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 Inc. VANFORD C5000XG F
Shimano Inc. VANFORD 1000 F
SHIMANO SARAGOSA SW A 6000HG
Daiwa SALTIST Back Bay Spinning Reel 6BB + 1RB, 5.6 : 1
PENN Battle III Spinning Inshore Fishing Reel, HT-100 Front Drag, max of 12lb | 6kg, Made with Sturdy All-Aluminum Composition for Durability, Black Gold
Van Staal VR150 Bailed Spinning Reel
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Shimano Inc. VANFORD C5000XG F
Shimano Inc. VANFORD 1000 F
SHIMANO SARAGOSA SW A 6000HG
Daiwa SALTIST Back Bay Spinning Reel 6BB + 1RB, 5.6 : 1
PENN Battle III Spinning Inshore Fishing Reel, HT-100 Front Drag, max of 12lb | 6kg, Made with Sturdy All-Aluminum Composition for Durability, Black Gold
Van Staal VR150 Bailed Spinning Reel
Price
$208.00
$239.00
$269.99
$189.99
$128.90
$559.00
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 Inc. VANFORD C5000XG F
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Shimano Inc. VANFORD C5000XG F
Price
$208.00
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 Inc. VANFORD 1000 F
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Shimano Inc. VANFORD 1000 F
Price
$239.00
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 SARAGOSA SW A 6000HG
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SHIMANO SARAGOSA SW A 6000HG
Price
$269.99
Reviews
-
Weight
1. lbs.
Gear Ratio
5.7:1
Uses
Offshore saltwater fishing
Star Rating
-
Performance
4/5
Drag Quality
4/6
Daiwa SALTIST Back Bay Spinning Reel 6BB + 1RB, 5.6 : 1
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Daiwa SALTIST Back Bay Spinning Reel 6BB + 1RB, 5.6 : 1
Price
$189.99
Reviews
-
Weight
0.88 lbs.
Gear Ratio
5.6:1
Uses
Inshore saltwater fishing
Star Rating
-
Performance
4/4
Drag Quality
4/6
PENN Battle III Spinning Inshore Fishing Reel, HT-100 Front Drag, max of 12lb | 6kg, Made with Sturdy All-Aluminum Composition for Durability, Black Gold
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PENN Battle III Spinning Inshore Fishing Reel, HT-100 Front Drag, max of 12lb | 6kg, Made with Sturdy All-Aluminum Composition for Durability, Black Gold
Price
$128.90
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
$559.00
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.

Sale
SHIMANO VANFORD 4000XG F
  • VANFORD 4000XG F
  • VANFORD 4000XG F
  • VANFORD 4000XG F
  • VANFORD 4000XG F
  • VANFORD 4000XG F

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

Shimano Inc. VANFORD 1000 F
  • VANFORD 1000 F
  • VANFORD 1000 F
  • VANFORD 1000 F
  • VANFORD 1000 F
  • VANFORD 1000 F

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

SHIMANO SARAGOSA SW A 6000HG
  • SARAGOSA SW A 6000HG
  • SARAGOSA SW A 6000HG
  • SARAGOSA SW A 6000HG
  • SARAGOSA SW A 6000HG
  • SARAGOSA SW A 6000HG

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
Daiwa 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

PENN Battle III Spinning Inshore Fishing Reel, HT-100 Front Drag, max of 12lb | 6kg, Made with Sturdy All-Aluminum Composition for Durability, Black Gold
  • 2020 ICAST ONLINE BEST OF CATEGORY WINNER “SALTWATER REEL”: The PENN Battle III Inshore spinning reel is stronger, smoother, and more durable than ever before.
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: The body and sideplates of the PENN Battle III Spinning Reel are made with sturdy all-aluminum composition, featuring a forged and machined aluminum spool with Line Capacity Rings.
  • CNC GEAR TECHNOLOGY: Recovers at the rate of 33” | 84cm with every turn of the crank. Gear ratio of 6.2:1. Equipped with superline spool to securely attach braided line. Mono Capacity yd/lb: 255/6 175/8 140/10. Braid Capacity 240/10 220/15 160/20.
  • 6 TOTAL BEARINGS: The Battle III features 5 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 instant anti-reverse bearing to provide smooth operation for any saltwater fishing experience.
  • HT-100 FRONT DRAG DRAG SYSTEM: Built with carbon fiber washers for a max drag of 12lb | 6kg, this system will handle large fish without wearing you down. Right/Left handle position.

