I believe that the most challenging part of choosing fishing as a profession or a hobby is the extensive shopping that you’ll have to do to get the best out of your experience.
To make your reel shopping list shorter, I’d recommend that you go directly to spinning reels, as they’re comfortable to use and within budget.
Every fisherman looks for one thing when they shop, which is a low price for high quality. We’ve picked out for you the best spinning reels under $50. Take a look. Who knows? You might find your match.
Our Top Pick of Best 7 Spinning Reels Under $50
- Best All-Round Spinning Reel Under $50: Penn Pursuit III
- Runner Up: Shimano Sienna Fe
- Best Okuma Spinning Reel Under $50: Okuma Ceymar
- Best for Trophy Seekers: KastKing Centron
- Premium Choice: Pfleuger President
- Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Under $50: Pflueger Trion
- Best Quality for Money: Piscifun Flame
|Material||Gear Ratio||Ball Bearings|
|Penn Pursuit III||Graphite||6.2:1||4|
|Shimano Sienna Fe||Graphite||5.2:1||2|
The 7 Best Spinning Reels Under $50 in 2020
1. Penn Pursuit III – Best All-Round Spinning Reel Under $50
The Penn Pursuit is known as one of the best spinning reels in the market. Both Penn Pursuit ll and III possess the same features, except that the latter has a wider size variety. However, both models are one of the best spinning reels under $50.
The reel is made of corrosion-resistant graphite. The previous feature contributes to the lightness, strength, and durability of the reel to enable anglers to go salt and freshwater fishing.
Furthermore, It comes with an anodized aluminum spool that gives the reel more sturdiness.
One of the most critical features controlling the cast’s sensitivity and smoothness is the number of ball bearings. The Penn Pursuit has 4 shielded stainless steel ball bearings, 1 anti-reverse bearing, and an oiled-felt drag system that prevents any dry back plays.
Also, the presence of shielded ball bearings enables you to achieve a maximum drag.
What stands out in a Penn Pursuit is its gear ratio, as it has the highest one among all spinning reels mentioned in our list. The gear ratio is 6.2:1.
Of course, all of these unique features are overwhelming, so it’s not recommended for beginners to start their fishing profession by buying a Penn Pursuit. On the other hand, experts will know how to make effective use of every feature in this reel.
- Powerful drag
- Instant anti-reverse bearing to prevent back play
- Shielded stainless steel bearings
- High gear ratio
- Not recommended for newbies
- The oiled-felt drag system can dry out
The Penn Pursuit spinning reel is for serious anglers who seek trophy catches and have enough experience to master different casting techniques. This reel will give you a perfect drag with no possible back play.
2. Shimano Sienna Fe – Runner Up
If we’re making a list about the most preferred spinning reels under $50, the Shimano Sienna must be included as it’s always among the top 5 on every list.
It can be used in freshwaters if you’re seeking crappies and trouts. The Shimano Sienna spinning reel comes in different sizes ranging from 1000 to 4000.
Unlike its Penn Pursuit counterpart, the Shimano Sienna is a beginner-friendly spinning reel as it’s lightweight and wouldn’t give the beginner a sore arm on their first fishing trips.
It has a satisfying gear ratio, which is 5.2:1, and this ratio is used in almost every spinning reel.
Another notable feature is the M-compact body that maintains a balance between the reel and the rod, plus the fact that the oscillation gear is close to the rod contributes to a comfy grip.
Also, It comes with the Dyna-Balance technology, which minimizes back plays and attains smooth retrieves.
One more advantage is the Shimano’s propulsion line management, which enables you to work on forming long casts without any line entanglements.
But since nothing is ever perfect, the Shimano has a significant drawback: the number of ball bearings. It only has 2 ball bearings, which may lead to some back plays and hard drags if you’re seeking a trophy.
- Allows for long casts
- Dyna-balance rotor
- It’s only 2 ball bearings.
- Not recommended for trophy fishing
Shimano Sienna is the reel for you if you’re a beginner or an expert who goes for longer casts but seeks small-sized fish. The Shimano’s propulsion line management will spare you any line entanglements to make your casts long and smooth.
3. Okuma Ceymar – Best Okuma Spinning Reel Under $50
The Okuma Ceymar comes in different sizes ranging from 1000 to 6500. Most of the Okuma Ceymars are under $50, but if you’d like a bigger size, you may need to spend a little more money.
It’s made of Aluminum, unlike the rest of the spinning reels on our list, which consequently makes it heavier.
The reel has a corrosion-resistant body; although, it wouldn’t be a smart move to take an Okuma Ceymar on a saltwater fishing trip as it’d require constant cleaning to increase its lifespan.
The fact that it possesses 7 ball bearings and a reverse bearing makes it a massive competitor for all spinning reels under $50. The previous feature, along with the oiled multi-disc felt drag system, allows smooth casts and retrieves with no back plays.
The gear ratio for the Okuma Ceymar is comparatively lower than its spinning reel equivalents. Its gear ratio is 5.0:1.
The Okuma Ceymar owns a balance rotor system that allows you to go for longer casts without line entanglements.
