If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to go through all the reviews and buying advice compiled by our researchers but you do want to find the best fishing reel money can buy, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know. We have gathered a lot of information about the best fishing reel on the market by looking at owner feedback, expert review sites, overall brand quality and even social media activity. Out of the products we have looked at the Okuma Avenger is the best model for sale because it comes with a sturdy graphite construction that it also lightweight so you don’t have to worry about throwing off the balance of your rod. To ensure a smooth and consistent performance on every cast and retrieval it comes with 6 stainless steel ball bearings that are also resistant to rust and corrosion. You also have the advantage of the patented “auto-trip” bait feeding system that helps to ensure every fishing trip is a success. If the Okuma Avenger is not available, you could consider the Okuma Trio High Speed as it is the second best option.
For the anglers who are looking to upgrade to one of the best fishing reels for the money they are going to be paying, it can be a challenge trying to decide on a particular model as there are currently so many on the market.
We have created this guide to help you navigate your way through the plethora of reels on the market. While we may not be able to tell you what is the best reel, we can offer you some advice on what features you should look for in your ideal reel.
Style of Reel
There are a number of reels available:
Fixed Spool Reels are the most common reel. They are in a fixed position and the rotor arm passes around the spool to wind the line back around the spool. These are among the best because they are an excellent all around reel.
Free Spool Reels are exactly like the fixed reels, except they have an extra-long drag system.
Big pit reels are used for casting extreme distances and are in the fixed spool reel family. These reels can be a little expensive, as the cheap reels are priced under $100.
Centerpin reels are outdated, but they can be excellent to use when you’re fishing in moving water. If you take care of a new centerpin reel, it will be able to last many years.
Closed face reels are a lot like centerpin reels, except they are generally easier to cast which is a definite plus for novice anglers and will give them a chance to catch river fish.
Multiplier reels are generally used for lure fishing or open sea fishing. These small and compact reels can be operated with one hand and when they are set up properly, they can make all the difference when fishing.
When it comes to a drag system, they can be front drag models or rear drag models. The front models are favored by lure anglers and match anglers, whereas rear drag models are the most popular among anglers who only fish as a hobby. While they both do the same function, a front system is a little better because the mechanics of the drag are right at the end of the spool and they don’t have to go all through the body of the reel. This means more control and a quicker response time.
When it comes to choosing a reel system, the more bearings the system has, the longer it will last and the smoother it will work. The bare basic reel typically has one to three bearings, whereas top of the line reels tend to have as many as 12 bearings.
Choosing the best rated fishing reel can be a daunting task, but we hope that with this information, you understand which are some of the options that are available to you.
Products for specific needs
Best Fishing Reel for Beginners
This feeder real utilizes a Baitfeeding system which is used to disengage the spool and free-running line without having to open the bail. When you turn the handle, the spool and drag system will engage to set the hook and is prepared to fight the fish as it attacks the bait. These reels resist corrosion, thanks to the graphite body. The machined aluminium handle design is available in 40-80 sizes. This is the best fishing reel for beginners because it uses RESII, a computer balanced rotor equalization system.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($47.63)
Best Fishing Reel for Bass
Okuma Trip High Speed
This hybrid spool design integrates a graphite arbor and an aluminium lip. The combination ensures that the reel is strong in the right places and is lighter than other reels on the market, as it only weighs six pounds. The construction of the spool houses the drag system with an aluminium drag chamber for extra stability and smoothness, thanks to the Precision dual force drag system. This incorporates both the surface of the spool to maximize the higher end drag pressure, efficiency, and the overall smoothness, making it the best fishing reel for bass because it has no problem handling this feisty fish.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($71.57)
Best Fishing Reel for the Money
This large, extra capacity spinning reel is the best fishing reel for the money because it is versatile enough to be used while fishing for any kind of saltwater fish. Not only can it be used to catch any type of saltwater fish, but it also works well for surf, jetty, pier, and boat fishing applications. The soft knob on the reel is durable and a joy to handle. You can set the drag on this particular reel to up to 33 pounds, which can help you conquer even the larger catches. The Digigear digital gear design provides you with the perfect combination between tough alloy drive gear and the marine bronze pinion gear for maximized speed and power.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($47.95)
Top Rated Fishing Reels in 2018
Fishing is considered in many countries as one of the best activities to spend time with friends and families. In fact, many fathers choose to take on this activity to bond with their kids. It can be a fun activity more so when you start catching fish. You won’t be able to do this activity though without using a fishing reel. Here are some of the best brands to help you chose a reel from the best fishing reel reviews.
