Top 8 Best Fishing Reels To Achieve The Best Performance

| Published On: is supported by its audience. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More
Best Fishing Reel

A fishing rod is incomplete without a fishing reel. The reel completes the rod combo and provides excellent performance to anglers. They can be used to fish for various fish with various techniques.

Fishing reels can be used to catch big hoppers in the evening, dry fishing in the calm AMs, or nymph around on a sunny day. If you buy the best fishing reels, they can turn your basic fishing trip into a fun one. The fishing reels vary from design to size and technology.

A Quick Look At The Best Fishing Reels

KastKing Royale Legend GT
– 8 Cross-fire Magnets For Braking Efficiency
– Superior Casting Control
– Delivers 17.6 Lbs Of Stopping Drag
Okuma Ceymar C-30
– Quick-set Anti-reverse Roller Bearing
– Constructed On A Fluid 8-Bearing Drive System
– 7BB + 1RB For Ultimate Smoothness
Pflueger President
– Lightweight Graphite Reel Construction
– 7 Bearing Corrosion Resistant System
– Allows Braid To Be Tied Directly To Spool
Daiwa BG2500 BG
– Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool
– Machined Aluminum Screw In Handle
– Over-Sized Digigear System
Penn Pursuit III & Pursuit IV
– 4 Plus 1 Stainless Steel Bearing System
– HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag System
– Lightweight And Corrosion-resistant Graphite Body
Abu Garcia Revo SX
– Carbon Matrix Hybrid Drag System
– Computer Optimized Gear Design
– 8 Stainless Steel HPCR Bearings + 1 Roller Bearing
Penn Spinfisher VI
– HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag Washers
– 5 Plus 1 Sealed Stainless-Steel Ball Bearing System
– CNC Gear Technology
Shimano ST4000XGFL Stradic
– Couple MicroModule Gear II with Silent Drive
– Shimano’s X-Protect water-repellent coating
– Shimano’s Cross Carbon Drag system

Best Fishing Reel

Buying a good fishing reel is probably the best decision you can take to better your fishing trip. They make fishing and handling the fish very easy, and that is why I suggest that you consider buying one of the best fishing reels that we are going to review.

I assure you that if you are not convinced about the betterment a good reel can bring to your fishing excursions, you will be eager to buy one by the end of this blog. 

So, let’s take a look at the best fishing reels:

#1 – KastKing Royale Legend GT – The Best Baitcasting Fishing Reel

– Key Features

  • The reel has a magnetic braking system.
  • Reel weight: 7.2 oz.
  • Better control over the backlash of the reel
  • The reel has amazing line capacity and can hold Monoline(LB/YD) 10/130, 12/110, 14/90, and the braided line 40/130, 50/110, 65/90
  • The reel has a retrieval speed of 7:2:1 
  • The reel contains an aluminum spool.
  • Noiseless retrieval 
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Ideal for new and experienced anglers
  • Affordable 
  • Ball bearing count: 5+1 
  • Max drag: 17.64 lbs.

– Positives:

  • A low cost yet good quality reel
  • High-speed reel 
  • Noise-less casts and retrievals.
  • Lightweight and durable 
  • Handy size compared to other reels. 
  • The smart and impressive braking system
  • Corrosion-resistant 
  • Perfect for saltwater fishing
  • Reel provides perfect performance against trophy fish
  • Easy to use reel 
  • High-quality drag and smooth operation

– Drawbacks:

  • The reel is not as durable as advertised by the manufacturer (a low duty build)
  • The reel shakes on too hard retrievals 
  • The small spool can dent the retrieval of the reel on turns.

This sleek reel has an inlay design that gives it a fantastic feel and looks. The package also contains a water-resistant reel cover so that your reel is protected from corrosion and outside harm.

The greatest thing about the reel is that it is durable and stays with you for as many fishing trips as you want. In addition, the reel is a high quality yet less budgeted because KastKing takes the fishing business seriously. 

This is not a regular fishing reel. Instead, it is a solid reel that can be trusted in most fishing instances. Sure it does have a few drawbacks like spool getting dented when the reel is retrieved too hard or the reel shaking when reeled too hastily, but these issues don’t make it any less impressive. It is worth buying because it gives you a wide range of features while catching your trophy fish.

