Editors Choice

Best Fishing Reels Buying Guide & Reviews

Best Fishing Reels
Written by Ashley Casey

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 - Comparison Table

Product's Name


Editor's Rating


Abu Garcia Revo SX

  • Mono Capacity yd/lb- 175/10 145/12 100/15v
  • Gear Ratio-6.6:1
  • Retrieve Rate- 27" | 69cm

5 out of 5 stars

Abu Garcia C4-6601 Ambassadeur

4.8 out of 5 stars

Okuma Trio High Speed Spinning Reel

4.5 out of 5 stars

Shimano Stella SWB Saltwater Spinning Reels

4.6 out of 5 stars

Shimano Stradic<br> CI4+ 2500

4.3 out of 5 stars

Shimano Curado I Reels

4.5 out of 5 stars

KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

4.2 out of 5 stars

Penn Fierce II Spinning Fishing Reel

4.5 out of 5 stars

Daiwa BG Spinning Reels

4.2 out of 5 stars

Shimano Stradic Ci4

4 out of 5 stars

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

Tackle some of the biggest gamefish out there with this Stainless Steel 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 4 Sizes To Choose From
Find the perfect reel for your next adventure by having the options to choose from over 4 different sizes.

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.

  • Built To Fight The Elements.
  • Easy To Use.
  • Rugged and Durable.
  • Higher Priced Than Other Options


The Abu Garcia Revo SX 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.

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.

  • Engineered For Both Fresh and Saltwater Fishing
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Without A Line Clicker


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.

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.

  • Fast Retrieval Rate of Line.
  • Rugged and Lightweight
  • Very Reasonable Cost
  • Somewhat Noisier Than Other Listed Reels


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.

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.

  • Built To Haul In Big Fish.
  • Fast Retrieval Rate.
  • Large Line Capacity
  • Heavier (Nearly 1 lb.)


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.

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.

  • Rugged and Durable.
  • Great For Freshwater and Saltwater.
  • Fishing Rust Proof.
  • More Expensive Than Other Options.


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.

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.


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


  • Maximum Drag Force is Only 12 lbs.


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.

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.

  • Affordable
  • Durable and Strong.
  • Easy To Use.
  • Larger in Size Than Many Reels of This Range.


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.

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.


  • Durable and Rugged
  • Smooth Operation
  • Powerful


  • Depending on the Size, Can Get Pricey


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.

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.

  • Reasonable Cost
  • Light and Durable
  • Resists the Elements
  • Less Drag Force for Salt Water Models Than Competitors (22 lbs.).


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.

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.

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.

  • Reasonable Cost
  • Light and Durable
  • Resists the Elements
  • Less Drag Force for Salt Water Models Than Competitors (22 lbs.).


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.


How to cast a spinning reel

Answer: A fishing reel's spool rotates when a cast is desired. Depending on the type of cast, a fisherman may hold the rod with their left hand to maintain tension until the line "slacks-off," or they may apply tension by hand or wrist to keep it from hitting themselves at release. In either case, these actions cause the line to be cast in a curved path back over top of itself and permit distance.

How to clean a spinning reel

Answer: There are three ways to clean a spinning reel. The first is by spraying the spool with an all-surface cleaner, then letting it air dry. Second, use salt water to splash around inside the opening where you attach your fishing line. Finally, take apart each part of the reel one by one and give them a thorough rinse.

Whatever method you choose for cleaning your spinning reel make sure to lubricate all the key parts to ensure smooth operation when using them again after cleaning.

How to spool a spinning reel with braid

Answer: There are a few different methods, but the one good for beginners is to get the line from your reel so it's tied onto a braid of B-Lines with a figure of eight knot. Pull the braid of B-Lines over top of the spool and then put that on top or underneath a spool cap. Make sure that both ends come out on either side and then start wrapping it around in different directions, making two wraps in each direction at least until they meet in the middle when you go back up. You can make about an  inch or more worth before tying off with braided braiding thread (which will add strength). Tie off tightly and trim any excess line if needed too.

How to lube a spinning reel

Answer: Make sure the spool is clean of any fishing line or debris before adding a mixture of oil and water to it. Remove the right reel shaft bearing cover, make sure the spool is on opposite side from support arm, use a bit of lubricant to add to bearing area which can be accessed by removing different reel right handle cap, slide off the plastic wrap from spool locknut on rim of spinning reel frame, add lubricant around outside perimeter of this nut then tighten with an Allen wrench while holding on to both ends at same time.

How We Wrote This Review- 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.


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

Ashley Casey

Greetings! I’m Ashley Casey, your personal guide to the world of nature. Let me help you find the true value of the nature around you. Get ready to our journey to the world of wild nature and remember that the journey will never end! Enjoy reading my posts.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.