Best Spinning Fishing Reels in 2022

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There are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing the best spinning fishing reel for your needs. This article will discuss the best options in each class of lightweight, freshwater, saltwater, and heavy-duty spinning reels. We’ll also discuss what makes a good spinning reel so you can make an informed decision. The best spinning fishing reels can help you cast further, and land more fish simply because of better drag and components.

What is a spinning reel?

A spinning reel is a fishing reel that uses a spinning spool to cast the line. It is one of the most popular types of reels among anglers because it is easy to use and versatile. These reels can be used in fresh and saltwater and for various fish species.


Our Top Spinning fishing Reel Picks

Top 6 spinning fishing reel comparison chart

Shimano Fishing Vanford C5000Xg F Spinning Reel [VFC5000XGF]
Shimano Fishing Vanford 1000 F Spinning Reel [VF1000F]
Shimano Fishing Saragosa Sw A 6000Hg Saltwater Spinning Reels [SRG6000SWAHG]
SALTIST Back Bay Spinning Reel 6BB + 1RB, 5.6 : 1
PENN Fishing PENN Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel (All Models & Sizes), Black Gold, 2500 (BTLIII2500)
Van Staal VR150 Bailed Spinning Reel
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Shimano Fishing Vanford C5000Xg F Spinning Reel [VFC5000XGF]
Shimano Fishing Vanford 1000 F Spinning Reel [VF1000F]
Shimano Fishing Saragosa Sw A 6000Hg Saltwater Spinning Reels [SRG6000SWAHG]
SALTIST Back Bay Spinning Reel 6BB + 1RB, 5.6 : 1
PENN Fishing PENN Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel (All Models & Sizes), Black Gold, 2500 (BTLIII2500)
Van Staal VR150 Bailed Spinning Reel
Price
$228.00
$239.99
$259.99
$180.14
$120.85
Price not available
Reviews
339 Reviews
339 Reviews
156 Reviews
120 Reviews
1,798 Reviews
31 Reviews
Weight
0.47 lbs.
0.24 lbs.
1. lbs.
0.88 lbs.
4.0:1
4.8:1
Gear Ratio
6.2:1
5.1:1
5.7:1
5.6:1
0.55 lbs.
16.0 oz
Uses
Both freshwater and inshore saltwater fishing
Both freshwater and and light inshore saltwater fishing
Offshore saltwater fishing
Inshore saltwater fishing
Inshore and offshore saltwater fishing
Both inshore salt and freswater
Star Rating
Performance
4/8
4/8
4/5
4/4
4/8
4/6
Drag Quality
4/9
4/9
4/6
4/6
4/6
4/9
Shimano Fishing Vanford C5000Xg F Spinning Reel [VFC5000XGF]
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Shimano Fishing Vanford C5000Xg F Spinning Reel [VFC5000XGF]
Price
$228.00
Reviews
339 Reviews
Weight
0.47 lbs.
Gear Ratio
6.2:1
Uses
Both freshwater and inshore saltwater fishing
Star Rating
Performance
4/8
Drag Quality
4/9
Shimano Fishing Vanford 1000 F Spinning Reel [VF1000F]
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Shimano Fishing Vanford 1000 F Spinning Reel [VF1000F]
Price
$239.99
Reviews
339 Reviews
Weight
0.24 lbs.
Gear Ratio
5.1:1
Uses
Both freshwater and and light inshore saltwater fishing
Star Rating
Performance
4/8
Drag Quality
4/9
Shimano Fishing Saragosa Sw A 6000Hg Saltwater Spinning Reels [SRG6000SWAHG]
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Shimano Fishing Saragosa Sw A 6000Hg Saltwater Spinning Reels [SRG6000SWAHG]
Price
$259.99
Reviews
156 Reviews
Weight
1. lbs.
Gear Ratio
5.7:1
Uses
Offshore saltwater fishing
Star Rating
Performance
4/5
Drag Quality
4/6
SALTIST Back Bay Spinning Reel 6BB + 1RB, 5.6 : 1
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SALTIST Back Bay Spinning Reel 6BB + 1RB, 5.6 : 1
Price
$180.14
Reviews
120 Reviews
Weight
0.88 lbs.
Gear Ratio
5.6:1
Uses
Inshore saltwater fishing
Star Rating
Performance
4/4
Drag Quality
4/6
PENN Fishing PENN Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel (All Models & Sizes), Black Gold, 2500 (BTLIII2500)
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PENN Fishing PENN Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel (All Models & Sizes), Black Gold, 2500 (BTLIII2500)
Price
$120.85
Reviews
1,798 Reviews
Weight
4.0:1
Gear Ratio
0.55 lbs.
Uses
Inshore and offshore saltwater fishing
Star Rating
Performance
4/8
Drag Quality
4/6
Van Staal VR150 Bailed Spinning Reel
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Van Staal VR150 Bailed Spinning Reel
Price
Price not available
Reviews
31 Reviews
Weight
4.8:1
Gear Ratio
16.0 oz
Uses
Both inshore salt and freswater
Star Rating
Performance
4/6
Drag Quality
4/9
Editors Choice

1. Best Overall Spinning Reel

Shimano Vanford 4000Xg Spinning Reel

The Shimano Vanford series reels are very lightweight with a silky smooth drag system that can withstand fish that pull drag at high speeds. These reels are at the top of our list and the 4000 series is versatile enough to fish in both fresh and light saltwater.