Shimano Calcutta 400B
This particular reel has a basic design and improved features that make it one of the best fishing reels today. It features a well designed A-RB (anti-rust bearings) which provides up to 10 times more precise corrosion resistance compared to regular stainless bearings. It also has a variable brake system for improved casting control. The distance has also been enhanced so that you get a professional fishing experience. The reel is strong and durable as it features a cold forged aluminum frame and side plates. It has a great design so it would be a great fishing reel to use in any type of fishing expedition.
This high quality fishing reel is carefully forged with aluminum frame, spool and sideplates which ensure high tolerance during demanding fishing expeditions
As most of the best saltwater fishing reel reviews pointed out the Calcutta 400B includes stainless steel ball bearings with resist rust and corrosion for prolonged use
Featuring variable brake system that reel uses centrifugal force in order to help fishermen control easier distance coverage and thus reach fish banks with limited problems
Incorporates the exclusive Super Stopper roller bearing which manages to diminish back play and thus ensure proper hooksets
Does not come with a protective cover, ideal to apply on the reel after fishing trips (this is an accessory sold separately)
“Shimano Calcutta B Reels has proved to me in the time that I have had it, that it is a top notch products. The break system works perfectly and I haven’t lost a fist because of it, so far.” William Lewis
Buy from Amazon.com for ($230.97)
Penn Gold International V Label Series
This model has improved features making it ideal for modern anglers. It has a full metal body which make it more durable. The fishing reel can handle heavy loads with its side plates with provide the fishing reels with high accuracy gear alignment. It has also been equipped with the highly rated Quick-Shift patented 2-speed system which lets anglers shift into high or low gear fast with ease. It also features the Push-To-Turn pre-set knob which so you can keep fishing even with unintended changes to the predisposed drag. Overall, it is a great fishing reel to get.
Backed by world renowned Penn fishing engineering the V Two Speed reel features Push-To-Turn preset knob which significantly reduces accidental changes during long or short fishing trips
With a full metal construction and solid sideplate the reel offers accurate gear alignment even under heavy loads and as such proper fishing experiences
Regarded by seasoned fishermen as the best saltwater fishing reel 2018 this model incorporates Quick-Shift system that gives users the chance to swiftly change from high to low gear
The fishing reel features push-to-turn preset knob which ensures proper fishing and no hesitation, even during extreme drag settings
Benefits from only 1 year manufacturer warranty
Requires a bit of time to accommodate to the reeling force but after one hour of use things become easier to control
“I have multiple reels in my collection by this model from Pen Gold is my favorite. I have caught many trophies with it and this is why I recommend it to other anglers.” Jessica Guy
Click to see the price on Amazon!
This Shimano model is solidly built so anglers can use it for many years. It features a 5 point propulsion management system making it great for passionate anglers as it allows them to make not only large casts but also hit fishing spots with ease. It will also remain steady as you’re busy with hard casts with its 4 shielded bearing and a Dyna-balanced rotor. You will also be able to use it to create a stable and powerful retrieve with its Fluidrive II Precision Cut. It has other useful features including 4 shielded corrosion resistance stainless steel bearing to make your fishing experience better. It is well priced so many anglers consider it to deserve a place in the best fishing reel reviews.
Affordable, lightweight and with a smooth propulsion line system this high quality fishing reel upgrades the fishermen capacity to catch more fish than usual
Offering a smooth drag even over a long range the fishing reel handles very well big fish even from strong currents
Designed for left and right handed individuals the Symetre Spinning reel includes a powerful propulsion spool lip which enhances the grip on the fish
Equipped with power roller III this high quality fishing reel represents a great addition to fishermen that fish in salt waters
Does not include a cleaning lotion in the basic package (this is an optional accessory sold separately)
Some assembly is needed (consult the instructions present in the user manual)
“My fishing experience got better because with the new and affordable Shimano Symetre. It works really well, helping me have a nice and relaxing time by the lake, catching and releasing fish of all sizes. For me, it’s one of the highest rated fishing reels in 2018.” Paul Gates
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Penn Gold Lever Drag
Another model from Penn Gold is included in the list of the best fishing reels in 2018. The Lever Drag model is ideal for saltwater fishing. The fishing reel well built as it is lightweight metal construction and equipped with bronze alloy metal gear. It provides anglers with higher accuracy during fishing. In addition, it can also retrieve 20 inches of line within a short period of time with its high speed gear ratio of 4:4:1. It also has a durable machined stainless steel pinion gear which gives you stronger hook with every use.
