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Buying Guides Archives | In Fisherman

Best Saltwater Spinning Reel 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Saltwater Spinning Reels

Your next fishing trip is coming up, so you start preparing your equipment.

Don’t have a good saltwater spinning reel prepared? Not sure how to pick one? I’ve got you covered.

In this article, I’ll list some of the best saltwater spinning reels you can find on the market.

I’ll also give you a brief guide on how to choose the one that best serves your needs.

Without further ado, here are your options.

Saltwater Reels - Comparison Table

Spinning Reel

Gear Ratio

Weight

Maximum Drag

Bearings

KastKing Sharky III 

5.2:1

10.5

39

11

Piscifun Flame 

5.2:1

13.2

19.8

10

Penn Battle II ​

6.2:1

10.3

12

6

Penn Slammer III 

6.2:1

14.7

30

7

Shimano Socorro

4.9:1

22.6

27

5

Penn Spinfisher V

6.2:1

14.4

20

6

The 6 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels for 2019

1. KastKing Sharky III 5000 Spinning Reel

KastKing Sharky III 5000

Built with premium parts, the KastKing Sharky III is designed to be both durable and sturdy.

With a graphite body and rotor, it only weighs 10.5 ounces. Yet, it can drag fish up to 39.5 pounds –which is much superior to other options.

It can accomplish this impressive combination thanks to its reliable triple disc carbon fiber drag, stronger precision meshes manganese brass pinions gears, and oversized stainless steel main shaft.

The graphite construction also makes it a great lightweight saltwater spinning reel as it’s able to resist corrosion.

Not only that, but it also has unique protection against water with a spool, body, and rotor that are water-resistant.

The KastKing Sharky III is very quiet and has smooth retrieves thanks to the 10 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing.

Furthermore, the Fin Braid Ready aluminum spool enables you to use braid fishing line without backing line.

With a 5.2:1 gear ratio and a 33.4-inch line retrieve per crank, it’s a pretty fast-paced reel.

Finally, it has an instant lock anti-reverse, stainless steel hardware, an aluminum handle, and bigger line capacity.

Pros:

  • Great value for the affordable price
  • Lightweight design
  • 1-year warranty
  • Smooth operation
  • Interchangeable hand retrieve
  • Incredible drag capability

Cons:

  • Prone to wear and tear

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a reel that would give you the ultimate combination of affordability and functionality, there wouldn’t be any better than the KastKing Sharky III.

2. Piscifun Flame 5000 Spinning Reel

Piscifun Flame 5000

Suitable for both beginners and more seasoned anglers alike, the Piscifun Flame 5000 is one of the most affordable fishing reels for saltwater.

Its design is truly unique, and its features back it up.

Although it’s a low-budget reel, it’s very smooth with nine ball bearings and one roller bearing.

And while it’s lightweight at 13.2 ounces, its drag capacity isn’t the best at a 19.8-pound maximum.

It’s still quite impressive with its brass pinion gear and triple washers that make it durable.

Moreover, it has a 5.2:1 gear ratio and retrieves 30.7 inches of line per crank, so it’s excellent for a fight against a moderately-sized fish.

Even though braid-ready spools are usually reserved for the more expensive spinning reel models, the Piscifun Flame 5000 comes with one.

Pros:

  • Smooth retrieval and cast
  • Lightweight and unique design
  • Highly affordable
  • Ample drag capacity for the weight and price

Cons:

  • Not the most durable
  • Substandard drag ability

Bottom Line:

The Piscifun Flame 5000 is the ideal choice for someone who’s looking to pay as little as possible on their saltwater fishing equipment.

However, if you’re looking for something that’ll last long with you, you should check out other options.

3. Penn Battle II 2500 Spinning Reel

Penn Battle II 2500

At its price level, the Penn Battle II 2500 is one of the best saltwater reels under 100 bucks.

Its improved paint quality provides it with solid protection against saltwater. If you put effort into its maintenance, it’ll definitely last long with you.

The high 6.2:1 gear ratio and 33-inch retrieve per crank enable you to finish your battles quickly.

Moreover, the Penn Battle II 2500 weighs 10.3 ounces and can drag up to 12 pounds.

This is thanks to the smooth operation provided by its 5 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing.

Also, these bearings are made from stainless steel and are sealed to protect the reel from corrosion.

I particularly liked the line capacity rings on the Superline spool that indicate the amount of line you have left.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t break the bank
  • Premium-quality build and feel
  • Smooth drag system
  • Robust anti-reverse
  • Braid-ready marked spool capacity

Cons:

  • Prone to wind knots
  • Not fully sealed
  • Can loosen up with time

Bottom Line:

The Penn Battle II 2500 does not disappoint with its performance or quality. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone that’s just starting and wants a good reel for the money.

4. Penn Slammer III 5500 Spinning Reel

Penn Slammer III 5500

Although I had my doubts about the all-metal body, side plate, and rotor design of the Penn Slammer III 5500, it turned out to be important for keeping the pinion and gears aligned for a smoother retrieve.

Moreover, the body and spool of the reel are sealed with an IPX6 water-resistance rating, so it's well-protected. This Penn spinning reel was made for saltwater fishing.

The various seals located around the shaft, main pinion, and drag system work on keeping saltwater out.

Furthermore, the Penn Slammer III 5500 has a full brass gearing system that includes the drive, pinion, and isolation gears and which extend the longevity of the cranking power.

What I found to be the most impressive feature is the Dura-Drag sealed Slammer drag system.

The washers are coated with a unique material called Phenolic to maximize durability and smoothness of drag.

Add that to 7 total bearings and even at a fast 39-inches retrieval per crank rate and a 5.6:1 gear ratio, it still provides you with a smooth performance.

The Penn Slammer III 5500 is evidently not the lightest reel at 22.4 ounces, but it does have the highest maximum drag capacity -40 pounds.

