Best Fishing Reels Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Outdoor sports is nothing new in human history. Whether it be hiking around, touring what Mother Nature has to offer or even hunting to capture enough game to feed someone’s family – these sports have been around for thousands of years. However, there is one sport in particular that has captured the attention of thousands, if not millions, of people around the world today. The industry today is easily worth billions of dollars, and its professional league is incredibly cool. If you haven’t guessed yet, we are talking about fishing.
- KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax
- Piscifun Fishing Line Wonder
- Crafty and Durable
- Penn Battle II Spinning
- Fluid Cranking
Now, fishing is not what it use to be. Hundreds of years ago, fisherman and fisherwoman had it hard. They did not have the technology and advancements that we fish gurus have today. There is one particular invention that completely transformed the way human beings hunt and capture fish: the fishing reel. Sometimes, the fisherman takes these handy pieces of innovation for granted. Today, we are here to show a little appreciation to fishing reels as we offer our in-depth research and insight into the best in the class of fishing reels in 2018. So, if you are looking for a new fishing reel or want to appreciate your fishing experiences in a new way, consider one of these award-worthy products.
10 Best Fishing Reels
1. KastKing Royale
It goes without saying that a fishing reel needs to have many different quality elements that make it a one of a kind powerful performance machine. We can say that this fishing reel has many different wonderful performance benefits that users will enjoy. One of those benefits is that it has a low-profile design that is not bulky and easy to use. The design allows individuals to enjoy casting all day long without the heavy bulkiness that many fishing reels have.
For Novice and Professionals
One of the great benefits of this particular fishing reel is that it is designed with ease of use for the novice individual and professional mechanism for the more advanced fisherman reading this. The design itself has a dual-brake system. Essentially, an individual can stop casting comfortably without jolt or getting stuck. The dual brake system is reliable and has a centrifugal and magnetic brake design that allows for magnificent casting control.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration for this particular fishing reel, it is the design element and quality manufacturing that makes it a one of a kind fishing reel. Users can expect a quality fishing reel that made from a trusted brand. In fact, this manufacturer has 4.5+ stars and close to 1,200 reviews. With that in mind, the reel can be chosen in both left-hand crank and right-hand crank depending on an individual's needs. For the price, we consider it a quality fishing reel that will withstand the test of time.
- Quality fishing reel from a trusted company with plenty of positive reviews.
- The dynamic design includes a two-color anodized spool that is aluminum forged and multi-ported.
- The design quality is superb and users should expect it to last a while.
- Smooth casting and return allow for maximum handling during fishing.
- Users will never have to worry about quality.
- Priced effectively.
- Users have mentioned that to clean the reel they cannot fully disassemble all the pieces.
2. Piscifun Fishing Line Wonder
Spooling a fishing line by yourself when starting it can be a difficult thing to do. With that, this is one of the easiest methods for individuals to be able to do that when out and about fishing alone. With a lightweight design, the individual can expect to easily be able to spool their fishing line with a reel. With that, it is compact and easy to store.
Durable Crafty Tool
This particular piece of craftsmanship, although not an actual fishing reel, it is part of the family that makes an ideal fishing pole. With that, users can expect a quality design that is known from this manufacturer. What users should expect is a quality fishing tool that easily connects to a fishing reel. With this in mind, it comes in handy for users that want a great and easy fishing experience.
Cost And Value
As far as cost and value, this is one handy tool that comes in handy for individuals that want to easily spool their fishing rod. With that said, this manufacturer is known for quality products that can withstand the test of time and this one is no different. We recommend for users to check out a couple of the fishing reels on the list and see if it works in tangent with this fishing spool tool. Talking about cost, users should expect to pay about the same price as a well-priced fishing reel.
- High-quality fishing spooler tool that helps individuals easily attach a reel.
- The line winder works great and is easy to use.
- Quality built product.
- Does not come with the reel.
3. Penn Battle II
What makes a wonderful fishing reel an expert machine is the materials that go into the creation process. With that, we can say that this fishing reel is designed for expert fisherman and the like. The materials involved in the design and creation process include a full metal body that can withstand wear and tear alongside a side plate and heavy-duty bail wire made out of aluminum. With that, this particular reel is designed for durability and longevity.
