Best Fly Tying Vises 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Fly tying is a very versatile style of fishing, and with that degree of versatility comes a wide array of decisions. The most important of which is setting out to buy a good fly tying vise.

It's a little hard to find one that combines well between the affordability of price and quality. But with enough research and information about how you intend to use the vise, you’ll be able to make your choice.

To narrow down the options, I’ve made this list of the best fly tying vises on the market.

Fly Tying Vises – Comparison Table

Wolff industries Atlas Rotary Fly Tying Vise

Material: Stainless Steel

Weight: 6 pounds

Rotary Fly Tying Vise - Peak Fishing Vise

Material: Stainless Steel and Aluminum

Weight: 2.1 pounds

Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise

Material: Brass

Weight: 1 pound

Wolff Industries Apex Rotary Flying Tying Vise

Material: Stainless Steel

Weight: 3.42 pounds

Griffin Montana Mongoose

Material: Metal

Weight: 5.6 pounds

Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000

Material: N/A

Weight: N/A

Super AA Chrome Fly Tying Vise

Material: Stainless Steel

Weight: 0.6 pounds

1. The 7 Best Fly Tying Vises for 2019

Wolff Industries Atlas Rotary Fly Tying Vise

Wolff Industries Atlas Rotary Fly Tying Vise

If you’re big on smaller hooks and tiny flies, the Wolff Industries Atlas is the best option you can get.

Its jaws can effectively hold hooks of sizes 32 to 7/0. It enables you to make extremely precise adjustments, which is why it’s so good when it comes to working with smaller flies. You can even replace the jaws to get the most versatility out of this unit.

The Delrin sleeve bearings provide this rotary vise with a creamy and seamless operation. However, it lacks a bobbin cradle, which means that you won’t be able to rest in-between tying sessions.

And to look as great as it performs, the Wolff Industries Atlas comes with a blue pedestal that facilitates finding little hooks and bead heads you may drop.

Pros:

  • Built for heavy-duty use
  • Pedestal and C-clamp variants
  • Interchangeable steel jaws
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Sleek design

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include a bobbin cradle
  • Doesn’t suit larger fly-tying
  • The pedestal base has a plastic knob

Bottom Line:

This US-made vise is the ideal choice for smaller fly-tying. It does come at a relatively high price level, but the quality construction and versatility make it worth it.

2. Rotary Fly Tying Vise - Peak Fishing Vise

Rotary Fly Tying Vise - Peak Fishing Vise

It’s not the most aesthetic model on the market, the Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise is a very solid, smooth, and convenient option.

The Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise can hold size 30+ hooks, so if you’re looking for something that goes beyond small dries and nymphs, this would be a great upgrade.

Moreover, the jaws can hold hooks as large as 2/0, which means that you get a high degree of versatility with this vise.

You can choose either the pedestal or clamp base, according to your preference. Both will provide you with the same performance level.

Both also have durable construction made from brass and stainless steel –except for the plastic thumb screws for which you can buy brass replacements.

And although high-end vises don’t usually incorporate plastic in the construction of their tools, when you consider the fact this is a fly tying vise under 200, it seems justifiable.

Pros:

  • Equipped with a lifetime defect warranty in construction or material
  • Comes with strong clamps that hold the hooks steady
  • Durable construction
  • Comes in both a pedestal or C-clamp variant
  • A white-colored base for better visibility on whatever material you’re working with

Cons:

  • The plastic adjusting knobs are cheaply made
  • The machine tool may leave scratches on the stem

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a very tough vise that will provide you with versatility and durability, you’ll find no better value for your money than the Peak Rotary Fly Tying Vise.

3. Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise

griffin odyssey spider fly tying vise

The Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise is one of the best affordable rotary vises on the market.

It allows you to position the hook and make fine-tuned adjustments effortlessly.

However, it only has a C-clamp variant, so it’s not meant for portability. But that’s compensated for by the reliable and solid bobbin holder.

For an entry-level price tag, the Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise comes with many features that exceed entry-level expectations.

Its jaws are capable of holding a hook of size 28 to 4/0, so you can do a wide variety of tying on it from simple midges to more articulated hooks.

The only downside is that this vise comes with some plastic fittings and knobs that reduce its durability. But the US-built tool comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Pros:

  • Firmly holds a variety of hook sizes
  • Lightweight and portable
  • 360-degree rotation provides high maneuverability
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons:

  • Jaws are not sharp enough
  • Not very durable –especially the bobbin cradle

Bottom Line:

A great bang for your buck would be the Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise. Although it doesn’t have the most durable construction, it’s still a pretty versatile and solid fly tying vise for beginners.

