Top 10 Best Spinning Reels 2019 on the Market Reviewed

For a long time, the debate pitting spinning reels vs baitcaster reels has been raging. And while different people have unique preferences, spinning reels are by far the most popular ones out here.

That’s probably because they are easy to use (have a shorter learning curve). Besides that, when it comes to light line uses, spinning reels take a commanding lead.

Despite their awesome track record, it’s never easy to zero-in on the best spinning reel. With so many choices available out there in the world, it’s always wise to be armed with an informative buying guide. Read through the next few lines to learn about the key points to consider when selecting the ideal spinning reel.

The 10 Best Rated Spinning Reels for the Money – Comparison List

Preceding our in-depth reviews is the following shortened list of reels. You can either use it to make a decision on the spot or to help you breakdown the rather long read below.

Quick Answer: The 10 Best Spinning Reels For 2019

1. KastKing Sharky III Carbon Fiber Fishing Reel

Fishing has evolved from back in the days when you would only undertake the practice for professional purposes, and you would need large nets for the task. Nowadays, you can go fishing for recreational purposes, and you do not necessarily need bulky accessories for this task.

You can simply use your hands and a fishing reel and hence the introduction of fishing reel manufacturers.

One of them is KastKing, which has developed into one of the major players in the fishing industry. It has a reputation for producing graphite reels which are lightweight and corrosion-resistant.

Our focus today is on the Sharky III model, which was released in 2018, and it aims to make fishing a comfortable affair for everyone.

It has a combination of features from the first two Sharky models to give you an unforgettable fishing experience in both fresh and saltwater.

Product Description

The KastKing fishing reels are made in the U.S.A., and the Sharky III model was introduced in 2018. The first two Sharky models were a great success, and so the manufacturer sought to produce a more superior product that will deliver you fantastic performance in the ocean and the lake as well.

This reel is lighter so as not to tire your arms out after long hours of use, and operates more smoothly so that you can bring your catch on board with minimum effort. It features an aluminum frame for strength and durability and is equipped with a braid fishing line.

Then there is the 10+1 stainless steel ball bearings and a triple disc carbon fiber drag for more strength and efficiency.

It weighs 14.1oz and has a drag capacity of 39.5lbs to handle the hard fighting fish confidently.

Other Features and Benefits 

The Sharky III reel has a graphite body which means that you will use it for long periods in saltwater without it getting corroded. The spool too is made of this material, and you will get an extra one in the package to give you a back-up plan.

The shielded ball bearings are durable and will minimize friction between the movable parts and give you a smooth retrieval process.

When it comes to the handles, they have high-density E.V.A. grips for comfort and prevent slipping during usage in wet conditions. The T-handle is interchangeable to allow for a left or right-handed use.

You will also be impressed by the anti-twist line roller that aims to prevent line tangles and snarls. Lastly, the reel has the KastKing Intrusion Shield System (K.I.S.S.) that will protect the spool from water and dirt and will drain them out should they penetrate inside.

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Affordable
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Not really suited for the big fish

2. Shimano Freshwater Stradic HG Spinning Reel

In today’s world, technology has become a vital aspect in almost everything that we do. From medicine to agriculture and education, the need always arises to inculcate some form of technology for better success, and it rarely disappoints.

Fishing is one of the many activities that could do with some technology. It has evolved from being a purely commercial activity to being a leisure activity as well, and so it needs to be an efficient process with fast, accurate results. This has led to the demand for user-friendly fishing reels that will give accurate results with minimum effort and in record time.

The Shimano Stradic Freshwater Spinning Reel attempts to answer these questions as it utilizes modern technology to fix previous flaws and also come up with innovations that will give it an edge over competitors and add to a positive fishing experience. Let us do a more in-depth review of this Spinning Reel to help you understand why this device is highly rated.

Product Description

It is rare to find a fishing reel with sophisticated technology but remains very simple. The Stradic HG freshwater reel uses the X-ship technology to enhance the durability of the gears and also to give you a smooth casting process as it minimizes friction that usually occurs between the gear and the spool shaft.

