The Best Spinning Reels 2018

The Best Spinning Reels 2018

Fishing reels are an important part of any fishing rod and finding the best one to suit your fishing needs may be a challenge. There are a variety of fishing reels available for you to choose from but we make it easier for you. We have compiled the top 10 best fishing spinning reels of 2018 based on customer feedback and reviews. Don’t get caught with a tangled line again!

What makes a good spinning reel

Many anglers always wonder what the difference is between spinning reels. In all honesty there is not really a lot of difference and there are many quality spinning reels available for very affordable prices. As a matter of fact, for ultra light to light action fishing (which are the sizes that offer the most “sport” to your fishing experience) it is probably not necessary to spend any more than $100 for a quality spinning reel.

Some manufactures that produce quality spinning reels would include: Daiwa, Pflueger, Penn, and Shimano.

The biggest single factor in picking out a good spinning reel is the amount of ball bearings that are in the drive mechanism (which is where the handle is turned). Generally the more ball bearings, the better. Why is this? Simply because the less ball bearings there are, the more “play” there is in the crank, and the less play there is, the better. I personally like having very little or no “play” in the handle of my spinning reel. To me, this play factor is the biggest single factor in a good spinning reel.

After this what you are looking for are mainly ascetics. After all, you want your reel to look good with the rod your using, right? Not only look good but fit properly. This is usually fairly simple. If you have an ultra light action rod, buy an ultra light reel, and if you have a light action rod buy a light action spinning reel. This information can be found in small print at the base of your fishing rod, in case you didn’t know.

Another consideration, that is again up to personal preference, is the location of the drag adjustment. The drag adjustment will be either on the spool or heel end of the spinning reel, and is a consideration. I prefer my drag adjustment be on the spool end, but again this is largely up to personal preference. My fishing buddy prefers his on the heel of his spinning reel.

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With these in mind, you will be able to find the right fishing reel for you so that you can enjoy every fishing experience. Every fisherman whether beginner or advanced should invest in a high quality spinning reel. Lets get started!

You can find the buyers guide and tips down below at the end of this article.

1. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

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The Penn Battle II spinning reel is our top pick on our list comprised of a full metal body, sideplate, rotor and a heavy-duty alluminum bail wire making this one of the best in its class.

Great for saltwater fishing especially gamefish that put up a good fight. The Carbon fiber drag system provides powerful drag without giving up on any smoothness.

There are 8 models in this series depending on the gear ratio and drag that you are looking for.

The ball bearings are made from stainless steel and sealed and provides fluid cranking. Also has an anti-reverse bearing that helps avoid any pull back when reeling in your catch.

Specifications: (4000 size)

  • Bearing count: 6
  • Max drag: 15 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1

Features:

  • Rugged, high-range fishing reel withstands tough saltwater conditions
  • Full metal construction offers exceptional durability and leverage
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag system delivers powerful, smooth drag
  • 5 stainless steel ball bearings and an anti-reverse bearing ensure fluid cranking
  • Suitable for use with Berkley or Spiderwire Superline

2. KastKing Sharky II Fishing Reel

KastKing Sharky II Spinning Reel
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The KastKing Sharky II spinning reel is our number 2 pick. This a very affordable spinning reel without compromising on quality and performance. This reel offers very smooth spinning with 10 + 1 corrosion resistant MaxiDur bearings, increased strength precision mesh brass gears, and stainless-steel shaft adds to this fishing reels super slick retrieve and toughness when battling big fish.

Perfect for freshwater fishing but if you are looking to do some saltwater fishing, then it is recommended to get the 6000 model. There are currently 8 models available with the KastKing Sharky II.

Specifications: (5000 size)

  • Bearing count: 11
  • Max drag: 28.5 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 5.2:1

Features:

  • 10 + 1 MaxiDur steel bearings
  • Instant stop anti-reverse
  • Up to 48.5 LBs of triple disc carbon fiber drag
  • Upgraded 30% stronger precision mesh brass gears
  • Stainless steel shaft
  • Lighter yet stronger large capacity machined aluminum spool
  • Sealed components resist water and dirt

3. Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB Spinning Reel

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB Spinning Reel
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One of the most expensive reels on our top 10 list is the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ spinning reel.  The Stradic Ci4+ features a newly developed Magnumlite rotor, which gives the feeling of lightness in-hand when retrieving lures all day.

