Best Fishing Reels in 2020

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see our affiliate disclaimer here.

If you’re a fisherman who utilizes a fishing rod, choosing the best fishing reels will enhance your performance. High-quality fishing reels help increase the chances of getting a good catch. However, getting a good reel is a task that’s easier said than done. This is because there are many different fishing reel brands on the market and they all offer different features, build quality, and specs.

In this review, we’ll be taking a look at reels from brands that have been around for a while. These brands have built a solid consumer base by offering high-quality products, excellent guarantees, and great customer support. They’ve garnered positive reviews from many customers over the years so you can put your trust in their products as they really know what they’re doing. We’ve also added a guide below to help you note the important factors to look out for when choosing a fishing reel. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Check out our review on Best fishing sunglasses

10 Best Fishing Reels

SHIMANO STRADIC HG, Spinning Fishing Reel

SHIMANO STRADIC HG, Spinning Fishing ReelHotRate Editors Choice

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE   →

If you're a bike owner, there's a good chance you've heard about Shimano. The brand is one of the best when it comes to bicycle accessories. Their products are known to be durable and well-built. The Shimano Stradic HG is no different. This is a spinning fishing reel that is so easy to use and comes with a premium build quality. It is great for both professional and amateur fishermen.

Designed with an Hagane body and gear, this reel is one of the most durable spinning reels on the market. While most spinning reels tend to be cheaper than their baitcasting counterparts, the Stradic costs over a hundred dollars so you know it's meant for serious fishing business. The Hagane material provides it with toughness and durability, while its Fludrive II and Dyna balance rotor provide it with great retrieval and smooth casting. With this spinning reel, your fishing experience is bound to only get better.

What We Like
  • Tough and durable
  • High-quality build
  • Great for saltwater and freshwater fishing
  • Consistent and smooth casting and retrieval
  • It's expensive
Features
Gear Ratio6Bearings6 + 1 stainless steel Weight7 ounces Maximum Drag7 pounds

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE   →

Daiwa is a manufacturer that's been around since the mid-nineties. Although they aren't quite popular, they've been consistently churning out reliable hardware. The Daiwa BG Spinning Reel is one of the best fishing reels you can take with you on your fishing trip. It comes in multiple sizes, ranging from 1500-1800. Therefore, you need to ensure that you know what you are looking for before deciding to go with one of these reels.

The Daiwa BG Spinning Reel is encased in a black, anodized aluminum body, which makes for better durability and reliability. Its body also enhances the stability of the internal parts, and since it can neither corrode nor be scratched, you get to enjoy your reel for a long time. The internals include an Air rotor, which weighs 15% less than normal rotors, and an ABS spool that reduces friction and ensures that no dead line is buried in the core. Its seven-bearing system and Carbon ATD help ensure precise performance.

What We Like
  • Perfect for saltwater fishing
  • Retrieval and casting is smooth
  • Provides great craking powerScratch-resistant and easy to use
  • Scratch-resistant and easy to use
  • Quality doesn't seem to be consistent
Features
Gear Ratio5Bearings6 + 1 stainless steel Weight8.5 ounces Maximum Drag15.4 pounds

Penn Squall Level Wind

Penn Squall Level Wind

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE   →

If you're familiar with the Penn GT series, we guarantee that you're going to fall in love with the Penn Squall Level Wind Series. This model is the GT's successor and is considered to be one of the best trolling reels just like the GT series before it. For those who don't know, trolling reels are built to be used on moving boats. They allow you to reel in big fishes while on the move, and the Penn Squall Level Wind is one reel that's efficient in this space.

Having a total weight capacity of 30 pounds and being able to handle a 370-yard fishing line, this 4:9:1 gear ratio reel allows you to widen your scope for big fishes in saltwater conditions. While the main hardware of this fishing reel is made from alloy, its side plates and frame are built from graphite so as to make it lightweight. Once you have it in your hands, you'll immediately notice how good the quality is. While it may seem a little expensive at its over the $130 price point, there's no denying the fact that you're getting value for money here.

