30 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels in 2020

Saltwater spinning reels are fun to use to catch most types of saltwater fish. These reels are often considered light tackle compared to conventional reels. For this reason, having the proper size spinning reel is important. Small reels are great for reef fishing and flats finishing were feeling the fish bite is important. When fishing offshore the reel needs to be big enough to catch wahoo, tuna, and mahi-mahi. Some spinning reels are even large enough to catch yellowfin and bluefin tuna.

best-saltwater-spinning-reel

There are many great companies that make saltwater spinning reels including Penn, Shimano, Okuma, Quantum, Diawa, and Van Staal. For surf fishing, it is common to use a spinning reel with what Baitrunner. Baitrunners are also called live liner reels or bait feeder reels. This type of reel has two separate drags. At the flip of a lever the darg can switch from the low drag to the primary drag of the reel. The low drag allows the fish to run with the bait initially and then quickly switch to full drag to start fighting the fish.

Many spinning reels today have a rubber section on the inside of the spool. This allows a braided line to grip to the spool. Without this braided line can slip in the spool and make it very hard to reel in a fish. Typically I will use an 80-pound braid or 30-pound monofilament on spinning reels when fishing in the ocean.

In this article, I will review reels by brand from top of the line to the lowest cost. At the end I review Baitrunner saltwater spinning reels. There are many great spinning reels on the market today. Some designs are lightweight with low drag and others are large rigid reels that have high drag to catch big game fish.

Here Are the Best Saltwater Spinning Reels


1. Penn Torque II Spinning Reel

penn-torque-II-saltwater-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $608-$800

Models and Specifications
5500: Drag 40 lbs, weighs 19.5 oz, retrieves 38 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 200/20, braid 280/50.

7500: Drag 50 lbs, weighs 26.7 oz, retrieves 50 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 300/25, braid 340/80.

9500: Drag 60 lbs, weighs 27.8 oz, retrieves 50 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 330/30, braid 425/100.

Note: The drag values are the max drag for the reel.

The Penn Torque II has a full metal body that comes in gold or silver color options. It has an IPX6 waterproof rating. This means that it resists heavy sprays of water from getting into internal components. The reel is built in the USA.

Features of this reel include a sealed Slammer drag system that uses Dura-Drag material, a full metal body, a full metal rotor, an instant anti-reverse bearing system, and 9 stainless steel bearings. The inside of the spool is knurled so a braided line can be used. There are line capacity rings on the spool to give an indication of how much line is on the reel.


2. Penn Slammer III Spinning Reel

penn-slammer-3-saltwater-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $180-$330

Models and Specifications
3500: Drag 30 lbs, weighs 13.9 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 285/8, braid 220/20.

4500: Drag 30 lbs, weighs 14.7 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 235/12, braid 250/30.

5500: Drag 40 lbs, weighs 22.4 oz, retrieves 50 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 230/15, braid 335/40.

6500: Drag 40 lbs, weighs 22.4 oz, retrieves 42 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 205/20, braid 335/50.

7500: Drag 50 lbs, weighs 29.2 oz, retrieves 38 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 220/30, braid 400/65.

8500: Drag 50 lbs, weighs 30.8 oz, retrieves 42 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 260/40, braid 555/65.

9500: Drag 60 lbs, weighs 40.9 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 240/50, braid 435/80.

10500: Drag 60 lbs, weighs 43.1 oz, retrieves 43 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 225/50, braid 540/80.

Note: The drag values are the max drag for the reel.

The Penn Slammer III series are popular offshore fishing reels for charter operations and serious recreational fishermen. Features include a full metal body, IPX6 water-resistant sealed gearbox, sealed Slammer drag system with Dura-Drag material, and a 7+1 stainless steel bearing system. The 6500 and 7500 sizes also come in high-speed models to retrieve line at 48 and 50 inches per turn.

The Slammer III 10500 holds 540 yards of 80-pound braided line. It also has 60 pounds of max drag on a rigid metal frame. This makes the Slammer III series close to the best if not the very best spinning reel for catching large pelagic fish like yellowfin tuna bluefin tuna.


3. Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel

penn-spinfisher-VI-saltwater-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $119-$250

Models and Specifications
2500: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 10.7 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 140/10, braid 160/20.

3500: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 12.2 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 220/10, braid 220/20.

4500: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 12.5 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 235/12, braid 250/30.

5500: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 18.5 oz, retrieves 39 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 230/15, braid 335/40.

6500: Drag 30 lbs, weighs 22.3 oz, retrieves 42 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 205/20, braid 335/50.

7500: Drag 35 lbs, weighs 26.5 oz, retrieves 38 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 220/30, braid 400/65.

8500: Drag 40 lbs, weighs 28.3 oz, retrieves 42 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 260/40, braid 555/65.

9500: Drag 45 lbs, weighs 37.1 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 240/50, braid 435/80.

1050: Drag 60 lbs, weighs 38.6 oz, retrieves 43 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 225/50, braid 540/80.

Note: The drag values are the max drag for the reel.

Penn Spinfisher VI features include IPX5 water-resistant sealed spool, HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers, and sealed 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings. The body is all metal and the spool has black line capacity rings on the gold spoon. Spinfisher VI reels are very popular because they are the highest quality reels you can get at a reasonable cost.

The 4500 and 6500 come with a bls option which stands for a bail-less spinning reel. This is a reel without a bail. The reason why some anglers like this is so bail can not close during a cast which can break of heavy lures and rigs when surf fishing for example.