4. Wolff Industries Apex Rotary Flying Tying Vise

Wolff Industries Apex Rotary Flying Tying Vise

Looking for an affordable rotary fly tying vise that’s still packed with impressive features? That’s what you get when you buy the Wolff Industries Apex.

This US-made tool produces enough friction to compete with premium vises in terms of performance. It can accommodate flies of all sizes and provide you with spot-on rotation.

It has a small size, which makes it very portable, yet it's very durable as it's made from stainless steel.

The steel jaws tightly hold hooks from size 6/0 to 32. On top of that, the grooves are held together with the jaws to make it easier for the vise to hold larger hooks.

The inline rotary has a special design that makes all sides visible for inspections easily.

To give you a degree of customization, it comes with knobs that you can move to adjust the vise.

Pros:

  • Can be adjusted easily
  • Can be inspected from all sides thanks to the 360-degree rotation
  • Solid steel jaws that hold various hook sizes

Cons:

  • Bolts and screws have a tendency to come loose

Bottom Line:

The Wolff Industries Apex Rotary Flying Tying Vise is a great C-clamp rotary vise that gives you good performance for an affordable price. However, don’t expect huge hooks with this one.

5. Griffin Montana Mongoose

The Griffin Montana Mongoose is a good value vise that suits intermediate to advanced level fly tying.

Having an all-metal construction makes it a very durable unit while the bobbin cradle, clamp, and pedestal base extend its usability and versatility.

Moreover, the sharp, heavy-duty quality of the vise is reflected in its performance. It performs as amazingly as it looks.

The jaw is able to clamp hooks of size ranging from 28 to 4/0, which is pretty versatile. However, it’s not as effective when it comes to tying smaller ones, so if you go for 30 bugs, you should consider another option.

You can use the Griffin Montana Mongoose from the comfort of your home or in the middle of your fishing adventure.

It enables you to make very precise, fine-tuned adjustments, and once you properly adjust it, it’ll sit very sturdily wherever you set it.

Pros:

  • Comes with both a pedestal and clamp base
  • Includes a padded carry case
  • All-metal construction
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Not the most affordable
  • Angle of jaws cannot be adjusted
  • Doesn’t work with flies smaller than 20

Bottom Line:

Generally, the Montana Goose is a fantastic value buy that offers all the basic features you’d look for in a high-end vise but at a more affordable price tag.

6. Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000

Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000

Although it comes at a considerably high price, the Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000 is one of the top-notch choices on the market.

But when you check the craftsmanship and quality of this vise, you’ll find the price justified as this unit is built to last a lifetime.

The Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000 feels very rock-solid and provides you with excellent adjustments that are easy to make.

Supporting hook sizes of 28 to 4/0, the Renzetti Traveler 2000 is a little less versatile than you’d expect from a vise of its price level. But it works very well and securely for hooks bigger than 20 or 22.

Moreover, the included bobbin cradle adds to the value of the vise by making it convenient and easy to use.

Finally, the Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000 is compact enough to be packed easily, but it still feels like a full-size unit that isn’t 100% travel-friendly.

Pros:

  • Great build quality
  • Durable
  • Equipped with a practical bobbin holder
  • Ample portability

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Only a pedestal base is included
  • Not very versatile

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a vise with top-notch build quality and reliable performance, you should go for the Orvis Renzetti Traveler 2000. However, you should be ready to pay a little extra and mostly work with larger hook sizes and bug-tying.

7. Super AA Chrome Fly Tying Vise

Super AA Chrome Fly Tying Vise

The Super AA Chrome vise is a fantastic choice for any entry-level fly fishing enthusiast that’s looking for a budget-friendly fly tying vise under 100 bucks.

Of course, affordability means you'll be compromising some quality and durability, but it's still good enough to last as long as you're progressing toward intermediate and advanced levels.

Moreover, the cast iron clamp enables the vise to be rock-still when you attach it to the worktable, consequently giving you the most stable performance.

Its head can also rotate a full 360 degrees to let you choose the working angle that best suits you.

It is an all-purpose vise, and you can subject it to a number of uses apart from tying lures. It is light and portable so you can move it to preferred locations much faster and easier.

Pros:

  • Easy to operate
  • Highly affordable price
  • Easily adjustable preference

Cons:

  • Not very durable

Bottom Line:

This all-purpose vise can be used for more than just tying lures. It’s very light and portable, so it’s easy to carry around. It’s also very highly affordable, but not that durable.

How to Pick a Fly Tying Vise?

Before you make up your mind on which vise to get, make sure you’ve checked out each feature and evaluated how much it would suit your use.

Rotary vs. Non-Rotary Vises

Rotary vises come with many extras such as bells and whistles, which is why more experienced anglers prefer them.