Finally, the braid-ready spool has line capacity rings to let you know how much line you have left on the spool.

Pros:

  • Designed for heavy-duty jobs
  • Fast and reliable action
  • Solid protection against water
  • Incredible drag capacity

Cons:

  • Quite pricey
  • A little heavy

Bottom Line:

Indeed the Penn Slammer III 5500 doesn’t rank the highest in spinning real features, but when it comes to high-quality construction and the ability to reel in big fish, it excels.

5. Shimano Socorro SOC8000SW Spinning Reel

Shimano Socorro SOC8000SW

Whether you’re looking for an inshore or an offshore spinning reel, the Shimano Socorro SOC8000SW is going to gain your approval.

It has a robust construction that makes it durable. And if you take good care of it, it’s guaranteed to last long.

With Hagane cold-forged gearing, you’ll get consistent precision, strength, and smoothness.

Furthermore, the X-Ship technology results in perfect gear alignment even when under heavy loads.

Compared to the rest of the reels on the list, the bearings on the Shimano Socorro SOC8000SW are too few. You could go for cheaper options that have more than 5 bearings.

On top of that, the bearings are not shielded, so it’s not as corrosion-resistant as other options.

It does come with a cross carbon drag washer to keep your experience as smooth as possible.

I also didn’t like the fact that it weighs a whole 22.6 ounces and has a 27-pounds drag capacity.

The Shimano Socorro SOC8000SW’s gear ratio is 4.9:1 and it retrieves 37 inches of line per a single crank.

Pros:

  • Good value for the price
  • Strong and robust design

Cons:

  • Saltwater protection may need improvement
  • Ball bearings are not sealed

Bottom Line:

If you're looking for a good Shimano saltwater spinning reel, this one is an excellent place to start.

You can use it for anything, including jigging or going after big catches.

However, I wouldn't use it for heavy-duty saltwater fishing as it's not entirely sealed.

6. Penn Spinfisher V 3500 Spinning Reel

Penn Spinfisher V 3500

If you’re looking for a versatile reel, you’ll be satisfied with what the Penn Spinfisher V 3500 has to offer.

It comes sealed with rubber gaskets in every opening, so it’s water-proof.

So even if you don’t thoroughly clean your reel after every use, it’ll still last a long time with you.

It's not too heavy at 14.4 ounces, and it can still reel in 20-pound fish.

Moreover, it does so at a fast pace with its 6.2:1 gear ratio and 30-inch retrieval rate.

It's not the smoothest, but the 6 bearings on it provide it with the needed flow.

Plus, the techno-balanced rotor provides the reel with a smooth retrieve.

The HT-100 slammer drag system uses keyed carbon washers to make the reel smooth and durable.

Another impressive feature about the Penn Spinfisher V 3500 is that it has an aluminum bail wire that doesn’t bend or warp with impact.

Pros:

  • Water-proof design
  • Superb drag
  • Great line lay
  • Quality finish
  • Top-notch braking system

Cons:

  • Not 100% water-proof
  • Not suitable for heavy use

Bottom Line:

For its price, the Penn Spinfisher V 3500 is an exceptional reel. Although it’s a saltwater spinning reel under 200 bucks, it feels like a high-end reel.

That’s because it’s smooth, reliable, and sturdy. It’s a great bang for your buck.

What is a Saltwater Reel?

A simple way to describe a saltwater reel is that it’s a completely sealed reel.

Its components should be durable and corrosion-resistant.

Moreover, its bearings should be sealed against any salt, dirt, or grime.

Can Any Reel Be Used in Saltwater?

Fishing in saltwater with a reel that isn’t rated for it isn’t impossible. However, I don’t recommend it.

But if you do, make sure you rinse the reel very thoroughly afterward. Otherwise, you'll compromise its durability.

How to Pick a Spinning Reel for Saltwater?

Choose a Sealed Model

As I’ve mentioned above, for a reel to qualify as a saltwater one, it should be sealed with durable components.

This is to ensure that its construction will be able to withstand the rough circumstances of saltwater such as dirt, sand, and above all, salt.

Reel Construction

Speaking of the components, your reel’s housing or body can be made of either aluminum or graphite or a combination of both.

Since you’ll be fishing in saltwater, you should get one with a graphite body.

This is because an aluminum one would be more prone to corrosion and rust.

And while aluminum bodies are stronger and don’t flex as much, graphite ones are much lighter and more suitable for longer fishing sessions.

Finally, make sure your reel has sealed stainless steel bearings to get more durability and the best performance in saltwater.

Reel Size

Since you'll be fishing in saltwater, you'll probably be aiming for bigger fish.

Accordingly, you should pick a bigger-size reel that can handle the weight of those fish.

Make sure that the maximum drag of your chosen reel would be sufficient for the types of fish you’ll be fighting against.

The size of the line you use also affects how big your reel should be. The heavier the line, the bigger the reel should be.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio refers to the number of times the bail rotates around the spool with each crank.

For example, if your reel’s gear ratio is 4:1, the bail would rotate 4 times around the spool when you turn the handle once.

A smaller gear ratio provides you with extra torque to reel in bigger fish. Contrarily, a bigger ratio suits high-speed fishing when you’re trying to catch small to medium-size fish.

Drag System

Drag systems are responsible for applying pressure on a fish when it’s hooked to your line.

They also help release the line during battles.

Furthermore, drag systems impact the frequency of your line breaking.

That’s why you should invest in a high-quality drag system that gives you smooth and uninterrupted performance.

Ball Bearings

Ball bearings or bushings are found within the body of the reel to provide it with support, stability, and smoothness.

When it comes to ball bearings, the more is always the merrier.

4 bearings is the least you can settle for on a reel, but as the number increases, the smoother the performance will be.

Investing in more ball bearings is always the better choice as this will have a massive impact on your fishing experience.