4. Penn Spinfisher VI Long Cast Fishing Reel

penn-spinfishinger-VI-long-cast-fishing-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $158-$250

Models and Specifications
5500:
Drag 20 lbs, weighs 20.7 oz, retrieves 36 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 215/12, braid 265/30.

6500: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 24.4 oz, retrieves 42 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 330/15, braid 335/40.

7500: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 27.9 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 430/15, braid 490/40.

This is a Spinfisher VI reel but the wide spool allows for further casting. However, the spool does not actually hold more line. It is wider but is not as deep as the traditional spool. The max drag values are also less for any given model of reel. If you are surf fishing the long casting spool is a good option. Otherwise, I would stick with the traditional Spinfishiner VI model.

Reel handle positions can easily be changed to the left or right based on user preference. On charters anglers often request it to be changed to reel with the right hand on spinning reels.


5. Penn Spinfishiner V Saltwater Spinning Reel

penn-spinfisher-V-saltwater-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $200-$240

Models and Specifications
3500: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 14.4 oz, retrieves 30 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 210/8, braid 165/20.

4500: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 15.4 oz, retrieves 34 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 185/12, braid 200/30.

5500: Drag 30 lbs, weighs 20.4 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 240/15, braid 250/40.

6500: Drag 30 lbs, weighs 21.3 oz, retrieves 39 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 210/20, braid 280/50.

7500: Drag 35 lbs, weighs 26.9 oz, retrieves 36 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 210/30, braid 320/65.

8500: Drag 35 lbs, weighs 29.5 oz, retrieves 42 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 250/40, braid 470/65.

9500: Drag 40 lbs, weighs 38.3 oz, retrieves 39 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 220/50, braid 490/80.

1050: Drag 40 lbs, weighs 39.8 oz, retrieves 42 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 255/50, braid 580/80.

The Penn Spinfisher V has been the workhorse reel for saltwater fishing for many years. It has now been replaced with the newer Spinfisher VI model. This was a quality reel that you will continue to see on boats for many years.

Features include an IPX5 splash and spray resistant sealed spool, a sealed HT-100 Slammer drag system, 5 stainless steel ball-bearings, and instant anti-reverse bearing. The inside of the spool has a high grip rubber section so that a backing line is not needed when using braided fishing line.


6. Penn Battle II Saltwater Spinning Reel

penn-battle-2-saltwater-fishing-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $84-$130

Models and Specifications
1000:
Drag 9 lbs, weighs 8.1 oz, retrieves 22 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 105/6, braid 110/10.

2000: Drag 10 lbs, weighs 9.8 oz, retrieves 30 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 125/8, braid 165/15.

2500: Drag 12 lbs, weighs 10.3 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 140/10, braid 160/20.

3000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 12.3 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/12, braid 130/30.

4000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 12.8 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/12, braid 185/30.

5000: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 19.8 oz, retrieves 36 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 135/20, braid 240/40.

6000: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 22.1 oz, retrieves 41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 210/25, braid 335/50.

8000: Drag 30 lbs, weighs 30.2 oz, retrieves 44 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 230/30, braid 345/80.

The Penn Battle II is another very popular saltwater spinning reel. Features include a full metal body, HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers, 5 stainless steel ball-bearings, and an instant anti-reverse bearing. Inside the spool, there is a rubber gasket so that a mono backing line is not needed when using a braided line.

This is a very quality reel at a reasonable price point. The Penn Fierce is anther popular affordable reel but is not quite a quality as the Battle II. Neither of these reels have a waterproof splash rating but the battle II does have sealed ball bearings. These are good reels but likely will not last as long as sealed reels for charter fishing operations.


7. Penn Fierce Saltwater Fishing Reel

penn-fierce-saltwater-spinning-fishing-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $49-$155

Models and Specifications
1000:
Drag 9 lbs, weighs 7.8 oz, retrieves 22 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 105/6, braid 110/10.

2000: Drag 10 lbs, weighs 9.5 oz, retrieves 30 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 125/8, braid 165/15.

2500: Drag 12 lbs, weighs 9.9 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 140/10, braid 160/20.

3000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 11.8 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/12, braid 130/30.

4000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 12.5 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/12, braid 185/30.

5000: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 19.6 oz, retrieves 36 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 135/20, braid 240/40.

6000: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 21.4 oz, retrieves 41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 210/25, braid 335/50.

8000: Drag 30 lbs, weighs 28.7 oz, retrieves 44 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 230/30, braid 345/80.

The Penn Fierce III features include a full metal body, HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers, 4 stainless steel ball bearings, and an instant reverse ball bearing. Size 5000 and up has the large round reel knob handle. The main improvements to the Fierce III is the High Tech 100 drag system that is rated to 100 miles. That means the drag should be able to run for 100 miles without distorting the washers.

I have used Penn Fierce II spinning reels to catch sharks under 5 foot, tarpon, barracuda, jacks, snapper, and other saltwater fish. It is probably the lowest cost reel available that has good enough drag for catching large fish.


8. Penn Clash II Spinning Reel

penn-clash-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $140-$297

Models and Specifications
2000:
Drag 10 lbs, weighs 8.2 oz, retrieves 30 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 125/8, braid 165/15.

2500: Drag 12 lbs, weighs 8.5 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 140/10, braid 160/20.