The manufacturer also utilizes the Hagane technology for a sturdy, smooth, and reliable performance. Other notable innovative features include the Built-in Dyna-Balance rotor, the Fluidrive II system, and the Shimano’s Propulsion Line Management System, and these combine to offer you a decent performance.

Other Features and Benefits

Although the reel is crafted out of high-quality materials, it remains lightweight, and this enhances its user-friendliness as it becomes portable enough for you to carry it around. The covers are also easy to open for easy maintenance.

The high-quality materials also make it cost efficient as you will not incur replacement costs or unnecessary maintenance expenditures to keep the reel in good condition. The innovative features are self-monitoring and serve to prevent actions such as friction that wear out the movable parts.

The Shimano Freshwater reel has a smooth gear alignment for more efficiency while the smooth rotor enhances its flexibility for superior performance.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Low gear ratio gives a slower retrieve

3. Okuma Ceymar Multi-Disc Spinning Reel

What are the main qualities to look for in a Spinning Reel? If your answer includes affordability, performance, and versatility, then you must be a very serious angler, whether a novice or a pro. You will have scored a bonus if you can find all these qualities in one fishing reel and it is at this point that we shall introduce you to the Multi-disc Spinning Reel by Okuma.

The manufacturer is a reliable player in the game and has been doing so for over thirty years. This experience means that they have had sufficient time to analyze customer feedback and give them the capability to fix the flaws as reported, and also make improvements as a way of keeping up with the competition. They have gone on to build a reputation as one of the most outstanding performers in the Spinning Reel industry.

The Okuma Ceymar reel is lightweight, small, and has aluminum forged handles with E.V.A. Knobs for a comfortable and secure grip. It features a highly precise gearing system and a quick set anti-reverse for a smooth performance. Let us go into a more in-depth review of this Spinning Reel.

Product Description 

The Ceymar Reel by Okuma specifically targets freshwater anglers and is lightweight with eight bearings for a smooth and reliable performance. Other notable features include a multi-disc, oiled felt drag system with a maximum drag capacity of 5lbs. There is also the quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing, an anodized aluminum spool, a monofilament line capacity, and precision cut brass pinion gears. 

It is, and it comes with a one-year warranty.

Other Features and Benefits

The drag system is smooth and sturdy and will comfortably handle the big and violent fish in the water, including catfish and bass.

It has a sturdy construction that allows the reel to take a significant amount of abuse without getting damaged. Whether it is in the boot of a car or on the boat, it can be thrown around, and all the parts stay intact.

The covers are fully sealed and prevent dirt and water from penetrating the gears as this would lead to clogging and prevent the reel from operating correctly.

It is easy to use while the anti-reverse set will prevent back-play in the spool, which results in your catch escaping. Lastly, the drag adjustment knob produces a clicking sound to inform you when you have achieved your desired looseness or tightness.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Durable

Cons

  • The handle is a bit loose

4. Daiwa Black Gold (B.G.) Spinning Reels

The Daiwa Spinning Reel has been in the market for close to sixty years, while the B.G. series was introduced in 1981, and is one of the most famous Spinning Reels globally. It is durable, sturdy, and it appeals to both amateurs and professionals due to its simplicity as well as the top-notch performance that it delivers.

It is a cost-efficient model that has an elegant look, and it utilizes innovation and efficiency in its manufacturing so that you can rest assured that you will be getting nothing short of reliable performance. A more in-depth review should give you a better understanding of the B.G. Spinning Reel.

Product Description

The Daiwa B.G. Spinning Reel is available in ten models and comes in three gear ratios ranging from 1500 to 8000, and this gives it the capability to handle the most robust and strongest fighting fish due to its drag capacity of up to 70lbs. The B.G. S.W. reel has a 7-bearing system i.e., 6-ball bearings and 1-ball bearing and has an infinite anti-reverse system for size 4000 and below, and a dual anti-reverse system for sizes 4500 and above.

Other notable features include a Black anodized machined aluminum housing, an over-sized digigear system, a solid screw handle, a dynamic cut aluminum spool A.B.S. Spool, a Carbon A.T.D. Drag System, and a spool ready for a braided line.

