Although they tend to hide behind cover like wood, grass, lily pads, and boat docks, once hooked, bass fish put up a ferocious fight. This combination of being hard to find and difficult to reel in makes them a real challenge, which you can overcome only with great skills and reliable equipment.
If you don’t know the specifics of choosing a spinning reel for catching bass, I’ve got you covered with some recommendations and a help section at the end of this article.
On this list, you’ll find the best bass spinning reels that you can use to hook, reel in, and land those stubborn fighters.
At a Glance:
- Abu Garcia Revo SX – Best Overall
- KastKing Royale Legend – Most Lightweight
- Daiwa BG 3000 – Best Drag Power
- Penn Battle II 3000 – Budget Choice
- Shimano Stradic CI4+ 4000 – Best Line Management
- Pflueger Supreme XT 4000 – Best Drag/Weight Rati
|Gear Ratio||Drag Power||Ball Bearings||Weight|
Abu Garcia Revo SX
|6.6:1||24 lbs.||10||7.83 ounces|
KastKing Royale Legend
|7.0:1||17.6 lbs.||12||7.51 ounces|
Daiwa BG 3000
|5.6:1||15.4 lbs.||7||10.8 ounces|
Penn Battle II 3000
|6.2:1||15 lbs.||6||12.30 ounces|
Shimano Stradic CI4+ 4000
|6.2:1||24 lbs.||7||8.1 ounces|
Pflueger Supreme XT 4000
|6.2:1||14 lbs.||10||8.7 ounces|
The 6 Best Bass Spinning Reels for 2021
1. Abu Garcia Revo SX – Best Overall
The Abu Garcia Revo SX comes with a graphite rotor and an IM-C6 body design that collectively work on making the reel very light.
It flaunts an impressive gear ratio of 6.6:1, is able to reel in 27 inches of line per one crank, and has a powerful drag of up to 24 pounds. With this incredible combination, you can land largemouth bass effortlessly, and in no time at all.
Not only that, but you can do it without putting strain on your wrist as the reel is quite lightweight at only 7.83 ounces.
The reel has a roller bearing working in coordination with nine stainless steel ball bearings to make its operation as smooth as possible.
It is able to resist corrosion thanks to its alloy frame with the carbon handle side plates, body materials, and housing. All its components work on making it durable without compromising portability or maneuverability.
For its hybrid drag system, the Revo SX utilizes Carbon-Matrix technology, consisting of a group of carbon washers whose function is to keep the drag pressure consistent.
Moreover, it comes with a magnetic brake system that eliminates any chance of backlash and provides you with quiet and smooth operation.
It also utilizes the Rocket System and Rocket spool lip design to optimize line management.
Finally, the flat EVA knob gives you a very comfortable yet solid grip, while the K-Clutch anti-reverse system makes the hooks pretty intact.
- Exchangeable hand retrieve
- Magnetic brake system
- Ergonomic design with a stylish finish
- Easily portable and lightweight
- Very durable
- High price tag
- A little tough to use in windy conditions
- Drag power is a bit too small
The Abu Garcia Revo SX is a lightweight reel that provides you with a tireless and fruitful experience. With its capacity, smoothness, and strength, it’ll guarantee you some game fish to take back home.
2. KastKing Royale Legend – Most Lightweight
The KastKing Royale Legend has twelve corrosion-resistant MaxiDur ball bearings that make it easier and smoother for you to cast out and dial back your catch.
What makes it great for bass, in particular, is its 7.0:1 gear ratio and 32-inch-per-turn retrieve, which make it quite fast. What’s more, it also allows you to adjust the baitcasting reel easily.
The body, spool, and the sides of the reel are made of anodized aluminum, which is a highly scratch and corrosion-resistant material.
Yet, it doesn’t compromise being sturdy, long-lasting, and light at only 7.51 ounces. Being lightweight makes the reel much less tiring for you to continue fishing activities with ease.
The bait casting fishing reel comes with a unique brake system. While the majority of fishing reels use either a magnetic braking system or centrifugal braking system, the KastKing Royale combines both to give you more control over spool rotation.
This process is made even more seamless with the aid of the 12-bearing system and dual brake system that prevents the tangling up of the fishing line (backlash) during casting.
Equipped with a carbon-fiber drag system and precision-cut brass gear, the drag that the reel can handle is very impressive, reaching as much as 17.5 pounds, which is enough to help you control the fish and reel it in easily.
- Superb build quality
- Good price
- Silent and smooth casting
- Packed with features
- Dual brake system gives no backlash
- Not the most durable
- Requires constant maintenance
The KastKing Royale Legend will help you keep a low profile in order not to scare bass away, and will guarantee some catches as it’s super smooth and silent thanks to its 12-bearing system.
3. Shimano Stradic CI4+ – Best Drag Power
The Shimano Stradic CI4+ 4000 XG FB spinning reel comes with an aluminum spool and hard Hagane drive gears that give it more power than both graphite and die-cast aluminum ones.
The X-ship components contribute to its increased accuracy and smoothness, especially against stubborn and strong fish.