The Cranking Mechanism
Another part of a fishing reel that needs to be designed properly, otherwise it can severely hurt the chances of an individual catching the best fish or winning the big game is the crank. With that, they focused on developing a cranking mechanism that was fluid and includes a five-sealed stainless steel ball bearing. Other than that, the crank style also includes an anti-reverse bearing. This crank can easily be named one of the best and individuals will appreciate the quality design and smooth functionality of this particular fishing reel because of it.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration, this is now the first fishing reel on the list that is in fact, the priciest. With that, the saying that the more expensive an item is, the better, is true for this particular reel. In fact, this reel is designed for big game fish and individuals will appreciate the ease of use of the reel. Every piece is sturdy, the spool requires no backing and is easy to insert the line, and users will appreciate the quality design. With that said, this brand offers many different styles so interested individuals should keep their eyes open!
- Quality and durable high range reel best suited for professionals.
- A saltwater reel that will not rust easily.
- Smooth cranking and reel design that will not jam.
- Fiber drag design system allows for a powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness.
- Many different choices to choose from.
- Novice fisherman may consider this a pricey product
4. Abu Garcia BMAX3
One incredibly important design element that even more novice fishing reels need to have is a properly design braking system. Without that individuals will not be able to thoroughly cast and reel. Therefore, this particular manufacturer uses the MagTrax brake system, a specifically formulated braking system that delivers magnificent castability and accommodates a different variety of lures. With this, users can feel proud and excited every time they cast with the belief that if they catch the big one, they can reel it in easily.
Ergonomic Grip Design
Now, another incredibly important design element of a proper casting reel is the grip. Without a proper grip, an individual may not be able to reel in the fish properly. Well, this manufacturer created the grip to have a compact bent handle that includes a recessed reel foot that allows for a better grip experience. This type of design allows individuals to get a better handle on the reel and not let go of it, in the case that the fish they are reeling is putting up a fish.
Cost And Value
Let’s talk about cost and value for this particular fishing reel. This reel will run an individual about half the price of the last reel and it is designed for more novice individuals. With that said, novice individuals will trust the quality of the reel without worry that it may break, snap, or not reel properly. With a smooth design and easy to bring back reel system, we can say this is one of the best for fisherman starting out. We highly recommend it!
- Low profile reel design will deliver optimum and great performance.
- Durable graphite construction is great for protection without the added weight.
- The brake system is powerful and durable.
- The Power Disk design system is smooth and reliable for no drag.
- The compact handle is perfect for individuals starting out or teenagers.
- Different color choices to choose from.
- Users have mentioned the drag reel, if not cleaned properly can get stuck.
5. Okuma Ceymar
One of the best elements of this particular fishing reel includes the materials that were used in creating this one of a kind fishing reel. In fact, users should expect a durable fishing reel that can easily withstand the test of time. With that in mind, this fishing reel is made of a precision machine cut design that includes machined aluminum. With that, the reel is meant to be extremely durable and depending on the size and weight style chosen, individuals can expect it to handle 15-pound monofilament lines.
Great For Saltwater Fishing
It goes without saying that saltwater can be deadly to different materials. Without the proper coating, saltwater can corrode metal very quickly. Well, that is not a worry here because this particular fishing reel is formulated and designed for saltwater fishing. Most importantly, individuals can catch striped bass, snook, and shallow water fish. With that said, this fishing reel can hold 240-yards of line and individuals will fish this reel with even a 30-pound braided line.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration, one of the most important aspects of this fishing reel is that it works effectively when needed. Users should not be fearful that it will jam or crank improperly. With that said, we believe that this is the perfect well-priced fishing reel for novice and professionals that fish occasionally. With many different style options and weight choices to choose from, individuals should expect a quality fishing reel that is intended for long-term use.
- Quality fishing reel with a multi-disc drag system.
- A quick-set anti-reverse design is great to ensure smooth functionality.
- High-quality design that we have come to know from this manufacturer.
- Corrosion-resistant design and body materials.
- 1-year limited warranty.
- Warranty does not cover certain defects or accidents.
6. Zebco 33 Authentic
This particular fishing reel has a very simple design that is common with most fishing reels. It does not have all of the bells and whistles of other fishing reels but it still is effective enough. The casting is easy and durable and the reel is easy to drag back and will not get jammed easily. With that, users should expect to get a quality fishing experience from this reel and learn easily and effectively the best way to cast and reverse.
Unlike many other fishing reels of today that are designed for professional use and include many other features that can cause it to be heavier, this particular fishing reel has a lightweight design that sits perfectly for kids learning how to fish. With that in mind, the reel has a great construction quality that is durable and can handle wear and tear, falls, and scratches. More so, the compact design is easy to store, put together, and take apart.
