Best Fishing Reels of 2023 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Line twisting, over-lubrication, and rod breakage are the problems faced by most anglers. Well! Finding the best fishing reel is the first step to excellent angling. Because it allows you to have quality fishing time, makes you relaxed, and enjoy your day. However, the fishing reel has a puzzling mechanism. It’s not always easy to pick up a fishing reel that will meet all your needs.

Everyone must go through trials and errors to find the one that will be perfect for them. But the important thing here is that you don’t need to test all those reels yourself. Why? Because I have taken care of that stuff. So, get ready for all the big catches you will turn up this angling season. I will unveil the 10 best fishing reels to date.


Advantages of Fishing Spinning Reels:

Ideal for Beginners:

As this has been already established, spinning reels are beginners’ best friends. They are user-friendly and easy to operate. It takes no time for a beginner to learn the tips and tricks of spin casting, and they will quickly get the knack for it with a few trials only. Because they are designed with an open spool, the line doesn’t twist that often and is more manageable. They are simpler than baitcasting reels; therefore, even kids can hold them up nicely.

Manageable Lines:

They use the fine line for operation and allow lightweight lure casting for small fish. These features make it fun and easy to cast in small lakes and ponds for beginners and give them confidence.


Spinning reels are an excellent choice for various fish species ranging from sunfish, bass, trout, panfish and the list goes on and on. It works well with artificial lures, and you can enjoy your fishing trips. In addition, if you are looking to attract larger species, surely nothing can beat bait casters.

Let’s haste and begin the list.

List of Best Fishing Reels of 2023

1. Abu Garcia Zata Spinning Fishing Reel


  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Green
  • Handle Material Stainless Steel:, Aluminum
  • Item Weight: 240 Grams
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel

The trusted, high-quality product manufacturer is a beautiful looking and unique colored reel from Abu Garcia reel. I will give ten on ten for the outlook. Zata spinning fishing reel comes with an iconic Everlast Bail System and a Rocket Spool Lip design.

A strong reel that is corrosion-free too. The red highlighted ones are for freshwater use only. In contrast, the blue highlighted ones would work equally well in saltwater and freshwater. It features an Infini brake system for controlled angling. This Zata reel is an excellent option for casting panfish. But if you are interested in catching some catfish, I would suggest going for the size 40 of this reel.

This reel offers an excellent, ultra-smooth operation with one roller bearing and ten stainless steel ball-bearing systems.It’s a fantastic reel for the price tag and lets you cast far and wide. I would recommend you to get Zata 20. With an ultra-lite 6-foot long rod, you will be sorted for the season.

I would say it’s a decent performance reel overall. Being the best fishing reels in the market, it will be an excellent addition to your fishing kit. However, it’s slightly pricey but delivers what it promises.


  • Lightweight reel
  • Ready with Braided spool
  • Stainless steel constructed main shaft and components
  • Aluminum constructed main gear


  • More bearings would have made it better
  • No reversing features

2. PENN Fierce II & Fierce III Spinning Fishing Reel


  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Red, Black
  • Handle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Item Weight: 0.14 Kilograms
  • Fishing Line Type: Wire
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel

Penn Fierce II and III are solid and durable saltwater reels with a metal-designed body and side plates. This reel highlights the Techno-Balanced rotor technology for smooth retrieves every time. It’s available in various sizes ranging from 1000 to 8000. The instant anti-reverse system of this reel is commendable.

I am impressed by the drag washers of PENN Fierce II and III reels are formulated with HT-100 carbon. The HT-100 drag system is phenomenal and bears up well, even with a runner on the hook. These reels retrieve quite impressively and are highly responsive. With just a push finger act, it will make a smooth loop. I had no slipping experience yet with big prey.

A worthy buy for the price, one of the best fishing reels ever produced. They feature a 4+1 stainless steel bearing system that operates well. With a super line spool and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire, they offer simple line management. They are high-performance reels with good line capacities. The best fishing reel for catching your good meal for the day.