Other Features and Benefits

The manufacturer developed this device with durability at the back of his mind. This is evidenced by the waterproof drag system, an aluminum body and a super-smooth reel operation that ensures you require minimum effort to make a successful catch.

The digital gear is large and maximizes the tooth contact. As a result, the reel is more powerful and has more rotations for enhanced efficiency.

It has a high-quality construction that will ensure it will be a while before you incur replacement costs or even maintenance costs. This makes it very cost efficient. Further, it is very affordable for everyone.

Its construction involved lightweight materials to enhance its simplicity and user-friendly nature that will make it comfortable for use. The handle has a thick pad to make it smooth, flexible, and versatile as you can use it for light and heavy duties as well.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Versatile and flexible
  • Portable

Cons

  • A bit bulky

5. Pflueger President Fishing Spinning Reel

It is common knowledge that the best and flawless spinning reels are also the most expensive, and therefore most anglers on a budget go for fishing reels just for the sake of it without paying much attention to quality as they believe a low budget automatically translates to low quality. Some even go through their entire angling profession without ever experiencing a satisfactory fishing expedition.

Some manufacturers in the game noticed this gap, Pflueger being one of them, with the President Series that aims to provide anglers with affordable yet high-quality and effective reels that should give you a satisfying performance.

The President Reels are available in five versions that accommodate lines of different diameters and all offer different drag pressures. Overall, they are well-suited for tackling small to medium sized fish, including panfish, catfish, trout, and walleye. Although affordable, they possess a range of features that you can also find in high-end reels as you shall see in our review.

Product Description

As stated earlier, the Pflueger President Spinning Reel is available in five models, and all have slight variations from each other. The model starts from 6920 all the way to 6940, with the higher model number representing an increase in various aspects including ball bearings, maximum drag pressure, line recovery, and line capacities. Other notable features include a stainless steel shaft, a lightweight graphite body, a braid ready double-anodized aluminum spool, the Sure-Click Bail System, an Anti-reverse bearing, and a multi-disc drag system that is front-positioned.

Other Features and Benefits

Let us start with the handle which is corrosion-resistant due to its air-grade aluminum construction that makes it extremely durable. The soft touch ergonomic will offer you a good grip and comfort at the same time.

The handle is also interchangeable and will allow for left and right-handed retrieval.

Then, the stainless steel ball bearings are corrosion-resistant and are fully sealed to prevent penetration of saltwater that would require persistent rinsing after use.

The Sure-Click System produces a loud click that alerts you of the bail being ready for casting, while the oil felt drag would provide consistent pressure necessary for handling a hard-fighting fish.

Pros

  • Backed by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Lightweight and durable graphite body
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • The handle gets corroded rather fast

6. Shimano RG Spirex Spinning Reel

The Shimano brand is one of the most popular brands among anglers as their spinning reels come packed with a range of features that assure you of successful and unforgettable fishing experience. Our review today is on the Spirex RG model that is a mid-level spinning reel which is affordable and one of the best performers in the category.

Although some users may find it to be too fast, it is a user-friendly spinning reel that has a lot of technology in its development such that even the best pros in the game are full of positive reviews of it. Let us do a brief review to give you a better understanding of this spinning reel.

Product Description

The Shimano RG Spirex is made in the U.S.A. and is available in three sizes, starting from 1000 to 4000, with its main aspects increasing as the model size increases. It has a gear ratio of 6.2:1 and has a retrieval rate of 33” per turn. RG Spirex weighs 11.3oz, for the size 2500 and has a drag capacity of 7lbs.

The body is made of corrosion-resistant graphite material that also makes it lightweight. The bearing system features five stainless steel ball bearings for smooth operation while felt drag washers enhance its strength in pulling out your catch effectively.

It is versatile, and you can use it in saltwater and freshwater as well.

Other Features and Benefits

One of the most outstanding qualities of this spinning reel is the Propulsion Line management System that utilizes the spool lip design to minimize line issues and also improve the casting distance

Another impressive feature is the Dyna-balance System that keeps the spool steady and robust to give you the desired stability for a successful fishing expedition. This feature is backed up by the Fluidrive II gearing system that is tight and will offer you a smooth and powerful retrieve.