Cost And Value
As we talk about cost and value for this particular fishing reel, we have to keep in mind that is practically has no bells and whistles. It is not specifically made with any durable coating or other technology to make it a more professional reel. Therefore, this fishing reel is designed for ease of use and effectiveness. The reel is best for novice anglers that want to learn how to cast, how to fish, how to reel, and everything in between.
- Good quality starter reel.
- This reel is durable and includes an easy to user-reversible handle.
- This is a perfect lake fishing rod.
- This fishing reel is designed for light use.
- Inexpensive fishing reel.
- Not a professional fishing reel.
- Not for ocean fishing.
7. Shimano STRADIC FX
The design of this particular fishing reel is one of the best in the industry. It includes different design elements that make it an easy to use and incredibly smooth premier reel. The casting is superb thanks to a Propulsion Line Management System that ensures better casting distance and avoids wind knots and accidental backlashes. With that, the design also includes an anti-reverse mechanism that uses a one-way roller bearing design that removes back-play.
Manufacturing Process and Extensive Testing
Creating a one of a kind quality product, a brand such as this focuses on the design and manufacturing process that also goes over extensive testing and research. With that, this brand has created some of the best body parts and design elements such as Grooved Power Roller II that keeps the line wrapped properly to diminish any possible twisting or looping. This manufacturer has also prepared other different features that ensure quality of mind for an individual when fishing.
Cost And Value
As we talk about the crème de la crème, an individual may think this will cost one Benjamin or so. Actually, if you are new to the fishing industry, you will discover that there can be certain pieces of equipment that can cost hundreds, this is one of them. This one can set an individual back almost 10x’s another fishing reel. With that in mind, the quality of this fishing reel is unprecedented and users should expect life-time use out of this reel.
- Quality designed fishing reel that is perfect for professionals.
- Many quality features that one would expect from a fishing reel at this price.
- Users have mentioned that this reel never jams.
- Easy to clean.
- Does not rust.
- Aluminum spool for better durability.
- This fishing reel can be considered incredibly pricey.
8. Pflueger Supreme XT
Although not as much as the last reel, users can expect the same quality design that they have come to know from professional fishing reels. For example, this particular fishing reel includes a SMART Retrieve Technology design that ensures smooth operation so the line does not get stuck or have lag when retrieving. With that said, the manufacturer put an emphasis on designing a powerful drag that remains smooth by included a sealed carbon washer exert.
Lightweight and Simple To Use
When it comes to a fishing reel the last thing an individual wants is to have a fishing reel that is complicated to set up and incredibly heavy. With that, this manufacturer focused on a fishing real that is made with a magnesium frame for a feather-light design that was smooth and easy to hold. With that said, this fishing reel had a smooth and reliable performance that allows individuals to use it effortlessly.
Cost And Value
As far as cost and value, an individual can expect for this particular fishing reel to be fairly priced around the low end of the last one on this list. However, the price is only a reflection of the quality that a user should expect from this fishing reel. What we can say is that as a gift, this may be one of the best fishing reels and the design is expertly created to resemble a very modern and easy to use fishing reel. Users will appreciate the smooth design and the ease of use.
- A quality fishing reel that is easy to use.
- The braid-ready spool is easy to use.
- Rust free design that is perfect for everyday use.
- Slow oscillating gear and a lightweight handle design.
- Perfect as a gift.
- Users may consider this fishing reel a bit expensive.
9. Daiwa Revros
One of the best benefits of this particular fishing reel is the lightweight body design. This fishing reel, in particular, includes a body design that is easy to carry, compact, and does not obstruct when in place or in use. More so, the design can withstand the test of time and does not rust or break easily. The ABS Aluminum spool is designed for high endurance and effective use.
The Body Style
The body style of this particular reel is made of a composite body, body cover, and rotor that can withstand the test of time and is very durable. With that said, users will appreciate the high-quality design of this spinning reel and will appreciate the quality that went in the design process. The body has been tested rigorously and users highly tout it for its durability. With that said, users have mentioned there is no wobble, no lie twist, and better yet, no noise when reeling.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration for this particular fishing reel, we cannot help but share that the quality of this fishing reel is really great and users highly tout it for its ease of use. Users can expect a quality fishing reel that can withstand the test of time and most importantly, handle any fish. With that said, this reel is about standard price for a great fishing reel of today.
- A high-quality fishing reel that is priced accordingly.
- No wobble, shake, and the line does not get caught.
- Smooth reeling design and technology,
- A trusted brand with plenty of years of experience.
- Users tout the smoothness of the reel.
- Users have mentioned that the drag is inconsistent.
