Fishing & Hunting

Best fishing reels buying guide & reviews

best-fishing-reels
Written by Robert Bolder

No matter where you like to fish, having the right equipment can make all of the difference. As the adage says “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”, the chain between you and the fish you hope to catch isn’t composed of that many links.

Strengthen up your gear with the right kind of reel. From everything from casting out to pulling in that river or ocean monster, your reel has to perform.

Below you will find a list of the ten best fishing reels on the market right now. These powerful additions can make it less and less likely to ever have another “one that got away” story to tell your friends.

Best fishing reels in 2017 – Comparison

Product NameImageEditor's RatingPrice
Penn Spinfisher V 4500

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Abu Garcia C4-6600

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Okuma Trio High Speed

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Shimano Stella SW-B 5000HG

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Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 2500 FB

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Shimano 200I Curado RH

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KastKing Rover Round

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Penn Fierce II 3000

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Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

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Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG

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How We Wrote This Review-Top 10 Best fishing reels

This list didn’t just create itself overnight. Each of the later described fishing reels were hand chosen from both experience and extensive research. With a lot of friends,

With a lot of friends, family and colleagues adding in their unique perspectives and hands-on accounts of the performance of each of these reels, you can be confident that these are in fact the best out there.

While it might be easy to look at what is the highest reviewed on retail sites, or what has the highest customer rating, we feel that anyone can do that. You deserve to have the real scoop, and that’s what we set out to give you.

While it might be easy to look at what is the highest reviewed on retail sites, or what has the highest customer rating, we feel that anyone can do that. You deserve to have the real scoop, and that’s what we set out to give you.

You deserve to have the real scoop, and that’s what we set out to give you.

 

Things To Consider Before Buying a Fishing Reel

 

While it seems as though many of these reels that you can find online might be offering the same kind of product, that might not always be the case.

When you are shopping for the best fishing reels, you are going to be looking at three specific components. The first is the functionality of the reel itself.

Secondly, you want something that has a unique design that maximizes your experience and makes it easy for you to use. Lastly, you want a reel that you aren’t going to have to spend an arm and a leg for.

With these combined elements, tailored to your specific tastes and budget, you will have the very best reel for your next fishing excursion.

Best Fishing Reels Reviews

 

01. Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel

Tackle some of the biggest gamefish out there with this all-metal designed reel. While this might be advertised more for the saltwater angler, this is the real deal (regardless of where you might find yourself fishing).

Features and Benefits

Over 10 Sizes To Choose From

Find the perfect reel for your next adventure by having the options to choose from over 10 different sizes.

Watertight

Built to withstand the harshest salts of the seas and the sands of the beaches, this watertight reel fights the elements.

Durable and Rugged

All-metal design means that this reel isn’t going to quit on you, even after years of regular uses.

Easy Crank

Who doesn’t love that cranking to be a little bit easier? With a low resistance from 5 ball bearings, you aren’t working hard to bring in the catch of the day.

Pros :

  • Built To Fight The Elements
  • Easy To Use
  • Rugged and Durable

Cons :

  • Higher Priced Than Other Options

 

Verdict

The Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel is a solid choice for anyone looking to step up their saltwater (or freshwater) game. It is durable, reliable and easy to use. This makes it an easy choice for your next reel consideration.

Check this reel out for yourself at  

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02. Abu Garcia Classic Baitcast Reel

With a super smooth drag system and a design that is meant to consistently provide unparalleled performance, the Abu Garcia Classic Baitcast Reel is a piece of hardware that will change your fishing experience completely.

Features and Benefits

Six Pin Brake

Hold the line with this impressive system featuring 6 pin centrifugal brake.

Carbon Matrix Drag System

A smart system for minimizing line breakage, this Carbon Matrix Drag System provides a fluid engagement throughout your reeling.

Fast Reel Rate

With each full rotation bringing in nearly 25 inches of line, it doesn’t take much to get your line back in.

Light and Durable

No one wants a bulky and heavy rod and reel. Skip the heaviness without skimping on the power.

Pros :

  • Engineered For Both Fresh and Saltwater Fishing
  • Durable
  • Lightweight

Cons :

  • Without A Line Clicker

Verdict

This Abu Garcia is a hot selling item through retailers online for a very good reason. With its reasonable price and reliability, it is a hard item to pass up on.

Want to know more, check out the Abu Garcia Classic Baitcast Reel Here: 

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03. Okuma Trio High-Speed Spinning Reel

Attention all anglers, this spinning reel might be just up your alley. With its very reasonable cost and impressive features, you will have a hard time not giving this some consideration.

Features and Benefits

Hybrid Design

A combination of both aluminum and rugged graphite forge together to make a truly ingeniously durable reel casing.