We have landed Snook up to 20 lbs. and largemouth bass on these reels with in the same day in Florida. These reels are top notch with a smooth silky drag.

Shimano Fishing Vanford 4000Xg F Spinning Reel [VF4000XGF]
338 Reviews
Shimano Fishing Vanford 4000Xg F Spinning Reel [VF4000XGF]
  • CI4+ Body: This material is an advanced version of the original CI4. This highly technical carbon material maintains 2.5 times more rigidity than CI4. While improving lightness and rigidity, the body is further reduced in size and weight.
  • MGL Rotor: The new design of the MagnumLite Rotor produces unprecedented light rotation. The rotor profile is now asymmetrical. The bail arm mechanism, which was previously situation on the same side as the line roller, has been moved to the opposite side. This improves balance and combined with a lightweight line roller, titanium bail and optimum arrangement of rotor thickness, a 14% reduction in rotational inertia has been achieved increasing sensitivity to unreached levels
  • Hagane Gear: With amazing strength and durability, the HAGANE Gear is at the very heart of the reel. Shimano, through the application of state-of-the-art technologies, gives you the long-lasting smoothness and pleasure that you feel when you first use a reel, over and over again. No cutting work is applied to the teeth of the drive gear. Instead the entire surface is calculated in minute detail by special 3D design and then formed by Shimano’s cold forging technology
  • MIcroModule Gear II: State-of-the-art, gear tooth surface design and MicroModule Gear II, are further advanced through Shimano’s exclusive manufacturing technology. The surfaces of the drive gear and pinion gear have been analyzed and updated from the ground up in pursuit of perfection. Further improving smooth gear feeling and reducing sound.
  • Silent Drive: From the fundamental, whole body design to the most intricate parts of the drive train, including the drive gear, wormshaft, wormshaft pin and wormshaft gear, every piece has been carefully reviewed, and the smallest clearance gaps and wobbles have been eliminated to the highest tolerances.

Pros

  • Silky smooth drag
  • Very lightweight
  • Great line capacity
  • Excellent technology from Shimano
  • Great choice in reel sizes

Cons

  • Still have to be careful around saltwater as the components are not fully sealed.

2. Best lightweight spinning reel

Shimano Vanford 1000 F Spinning Reel

Momoi Hi-Catch Fluorocarbon Leader
339 Reviews
Shimano Fishing Vanford 1000 F Spinning Reel [VF1000F]
  • CI4+ Body: This material is an advanced version of the original CI4. This highly technical carbon material maintains 2.5 times more rigidity than CI4. While improving lightness and rigidity, the body is further reduced in size and weight.
  • MGL Rotor: The new design of the MagnumLite Rotor produces unprecedented light rotation. The rotor profile is now asymmetrical. The bail arm mechanism, which was previously situation on the same side as the line roller, has been moved to the opposite side. This improves balance and combined with a lightweight line roller, titanium bail and optimum arrangement of rotor thickness, a 14% reduction in rotational inertia has been achieved increasing sensitivity to unreached levels
  • Hagane Gear: With amazing strength and durability, the HAGANE Gear is at the very heart of the reel. Shimano, through the application of state-of-the-art technologies, gives you the long-lasting smoothness and pleasure that you feel when you first use a reel, over and over again. No cutting work is applied to the teeth of the drive gear. Instead the entire surface is calculated in minute detail by special 3D design and then formed by Shimano’s cold forging technology
  • MIcroModule Gear II: State-of-the-art, gear tooth surface design and MicroModule Gear II, are further advanced through Shimano’s exclusive manufacturing technology. The surfaces of the drive gear and pinion gear have been analyzed and updated from the ground up in pursuit of perfection. Further improving smooth gear feeling and reducing sound.
  • Silent Drive: From the fundamental, whole body design to the most intricate parts of the drive train, including the drive gear, wormshaft, wormshaft pin and wormshaft gear, every piece has been carefully reviewed, and the smallest clearance gaps and wobbles have been eliminated to the highest tolerances.