In my view, these reels are the best deal for your money. They truly offer extraordinary specs. I appreciate its size and weight and couldn’t have asked for more. To sum up, with a fantastic high-end reel, you will simply be in heaven.


  • Reasonable price
  • Effective in all fishing situations
  • Amazing bait liner feature
  • Excellent drag system


  • Not the best option for saltwater
  • Gears need changing sooner than expected

3. Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel


  • Material: Aluminum
  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Color: Gold, Gray, Multicolor
  • Handle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Item Weight: 0.46 Pounds
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel

A well-designed reel by Pflueger’s president! It is an overall smooth and reliable all-rounder reel. It features a seven-ball bearing system which is corrosion-resistant too. The body is composed of graphite. I used it all day long because of its lightweight. A compact spinning fishing reel that works splendidly even in windy scenarios.

The sealed drag system of this reel is always smooth and lubricated. It features a slow oscillation gearing system to minimize line twists and its lay. This best fishing reel is durable with a solid feel and smoother retrieve. With the ready braid, the spool is genuinely controllable.

The drag is fantastic, and the line spools nicely too. With high-end components used in the internal parts, the rod has got the right bend. When I used it in different weathers, I felt that it is not too shaky. If you are on a budget or an amateur who wants to try out some best fishing reels, it’s the best buy.


  • Decent line lay
  • Fantastic drag system
  • Self-lubricated ball-bearing system
  • Budget-friendly


  • Cheap out-ward construction quality

4. PENN Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel


  • Material: Aluminum
  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Color: Black Gold
  • Handle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Item Weight: 0.25 Kilograms
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel

The PENN Battle II & III are manufactured by my all-time favorite spin reel manufacturers, the pioneers in the game “PENN.” It has never ever lets me down. As the name suggests, it is all ready to combat the giant species underwater.

These spinning reels are robust and compact with a well-designed exterior. The body, rotor, and side plate are all mentally accentuated. I love how the anti-reverse functions very quickly and efficiently without interruptions. The reel’s HT-100 VERSA-drag system is phenomenal, plus the self-lubrication grease system ensures the machine’s longevity.

One more point worth telling here is that the spool is secured with a rubber gasket that ensures no more slipping. Without a monofilament backing, casters can easily use braided lines with PENN battle spinning reels.

Another key feature of the spool is that it allows you to clearly picture the amount of line left in the line capacity rings.I am delighted with my PENN Battle fishing reel. It’s an excellent value for money.

Couldn’t be merrier with the performance of this reel. I highly recommend getting this reel for freshwater. It is undoubtedly the best fishing reel I own. Buy it. You won’t regret it.


  • Outstanding anti-reverse
  • Compact
  • HT-100 Versa-drag system
  • Rubber gasket secured spool


  • No issues yet

5. SHIMANO Sahara FI Spinning Reels


  • Material: Aluminum
  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Color: Multicolor
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Item Weight: 4 Ounces
  • Fishing Line Type: Mulifilament
  • Bearing Material; Aluminum
  • League: Fishing

Sahara FI Spinning Reel is a tough reel by the renowned brand “Shimano”.It is unbeatable in performance and price. This tool has an anti-gravity system which works quite well. I consider it to be very lightweight reel.If I talk about construction, it is crafted from durable material without compromising its performance during fishing.

This model can deal with 200 yards of 10 lbs braid, with a 20 lbs of drag, and a sufficient amount of reel for any caster. It’s definitely an enjoyable reel as it’s too big. It can easily go anywhere and everywhere. Highly portable! This Shimano spinning reel has a very fluid and smooth movement. It casts far and wide.I am impressed with the distance it caters. The reel can be finely tuned and has terrific action.

It offers an amazing feature of G-Free body to reorient the gravity center.This enhances comfort and won’t tire you on long casting days. Sahara FI spins super smooth and casts effortlessly with both mono and braided line.

