Informational Guide

Different Types Of Fishing Reels

Discover the various types of reels available to anglers when fishing.

by Andrew

Informational Guide

Different Types Of Fishing Reels

Discover the various types of reels available to anglers when fishing.

by Andrew

by Andrew

When you are ready to hit the open water and have some fun, it is time to pick out the best fishing reel to make this happen. There are actually several types of fishing reels that an angler can choose from, and as a beginner, you may worry that you will choose the wrong one.  

Once you know more about the different types of fishing reels, you will be better equipped to make the right decision for you. Let's dive right in and learn more about the different types of fishing reels available for you to use.  

The Basics Of A Fishing Reel 

Before we dive into the types of fishing reels, we need to look at the basics of this reel. The fishing reel is simply a mechanical device placed on the handle of your fishing rod. It is like a pulley arrangement that will help you pull in the fish of your dreams.  

These fishing reels will come in three styles to choose from, including the fly reel, the spinning reel, and the casting. The easiest ones to use for a beginner are the spin cast reels, with the spinning reels being a close second. Both of these are designed with a beginner in mind to make it easier to go out and enjoy fishing.  

While each reel is different, there are a few basic components that show up in each one. You will find the spool, the line capacity, the level wind, the bail, the handle, and the ball bearings. Anglers will need to consider all of these to make the best decision with the right fishing reel.  

fishing reel

9 Different Types Of Fishing Reels Explained 

Choosing the best fishing reel will depend on the area you want to fish, your skill level, and the type of fish you would like to catch. There are nine common types of fishing reels that anyone can use, and each one has a specific way to use it. Some of the best fishing reels that you can choose include: 

Spincast Reels

The spincast reel is one of the first reels that most people used when they were a child. This is a great one for beginners and children. It will provide some decent casting accuracy for being easy to use, and it is easier to untangle the line if it gets messed up. 

With the push button release, it is no wonder this is popular for parents to give their children. The disadvantage is that the line capacity is limited since these reels are small and the heavy test line is not as great as other options.  

spincast reel

Baitcasting Reels 

A baitcasting reel is a good option for many types of fishing. There is no line twist to worry about during a cast, which can help those who struggle with this. You will also enjoy more power for casting long distances with this type of reel. 

Anglers can come in light and heavy versions and you will get more control and accuracy. When you want to catch big game fish, then the baitcasting reel is a good one to use. It does take a little longer to learn than some of the other options, but the work is worth it.  

Baitcasting Reels

Spinning Reels 

When an angler needs a versatile reel that can work in many situations, then the spinning reel is the right one. You will just flip open the metal bail wire to release the line when casting. 

Then flip it back down when the cast is done. While this does take a bit of practice for most beginners, it is still a simple reel to use that can go long distances and for those who like to use either artificial or live bait for their work.  

spinning reel

Electric Deep Drop Reels 

If you would like to add a little bit of technology to some of the work that you do with fishing, you can try an electric deep drop reel. This is going to be great when the fish are deep in the water, usually several hundred feet deep, where it is hard to see what is there.

The deeper you can go, the more types of fish that you can find. This electric rod will help you to go up to 700 feet under the water, depending on the location you go to and the reel that you choose. Only those looking to get really deep fish will use this option.  

Electric Deep Drop Reels

Surf Fishing Reels 

It is possible to use both spinning and baitcasting reels for surf fishing, but a specific type of reel known as a surf reel is designed to handle some of the harsh conditions that occur with being on the ocean. 

The saltwater, the sun, and the sun can do a number on your regular reel, but the surf reel can handle it. These reels are durable and have a sealed drag to make sure they do not corrode.

If you plan to go for some big fish and spend time on the ocean fishing, then you should consider getting a special surf reel to help with that.  

Surf Fishing Reels

Offshore Reels 

When an angler needs a reel that is tough, then the offshore reel is one of the best decisions they can make. These reels are more expensive, but they come with a lot of durability that you are sure to love. 

When you want to go for the monster fish, you need to bring along an offshore reel to get it done. These are durable and perfect for those big fishing adventures, especially in the ocean.  