Precision Dual Force Drag System

Smart technology helps to provide a reasonable force without overloading your line. This system helps even novices reel in the big ones. 

10 Total Stainless Steel Bearings

Smooth casting and retrieval at your fingertips.

Great Retrieval Speed

Bring in your line quickly and effortlessly. Each crank will bring in a couple feet worth of line, making it easy and fast to bring it in for a new casting spot. 

Pros :

  • Fast Retrieval Rate of Line
  • Rugged and Lightweight
  • Very Reasonable Cost

Cons :

  • Somewhat Noisier Than Other Listed Reels

Verdict

This Okuma reel has taken simplicity and ease of use and bundled it into a very attractive package. No matter the size of your haul from the water, this little reel has the power to pull it in.

See This Okuna Trio High-Speed Spinning Reel For Yourself Here: 

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04. Shimano Stella SW-B 5000HG Spinning Reel

For all those that are looking for a reel that is truly tough enough to tackle game fish in the ocean, this Shimano Stella Reel is just the ticket.

Features and Benefits

Extensive Line Capacity

Never worry about loading up your line over and over again while you are away for your trip.

Fast Retrieval

With nearly 38 inches of retrieval per crank, your line comes in quickly and easily.

High Drag Force Allowance

Offering a total drag force of nearly 30 lbs., you don’t have to be the one without the big catch at the end of the day.

15 Ball Bearing Design

Built to help you reel in quickly and easily, a total of 15 bearings offers a smooth and reliable function.

Pros :

  • Built To Haul In Big Fish
  • Fast Retrieval Rate
  • Large Line Capacity

Cons :

  • Heavier (Nearly 1 lb.)

Verdict

If you are looking to get out offshore fishing and need a reliable reel that won’t let you down, this is going to be one of the reels you should be taking a closer look at.

Convince yourself when you see it firsthand at: 

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05. Shimano Stradic CI4+ 2500 FA Spinning Reel

Shimano has become a name that anglers have grown accustomed to over the year for their commitment to quality and outdoing the competition. This reel certainly earns its spot on the list, with its improved materials and overall design.

This reel certainly earns its spot on the list, with its improved materials and overall design.

Features and Benefits

Carbon Designed

Built to take a beating, Shimano diverted from the traditional graphite and chose a carbon design for this latest reel.

Rust Proof Materials

Due to the materials in its construction (no metal), this reel is intended to never rust.

Multiple Line Applications

While you might be a mono line angler, the high tension power-pro and fluorocarbon line is also able to be used.

Stronger Than Ever

Due to its rugged carbon infused design, the reel itself is around 250 percent stronger than it has been in previous models.

Pros :

  • Rugged and Durable
  • Great For Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing
  • Rust Proof

Cons :

  • More Expensive Than Other Options

Verdict

There’s no denying that Shimano went above and beyond in an effort to make a lightweight and powerful reel. When you see the performance and strength of this CI4 reel, you will wonder why you’ve been lugging around that clunky, heavy reel you currently have for so long.

Read all about this impressive reel here: 

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06. Shimano Curado 200I Baitcasting Reel

This metal reel is built to give you the edge you need on the water. Loaded with one-of-a-kind features, you won’t think twice about giving this Shimano reel a closer look.

Features and Benefits

Metal Hagane Body

Built to withstand all manner of abuse, this metal construction is going to keep pace with any angler.

Fast Line Retrieval

Don’t waste time pulling in for the next cast. This reel can bring in your line quickly and effortlessly.

Super Free Spool

Cast out further with a super-low resistance spool. Find that perfect spot without stressing about throwing out your shoulder.

Low Profile Design

Limits both resistance and noise, this low profile design is slimmer and more efficient than you thought possible.

Pros :

  • Easy To Use
  • Cast Farther, Retrieve Faster
  • Rugged and Durable

Cons :

  • Maximum Drag Force is Only 12 lbs.

Verdict

If you are looking for a powerful and rugged reel, complete with features to make it easier to use and quieter, then this is going to be the reel you should take a look at. This is ideal for freshwater anglers.

Stop dreaming of a better reel for your fishing and find your next one here:

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07. KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

If you aren’t picky about where you drop your line, or whether that water is salty or not, then you want a universal reel that can help you make the most out of anywhere you are. Enter the KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel.

Features and Benefits

Powerful Design

Cast farther, pull in bigger fish, you name it. This reel has the power to give you a new experience on the water.

Stronger Than Ever Before

Reinforced metal casing all around the reel provides a strength and durability never before seen in a KastKing reel.

Smooth Casting and Retrieval

Get it out farther and pull it in quicker, this reel is meant to help you manipulate the line with ease.

