How to Choose the Best Saltwater Spinning Reel? – Top Reel Choice in 2020

    Whether you’re a beginner in the world of saltwater fishing or an advanced angler, we know you’re always on the lookout for the best saltwater spinning reels. Because there are so many options on the market, it can be really difficult to sort through what is a great reel and what’s just going to break when you get to the water. We’ve assembled a helpful list to help you sort through the choices out there, check it out below.

    Features to Consider

    Max Drag

    The max drag tells you how big of a fish you can reel in. Your needs can change based on where you’re fishing, the season, and what you’re working with. Be sure you know all your conditions and choose one that works for you.

    Gear Ratio

    The gear ratio can tell you how your reel will function on the water. The first number tells you how much line is pulled in on each rotation of the spool, meaning a higher number indicates a quicker reel in.

    Ball Bearings

    Ball bearings can be good indicators of how smooth and fast you will be able to reel in your catch. More ball bearings typically mean a smoother reel in. Keep in mind that quantity doesn’t always beat quality and use your best judgment.


    Metal reels can be a heavier weight and sometimes more powerful than other reels. Modern companies have made other materials, like graphite that can be just as powerful and durable but are lighter weight. Choose your material based on your personal preference.


    A heavier reel can mean it has more power on the water, but in some cases, a lighter weight reel may suit you better. The weight alone is not a good indication of power, so pay close attention to all the factors.


    A warranty is a great sign that the maker believes their product will last you. But warranties can also be worked into the price of the reel, creating a higher price tag up front for you.

    Top 10 Spinning Reel Products

    So now that you know what to look for in a reel, let’s answer the question “What is the best saltwater spinning reel?” Our top and budget picks are great places to start, as we believe they are the best of the best. We’ve also included eight other top-notch picks that are worth looking into if you really want to be sure you’ve done your research. We hope these reels help you grab the catch of your life!

    Penn Battle II Reel

    Penn Battle II Reel

    Our top pick is the best all around spinning reel on our list. It Is durable and provides high range spinning, making it ideal for conquering big saltwater game fish. This reel has a full metal body increasing its durability. It also comes with full metal side plates rotors and a heavy bail wire. These all provide exceptional durability ensuring that your reel will last you for a long time. This reel also has an HT 100 carbon fiber drag system. This system provides powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness. the fluid cranking system comes with 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and an instant anti-reverse bearing. The superline spool requires no backing making it perfect for people who want to use their reel right out of the box. It is bread ready and has line capacity ring marked at ?, ?, and full capacity. This is a perfect all around reel for any saltwater fisherman.

    • Max Drag: 12 lbs
    • Gear Ratio: 6:2:1
    • Ball Bearings: 6
    • Material: Metal
    • Weight: 1 lb
    • Warranty:1 year

    Okuma Avenger Reel

    Okuma Avenger Reel


    Our budget pick is the best value saltwater spinning reel for people who don’t want to break the bank on their reel. It includes a bait feeding system that allows for disengagement of the school. This system also allows for a free-running line without opening the bail. This makes it easy and quick to operate your reel. It includes six ball bearings and one quick set anti-reverse roller bearing. This makes it perfect for anyone looking for a great all-around reel. It has a corrosion resistant construction and is made of corrosion resistant materials meaning your reel will last you for a long time. The multi-disc drag system is constructed with Japanese oiled felt drag washers. It also comes with a patented on/off trip bait feeding system. It’s machined aluminum handle knob makes it easy to reel in the biggest catch. It also comes with a patented S-curve oscillation system. This helps you catch more fish by making your line look live.