Final Thoughts

You should definitely refer to the different features to decide which one is the best saltwater spinning reel for you.

Generally, I’d recommend the KastKing Sharky III 5000 for the ultimate combination of everything. It’s affordable, lightweight, can drag big fish, performs very smoothly, and can keep up with any fishing you choose to do.

If budget isn’t an issue for you and you’re looking to catch bigger fish, go for the Penn Slammer III 5500 as it has the most impressive drag capacity.

The Penn Battle II 2500 Model is another good all-round option, especially for someone who’s looking for a lightweight reel for their longer fishing sessions.

Best Trout Spinning Reels 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Trout Spinning Reels

The world of trout isn't an easy one to get to the bottom of. This is because there are various type that can be found in different places, times, and fished for in different techniques and with different lures.

A big part of buying a good spinning reel for catching trout is actually knowing which type you’re going to aim for.

And since you could be looking to fish for a number of types, I’ve made a list of the best spinning reels for trout on the market that would suit different kinds.

Read more: Best Spinning Reels for Bass - Buyer's Guide.

The 7 Best Trout Spinning Reels for 2019

1. Shimano Stradic CI4+

Shimano Stradic CI4+ 2500 FB

It's quite evident that Shimano has put a lot of thought into the design of the Stradic CI4+ 2500 FB.

It comes with a Magnumlite (MGL) rotor and a G-Free body design that moves the center of gravity closer to the hand’s position to prevent wrist fatigue.

Moreover, the advanced CoreProtect 360-degree water resistance extends its durability and helps it withstand all types of environments.

On top of that, the cold-forged aluminum spool and strong Hagane drive gears help keep it both smooth and solid even under bigger loads.

Performance

The carbon fiber body of the reel makes it weigh only 6.7 ounces but it can still reel in 20-pound trout.

It also does so at an impressive speed as its gear ratio is 6.0:1 and it retrieves an incredible 35 inches of line per crank.

Extras

The Shimano Stradic CI4+ 2500 FB has X-ship components that extend the accuracy and smoothness of the gear system –especially against bigger fish.

There are also 6 S A-RB shielded stainless steel ball bearings that stop any dirt, water, or salt from entering the reel.

I had to give it very little maintenance after my saltwater fishing trips.

Pros:

  • Amazing line management
  • Almost completely water-resistant
  • Smooth and super-fast operation
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Quite pricey
  • Small anti-reverse switch

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 2500 FB is a little pricey but I did get excellent value for the money.

It’s very durable, smooth, and performs amazingly with high speed.

2. Abu Garcia Revo SX 

Abu Garcia Revo REVO2XS10

Design and Body

An alloy frame to resist corrosion and carbon handle side plates, housing, and body materials are the fundamental elements that make the Abu Garcia Revo REVO2XS10 a durable reel.

The fact that its 9 HPCR bearings are made from stainless steel and the integration of a Carbon-Matrix technology into the hybrid drag system also contribute to the fact.

Performance

The IM-C6 body design and graphite rotor keep the Abu Garcia Revo REVO2XS10 lightweight at only 7.2 ounces.

I loved the superior 6.2:1 gear ratio that made the reel perform with amazing speed. Moreover, the 30-inch line retrieves also played a great role in the speed of performance of the REVO2XS10.

Extras

To keep up the fluidity of the reel, Abu Garcia used a Rocket line management system as well as a Rocket spool lip design.

Moreover, the Flat EVA knob provides a pretty solid and comfortable grip on the reel while the K-Clutch anti-reverse ensures secure hook sets.

The hybrid drag system consists of carbon washers that maintain consistent drag pressure while the brake system uses magnets to absolutely eliminate backlash.

Pros:

  • Smooth 9 ball-bearing system
  • Magnetic brake system
  • Portability
  • Interchangeable hand retrieve

Cons:

  • A little pricey

Bottom line:

The Abu Garcia Revo REVO2XS10 is one of the best trout fishing reels you can get as it performs very fast, has the highest gear ratio, and combines several great features.

3. KastKing Sharky III

KastKing Sharky III 3000

Design and Body

I can’t lie that I was expecting a low-performing reel when I saw the KastKing Sharky III 3000’s price. But it beat my expectations in every way.

The reel’s body is made from reinforced graphite and it’s equipped with high-performance brass pinion gears.

Moreover, the CNC aluminum Shark Fin braid-ready spool’s graphite body makes it corrosion-resistant and it has a computer balanced rotor.

Performance

With both front and rear drag functions and triple-disc carbon fiber drag washers, the KastKing Sharky III 3000 is advertised to be able to handle fish of up to 33 pounds.

However, that number can be a little exaggerated. Because even if it has a 5.2:1 gear ratio and a 29.4 line retrieve rate, it’s still quite a heavy reel at 9.4 ounces.

Its performance was one of the smoothest, I have to give it that. With 11 bearings working to keep the operation flowing, how could it not be smooth?

Extras

The KastKing Sharky III 3000 has an intrusion shield system that makes the reel more durable and an anti-reverse switch that keeps your hook sets secure.

Finally, the sure-grip T-handle guarantees a stable reel performance and you can switch the retrieve to be on either side of the reel.

Pros:

  • Smooth drag
  • Sleek design
  • Highly affordable
  • Great bang for the buck

Cons:

  • Quite heavy yet only suitable for smaller trout

Bottom line:

My only problem with the KastKing Sharky III 3000 is that it doesn’t work well for bigger-sized fish for a reel of its weight.

Other than that, it’s a light to medium-sized trout spinning reel that doesn’t break the budget and has great drag power and smoothness.

4. Piscifun 4000

Piscifun 4000

Design and Body

The braid-ready CNC machined aluminum spool spares you the need for a slip to tie the braid directly to the spool.

And with a graphite body and rotor, the Piscifun 4000 definitely passes the durability test.