The reel features rubber handle grip to keep your hands comfortable and eliminate fatigue and blisters even when you undertake long periods of fishing.

Lastly, it is affordable for the service that you will get.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Fast line retrieval
  • Comfortable rubber handle grips

Cons

  • Hard to clean

7. Penn Fierce II Fishing Spinning Reel

The Penn brand of fishing reels has been around for several decades, and this existence, coupled with the numerous positive reviews online, the manufacturer knows their job. Once they release a version, they always analyze the customer feedback and experience such that the succeeding version is an improvement of the original.

In our review, we shall focus on the Penn Fierce II, which falls somewhere between the Pursuit II and the Battle II. It borrows the affordability of the latter and the solidity of the former to give you an outstanding spinning reel that never disappoints.

It has additional features from the Pursuit II such as a Techno-balanced rotor, an extra bearing, an all-metal body, a bulkier aluminum bail wire, and a Superline spool. Let us go into a more in-depth analysis of this Spinning Reel to give you a better understanding of it.

Product Description  

The Penn Fierce II was launched in 2015, and it is available in six models starting from FRC2000 all the way to FRC8000. These models have variations in terms of maximum drags, line capacities, and sizes, with these aspects rising as you go up the model number.

The price also varies from the lowest to the highest, although the difference between the lowest and the highest being only $20. These prices also vary depending on the retailer.

Other features that you will find in this Spinning Reel include an oiled felt drag system, a metal side-plate and a better paint quality that protects the reel from corrosion due to splashing by saltwater and chemicals.

Other Features and Benefits 

One thing about this Spinning reel is the smooth retrieve. This comes about as a result of the Techno-Balanced Rotor; the Oiled felt drag system and the 4+1 Shielded Stainless Steel ball bearings. Note that the ball bearings are not sealed, so you need to clean them in fresh water after using from salty water.

With proper maintenance, the ball bearings should serve you for a decent period into the future and spare you from replacement costs.

You will also get a solid retrieve due to the instant anti-reverse bearing that eliminates any back play in the handle which would typically result in your catch jumping back into the water.

The line capacity rings at the base of the reel will let you know how much line is remaining so that your work goes on uninterrupted.

Lastly, this device is very affordable, considering the service that you will be getting.

Pros

  • All metal body
  • Better corrosion-resistance
  • Smooth and reliable drag system

Cons

  • Not sealed

8. Penn Clash Fishing Spinning Reel

The Penn Fishing Tackle Company has been manufacturing reliable reels since the 1930s, and most of them are well-suited for use in both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Sometime in 2015, they released the Clash series of spinning reels, and this caused a lot of jitters among the competition.

It is available in seven models ranging from model 2000 all the way to model 8000, and the reel weight increases as the model number rise. You may be turned off by its bulky nature, but we can attribute this to the sturdy construction that gives it durability and strength to handle the pressure from hard-fighting fish.

While the company is based in the U.S.A., the reels themselves are made in China, but this does not compromise its quality in any way, only that some anglers are sensitive about using foreign-made products.

Product Description

The Penn Clash Spinning Reels are made in China, and they feature an all-metal body comprising of an aluminum spool, handle, side plates and bail. The models 2000-4000 feature a carbon graphite rotor while models 5000-8000 feature an aluminum rotor.  The Penn Reels also utilize the C.N.C. gear technology for better contact and fitting while the anodized aluminum spool is durable and can take significant abuse without breaking apart.

Other outstanding features include the leveline Oscillation System, the sealed HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag System, an 8+1 bearing system, and an aluminum handle that allows for both left and right-handed retrieval.

Other Features and Benefits

To start with, all models feature E.V.A. foam handles that are oversized and offer a fantastic grip that will never slip out of your hands. They are also comfortable, and your hands will never tire or develop blisters even after long hours of use.

Then, the all-metal body is sturdy and flexible, and it generates sufficient power so that you can successfully land your desired fish.

