, water conditions, and angling experience you wish to have. Remember, you’ll need to endlessly lift and jerk your rod and reel with this finesse fishing, so lighter reels are a big benefit.  

We recommend getting a reel below 20-25 ounces in weight so you can handle it for longer. Any heavier and you’ll feel fatigue in your hand and arm.

Gear Ratio

Your new jigging reel will need to have a good gear ratio for it to retrieve the line at a good speed. A low gear ratio of 5:1, for example, will retrieve the line too slow. On the other hand, a gear ratio of 7:1 or above may retrieve the line too fast, especially for jig fishing for beginner fishers.

The best gear ratio for swimming jigs and topwater fishing is a medium speed reel; this will have just enough speed without feeling overwhelmed.

Drag, Pitch & Tension

  • Drag
    Once you start feeling some resistance when you’re trying to reel in a catch, then your killer drag system is coming into play. Anglers need to adjust the drag during a tug of war match to create tension. It can be adjusted through either a front or a rear dial or with a star-shaped one on the side of the jigging reel.
  • Pitch
    The pitch is another term used for one full turn of the reel handle. Many jigging reels will have a slow pitch, which means the line will retrieve slowly so it mimics a wounded fish trying to swim up and away from the bottom. 
  • Tension
    By setting your drag on your new fishing reel accordingly, you should feel the correct amount of tension during a bite. Loosen the drag, and the line will retrieve easier, and tighten it to feel more tension.

Line Type & Capacity

Fluorocarbon or braided line seems to be the two lines of choice for a wide range of jigging techniques. Fluorocarbon has a lot of sensitivity and works well with worms, jigs, and Carolina rigged baits.

The new specialized braided lines work best for mechanical jigging. As there’s less stretch, the angler can feel more tension, and braided lines also have a positive hook for this specific fishing technique. 

No matter which line you choose, be sure it is suitable for your reel and that you don’t exceed the line capacity. Each reel will give you this indication, and we’ve listed this information on our reviews to make it simpler for you to pick.

Price & Warranty

With some jigging reels on sale for $50 and others for $500, it’s hard to know how much to spend and what exactly you should be paying for. Our advice is to spend a minimum of $100 on a jigging reel. More expensive reels will have added features, so if you don’t need all of the perks, there's no need to spend the extra money. 

If you're in between two reels, then always check out their warranties. Most jigging reels will come with a 1-year limited warranty, whereas others feature a lifetime warranty. This will give you more peace of mind and help you finalize your decision when picking the right reel.


7 Best Jigging Reels Reviewed

1. Shimano Torium SW

Our Top Pick

Reel Material

Stainless Steel

Reel Weight

1.9 Pounds

Gear Ratio

6.2:1

Line Capacity

PowerPro: 50/530; 65/330; 80/250 yds/lbs.
Mono: 16/450; 20/320; 25/260 yds/lbs.

Ball Bearings

3BB + 1RB

Max Drag

24 lbs

Our number one, top pick for the best jigging reel has to be the Shimano Torium multiplier reel. This small, lightweight and solidly built jigging reel is perfect for live bait or bottom-fishing applications. It’s perfectly paired for freshwater along with saltwater applications, too. There’s not a lot this compact conventional reel can’t do.

There's a lot to love about this conventional reel, from its superstar drag system to its anti-rust, metal ball bearings. What we loved the most was its ability to cast easily and accurately thanks to its cross carbon drag. This provided us with a lot of smoothness once the line was reeling in or out. It can also handle fast and powerful runs, so large inshore species won’t be a problem to tackle.

The gearing system works well, with the Shimano Torium multiplier reel having a high gear ratio of 6.2:1. Even though it may operate quite quickly, we didn't get overwhelmed at its operation, and we feel novice or intermediates could learn a lot from this durable and smooth reel.  We also thought this was the best vertical jigging reels that we’ve tried, so you can go out and catch more walleye and crappie.

You’ll have a choice between 3 sizes, and now Shimano has recently added left-hand orientations for this mode, too. No matter the hand or size you choose, you’ll be bound to love this good looking and long-lasting fishing reel.