Not the test for lightweight, however, as this reel weighs 11.4 ounces.

Precision brass gears, reinforced body, and a stainless steel main shaft all combine to give your reel reliability, smoothness, and silent performance.

Performance

The 3 carbon fiber drag system enables the Piscifun 4000 to reel in fish of up to 25 pounds in weight.

It can do so quite quickly with a 5.2:1 gear ratio, a 33.5-inch retrieval rate, and 11 anti-corrosion steel bearings made from reinforced alloy.

Extras

To stop moisture and resist corrosion, the Piscifun 4000's drag features a Sealed Rubber Ring.

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Fast, smooth, and quiet performance
  • Great build for a budget reel

Cons:

  • Quite heavy

Bottom line:

If you’re thrifty shopper, you’ll definitely enjoy the Piscifun 4000 as it’s cheap and yet has satisfactory retrieve, drag, and smoothness of operation.

5. Okuma Ceymar C-10 

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel C-10

Design and Body

The Okuma Ceymar C-10 comes with a cyclonic flow rotor that brings in more airflow through the ported rotor. 

It also reduces the intrusion of water and consequently extends the durability of the real a little. That is beside the fact that the reel's body is made from graphite.

Performance

The quick anti-reverse bearing helps keep your hook sets solid.

I loved how lightweight the Okuma Ceymar C-10 is, however, I found its drag power absolutely too small.

Its 5.0:1 gear ratio and 21-inch line retrieve ratio can help you enjoy quick fishing action.

Additionally, the Okuma Ceymar C-10 has 8 bearings in total to make its operation smooth and reliable.

Extras

The gear alignment system work on maximizing the casting ability of the reel.

Furthermore, the precision elliptical gearing system reduces friction to increase the distance and accuracy while extending the line’s longevity.

On top of that, it also smoothens the performance of the Okuma Ceymar C-10 Spinning Reel and evens out the drag pressures.

Finally, the zinc die-cast handle was designed to withstand any stress and endure heavy battles while giving you the torque you need to catch your fish.

Pros:

  • Performs superbly for a reel under 50 bucks
  • Cheap

Cons:

  • Not the most durable

Bottom line:

I was impressed with the performance of the Okuma Ceymar C-10's good performance seeing that it comes at less than 50 bucks.

I can’t say it’s the best trout reel out there, but it’ll definitely give you a bang for your buck.

6. Pflueger President PRESSP30X 


Pflueger President PRESSP30X

Design and Body

The graphite body and reel used for the Pflueger President PRESSP30X's construction aim to make it as light as possible. Combine that with an aircraft-grade aluminum handle and the durability of the reel is guaranteed.

Moreover, its ported solid aluminum spool comes braid-ready and spares you the need to back it up with monoline.

Performance

With 9 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing, the PRESSP30X performs quite smoothly.

These bearings are made from stainless steel to enable them to resist corrosion and increase the durability of the reel.

Although this reel weighs 8.3 ounces, it can only reel in fish of about 9 pounds, which isn’t quite satisfactory.

However, it fast 25.3 line retrieve rate and 5.2:1 gear ratio may help you finish fights quick enough to be in your favor.

Extras

The Pflueger President PRESSP30X comes with a SureClick heavy-duty aluminum bail that makes it both durable and stable.

Moreover, the reel is corrosion-resistant and provides you with consistent drag pressure thanks to the stainless steel oil-felt drag.

And to top it all, the soft-touch knob is ergonomically designed to help keep a good grip on it.

Pros:

  • Good value for the money
  • 10 ball-bearing system
  • Interchangeable hand retrieve

Cons:

  • A little bit of a cheapish feel and look
  • Inconsistent drag

Bottom line:

The Pflueger President PRESSP30X is one of the more affordable choices on the list. However, it's not the lightest or quickest. 

While it isn’t capable of dragging in big fish, its smoothness can help you during a fight with one.

7. Shimano Sedona 1000 FI

Shimano Sedona 1000 FI

Design and Body

The Shimano Sedona 1000 FI will give you great performance for its price with the upgraded, gold-forged Hagane gears and flagship Hagane gearing.

Its G-Free body technology also works on reducing the strain on your hand to prevent fatigue so that you can hold up your fights as long as possible.

Performance

With a 5.0:1 gear ratio and 26-inch line retrieve rate, it’s adequately fast. And weighing only 7.6 ounces, it’s lightweight too.

However, its drag power is disappointing at only 7 pounds.

A good thing about the Shimano Sedona 1000 FI is its increased line capacity thanks to the double-anodized, machine-cut spools.

This is without even compromising the compact design of the reel.

Extras

The propulsion line management system works on maximizing the cast distance while the spool lip design works on preventing backlashes and wind-knot formations.

Finally, the oval oscillation gear keeps the spool speed uniform and keeps the lay even instead of getting hoarded at the ends of the spool.

Pros:

  • Smooth casting
  • Reliable and durable
  • Effective drag system

Cons:

  • Small drag capacity
  • Too few bearings

Bottom line:

The Shimano Sedona 1000 FI isn’t a “catch” of the day but it’s moderately-priced for the features it has to offer.

Why Use a Spinning Reel to Catch Trout?

A spinning reel can be used by both experienced and inexperienced anglers. It can also handle wide ranges of lure weights.

Moreover, when you pair it appropriately with a lightweight rod, you'll get a seamless fishing experience.

How to Choose a Good Spinning Reel for Trout?

Being vigorous and active fish, trout will definitely have you running around the place trying to catch them.

That’s why your fights should be quick and your reel should be durable.

There are a couple of things you should look for when you’re shopping for a trout spinning reel:

Gear Ratio and Line Retrieve

Higher gear ratios and line retrieves mean faster line recovery –something I think is vital for catching trout.

For example, if your reel’s gear ratio is 6.0:1, this means that the spool revolves 6 times with each turn of the handle.