My Verdict:

My honest review on KastKing Royale Legend GT is that it is an excellent pick for anglers, especially beginners. It is a convenient reel to start your fishing journey with as it provides excellent performance and is also pocket-friendly.

The reel has a high gear ratio but, it looks strange on such a level. However, it will work fine if you know how to use it. Like any reel, this reel also has some drawbacks that might seem overwhelming.

But, those drawbacks don’t really affect the reel’s performance so much that you might consider not buying it.

#2 – Okuma Ceymar C-30 – The Best Reel Overall

– Key Features

  • The reel has heavy-duty aluminum bail wire
  • The aluminum is machined with 2 tons of an anodized spool
  • The drag system is multi-disked
  • Precision cut brass gear
  • Sleek blade body for less fatigue and weight
  • Reel comes with one year warranty
  • The reel is available in a number of sizes and colors
  • Gear ratio: 5:0:1
  • Reel weight: 8.2 oz.
  • Line capacity 200yd/6lbs
  • The reel contains anti-reverse roller ball bearings
  • The reel is made of anti-corrosion materials
  • Ideal for all fishing situations

– Positives:

  • The reel has a compact size
  • Comfortable to use and handling
  • The reel contains EVA foam handles for a comfortable yet firm grip
  • Perfectly smooth drag with multi-drug system
  • Ideal for casting at farther distances
  • Reel provides strong casts
  • Good quality reel
  • Affordable
  • Drag settings are easily adjustable to anti-reverse, which stops the reel from turning backward
  • It comes in different sizes for different fishing situations and different fish

– Drawbacks:

  • The reel has a slow gear ratio (it takes too long to retrieve)
  • Some parts of the reel are made of plastic which can break easily
  • The drag dial is fragile
  • The reel makes noise while reeling
  • Not as smooth as other reels at the same price
  • With time, the reel may get damaged because of saltwater.

There are several best fishing reels, but Okuma Ceymar C-30 is definitely turning heads with its unique features and low price. It isn’t easy to comprehend that such a low-priced reel can provide such amazing performance.

The reel has a robust aluminum handle with EVA foam knobs and a precision elliptical gear system. It includes the pinion gears, which are machine cut for durability. Furthermore, the reel has 7 ball bearings along with reverse bearings that deliver fluid performance. 

The Ceymar reel series have lightweight handles with a blade body which is designed to provide a compact body and performance. However, some minor issues with this reel can slightly alter the reel’s performance.

For example, the reel has some plastic pieces which can break if they are abused, the drag dial is fragile if the angler sets it on low tension, and the reel makes noise while reeling, which can be solved by proper oiling. 

My Verdict:

Okuma Ceymar is one of the top spinning reels you can buy at an affordable price. This spinning reel is lightweight and provides a fantastic grip to the angler to catch the best fish.

There are a few issues with this reel, but even those issues can’t lower the good expectations from this reel. Buying this reel will change the way of how you fish.

#3 – Pflueger President – The Premium Spinning Reel

– Key Features

  • The reel contains a 10 ball bearing system
  • The reel has graphite body smooth performance
  • Durable and made of high-quality material
  • The handles are made of aluminum
  • The reel has a sealed drag system
  • Reel’s line capacity Mono capacity: (yd./lb.) 255/4 145/6 130/8 and Braid capacity: (yd./lb.) 275/6 190/8 160/10
  • Reel available in multiple sizes for different fishing solutions
  • Lightweight and very easy to use.
  • Gear ratio: 5:2:1
  • Max drag: 14lbs

– Positives:

  • Available in many different sizes
  • Super affordable with many great features
  • Smooth performance with a lightweight body
  • Reel from a very trusted brand among anglers
  • Durable
  • Made with high-quality material
  • Great price
  • Graphite body
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Aluminum bait and handle
  • Ideal for beginners as well as expert
  • Perfect for saltwater fishing

– Drawbacks:

  • Not ideal for larger qualities of pound test (higher mono)
  • Paint chips of very easily

Pflueger is famous for making the best spinning reels out there in the market. Their most renowned reel is the Pflueger President.