They offer 360-degree tying flexibility, an ability to inspect your fly from different angles and rotate the hook for easier use. 

But while they’re a lot superior to non-rotary vises, they’re also a lot pricier.

So if you’re a beginner who’s looking for basic action from an affordable device, you should go for a non-rotary one.

C-Clamp vs. Pedestal Vise

When deciding between these two, you should ask yourself: Where am I going to tie my flies?

If you’re going to prepare them at home, working from a stable desk, you could go for the C-clamp variant.

Contrarily, if you’re going to be tying them on the go, opt for the more portable pedestal vises. These are more compact and easier to carry around.

Materials

Your vise is going to be made either from aluminum or steel or sometimes a combination of both.

Aluminum ones are lighter and have better resistance against corrosion, so they’re good for pedestal fly tying vises that you’ll bring along with you.

On the other hand, steel vises are more powerful, durable, and offer a better grip. That’s why they’re great for C-clamp vises. And although they’re a little bulkier than their rivals, that won’t be a problem if you’re not going to move it around.

Jaws

The jaws of your vise could be fixed or interchangeable. The latter is the superior option as it gives you the freedom and versatility to work with a wider variety of hooks.

This means you can tie large saltwater hooks or tiny midge hooks using the same vise, so you get the whole gamut.

However, fixed-jaw vises are more affordable. So if you could do without the versatility, you should go for one of those.

Types of Jaws

Not only do jaws differ in having fixed or interchangeable jaws, but they also differ in the types of jaws.

There are collet vises and level-type (parallel clamp) ones. Collet ones are one-piece jaws that resemble tweezers in an open position. Their jaws are pulled or pushed into a ring called a collet. They have sleeker profiles and are capable of exerting strong force onto the collet.

On the other hand, level-type vises are two-piece jaws that resemble wooden clothespins. Some models come with a small screw near the tip of the jaws to allow you to adjust hook-wire diameters. Other use a thumbscrew or a cam level to close the jaws by separating their “tails.”

Types of Vise Bases

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to vise bases, but the heavier the base is, the more stable its performance is going to be.

Bronze Pocket Base

These are tough, well-designed, and easy to carry around.

Bronze Traditional Base

Although these are a little bulky, they act as a very stable platform.

Aluminum Pocket Base

These are small, lightweight, and affordable. However, they only work with small hooks.

The Bobbin Cradle

Bobbin cradles allow you to rest your bobbin in-between sessions, so it provides you with more convenience.

And the best part is that if your vise doesn’t come with one, you can create your own bobbin cradle.

How to Use a Fly Fishing Vise?

Put the hook in the vise and make sure you attach it very securely. Most of the time, a vise will have two types of adjustment. One at the front, which adjusts the width, and one at the back to crank it down and hold the hook.

Make sure that you crank the back adjustment to hold the hook tightly. It's important that the hook doesn't move when you put some force on it so that it stays stable while you're cranking your material on it.

Final Thoughts

Finally, purchasing the best fly tying vise on the market isn't going to be an easy task due to the various choices available.

But if you’re a professional looking the most versatile, durable option and a superb investment, I’d recommend the Wolff industries Atlas Rotary Fly Tying Vise.

However, it may be a little pricey for some. If so, you can go for the more affordable yet effective Peak Fishing Rotary Fly Tying Vise.

Though I’d recommend the Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise for an affordable option with more versatility.

If you’re only a beginner looking for an entry-level vise with a very much entry-level price, there wouldn’t be anything more affordable and provide the same performance as the Super AA Chrome Fly Tying Vise.

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.

How Fishing Can Benefit Your Life

How Fishing Can Benefit Your Life

There’s a lot more to fishing than meets the eye. And that’s a reason why you probably weren’t aware that there are a lot of ways that fishing can positively impact your life.

If you can't fathom how then let me tell you several ways that fishing can be beneficial to your life.

Fishing and Physical Well-Being

Full-Body Workout

The main character in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea fights against a massive marlin for three days. And while this is fiction, it doesn’t mean catching a fish –no matter how small- doesn’t require engaging a lot of muscles including back, arms, core, shoulders, and legs.

Excellent Low-Impact Activity

While running is a great way to keep your blood pumping, it does inflict some damage on your knees in the long run.

The same is true for many power exercises.

And that’s another reason why fishing is a great way to get your body active –it doesn’t include any wear or tear due to impact.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Depending on the kind of fishing you like to do, you can burn anywhere up to 200 calories per hour.

That is unless you’re just sitting around with your beer waiting for a fish to start tugging.

You’ll definitely get your lungs and heart working if you move around to test different spots, casting, and reeling your line.