The Torque You Need

With a drag force of 20 lbs., you won’t have to worry about whether your reel can handle the big fish you just snagged on your line.

Pros :

  • Affordable
  • Durable and Strong
  • Easy To Use

Cons :

  • Larger in Size Than Many Reels of This Range

Verdict

Don’t let the lower price tag fool you, this reel has a lot to offer even the most experienced of anglers. If you are looking for a reel that is going to deliver the goods, without emptying your bank account, you need to check this reel out for yourself.

Don’t just take our word for it, you can see this KastKing reel here: 

Check The Latest Price On Amazon, Now!

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08. Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel

Penn has a lot of great reels on the market. With the features and ease of use for this one though, it was an easy choice to include it among the best fishing reels available on the market right now.

Features and Benefits

Numerous Sizing Options

Not everyone has the same needs when it comes to fishing, so Penn offers over 10 sizes for you to choose from.

Full Metal Construction

Rugged and durable, this full metal construction means that even under the heaviest of loads, you can trust that your reel will see you through it.

Techno-Balanced Rotor

Effortlessly reel in with the techno-balanced rotor on these Fierce models.

Smooth Cranking and Casting

With stainless steel bearings, you have longer casts and faster retrieval times.

Pros :

  • Durable and Rugged
  • Smooth Operation
  • Powerful

Cons :

  • Depending on the Size, Can Get Pricy

Verdict

There is no mistaking that Penn has outdone themselves with the entire Fierce line of reels.

From the smooth line manipulation to the powerful and strong construction that can survive stout loads, this is a reel that is a must-have for all levels of fishermen.

See if this sleek and powerful reel is the right one for your set up here:

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09. 2017 Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

There are some companies that might not be household names to all the anglers out there, but Daiwa should have earned this right a long time ago. Their first reel came off the assembly line back in 1955, and with their latest edition for 2017, there are no bells and whistles that you can’t find here.

Features and Benefits

Aluminum Construction

The strength of an all metal body cannot be overstated, but combine that with the lightness of aluminum and you’ve got a strong and reliable construction.

Corrosion and Scratch Resistant

That same aluminum is resistant to corrosion, and its machine finish is designed to resist scratches.

Biggest Drive Gear of all Daiwa Reels

What this means is smoother casting and retrieval, as well as farther casting and a more expedient retrieval time respectively.

Models for Fresh or Saltwater Fishing

No matter where you fish the most, Daiwa has you covered with a model that can suit your needs.

Pros :

  • Reasonable Cost
  • Light and Durable
  • Resists the Elements

Cons :

  • Less Drag Force for Salt Water Models Than Competitors (22 lbs.)

Verdict

There is a reason that Daiwa has been making reels for over 60 years. With this latest line of reels, you get all the latest innovations, without compromising the quality or affordability that you have always heard about.

Want to see what an affordable and highly functional reel actually looks like? Check it out here: 

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10. Shinamo Stradic Ci4+ 4000 Spinning Reel

This carbon design is so strong and innovative, that two models managed to make the same list. This line of reels has a lightweight construction, without compromising a bit of the strength and reliability that you might expect.

Features and Benefits

Carbon Designed

Carbon is lighter than traditional metal bodies and is found to be nearly one and half times stronger.

Lightweight

Due to the use of carbon materials in lieu of metal, the overall reel is much lighter than in previous models.

High Line Capacity

Take the worry out of fishing and appreciate the plentiful spool to accommodate plenty of any kind of line you might be using.

Smooth Retrieval

With numerous bearings, you will find that line retrieval is easy and effortless.

Pros :

  • Fast Retrieval
  • Strong Construction
  • High Line Capacity

Cons :

  • Higher Cost Range

Verdict

There are some reels that just seem to stand out from the pack. With its lightweight (yet stronger) design, this Shinamo Stradic Ci4 4000 is just what any avid angler needs to up his ability.

See what all of the fuss is about here:

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Final Verdict

When you think of things like ease of use and functionality, you can start to see what sets some of these reels apart from what you might currently be using.

Designed with the angler in mind, every one of these options should suit even the most experienced (or inexperienced) of fishermen.

So how do you choose among them? Well, as was earlier stated, you need to consider what features and functions are most important to you.

Once you have determined this, you can make your choice based on the options that exist within your budgetary restrictions. Any of the aforementioned reels can be deemed the best fishing reels on the market right now, and all for different reasons.

So, take some time and consider which suits your fishing most closely and you should have your answer.

About the author

Robert Bolder

There are few types of game I haven’t hunted or fish that I haven’t pulled from the water. Regardless of your hunting knowledge or fishing prowess, my experience can help you to be better and score bigger game and fish no matter where you live.

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