Because of its well-built structure, you can target medium-sized fish like bass. You’ll be able to have a firm grip over your rod when reeling in due to its adequately made design.
- Perfect for finesse fishing
- It has 7 ball bearings plus an anti-reverse bearing
- Comfy grip
- Not recommended for saltwater fishing
If you’re seeking a medium-sized bass, then the Okuma Ceymar should be on the top of your list of best spinning reels under $50. It’ll help you apply the finesse technique when bass fishing because it gives you the privilege of having accurate, smooth casts.
4. KastKing Centron – Best for Trophy Seekers
The Kastking Centron is one of the top picks for anglers who target trophies. It enables you to have superior control over your casts and retrieves until you catch your trophy.
This option isn’t offered by its Shimano Sienna alternative, which only allows its holders to go for small fish.
It comes in a vast variety of sizes ranging from 500 to 5000. And just like many other spinning reels, its gear ratio is 5.2:1.
The line capacity for that spinning reel is outstanding as it enables you to go for long deep casts, and all this line capacity doesn’t affect the weight of the reel.
Moreover, the reel has an anodized aluminum spool with a graphite frame, so it’s corrosion-resistant and works perfectly in saltwater.
Also, the Kastking Centron comes with a computer-designed balance system, an anti-reverse bearing, and 9 ball bearings. All the previous contributes to significant drags and buttery-smooth retrieves, which offers you more leverage over large bass and catfish.
You may ask: “would it be a good idea to buy a Kastking if you’re a beginner?”
Definitely YES! With the right training and instructions, a beginner will be able to capture a trophy.
The reel costs almost 30 bucks, which is affordable to most fishers. The specifications are too good to miss for such a price.
- Can be used for trophy fishing
- Allow long casts
- Possess 9 ball bearings
- Powerful drag
- Require care and constant cleaning when used in salt water to maintain its durability
If you like catching trophies, you should probably consider the Kastking. Kastking Centron has one of the highest Amazon ratings of spinning reels under $50, and that’s due to its significant drag and low price.
5. Pfleuger President – Most Expensive
Pfleuger President is one of the fanciest spinning reels under $50. It comes in different sizes, but as you go for bigger ones, you’ll end up paying more than $50.
Most anglers and reviewers praise the Pfleuger President for its sensitivity, lightness, and flawless action, making it worth every penny.
The reel comes with 7 ball bearings and a stable drag system to allow smooth casts and retrieves.
If you went for a 2000-size reel, you’d be able to catch small crappies and perches. But if you want to go for bigger fish, you’ll have to buy bigger sizes, so you’ll pay more money.
It has a rubber handle, which gives the holder a non-slippery grip. Moreover, the Pfleuger President has a 5.2:1 gear ratio, and that helps in forming balanced casts.
Since it’s made of an anti-corrosive graphite material, you may enjoy using it in salt waters. However, you must take good care of it, as its ultralight weight makes it more susceptible to breakdowns.
On the other hand, the fact that it’s the most expensive among most spinning reels may turn away a lot of buyers.
- Can be used in saltwater
- Buttery-smooth action
- Comfy rubber handle
- Ball bearings have a shorter lifespan if used in saltwater
- Used for small-sized fish only
- Bail can quickly get stuck
If comfort and superior control over the rod is what matters to you the most, then you should go for the fancy Pfleuger President, as it offers you a firm grip with its rubber handle. If you would like comfort and trophy fish, you may need to stretch your budget a bit.
6. Pflueger Trion – Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Under $50
The Pflueger Trion is one of the most reliable spinning reels under $50. It’s made of anti-corrosive graphite to hold out against saltwater fishing.
The gear ratio is 5.2:1, which is similar to the many spinning reels under $50. Also, the Pflueger Trion comes in different sizes; 2000, 3000, 3500, and 4000.
Moreover, the fact that it’s made of graphite contributes to its ultralight-weight structure and excellent portability. You can take it out on long hikes and challenging fishing trips without it coming off as a burden.
The reel attains a smooth and consistent drag pressure due to the presence of 6 stainless steel ball bearings, instant on/off anti-reverse bearing, smooth multi-disc drag, and oiled felt washers.
Besides, if you’re a Trion holder, you’ll have superior control over your reel because of the aluminum-made handle that eliminates back play and gives you a firm grip.
Also, the Pflueger Trion could be used to cast over long distances because of its double anodized aluminum spool, but with a maximum drag weight of 6 lbs. So trophy bass and catfish won’t be in the cards for Pflueger Trion holders.
- On/off instant anti-reverse bearing
- Used in freshwater and saltwater
- Maximum drag capacity is 6 lbs
If you’re an adventurous angler who likes to go on hikes and long fishing trips without carrying much baggage, you should try out the Pflueger Trion. The ultralight and portable structure will help you go for longer trips without giving you a sore arm.
7. Piscifun Flame – Best Quality for Money
The unique red and black design of the Piscifun Flame makes it a perfect catch to anglers who care about aesthetics. It comes with a braid-made spool, which is a Piscifun-exclusive feature. Also, it comes in different sizes ranging from 2000 to 5000.