Improves Balance and Coordination

Anyone that's reeled in a bigger fish knows that the process requires a lot of maneuvering. And to keep your balance, you need flexibility and core strength, both of which you can acquire through fishing.

Moreover, fishing helps you keep all your limbs moving in coordination to be able to keep your balance and catch the fish.

Fishing for Food

Fish are low in cholesterol and fat while high in protein. That’s why many nutritionists and dietary experts would recommend a regular diet of fish.

And if the fish you cook is the same as the fresh one you just caught on a fishing trip, it makes the benefits all the more effective and rewarding in every sense.

Fishing and Mental Well-being

Family Bonding

I don't think there's any of us who don't remember a fishing trip with their grandpa, father, uncle, or big brother.

And if for any reason you don't, you can always go with your kids and teach them how everything is done.

It’ll Bring You Closer to Nature

Fishing is a great way to be at one with nature as you’ll be doing it around water surfaces surrounded by trees or at a beach.

The fresh air with the breeze from the water will definitely help you become more grounded and recharge your battery.

Teaches Patience

Like actual muscles, patience needs to be trained and put into action.

Catching fish requires a good amount of waiting, which teaches you the virtue of patience and encourages you to be persistent.

Although you may be defeated sometimes, such as when you have to change spots, you’ll learn not to give up and pursue your goal.

Gives Your Immune System a Boost

Even if you haven’t caught any fish, you can still celebrate the victory of getting your dose of vitamin D.

Vitamin D helps your body manage the absorption of phosphorus and calcium –two minerals that boost the immune system and helps it fight against diseases.

Encourages You to Kick Back

You can also celebrate the mere idea of getting some relaxation.

You’d have spent long hours surrounded by nature while you focus on a task that matches meditation.

This lowers blood pressure and consequently reduces anxiety.

Encourages Travel and Exploration

Like any activity, sometimes you'll get bored of fishing in your usual area and would want to go to a nearby lake. Maybe in a neighboring town.

Sometimes, people travel across the world to fish in the most rewarding and enjoyable fishing spots.

And through traveling and meeting fellow anglers, you can learn to be more open to experiences and to different people and cultures.

Final Thoughts

When all is said and done, fishing can be an enjoyable experience overall.

It is one of the most popular hobbies and activities all over the world, and for a good reason.

Apart from the stress-relief, general body, and brain workout, you also get a catch for dinner that can encourage you to follow healthier eating habits.

Pflueger President Review

Pflueger President Review

Performance

The wholly redesigned Pflueger President hits the ideal combination between affordability and reliable performance.

Although it wouldn’t be what I’d recommend to someone who’s looking to fish in saltwater, it’s still great for a budget-friendly reel.

The only reason I say that it's not suitable for saltwater fishing is that its components aren't sealed. This means that it would require a lot of maintenance if used in a saltwater environment.

Design

The first thing you can notice about the new design of the Pflueger President is the reduction in its body weight by 10%.

And although its size is smaller, it’s still as durable as ever.

This can be attributed to its graphite body and rotor as well as an aircraft-grade aluminum handle which don't take a toll on its weight but maintain its durability.

The reel comes in 5 sizes ranging from a size 20 to a size 40 and their weights ranging from 5.9 ounces to 10.9 ounces.

Six pounds is the minimum drag power found on the PRESSP20X whereas the PRESSP40X can drag up to 12 pounds.

Bearing System

All sizes come with a 10-bearing system that uses corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings to provide the smoothest retrieve.

Drag System

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

I was quite impressed with the micro increments on the drag, which can easily be adjusted to provide you with precise changes.

Spool

The ported braid-ready spool is made from solid aluminum. It easily lets the braid be tied directly to the spool using a group of vertical rubber grommets.

These grommets enable the slippery braid to grip the spool without requiring to be backed by monofilament line.

Sure Click Bail

Heavy-duty aluminum also goes into the construction of the Sure Click bail of the Pflueger President. It provides an assuring audible click to let you know the bail is open and ready to cast.

Note: If you want to extend the lifespan of your reel, make sure you close the bail with your hand after you cast.

Ergonomics

You can be sure that your fishing trips will last long not only because this reel is lightweight but because it keeps your comfort in mind.

The soft-touch ergonomic knob makes it easier for you to grip the knob. It also uses an excellent dimpled knob design that fits well with your fingertips.

Pealing and inferior coating may be the only drawbacks to the handle of this –otherwise- great reel.