Pros
  • Beautiful design with a solid construction
  • Anti-rust ball bearings for less damage
  • Line capacities are first-class for the size of the reel
  • 1-Year limited warranty
Cons
  • Small risk of jamming with fish over 20 lbs

2. Penn Warfare 641-1366185

Best Conventional Jigging Reel

Reel Material

Graphite

Reel Weight

1.4 pounds

Gear Ratio

5.1:1

Line Capacity

375/12, 320/15, 215/20 yds/lbs.

Ball Bearings

3 BB

Max Drag

15 lbs

Finding the right conventional reel can be tricky. They need to be strong enough for big fish. A lot of anglers enjoy using conventional reels when deep-sea fishing as well. We’ve found the best conventional jigging reel that’s bound to get your attention.

The Penn Warfare Level Wind Conventional fishing reel is a baitcasting reel that has a special line guide. It moves back and forth while the line is being retrieved. This helps the line to be evenly distributed as the line won’t create a bird’s nest. 

Penn used some of the best materials in its construction. The frame and side plates are constructed of lightweight graphite. The Warfare level wind conventional jigging reel also features machined brass main and pistol gear. Pair these features with HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers and instant anti-Reverse bearings, and you’ve got yourself a killer conventional jigging reel.

Choose between 3 great colors- black, red, or smoke. There are also 6 sizes to choose from, with left and right orientation available. If you’re a novice angler, we recommend keeping the size to a 15 or a 20. The larger sizes are far more suited to deep-sea fishing or for targeting larger species like or large like salmon or bass. 

Pros
  • Beautiful design with a solid construction
  • Large handle
  • Features instant anti-reverse
  • 1-Year limited warranty
Cons
  • Bait clicker can seem challenging for beginners

3. Gomexus SX450

Best Jig Fishing Reel for Saltwater

Reel Material

Marine-grade aluminum

Reel Weight

0.69 Pounds

Gear Ratio

6.3:1

Line Capacity

Braided 490 /30, 300/50 yds/lbs.

Ball Bearings

9BB+2RB

Max Drag

66 lbs

The next fishing reel on our list is the Gomexus SX450. This is an excellent reel for saltwater or offshore fishing. It has a ton of anti-corrosive materials. The whole reel has precision machined marine-grade aluminum and stainless steel components. These materials aren’t just strong, but they’re incredibly lightweight. This one-piece framed reel weighs a mere 15 oz. Yet, it’s durable enough to handle the harshest saltwater conditions.

The Gomexus jigging reel has a large spool capacity as the machined Aluminum Spool is extremely compact. We loved how smoothly the whole reel operated, and that’s thanks to its 9 stainless steel ball bearings and 2 anti-reverse bearings. These ball bearings remove any friction, even during harsh weather conditions. It also helps with the overall speed, so take note, anglers, this reel operates fast. You better be up to speed!

The dry carbon fiber drag system is reliable and has great stopping power. All the components work well together, resulting in a great jig fishing reel for saltwater and freshwater. Once you control the speed, all you’ll experience is smoothness. We also found the rod clamp and reel cover to be pretty handy and a very nice touch. 

Pros
  • Great drag system for large species
  • Corrosion-resistant properties
  • Great ball bearing system
  • 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Drag knob needs to be tightened correctly for the reel to operate to its potential

4. Quantum Accurist S3 PT

Best Jigging Reel for the Money 

Reel Material

Aluminum frame

Reel Weight

7.8 oz.

Gear Ratio

7.0:1

Line Capacity

Mono - 130/12 yds/lbs Braid -
170/30 yds/lbs

Ball Bearings

8+1

Max Drag

18 lbs.

If you’ve got a need for speed, then check out the Quantum Accurist S3 PT Baitcast Fishing Reel. We’ve picked this model by Quantum for the best jigging reel for the money, as it has a ton of features suitable to jig while still being able to cast as a king with more power and control. Expect this 100 sized reel to work fast, with a 7.0:1 gear ratio that’s best suited to intermediate to professional anglers.

This one-piece reel has an aluminum frame construction sturdy enough for the most demanding anglers while remaining incredibly lightweight. You can have quick access to the spool with the press of a button. The side cover will allow the spool to be visible for any line build-ups or bird nesting. Don’t expect this to happen too frequently though; there's a continuous anti-reverse system to stop this from happening.

What we loved about this baitcasting reel is its multi-drag disk design, which gives the reel an unparalleled stopping power, lockdown, and consistent smoothness. Not to mention the adjustable centrifugal system, which allows you to dial in the exact amount of braking for each bite. This reel has some spectacular advancing technology that brings your performance to life.