These amazing reels have no comparison with other spinning reels because they are incredibly durable, smooth, and affordable. Apart from this, they are super long-lasting, meaning they will stay with you for many years to come.

The body of Pflueger President is made of carbon and has an aluminum handle, making these reels super lightweight and durable. The reel is small enough to catch a panfish but also large enough to hold a large amount of strong line. 

There is practically no issue with this reel, except it is not ideal for a large quantity of higher pound mono tests.

My Verdict:

This reel is one of the top recommendations I have for you all, especially if you are a beginner. This is because it is super convenient to use and provides fantastic features.

These features can be a game-changer for your fishing game. Apart from this, the reel practically doesn’t have any drawbacks, which means that you can buy it without having any second thoughts and fears.

#4 – Daiwa BG2500 BG – The Best Reel For Saltwater

– Key Features

  • Weight: 9.3 oz.
  • Affordable
  • Line Capacity: 190 yds. of 10 lb. braid
  • The reel contains Digi gear system
  • Drag Capacity: 13.2 lbs. of drag
  • The reel contains machine cut brass pinion and main gear made of zinc
  • Ball Bearings: 6+1
  • Gear Ratio: 5.6:1
  • Machined aluminum body and cover
  • Line Per Handle Turn: 33.2”
  • Air rotor
  • Handles can be screwed in
  • The reel contains an ABS spool
  • The reel is waterproof and corrosion-resistant
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Easy to carry around

– Positives:

  • Affordable compared to other similar reels
  • Long-lasting even in the harshest conditions
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Lightweight and handy to carry around
  • It contains a black anodized machine body and cover
  • It contains an oversized Digi gear
  • Durable
  • It contains 7 ball bearings
  • Provides great performances
  • Reel comes with screw-in handles
  • Sleek and stylish look

– Drawbacks:

  • Not as shielded as other reels from Daiwa
  • Not useful for jigging
  • The handle doesn’t work well with the right-hand retrieve

Daiwa BG is a fantastic saltwater spinning reel that has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years. They are one of the best reels for inshore saltwater fishing. They are an upgraded version of the Daiwa Black Gold reel. The reel is easy to use, cost-effective and easy to maintain, and has changeable parts.

Many technologies are incorporated in these reels to make them durable and provide good performance to the anglers. They also have a dynamic cut ABS spool, aluminum body, a Digi gear system, and a waterproof drag system.

All these features make the Daiwa BG a great reel option. However, if we talk about the cons of these reels, the most noticeable issue with this reel is that it doesn’t work well with jigging.

There are always some issues when anglers try to jig with it. Another issue is that the handle of these reels doesn’t work well for the right-hand retrieve. Other than these cons, the reel works perfectly in most saltwater (and other) situations.

My Verdict:

Daiwa BG is created to work well in deep water fishing situations. If you use these lightweight spinning reels, you can easily pair them with spinning rods.

Because pairing them with a similar category can unlock the true potential of these reels. You can try different fishing techniques with these reels and see their wonder.

There are so many saltwater fishing reels that it becomes difficult to choose one, but I suggest you give this reel a try.

#5 – Penn Pursuit III & Pursuit IV – The Great Deal

– Key Features

  • Lightweight and corrosion-resistant graphite body
  • Ideal for saltwater fishing
  • HT-100™ carbon fiber drag washers
  • 4+1 stainless steel bearing system
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Machined and anodized aluminum spool
  • Super line Spool
  • Line Capacity Rings
  • can cast at greater distances
  • The sealed drag system contains sealed drag washers, lubricated, smooth. Slow oscillation gearing.
  • Instant anti-reverse bearings
  • Powerful action

– Positives:

  • Affordable yet super reliable
  • Reliable spinning reel
  • HT 100 drag system
  • Reels can be used for a variety of fishing situations
  • Great drag and spool capacities
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Safe to use in saltwater
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • It contains sealed drag washers
  • Easy to use and carry around
  • The reel contains an anodized aluminum spool with line capacity rings

– Drawbacks:

  • It makes a loud sound when it is retrieving
  • The reel can break if too much pressure is applied to it
  • It is not as powerful as advertised by the manufacturer
  • The reel lacks luster

Penn Pursuit III & Pursuit IV are two different reels of the same series. However, with a bit of difference, both reels are almost similar. They offer a smooth fishing experience, durable construction, and a lightweight design.