Pros:

  • Great price point for the features
  • 10-bearing system
  • Lightweight design
  • Interchangeable hand retrieve
  • Amazing casting distance
  • Quality build for the price

Cons:

  • May feel like a cheap reel
  • Faces some drag issues
  • Not completely sealed for saltwater
  • Not suitable for catching bigger fish

Bottom Line:

For a lightweight fishing reel, the Pflueger President does an incredible job at being smooth.

The drag system, in particular, is quite impressive with its smoothness.

For a reel in the cheap category, it’s quite fantastic. You can even throw in a couple of extra bucks to get it in a combo package.

Generally, if you're on a somewhat limited budget or if you're just starting and don't want to spend that much on your first gear, the Pflueger President is a right choice.

However, if you intend to fish in saltwater, I’d recommend steering away from it. The President is more suited for freshwater and may require intensive maintenance if used in saltwater.

When all is said and done, however, you can spend a little extra money for a more durable reel.

A Beginner’s Guide to Fishing

Beginner’s Guide to Fishing

Fishing is a great way to spend your time doing an activity that’s both beneficial and relaxing.

But it may be a little confusing if you’re only starting out and you’re not sure how or where from you should.

And that’s why I’ve made this little beginner’s guide to explain everything you need to know when you want to get familiar with fishing.

Different Kinds of Fishing

Although fishing may seem like just letting a line hang and waiting for a catch, there’s a lot more to it than just that. There are many variations, and some of them are harder than the others.

Freshwater Fishing

Such as lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. This type of water has minimal salt content.

Saltwater Fishing

Such as the sea or ocean. This type of water has a high salt content. Not only that, but it can vary from shallow and deep waters –the latter being for the more experienced.

Fly Fishing

In fly fishing, you lure a fish on a hook by a bait that looks like a fly. It also includes some wading into rivers and casting outlines.

Ice Fishing

You make a hole in the ice using a special tool and catch your fish through that hole. As a beginner, ice fishing shouldn’t be the first type you start with.

Also, you may require a good fish finder as you wouldn't be able to see the fish and locate them.

Shore Fishing

Fishing from the bank or the shore is probably the ideal way to start as you’ll be close to home. Anything extra you might need would also be readily accessible.

Kayak Fishing

Fishing from a kayak or a small boat can be done in both freshwater and saltwater. It’s fun because you can change spots and go as deep as you want.

The Type of Fish You Can Catch

Some fish are quite stubborn and can put up fierce fights. So if you're looking for the easiest fish to catch, here are some suggestions.

Burbot

These are quite common as they feed on almost anything. This doesn’t only mean that they’re easy to find but also to catch. They don’t put up a strong or a long fight.

Trout

There are many types of trout, but the most common are brown and rainbow trout. They're good at adapting and that's why they can be found in many places with different circumstances.

Although they bite for a variety of baits, they’re still clever and learn from the past. So you may have to change up your bait from time to time.

Bass

Bass is quite aggressive and would like to pursue your bait. So although catching them would be easy, reeling them in won't be as simple.

Perch

Perch are common and also aggressive. They’re what can be considered invasive fish.

Catching them won’t be easy because they’re attracted to many types of bait. However, reeling them in could be a hassle as they’re known to put up a fight.

Crappie

They are similar to perch as they’re invasive. They’re usually found in groups, so you might end up with many if you manage to catch one.

Catfish

You can find Catfish anywhere as they’re scavengers that eat just about anything.

Tip: They're easier to catch with bait rather than a lure.

Sunfish

Sunfish don’t even require any trying as they sort of jump onto your hook. Use smaller lures and bait as they’re already quite small.

How to Put Line on a Fishing Reel

Open the bail on your reel and tie the line on the arbor using an arbor knot.

Afterward, place the spool on a steady surface with the label facing up. You have to load the line on the reel the same way it comes off of the spool.)

Next, apply light pressure to the line as you turn your reel’s handle to make sure the line doesn’t go loose or cause any problems.

After that, stop and check your line for any twists by letting it go slack. If it twists, start over and turn your spool to the other side.

Finally, keep filling your spool until it’s about 1/8th of an inch from the rim. This helps prevent under or overfilling.

If you learn better through watching videos, you can make use of this tutorial.

You may also want to check out how to bait a hook or cast the spinning reel.

Releasing or Keeping Your Fish

For any reason, you might want to release the fish you caught. And when you do that, make sure that it survives.

It’s best if you use barbless hooks as they don’t cause any damage to the insides of the fish, enabling it to continue living naturally and peacefully after you release it.

On the other hand, if you want to keep your fish, you want to keep them fresh. You can do so by putting them in insulated boxes, a large bucket with an aerator or a self-closing basket that you can place underwater.

Final Thoughts

Of course, this is very basic and general fishing information just to give you an idea about the process and a place from which to start.