With several layers of protective coating and corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel in the interior, there’s no reason why you can’t bring this to saltwater fishing grounds as well as freshwater. Pair it with mono or braid and you’re in for a good day of fishing.

Pros
  • Salt Guard protection
  • Zero friction design
  • Easy access to the spool
  • 5 Year limited warranty
Cons
  • These gears require plenty of lubrication

5. One Bass Fishing Reels TA 5000

Best Overhead Jigging Reel

Reel Material

Die-cast aluminum

Reel Weight

34.21 oz.

Gear Ratio

6.3:1

Line Capacity

25/530 30/450 40/370 yds/lbs. Braided

Ball Bearings

14+1

Max Drag

45 lbs

Talk about a reel that looks as good as it operates, the One Bass Level Wind conventional jigging reel works wonderfully when overhead jigging. It’s great for trolling and for casting, too. This multi-purposeful reel is constructed of die-cast aluminum with a stamped aluminum right side plate. The left side plate features an oversized big game handle to reduce hand fatigue and for your hand not to slip.

You can rely on the One Bass Level Wind jigging reel for saltwater and freshwater fishing. It has a multi-disc carbonite drag system to improve the reels’ stopping power. The drag system on this reel is incredibly smooth and durable, and setting the tension is just one turn of a dial away. We recommend getting used to setting the drag as much as possible with this reel, or else you’ll risk coming home without feeling a bite.

The conventional reel by One Bass features a whopping 14 ball bearings that are constructed of stainless steel. There’s also 1 roller bearing for smooth retrievals. Not only do they work well, but they’ll also withstand tough fishing conditions for years.

Some other added features on this baitcaster are a line-out clicker, alarm, and an easy-access thumb bar spool release. These features work well but aren’t necessarily needed. They are, however, great added extras, especially for intermediate anglers. Pull in monster species from shorelines or boats up to 45 lbs with this powerful and reliable reel.

Pros
  • Impressive drag system- max drag of 45 lbs
  • Multi-purposeful reel
  • Silver and gold design
  • 3-Year limited warranty
Cons
  • Small in size, but heavier than all of its competitors

6. GOMEXUS LX50

Best Slow Pitch Jigging Reel

Reel Material

Cold-forged Aero-Aluminum

Reel Weight

0.69 Pounds

Gear Ratio

7.1:1

Line Capacity

300/30 yds/lbs. Braided

Ball Bearings

9+2

Max Drag

60 lbs

Finding the best slowpitch reel can be tricky. The reel itself needs to be sturdy and reliable as you’re pairing it with an unusually thin and strong slow pitch jigging rod. The GOMEXUS LX50 is a conventional jigging reel that’s capable of slow pitching and more.

This compact and nimble jigging reel is constructed of Cold-forged Aero-Aluminum. It also features a marine level stainless steel gear kit. These materials allow anglers to fish for panfish, walleye, or lake trout in freshwater-- as well as bluefish, tuna, or snappers while saltwater fishing.

The narrow spool allows the line to run in and out smoothly, and as the spool is less in width, its spool capacity is larger in return, allowing you to hold 300 yards or braided line. Its silky HT-100 carbon drag system will allow you to reel in up to 60 lbs. This is one of the heavier max drags we’ve encountered in a jigging reel.

With 9 ball bearings and 2 roller bearings, this reel operates as smoothly as ever and ensures fluid cranking.  We've picked the model with a gear ratio of 7.1:1, but there are two smaller sizes available for novice anglers looking to get into slow pitch jigging.

Pros
  • Max drag is an incredible 60 lbs
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Classic design
  • 1-Year warranty on reels
Cons
  • Expect the line to build-up on the spool if the tension isn’t tightened

7. Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel

Best Jigging Spinning Reel

Reel Material

Full metal body and side plates

Reel Weight

24.3 oz.

Gear Ratio

5.6:1

Line Capacity

345/15 yds/lbs. Braided

Ball Bearings

7+1

Max Drag

40 lbs.

The third generation of the Penn Slammer fishing reel was introduced to the market in 2016, and it quickly became our favorite reel for jigging plastic baits and for topwater fishing. This stylish spinning reel has a black frame constructed of metal. It also features gold accents and truly looks like a professional piece of equipment.