10. Sougayilang Baitcasting
When it comes to fishing reels, this manufacturer understands that the purpose is to have a great cast that does not get caught when reeling in and ensures that a user can reel in their catch of the day properly. With that, this manufacturer has created different important design elements such as a magnetic brake system, a one-way clutch design, and a body design that can withstand almost any big fish. With that in mind, users can expect a quality reeling experience.
The Handle Knobs
Now, this is a new area of focus that we have not covered. This brand understands that the handle knobs of a fishing reel are as equally important as the fishing reel itself. The reason being is that the handle knobs is what ensures an individual can reel properly. With that in mind, this manufacturer created the handle knobs out of rubber cork for a durable and soft-touch experience that ensures great grip and no slip when reeling in. With that in mind, an individual can still hold it tightly even when the knobs are wet.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration, we can say that this is one of the best entry-level low-use fishing reels out there. Users will appreciate the quality design that makes this brand one of the best. More so, it is the attention to detail that has made this fishing reel a fan favorite. Everything from the ceramic insert to the smooth and durable brass gear design, this fishing reel is ideal for individuals starting out or the casual angler that wants to enjoy a day out on the sea.
- No slip design so individuals get a better grip.
- Durable materials that ensure a better fishing experience.
- Graphite body that is easy to clean and easy to put together.
- Quality brand with years of experience.
- Corrosion resistant ball bearings.
- Users have mentioned that they’ve had brake issues.
When it comes to the history of fishing, there are certain innovations that have transformed the way that anglers find and capture their fish. From the development of fiberglass rods to the introduction of innovative fishing reels – we are living in a time and age when fishing has never been easier. This doesn’t even begin to mention the introduction of fishing gps and fish finders. With that being said, our goal with this article comes into two different routes. For one, our goal was to hopefully inspire anglers to have a new appreciation for the fishing methods and innovation that we have available.
Additionally, we wanted to provide our reader base with a wealth of information and tips on the absolute best fishing reels to hopefully make their fishing season an even more effective one. Each product that you learned about today was thorough research and evaluated prior to even being considered for our list. Below, we will share more details with you regarding this process. Before we jump into that, we do have a question for you:
What fishing reel matched your style?
Criteria Used to Evaluate Fishing Reels
Now that we are here, we are very excited to segment into our next topic. Now, prior to jumping into this buying guide, we needed to prepare yourself for the topic, which was fishing reels. In this, we already knew that the fishing industry was incredibly saturated with products. I mean, have you ever visited a local sports store? It seems as if half the store is dedicated to fishing gear and equipment. With that being said, we were fully prepared for the fact that we might have dozens upon dozens of products to pick from. In this, we saw why many consumers might be intimidated from wanting to perform thorough research – it could take hours upon hours. Well, for any fisherman reading this article, this is why we’re are here.
Prior to conducting any formal research, we sat down and began to create a list of the most important criteria that would be utilized to measure and evaluate each product for consideration. By using this criterion, we were able to highlight the very best products for your consideration today. We highly suggest that, whether it’s fishing reels or not, through taking the time to evaluate each product like we did, you can ensure that whatever your buying is worth it.
So, if you want to learn more about how we selected each fishing reel, keep on reading!
When it comes to picking out the best fishing, the most important piece of criteria is the build quality. The truth is, if you are not careful, you can find yourself purchasing an all plastic fishing reel and, you don’t want that. I mean, have you ever purchased a reel and, after casting one into the water, all the sudden you notice the entire reel shuts down? Perhaps the line gets all tangled or, the moment you hook a lunker, the reel snaps in half. Whatever the case may be, this is all the result of a cheap and poorly built fishing reel. With that being said, we carefully selected all of these products today based off of higher-quality builds and constructions. Now, to assess this, we carefully scanned each product and ensured that it was made from the best materials. Evidently, the best fishing reels are made from higher-end, resistant materials, including graphite, or even higher-grades of aluminium. Additionally, we also consulted with previous fishing customers to see what their thoughts were regarding the quality and build of the reel.
The last thing any fisherman wants is to purchase a reel that, after a few casts, it breaks. Durability is probably the second most important aspect that we all must take into consideration. Now, after our personal experiences with “less-than-decent” fishing reels, we made it our goal to find only the most durable products out there. To do this, we need to carefully read each product and do some external research. It was not enough for us to just believe a company’s claim regarding its longevity. Now, like the previous point, we also took the time to look at customer reviews to see if anyone complained about their product breaking. If that was the case, it was eliminated from contention.