How to Choose a Fishing Line for Your Spinning Reel

How to Choose a Fishing Line for Your Spinning Reel

Before we dive into the fishing lines, let’s establish the fact that spinning reels come in a variety of sizes.

Spinning reels have a fixed, open-faced spool that’s in line with the surf fishing rod. The spool itself is stationary and what spins is the rotor or line guide.

Now that you understand how your spinning reel works, you can understand how to pick the best fishing line for it.

Types of Fishing Lines

You should understand that fishing lines come in three variations: Monofilament (mono) is a single strand of nylon.

Second is braid (microfilament or braided) which is a set of fused or braided strands of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene.

And third is fluorocarbon which is a single strand of polyvinylidene fluoride.

Each of them has its own pros and cons. And according to your style of fishing, where, and what you’ll be fishing for, one could have an advantage over the other.

The Characteristics of Fishing Lines

Line Diameter

The line diameter refers to the width of the fishing line and is measured in inches or mm.

It affects many things, such as the friction between the line and the spool. The higher the friction, the more the distance of casting is reduced.

And while the difference isn’t that huge, it can still help if you need that extra distance.

Furthermore, line diameter has an impact on the movement of your lures in the water as it can generate water resistance against the line.

If you’re fishing for a wary type of fish, go for a smaller diameter line to eliminate any water disturbance.

Overall, a small line diameter will provide you with more line on the reel, better lure action, and improved casting ability. However, lower diameter lines tend to sink quicker.

Line Color

You can choose a colorful line as a means to camouflage it as it blends easier in the water. Contrarily, you can go for more vibrant colors if you want something that helps you locate your lure in the water more efficiently.

In a lake or a place with natural vegetation, neutral colors like olives and greys would serve as camouflage.

On the other hand, red and yellow lines would give you more visibility to find your bait in the water and check on how it’s behaving.

The durability of the Line

While no line will last with you a lifetime, the way they deteriorate and lose their strength is different.

For example, braided line dulls and frays. On the other hand, fluorocarbon and mono lines breakdown under the effect of ultraviolet rays and water absorption.

So, you should make your decision depending on how long you’ll spend in the sun and if you’re going to be fishing from a boat or a place with no shade.

The Line Twist

As deterioration is inevitable, unfortunately, so is line twisting.

And while the twisting is mainly affected by the spinning reel itself, the frequency depends more on the bearings system and the line you use.

Monofilament and fluorocarbon lines are more prone to twist than braid as they’re thinner single strands.

Line Strength or Pound Test

The line strength indicates how much weight your line can pull without snapping.

You can go for lower pounds test ratings if you’re going to aim for smaller fish that don’t put up a fight such as panfish and crappie.

However, if you're going for more stubborn ones, you should get a more robust line.

Line Stretch

Finding the perfect balance between the stretching of the line and its flexibility without breaking or affecting the hook-sets is very critical.

If you’re going to fish right beneath your boat, a line with low stretch and high sensitivity would be more convenient.

On the other hand, when you’re using top-water baits, you’ll need something that counters the strike’s shock factor. And that’s when you should choose a line with less sensitivity, and consequently more stretch.

The Line’s Memory

Try to get the lowest memory you can get as that would enhance the line and make it less likely to tangle your reel or rod.

High memory lines are prone to float and twist above water instead of sinking as the weight doesn’t hold them down.

Final Thoughts

Your style of fishing and your target type of fish will dictate the kind of line you'll need on your spinning reel.

Monofilament line is the most affordable option, and that’s why many anglers choose it.

However, it does have a lot of stretches, has noticeable spool memory and is a lot less sensitive than braided or fluorocarbon lines.

Because it’s colorless and less visible, fluorocarbon usually acts as a lead material and isn’t used to fill an entire spool. It’s the ideal choice if you’re fishing in clear water. Furthermore, it has reduced line memory and stretch than monofilament line.

Note: Some lines are only fluorocarbon-coated, which means they'll have the characteristics of monofilament rather than fluorocarbon.

Finally, braid lines are the strongest as they’re made from several strands. They have little to no stretch properties and therefore are incredibly sensitive.

However, they're more prone to break and fray in a shorter period compared to other lines. They also can't fight the effects of UV and water absorption so much.

Braided line also can’t be used for camouflage as it’s quite visible. Also, it will scare fish away if you use it for fishing in clear water.

How To Catch Trout: 7 Top Trout Fishing Tips

Trout Fishing Tips

Although there are numerous species of trout, anglers usually go for the 3 most popular ones: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and Brook Trout.

Understanding the behavior of each species and advancing your techniques to keep up can really enhance the chances of getting more catches.