These features make these reels an excellent investment for saltwater fishers. In addition, these reels come in many sizes for different fishing techniques, and you can depend on these reels for staying with you on many fishing trips.

Penn Pursuit IV spinning reels deliver high versatility with great design and performance for surf fishing, boat fishing, and inshore fishing.

These reels are made from high-quality corrosion-resistant graphite body which allows them to stay intact and adequately work in the harshest environments. Apart from providing great performance, they are also super lightweight with excellent durability and power.

My Verdict:

There is no doubt that the Penn Pursuit might have made a few anglers sad with the drawbacks in their reels. But, these reels are an upgraded version of the old Penn Pursuit reels.

These are entry-level reels, and I don’t suggest them for experienced anglers because certain features in these reels will suit only beginners.

Having drawbacks didn’t stop these reels from providing an enjoyable fishing experience to the anglers.

#6 – Abu Garcia Revo SX – The Best Rated Reel

– Key Features

  • Gear ratio: 6.2: 1 
  • Model number: REVO2SX10
  • Weighs 0.48 kg
  • 5 x 5 x 4 inches dimension
  • reels color: Silver
  • reel material: Stainless steel
  • Ball bearings: 8+1
  • Ever last Bail System
  • Rocket Spool Lip Design
  • Maximum drag: 10 Lbs.
  • Recovery: 30 per turn

– Positives:

  • Reel has computer-optimized design which makes it user-friendly.
  • Reel made of heavy-duty materials that avoid the possibility of corrosion.
  • Comfortable to use by beginners as well as expert anglers.
  • Ambidextrous with left/right options.
  • Reel contains anti-reverse switch.
  • Easy to use and extended drag.

– Drawbacks:

  • Easily breakable due to being lightweight.
  • No spare spool was provided by manufacturer, which could be inconvenient.

The Abu Garcia Revo SX is a durable, lightweight, sturdy, smooth, and high-performing spinning reel, best for freshwater angling. It is an excellent choice due to its carbon body design and aluminum gearbox which is constructed with delicate perfection.

Its improved body and modified specifications make it a highly-optimum choice for unisex adult users. This product is ideal if an angler needs a reel that provides the maximum power and strength required to catch a fish.

Its red and black color combination looks professional and decent, while its foam grips offer a comfortable experience for users of all ages. 

There are a few issues with this reel just like other reels. But, those issues are not dominant ones. They don’t 100% affect the performance of the reel but, somewhat hurt its credibility.

Those issues are: the reel can break because it is very lightweight and that the company doesn’t provide extra spool which has made some customers unhappy.

My Verdict:

Regardless of the few minor drawbacks, this REVO SX is the finest choice when it comes to choosing a long-lasting, easy-to-handle, and fine spinning reel. It can easily catch fish of all shapes and sizes.

Due to its unique design and specifications, this reel could be a good option among many others reels. Taking into account its price, the product is reasonable (this is the best we can afford at such low prices).

It continues to provide excellent results, making it worth every penny. So, if you want to go for the most famous and top-rated reel in the market, you should definitely buy this reel and make your fellow anglers jealous.

#7 – Penn Spinfisher VI – The Premium Quality Reel

– Key Features

  • High-quality HT-100 drag system
  • Ball bearings: 5+1 sealed stainless steel
  • Fully sealed spool and gearbox
  • Inches per turn: 40in
  • This newest version of a Penn Classic got improved for fishing in saltwater.
  • Very smooth drag in sizes 2500 – 10,500.
  • Reel weight: 12.5 oz.
  • Watertight IPX5 seal system for saltwater applications.
  • CNC gearing for all models, 6500 and up, use brass.
  • carbon fiber drag washers
  • Full Metal Body with side plates
  • It comes with one year warranty
  • Super line Spool
  • Line Capacity Rings
  • Sizes 2500-5500 have automatic bail trip
  • Sizes 6500-10500 have manual bail trip

– Positives:

  • Multiple sizes are available, which are ideal for various fishing situations
  • Fully sealed spool and gearbox
  • advanced IPX5 sealed spool and body design
  • Penn SpinFisher VI gives you the option of being bail-less
  • Comes with warranty
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Easy to carry
  • Super even line lay
  • Full metal body
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • The reel contains yardage marks which tell you how much line is out of the spool.
  • The high-quality drag system
  • Sleek and stylish design

– Drawbacks:

  • The design is sleek but old-school
  • Not as light and smooth in action as advertised by the manufacturer or compared to other similar reels
  • Reel paint can chip off after initial uses
  • The bail arm gets loosened over time

The Penn Spinfisher VI spinning reel is a part of the sixth generation reel from the classic spinning reels from Penn. These reels are available in different sizes, ranging from 2,500 and going up to 10,500. Their size ranges make fishing for various species a piece of cake and also super fun.

The reel has a full metal body and side plates responsible for keeping the CNC gear system precisely aligned. The IPX5 seal also keeps the saltwater out and the insides of the reel corrosion-free. As a result, the reel provides a smooth performance.

There are 18 Spinfisher VI models to choose from, which includes live liner, long cast, bail-less variant, etc. all these models have more or less the sample specifications but with a slight difference.

The Penn Spinfisher Vi pulls approximately 38-42 inches of line on a turn of the reel handle, and that is why they are great when you want to retrieve the line at high speed. These are super powerful reels, enough that I can guarantee that their largest model can handle a considerably large shark on the beach.

But, this reel is not without cons. The issues that anglers face while using these reels are that the reel’s paint comes off after just a few uses and that its bail arm can loosen over time. However, none of these issues is substantial enough to stop the anglers from absolutely loving this reel.

My Verdict:

You can consider that the Penn Spinfisher VI spinning reels are the jeeps of the fishing world. They are dependable, tough, and durable compared to most reels.

You can combine these reels with spinning rods, and with that combo, nothing can stop you from catching your desired fish. In addition, these reels make it amazingly easy to use the roller and hook while fishing, and reeling back in is also very easy.

There are a few issues with these reels, but nothing that an angler can’t ignore just for the sake of good performance. So, you can fish hard with these reels on even the choppiest locations without worrying whether or not you will catch the fish because you will.

#8 – Shimano ST4000XGFL Stradic – The Best Flagship Level Performance

– Key Features

  • It consists of 6 shielded A-RB stainless steel bearings and 1 roller bearing
  • Micro module Gear II
  • Silent drive
  • Left-hand orientation
  • Item weighs 0.9 pounds
  • Labyrinth construction
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Perfect for fishing in saltwater
  • Water channeling feature
  • Reel has a better gear life
  • Suitable for both freshwater and seawater fishing

– Positives:

  • The reel body is made up of hagane metal which is shock resistant.
  • The metal body is stiff enough to eradicate body flexing.
  • The forged gear is responsible for providing the rigidity that an angler needs.
  • One of the most required angler’s accessory
  • Better gear life
  • Accurate gear alignment
  • Impeccable rotational smoothness
  • Excellent power transfer
  • High tolerance of the internal components
  • Water-proof exterior coating
  • No water penetration 
  • Diminishes fatigue and facilitates ease of use.
  • Improved fishing experience
  • No heavy rotational feel
  • Taller spool to cover a vast distance

– Drawbacks:

  • The drag washers need to be re-greased
  • Expensive compared to other similar models
  • The drag may get sticky and may lag while casting

Every angler needs a fishing reel that helps them throw the lure into the water. The Shimano spinning reel has helped people catch a fish from 5 pounds to 60 pounds, and that too with the greatest of ease.

The all-rounder fishing reel is compatible with both fresh and sea waters. It is versatile for use in all seasons. It consists of a rigid body that withstands even the most brutal ways of use, whereas the water-resistant exterior minimizes the need for frequent maintenance. 

The reel has a few issues like the drag getting dry and lagging the casting or the reel being expensive. But, Shimano is one of the best reels out there. So, I think that the anglers can compromise on a few drawbacks because the features can easily overshadow them.

