Picking a spinning reel is an important decision that can greatly affect the quality of any fishing experience. Although there are countless brands and models, there are some that rise above the competition with unmatched features and performance. From Okuma and Penn to Shimano and Pflueger, here are some of the best spinning reels on the market that will ensure enjoyable fishing experiences.
This bait feeder spinning reel by Okuma has received rave reviews by fishermen of all ages and skill levels. With its graphite composition that resists corrosion and six stainless-steel ball bearings, this spinning reel will endure the toughest fishing fights with ease. The Okuma Avenger ABF features a max drag ranging from eight pounds to 22 pounds depending on its size and comes in sizes ranging from 20 to 90.
Although the Okuma Avenger is viewed in a very positive light, it is not without some drawbacks. The reel often holds less line than what is listed for its size, and like with many other reels, it can jam if it is used incorrectly. The bait feeder can also be difficult to master for inexperienced fishermen, so those without proper knowledge may want to avoid using it to prevent losing hooked fish. However, the pros for the Okuma Avenger far outweigh its cons, so it is unlikely to be a regrettable purchase.
- Resists corrosion
- Six ball bearings provide smooth retrieval
- Bait feeder adds new dimension to fish battles
- Bait feeder not ideal for inexperienced users
- Reel often cannot hold listed line amounts
The Shimano Spirex RG sets a high standard for fishing reel craftsmanship. This spinning reel features five ball bearings and a quick fire II one-handed casting system intended to make fishing with it a smooth, problem-free experience. The varispeed oscillation on the Shimano Spirex RG makes it a versatile reel that can handle a wide range of fish sizes without issue. The reel includes a rear drag system that allows for easy on-the-fly adjustments when playing a fish. Retrieval speed will also never be a problem with a respectable 6.2:1 gear ratio.
The Spirex RG is certainly one of the best spinning reels on the market, but some of its features that make it superior can also lead to issues. For example, while its high gear ratio allows fast retrieval, it can actually lead to retrieval that is too speedy for some fishing battles. This is primarily noticeable when using light tackle, so users may need to adjust their reel habits to compensate for the reel speed. Additionally, the rear drag system is not preferred by every fisherman nor is ideal for every type of fishing, so those who want front drag system for better drag surface may view the Shimano Spirex RG differently.
- 6.2:1 gear ratio offers speedy line retrieval
- Simplifies casting with the quick fire II one-handed casting system
- Five ball bearings allow for fluid reeling
- Fast line retrieval may be too quick for some fishermen
- Rear drag system may not offer optimal control for certain types of fishing
The Penn Battle spinning reel comes in eight sizes that feature max drags ranging from seven pounds to 25 pounds. Penn Battle reels also have varying gear ratios with 5.2:1, 5.3:1, 5.6:1 and 6.2:1, which provides room for personal preference regarding reel speed. All Penn Battles include six stainless-steel ball bearings and HT-100 drag washers that allow smooth reeling even under high stress. The stainless steel composition of the Penn Battle also ensures durability even through frequent usage.
There are very few noticeable issues with the Penn Battle spinning reel. However, the fact that it is made of stainless steel as opposed to graphite does mean it can rust if it does not receive proper care following salt water usage. Stainless steel does not corrode easily, though, so even if a Penn Battle spinning reel is not given perfect treatment, it will still last a long time, which is just one of the many reasons it is one of the best spinning reels.
- Stainless steel build provides much-needed durability for heavy duty fishing
- Six ball bearings and HT-100 drag washers provide easy line retrieval even under high stress
- May require additional care after saltwater usage to guarantee long lifespan
The Shimano Sedona FD is designed to produce fluid casts and smooth retrievals with minimal effort. With four shielded stainless-steel ball bearings and an anti-reverse bearing for a total of five bearings, the risk of line tangle during reeling is minimized, and retrieval will remain smooth during even the toughest hauls. The Shimano Sedona FD is available in gear ratios of 4.7:1, 5.7:1 and 6.2:1. The reel also utilizes Shimano’s DynaBalance technology, which redistributes rotor weight to improve balance. The result of DynaBalance is reduced vibration during reeling and improved rotation efficiency.
The Shimano Sedona FD is unfortunately not without its drawbacks. Those who are used to an auto bail trip on spinning reels may find the Sedona’s manual bail trip difficult to handle. However, experienced fishermen who have preferences for manual bail trip systems should find using the Shimano Sedona FD to be a pleasant experience.
- Anti-reverse bearing reduces risk of line tangle during reeling
- DynaBalance reduces vibration during reeling and improves rotation quality
- Manual bail trip not ideal for some fishermen
The Pflueger President Spinning Reel is perhaps the pinnacle of smooth line retrieval with nine stainless-steel ball bearings and an instant anti-reverse bearing to reduce line tangle risk. Additionally, with a braid ready spool, the Pflueger President can be set up for action quickly with little to no hassle. The Pflueger President is also renowned for its lightweight design that features a hole-patterned aluminum spool.
One of the few potential issues with the Pflueger President lies in its graphite shaft. While graphite does not rust like metal shafts, some users may dislike the loss of durability that comes with a graphite shaft. While the reel may not always receive high praises for heavy duty saltwater fishing, it is often commended by users for its incredible freshwater fishing capabilities. In particular, the reel is considered one of the best spinning reels for crappie and bass fishing.
- Braid ready spool makes setup out of the package fast and easy
- Nine stainless-steel ball bearings give unmatched reel smoothness
- Lightweight reel design perfect for freshwater fishing
- Graphite shaft less durable than metal shafts
- Lightweight design may not be suitable for heavy duty fishing
For casting these types of reels, check out the video below.
These experts also have an opinion on these reels:
- Bassin’ Maine Shimano 2500RG review
- Charlie Beadon Penn Battle Review
- GameFisherman Pflueger President Review