What We Like
  • High-quality materials and construction
  • One of the best trolling reels
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Great for saltwater conditions
  • Heavier than bait caster reels in the same category
Features
Gear Ratio4Bearings2 + 1 shielded stainless steel Weight1.9 pounds Maximum Drag30 pounds

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE   →

The Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel is another comprehensive reel you want to check out. Unlike the first few options on our list, this fishing reel sits in the $40 price range. It is lightweight and ideal for fishing sunfish, bluegill, trout, small perch, and many other small fishes. Note that there are many models in the Ceymar series and we're talking about the C-10 in this series.

Endowed with a max drag of just 4 pounds, you can easily pair this fishing reel with a lightweight fishing rod so as to achieve its maximum potential. You'll be able to set up a rig that won't overpower your catch. The C-10 is encased in a corrosion-resistant body, which makes it perfect for freshwater and saltwater fishing. However, given its small size and capacity, its best to use it for a freshwater battle instead. It features an aluminum spool, an elliptical gearing setup, as well as an impressive 8-bearing drive system, all of which come together to provide you with great performance.

What We Like
  • Smooth spinning reel
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and comes in a great build quality
  • Perfect for beginners and intermediate fishermen who are looking to hunt small fishes
  • Not great on durability
Features
Gear Ratio5Bearings7 + 1 Weight8 ounces Maximum Drag4 pounds

Pflueger President Spincast Fishing Reel

Pflueger President Spincast Fishing Reel

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE   →

In the world of spincast fishing reels, the Pflueger President Spincast Fishing Reel is one of the best you can work with. A lot of people don't pay attention to spincast reels as they are often considered to be for kids. However, advancements in technology have seen reels in this category become serious gear for even the most serious fishermen. The Pflueger President is a spincast reel with a heavy-duty build. Using it is very easy and unlike many other spincast reels, this one is quite durable thanks to its dual titanium pins and aluminum frame.

This model comes with a 3:8:1 gear ratio, which simply implies that while it may be faster than many other small reels, it isn't the best in the speed department. That, however, doesn't mean it's slow as its retrieval is pretty quiet and smooth. It weighs a little over 13 ounces and its soft-grip rubber knob makes reeling it in nice and comfortable. This reel is another great option for kids and beginners. While it features a heavy-duty build, we recommend that it isn't used for big games.

What We Like
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and well built
  • One of the best reels for kids and beginners
  • Spool applied drag system
  • Speed isn't the best and it can't be used for big games
Features
Gear Ratio3Bearings5 Weight13.1 ounces Maximum Drag10 pounds

Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel – B011LUZRW8

Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel – B011LUZRW8

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE   →

Talk about sophistication and efficiency in spinning reels and you'll be talking about the Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel. From the build quality to the internals and body, this reel reeks of premium. It comes with many different features that have made anglers fall in love with it. This reel is designed with 9 steel roller bearings that help provide increased corrosion protection. Additionally, it features the Amgearing System, which allows for enhanced durability and smoothness.

The real standout feature of the Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel is its computer-optimized design. This allows for a better and more efficient system. Its Carbon Matrix Hybrid Drag System provides a smooth and reliable drag performance, while the IM-C6 body helps reduce the overall weight of the reel. Combining all of these with a 6:2:1 gear ratio, you'll be enjoying a reliable and smooth operation as well as versatile castability at a great value.