It’s made of corrosion-resistant graphite, which is a plus, as it enables you to go saltwater fishing.
Also, a Piscifun offers you excellent drag as it allows you to catch trophies up to 19.8 pounds. Of course, catching such trophies requires skill and training; however, the lightweight reel will contribute to your success.
Anglers resort to the Piscifun Flame because of its outstanding features. For instance, it comes with 9 ball bearings, a brass pinion gear, and triple washers, which will help you achieve the maximum drag when reeling in a trophy.
As a trophy is almost 20 pounds, you probably expect to have a slow retrieve. The previous statement isn’t right, as the 5.2:1 gear ratio will help you fulfill a fast retrieve.
Finally, since you’ll be fighting trophies all day, the last thing that you need is a massive spinning reel that may give you a sore arm. A Piscifun Flame is lightweight and comes with a comfortable grip that will get you through the day.
- Perfect gear ratio for trophy fishing
- Exclusive design
- Adapted to trophy fishing
- Weak anti-reverse system leading to some back plays
If you’re on a tight budget and looking for a spinning reel flaunting a cool design, you should consider the Piscifun Flame. The specifications that it holds will get you large bass and catfish, which is very tempting at such a price.
How to Choose a Spinning Reel Under $50
The satisfying thing about spinning reels is that they’re user-friendly. You don’t need to follow a definite casting technique to know how to use it. However, you’ve to exert some effort in choosing your preferred spinning reel.
Firstly, you need to balance the weight of the reel with your fishing rod to allow accurate casting and increase the sensitivity of your rod.
Secondly, when you choose a suitable reel, you’ve to be aware of its action mechanism.
Finally, you don’t need to splurge your money on a pricey reel. A good spinning reel under $50 would do the trick.
When you choose a spinning reel, you need to adapt its specification to your fishing preferences.
For instance, If you’re fishing in salt waters, you’ve to go for a graphite spinning reel to withstand the corrosive effect of salty water. On the other hand, you must know that by choosing graphite reels, you’d be giving up the accurate casts and flex-free action offered by aluminum spinning reels.
Also, you’ve to make sure that your spinning reel is well-built and can move smoothly, as this can ruin your cast and stall your movement.
Spinning reels have a wide variety of sizes ranging from 1000 to 105000. The measuring scale of spinning reels is affected by the rod’s length, fish size, and line’s weight.
For example, If you have a 6-7-foot rod, and prefer fishing for small-sized fish, 1000-3500 sized spinning reel should be your go-to option. You’ll need a light monofilament line to go along with that size. The line could weigh from 1 to 5 kilograms.
You’ll hold a 6 or 7-foot rod for a whole day, the last thing you need is a massive spinning reel that gives you a sore arm by the middle of the day. Always go light when it comes to spinning reels.
4. Ball Bearings
Ball bearings are the secret to successful reeling. They prevent friction and back play, which makes your casting as smooth as butter. The more ball bearings, the smoother your cast.
Furthermore, you’ve to get high-quality stainless-steel ball bearings to endure corrosion.
Before picking your gear ratio, you’ll need to adopt a spooling style to suit your casting distance.
Skirted spools allow you to cast longer distances with no line entanglements, which is a deal-breaker to many anglers.
6. Gear Ratio
The spool on a spinning reel is fixed. You need to wrap the line onto the fixed spool as you turn the handle.
Since we’re sticking to a tight budget, a medium-sized spinning reel with a gear ratio of 5:1 should be perfect. You may ask what the ratio represents.
The 5 stands for the number of wraps done around the spool, and the 1 represents the number of handle turns.
If you’re a professional, you may need to buy more than one spinning reel for different circumstances, which will be expensive for many fishermen with tight budgets.
7. Line Capacity
Another vital aspect to consider while picking your spinning reel is the line capacity. If you plan to cast long distances, then you’d better go for large line capacity.
8. Drag Strength
If you’re after a trophy fish, get a powerful spinning reel under $50 that can withstand the weight of the fish; otherwise, it might break.
If you seek small-sized fish, you don’t need a powerful drag to get your catch.
I believe that there’s no such thing as the best spinning reel under $50, as your choice of reel depends on your fishing style, which changes from an angler to another.
You can’t recommend a particular spinning reel without learning what type of fish you’re after, and which water you plan to fish in.
For example, if you’re a trophy angler that would like to go saltwater fishing. You have two options to consider.
Firstly, the Kastking Centron will help you catch some trophies with maximum drag, but it’ll require regular cleaning to avoid the corrosion resulting from saltwater.
Secondly, you can pick the Piscifun Flame spinning reel; however, you may experience some back plays.
So, would you prefer cleaning your gear or experiencing some back plays when reeling in?
I can answer this for you. You should probably go for cleaning your gear because if you face any lag or back play, you can probably lose the trophy fish that you worked hard to catch.
It’s all about priorities. Adapt the spinning reel specifications to your liking. Only by doing that, you’ll be able to find the best spinning reel under $50.