It is sealed and water-resistant, thus will last you long. An excellent coastal reel option for those who cast often and need some reliable reel. It is a reel that helped me catch up on bass, crappie, and catfish in no time.

I would say it’s your best option in this price range compared to other such reels. I would highly suggest buying this reel for anyone and everyone. A quality best fishing reel, totally worth it. Has given me no issues yet. I am totally satisfied with its frictionless performance.


  • 5 bearing system
  • Massive reel
  • G-free body
  • Powerful dragging system
  • Robust and resilient


  • Not ideal for saltwater

6. Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel


  • Material: Synthetic
  • Hand Orientation: Right Hand
  • Color:Black/gold
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Item Weight: 0.25 Pounds
  • Fishing Line Type: Braided
  • Bearing Material: Aluminum

This reel is the best option for your money. It’s as smooth as silk and works wonders every time. It is packed with fighting features beginning with a full metal constructed body exterior, side plates, and the amazing four +1 stainless steel ball-bearing system. Can’t get enough of this fierce beauty that comes with manual return bail.

It comes with a solid black anodized mechanism, an aluminum-made hard body, and side covers.The braided line spool is a pleasure to work with. The body covering and drag system are made with aluminum, thus a 90 percent waterproof device. This will last you longer and work well in both saltwater and freshwater. This best fishing reel effortlessly pulls out any fish from the water.

Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

This tool features a well-built drag system. The reel’s mechanism is excellent too. When we talk about sizing, it’s a little bigger than the Shimano reels. For example, the 3000 size of this Daiwa fishing reel is equivalent to Shimano’s 4000 size reel. Opt for a smaller Daiwa reel when casting freshwater bass than a Shimano reel.

It has turned out well for fishing striper, salmon, steelhead, bonito, and some more big species. I would heartily suggest getting this reel if you are looking for an inexpensive saltwater reel. Daiwa Bg is one of the best fishing reels I have come across. Highly recommended!


  • Aluminum constructed ball bearing system
  • Manual return bail system
  • Water-resistant drag system
  • Instant anti-reverse technology
  • Perfect small monster reel


  • Right-hand orientation only

7. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel


  • Material: Synthetic
  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Color: Multicolor
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Item Weight: 0.5 Pounds
  • Fishing Line Type: Monofilament
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel

Okuma Ceymar is an incredible reel for the price; it retrieves like butter with its multi-disc and oil felt dragging. The drag pressure it offers is around good 5 lbs. It is mainly metal constructed with aluminum-made handles and stainless-steel bearing material.This aluminum machined reel is compatible with monofilament line capacity.

The quick-set anti-drag system here is powerful. The brass pinion gears use precision machine cut technology. Okuma Ceymar features a seven-ball bearing system for ultimate smoothness. The machined aluminum spool is worth investing. This machine has a sleek outlook and excellent performance.

I think it’s a fantastic bargain from the price point, truly unbeatable at this rate. A compact, well-structured reel with lightweight rods thus makes it comfortable to cast with. They are as impressive as they are advertised.

It uses heavy-duty aluminum bail wire for a secure and fearless experience. This reel is an absolute delight. It pairs up beautifully with the Okama rod, a smooth reel. An excellent option for catching small to medium size fish. I am glad I tried this reel.

Overall,it is a small reel, but I am pleased with its performance. Don’t be skeptical, and do give it a try. It will be an excellent addition to your fishing kit.


  • Ambidextrous retrieve
  • Powerful multi-disc drag system
  • Affordable
  • Compact and light


  • Gear ratio is slower than other such reels
  • Not ideal for big species

8. Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel


  • Material: Other
  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Color: Black Gold
  • Handle Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Item Weight: 0.76 Pounds
  • Fishing Line Type: Multifilament
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel

Spinfisher is another fantastic saltwater reel by the one and only PENN in every possible way. The name speaks for quality. It has an excellent seal that prevents the reel from water and grit. Because no matter how cautious you are, reels tend to get wet at the beach. Penn spin fisher has a ton of power behind it.