And if that’s what you’re looking for, this guide will provide you with all the information and tips you need.

Read more: Best Trout Spinning Reels 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

7 Tips for Catching Trout

1. Go For Smaller Hooks

Although trout have larger mouths, they consumer smaller food such as tiny bait fish, larvae, insects, as well as plankton.

I found that the smaller the diameter of my fishing hooks, the more successful my hook sets were.

It’s also worth mentioning that trout generally have more fragile mouths, so using smaller hooks and keeping them firm but not strong will ensure that no damage is inflicted on the mouths of your catches.

2. Reduce Barbs

Even more important than the smaller hook sizes are the barbless ones.

You can either go for barbless hooks or use a pair of pliers to pinch down the soft metal barbs. The latter would be the more economical option.

Despite the fact that barbs ensure that the fish will remain hooked, it does cause considerable damage when you’re unhooking it.

And I know that losing your catch without the barbs might be a concern for you. That’s why I recommend keeping the line very tight throughout the whole battle against the fish.

The line slacking is the perfect opportunity for the trout to spit the hook, so you shouldn’t give it that chance.

3. Match the Hatch

There’s no fishing guide that won’t include this particular tip.

Actually, whatever your prey is, getting a lure that imitates what it feeds on is the most effective way to maximize your catches.

If you're unsure about what lure to use for the species you're after, I've made a whole section for that a little down below.

4. Experiment with Lures to Find the Proper One

Although it's common knowledge that specific species go for certain types of lure, you can still experiment with various types when you're fishing on a large reservoir.

So for example, if you’re fishing for Rainbow trout, have a spoon on one line, a spinner on another, and a plug on the third.

Whatever the hook that gets bites should be your choice for the day.

5. Go for Live Bait If Allowed

Live bait can be as effective as fly fishing for catching moving trout.

Small minnows, worms, wax worms, smelt, grasshoppers, and meal-worms can all be great if you’re fishing for Rainbow trout.

6. Research Water in Your Area

Asking local fisheries biologists is one of the most helpful ways that you can use to increase your catches.

After all, these professionals are the ones that stock rivers and lakes with fish, set the daily fishing limits, and manage fish populations.

Doing some online research can also help you find the best bait and tackle shops. There, you can ask for tips on which bait to use and where to find your catches.

7. Understand where to Find Trout

Generally, trout are found in cold water. Be it a river, lake, stream, or pond.

And because they’re accessible wildlife food, you’ll definitely find them in the woods where bears, bobcats, and other animals fish for food.

In deeper lakes, you can find trout of larger sizes and evidently tougher battles. They’ll usually be feeding on smaller fish in the depths of lakes –especially during the salmon spawn.

Different Types of Trout, Their Locations, and How to Catch Them

1. Rainbow Trout

  • Where to find them

Rainbow trout like to swim around clear, cold headwaters, creeks, lakes, and rivers –especially of faster currents-.

  • How to catch them

Similar to mahi-mahi fish, rainbow trout take to the sky as soon as they’re hooked.

It’s quite common to see them jumping into the air while they’re attached to your line.

So fly fishing is the way to go with rainbow trout.

2. Brown Trout

  • Where to find them

Smaller brown trout prefer water with slow currents. The bigger they get, the slower they prefer the current. So, you'll find bigger ones around boulders or cut-banks.

Moreover, you’ll likely find more of them in cool, high-gradient streams and cold lakes.

  • How to catch them

This particular species of trout are smart and can even learn from the past, which means you should always plan to outsmart them.

The best time to fish for them is around dusk and when it’s getting darker as this is when they leave their hideouts and roam the water to feed.

3. Brook Trout

  • Where to find them

Brook trout go for pools and inner bends of streams. You’ll likely find them in clear, cool, and well-oxygenated creeks.

Small to medium-sized rivers and lakes are also good spots to find brook trout.

  • How to catch them

When you’ve found very cold water, you’ll likely find them in higher elevations.

They’re not the smartest in the bunch, but they’re pretty stubborn and will put up a fight, so keep your line tight.

4. Lake Trout

  • Where to find them

Lake trout like to swim around the edge banks right after the ice has melted out or around the late fall. Otherwise, you’ll find them at the bottom of lakes.

  • How to catch them

Use soft-bodied aquatic invertebrates such as flies, mayflies, stone-flies, caddisflies, dragonflies, and mollusks.

Fly fishing is also very effective with lake trout.

Using baits such as blood-worms, meal-worms, shrimp, and insects can prove quite effective.

5. Golden Trout

  • Where to find them

Golden trout will likely be swimming in the high sierras and in the Upper Kern River system.

You can also find them in streams or other waterways as they tend to hybridize with rainbow trout.

