All anglers need to have at least one springing reel in their arsenal. It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to fishing or a seasoned vet. A spinning reel will be beneficial to any and all who want to get out and spend time on the water.
They have many uses. From using finesse lures, to drop shots to throwing spinnerbaits. However, they are also an extremely versatile piece of gear. A beginner or someone who has been fishing for years will find they can get many different uses out of it.
So, if all that sounds good then check out the article below. We’re going to cover several different reels as well some different pros and cons for each. So, check out each of them and see which one is going to work the best for you.
What Is A Spinning Reel
A spinning reel is going to have an open bail. The monofilament line will need to be held in your finger when casting. Making it about as easy to use a push-button but not nearly as difficult as using a baitcasting reel.
Benefits Of A Spinning Reel
A spinning fishing rod and reel combo is a great way to introduce someone to the sport. They can be found cheap on Amazon, and are very easy to learn how to cast with. Making them ideal for kids, or someone who has never fished before.
A freshwater spinning fishing reel is best used when fishing light line and small lures. Typically the rule of thumb is if you have to put on anything higher than ten-pound test then you should be using a baitcaster. That being said, someone, who has only been fishing a few years shouldn’t have to worry about that.
Spinning reels are versatile enough that you can throw just about whatever you want with them. Don’t worry about moving up to a baitcaster until you are one hundred percent comfortable with using a spinning reel.
Considerations Before Buying A Spinning Reel
Below, we’re going to go over some different features that you should be thinking about before you purchase your very own reel. Each has its own pros and cons so check out the list below and see which ones will work the best for you.
A reel that is high end with a high line capacity, anti-reverse, disc washer drag system, and a great line management system is going to be ideal. The above features make a high-quality reel. Also, an EVA grip is great for a reel. It’s only going to enhance your fishing gear and can lead to a better fishing trip.
Also, a carbon matrix smooth drag system and a CNC spool will enhance your fishing experience and are usually a part of a high-end reel. Also, a strong pinion and oscillation will help bring in fish. These are also a part of a quality spinning reel.
The number of ball bearings in your reel will determine how smooth your reel will be when cranking the handle. This is important for the overall feel of the reel as well as durability. A reel with a high number of bearings will be smoother for longer. Meaning you will have better longevity.
The size of the reel is important because it will determine the size of the line needed. Now, earlier when I said that if you are using a monoline over ten-pounds you should be using a baitcaster. That is true for a lot of fishing but not for all of fishing. There are plenty of times where a heavy-duty reel will need to be paired with a heavy line.
This will be true if you are catfishing, saltwater fishing, or using live bait in freshwater. So, a larger reel will be able to hold the forty-pound test needed. The opposite applies if you plan on targeting panfish, walleye, trout, or smaller bass fishing.
When targeting small fish on a light line you might not think too much about how important a front drag system is. The fact is, regardless of what type of reel or line you use you will need to have a solid drag system set up.
A lighter reel and rod will need a good rear drag system for the same reason a heavy-duty reel needs one, and that’s to help bring fish in quicker. Using no drag on a panfish could result in the fish bringing off the line and wearing itself out. Which if you are practicing catch and release could potentially kill the fish.
So, a solid disc drag system is one you should be thinking about. These are strong and durable. If you plan on using a reel in saltwater then ensure that the drag system and internal components are closed off so saltwater does not get inside and corrode the quality materials.
The price of the reel should depend on what you can afford. Typically a more expensive reel is going to be the nicer product. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes a $50 reel can outperform a $100 reel.
So, think about what you need in a reel and then look for which reels have those features below the price limit you have. Chances are you are going to find something that meets most of, if not all of your fishing needs, and you won’t need to spend a car payment on a reel.
When talking about spinning reels, the gear ratio refers to the number of times the bail wire rotates around the spool. So, a 4:1 gearing ratio means that the bail rotates four times around the spool for every one turn of the handle.
The higher the number the gear is, the faster you will be able to retrieve your fishing line. This is important to know when retrieving moving lures or to know how quickly you can reel in a fish. Reeling in a fish quickly is important because it minimizes its time in the water where it could come off the hook.
However, some of the lower numbers such as 4:1 provide greater torque for reeling in larger fish. So, the best bet for an all-around freshwater spinning reel with a solid gear ratio is to get one that has a 5:1. This gives you the best of both worlds.
Types Of Spinning Reels
There are two different types of spinning reels. Freshwater and Saltwater. Each has its own pros and cons so check them out and see which one works the best for you.
Saltwater Spinning Reels
In saltwater reels, you’ll find that the internal components are sealed and the materials used are different. Often saltwater reels are made from different types of alloy. These won’t corrode as fast as some of the materials used in freshwater reels.
Saltwater reels are also going to be bigger. This is going to help accommodate a heavier or braided line to fight stronger and larger fish. Ensure the reel is a braid ready spool though. Saltwater reels can be used in freshwater, but not the other way around.