Reel Size

Generally, the larger the fish you’re seeking to catch, the bigger your reel should be.

A 1000 or 2500 reel would do a fine job catching trout. While you can also find 3500 reels that are only slightly heavier but can store more line.

Moreover, the heavier the reel is, the more powerful its drag system would be. Consequently, the better it ability to reel in bigger fish.

Drag System

The drag system is what maintains the pressure on the spool of your reel and provides you with stability to catch fish.

20 pounds is good enough for a drag system weight when it comes to catching trout.

Ball Bearings

How smooth your reel performs in terms of both casting and reeling in relies on the number of ball bearings on it.

The higher the number, the smoother the process will be.

Moreover, if you’re going to be fishing in saltwater, you should get a reel with anti-corrosion bearings to withstand the wear and tear.

Final Thoughts

Although I think the reels I’ve mentioned all qualify to be the best spinning reels for trout on the market, some of them combine all the good features to varying degrees.

If your budget is more flexible and you want durable equipment, I’d definitely recommend the Shimano Stradic CI4+ 2500 FB for its overall quick and reliable performance.

The Abu Garcia Revo REVO2XS10 also is a great high-end choice for its incredible speed of retrieve and smoothness.

On the other hand, a more affordable choice would be the Piscifun 4000 Spinning Reel. And even though it's the second cheapest on the list, it also has the second-highest retrieve rate, drag, and number of bearings.

For the ideal combination between performance and affordability, I’d recommend the KastKing Sharky III 3000.

Best Ultralight Spinning Reels 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Ultralight Spinning Reels

If you're a fishing enthusiast like me, you'd know the excruciating wrist, arm, and shoulder pain that you can experience after a long day fishing.

So a good lightweight spinning reel sounds like the perfect solution.

And that's why I created this list to recommend all the best ultralight spinning reels that I could find for the long fishing trips and adventures.

The 6 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels for 2019

1. KastKing Sharky III 

KastKing Sharky III

Besides being durable, the KastKing Sharky III looks and feels great because it's built from premium parts.

The water-resistant spool, body, and rotor guarantee protection against water and dirt.

Thanks to that, you can use it to fish in either freshwater or saltwater.

It's lightweight at 10.5 ounces and is strong and durable as its body and rotor are both made of reinforced graphite.

Moreover, it can help you through tough fish battles as it has a maximum drag power of 33 pounds –which is pretty impressive relative to its weight.

As for how smooth and quiet the operation is, it's top-notch with 10 ball bearings and 1 bearing which are salt-water rated with shielded stainless-steel.

You won't even need to use the backing line when you're spooling on braid fishing line thanks to the Fin braid-ready aluminum spool.

With a 5.2:1 gear ratio and a 33.4-inch line retrieve per crank, you can quickly reel your catches in before they can escape.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty
  • Smooth operation
  • Suits both right-handed and left-handed anglers
  • Amazing drag capability

Cons:

  • Prone to wear and tear

Bottom line:

Lightweight, efficient, and very affordable, the KastKing Sharky III 1000 is simply one of the best ultralight reels on the market.

2. Pflueger President

Pflueger President

The Pflueger President PRESSP30X comes with a graphite body and rotor, making it both portable and durable.

Moreover, its aluminum spool is braid-ready and ported so that you can braid directly to it without having backed it with mono line.

Furthermore, it's pretty smooth as it's equipped with 10 stainless steel bearings -9 of which are ball ones and the remaining one is a roller. They're made from stainless steel, so they are corrosion-resistant.

On top of that, the Pflueger President PRESSP30X has a quick gear ratio of 5.2:1 and retrieves 25.2 inches of line per crank.

That's why it was incredibly smooth to drag a fish of up to 9 pounds, even when it put up a stubborn fight.

It's not exactly the lightest choice at 8.3 ounces, but it's still stable and durable thanks to its heavy-duty aluminum SureClick bail.

Plus, the soft-touch knob made it easy to keep a solid grip on it. the aircraft-grade aluminum handle kept it solid against wear and tear.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • 10 ball bearing system provides smoothness
  • Very portable
  • Hand retrieve can be switched

Cons:

  • Looks and feels cheapish
  • Not sealed against saltwater's damage

Bottom line:

The Pflueger President PRESSP30X is one of those small spinning reels that is very portable and affordable. If you're only going to be fishing in freshwater, it would be a very great bang for your buck.

3. Shimano Stradic CI4+

Shimano Stradic CI4+

With a Magnumlite (MGL) rotor, the Shimano Stradic CI4+ could come at 25% lighter weight than predecessors.

The G-Free body design is used on this model as well to maximize comfort. I could spend a whole day fishing and not feel any wrist fatigue when I'm done.

The Shimano Stradic CI4+ is highly durable too. It comes with an advanced CoreProtect 360-degree water-resistant coating, so you can use it to fish in either saltwater or freshwater with no worries.

Moreover, its body is made from carbon fiber, which is why it's super light at only 6.7 ounces.

With the Shimano Stradic CI4+, you'll be able to drag 20-pound fish easily and quickly as it has a 6.1:1 gear ratio and retrieves 35 inches of line per a single crank.

The 2 Shimano A-RB roller bearings and 6 S A-RB shielded stainless steel ball-bearing work together to provide an amazingly stable and smooth fishing experience in co-operation with the amazing line management system.

On top of that, no back play happens in the reel as the Super Stopper II anti-reverse ensures solid hooksets.

However, it would have added more value to the reel if the anti-reverse were a little bigger.

Pros:

  • Quick drag
  • Almost completely water-resistant
  • Excellent line management system
  • Absolutely lightweight

Cons:

  • Quite pricey
  • The anti-reverse switch is a little too small

Bottom Line:

Shimano Stradic CI4+ is the priciest choice on the list but for a good reason. It's very lightweight, smooth, and has a large maximum drag capability. It will definitely give you great value for your money.