The drag used on the Penn Slammer 3 runs on their premium Dura-Drag system (even better than their HT-100 drag). So as expected, the drag system is handy. With 10 sizes available ranging from 3500 to 10500, and with high-speed reels in between, there’s a choice for every angler for their preferences. We used the 6500 high-speed model and found it to be exceptionally fast. Even though the gear ratio is only 5.6:1, it’s all this compact reel needs for you to reel in a hefty catch.

The max drag is 40 lbs, and you can use this reel in saltwater and freshwater environments. If you once had a Penn Slammer reel before and weren’t entirely satisfied, give these new versions a try. Penn added a line roller bearing to fix this kink. Partner this with the 7 ball bearings that already work a dream, and you’ve got yourself the best jigging spinning reel on the market.

Pros
  • New and improved model
  • High-speed line retrieval
  • Great corrosive resistant properties
  • 1-Year warranty
Cons
  • Quite heavy for its compact size

How To Use & Maintain A Jigging Reel

While these compact and lightweight reels may seem small and uncomplex, in reality, the inside or a jigging reel looks a lot like the inside of a watch.

There are lots of tiny parts that keep the reel operating. These reels need to be used accordingly and should be properly maintained. Here are some of our top tips so you can enjoy your reel for longer.

  1. 1
    Set up your jigging reel with a rod that’s also sturdy and durable, choose the line that works with your rod and reel, and select your fishing location to determine your line and leader material.
  2. 2
    Practice some jigging techniques, light jigs, and get used to your new equipment. When you're by the water, make sure your reel is suitable for the type of water. So saltwater jigging will need a reel that has corrosion-resistant properties. Always avoid having your reel fully submerged in water.
  3. 3
    After every fishing adventure, it’s important to clean and maintain your reel. Use a bucket of warm, soapy water, and wipe down your reel after every use.
  4. 4
    You’ll need to give your reel a deep clean after every 3-4 uses. This will require you to take the reel apart and to clean specific parts. The oil bearings will need to be cleaned with lighter fluid, and the bottom teeth and gears will need to be greased. For a better understanding and a visual representation, here's a very useful video below.
  5. 5
    Once you’ve completed your deep clean, put your reel together one piece at a time, and store it properly. Be sure to keep your jigging rod, reel, and lure equipment is stored away in a dry space, away from sunlight.

People also Ask (FAQs)

Can I cast with a jigging reel?

Some jigging rods and reels are great for casting up to 100-150 feet. Others won’t make it that far and could break under stress. Of course, there are better reels like baitcasters or spinners made for far and accurate casts. But with a light lure, you could have all you need in your arsenal to cast as far as you desire.

What is a level wind reel?

A Level wind reel allows the line guide to move when the spool is running or retrieving line. This allows the line to be evenly distributed upon the spool, so there's less chance for the line to build up or for the line to create a bird’s nest.

Who makes the best jigging reels?

Some of the best brands of jigging reels are Shimano, Penn, Gomexus, and One Bass. We’ve loved reviewing high-quality reels from each and every one of these brands, but with more and more top-notch reels coming to the market, the best can quickly change from year to year.

Is there any other necessary equipment I need for jigging?

Apart from a reel with the right action, you’ll need to match it with a heavy-duty rod. According to your reel and rod, choose your line that suits your equipment, and pair it with a bait or lure to suit your catch. Don’t forget your hooks and a leader; then you're all set to go.

Many anglers worry so much about their equipment, they often forget about themselves. Be sure to have the correct attire for your trip, and bring plenty of water for long days by the water.

Where can I buy these jigging reels?

All of the reels we’ve reviewed on our list for the best jigging reels are available on Amazon. You’ll also see real anglers’ opinions and views on the action and technique, so you get a broader understanding of what you're about to buy. Delivery can be as quick as 24 hours in the States, so you can be jigging for trout on your next fishing adventure.


Conclusion

A top selection of jigging reels were picked in search of finding the best one. Our top pick, the Shimano Torium SW, has enough power and durability to tackle large-sized trout, or it’s a perfect reel for novice anglers to develop their skills with.

Whether you’re currently into spinner reels or baitcasters, give a jigging reel a go, and you could find it to be your reel of choice.

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