Best Spinning Reel Review and Buying Guide

Fishing is a great sport, pastime, hobby, and means of sustenance too. It’s one of the best things to do during any season of the year, whether hot or cold. After all, it’s fun, plus fish taste really good. With that being said, you need to have the right gear for every and any kind of fishing. The problems is of course that there are so many types of gear out there.

You need a rod, a reel, tackle, line, lures, and more, and within each of those categories, there are many subcategories. Today we are here to talk about fishing reels, or to be exact, the spinning reel. These are good reels for beginners to use; they usually don’t cost that much, and they can still provide you with some awesome results. This is why we are here to help you find the best spinning reel for your needs. We have 5 really great choices for you to consider.

Best Spinning Reel Reviews​​​​

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

​If you need a good spinning reel to haul in your catch, the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel is a great option to go with. It has a lot of line capacity, it’s smooth, easy to use, has a great drag system, and an even better retrieval rate. What is surprising is that it comes at as a low price as it does.

Product Highlights

The Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel has a great capacity for fishing line. When it comes to monofilament fishing line, it can hold 200 yards of 8 pound line, 165 yards of 10 pound line, and 120 yards of 12 pound line. In terms of braided line, this reel can hold 250 yards of 15 pound line, 180 yards of 20 pound line, and 130 yards of 30 pound line.

As you can see, this reel can hold a lot of fishing line, thus making it an effective choice for long distance fishing. We do like the super spool line because it does not need backing, plus it tells you how much line you have on the spool.

The Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel is a very durable option. At this time, it appears to be one of the most rugged and durable spinning reels on the market. It features a full-metal body and side plate too. Moreover, it has carbon fiber drag washers, a super spool line, and a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire. Even the ball bearings are made with high-quality stainless steel.

Although this particular spinning rod is not that expensive, it is made with tough materials that should last for a good while to come. What’s even more impressive is that everything here, including the ball bearings, are totally sealed, plus everything is made with saltwater-ready materials; you can use the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

The Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel is also a good choice to go with thanks to the HT-100 carbon fiber drag system. The drag system is always important because it stops fish from taking off with your line. At the same time, it also stops fish from breaking or snapping your line. It has a very high drag capacity and is designed to deal with even the biggest fish.

This spinning reel also has a great retrieve ratio. The gear ratio is a solid 6.2:1. This means that you can easily haul in over 30 inches of line with a single revolution of the handle. It’s great for finesse fishing and fast-action fishing techniques where you need to get the fish back to the boat quickly. In terms of the handle, it is also well designed and built, making the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel ergonomically friendly.

The Good

​There are many things that we really like about the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel. It’s a very well-built reel that’s not going to fall apart anytime soon. Moreover, it has a great retrieval rate for fast-action fishing, plus a big drag system so you can keep big fish under control with ease. It also features great line capacity and therefore makes for a good long-distance fishing rod, not to mention that it is ready to deal with saltwater too.

The Bad

​One bad thing about the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel is that it tends to get a little sticky and lock up on occasion. It does need to be washed out after being used in saltwater, and it needs maintenance and oiling fairly often.

​Pros

  • ​Good drag system
  • ​Great retrieval rate
  • ​High quality materials
  • Large line capacity
  • Ergonomically friendly
  • Can be used in saltwater

​Cons

  • ​Requires regular maintenance
  • ​May lock up on occasion
KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel

​If you are looking for an affordable spinning reel that won’t kill your monthly budget, the KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel is a very inexpensive option to consider. Although it does not cost very much, it does have some great features, such as the high-powered drag system, a fast retrieval rate, and a high line capacity, that are definitely worth mentioning.

Product Highlights

The KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel, for one, is a very lightweight spinning reel. It comes in at under 7 ounces, making it lightweight and easy to use for a long period of time without feeling fatigued. What is surprising is that although it is very lightweight, it is built with some really tough and solid materials.

It comes with a hardened metal main shaft, a perfect mesh drive gear, and a precision machined pinion gear, as well as a CNC machined anodized aluminum spool and stainless steel ball bearings. The fact that it is made with anodized aluminum helps make it saltwater ready, although the ball bearings are not sealed. On that same note, it comes with 9 + 1 ball bearings, which allows for a super smooth cast and smooth retrievals too.

The KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel comes with a high-powered drag system. The drag here can go up to 17.5 pounds, which is quite impressive. If a fish applies more than 17.5 pounds of opposing force, the spool will let out line so that the line does not snap. It’s a pretty high-powered drag system that can keep some pretty big fish in check.

The KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel also has a fairly good retrieval rate. The gear ratio on it is 5.2:1. In other words, it has the ability to reel in close to 20 inches of line for each turn of the handle. Although the retrieval rate is not as high as on the first reel we looked at, it’s still not bad and does allow for some pretty fast-action fishing and quick retrievals. On a side note, the KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel has an interchangeable handle, so it can be used by both left- and right-handed people.

In terms of the line capacity, the KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel can hold 240 yards of 4-pound braided line and 155 yards of 6 pound braided line. The line capacity is OK for such an inexpensive spinning reel, but not excellent, at least not when compared to more expensive models. All in all, this is a great, inexpensive, durable, and highly functional spinning reel, one that is more than ideal for beginners.

The Good

​The KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel does have many good aspects. For one, it has a pretty good retrieval rate and can reel in line fairly fast, plus the high ball bearing count allows for optimal smoothness. Moreover, this reel features a high-quality and high-capacity drag system to deal with some pretty big fish. It is made with very durable components, plus we can’t argue with the low price.

​The ​Bad

​One of the negatives about the KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel is that it is specially built to hold braided line, but it does not do so well with monofilament line. Moreover, although the line capacity is not horrible, it can’t hold enough to haul in really big fish or for fishing at a very long distance.

​Pros

  • ​Very good drag system
  • ​Pretty fast retrieval rate
  • ​Good anti-reverse system
  • High quality materials
  • Lots of ball bearings for smoothness
  • Lightweight and maneuverable

​Cons

  • ​Could hold a bit more line
  • ​Only made for braided line
  • ​Ball bearings are not sealed
Daiwa BG Spinning Reels

​If you need a really big, strong, and solid spinning reel, one with a lot of line capacity, a super high-powered drag system, and ultra-durable materials used in the construction, the Daiwa BG 8000 Spinning Reel is a great option to keep in mind. For all of the great features it has, although it is a bit pricey, it is surprising that it does not cost any more than it does.

Product Highlights

The Daiwa BG 8000 Spinning Reel is one of the most durable spinning reels on the market right now. It comes with a black anodized machined aluminum housing for durability. It also features a solid screw-in handle, a dynamic-cut aluminum ABS spool, and high-quality ball bearings. This spinning reel is built to last for a long time. It weighs close to 2 pounds, so it is not very lightweight. It’s probably the heaviest spinning reel on this list today, so the balance with your rod might be a bit off, plus it can cause you to fatigue pretty fast too.

With that being said, the Daiwa BG 8000 Spinning Reel does have some other great features. One of these is the fact that it comes with 6 BB + 1 RB. This means that it has 6 ball bearings in the spool for ultimate smoothness. This allows for really smooth and long distance casting, as well as for a really smooth and efficient retrieval, which is also thanks to the roller bearing in the handle.

The drag system and the ball bearings are both sealed, which is a big benefit because it means that they are highly resistant to corrosion, so the Daiwa BG 8000 Spinning Reel can be used in saltwater.

In terms of the drag system, the Daiwa BG 8000 Spinning Reel comes with a really high-powered system to hold onto some very large fish. The drag system on it maxes out at 33 pounds, which is higher than any other reel on this list, more than twice as much in fact. This means that this reel can easily hold onto large fish without letting them go, but if they are really large, the drag system will also stop your line from snapping. If you could not already tell, this reel is designed for fishing for large catch.

What is also nice about the Daiwa BG 8000 Spinning Reel is that it comes with a dual anti-reverse system. This means that the handle won’t turn during casting or if a big fish makes off with the line, thus keeping your fingers safe.

Speaking of the line, this reel also has a very high line capacity, like super high. In terms of monofilament line, this reel can hold 550 yards of 20 pound line, 440 yards of 25 pound line, and 370 yards of 30 pound line. When it comes to braided line, it can hold 730 yards of 50 pound line, 590 yards of 65 pound line, and 440 yards of 80 pound line. This is super impressive and a lot of line, making the Daiwa BG 8000 Spinning Reel ideal for big fish and long-distance fishing.