3000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 10.2 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/12, braid 130/30.

4000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 10.7 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/12, braid 185/30.

5000: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 16.9 oz, retrieves 36 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 135/20, braid 240/40.

6000: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 20.7 oz, retrieves 41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 210/25, braid 335/50.

8000: Drag 30 lbs, weighs 27.2 oz, retrieves 44 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 230/30, braid 345/80.

The Penn Clash II has very similar specs to the Fierce III. Differences are that the Clash II is lighter and had 8 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and a level line oscillation system. The colors of the Clash II are black and red and back and gold for the original Clash reel.


9. Penn Conflict II Long Cast Spinning Reel

penn-conflict-long-cast-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $125-$220

Models and Specifications
1000: Drag 9 lbs, weighs 6.3 oz, retrieves 22 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 105/6, braid 110/10.

2000: Drag 10 lbs, weighs 7.4 oz, retrieves 31 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 125/8, braid 165/15.

3000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 9.1 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/12, braid 130/30.

4000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 9.5 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/12, braid 185/30.

4000lc: Drag 13 lbs, weighs 13.7 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 125/12, braid 150/30.

5000: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 14.4 oz, retrieves 38 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 135/20, braid 240/40.

5000lc: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 16.8 oz, retrieves 36 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 215/12, braid 265/30.

6000lc: Drag 18 lbs, weighs 18.5 oz, retrieves 43 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 330/15, braid 355/40.

7000lc: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 21.7 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 430/15, braid 490/40.

8000lc: Drag 22 lbs, weighs 23.2 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 450/20, braid 450/50.

The Penn Conflict II is one of the lightest spinning reels on the market. An RR30 rigid resin is used for the body and rotor. This material is light and sturdy. On the inside of the spool, there is a rubber section so braid can be used without a monofilament backing line. Other features include HT-100 carbon fiber washers for the drag system, CNC gear technology, 7+1 stainless steel ball bearings, and a super line spool with line capacity rings.


10. Penn Passion Lady’s Spinning Reel

penn-passion-ladys-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $99-$120

Models and Specifications
2500:
Drag 12 lbs, weighs 10.1 oz, retrieves 27 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 140/10, braid 160/20.

3000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 11.7 oz, retrieves 29 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/12, braid 130/30.

4000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 12.0 oz, retrieves 31 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/12, braid 185/30.

5000: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 19.5 oz, retrieves 29 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 135/20, braid 240/40.

Penn Passion is a pole designed for lady fishermen. The main difference is the pink color and grip style. Also, the reel is geared lower for easier reeling. This means that not as much line is reeled-up per turn of the handle but reeling can be done with less force.

Features of the reel include the HT-100 drag with carbon fiber washers, a full metal body, and a rigid resin used for the rotor. The super line spool has pink line capacity rings.


11. Penn Pursuit III Spinning Reel

penn-pursuit-saltwater-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $36-$112

Models and Specifications
2500:
Drag 10 lbs, weighs 9.8 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 140/10, braid 160/20.

3000: Drag 12 lbs, weighs 11.8 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/12, braid 130/30.

4000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 12.4 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/12, braid 185/30.

5000: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 19.7 oz, retrieves 36 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 135/20, braid 240/40.

6000: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 21.4 oz, retrieves 41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 210/25, braid 335/50.

8000: Drag 35 lbs, weighs 29.1 oz, retrieves 43 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 230/30, braid 345/80.

The Penn Pursuit III features include a corrosion-resistant graphite body, 4+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings, HT-100 drag with carbon fiber washers, and an anodized aluminum spool. On the inside of the spool, there is a rubber gasket that allows a braided line to be used without a monofilament backing.

Budget reels like this one are becoming more and more quality. This reel will not hold up as long as other spinning reels. However, for people that only fish occasionally and are on a budget, this is a good option. This reel is often found on low-cost combo packages.


12. Penn Wrath Spinning Reel

penn-wrath-saltwater-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $29-$50

Models and Specifications
2500:
Drag 10 lbs, weighs 10.5 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 140/10, braid 160/20.

3000: Drag 12 lbs, weighs 12.2 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/12, braid 130/30.

4000: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 12.7 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/12, braid 185/30.

5000: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 21.0 oz, retrieves 36 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 135/20, braid 240/40.

6000: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 22.8 oz, retrieves 41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 210/25, braid 335/50.

8000: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 29.1 oz, retrieves 44 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 230/30, braid 345/80.

The Penn Wrath features include a graphite body, 2+1 stainless steel ball bearings, and an anodized aluminum spool.  The size specifications are almost identical to other reels on this list. However, the reel’s quality is quite different.

This reel will work for catching fish where a quality drag is not important. This is not a fishing reel that will have a smooth drag in high force situations. However, if the drag set withing the specification this reel will be able to catch many fish. If you are targeting bigger fish like sharks, barracuda, and tarpon this is not a good reel. If you are catching snapper, bluefish, croakers, fluke, jacks, etc it should work just fine.


13. Shimano Stella Offshore Fishing Reel

shimano-stella-sw-saltwater-spinning-reels

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $790-$1258

Models and Specifications
5000BPG:
Drag 29 lbs, weighs 15.3 oz, retrieves 31 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/14, braid 175/40.

6000BHG: Drag 29 lbs, weighs 15.5 oz, retrieves 41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/20, braid 140/65.