4. Shimano Sedona FI 1000

Shimano Sedona FI

The cold-forged Hagane gears on the Shimano Sedona FI 1000 enhance its performance while the Hagane gearing guarantees the strength and durability of the reel.

It's also quite versatile for a medium-priced reel as you can use it for fishing inshore or offshore.

Moreover, it's pretty lightweight at only 7.6 ounces. Mix that with the G-Free body technology and you get a rod that wouldn't strain your wrists even if you go fishing for hours on end.

And while it can be very handy in a quick battle with its 5.0:1 gear ratio and 26-inch line retrieve per crank, its maximum drag is quite disappointing at only 7 pounds.

One of the most impressive things about the Shimano Sedona FI 1000 is its propulsion line management system. With an improved spool lip design, the casting distance is maximized, all while eliminating backlashed and wind-knot formation.

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Effective drag system
  • Durable and reliable
  • Smooth casts

Cons:

  • Low drag capacity

Bottom line:

Although the Shimano Sedona FI 1000 is a great ul spinning reel as it's affordable, smooth, and durable, it's not your best bet if you go for bigger or heavier fish.

5. Okuma Ceymar C-40

Okuma Ceymar C-40

A corrosion-resistant body and a cyclonic flow rotor design to get more airflow through the ported rotor and prevent water from entering the reel are what make the Okuma Ceymar C-40 so durable.

Moreover, the precision elliptical gearing system increases the maximum cast distance as well as accuracy. Mix that with the accurate gear alignment system and you get absolutely uniform drag pressures during operation.

To make casts and drags smooth, the Okuma Ceymar C-40 is equipped with 7 ball bearings and a roller bearing.

And to make your battles quick and effective, its gear ratio is 5.0:1 and it retrieves 29 inches of line per crank.

Although you can't catch heavier fish, its 13-pound maximum drag is still good enough for many.

It's not the lightest reel on the list -although it is still light in general-, but it's easy to maneuver and its zinc diecast handle applies enough torque to get you through any battle.

Pros:

  • Corrosion-resistant and durable
  • Great bang for your buck
  • Highly affordable

Cons:

  • Can only be used in freshwater

Bottom line:

The Okuma Ceymar C-40 is a great micro spinning reel under 50 bucks. With a steady performance and a build that will last, it'll definitely give you a bang for your buck.

6. Abu Garcia Revo SX 30

Abu Garcia Revo SX

The Abu Garcia Revo SX 30 is a very lightweight reel thanks to graphite rotor and the IM-C6 body design.

And while it weighs only 7.9 ounces, it's still able to drag in fish of up to 11 pounds.

The reason behind that is that it comes with 8 ball bearings and a roller bearing that make its operation as smooth as silk.

On top of that, it uses a Rocket line management system and a machined aluminum braid-ready Rocket spool.

You can beat a big fish with a speedy catch as the Abu Garcia Revo SX 30's gear ratio is 6.2:1 and it retrieves 35 inches of link per crank.

The feature that impressed me the most is the magnetic brake system that truly eliminates any backlash and makes the operation very quiet.

Furthermore, the Abu Garcia Revo SX 30 felt very comfortable to hold as it's equipped with a Flat EVA knob that provides a solid and ergonomic grip.

Pros:

  • Excellent brake system
  • Effective line retrieve
  • Quick and smooth performance
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • A little pricey

Bottom line:

This lightweight reel can handle the resistance of bigger fish as it has an adequate maximum drag and a quick operation mechanism.

And while it's not completely sealed, you can still use it in saltwater if you rinse it thoroughly afterward.

How to Choose a Good Ultralight Reel?

It makes sense that the first thing you'll look for is the weight of the reel when you're looking for a good ultralight spinning reel.

However, compromising quality and some certain features to each a lighter build may not get you that far after all.

So despite the importance of the weight as an aspect, there are some other things to look for.

Materials

What your reel is made from will have a huge impact on its durability and not just the weight.

Most reels will have either a graphite or an aluminum body.

Typically, an aluminum reel will be stronger and will have less flex to produce more torque for bigger fish.

On the other hand, graphite reels are definitely always lighter –usually being 8 ounces or even less.

Drag System

Your drag system will either be a spool one or a frame-based one.

The former is easier to adjust and keep an eye during a battle, but the latter provides more strength and stability.

Gear Ratio and Line Retrieval

These two factors play a major role in determining the speed at which you can reel in your fish.

The gear ratio indicates the number of revolutions the bail rotates around the spool with every turn of the handle, consequently controlling the line retrieval which indicates how much line is retrieved with each crank of the handle.

You should base your decision depending on your technique and the size of the fish you'll be battling with.

Bearings

The number of bearings on your reel will have a huge impact on how smooth your drags and casts will be.

In the case of bearings, the more is definitely the merrier.

And even though they can make the reel a little heavier, the smoothness will definitely make up for the extra ounce or two.

Final Thoughts

The reels I chose for this article are the best ultralight spinning reels I found on the market. But that doesn't mean that some of them function more exceptionally than others.

I'd go for the KastKing Sharky III 1000 for the affordability, smoothness, speedy operation and high drag capacity. Although it's actually the least lightweight reel on the list.

If your main concern is the weight, you can go for the lightest. The Shimano Stradic CI4+ provides you with a great drag capacity and smooth operation as well. However, it's quite pricey. I'd say the hefty price tag is justified as it's also very durable.

Finally, the Pflueger President PRESSP30X would be a good reel to combine between affordability and efficiency in terms of other functions.

Best Spinning Reels for Bass 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Spinning Reel for Bass

It took me a while to find a good spinning reel for catching bass, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re facing a bit of confusion in the face of this decision.

It’s only a matter of considering some certain aspects and getting a reel that matches your needs.