This is one of the lightest spinning reels that uses carbon materials and maintains good rigidness that refines the anglers experience. If you want to fully enhance your fishing experience and budget is not a problem, then this may be your spinning reel.

Hagane gear produced by cold forging process enhances durability and strength of the reels main gear. Core protect prevents water from getting into the body cavities making it more durable.

Specifications: (2500 size)

  • Bearing count: 7
  • Max drag: 24 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 5.0:1

Features:

  • High crank power rating
  • 31-39 inch retrieve range
  • Magnumlite rotor
  • High cast rating
  • Front drag

4. Pflueger President Spinning Reel

Pflueger President Spinning Reel
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The Pflueger President is a very well constructed and affordable spinning reel. If you looking for a spinning reel with good performance but won’t break your wallet, then this is the ideal reel for you.

These reels are smooth as glass. You simply can’t beat the price you pay for the quality that is put into them. The drag is very smooth and consistent, and the 10 bearings it has give it a silky feel and really nice retrieve. It handles the braid really well, no problems with overlapping or hanging up on the roller bearing.

Specifications: (30 size)

  • Bearing count: 10
  • Max drag: 10 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 5.2:1

Features:

  • Corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings
  • Graphite Body and Rotor
  • Braid Ready Spool
  • Sealed Drag System
  • Slow Oscillation Gearing
  • Aluminum Handle
  • Soft Touch Knob
  • Aluminum Bail
  • 20 size reel is a 7 BB System

5. Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel
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We have another spinning reel by Penn as our number 5. These are more expensive but good bang for your buck as they are great for saltwater battles. The Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel packs considerable fish-stopping power and long-range castability into a durable, watertight design.

I would recommend this reel more for saltwater anglers. Very durable and strong with great performance that will last a long time. With smooth reeling and a HT-100 slammer drag system this reel will help you catch those tougher gamefish.

What is neat about this spinning reel is that anglers can use braided line without a monofilament backing.

Specifications: (SSV4500 size)

  • Bearing count: 6
  • Max drag: 25 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1

Features:

  • Powerful, durable spinning reel
  • Watertight design
  • HT-100 Slammer drag system delivers outstanding drag
  • Friction trip ramp for accurate, pinpoint casting
  • 5 Stainless steel ball bearings and an anti-reverse bearing ensure fluid cranking
  • Superline spool with convenient line capacity rings

6. Penn Slammer III Spinning Reels

Penn Slammer III Spinning Reels
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Another top quality reel from Penn built for heavy-duty fishing from either boat or shore and the preferred reel of charter captains all around the world. So if you fish larger fish then this is the reel for you. Although one of the most expensive in its class, it is worth every penny for the type of fishing.

Penn has updated their Slammer Drag System on this latest model that uses a proprietary dura-drag material. Full metal side plate and rotor. Can be used for both left and right handed anglers.

Specifications: (3500 size)

  • Bearing count: 8
  • Max drag: 30 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1

Features:

  • Full Metal Body, sideplate, and rotor
  • CNC Gear™ technology
  • IPX6 Sealed body and spool design
  • Sealed Slammer® drag system with Dura-Drag™
  • 6+1 stainless steel bearing system
  • Sizes 3500-5500 have automatic bail trip
  • Sizes 6500-10500 have manual bail trip

7. Daiwa BG Spinning Reels

Daiwa BG Spinning Reels
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Daiwa has produced a high-quality reel in the BG. These range from ultralight freshwater fishing reels to heavy-duty gamefishing that features Hardbodyz body and side cover.

With a solid screw-in handle, Air Rotor and Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool makes this spinning reel a very popular choice among anglers or all experience levels.

Specifications: (4500 size)

  • Bearing count: 7
  • Max drag: 22 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 5.6:1

Features:

  • Black Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing
  • Solid Screw-In Handle
  • Air Rotor
  • Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool
  • Braided Line Ready Spool,
  • Waterproof Drag System
  • Carbon ATD
  • Line Per Handle Turn: 43.1″
  • Manual Return Bail
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse System (4000 and Smaller)
  • Infinite Dual Anti-Reverse System (4500 and Larger)

8. Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel

Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel
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The Penn Fierce II Spinning reel is perfect for the casual hobbyist. If you are looking for a top quality reel for under $50, then this is the one for you. On the lower end in terms of price from Penn, this reel has been a popular choice among captains for their charters as well.