  • How to catch them

Golden trout won’t be found below 10,000 feet, so there’s no need to dig too deep.

However, you’ll need to bring your best bait as they’re quite picky eaters.

They usually go for chironomids (midges), so luring them with flies and similar tackle wouldn’t be quite difficult.

6. Cutthroat Trout

  • Where to find them

From northern California to Alaska and along the coast and east into some states like Colorado and Montana, cutthroat trout like small rivers, lakes, and gravel-bottom creeks.

  • How to catch them

Look for cutthroat trout around quiet eddies and behind snags. This is because –like brook trout- they prefer being around quiet current tongues, under rock ledges, and along undercut banks.

You can easily fool them with big, bushy flies. Adding tinsel can go a long way too.

Be prepared for a fight, however, as cutthroats are quite stubborn and as fierce as their name implies. And some patience if you’re fishing for them in the morning.

7.  Bull Trout

  • Where to find them

Bull trout prefer deep pools as well as snow and glacial runoff.

You can find them in the Arctic Pacific and east of Alaska. They’re also found north of Oregon up through British Columbia.

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.

How To Catch Bass: 9 Top Bass Fishing Tips

Bass Fishing Tips

Catching a big bass fish is a pretty tough task. On this list, we’ve gathered the best tips and techniques that will help you increase your chances of catching bass.

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

1. Where There’s Cover, There’s Bass

The easiest place to find bass is around cover. This particular breed likes to take cover behind rocks, wood, boat docks, lily pads, grass, whatever it may be.

And that’s why you should look for these things and put your lure there to maximize your chances of getting a catch.

This is not to say that bass don’t roam out in the open, but they could be harder to locate that way.

2. Get Lure That Looks Like Their Prey

Bass fish feed on a diverse range of prey –from baitfish such as shad and bluegill to baby ducks.

Therefore, when you’re fishing for bass, you should get lure that imitates the kind of prey your bass will typically go after.

In essence, if your bass feeds on shad, use a silver-colored crankbait or swimbait.

On the other hand, if it's small minnows that bass feed on, go for a drop-shot rig.

3. Be Flexible

You won’t make it very far as a bass angler if you’re one-dimensional and not open to trying new and different techniques.

Your best bet is to continuously look for new places and different techniques.

This means you should experiment with new waters and find ways to adapt to other fishing conditions there.

So if you’re already familiar with murky water and spinnerbaits, try fishing in a lake with clear water.

4. Be Aware of the Relationship Between Weather and Bass

Understanding how drastic the effect of the weather can be on the behavior of bass can go a long way.

Bass are more likely to be active and come out to feed when the weather is cloudy.

And under these circumstances, you should go for moving baits like chatter baits, spinnerbaits, and topwater plugs.

Contrarily, bass tend to stick close to cover when the sun is shining.

In that case, you should go with a bottom bouncing bait like Texas-rigged soft plastic or a jig.

5. Be Aware of the Water Temperature

Water temperatures can vary a lot from one location to another and depending on the time of year.

The activity of bass and their feeding patterns can also be impacted by the water’s temperature.

When it comes to cooler water temperatures, you should go for slower moving baits.

On the other hand, faster, more energetic lures are better-suited for warmer water.

6. Understand How Wind Can Affect Your Bass Fishing

You may find that when the wind is blowing faster than 15 MPH, it’s more difficult and frustrating to fish.

But even under those circumstances, you should still find the way it would positively boost your fishing.

This is because the wind usually stimulates bass and bring them out from behind their covers.

Moreover, the disturbance on the water’s surface caused by the wind will act as the perfect camouflage for your moving boat, making fishing on-the-go a lot easier.

7. Practice Your Knot-Tying Skills

Don’t leave a possibility for a bad knot to ruin a catch for you.

Make sure you've got your knot practiced near perfection to save time and catch more fish on your trip.

Tying fishing knots is one of the most important things to learn when it comes to tips and techniques.

8. Use Technology to Your Advantage

Technology has made everything easier, and this doesn’t exclude fishing.

Apart from fish finders and sonars, you can make use of services like Google Earth and Fishidy to better understand the locations at which you’ll be fishing.

By identifying key areas of a body of water, you can predict where the fish will be and consequently develop a plan for your fishing day before you even get to the spot.

Make sure that you’ve identified creeks, ledges, and other hiding areas where the bass will be.

9. Be Patient and Determined

If you don’t find bass in your desired location, don’t give up on it right away.

Bass are generally shy and it may take some time to actually catch any.

It’s best to have confidence in the technique and lure you use and then some patience to pick apart every inch of the cover where your bass may be hiding.

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.