6000BPG: Drag 29 lbs, weighs 15.5 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/20, braid 140/65.

18000BHG: Drag 55 lbs, weighs 30.9 oz, retrieves 51 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 280/30, braid 360/80.

20000BPG: Drag 55 lbs, weighs 31.2 oz, retrieves 41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 320/30, braid 400/80.

There are over twelve models of the Shimano Stella series spinning reels.  I listed several popular ones above. Here are the links for the 18000BHG and the 20000BPG. These spinning reels are large enough to catch sharks and large tuna. A 50 class conventional reel holds about 800 yards of 60-pound mono and is commonly used to catch large pelagic fish like marlin and tuna. For large bluefin tuna, a large 80 class reel with about 1000 yards of a 100-pound mono line is commonly used. I just mention this to show that a spinning reel can be used to catch large pelagic fish but will be challenging compared to conventional reels. By backing down and chasing the fish it can certainly be done though. The Penn Slammer 10500 reel reviewed above does hold the most line with 540 yards of 80-pound braid.

Features include an IPX8 submersible waterproof rating, 14+1 ball bearings, and a rigid metal body. The X-tough cross carbon drag is smooth even when fighting fast fish like large tuna.


14. Shimano Twin Power Saltwater Fishing Reel

shimano-twin-power-saltwater-fishing-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $410-$656

Models and Specifications
4000:
Drag 24 lbs, weighs 12.5 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 160/12, braid 120/50.

5000: Drag 29 lbs, weighs 14.8 oz, retrieves 41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/14, braid 175/40.

8000: Drag 62 lbs, weighs 22.4 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 185/20, braid 215/65.

10000: Drag 55 lbs, weighs 22.9 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 220/20, braid 215/80.

14000: Drag 55 lbs, weighs 22.9 oz, retrieves 53 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 260/20, braid 240/80.

The Shimano Twin Power offers a high max drag fishing reel in a relatively small size. Features include an IPX8 submersible waterproof rating, 11+1 ball bearings, and a metal body. The sealed waterproof drag uses X-tough cross carbon drag technology for smooth drag even at the high speeds of large pelagic fish.

This is a good reel for verticle jigging and for anglers that like using high-drag on fish. The spool does not hold enough line to catch large tuna as people sometimes claim. However, the high drag can make quick work of small tuna, mahi-mahi, jacks, snapper, and grouper on the reef.


15. Shimano Saragosa SW Saltwater Spinning Reel

shimano-saragosa-sw-offshore-saltwater-fishing-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $262-$450

Models and Specifications
5000:
Drag 22 lbs, weighs 16.0 oz, retrieves 38 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/14, braid 175/40.

6000: Drag 22 lbs, weighs 16.4 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/20, braid 140/65.

8000: Drag 27 lbs, weighs 24.3 oz, retrieves 42 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 185/20, braid 215/65.

10000: Drag 33 lbs, weighs 24.3 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 220/20, braid 215/80.

25000: Drag 44 lbs, weighs 34.2 oz, retrieves 45 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 360/30, braid 440/100.

The Shimano Saragosa SW is a spinning reel that is designed for offshore fishing. Features include an IPX8 submersible waterproof rating, cross carbon drag, a rigid all-metal body, and Hagane gears for smooth reeling. A new propulsion lip design of the spool allows for longer casting and prevents backlash. It also has 6+1 shielded ball bearings.


16. Shimano Spheros Saltwater Spinning Reel

shimano-spheros-sw-fishing-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Around: $200

Models and Specifications
5000:
Drag 22 lbs, weighs 16.0 oz, retrieves 31 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/14, braid 175/40.

6000: Drag 22 lbs, weighs 16.2 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/20, braid 140/65.

8000: Drag 26 lbs, weighs 24.7 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 185/20, braid 215/65.

10000: Drag 26 lbs, weighs 25.2 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 220/20, braid 215/80.

20000: Drag 40 lbs, weighs 32.8 oz, retrieves 41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 320/30, braid 340/100.

The Shimano Spheros SW is a good all-around saltwater spinning reel. It had many of the features of the high-end Shimano reels at a mid-range price. This is a good reel to use with fishing from the shore, flats or on the reef. The large models work well for offshore fishing. Features include an IPX8 submersible waterproof rating, Hagane body, Hagane gear, cross carbon waterproof drag, X-protect, X-shield, and X-ship. It also has 4+1 shielded A-RB ball bearings.


17. Shimano Socorro Fishing Reel

shimano-socorro-offshore-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $125-$162

Models and Specifications
5000:
Drag 22 lbs, weighs 15.5 oz, retrieves 31 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 165/14, braid 175/40.

6000: Drag 22 lbs, weighs 15.7 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/20, braid 140/65.

8000: Drag 26 lbs, weighs 22.6 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 185/20, braid 215/65.

10000: Drag 26 lbs, weighs 23.5 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 220/20, braid 215/80.

The Shimano Socorro is a saltwater spinning reel that is good for inshore and reef fishing. Features include rubber gaskets to create a waterproof drag, 4+1 ball bearings, cross carbon drag, and a spool lip design for longer casting while preventing backlash.


18. Okuma Cedros High-Speed Spinning Reel

okuma-cedros-high-speed-saltwater-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $95-$150

Models and Specifications
CJ-40:
Drag 22 lbs, weighs 12.1 oz, retrieves 38.1 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 170/12.