My Verdict:

Despite its high cost and little to no disadvantages, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Shimano spinning reel is one of the best fishing reels available in the market. The spinning reel does its job perfectly in every aspect and possesses durability that can stand up to harsh conditions.

In addition, the equipment is light and easy to use and covers a wider distance. To sum it up, the Shimano spinning reel is worth every penny it costs.

How To Find The Right Types of Fishing Reels? – What To Consider

When you decide to buy a fishing reel or get a replacement reel for the first time, a few things require careful consideration. The first thing you should think about is what kind of lures and baits you want to use, and the second thing is which kind of fish you want to catch. There are basically three kinds of reels: baitcaster, spinning, and spincaster reels.

The baitcaster reels are ideal for big lures, while spinning reels are perfect for smaller lures. And on the other hand, the spincaster reels are perfect for both kinds of lures and baits (big and small). 

Once you decide on the lures and fish, the consideration comes down to your preference. If you are confused about your preference, then this guide will help you. Read on!

Reel Types: Which One Do You Need?

If you are just entering the fishing world, the types of fishing reels might worry you. The dilemma of choosing the right reel when you know little about them can daunt you. This is why you must learn as much as you can about the types of best fishing reels. Because, once you learn about them, you will realize that choosing a reel is not difficult. 

Spincast Reel:

The spincast reel is one of the simplest fishing reels because it has a simple design and is ideal for beginners. These reels are made of a metal nose cone that covers all the reel components.

image of a Spincast Reel

On the back, it has a button that is used to toggle between locking and free spool. They also have a drag adjustment mechanism that allows you to adjust the resistance of your reel. 

On a spincast reel, the drag is on the side of the reel and next to the handle, which makes casting very easy. Because all you have to do is control the reel with the control button. 

Spinning Reel:

These reels are one of the most famous fishing reels among anglers. They are a bit more complicated to use than the spincast reels but are also more durable and efficient than spincast reels. They are ideal for beginners and experienced anglers because of the performance they provide. 

image of a Spinning Reel

The spinning reel has an open-face design because they have the drag adjustment on the top of them. In addition, they come with a Meta bail whose purpose is to lock the line from spooling. The bail also ensures that the line goes back to the spool equally.

These reels are attached to the rod from below, which provides a natural holding position and gives excellent balancing to the whole equipment. Casting is also elementary with spinning reels.

All you have to do is disengage the bail and squeeze the line against the rod to prevent it from unspooling. Then all you have to do is aim the rod where you want your bait to land. 

Baitcasting Reels: 

These are some of the most advanced fishing reels used mainly by experienced anglers. These reels have no comparison to other reels because they are excellent in terms of precision and power.

Baitcaster reels have a lot of moving parts compared to spincaster and spinning reels. This makes them a bit difficult to use and master but, once you master them, they will take your fishing game up a notch. Baitcaster reels sit on the top of the rod’s handle.

image of a Baitcasting Reel

They have a semi-enclosed design with a sturdier build—the drag mechanism next to the reel handle. In addition, baitcaster reels have extra components for customization and great performance.

The extra features are a braking system and tension knob; both are used for adjusting the line while it goes out of the reel.

But which reel should you get?

The answer to this depends on your preference and the fish you want to catch. All three of these reels have different valuable features in different situations. So, ultimately the choice comes down to your preference.

Reel Size, Gear Ratio, And Drag System

Reel Size:

The size of the reel depends on your fishing plans. However, there are three things that you should consider before considering a reel size. 

  • Where will you fish? In saltwater or freshwater?
  • What fish size are you planning on catching?
  • What line strength will you use?

Generally, the saltwater fishing reels are bigger than the freshwater reels because, in saltwater, you have to handle stronger and heavier lines with big fish. They also require greater line capacity because saltwater species run after being hooked. 

Fishing reel sizes depend on the size of your fish. Intuitively, you will want to catch a bigger fish, which is why you will need a big reel.

For example: if you are fishing for crappie or bluegill, you can buy a 1000 sized spinning reel. But, if you want to fish for tuna, you will require a much large spinning reel, like a 10,000 sized spinning reel.

Gear Ratio:

The gear ratio simply shows how many times a reel spool whenever you turn the reel handle.