When it comes to the gear ratio on the Daiwa BG 8000 Spinning Reel, it comes in at 5.6:1, which is also quite impressive for a reel like this. The spool is also very large, which combined with the high gear ratio, ends up being able to haul in over 53 inches of line per crank of the handle. That is a very high retrieval rate and it is perfect for hauling in fish very quickly

The Good

​One of the good parts about the Daiwa BG 8000 Spinning Reel is that it has an insanely high line capacity, both for mono and braided line. At the same time, it also has an insanely fast retrieval rate, combined with a very big and powerful drag system. Other than that, this reel is made with very durable components, plus it is saltwater friendly. It’s one of the best spinning reels out there right now.

The Bad

​One of the negatives about the Daiwa BG 8000 Spinning Reel is that it is very heavy. It is not made for beginners or for people that can’t handle holding a few pounds in the air for a prolonged period of time. This is a reel for fishermen going for those big catches.

​Pros

  • ​Very good drag system
  • ​Very high retrieval rate
  • ​Quite smooth
  • Durable and saltwater friendly
  • Very high line capacity

​Cons

  • ​Quite heavy
  • ​Not ideal for beginners
Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Ice Spinning Reel

​This is a very unique spinning reel to go with. As you can probably tell from the name, the Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Ice Spinning Reel is made for ice fishing and is built durable and able to withstand the cold. It is also by far the least expensive spinning reel on this list today. While it is great for beginner ice anglers, especially for children, it doesn’t exactly have too many awesome features or a very high level of functionality.

Product Highlights

The Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Ice Spinning Reel is a very small and lightweight spinning reel, which is one of the reasons why it is ideal for children and beginners alike. It comes in at under 8 ounces, making it very lightweight, easy to maneuver, and easy to hold onto for a prolonged period of time without getting fatigued. With that being said, it is not exactly the most durable spinning reel out there.

For its price, the durability is OK, but it’s no match for some of the other reels on this list today. It is made with mostly metal, but it’s not anodized, and the parts are not sealed for the most part. In other words, the Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Ice Spinning Reel is not meant for reeling in very large fish, nor is it ideal for being used in saltwater. On the other hand, this reel is specially treated to perform well in really cold waters, which is the case if you go ice fishing.

The Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Ice Spinning Reel has a fair line capacity, but not too great. In terms of monofilament line, it has the ability to hold 180 yards of 2 pound line, 110 yards of 6 pound line, and 95 yards of 8 pound line. This is fine for smaller fishing purposes and for shallow ice fishing of small fish, but you won’t be able to engage in long-distance fishing with it, nor does it have the ability to haul in very large fish, which can also be seen from the drag.

The Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Ice Spinning Reel comes with a 6 pound maximum drag. The drag system itself features fair durability, but as you can see, it just cannot handle very big fish at all. In terms of the ball bearings, it features 5 stainless steel ball bearings, which does make it fairly smooth. When it comes to the gear ratio, the Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Ice Spinning Reel has a ratio of 4.2:1, which means that it can reel in about 20 inches of line per crank of the handle. This is a pretty fast retrieval rate for such a small reel, so there is nothing to complain about here.

The Good

​One of the best parts about the Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Ice Spinning Reel is that it is very inexpensive, plus it is ideal for beginners. It’s a decent ice fishing rod with all of the features being designed to haul in small fish at a moderate pace. It is very lightweight, which is another factor that we appreciate.

The Bad​​​​​​​

​The Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Ice Spinning Reel just cannot go very far. It has very limited line capacity. On that same note, this reel is not built for long-distance fishing or to get big fish; the drag system just cannot handle anything over 6 pounds. Moreover, the durability is a little questionable, and it definitely cannot handle saltwater.

​Pros

  • ​Fairly smooth
  • ​Lightweight
  • ​Easy to use
  • Good retrieval rate
  • Good for small-time ice fishing
  • Great price

​Cons

  • Not very much drag
  • ​Limited durability
  • ​Cannot be used in saltwater
  • Very low line capacity
Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel

​If you are looking for a very lightweight, inexpensive, and fairly functional spinning reel, the Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel is another good option consider. It’s not meant for large fish or long-distance fishing, but it works well enough, especially for its fairly low price.