    • Max Drag: 8-22 lbs
    • Gear Ratio: 4:5:1-5:0:1
    • Ball Bearings: 7
    • Material: Graphite
    • Weight: 8.8-27.6 oz
    • Warranty:1 year

    KastKing Centron Reel

    Kastking Centron Reel


    If you’re looking for the best lightweight spinning reel, this one by KastKing is for you. This reel is a great value. It is loaded with features like a narrow graphite frame design with a computer balancing system. This, combined with high performance makes this spinning reel an awesome choice for anyone who loves fishing. It delivers smooth performance with 9 quality ball bearings and one instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing. This provides ultra-smooth performance. This real offers incredible stopping power up to 20 lbs. It achieves this by using its hardened metal main shaft, perfect mesh drive gear, and precision machined pinion gear. This gives it ultimate fish fighting power without weighing it down. This awesome reel comes with a two-color anodized aluminum spool. Its lightweight compact design allows you to cast effortlessly and reel in the biggest fish. This is a perfect reel for anyone who needs something lightweight and powerful.

    • Max Drag: 11-17.5 lbs
    • Gear Ratio: 4:5:1-5:2:1
    • Ball Bearings: 9
    • Material: Metal
    • Weight: 8.9-13.6 oz
    • Warranty:1 year

    Sougayilang Fishing Reel

    Sougayilang fishing reel salt water


    This reel is a great choice for anyone looking for a versatile and easy-to-use reel. It includes fully adjustable cast control and a sound S-curve oscillating system that makes it easier to reel in big catches. This reel is lightweight and portable, it easily fits in your fishing box, bat hatch, or backpack. This makes it easy to take this reel wherever you go and fish in the perfect spot every time. This reel comes in various sizes which make it a great pick for anyone looking for a specific type of reel. It comes with 12 ball bearings making it a great choice for anyone who needs a smooth cast. The gear ratio is 5: 1: 1 on many of the models of reels. This package includes the fishing reel and it should be ready to attach to your favorite pole. This is the perfect fishing reel for many different kinds of fishermen.

    • Max Drag: 10-20 lbs
    • Gear Ratio: 5:1:1-5:2:1
    • Ball Bearings: 13
    • Material: Metal
    • Weight: 9-14 oz
    • Warranty: None

    Yongzhi Spinning Fishing Reel

    Definitely a frontrunner for the best cheap saltwater spinning reel on our list, this Yongzhi Spinning Fishing Reel is a great choice for people on a budget. It comes in multiple different models and sizes making it perfect for anyone looking for a wide array of fishing reels. These reels are light, smooth, and powerful. They even come with a spare spool that can be used for saving time while changing the line for different kinds of fish. This reel includes 14-corrosion resistant deep-race ball bearings that help you to have the smoothest cast possible. The internal structure is made of Aerospace grade stainless steel that gives you strength and keep it lightweight. This reel is equipped with precision brass gears, a hardened metal main shaft, and triple-disc carbon drag washers. This real features fully adjustable cast control which make it very good for line winding. This reel is suitable for ocean boat casting, rocks, beaches, rivers, ponds, streams, and all freshwater and saltwater fishing.

    • Max Drag: 13-15 lbs
    • Gear Ratio: 5:0:1
    • Ball Bearings: 14
    • Material: Stainless Steel
    • Weight: 9.7-14 oz
    • Warranty: None

    Apusale Spinning Reel


    This reel is not only an incredibly functional but great looking. It comes with 13 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 roller bearing. The bearings are constructed with a no gap structure which provides smooth operation. It also combines the power of precision matched gears and a powerful 4:7: 1 gear ratio. The result is an incredibly powerful and smooth saltwater and freshwater reel. The nylon composite material that is used to build the main body gives it Incredible strength. This, combined with the forged aluminum alloy spool, makes it a great reel for any fisherman. It comes with an all metal CNC rocker arm and a left-right interchangeable soft-touch handle. This makes it perfect for fishermen who are both left and right-handed. It provides excellent line lay oscillation through a well-constructed system. The fishing reel is a great choice for beginners and advanced fisherman in any environment. It can be used in both salt and freshwater.