And on this list, I’ve gathered the best spinning reels for bass you can find and reviewed them for you.

The 6 Best Bass Spinning Reels for 2019

1. Shimano Stradic Ci4+ - The Best Bass Spinning Reel

Shimano Stradic Ci4+

Design

With an innovative design and a Magnumlite (MGL) rotor, the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB comes at 25% lighter weight.

However, it’s still a little above the average weight of the reels on this list.

The G-Free body design brings the center of gravity of the reel closer to your hand’s position which provides the maximum comfort and reduces fatigue.

On top of that, it is water-resistant thanks to the CoreProtect 360-degree coating that extends its durability.

Components

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB comes with a cold forged-aluminum spool and hard Hagane drive gears to make it more powerful than both die-cast aluminum and graphite.

Furthermore, the X-ship components make it more accurate and smooth –especially during fights with stubborn fish.

Specs

The carbon-fiber body makes it weigh 8.6 ounces but it's still capable of dragging in a 24-pound fish.

This incredible capability stems from its high 6.2:1 gear ratio mixed with the 39-inch line retrieve per crank.

Moreover, it can handle a monoline of 200 yards per 10 pounds.

Extras

To further increase the smoothness and stability of the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB, the pinion gear is supported by 2 Shimano A-RB roller bearings.

Additionally, there are 6 S A-RB shielded stainless steel ball bearings that prevent any water, salt, or dirt from passing into your reel.

Finally, the solid hooksets were guaranteed thanks to the Super Stopper II anti-reverse switch. Although it felt a little too small, it was still effective.

Pros:

  • Superb line management
  • Nearly 100% water-resistant
  • Incredibly smooth operation
  • Portability

Cons:

  • Quite pricey
  • The anti-reverse switch is a little too small

Bottom line:

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB combines fast action with smoothness. It’s the best bass spinning reel if you’re going for bigger fish.

Although it’s a little expensive, it gives you great value for your money.

2. Abu Garcia Revo SX - An Excellent Freshwater Reel for Bass

Abu Garcia Revo SX

Design

The Abu Garcia Revo 2SX30 comes with an IM-C6 body design and a graphite rotor that work together to make it very light.

Its alloy frame enables it to resist corrosion and the carbon handle side plates, housing, and body materials make it both durable and lightweight.

Additionally, the Revo 2SX30 uses a Carbon-Matrix technology in its hybrid drag system. The latter consists of a group of carbon washers that keep the drag pressure consistent.

Specs

The reel weighs only 7.9 ounces. However, it’s only capable of reeling in fish of 11 pounds.

With a gear ratio of 6.2:1 and an ability to reel in 35 inches of line per crank, the Abu Garcia Revo 2SX30 helped me finish my fights quicker than the bass would realize what’s happening.

The Abu Garcia Revo 2SX30 8 stainless steel ball bearings and roller bearing work in coordination to make its operation as smooth as possible.

Extras

In terms of line management, the Rocket system and Rocket spool lip design work amazingly.

Moreover, I never felt any wrist fatigue or any discomfort as the flat EVA knob provides a pretty solid and comfortable grip.

The hooks were always pretty intact thanks to the K-Clutch anti-reverse system.

And to top it all, the Abu Garcia Revo 2SX30 comes with a magnetic brake system that absolutely eliminates backlash and makes the operation very quiet –a great aspect when you consider how the slightest disturbance causes bass to run and hide.

Pros:

  • 9-ball bearing system to guarantee smoothness
  • Magnetic brake system
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Exchangeable hand retrieve

Cons:

  • Not very affordable
  • Small drag power

Bottom line:

If you’re going to be fishing for bass exclusively in freshwater, you’ll get no better performance than from the Abu Garcia Revo 2SX30.

It’s strong, durable, and performs with incredible efficiency.

3. KastKing Royale Legend - A Budget Baitcasting Reel for Bass

KastKing Royale Legend

Design

The KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reel is quite thin and light.

It's durable and strong, so you can use it to fish both in saltwater and freshwater.

Specs

This high-speed baitcasting reel can retrieve line at a ratio of 7.0:1 and retrieves 31.5 inches of line per crank very smoothly.

Thanks to the 11 corrosion-resistant ball bearings and anti-reverse one, it can perform both smoothly and quietly.

Extras

The CNC-machined precision gears work on enhancing the strength of the retrieve.

Moreover, I found the Dual Breaking system quite impressive. It’s exclusive to KastKing Royale Legend, and it controls the deceleration of the spool after casting to facilitate tasks and eliminate backlash.

In addition, the KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting has an incredible drag system that works with carbon fiber discs.

It doesn’t matter if you’re left-handed or right-handed as the retrieve can be switched.

The dual grips repel water and feature an EVA foam padding that adds comfort to the flat grip.

Pros:

  • Highly affordable
  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • Lightweight carbon fiber drag system
  • Precision cut brass gear structure

Cons:

  • Requires frequent maintenance

Bottom line:

The KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting does an amazing job at providing high-quality features at a very low price point.

Although it's the cheapest on the list, it has the highest gear ratio, the lightest weight, and has the second-biggest drag capability. It's simply a great bang for your buck.

4. Daiwa BG 3000 - Best Value Reel for Catching Bass

Daiwa BG 3000

Design

The Daiwa BG 3000 comes with an anodized aluminum body that’s superior to the painted one as it highly extends the reel’s durability.

Equipped with an ABS spool, cross-cut carbon fiber washers, and a carbon ATD drag system, it's a very smooth and reliable choice.

Specs

The Daiwa BG 3000’s gear ratio is 5.6:1 and it can pull in 37.4 inches of line per crank.

And although it weighs only 10.8 ounces, it can reel in fish of up to 15.4 pounds –which is quite impressive for how affordable it is.

On top of that, its performance is quite smooth thanks to the 7 stainless steel ball bearings.