So if a reel’s gear ratio is 6:4:1, it means that after every rotation of the reel handle, the spool turns 6.4 times. Anglers have divided the gear ratios into slow, medium, and fast types. Gear ratios are mentioned on the packaging of the reel.

Explaining The Gear Ratio of Fishing Reels

The slow ratios are below 6:1, the medium ratios are from 6 to under 7:1, and the fast is from 7:1 and above. For seasonal anglers, any gear ratio works well.

But, anglers who take their fishing seriously should have the best reel with the best gear ratio. A good gear ratio always helps while reeling the fish and making your fishing trip better overall.  

Drag System:

The drag system applies friction to the spool. This helps in casting and baiting the fish (especially large ones). The drags are usually operated by a dial or a lever in front of the reel.

If your reel has a reliable and good drag system, then when the fish runs after being hooked, it will be able to take the line without breaking or locking it. 

The drag pressure is measured in pounds. Having a reel and drag that match the fish’s size is crucial for proper fishing so that the line doesn’t break and you lose your fish for good. Another important thing is that you correctly set the drag before casting the lure.

Bearings Count, Weight, Materials

Bearing Count: 

A good fishing reel needs to work precisely with a smooth motion for a flawless fishing experience. One such component that helps the reel in smooth motion is ball bearings.

The more ball bearings are in the reel, the better it will be, but only when the reel is made with good quality material. Good reels should have at least four to five ball bearings. 

Ball bearings are used to reduce the friction caused by the spooling of the reel and improve the reel’s speed.

Without ball bearings, the smooth motion turns into a slow and twitchy the bearings are set around the fixed axel inside the center and surrounded by a wheel that moves it from outside. So next time you buy a reel, and it works smoothly, it will be because of the ball bearings. 

Weight of Reel:

I am sure that you must have always heard that a lightweight reel is better in all situations. This saying was true in the past, but now that the rods are also light-weight, if you also buy a light-weight reel, it won’t work correctly.

Instead, a reel and rod should be well balanced, neither too heavy nor too light. If the reel is too light, it might not contribute to reeling the fish or applying pressure when it is reeled in. But, if the reel and rod are well-balanced, then holding the reel to the perfect level will not be an issue. 


A fishing reel is responsible for holding the line inside and catching fish. This is why the best fishing reel must be made up of the best material.

Usually, the materials used to build a fishing reel are aluminum, brass, stainless steel, graphite, composite material, rubber, or varying mixtures of these elements. In addition, the reels are made rust-proof, with coatings to increase the reel’s life. 

Construction & Versatility

Since you already know about the materials used to make a fishing reel, it is time to talk about the construction of the best fishing reels.

image of a person holding a Baitcasting Reel

A reel comprises a reel body, reel handle, reel spool, drag adjustment, and anti-reverse switch. 

Reel Body:

The body is the central part of the fishing reel. Mostly, fishing reels have a supporting arm afoot that will connect to the gearbox and the rod. These bodies are usually constructed of aluminum or graphite.

Aluminum is strong but is also heavier, and it usually doesn’t hold up in saltwater conditions. For freshwater, aluminum reels are ideal but if you want a saltwater reel, go for a graphite one. 

Reel Handle:

The reel handle is one of the most crucial reel parts. The handle is rotated by the hand to retrieve the line back inside the reel after casting your bait.

Therefore, the handle needs to be smooth to function and comfortable to use. Usually, the handles are T-shaped or round which the angler can easily operate in both directions.

Reel Spool:

This section of reel holds the fishing line in place. It also plays an essential role in casting to farther distances and also for smoothness. Usually, the spools are made from graphite or anodized aluminum for providing good performance. 

Drag Adjustment:

One of the most common things is a drag adjustment feature. It looks like a dial and is found on the top of the spool.

Anti-Reverse Switch:

This reel’s feature engages and prevents it from unwinding backward. You can reel the line in reverse instead of relying on the drag system when you turn off the anti-reverse switch. This system works ideally for lightweight fish.


The versatility of a fishing reel is its ability to work wonderfully in all fishing situations. Therefore, you should buy a fishing reel easily usable in saltwater or freshwater, shallow waters or deep waters, etc. And it should also be able to catch different-sized fish. 