Designed with forged aluminum frame, side plates and spool this powerful fishing reel features a special fold anodized layer for added resistance against corrosion
Due to the solid high-speed 4.4:1 gear ration the Lever Drag will help fishermen retrieve 20 inches of line on each bait with minimal pullback effect
Features one-way infinite anti-reverse roller bearing which significantly diminishes kick back thus offering fishermen proper hook sets during each fishing trip
With a 15 pounds capacity on 300 yards coverage this fishing reel significantly improves a person’s ability to fish from a distance
Does not include a carrying pouch but it can be stored in standard fishing toolkits
“I confirm that this reel is extremely durable. I have fished with it for almost 2 years and it still works smoothly. I have caught quite a few whoppers with it to this day. And to think I got it as a Xmas present some time ago! Even now it must be one of the top 10 fishing reels currently on the market.” Elizabeth Martin
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Penn Gold Slammer – Not Available
This Penn Gold Spinning Reel has received great reviews from fishing enthusiasts with its impressive features. It is durable as it is well-built making it ideal for long-time anglers. You can be sure of its high quality with its construction of full metal body design and features such as 5 stainless steel roller bearings and an infinite anti reverse roller bearing. It has also been designed with good hook settings, 6 roller bearings and an infinite reverse roller triple so you can use it for years. It is also protected from harmful elements during fishing as it has been outfitted with HT 100 drag.
“This reel from Penn Gold was the best choice I could have made and I bought it with a Black Friday discount too. My last reel didn’t even compare to it and now I feel like I am really in control when I am fighting to catch a trophy fish. It must be one of the most reliable fishing reels in 2018.” Brenda Bennett
Fishing Reels – What to Look For:
One activity that has been around for millennia is fishing. It is practiced professionally or just as a hobby by millions of people all around the world. Fishing tackle has become better with technological advancements to make fishing easier and improve a fishermen’s catch. At this point in time, you have a wide variety of fishing gear from which to choose from, for every type of fishing. The fishing reel is of vital importance, allowing you to cast a line at a great distance and with great precision as well. But to buy the best fishing reel in 2018 is not that simple because you need to be aware of different factors.If you aren’t an experienced fisherman, you will find this pretty hard to do.
The first thing you need to determine before you try to purchase a reel is what type of fishing you are going to use it for. Because if you get a fly fishing reel for deep sea fishing, this won’t help you at all. Firstly, if you are a less experienced angler and you want to fish in fresh water, a spinning reel is the best option for you. This type of reel is used when you are fishing with smaller bait. Casting off with one is not complicated, as you swing the fishing rod forward. Once you have mastered a spinning reel, you can try a conventional reel used for bigger fish. But keep in mind, this type of reel is mostly used for salt water fishing.
Our research was based on the most reliable fishing reels reviews. After comparing the information made available by them, we came to the conclusion that the following details were the most important for a state-of-the-art reel.
Fishing reels are made from two main materials: aluminum or graphite. The first is more durable than the other and is resistant to water corrosion. Graphite, on the other hand, is lightweight and very flexible. When it comes to the drag system, you should try to aim for a reel with multiple levels. If you can change the intensity of the drag then this would prove very useful when catching different species of fish. On the other hand, fly fishing is very different because it requires a specialized technique for casting. The reel has a unique shape, specific for this type of fishing, with the spool being larger compared to standard models.
Also, check the line capacity, so you won’t end up with a total length below your requirements. The best fishing reels reviews also point out that you shouldn’t buy a model that is too heavy. With a light model you won’t tire after a few hours of casting. The reviews and customer reports on our site will provide you with even more information about specific models, to complete what we have revealed in this buying guide.
Things to consider:
– Spinning reels are great for entry-level fishermen, for saltwater and freshwater;
– Trolling reels are for dragging live bait after your boat;
– Bottom reels are for stationary fishing;
– Casting reels are very accurate;
– Fly-fishing reels are used sometimes for shallow saltwater fishing;
– Aluminum and graphite reels are the best.