CJ-80: Drag 33 lbs, weighs 23.0 oz, retrieves 50 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 260/25.

The Okuma Cedros is a high-speed spinning reel with retrieve speeds of up to 50 inches per turn. A machined spool is 2-tone anodized and is intended to be spooled with monofilament line. The inside of the spool does not have a rubber section for a better grip with a braided line.

Features include a custom blue anodizes aluminum knob, 4+1 stainless steel ball bearings, and a rigid die-cast aluminum frame. The hydro block waterproof drag is a multi-disk drag system. Having a fast retrieve rate makers this a good reel for vertical jigging for tuna and fish on the reef.


19. Okuma Trio High-Speed Spinning Reel

okuma-trio-high-speed-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $68-$84

Models and Specifications
Trio-30S:
Drag 17.6 lbs, weighs 10.4 oz, retrieves 32.6 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 110/10.

Trio-50S: Drag 19.8 lbs, weighs 10.8 oz, retrieves 32.6 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/20, braid 170/12.

Trio-55S: Drag 22 lbs, weighs 14.8 oz, retrieves 39.8 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 185/20, braid 240/15.

The Okuma Trio spinning reels come in four models. There is the orange high speed, red-black standard, pink ladies edition, and a red-black Baitfeeder. These are popular lightweight fishing reels to use inshore and on the reef. The spool is setup to use a monofilament line but is not ready for braided line. A braided line can be used if a monofilament line is added to the spool first as a backing.

Features of the trio include 9+1 stainless steel bearings, a crossover aluminum graphite body, and an elliptical gearing system. The multi-disk dual force drag is also a hydro block water tight drag.  This is a good reel for small tarpon, redfish, drum, and sea trout.


20. Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel

okuma-helios-lightweight-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $73-$108

Models and Specifications
HSX-20:
Drag 13 lbs, weighs 7.1 oz, retrieves 21.9 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 95/8, braid 110/15

HSX-30: Drag 13 lbs, weighs 7.3 oz, retrieves 24.8 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 125/10, braid 130/20.

HSX-40: Drag 13 lbs, weighs 9.2 oz, retrieves 25.2 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 160/12, braid 150/40.

HSX-40HS: Drag 13 lbs, weighs 9.2 oz, retrieves 32.1 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 160/12, braid 150/40.

The Okuma Helios is made of a rigid and lightweight carbon. It is a small reel that is good for inshore, flats, and reef fishing.  The inside of the spool has a knurled section for increased grip for braided line.

Features of the reel include 8+1 stainless steel ball bearings, anodized handle with EVA knob, 1-K carbon fiber drag, and a centrifugal disk bail for increased strength. The rotor is designed to allow increased airflow underneath the spool allowing the reel to dry faster.

21. Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel

okuma-azores-salwater-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $95-$148

Models and Specifications
Z-40S: Drag 28 lbs, weighs 12.0 oz, retrieves 34.8 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 270/8, braid 270/30.

Z-65S: Drag 44 lbs, weighs 24.7 oz, retrieves 42 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 260/20, braid 310/65.

Z-80S: Drag 44 lbs, weighs 25.5 oz, retrieves 46 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 260/25, braid 420/65.

Z-90S: Drag 44 lbs, weighs 25.5 oz, retrieves 46 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 550/15, braid 550/65.

These Okuma Azores reels are made for all types of saltwater fishing including flats, reef, and offshore big game sportfishing. One note is that in the listing some reel sizes are given in terms of mono-line capacity.

The Dual force drag uses both felt and carbon fiber washers to allow the drag to be strong, smooth and can be fine-tuned in precise increments.

Features include 6+1 high-performance ball bearings, an anti-reverse system, a knurled spool for braided line, a rigid aluminum body, an aluminum rotor, a machine cut aluminum handle, and a strong oversized main shaft.


22. Van Staal VR Series Spinning Reels

van-stall-vr-series-spinning-reels

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $125-$639

Models and Specifications
VR50: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 8.9 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 240/10, braid 360/20.

VR125: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 15.8 oz, retrieves 31.6 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 340/10, braid 400/20.

VR150: Drag 42 lbs, weighs 16.0 oz, retrieves 34.2 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 360/12, braid 440/30.

VR175: Drag 42 lbs, weighs 16.5 oz, retrieves 37.6 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 360/15, braid 530/30.

VR200: Drag 42 lbs, weighs 17.0 oz, retrieves 40.4 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 400/15, braid 500/40.

The Vann Staal VR series reels are very lightweight for a large powerful reel. These reels work well to balance lightweight rods on the market today. Features of the reel include a machined aluminum body, waterproof drag system, micro click drag tuning, and a solid stainless steel shaft.

These reels can easily be converted to a bail-less reel which is also called a manual pick reel. A kit is included to make the conversion. This is nice when surf fishing or throwing heavy lures. There is a VR tool that comes with the reel that is needed to remove the rotor knob for the conversion and to do maintenance on the reel.


23. Quantum Cabo Spinning Reel

quantum-cabo-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $156-$290

Models and Specifications
CSP40: Drag 30 lbs, weighs 13.4 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 230/10, braid 270/30.

CSP50: Drag 35 lbs, weighs 13.8 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 22.5/12, braid 325/30.

CSP60: Drag 45 lbs, weighs 24.2 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 300/14, braid 320/50.

CSP80: Drag 50 lbs, weighs 24.9 oz, retrieves 41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 330/20, braid 380/65.