Some of my fishing buddies claim that their Fierce II has help up longer than their more expensive reels. The reel case is well sealed, with a removable handle for maintenance. The spool is drilled out to make the newer models lighter, and the bail wire is nice and thick with little or no flex (an improvement over the older Fierce models).

The drag is easily accessible and adjustable with the top dial. The drag is very strong and can be adjusted mid-fight with ease.

Specifications: (3000 size)

  • Bearing count: 5
  • Max drag: 10 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1

Features:

  • Full metal body and sideplate keep precise gear alignment under heavy loads
  • Techno-Balanced™ rotor gives smooth retrieves
  • 4+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings
  • Instant anti-reverse bearing
  • Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire
  • Superline spool
  • Line capacity rings

9. Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel

Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel
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Probably one of the most underrated spinning reels is the Okuma Ceymar. Based on its price you would think that it is a low quality spinning reel. On the contrary, the Okuma Ceymar compares to many $200+ spinning reels for its super smoothness and workmanship.

A rigid, machined aluminum spool creates a foundation of strength for monofilament and braided fishing lines. The heavy-duty solid aluminum bail wire and oversized line roller delivers confident performance over the long term. The rotor system features Okuma RESII computer balancing, so Ceymar spins even at high speed without developing an annoying wobble.

Specifications: (C-65 size)

  • Bearing count: 8
  • Max drag: 22 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 4.8:1

Features:

  • Powerful, multi-disc drag system
  • 7BB + 1RB for ultimate smoothness
  • Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing
  • Precision, machine cut brass pinion gear
  • Corrosion-resistant Blade Body Design
  • Machined aluminum spool, 2-tone
  • C-65 size includes Ergo Grip handle
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty

10. KastKing Centron Spinning Reels

KastKing Centron Spinning Fishing Powerful
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Rounding up our top 10 list of the best spinning reels for 2018 is one the cheapest. For under $50, you can get a top quality spinning reel that performs like the high end reels. Now I will not recommend this for any heavy-duty saltwater fishing as you will be fighting for nothing.

These reels are perfect for the casual angler and for beginners who are looking for top quality spinning reel that is just getting into the game. A fellow stand-up paddler swears by the KastKing Centron and has been using them for years.

I recommended this reel for shore fishing and freshwater fishing only as the casing is quite open and water can easily enter there.

This reel is available in 2 colors: Centron – Black and Summer – White.

Specifications: (Centron 5000 size)

  • Bearing count: 10
  • Max drag: 17.5 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 4.5:1

Features:

  • Two color anodized aluminum spool
  • Attractive brilliant finish
  • Lightweight compact design for effortless casting
  • High tensile strength graphite frame resists corrosion
  • Superior drag system for intensive drag power
  • Precision pinion gear system
  • Unique design handle. Right / Left interchangeable


Buyers Guide and Tips

In order for your spinning reel to last a long time, it is a good idea to maintain your spinning reel. Clean your reels at the start of every fishing season. Clean and grease your reels often will help keep your reel’s performance up and last much longer.

Pay attention to the number of ball bearings. The more ball bearings a reel has, the less play there is in the crank. Here are a couple things to note before buying a spinning reel.

Size

Your spinning reel should balance nicely with the type of fishing rod that you have otherwise you will be overworking when casting. Reels weighing 7 to 8 ounces are generally good for ultra-light rods. Reels weighing 10 to 11 ounces are generally good for medium to power rods. This is just a general guideline as everyone is different and have different feel for their rods.

Line capacity

If you are fishing for small catch, size is not really a factor. But if you are more of medium to heavy-duty angler then you will want to go for the reels with larger line capacity.

Drag

When fighting the bigger gamefish, the last thing that you will want is sticky drag. A good rule to keep in mind is a front drag is much smoother and more reliable than a rear drag.

Shape of Spool

For the best casting performance find a reel with long and wide spool. It is short and narrow, the line tends to come off with tight coils. Short and narrow spools creates more friction and will shorten your casting. With narrow spools you will be re-spooling more often and casting performance will suffer.

 

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