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

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

Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel, Size 30 (1365349), Carbon Front Drag, Max of 11lb | 5.2kg, Features Machined Aluminum Braid Ready Spool, Strong and Lightweight
  • PREMIUM CONSTRUCTION: The Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel is made with an IM-C6 (Insert molded C6) body, a machined aluminum braid ready spool and a stainless steel shaft and components. This Spinning reel is both strong and lightweight at 7.9 oz.
  • RECOVERY RATE: Recover 35” | 89cm of line for every turn of the crank. Gear ratio of 6.2:1. The AMGearing system with computer optimized gearing provides efficient operation. Everlast bail system ensures improved durability.
  • 9 TOTAL BEARINGS: 8 stainless steel HPCR bearings plus 1 K- Clutch anti-reverse bearing provides smooth operation for any fishing experience. These High Performance Corrosion Resistant bearings will help extend the life of your reel.
  • DRAG SPECS: Carbon Front Drag, Max: 11lb | 5.2kg. The Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system provides smooth, consistent drag pressure across the entire drag range. Mono Capacity yd/lb: 175/8. Braid Capacity 180/10.
  • SERIOUS LINE PERFORMANCE: Rocket Line Management system extends casting distance while the Rocket Spool Lip Design increases accuracy. Right/Left handle position has an ergonomically designed flat EVA knob for all-day comfort.

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

Sale
Pflueger President Spinning Reel, Size 20 Fishing Reel, Right/Left Handle Position, Graphite Body and Rotor, Corrosion-Resistant, Aluminum Spool, Front Drag System
  • PERFORMANCE MEETS VALUE: Pflueger President spinning reels combine smooth operation with a price that won’t break the bank. With a balanced mix of performance, quality, and value, this reel is “The Smart Choice.”
  • SIZE 20 SPINNING REEL: Features a graphite body and rotor for lightweight, corrosion-resistant fishing reels. The aluminum handle and soft touch rubber knob are suitable for Right/Left handed anglers.
  • RECOVER 20.2″ | 51cm for every turn of the crank. Slow oscillation gearing provides a tight line lay for improved casting and control. Gear ratio of 5.2:1. Features an Aluminum spool.
  • SEALED OIL FELT FRONT DRAG with a max drag of 6lb to help tire out the fish, so you can reel in the catch. The 7 ball bearing system plus Instant Anti-Reverse ensures smooth operation for any fishing experience.
  • LINE CAPACITY: Mono Capacity yd/lb: 200/2 100/4 80/6 for optimal casting distance and accuracy.
Sale
KastKing Centron Spinning Reel, Size 500 Fishing Reel
  • Ultra Smooth Powerful – KastKing Centron spinning reel’s Superior Drag System offers incredible stopping power up to 17.5LBs. Centron series spinning reel has a lighter and stronger CNC machined aluminum spool with a more even line lay, and internal grooves for lube retention.
  • Premium Quality Inner Parts – Centron’s 9 quality ball bearings and one instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing give it ultra-smooth performance. Centron spinning reel has a hardened metal main shaft, perfect mesh drive gear, and precision machined pinion gear for fish fighting power.
  • Two Color Options – KastKing Centron Spinning Reel in black-blue offers the best value at any level. The KastKing Centron Lite Fishing Reel in white-blue that there is a Collapsible Handle turns any angler into a PRO. Sizes 500 & 1000 are Perfect for Ice Fishing.
  • Brilliant Appearance Design – Centron’s attractive, brilliant finish and its high strength two color anodized aluminum spool, with a power launch lip for farther casting, holds more line than other spinning reels in same-size models.
  • Ideal Choice – The narrow graphite frame design and computer balancing system combined with high performance in the compact Spinning Reel make the KastKing Centron series an excellent gift for anybody who loves fishing.
Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels, Lightweight 9+1BB Ultra Smooth Spinning Fishing Reels, Carbon Fiber 19.8Lbs Max Drag, 1000, Red
  • 【Lightweight and Portable】Weighing only 6.1oz, the Flame spinning reel is perfect for anglers who enjoy fishing trips. Its relatively narrow hollow graphite body and lightweight reel gears make it easy to carry and use
  • 【Powerful Performance】With an incredible drag power of up to 19.8lbs, the Piscifun Flame fishing reel is designed to help you fight with the giants. Its reinforced metal main shaft, high-quality drive gear, precisely machined brass pinion gear, and triple drag washers ensure that you have the power you need to reel in big fish
  • 【Stylish Design】The Flame spinning fishing reel boasts a sleek matte black body with a red aluminum spool, giving it a modern and sharp appearance. Its unique hollow body, X shape spool, and personalized handle make it stand out from the crowd
  • 【Smooth Operation】The Flame spinning reel features 9 quality ball bearings plus one roller bearing, which, when paired with precision gears engagement, provide a buttery smooth performance. The 2000 and 3000 series reels are perfect for freshwater fishing, while the 4000 and 5000 series reels are ideal for chasing big fish
  • 【Unique & Innovative】Smooth positive click drag, high density EVA knob. This feature makes the Flame an excellent value reel, and Piscifun is committed to providing the most cost-effective fishing tackle for anglers
Sale
Okuma Avenger New Generation AV-3000 5.0:1 Gear Ratio 7 Bearings 25.80″ Retrieve Rate Spinning Reel,Multi
  • Multi-disc, Japanese oiled felt drag System
  • 6BB + 1RB for ultimate smoothness and performance
  • Quick-set Anti-Reverse roller bearing

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.

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