And even though they’re not shielded like the higher-end Daiwa models, this one is still pretty durable.

Extras

There’s more space for teeth to come in contact as the Digigear system is very spacious to make your retrieves a lot smoother.

Moreover, this increases the torque and provides you with more power to be able to reel in bigger fish.

Mix that with the air rotor that maintains the reel’s balance, the ABS spool that extends castability, and the carbon ATD drag system and you get amazing functionality and stability.

Pros:

  • Very smooth performance
  • Strong anodized body
  • Superb drag capability

Cons:

  • The spool is not anodized but only painted

Bottom line:

The Daiwa BG 3000 is the best bass reel you can get for that price level. Although it’s not completely sealed, it’s still easy to maintain.

5. Penn Battle II - An Affordable Spinning Reel for Bass

Penn Battle II

Design

Coming at less than a hundred bucks, the Battle BTLII3000 performs very well as a bass spinning reel.

This model also comes with an improved paint quality that gives it protection against saltwater –mix this with proper maintenance and you’ll get a reel that lasts quite long.

Specs

It has a high gear ratio of 6.2:1 and retrieves 35 inches of line per crank which means you’ll be able to pull in the shy bass pretty quickly.

Weighing only 12.3 ounces, the BTLII3000 can drag in fish of up to 15 pounds.

This is thanks to its smooth operation that runs on 5 stainless steel ball bearings which are sealed to protect the reel.

Extras

Moreover, the anti-reverse bearing helps keep your hooksets stable.

The Battle BTLII3000's monoline capacity is 180 yard per 10 pounds and there are line capacity rings on the Superline spool that indicate how much of the line you have left.

Finally, the Battle BTLII3000 has rubber inlay that enables you to load braided line directly without backing it up with mono.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Premium build quality and feel
  • Smooth drag system
  • Braid-ready spool

Cons:

  • Can face many wind knots
  • Not completely sealed
  • Some inconsistencies with the performance

Bottom line:

It’s not that common to find a budget-friendly spinning reel that performs well in saltwater but the Battle BTLII3000 is definitely a great candidate.

For its price, it delivers reliable performance.

6. Pflueger Supreme SUPXTSP35x - An Excellent Lightweight Spinning Reel

Pflueger Supreme XT

Design

The Pflueger Supreme SUPXTSP35x comes with a magnesium body, side plate, and rotor that are both very lightweight and durable.

Moreover, its aluminum spool is double-anodized to resist corrosion and helps keep the weight to a minimal with the machine ported sidewalls.

Specs

The Pflueger Supreme SUPXTSP35x’s gear ratio is 6.2:1 while it retrieves 33.8 inches of line with every crank.

This enables you to reel in 12-pound fish with no trouble –which isn’t the biggest maximum drag but it’s good enough for medium-sized bass.

In addition, the Pflueger Supreme SUPXTSP35x has 10 stainless steel corrosion-resistant ball bearings to help it operate smoothly.

Extras

The sealed carbon drag system is light and durable. However, it does allow some dirt and grime into the reel.

And although the EVA knob was comfortable to the grip, it would have been easier to adjust if it were a little bigger, in my opinion.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design
  • The smooth and sealed carbon drag system
  • Solid anti-reverse
  • Braid-ready aluminum spool

Cons:

  • Hard to clean and maintain
  • Portholes collect dirt and grime

Bottom line:

The Pflueger Supreme SUPXTSP35x can't handle braid line that well, even its monoline performance isn't as great as other reels.

But when you figure out how to work with it, you’ll definitely enjoy its fast and smooth performance.

What to Look for When Buying a Spinning Reel for Bass?

A Good Spinning Reel for Catching Bass

When you’re looking for a good spinning reel for bass to buy, there are a couple of important things you should keep in mind:

Gear Ratio and Line Retrieve

Bass are quite timid fish that usually stay around cover and run for it with the smallest disturbance in their surrounding.

That’s why you need a reel with a high gear ratio and a quick line retrieve to finish the fight as quickly as possible.

A 6:1 gear ratio with around 30 inches of line retrieved per crank should be good enough for a fast win over a bass.

Material and Weight

I put these 2 together as they’re inter-dependent.

An aluminum reel would be less portable than a graphite one but also more durable and strong.

However, you can't go for an aluminum reel if you'll be fishing in saltwater or off-shore.

And if you fish for extended periods of time, an aluminum reel would likely put your wrist under a lot of strain and cause fatigue.

Drag System and Power

Depending on how big you plan your bass to be, you should get a matching drag power.

Drag systems are responsible for applying pressure to a hooked fish and releasing the line during battle.

A 15-pound drag power is adequate enough for many bass, but you can still go for a higher number.

If you’re looking for more durability, go for a front drag system.

Personally, however, I prefer a rear drag system as it’s more accessible. Especially during fights.

Bearings and Anti-Reverse Switch

These two features control the smoothness of the operation of your reel.

The more bearings you have on your reel, the smoother it will perform.

Moreover, a good anti-reverse switch will help keep your hook sets solid and in place as they prevent the handle from spinning backward.

How Is a Spinning Reel Different?

A spinning reel's operation mechanism depends on a fixed-line spool, a safeguard, and roller framework (sometimes referred to as a wheel) that goes around the spool handle and discharges the fishing line.

This enables you to cast the rod as well as the line at varying distances to be able to catch various fish sizes.

Final Thoughts

While all the options on the list are the best spinning reels for bass on the market, there are some choices that I recommend for specific reasons.

If you can afford the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB, I'd definitely recommend that you go for it. It's superior in several ways and can catch quite big fish. It particularly enjoyed how easy it was to operate and how smooth its drag felt.

While the KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reel is the most affordable, it also stands out in a number of ways. It has the highest gear ratio and the lightest weight on the list.

Finally, the Abu Garcia Revo 2SX30 makes a good combination between affordability and versatility of functions.