Pros

  • Excellent for clear water
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Easy-to-tie knots
  • Great for fresh and saltwater applications

Cons

  • Not for super heavy use

3. Best heavy-duty spinning reel

Shimano Saragossa SW A 6000Hg

Momoi Hi-Catch Fluorocarbon Leader
156 Reviews
Shimano Fishing Saragosa Sw A 6000Hg Saltwater Spinning Reels [SRG6000SWAHG]
  • Infinity Drive: The new main shaft supporting structure improves winding torque by 30% while allowing incredibly smooth and light rotation. This essentially means having the benefit of a quick line retrieve HG ratio reel but with the power and winding torque similar to that of a PG.
  • X-Protect: By combining our water repellent coating and our specially designed, water channeling, labyrinth construction, X-Protect provides high-level water resistance without sacrificing light gear and rotor rotation.
  • IPX8 Water Resistance to create long-lasting durability without sacrificing performance
  • Hagane Gear: With amazing strength and durability, the HAGANE Gear is at the very heart of the reel. Shimano, through the application of state-of-the-art technologies, gives you the long-lasting smoothness and pleasure that you feel when you first use a reel, over and over again. No cutting work is applied to the teeth of the drive gear. Instead the entire surface is calculated in minute detail by special 3D design and then formed by Shimano’s cold forging technology
  • Cross Carbon Drag: This drag material provides a wider range of drag settings, along with the smoothest Shimano drag performance ever.

Pros

  • Excellent for clear water
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Easy-to-tie knots
  • Great for fresh and saltwater applications

Cons

  • Not for super heavy use

4. Best Daiwa Spinning reel

Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT Spinning reel

Sale
Momoi Hi-Catch Fluorocarbon Leader
120 Reviews
SALTIST Back Bay Spinning Reel 6BB + 1RB, 5.6 : 1
  • LT CONCEPT – light and ridged aluminum construction
  • MAGSEALED construction repels salt and grime
  • Lightweight AIR ROTOR
  • Stainless steel AIR BAIL technology
  • Line Capacity (Lb. Test / Yards)-MONO: 8/170, 10/140, J-BRAID: 20/170, 30/120

Pros

  • Excellent for clear water
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Easy-to-tie knots
  • Great for fresh and saltwater applications

Cons

  • Not for super heavy use

5. Best Penn Spinning reel

Penn Battle III

Sale
Momoi Hi-Catch Fluorocarbon Leader
1,798 Reviews
PENN Fishing PENN Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel (All Models & Sizes), Black Gold, 2500 (BTLIII2500)
  • Full Metal Body and sideplate
  • CNC Gear technology
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers
  • 5 plus 1 sealed stainless steel ball bearing system
  • Line Capacity Rings

Pros

  • Excellent for clear water
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Easy-to-tie knots
  • Great for fresh and saltwater applications

Cons

  • Not for super heavy use

6. Best Van-Stall Spinning reel

Van Staal VR150

Momoi Hi-Catch Fluorocarbon Leader
31 Reviews
Van Staal VR150 Bailed Spinning Reel
  • Sealed, Waterproof Performance
  • GEAR RATIO 4.8:1
  • WEIGHT 16.0 oz
  • INE RETRIEVE 34.2″ / Turn
  • MONO CAP. 360 yds. / 12 lb. BRAID CAP. 440 yds. / 30 lb.

Pros

  • Excellent for clear water
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Easy-to-tie knots
  • Great for fresh and saltwater applications

Cons

  • Not for super heavy use

7. Best Abu Garcia Spinning reel

Abu Garcia Revo SX spinning reel

Momoi Hi-Catch Fluorocarbon Leader
236 Reviews
Abu Garcia REVO2SX30 Revo SX Spinning Fishing Reel
  • 8 stainless steel hpcr Bearings + 1 roller bearing provides increased Corrosion Protection
  • Amgearing System provides precision Machined gears for unparalleled smoothness and durability
  • Computer optimized gear design allows for the most efficient gear System
  • Carbon matrix Hybrid drag System for Super smooth reliable drag performance
  • Im-c6 (insert molded C6) body design combines an x-crafty gearbox design with a C6 carbon body, which gives a lightweight construction that houses gears in perfect alignment
  • Gear Ratio 6.2 : 1

Pros

  • Excellent for clear water
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Easy-to-tie knots
  • Great for fresh and saltwater applications