    • Max Drag: Approx 20 lbs
    • Gear Ratio: 4:7:1
    • Ball Bearings: 14
    • Material: Nylon
    • Weight: 24 oz
    • Warranty: None

    Daiwa Opus Saltwater Reel


    This Daiwa Opus Saltwater Spinning Reel is definitely a frontrunner for the best spinning reel for the money. This saltwater spinning reel can be used for heavy action in saltwater environments but can also be used for extra heavy action than freshwater ones. This reel comes with an infinite anti-reverse double stopper. It also comes with an ABS composite spool. Both of these features help you reel in the biggest catch on the smoothest line. This reel is a great budget option for anyone looking for something incredibly powerful. Is perfect for saltwater fishing in the ocean and can help you do battle with all the biggest catches. This is a great choice for anyone looking to get started with saltwater fishing or for anyone who needs to upgrade their reel for a low price. It has a max drag of 33 lb, making it a great choice for anyone looking to reel in big catches. It comes with one ball bearing and 1 roller bearing.

    • Max Drag: 33 lbs
    • Gear Ratio: 4:6:1
    • Ball Bearings: 2
    • Material: Metal
    • Weight: 20.1 oz
    • Warranty:1 year

    Abu Garcia Baitcast Reel


    This reel is perfect for those who want to make a statement with the look and feel of their reel. It is sleek, lightweight, and stylish. The one-piece graphite frame and graphite side plates if it’s not only looking great but functioning incredibly well. The red color highlights your reel and make sure you always know which one is yours. This reel comes in four different configurations allowing you to customize exactly how your reel works and feels. It comes with 4 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing which provides reliable operation and effortless retrievability. The power discs system ensures smooth drag performance through the entire drag range so you will never have to worry about your drag when reeling in a big catch. The compact bent handle and reel foot provide a comfortable grip. This reel is packed with cutting-edge features that allow you to easily and quickly pull in the biggest catches.

    • Max Drag: 18 lbs
    • Gear Ratio: 6:1:1
    • Ball Bearings: 5
    • Material: Graphite
    • Weight: 7.13 oz
    • Warranty: 1 year

    Yoshikawa Spinning Reel


    A front-runner for the best saltwater casting reel, this reel by Yoshikawa makes a statement. Its unique baitfeeder drag system delivers a fully free spool mode. All you have to do to activate this mode is to flip the small lever on the back of the reel. This allows you to have freerunning line without opening the bail. This makes it easier to fight big fish while protecting your gears. It also gives you wider and more accurate drag adjustment. It is built with corrosion resistant material that makes sure your reel lasts for as long as you need it. The graphite construction and graphite side plates combined with a strong anodized CNC aluminum spool, stainless steel shaft, and interchangeable aluminum handles make this one of the best fishing reels on the market.This reel has extremely high line capacity which allows you to have longer casting distance on a wide target area.

    • Max Drag: 26 lbs
    • Gear Ratio: 5:5:1
    • Ball Bearings: 11
    • Material: Graphite
    • Weight: 11.9-18.6 oz
    • Warranty: None

    Piscifun Venom Spinning Reel


    Finishing out our list is a frontrunner for the best light saltwater spinning reel. This reel comes in 2000, 3000, 4000, and 5000 models. It is CNC machine aluminum braid ready and the school allows braids to be tied directly without any slip. The lightweight graphite body and rotor provide not only a lighter load to carry but also provide strength and durability. This real has unparalleled stopping power and features a superior 3 carbon fiber drag system. The system offers up to 26 lb of fish stopping power. This makes the Venom reel a great choice or both fresh and saltwater fishing. This reel comes with 10 anti-corrosion stainless steel ball bearings and a reinforced alloy drive gear. These features, combined with a reinforced body, precision brass gears, and a stainless steel main shaft give you smooth and dependable performance. This reel even features a sealed rubber ring in the drag to stop moisture and fight against corrosion.

    • Max Drag: 26.5 lbs
    • Gear Ratio: 5:1:1, 5:5:1
    • Ball Bearings: 11
    • Material: Stainless Steel
    • Weight: 8.8 oz
    • Warranty:1 year

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