Additionally, the gear ratios are impressive and will result in a faster line retrieval that will ensure you get a decent amount of line back into the spool in record time.

The Oscillation System will assure you of minimal issues in line management while the drag system helps in applying consistent pressure that will come in handy in tackling bigger and more aggressive fish, although the drag washers wear out too quickly.

The stainless steel bearings are rubber-sealed to prevent saltwater from penetrating and causing corrosion, while the anti-reverse mechanism will stop any playback in the spool.

Pros

  • Smooth drag system
  • Bearings are rubber-sealed
  • Sturdy construction

Cons

  • A bit on the pricey side

9. Daiwa Front Drag Crossfire Spinning Reel

Daiwa Company was founded in 1958, and it operates on three core values, namely Innovation, Challenge, and Originality. It is a global leader in developing fishing reels that precision, high-quality, and performance, and has gone on to be the first in the market to produce an open-faced reel that offers anglers a greater casting distance, and smoother performance.

The brand has over the years made several technological innovations to the Daiwa reels as a way of improving their customer experience and also for standing up to the competition. There are several models from this decades-old company, and our review today shall focus on the Crossfire Front Drag Spinning Reel.

Just like the rest of the Daiwa Reels, the Crossfire model offers you affordability and high-quality performance at the same time. It has a solid build that makes it suitable for both professionals as well as the amateurs and enthusiasts as well. However, you should be cautious enough to wash it after using in saltwater since there is no sealing to protect the gears from corrosion.

Product Description 

The Front Drag model features a 3+1 bearing system, an A.B.S. Aluminum Spool, and a Micro-click front drag adjustment for setting the drag relative to your target fish. It is crafted from high-quality yet lightweight materials that make it durable and portable at the same time. It is easy to use, operates smoothly, and is well-suited for beginners.

Other Features and Benefits

The first notable feature with this Daiwa-made reel is the Twist Buster System that eliminates any twisting in the lines, and this will spare you from the annoying hassle of untangling them constantly.

Then, the Gyro-spin balanced rotor coupled with the bearing system, will deliver you a smooth performance. Further, the three bearings will be convenient as they will still give you superb performance and also make the reel very easy to maintain.

You will find it easy to adjust the drag according to your target as well as the tightness of the fishing line since you can easily do this by the click of a button.

Proper maintenance will assure you of uninterrupted service for many years to come.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • No tangled lines

Cons

  • Drag is not as smooth as advertised

10. Abu Garcia Revo S.X. Fishing Spinning Reel

Finding the appropriate Fishing Spinning Reel can be a complicated affair, even for the most experienced anglers. Most anglers look for cost effectiveness and a top-notch performance in the spinning reels that they are using. It is common for the best quality spinning reels also to be the most expensive ones and so most of the anglers tend to be priced out into acquiring the inferior models.

For this reason, we shall introduce you to the Abu Garcia Revo S.X. Spinning reel which should suit you if you are on a budget but still desires a high-quality Fishing Reel. 

The manufacturer is a big name in the Spinning Reel industry and has over the years released high-quality rods and reels that never fail to dazzle the anglers. The Revo S.X. is available in four models, and we shall see some of its features in our review below.

Product Description   

The Revo S.X. Series is available in four models ranging from SX10 to SX40, all of them having slight variations in terms of line capacity, line recovery, reel weight, and the maximum drag pressure. The handle is interchangeable to allow for a left or right-handed retrieval.

Other features include an 8+1Bearing System, a k-clutch anti-reverse function, a braid ready aluminum spool, a carbon matrix drag system, a front positioned drag adjustment, and a Rocket line management system.

Other Features and Benefits 

To start with, the body of this reel features an X-Craftic alloy frame and a C6 Carbon body which makes it lightweight and corrosion-resistant. As a result, you can use the reel in both saltwater and freshwater without much concern.

Then, its line management system utilizes the Rocket Spool Lip design and the Everlast Bail System to ensure that your line remains flat on the spool without being affected by the lure weight or your fishing technique.

It also has a reliable drag system that is smooth and will never disappoint when it comes to pulling out your target from its habitat, as it offers sufficient power to do so.