Who Makes The Best Fishing Reels?

I think that Shimano is one of the top manufacturers of the best reels in the market. This Japanese company is famous worldwide because of their excellent quality products.

image of a person changing the fishing reel line

This company has been facilitating anglers worldwide with its amazing products. They believe that the fishing equipment isn’t just for catching fish. Instead, it is a means to enjoy fishing. 

They follow their own advice and develop top-quality products for their customers to enjoy. They not only develop the product based on high technology, but they also understand angler sensitivity and their expectations.

And these qualities are what make Shimano one of the top fishing Reel Company.

Why You Should Trust This Guide?

You should trust this guide because I have created it to help you learn about the best reels out there and about different essential components. Because of this guide, now you know the types of fishing reels, the ideal size, and various other features that you should look for and consider while buying a fishing reel. 

You are now well-versed in this field and can now buy the perfect reel for your fishing trips. With the many reel options that we discussed, you are bound to find the best and ideal reel for yourself.

My Final Verdict:

The reel you buy must match the rod you will be using because rood reel coordination allows you to fish without issues. For example, if you have a light-weight rod, you should have a medium-weighted reel, and for a heavy rod, you should have a heavy reel.

You must have found your favorite reel among the reels that we reviewed but, I think the best reel among all the reels is Shimano ST4000XGFL Stradic because it is a fantastic reel. It is true that it is more expensive than other reels on our list.

But, it is also true that this reel’s features are worth all the money. The reel is super-smooth, and its drag is super impressive. In addition, it provides powerful performance, which gives you the confidence to catch any fish you want. 

I suggest that you give this reel a chance and buy it for your fishing excursions.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – What is the best fishing reel for the money?

The best fishing reel in money is undoubtedly Penn Pursuit III & Pursuit IV. Both these reels are not only perfect if you are looking for an affordable option but are also perfect in terms of performance and quality.

These reels will help you in catching the biggest fish easily and skillfully.

#2 – What are the best fishing reels?

In my opinion, the best is the Shimano ST4000XGFL Stradic. Of course, you might like some other reel based on your preferences and requirements. But, I love this reel because of its fantastic quality, strength, and super-smooth performance. 

#3 – What is the best cheap fishing reel?

As we discussed above, the best cheap and affordable fishing reel is Penn Pursuit III & Pursuit IV. They are like an upgrade from your usual fishing reel.

These reels are a worthy choice for every angler out there who is on a budget. The reels have good drag and provide impeccable performance even at low prices.

#4 – What’s the best freshwater fishing reel?

Usually, the spincast reels are ideal for freshwater fishing. But, Shimano ST4000XGFL Stradic is also a fantastic reel for freshwater fishing. This reel is perfect for almost all situations and helps you get your hands on the best freshwater species ever.

#5 – What is the best all-around reel?

The Okuma Ceymar C-30 is o the best fishing reel (all-rounder) available in the market. These reels are built on great features, operations, and constructions among all the reels that we reviewed.

The smooth operation of this reel means that you can use it will any fishing line and fish in any situation to catch any fish. You can fight even the most aggressive fish with this reel.

#6 – Are Penn Reels salt waterproof?

Yes, Penn reels are saltwater proof. They are made up of aluminum and are completely sealed with IPX6. As a result, they are protected from corrosion and girt penetration.

The reels also have a CNC gear technology with nine stainless steel ball bearings which provides smoothness and power while fishing.

#7 – How do you match a reel to a rod?

Any rod can’t be paired with any reel. Rods and reels are not universal. For example, you can’t put a heavy saltwater reel on a 6 wt. Bamboo rod. The reel should have a corresponding weight to the rod to work perfectly during fishing.

The rod and reel should also be paired with similar categories, e.g., a spinning reel should be paired with a spinning rod, and a baitcaster reel should be paired with a baitcasting rod and vice versa. 

Your Author

  • Since 2009 I've been writing on different media portals about fishing. Here on this website, it's time to share those experiences I've witnessed in my entire life so far. Let me help you get the best stuff you need while fishing.

Leave a Comment