Product Highlights

The Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel has 7 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing, and they are made with high-quality stainless steel. In other words, this reel can cast and retrieve very smoothly without much friction. What is also convenient is the quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing. This is very useful because it stops the handle from spinning when the fish pulls line out or when you cast, plus it helps keep your fingers safe from harm.

The Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel has quite a nice multi-disc drag system. It is durable and built to last. However, do keep in mind that the max drag here is only 5 pounds, so this reel is definitely not ideal for hauling in very large fish. It will keep your line from snapping, but it can only hold onto small fish. This is also true when speaking of the retrieval rate. Although it can haul in fish at a pretty decent rate, the retrieval rate here might not be fast enough for certain purposes.

In terms of line capacity, the Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel is also fair. When it comes to monofilament line, it can hold 210 yards of 2 pound line, 110 yards of 4 pound line, and 70 yards of 6 pound line. As you can tell, this spinning reel cannot hold much line at all, nor can it handle heavy line, or braided line for that matter. It is quite limited in this sense.

With that being said, the Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel is quite durable. It is made with a precision machine-cut brass pinion gear, as well as a 2-tone anodized aluminum spool. Being anodized does come with the clear benefit that you can use this reel in saltwater. What is also surprising is that that the Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel is very lightweight; it comes in at well under 8 ounces, thus helping to prevent fatigue and making this reel ideal for beginners.

The Good

​The good part about the Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel is that it is very inexpensive. It has an OK retrieval rate, it is made with durable materials, and it can be used in saltwater. It’s also comfortable to use, plus fairly lightweight, thus making it ideal for smaller people and beginners.

The Bad

​The bad part about the Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel is that it just cannot hold much line, nor is it ideal for going for big fish. It just cannot be used for catching anything that resembles even a remotely large fish. The drag system is also quite weak.

​Pros

  • ​Inexpensive
  • ​Durable
  • ​Saltwater ready
  • Lightweight
  • Good for small-time fishing

​Cons

  • ​Weak drag system
  • ​Low line capacity
  • ​ot ideal for large fish

Spinning Reel Buyer’s Guide

​Before you go out and buy any kind of spinning reel, there are a few things that you should look for, so let’s talk about these considerations.

Weight

​You want a spinning reel that is not too heavy. You want one that is not going to cause fatigue too fast, plus a light spinning reel is easier to maneuver.

Durability

​You also want the spinning reel to be durable and well-built. This means that you want solid materials, which can increase the overall weight a bit, but when going for larger fish, this is important. Things like anodized aluminum and stainless steel are important.

Saltwater

​If you are going to be fishing in saltwater, you need to get a reel that has a sealed drag system and sealed ball bearings to prevent corrosion. Pay attention to the packaging to see if the reel in question can be used for saltwater fishing.

Drag

​Every good spinning reel needs a drag system. This will stop a fish from pulling out the line up to a certain weight point, and once it passes that point, the line will be let out to stop it from snapping.

Retrieval

​Having a high gear ratio is also something to look for, as this will allow you to retrieve the line quickly.

FAQ

What is the gear ratio?

​When it comes to a spinning reel, the gear ratio refers to how many times the spool will spin in relation to a single crank of the handle. For instance, a 6:1 gear ratio will mean that you can retrieve roughly 30 inches of line per handle revolution.

What do the ball bearings do?

​The ball bearings on a spinning reel sit between the inner part of the spool and the outer part. Simply put, they allow the spool to move freely and without friction for efficient casting and smooth retrieval.

What is the anti-reverse?

​The anti-reverse feature allows you to cast and let out line, with the spool moving, so that the handle stays in place. This will help keep your fingers free from harm.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, our top pick is the Daiwa BG 8000 Spinning Reel. It is really big and quite heavy, which is not ideal if you don’t have a lot of muscle and don’t want a big reel, but other than that, it’s a fantastic option to keep in mind.

It is made with super high-quality parts, it can be used for saltwater fishing, it has a really great and high-powered drag system, an insane line capacity, and a super-fast retrieval rate too.

If you would like something that is not quite as big or heavy, and also not nearly as expensive, the KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel is a good option to go with as well.