And that’s exactly why it’s the perfect bass spinning reel if you’re going for game fish bass, especially when you factor in its 24-pound maximum drag capacity.
It comes with a Magnumlite rotor and a new innovative design that makes the Shimano 25% lighter in weight. Its carbon-fiber body makes its 8.6-ounce weight possible.
With its impressive power, 6.2:1 gear ratio, and line retrieve of 39 inches per turn, not only will you be able to catch large bass, but you’ll catch them fast.
Moreover, no water, dirt, or salt can pass into your reel, thanks to the CoreProtect 360-degree coating that makes it water-resistant and helps in extending its durability.
The seven shielded stainless steel bearings also help to protect the reel and to make it even smoother. Combine them with the two Shimano A-RB roller bearings that support the pinion gear, and you get incredibly seamless performance.
Moreover, the G-Free body design brings the reel’s center of gravity closer to your hand’s position, reducing fatigue, and providing you with maximum comfort.
Finally, the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 is equipped with the Super Stopper II anti-reverse switch that guarantees solid hooksets.
- Saltwater-safe and corrosion-resistant
- Smooth and fast drag
- Lightweight and easily portable
- Great line management
- High price tag
- The anti-reverse switch is a little small
The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB is a great choice because of its rapid action and extreme smoothness. It is lightweight yet enables you to go after relatively bigger fish.
4. Daiwa BG 3000 – Budget Choice
The Daiwa BG 3000 Spinning Reel comes with black anodized machined aluminum housing, making it more corrosion-resistant as well as increasing the ability of the reel to withstand scrapes and bumps.
Why I chose the 3000 model for bass goes back to the fact that it has fast-action capabilities, including a 5.6:1 gear ratio and 37.4-inch line retrieve per crank, which allows you to land the bass before it breaks free.
The dynamic cut aluminum ABS spool provides a tangle-free experience with great casting ability, with the line flowing evenly on and off the spool.
A rubber ring in the center of the ABS spool allows you to work straight with a braided line. Moreover, the carbon ATD drag system offers a smooth drag with more stability to the reel. Combine that with the 15.4-pound power drag, and you can get some pretty large bass.
It comes with over-sized Digigear that enables more teeth to always be in contact with each other. This gives you a smoother retrieve and helps to extend the life of your reel since the stress on any given tooth at a time is not that much.
Moreover, the reel comes with 6+1 stainless steel ball bearings, which are rust-resistant. It’s also equipped with an infinite anti-reverse system that eliminates the possibility of backlashing when setting the hook.
Daiwa BG 3000 uses a solid screw-in handle, which reduces play between the main gear and the handle arm, giving the cranking of the handle a very solid feel.
In addition, the air rotor design allows for a better, more balanced design that distributes stress across the entire reel.
- Soft handles
- Rarely backlashes
- Good precision
- Relatively high maximum drag
- Comfortable to use
- Available in only one color
- No auto-return
The Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel comes in many sizes and different gear ratios, but the 3000 model is the ideal one for bass as it has fast and smooth performance.
5. Penn Battle II – Best Line Management
The Penn Battle II spinning reel comes in a full metal body, side plate, and rotor. This makes it a sturdy reel suitable for fishing large bass as it will not flex under high pressure, especially that it can endure heavy use.
In addition, it comes with six sealed bearings made from stainless steel, which gives it more protection against corrosion from saltwater.
For this very reason, you can fish for the relatively larger saltwater bass, especially that it has a maximum drag capacity of 15 pounds.
However, for around the same drag capacity, it’s two ounces heavier than the Daiwa BG, weighing 12.30 ounces.
It does come with an extra heavy-duty and durable aluminum bail wire that will not warp over a long period of time.
And to give better protection for the reel against saltwater spray and chemicals, the Battle II also comes with improved paint quality.
Not only that, but it also has a braid-ready superline spool that requires no backing, with line capacity rings on the spool marked at 1/3, 2/3, and full capacity to make sure you know how much of the line remains on the spool.
Moreover, the HT 100 carbon-fiber drag system utilizes keyed carbon washers that replace the traditional felt washers, giving a powerful drag without sacrificing the smoothness and non-jerky drag when under pressure.
Finally, the Battle II 3000 also comes with an instant anti-reverse system that prevents the backlash on the rotor from ever happening when you set the hook.
- Suitable for catching medium and big bass
- Smooth drag
- Anti-reverse and no backlash
- Extremely durable
- Metallic body and solid feel
- Great for flipping
- Superline spool
- Not fully sealed
- A bit heavy
The Penn Battle II 3000 is perfect for catching relatively bigger bass thanks to its strong build that doesn’t flex under pressure. Not to mention the superline spool, which happens to be braid-ready!
6. Pflueger Supreme XT 4000 – Best Drag/Weight Ratio
The Pflueger Supreme XT spinning reel comes with a magnesium body, side plate, and rotor, which makes it extremely lightweight and durable, so it accompanies you for many trips over the years.