The Quantum Cobo is designed for saltwater sportfishing. PT stands for performance-tuned technology. This technology includes a sealed multi-disk drag system consisting of ceramic and carbon washers, max cast 2.0, and a light nickel-titanium bail. PT bearings include 7 bearings plus a sealed magnum continuous anti-reverse clutch.

This reel has size options that are good for inshore and offshore fishing. The reel comes with a one year warranty which can be extended for free to a three-year warranty if you register the reel within 60 days.


24. Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

Daiwa-Bg-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $83-$183

Models and Specifications
2500: Drag 13.2 lbs, weighs 9.3 oz, retrieves 33.2 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 170/8, braid 170/20.

4000: Drag 17.6 lbs, weighs 14.3 oz, retrieves 39.9 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 260/12, braid 280/30.

5000: Drag 22 lbs, weighs 22.6 oz, retrieves 47.4 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 380/17, braid 360/50.

6500: Drag 33 lbs, weighs 29.5 oz, retrieves 48.7 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 310/25, braid 440/65.

8000: Drag 33 lbs, weighs 30.0 oz, retrieves 53.3 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 440/25, braid 590/65.

The Daiwa BG is a very popular inshore and offshore spinning reel. It uses a similar thousand series size convention as other brand reels. However,  the Daiwa BG reels are about one size bigger than other reels in the same size class.

Features of the spinning reel include a black anodizes machined aluminum body, a large drive gear, 6+1 ball bearings, and a lightweight air rotor. Whether you are catching tarpon in the flats or wahoo offshore these reels are very capable of handling the task.


25. Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel

daiwa-saltist-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $159-$197

Models and Specifications
3000: Drag 15.4 lbs, weighs 10.8 oz, retrieves 37.4 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 200/10, braid 120/30.

4000: Drag 17.6 lbs, weighs 15.0 oz, retrieves 39.9 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 260/12, braid 200/40.

5000: Drag 22 lbs, weighs 22.9 oz, retrieves 47.4 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 380/17, braid 310/65.

6500: Drag 33 lbs, weighs 29.6 oz, retrieves 48.7 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 310/25, braid 330/80.

8000: Drag 33 lbs, weighs 30.0 oz, retrieves 53.3 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 440/25, braid 440/80.

Daiwa Saltist is another reel that has good size options for inshore and deep-sea fishing. Features include 8+1 corrosion resistant ball bearings, magnetic oil that uses nanofluids, and a lightweight air rotor.

The handle of the reel can easily be changed to reel left or right-handed. The spool has a knurled section so the reel is braid-line ready. Color options for the reel are black-blue or all black. The all-black Saltist LT is specifically designed for inshore fishing with 3000lt and 4000lt model sizes available.


26. KastKing Sharky III Carbon Fiber Spinning Reel

kastking-sharky-saltwater-fishing-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $49-$59

Models and Specifications
1000: Drag 33 lbs, weighs 7.4 oz, retrieves 27.8 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 170/8, braid 200/20.

2000: Drag 33.6 lbs, weighs 9.1 oz, retrieves 27.8 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 190/8, braid 190/30.

3000: Drag 33 lbs, weighs 9.2 oz, retrieves 29.4 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 175/10, braid 220/30.

4000: Drag 39.5 lbs, weighs 10.2 oz, retrieves 31.8 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 220/10, braid 200/50.

5000: Drag 39.5 lbs, weighs 10.6 oz, retrieves 33.8 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 190/14, braid 220/50.

This KastKing Sharky III is a popular reel for freshwater and saltwater fishing. The overall size and line capacity is that of freshwater fishing reels. It does have a high drag rating but drag value will not likely be reached due to the limited line capacity of the reel. Drags should be set as less than 50 percent of the line strength.

This reel is also available in a bait feeder and as a combo with a IM7 graphite rod.


27. Penn Spinfisher VI Live Liner Spinning Reel

penn-spinfisher-VI-live-liner-spining-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $160-$220

Models and Specifications
2500ll: Drag 15 lbs, weighs 13.8 oz, retrieves 33 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 140/10, braid 160/20.

4500ll: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 15.6 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 235/12, braid 250/30.

6500ll: Drag 30 lbs, weighs 26.8 oz, retrieves 42 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 205/20, braid 335/50.

8500: Drag 40 lbs, weighs 32.3 oz, retrieves 42 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 260/40, braid 555/65.

The Penn Spinfisher VI live liner is great for surf fishing and shore fishing. Live liners reels are also called Baitrunners, or bait feeders. These reels have a second drag system with very light drag with the bail closed. The light drag value can be adjusted with the knob on the bottom of the reel. A clicking noise is made as the spool turns. This allows the fish to take the bait without feeling resistance while at the same time alerting the angler that a fish is on the line. When the lever on the bottom is flipped or the handle is turned the reel switches to the primary drag.

Live liner reels are common to use when fishing live or dead bait to catch striped bass, sharks, bluefish, catfish, and redfish. Often times the rod is left in a rod holder while anglers wait for a fish to bite. When surf fishing it is common to use multiple fishing rods.

Features of this reel include IPX5 sealed body, a full metal body, and 5+1 sealed stainless steel bearings. The drag system is also sealed and uses HT-100 carbon fiber washers. This reel comes ready for braided line unlike the other live line and Baitrunner reels on this list.