Freshwater Spinning Reels
Freshwater reels can only be used in freshwater. A reel made for chasing largemouth bass in lakes and rivers will quickly corrode, rust, and fall apart when taken out into the ocean. You might be able to get away with using one for a little while if you thoroughly clean it with fresh water after each fishing session. You can check out the best spinning reels for bass fishing here.
Best Spinning Reels For The Money Reviewed
Below, we’re going to go over some different reels. Check them out and see which one is going to be the best product for you!
Lews Mach 2 Spinning Reel
This reel features a 6:1 gear ratio. Making it a burner and great for using fast-moving lures, or for reeling fish quickly. Be aware of how fast your lure is moving though when using this reel. Sometimes it can be too quick and can turn the fish off from chasing. This is ideal for burning a spinnerbait, or buzzbait. When freshwater fishing you could use crankbaits if your fishing style prefers those types of lures. These are not great reels for that though.
It also has a 10 ball bearing system. Giving you an incredibly smooth feel while reeling and casting. This will help with any type of fishing fatigue and will also help the longevity of your equipment.
The stainless steel metal shaft is ideal for the angler who fishes hard and needs his gear to withstand everything he puts it through. This is a very durable reel and is great for anglers who are on the water a lot or for people who are tough on gear.
This reel is made for freshwater so please don’t take this out surf fishing, to a jetty, or to somewhere with brackish water. It will get ruined quickly. However, It may not be best for saltwater; it is solid enough that it can hold up to being fished in all weather conditions.
Here’s the reel to use when you plan on hitting the brackish water, or the jetty. It has a powerful carbon fiber drag that is able to have a max drag pressure of 41 pounds of pressure. Allowing you to wear out any kind of fish you plan on hooking into.
It also comes in six different reel sizes. Allowing you to either target smaller fish near marinas, or marshes. Or you can go big with the “6000” size model and go after big fish that require heavy line and large lures.
The corrosion resistance aluminum alloy will hold up to the toughest conditions. Making it ideal for the saltwater angler. The reel has a coating on it to prevent corrosion even more than it already would.
It also has a 6:2:1 gear ratio. Making it great for throwing fast lures and bringing in fish quickly. It Will help to limit the amount of fish that you would lose. Ideal for anglers who want to practice either catch and release or for food.
With an ultralight and corrosion-resistant body, this reel is perfect for both fresh and saltwater. It also features a sealed drag system. Allowing angler to easily take this reel from the bass pond to the marina with ease.
It has an entry-level price point but this reel could be used by any angler. A beginner could make easy use of this reel for years to come. Where a more seasoned angler could be happy using this as a backup reel, or even as their main spinning reel if they plan on using baitcaster primarily.
The shielded stainless steel ball-roller bearing censure for a smooth operation. The rings on the side plate of the reel also let you know where to stop spooling online. This ensures you don’t over spool your reel which could result in bird’s nests occurring and more time spent picking out knots instead of fishing.
This is an extremely lightweight, durable, and dependable reel. Making it perfect for any angler who wants to use it. It also comes in six different sizes so you pick out the reel that meets the needs of the fishery that you plan on attacking.
This is a solid beginner reel. Coming in at under $30 it could be a great present to someone who is looking to start out fishing but they don’t want to drop too much money. It has everything you need to get started.
They have ten different models. All of them are built for different types of fishing, including ice fishing. This will allow you to pick out whatever reel you want for any type of fishery that you may be fishing in.
It is a lightweight graphite body. Making it lightweight and surprisingly durable for the price. Allowing you to fish all day without casting fatigue. Also, despite the size, the drag washers system can apply 17.5 pounds of pressure to fish. Making it great for freshwater.
It’s rare to find a reel at this price point with so many stainless steel ball bearings. This nine bearing system is smooth like butter and will keep you out fishing all day long. The smooth retrieve will help with casting reeling in fish and lures.
This reel doesn’t have quite as many ball bearings as some of the other models on this list. It only has five but it still gives you a solid reeling operation. Allowing you to catch fish, and reel in lures with ease.
The lightweight body and rotor is made of graphite. Allowing you to go out and fish all day without wearing your arm out. The machined aluminum spool gives you excellent durability. Making it ideal for anglers who are tough on their gear.
Hopefully, the list above gives you an idea of what the best spinning reel for the money is. They can all be found on Amazon or wherever fishing reels are sold.
You can also check out Okuma, Pflueger president, Shimano stradic ci4, Abu Garcia revo sx, Daiwa BG spinning reel, Okuma ceymar, Penn Battle II, Penn Spinfisher, or the Pflueger Supreme XT. Some of the reels above have a full metal body.
Meaning they are high-performance and great for large fish. Beware their price range might be high though. All make a great saltwater spinning reel with a smooth maximum drag.
Hopefully, the list above gives you a better idea of what to look for. Feel free to use it as a jumping-off point or use one of the reels on the list!