What We Like
  • Solid build as it features a combination of aluminum, carbon, and graphite body
  • Great balance between weight and durability
  • Computerized machining of internals and gears
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Expensive
Features
Gear Ratio6Bearing8 + 1 Weight7.2 ounces Maximum Drag17 pounds

Lew’s Fishing Mach Casting Reel

Lew’s Fishing Mach Casting Reel

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE   →

The Lew's Fishing Mach Casting Reel is a 10-bearing baitcasting reel. It comes in a low-profile design that's light and small but still provides that performance you're looking for. Sitting in the $100 price range, this reel features a Rulon drag system that supplies up to 10 pounds of drag power. And with its double-shielded stainless steel bearing system, you'll be getting an ultra-smooth operation out of this device. It comes in a graphite body and its frames are also made out of graphite. This allows it to be durable and strong yet lightweight. Its crankshaft and main gear are made out of solid brass so there's no questioning the durability you're getting here.

What We Like
  • Great for beginners
  • Lightweight and solid construction
  • Highly durable
  • Low-profile
  • Some users have complained of bad overruns
Features
Gear Ratio7Bearing9 + 1 Weight1 pound Maximum Drag10 pounds

KastKing Royale Baitcasting Fishing Reel

KastKing Royale Baitcasting Fishing Reel

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE   →

The KastKing Royale Baitcasting Fishing Reel is another affordable option that's worthy of being on the best fishing reels list. If you're a beginner and would like to have a product that provides you with comfort as well as the kind of ease and speed you need, this should be your top choice. It is a baitcasting reel that costs less than $40. And despite how cheap that is, you won't believe how good and amazing it works.

It features a super sleek design that's typically found on high-budget reels. Made out of premium materials, this reel features a stainless steel handle that's designed with non-slip foam so as to ensure that you never miss your catch. Its centrifugal is easy to fine-tune and its magnetic brake system allows for precise casting control. If you are not yet familiar with bait caster reels or you are tired of getting backlashes, this is one of the best reels to choose from.

What We Like
  • High-quality and affordable
  • Available for both ambidextrous and right-handed people
  • Support for high weight capacity
  • High speed and great retrieve
  • Ease of use isn't like what you'd get on spinning reels
Features
Gear Ratio7;0Bearing11 + 1 Weight7.7 ounces Maximum Drag17.5 pounds

Burning Shark Trolling Wind Reels

Burning Shark Trolling Wind Reels

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE   →

Looking for the best trolling reel for ocean fishing? The Burning Shark Trolling Wind Reels is one option you may want to get. This reel is a powerhouse that's designed to help you enjoy deep-sea fishing. Even if you target fishes like salmon, groupers, and sea bass, you'll still have more than enough power to spare. Its line capacity is 320 yards to 25 pounds and 430 yards to 20 pounds. This makes it an ideal real for deep-sea fishing.

Moving on to the construction, you're getting a decent build here. Made out of stainless steel and aluminum, you're getting a smooth fishing reel that's easy to handle. While it isn't one of the most populous or the most durable reels available, its high functionality makes it one of the top reels on the market.

What We Like
  • Affordable
  • Can be used to hunt big fish
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Great build quality
  • Not very durable
Features
Gear Ratio4Bearing6 + 1 stainless steel Weight1.7 pounds Maximum Drag40 pounds

FISHOAKY Fishing Rod Kit and Reel Combo

FISHOAKY Fishing Rod Kit and Reel Combo

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE   →

Are you looking for the best fishing rod kit? The FishOaky Fishing Rod Kit and Reel Combo is one option you want to check out. In this kit, you get a carbon fiber fishing rod, a fishing line, spinning fishing reel, fishing hooks, and different lure baits. It's simply an all-in-one kit that allows you to fish at a very convenient level.

The fishing rod is durable and lightweight thanks to its carbon fiber construction. It is shrinkable, which means that you don't have to worry about packing space. And thanks to its portability and lightness, you can pack the entire kit in your boat. backpack or car trunk without taking up too much space. This fishing kit is great for both saltwater and freshwater fishing.