28. Shimano Thunnus Baitrunner Spinning Reel

shimano-thunnus-offshore-salwater-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $270-$310

Models and Specifications
4000:
Drag 15 lbs, weighs 12.70 oz, retrieves 30 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 160/12, braid 145/40.

6000: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 18 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/20, braid 130/65.

8000: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 19.4 oz, retrieves 36 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 195/20, braid 265/20.

12000: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 27.7 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 265/20, braid 230/80.

The Shimano Thunnus Cl4 is a lightweight spinning reel with a Baitrunner drag. This reel is made of carbon fiber which0 is 20 percent stronger than graphite and 2.5 times stiffer than the original Thunnus design. Features of the reel include 6+1 shielded ball bearings, Hagane gear, a one-piece bail, and a spool lip design that allows for further casting.

All Baitcaster reels have two drag adjustment knobs, one for the main drag and another for the Baitrunner Drag. This allows the drags to be adjusted separately and set specifically for the fish being targeted. When the handle is turned the primary and drag system is engaged. This helps set the hook and allows the angler to start fighting the fish.


29. Shimano Baitrunner D Spinning Reel

shimano-baitrunner-spinning-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $169-$221

Models and Specifications
4000:
Drag 15 lbs, weighs 13.5 oz, retrieves 28 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 160/12, braid 145/40.

6000: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 20.1 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 120/20, braid 130/65.

8000: Drag 20 lbs, weighs 21.7 oz, retrieves 36 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 195/20, braid 265/20.

12000: Drag 25 lbs, weighs 30 oz, retrieves 37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 265/20, braid 230/80.

The Baitrunnder D is a quality saltwater spinning reel. Features of this saltwater spinning reel include shielded 4+1 ball bearings, a one-piece bail, and a spool design that allows for further casting.

The spool does not have a high grip section for braided ling. Monofilament line would have to be added to the spool first as backing material when a braided line is used. This reel will automatically flip the Baitrunner to the main drag when the handle of the fishing reel is turned.


30. Okuma Avenger ABF Bait Feeder Spinning Reel

okuma-avenger-abf-bait-feeder-surf-reel

Shop or Read Reviews

Price Range: $47-$59

Models and Specifications
ABF-20:
Drag 8 lbs, weighs 8.8 oz, retrieves 25 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 90/8, braid 90/30.

ABF-40: Drag 14 lbs, weighs 16.3 oz, retrieves 28 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 260/12, braid 260/40.

ABF-90: Drag 22 lbs, weighs 27.6 oz, retrieves 40 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 330/30, braid 330/80.

The Okuma Avenger ABF Baitfeeder is a very popular saltwater spinning reel. Features include a machined spool, 6+1 sealed ball bearings, and felt drag washers. The lever on the back of the reel engages and disengages the Baitfeeder drag. When the handle is turned the Baitfeeder drag will automatically switch to the primary drag.

This reel is a great option for anglers on a budget. I have used this reel to fish for striped bass and bluefish in New Jersey. The reel does not last as long as other higher quality reels but does works to catch fish. Baitfeeder reels are often not watched super close so if it were to fall in the water it is better for it to be a low-cost setup. If you fish regularly I would recommend getting a better reel. If you only use it to on vacation once a year then this reel would be a great option.

There is also a newer Okuma Avenger B series model. This reel has similar specifications but a more modern appearance.


Frequently asked Questions

What makes a good saltwater reel?

Quality saltwater reels are made with sealed drag systems, sealed ball bearings, and sealed gearboxes. Typically these areas are sealed off with gaskets. This helps prevents salt from getting into the internal components that can not get rinsed well with fresh water. All materials for saltwater reels should be corrosion resistant. Throughout a fishing trip, reels get splashed and the wet line ends up getting the reel full of saltwater. It is very important to rinse the reels with fresh water at the end of each trip.

Saltwater reels need to strong and rigid for fighting large fish. The reels need to be sized appropriately for the fish being targeted. An appropriately sized saltwater reel has the proper drag value and line capacity. The max drag value should be at least 50 percent of the line strength being used. This means that if a 50-pound line is being used the max drag value should be 25 or more pounds. The drag itself should smooth regardless of how fast the line is being pulled off the reel. Finally, the spool of the reel should be ready for a braided line. This means that the inside of the spool should have a rubber section or knurled section so the braided line can grip the spool without sliding.

What size spinning reel do I need?

Spinning reels are typical sized from 1000 to 10500 series. When determining the properly sized fishing reel there are three main factors. First is the amount of line the reel can hold. A 1000 series reel can hold about 100 yards off of 6-pound monofilament line. The largest line capacity of a spinning reel currently available is a Penn Slammer 10500 which can hold 540 yards of 80-pound braided line.

Second is the max drag rating of a spinning reel. The max drag is important so that resistance can be added to the fish consistently. This allows the line to be pulled with a constant force below the strength of the line. It seems like a simple concept but it is actually quite common for people to use drag above the rated value of the line. This can result in the line breaking when catching a big fish. The drag should never be set to more the 50 percent of the total line strength. Typically the drag should be set at 25-30 percent of the fishing line strength. This helps account for a decreasing line strength at the knot. Also if a fish make a quick burst the drag of the system might go above the set value.

What spinning reel holds the most line?