Offshore Reels

Trolling Reels 

The trolling reel is best for big game offshore and deep-sea fishing. You can do this on a boat as well, but always make sure that you get one that is made out of heavy-duty graphite so it is not going to break. 

This is the fishing reel that you want to use in order to get a powerful fish each time. You can choose one that is made out of a star or a lever drag system based on what you like the most. A dual-speed reel is important so you can switch things around when you get the big fish in the ocean.  

Trolling Reels

Fly Fishing Reels 

When it comes to a fly fishing reel, you will notice the precision right from the start. Accuracy is so important when it comes to fly fishing, and these reels will help you get it done.

There are different types of fly fishing reels, such as ones for catching salmon and those for trout. You will notice that with these, there are large arbors on the reel, which will make it faster to retrieve the fish. The rest of the reel is simple to make it easier to catch the fish you want, but they can last for many years.  

Fly Fishing Reels

Centerpin Reels 

Anglers can also choose the centrepin reel, which dates back to the 19th century. It comes with a large diameter spool that will sit perpendicular to the fishing rod so that you can do a long-distance cast. There are two features that make this unique.

You will find that these reels will be drag-free and free-spooling reels, which make it appear more natural to all the fish being targeted. This works well in freshwater and saltwater areas, ensuring that you can catch a lot of fish no matter where you go.

This type of reel is not as common to find, though, and there are many other great reels that you can choose for fishing.  

Centerpin Reels

What Type Of Fishing Reel Is Best For Beginners? 

While there are several types of fishing reels that you can choose, beginners want to make sure they can find something that is high-quality, will last them some time, and will not be too difficult for them to handle. Some fishing reels are impressive and made for advanced anglers, so beginners may want to look for a reel that is better for them. 

A spinning reel is often considered one of the best options for a beginner. They can choose between an open face spinning reel or a closed face spinning reel, with the latter being the absolute best for beginners. These make fishing easy and can help the beginner angler catch all of the fish they would like.  

Budget Vs Expensive Fishing Reels – What’s The Difference? 

When comparing a budget reel against an expensive reel, you may wonder what the difference is. The expensive reel is often made of higher quality materials and is designed to handle more complex fishing arrangements.  

If you plan to go out fishing all the time, catching the big fish and making this a big hobby, then choosing an expensive fishing reel is going to be the best decision. However, if you just plan to fish once or twice a year for fun with the kids, the added expense is usually not worth it, and you can go for the budget fishing reel.  

Best Baitcasting Reel Under 200

People also Ask (FAQs)

What is the easiest reel to use? 

One of the easiest reels to learn how to use is the spin cast reel. These are easy to pick up, and there are many varieties that you can choose from. The mechanics are also simple, making them a good choice for most beginners. And since these are not too expensive, they work well for most anglers.  

What does 3000 mean on a fishing reel? 

When you look at the fishing reel you want to use, there will be a set of numbers found on it. These are meant to tell you more about the diameter of the spool. Reels that have the 3000 on them are able to hold onto more line, have a stronger drag, and are best for catching bigger fish.  

How much are the cheapest fishing reels? 

It is possible to find a cheap fishing reel for $20 to $40. Many parents will get one like this for their kids, so they do not need to worry about the reel breaking or getting ruined in the process. Some adult ones fit into this category as well. For those who just want to fish on occasion to get away from it all, these cheap fishing reels can still do the trick.  

How much are high end fishing reels? 

You can find an inexpensive reel if you just want to go out fishing for a weekend. For those serious about fishing and ready to hit the water and take it hard, you will need to spend more. It is possible that some will cost $1000 each, but most anglers can find a high end fishing rod for closer to $200.  

How long do fishing reels last? 

The length of time that a fishing reel will last depends on the type of reel that you choose and how well you take care of it. If you leave the reel outside all the time, it will wear out and be done within a season. On the other hand, a high-quality reel that you take care of and keep clean can last you for decades, making them worth the cost. 


Finding the right fishing reel will be an important part of your fishing adventure. When you are able to find the right reel to do the work, it is easier to take control and really have a good time. Take a look at some of the best reels that you can choose and get one that fits your skill level and what you hope to accomplish.