What We Like
  • Lightweight and durable
  • An all-in-one package
  • Great for saltwater, inshore, and freshwater fishing
  • Lifetime customer support and 12 months of worry-free service.
  • Doesn't come with fishing tackle
Features
Gear Ratio5BearingUnavailable Weight11.2 ounces Maximum Drag110 pounds

Fishing Reels Guide Buyer’s Guide

Combining the best fishing reel with your fishing rod will only make your fishing experience a lot better. There are many different brands to choose from and this can make the choosing/buying process quite overwhelming. We don’t want you stressing yourself or reading tons of reviews online before being able to get the best fishing reels. That is why we’ve created a list of 10 best fishing reels on the market.

In this guide, we’ll be answering some of the questions you may have concerning fishing reels. We’ll also be letting you know the necessary factors to consider when choosing the ideal reel for your fishing expedition. Whether you’re looking to get a bait caster reel or the best spinning reels, our guide will provide you with enough information to help you make the right decision.

What Is The Best Brand Of Fishing Reel?

Many brands spring to mind when talking about the best fishing reel brands. The products on our list are designed and built by some of the top brands around. While some of them, like Penn, Shimano, and Lew’s are household names, others like Daiwa and Burning Shark aren’t as popular. However, going for top brands doesn’t always equate quality.

We believe that the best brand for you should boil down to your preference, budget, and features you’d like your reel to have. It’s important to note that most popular brands tend to come at a high cost, albeit good quality. Cheaper brands, on the other hand, tend to be low in quality or don’t have enough features. However, the products on our list are categorized as some of the best around so you can be sure to get good quality and great features.

What Makes A Good Fishing Reel?

Body Type and Housing

Most reels come in either aluminum or graphite housings. Aluminum tends to be heavier but is more rigid and is a great choice for freshwater fishing. However, it’s important to note that although aluminum won’t rust, it can still corrode and oxidize. So in order to use it for an extended period, you need to ensure that you take care of your reel every now and then. Graphite reels, on the other hand, are lighter and perfect for casual fishermen. They are also resistant to corrosion, unlike aluminum reels. However, they usually come with an increase in flex, which some people may not appreciate.

Size and Capacity

One important factor you need to put in mind is the type of fishing you’ll be doing. Each and every angler have their own way of baiting fish, their style of fishing, and their fish choices, depending on where they’ll be fishing. You need to consider the weight line of your reel before making a buying decision. The weight line you decide to work with will help determine how small or big your reel would be.

Drag Systems

Simply put, drag is the resistance felt on your line when a fish tries to escape with your bait. You don’t want to break your line when reeling in a big fish. Therefore, it’s important that you adjust the max drag as this will ensure that the force needed to reel the line in will be a little less than the “test” of the line.

There are mainly two types of drag applications on spinning reels -rear drag reels and front drag reels. Although both reel applications are alike, front drag reels are considered to be more durable and robust. Rear drag systems are also effective and would serve the purpose for most anglers. Also, they are quite easy to operate than front drag systems. So except you have a specific reason in mind, we recommend that you go for spinning reels with the rear drag systems.

Bearings

The bearing of your reel is one of its most important aspects. It contributes to how high in quality the reel is. Basically, the bearing of a reel is a ring designed with ball bearings. The ball bearings are usually made out of stainless steel, although you can now find reels with ceramic ball bearings. If you fish in saltwater conditions, we recommend that you choose a reel with ceramic bearings as they are more corrosive-resistant than stainless steel bearings. Also, note that the more bearings in a reel, the smoother and better its operation will be.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fisherman, there’s a perfect product on our list of 10 best fishing reels that’ll meet your demand. And to make things even better, they come in different budget ranges and are tailored to meet different fishing conditions. Some of our top recommendations include the Shimano Stradic HG, Abu Garcia Revo SX, Kastking Royale, and Lew’s Fishing Mach.

The reels on our list cater to beginners and experts alike. This means that even if you fish frequently or you’re just looking to test the waters, there is a reel in our review that will meet your demand. And just in case you’re unsure about what to look out for in the best fishing reels, our informative guide above can help you out.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.