If you don’t want to tire your arms yet you’re looking for bigger bass than smallmouth and rock, the Pflueger Supreme XT 4000 is easily your best bet.
Although it weighs only 8.7 ounces, it can reel in 14-pound bass. Combine that with its fast 6.2:1 gear ratio and 38.6 inches of line retrieve per crank, and you’re guaranteed to land the bass you hook.
It comes with a double-anodized aluminum spool to fight corrosion and machine ported sidewalls to limit its weight, all done without the need to reduce durability or strength. The spool also comes ready for the braided line, so you don’t have to back it with mono.
The reel incorporates ten corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings, which also gives you a very smooth overall feel.
On top of the spool, the carbon-fiber drag system is completely sealed to help you keep out the saltwater and grime, all without overheating when you catch a big fish.
What’s more, the Pflueger Supreme XT 4000 also sports a carbon-fiber handle that is 21% lighter than the standard aluminum handles. This one is also corrosion-resistant.
Retrieving mechanism is facilitated by an EVA knob that contains dimples on both sides for an easier grip. And the bail is made of solid aluminum with an anti-twist titanium line roller.
By giving it a quick freshwater rinse before and after saltwater fishing trips, you will ensure that it lasts you for years upon years.
- Smooth and sealed carbon drag system
- Braid ready aluminum spool
- Very lightweight
- Spool contains portholes that might collect dirt
- Harder to break down for cleaning
- Braided line can get tangled inside bail roller
The Pflueger Supreme XT spinning reel comes packed with many features and is able to land you big bass without straining your wrist in the process.
What to Look for When Buying a Spinning Reel for Bass
To know which spinning reel would work best for you, you have to understand the components of your equipment.
Not only that, but you also have to understand what makes a spinning reel suitable for bass fishing.
Now let’s take a look at what makes one spinning reel better than another if you’re going after bass.
There are two materials a reel housing (reel body) is usually made of: aluminum or graphite. However, in some cases, a combination of both materials is used to try to get the best of both worlds.
The aluminum body is usually stronger and doesn’t flex as much as graphite, while the graphite housing is lighter. A combination of two usually presents a reel that is stronger than graphite housings and lighter than aluminum ones.
If you’re going for saltwater bass like sea bass, spotted bass, or sand bass, you should opt for the graphite or carbon housing.
On the other hand, aluminum ones would work perfectly in freshwater where you don’t have to worry about rust, so choose them if you’re going after largemouth, smallmouth, or rock bass.
2. Spinning Reel Size
By determining the size of the fishing line you plan to use most often, you can easily choose the fitting reel size. A lighter line requires a smaller reel and vice versa.
Consequently, the size of the bass you plan to fish affects this aspect. Most 3000 and 4000 reels would be great for most bass types.
However, if you’re going for small ones like smallmouth and rock, you can go for the small-sized and more affordable models (1000, 2000, 2500).
On the other hand, big catches would require a 5000 reel.
3. Reel Gear Ratio
The gear ratio refers to how many times the bail rotates around the spool when you turn the handle of the reel. A common high-speed reel gear ratio is 6.2:1, which means that with every turn of the reel handle, the bail rotates around the spool 6.2 times.
Another term that relates to the gear ratio is line recovery, which is a measurement of how many inches are retrieved by each turn of the handle.
To catch bass quickly – which you will need to happen if you’re planning on landing them – you should opt for higher gear ratios and faster line recovery per crank.
4. Drag System
The drag system of a spinning reel is responsible for letting out the line and applying pressure to a hooked fish. A high-quality drag system helps you reel in the line smoothly and reduces the risk of a broken line.
There are two types of drag systems for spinning reels: front and rear drag. Generally, these refer to the location of the drag controls, but there are more differences regarding the features of each.
Front drag systems, for instance, feature multiple large drag washers, which increases the performance and durability of the reel.
On the other hand, rear drag systems have more accessibility in terms of controls.
5. Ball Bearings
Ball bearings are positioned within the body of the reel to increase its smoothness as well as give you more support and stability. Spinning reels usually contain a roller bearing within the line roller.
A rule of thumb is that more bearings provide more smoothness, so opt for the largest number your budget can afford.
The spool of the spinning reel performs many important functions, most importantly of which is holding the line itself. It is also used for gauging casting distance and smoothness.
Spools available on the market are made out of graphite or aluminum, and choosing between them depends on whether you’re going for saltwater or freshwater bass.
7. Anti-Reverse Handle
The anti-reverse handle function is to prevent the handle from spinning backward, making the hook sets more accurate and powerful.
Although most of these reels have a lot in common and are mostly similar, there’s a distinctive difference in each one to make it special.
The one that stands out the most is the Abu Garcia SX. It combines fast action with smoothness, lightness, and high capability that enables you to catch 24-pound bass.
Next would be the KastKing Royale Legend with its twelve bearings, high drag power, high gear ratio, and lightweight design that make it one of the best spinning reels on the market.
Finally, the Shimano Stradic CI4+ 4000 definitely stands out with one of the highest drag powers on the list, decent gear ratio, and seven ball bearings that result in smooth operation.