The C.N.C. gear system will also enhance its smoothness and improve the overall efficiency of this Spinning Reel as you will need minimum effort to make a successful catch.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • High speed retrieve
  • Line management system eliminates tangling

Cons

  • Performs poorly when wet

A Comprehensive Buying Guide for Spinning Reels

In order to have a better understanding of how to use spinning reels and how to get the best bang for your bucks, read through the next few paragraphs.

Different Parts of Spinning Reels

This is Spinning Reel 101, so if this is your first time considering using these reels, this is meant to be a handy guide. One thing you need to know is that these specific reels are also commonly referred to as the open-face reels. They typically have 8 key parts.

  • The Handle
  • Foot
  • Anti-Reverse Switch
  • The Body
  • Line Roller
  • Line Spool
  • Bail
  • Drag Adjustment/ Spool Release

One unique attribute of open-face reels is that their lines are less likely to tangle. So, although a lot more advanced than the closed-face reels, it’s still easy to use probably you learn the ropes.

With an idea of the anatomy of the spinning reels, it’s time to now shift gears and talk about what factors you need to consider when making a choice.

Build-Quality & Weight

The best way to determine if the build quality of your spinning reels meets the cut is by looking at what the body is made up of. Normally, the choice here is between aluminum and graphite.

Aluminum housings are known to be quite strong especially if designed through CNC. They can withstand any kind of torture and are quite important for folks looking for the best spinning reels for saltwater fishing.

The graphite reels are also equally well-made although less durable than their aluminum counterparts. Fortunately, graphite is also highly flexible and lighter. Talking about them being light in weight reminds us of an equally important topic – the topic of reel weight.

If you’re planning to be out there in the water, your best bet is a reel that’s light in weight. In that case, a graphite or composite reel would be your best bet.

What’s The Ideal Reel Size?

Yup, you read that right. Size matters when it comes to choosing these reels. But the rules are quite straightforward here – the size of the reel should be directly proportionate to the size of your line. The heavier the line, the larger the reel should be.

This once again confirms the fact that the kind of fish you target should determine the kind of reel you invest in. For instance, if all you’re looking for are smallmouth bass or walleye, an 8-pound line would suffice and, therefore, a medium-sized reel would be your best bet.

Small-Sized Reels: Light-duty lines ranked below 5 pounds.

Medium-Sized Reels: These work best with 6-pound, 8-pound, and 10-pound lines.

Large-Sized Reels: Heavy-duty lines ranked well above the 10-pound test mark.

So, it’s all about the style of fishing you intend to embrace and also the kind of line you plan to invest in. Get these two right and you’ll never have to do any guesswork.

What’s The Ideal Gear Ratio?

Simply put, the gear ratio is a specification that discusses the number of times the spool rotates with a single rotation of the handle. For example, if a single rotation of the handle leads to 4 reel spool rotations, we can say that the reel in question has a 4:1 gear ratio.

The larger the gear ratio, the faster it is to roll out the line.  However, the larger the gear ratio, the more difficult a reel gets to control especially when used to capture large fish. And so, if you are after large fish species, your best bet is to go for a 4:1 gear ratio or thereabouts.

Generally, anything with a gear ratio above 6:1 is considered high-speed. But if you only have one reel to go for, we’d recommend going for medium-speed ones.

Normally, the 5:1 ratio is considered the best in terms of speed. It helps you face most typical fishing situations with extra confidence.

Which One Is The Best?

With a 5.2:1 gear ratio, the Kastking Sharky III is our best spinning reel. It is quite well made and comes with a powerful drag system. On top of that, it’s loaded with high-quality stainless steel bearings which make it ideal for saltwater use.

We generally also like its build-quality. Our view is that an investment in this particular reel would ultimately be a step in the right direction.

Final Thoughts

One good thing with the spinning reel market is that it’s awash with variety. So, you really can’t go wrong provided you’re willing to keep your mind open. And as we have shown in the reviews above, even with a small budget, it’s still possible to grab a reel that does a stellar job in the waters. 

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