Most spinning reels available come in multiple sizes. The amount of line a fishing reel can hold varies based on the spool size and line diameter. Braided fishing line is thinner than monofilament line. This means the spool can hold more fishing line of the equivalent pound test. The largest spinning reel available is the Penn Slammer 10500 which can hold 540 yards of 80-pound braided line. A spinning reel this big can catch large sharks, marlin, and tuna.

Can you use any reel in saltwater?

Technically yes any reel will work in saltwater. However, a reel not designed for saltwater will likely have the internal components corrode. This will result in the ball bearing, drag or gears breaking much faster than expected. Many freshwater spinning reels are made of graphite which will not corrode. The problem is not the exterior of the reel but the internal components. Saltwater reels use gaskets to seal off critical components that would corrode.

How do I choose a saltwater spinning reel?

There are several factors that go into selecting a spinning reel. First, is the size of the spinning reel. It should hold enough line to catch the targeted type of fish. Second is the amount of drag. Smaller fish typically require less drag and large strong fish usually require more drag.  The best size saltwater spinning reel in my option is the 7500 series. For example, the Penn Spinfisher VI 7500 can catch offshore fish like mahi-mahi, tuna, and wahoo. It can also be used inshore to catch snapper, mackerel, grouper, striped bass, tarpon, etc. The reel can hold 400 yards of 65-pound braid but is still small enough to fit on a medium-weight spinning rod with good action and sensitivity.

When fishing inshore or on the reef for yellowtail snapper, sea trout, grunts, porgies, triggerfish, etc it can be fun to use light tackle. If the tackle is too large it is hard to even know that small fish are on the line. With light tackle, even a small fish can pull drag and be fun to catch. This is especially true for kids and young anglers.

What are spinning reels good for?

There are two main types of saltwater fishing reels. Spinning reels are the most popular style of fishing reels. These reels are uses to cast a lure, rig or bait. When fishing from shore a spinning reel is almost always used. Swimming reels can cast lures far and retrieve them quickly. Using spinning reels is almost always considered light tackle even though there are huge spinning reels available.

The second main type of saltwater fishing reels are called conventional reels. These are most commonly used for trolling. They can also be used for jigging and mooching which is a common way to catch salmon. Conventional reels typically hold more line and have lever drag systems that allow the angler to easily adjust the drag to preset levels.

What is gear ratio on a spinning reel?

Thee gear ratio is defined as the number of turns the spool makes for one turn of the reel handle. A typically gear ratio is 6.2:1 for a large gear ratio and 4.2:1 for a small gear ratio. The more import number is the line retrieval rate. That is defined as the amount of line that is retrieved by one turn of the reel handle. Retrieve rates are typically between 22 and 50 inches. Large reels typically are gear lower and still have a higher line retrieval rate. Lower gear ratios offer more torque but a lower line retrieval rate value. Many conventional fishing reels are two-speed reels. This means there is a button that can be pushed to change the gear ratio of the reel. However, this feature is not found on spinning reels.

Can you use a spinning reel for trolling?

A spinning reel can be used trolling but does not work as well as conventional fishing reels. The main reason as spinning reel does not work well for trolling is that the drag can not be quickly changed to pre-set levels. Another reason a spinning reel does not work well is the bottom of spinning reel poles are not keyed to lock securely in rod holders.  Also, spinning reel poles are typically flimsy and flex too much when pulling heavy lures.

If you are going to use a spinning reel for trolling it is best to use a stiff pole and a Baitrunner reel. Baitrunner reels have two separate drag systems. The light drag can be used to set the lure out. Once the line is set out the primary drag can be used. This way the bail will not need to be open and some resistance can be easily added to the lure while it is set out.

Why do spinning reels have reverse?

There is no good reason for a spinning reel to have reverse. Other than perhaps to untangle a bird nested spool of line. All spinning reels should have an anti-reverse bearing or an anti-reverse clutch that can be set to prevent a spinning reel from going in reverse.

What is the best drag for a spinning reel? 

The highest drag value for a spinning reel is the Shimano Twin Power 8000 series that has a max drag of 60-pounds. Penn Torque II, Slammer III, and Spinfisher VI have max drag values that reach 60 pounds. For saltwater spinning real a good drag must also be sealed to prevent saltwater from getting into the system. Most drag systems are a series of felt, carbon fiber, or ceramic washers. Quality drag is able to maintain the same drag value regardless of how fast the spool is being turned. This is commonly referred to as having a smooth drag. As reels get older is common that the drag will start to get stuck at a high value or loosen easily. Both of these things can make it difficult to catch fish.

What is the difference between saltwater spinning reels and freshwater spinning reels? 

The main difference between saltwater and freshwater spinning reels is corrosion-resistant parts and sealed parts. Saltwater spinning reels typically have the drag systems, ball bearings, and gearboxes sealed off so that parts do not get exposed to saltwater. The frame of saltwater reels is typically made with a more rigid material to allow for higher forces to be applied to the reel. There are also larger size options for saltwater reels. Saltwater reels can be used in freshwater. The only disadvantage to saltwater reels is cost and in some cases weight. It is best to use a reel that is properly sized for the fish being targeted. For example, it does not make sense to target bass with a 7500 series reel spooled up with 400 yards of 65-pound braid.


Popular Posts

best mahi-mahi lures post
27 Best Mahi-Mahi Lures by Captain Cody

best cast nets post
23 Best Cast Nets by Captain Cody

best tuna lures post
27 Best Tuna Lures by Captain Cody

Share Article
share article

Leave a Comment