It is a perfect saltwater reel that will help you get all those sea giants you had set your heart on. The metal-constructed body and side plates are corrosion-resistant and very durable. An outstanding super line spool with line capacity rings makes it easy to keep track of the remaining line.

A very smooth and controllable drag system is also a pleasure to use. The anti-reverse system added in this reel is instant and efficient. It is well constructed, similar to a tank, plus the bait runner mechanism is outstanding. I would say it is stabler and simpler when compared to other reels in the market.

It is a solid heavy reel but not too heavy to throw lure the whole day. I make use of the weight of the reel to cast. However, I suggest that the PENN reel makers avoid over spooling the reel. This is a premium, high-end reel.

This reel did a very good job. I have had no failures with this reel nor any regret of buying it. Without a doubt, I admire the performance of this reel. Suppose I had to pick the best fishing reel. In that case, it will definitely be PENN Spin fisher IV.

I Would highly recommend this Penn Spin fisher VI for both beginners and veterans. The best option for bass fishing. Buy it to believe my words!


  • Both left and right-hand orientation
  • IPX 5 sealed body and spool
  • Metal accentuated body and ball bearings
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag system
  • 5+1 ball bearing system
  • Water-resistant, sealed.


  • Over spooled
  • Low standard ball bearings

9. Lew’s Team Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Spin Spinning Reel


  • Material: Aluminum
  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Color: Black
  • Handle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Item Weight: 258 Grams
  • Fishing Line Type: Wire
  • Bearing Material:Stainless Steel

Lew’s custom pro speed is a great reel when compared to other competitors. It has a  premium quality stainless steel reel with a 12 ball bearing system. It features zero reverse and one-way clutch bearing. It is undoubtedly a highly impressive reel that will blow your mind.

With its lightweight and level wind, it can easily tackle any freshwater fish. With high-definition parts, it delivers excellent performance at a fair price.The body and side plates are made with aluminum with an additional flush and drain port. The main shaft is highly durable as it is made with stainless steel.

It is available in three models 2000, 3000 and 4000. Featuring a smooth and proficient carbon fiber multi-disc drag system, it makes casting and retrieving a pleasure.Though lightweight, it shows high strength for effortless, precise casting. The spool is also lightweight double anodized aluminum.It is a freshwater reel with a superior drag system that lets you quickly cast big fish.

Its speed lube gives a smooth and uninterrupted performance in every situation and weather condition. It has a fast retrieve if I compare it to some fine ones.Flawless performance, better than expected. I suggest getting a size 4000 of this reel as it offers a bigger spool size. Small spools will end up making more line twists.

This reel is the best fishing reel you would get at this price. The best option if you are on a budget or want to try out casting as a beginner.


  • Low budget reel
  • Good drag system
  • Best for casting big fish


  • Line twist issue in smaller sizes

10. PENN Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel


  • Material: Stainless steel;Metal
  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Color: Black Gold
  • Handle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Item Weight: 1 Pounds
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel

Last but not least among my favourites is the Penn Slammer III reel. A must addition to your fishing kits. It is a fantastic solid and reliable reel. It has a metal accentuated body, rotor, plus side plates with outstanding CNG gear technology. The body is sealed, highly water-resistant, durable, and will last you a lifetime.

It features a 6+1 ball bearing system, constructed with stainless steel. It comes with a sealed Slammer drag system with dura drag. I must say it is a top-notch feature. The amount of drag it produces is insane. It can be considered a reasonably priced reel that will smoothly and effortlessly tackle the big fishes.

It gave me a smooth retrieve and cast for hours with its IP67 sealed system. This procedure keeps the water away from the gearbox and inner parts of the tool. It is greased on the right spots for better execution with no interruptions.

Within my expertise, it find it best for catching loads of red snapper from deep waters. It is a heavy-duty machine specially designed for surfcasting and plugging. This rig would never disappoint you if you are casting, bottom fishing, jigging, or trolling.