Usability and Difficulty
Now, a fishing reel is a fishing reel, right? Well, we wanted to think that before starting to write this buying guide; however, most professionals can attest that every single reel is different, ranging in both usability and difficult. In other words, each reel is created for specific uses can across a wide spectrum of fishing activities, whether saltwater, freshwater, lake fishing, or even stream fishing. In this, each reel also offers varying degrees of difficulty. Now, we know that our readers are not looking for an extensive reel that requires a manual in order to learn how to use it. So, when we were picking out the best products for your consideration, we really focused on products that could be used in any fishing environment while also boasting an easy-to-use system.
Cost and Value
In our opinion, when it comes to picking out the best fishing reels, one of the best indicators of a quality product can be discovered from studying the cost and value. Now, out of the many different criteria, this is the most time consuming, which is probably why many people tend to avoid it. What we did for this buying guide is scan the entire market for reels. In this, we took notes of all the different price points, including the most expensive, the cheapest, and what seemed to be the middle ground among the competition. Whether it’s fishing, hiking, camping, or even sunglasses for that matter – their tactic always works. From here, you evaluate each product, which is precisely what we did. We scanned each product and measured its value as far as what it offers consumers. In this, we were able to draw conclusions about what reel offered the most value to the fisherman, given its price point.
Grip and Comfort
As you might have already accumulated, there were many different aspects that we utilized to find the best products for you. In this, we know that, whether fishing on a canoe or boat, sometimes, it can get a bit rocky. Partner this with a large fish on the other end of the string and it’s important that your reel has a great comforting grip. Now, for us, what we did was looked at many different images of the fishing reel and studied what the manufacturer said on how the grip was made. We wanted to know the style and design of the grip, alongside the materials used and how comfortable it might be. Now, to judge the comfortability, we needed to take the extra step and look at more customer reviews to learn more about individual experiences with the reel. What we can say is that each product on our list has established their reputations on quality materials and a comfortable fishing experience.
Size and Weight
Okay, have you ever gone fishing with a pole that had a heavier reel? It is probably the most uncomfortable part of fishing – if standing for hours upon hours is not bothersome. The reason being, it becomes more of a burden to hold the rod, rather than finding the enjoyment in it. With that being said, we carefully picked out each product based on its size and weight. We wanted to ensure that each product was relatively lightweight, and made from lighter materials to promote a greater fishing experience. Now, this was easy for us. All we needed to do was consult the product specifications of the reel. In this, we compared it with what consumers mentioned in their reviews. Typically, this is one of the first aspects that fisherman would highlight.
Design and Appeal
As much as consumers might not want to admit it, the design and appeal of a fishing reel are important. In our opinion, it does not hold equal value to that of the quality of the build and the durability; however, it can be a decision maker. With that being said, when we were picking out each product for our list, we really tried to highlight products that were visually appealing, slick, and modern.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you know if a fishing reel is designed for fresh or saltwater?
A: This is a great question. The truth is, not every single fishing reel is designed for the freshwater – and others are not designed for saltwater. With that being said, it’s our responsibility as consumers to know. Now, typically most manufacturers will share what type of environment their gear was designed for. So, start off by looking at the product description. You can even do a little research and study what market the company designs products for. Additionally, consult with previous customer reviews. Since this is probably the single most common question, you are bound to find a direct answer there regarding a specific product. Regardless, if you do decide to purchase a reel that is for both salt and freshwater, be sure to properly clean it after each use.
Q: Should you clean your fishing reel?
A: Yes! Yes! Yes! This is an understatement. Many fishermen do not realize the importance of cleaning their fishing reel after using it. The reason being, when you fish, water will splash up, including a wealth of bacterias and germs. These little pests can actually do incredible damage to your reel, preventing from operating properly. Have you ever had a reel that made funky noises after months of using it? Chances are, that’s the build-up of bacteria and other germs.
Q: Do fishing reels come with fishing line?
A: Traditionally, fishing reels do not come with fishing line. Now, that is not to say that you might not find a deal or a combination where a manufacturer will give you some fishing line with a purchase of their reel. However, in our research and experience, this is a rare feature.
Q: How can a consumer ensure they get a right or left-handed fishing reel?
A: When you are purchasing a fishing reel, it’s important that you pay close attention to the specifics mentioned in the product description. Here, manufacturers will share the details as to whether or not the product is for left-handed or right-hander fisherman. Now, if you notice that a product is initially made for left-handed fisherman and that’s not you, have no fear. Typically, in these situations, the manufacturer makes another version specifically for you. This may be found on the same page, or information can be found there. Should you have any uncertainty, consult with customers in their reviews or contact the manufacturer directly.