Cons

  • Not for super heavy use

Note worthy cost effective spinning reels

Pflueger PRESSP20X President Spinning Fishing Reel, 100/4
3,208 Reviews
Pflueger PRESSP20X President Spinning Fishing Reel, 100/4
  • 7 bearing System – corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings
  • Graphite body and rotor – lightweight graphite reel construction.Braid ready spool – allows Braid to be tied directly to spool
  • Sealed Drag System – Sealed drag washers, always lubricated, always smooth.Slow oscillation gearing – improves line lay and minimizes line twist
  • The “B” at the end of the model number represents the type of packaging (B= Claim, X= Box) and does not affect any of the specifications of the product.
Sale
okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel- C-30
2,895 Reviews
okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel- C-30
  • Used by professionals worldwide
  • Tested for reliability and quality
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • LIGHTWEIGHT COMFORT – Designed with comfort in mind. The soft touch and feel of the light weight, EVA handles knobs, combined with the graphite body construction, bring you a reel that is light and strong starting out at just 6 ounces in weight
KastKing Centron Spinning Reel,Size 500 Fishing Reel
7,541 Reviews
KastKing Centron Spinning Reel,Size 500 Fishing Reel
  • GREAT VALUE – Loaded with features yet low on price. KastKing Summer/Centron offers the best value…at any level. The KastKing Summer Fishing Reel turns any angler into a PRO.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT – narrow graphite frame design and computer balancing system combine high performance in a compact Spinning Reel. KastKing Summer/Centron makes an awesome gift for anybody who loves fishing, the 500 size reels match perfectly ice rods and make a perfect ice combo.
  • HIGH POWERED – KastKing Summer/Centron spinning reel’s Superior Drag System offers incredible stopping power up to 17.5LBs. It has a hardened metal main shaft, perfect mesh drive gear and precision machined pinion gear for fish fighting power.
  • SMOOTH PERFORMANCE – Summer/Centron’s nine quality ball bearings and one instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing give it ultra-smooth performance.
  • DURABLE/ATTRACTIVE FINISH – Summer/Centron’s attractive, brilliant finish and its high strength two color anodized aluminum spool, with a power launch lip for longer casts and holds more line than competitor’s models that sell for much more.

Spinning reel buying guide

Understanding reel sizes

Reel sizes are generally designated by a number, such as size 30 or 50. The larger the number, the larger the reel. The smaller the number, the smaller the reel. Another example in Shimano spinning reels will a 2500 reel is smaller than a 4000 model reel.

Target species

When making a choice on a spinning reel, you need to understand what type of fish you want to target. This will then determine the reel size you should be looking for. For smaller fish, such as panfish and trout, you can get away with using a smaller reel. However, you will need to use a larger reel in the 2500 to 4000 range for larger fish, such as bass and pike.

Anti-corrosion

If you strictly want to fish in saltwater you should know saltwater can end a reels life quicker than almost anything. Look for corrosion-resistant materials and water type construction if you want to fish in strictly saltwater conditions.

Those who surf fish will need to find spinning reels that can take the beating of saltwater. These types of reels need to be completely waterproof and internal gears need to be completely sealed to stay way from salt.

Line capacity?

The line capacity of a spinning reel is the maximum amount of line that the reel can hold without overfilling the spool. The line capacity is usually expressed in yards or meters of line.

For example, a reel with a line capacity of 200 yards can hold up to 200 yards of fishing line on the spool. It should be known that braid line is thinner then monofilament lines allowing for more capacity on spools. Most reel models will have mono and braid capacities and what each can hold.

Gear ratio

The gear ratio of a spinning reel is how many times the spool will turn for each handle crank. For example, a higher gear ratio such as 6.1:1 means the spool will turn six times for each crank of the handle.

A lower gear ratio such as 5.2:1 means the spool will turn five times for each handle crank. Generally, a higher gear ratio is better for fishing lures and bait because it allows you to retrieve the lure or bait faster.

Reel Weight

The reel’s weight is essential because you will be holding the reel in your hand for long periods. Regardless of this, the size of the reel should be matched to the target fish species or type of fishing you will be doing.

Pricing

The price of a spinning reel can vary depending on the brand, size, and features. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $250 or more for a good quality spinning reel.

FAQ’s

What is the difference between a spinning reel and a bait casting reel? The main difference between baitcasting and spinning reels is how the line is wound onto the spool.

The line is wound onto the spool in a baitcasting reel by a revolving bail connected to the handle. In a spinning reel, the line is wound onto the spool by a stationary bail attached to the reel’s body.

Can you fish a spinning reel in both fresh and saltwater? Yes. Just be careful around saltwater when using a spinning reel. Be sure not to dunk or submerge the reel in saltwater as it will cause major damage to the reel.

Unless you are using a completely sealed reel that is designed to get completely wet we highly recommend against getting salt or sand in your reel.

Can you catch a big fish on a spinning reel? Absolutely you can. Todays spinning gear uses the latest technology in drag systems and components that allow for large offshore fish to be taken by spinning reel setups.

Final thoughts

There are a few important factors to consider when choosing a spinning reel, such as line capacity, gear ratio, and reel weight. The most crucial factor is matching the reel’s size to the fish you want to target.

There are many good spinning reels on the market, and today’s technology has closed the gap between higher-end spinning reels and reels that do not cost as much.

The higher-end reels have better components and drag systems than cheaper models.

5/5 (1 Review)

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