One of my go-to reels these days. I was delighted and extremely satisfied with its performance. I would say it’s a monster reel. It can pull up giant species without effort


  • Ambidextrous hand orientation.
  • Heavy duty
  • Smooth drag
  • Stunning exterior
  • Saltwater reel


  • The cap came off loose
  • Slightly  heavier than others

Buying Guide to Choose the Best Fishing Reels:

This buying guide here is to help you pick the best fishing reel. Keep a keen eye on these few factors which are mentioned below.

Checklist features for a fishing spinning reel:

Always check for these features before investing your money in a spinning reel:

Buying Guide to Choose the Best Fishing Reels
Infographic: Buying Guide to Choose the Best Fishing Reels

Reel capacity:

To make a wise decision, you have to be clear about what kind of bait, fish, and style you would pursue. As every angler has his own style and choice of fish, they would care for every trip.

Once you are sorted with the above decisions, the selection becomes more accessible. Now concentrate on the weight line you prefer as it impacts the choice of reel’s size.

Then check the specifications of the reel you are interested in and compare the reel capacity; if it matches your requirement, go for it.

Don’t cross the line capacity, as it will be more likely to twist and tangle.

The gear ratio:

The gear ratio impacts the speed of the reel to retrieve the line and effortless pulls in heavy-duty prey.

They can range up to 6.4:1. The first figure highlights the revolution of the spool, while the other indicates the number of handle turns. As understood, the higher the ratio, the better it means for faster retrieval. Similarly, if the ratio is lesser, the retrieval will be affected, slowing down the entire process.

To choose the correct gear ratio for oneself, you must know the type of fish you are looking to hunt. If you want to get bigger species, you will need a higher gear ratio as they are heavy loads may be 6:2:1.

Drag system:

The dragging system ensures the fish won’t take up all your line away. Yes, it gives resistance to the bar when fish tries to battle. To avoid line breakage while pulling it up, you need to adjust max drag so the line doesn’t pull aggressively. There are commonly two types of drag available in spinning reels:

The front drag reels:

These are more powerful and reliable than the rear drags. It is directly attached to the spool. The drag adjustment is present on the spool.

The rear drag reels:

They are quite similar to the front drag reels .They are handy when combating the prey, but they use up more reels in no time and thus affect the reel’s longevity.

So pick your reels wisely and select the ones you want according to your casting requirements.

Anti-reverse system:

This system helps avoid spinning in reverse motion and keeps the line connected to the reel so it doesn’t go loose and spin like crazy.

This feature lets you set the line when you feel the bite and allows a smoother drag action.

So, this is a critical feature that will ensure a smooth casting every time.

Ball-bearing system:

This system consists of rings with tiny ball bearings in them. This ball-bearing system impacts the entire performance of the reel. The better the quality of bearing and smoother the reel’s performance.

So always be sure to check the construction material of these ball bearings, and their quantity matters. Typically ball bearings are made with stainless steel in quality reels as they are corrosion resistant and last you longer. They operate flawlessly.

However, the ceramic ball bearings outperform the stainless-steel ball bearings. Still, they are pretty costly, and thus the price tag of the reel will exceed. So, if you are looking for an affordable and good performance option, opt for stainless steel ball bearings.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the ideal fishing spinning reel size for a beginner?

  • The ideal spinning reel size for a beginner would be 35, 350, 3500.
  • The ideal gear ratio should be 5:1 with a 4-7 ball-bearing system.
  • The line capacity should be mono with 6- 10 lbs line.

How can I take care of my fishing reel?

A small tip for all the beginners after every saltwater casting trip, clean your spinning reels with soap and water, pat dry them, spray wd-40 and store it properly. This minor maintenance tip will enhance the life of your spinning reel, and they will perform better too.

Which reel is better: spinning reel or baitcasting reel?

Both the reels have their own pros and cons. But if you are a newbie or a beginner with limited to moderate experience, I would suggest working with spinning reels, as they are easy and basic. Anyone can get hold of these by learning a few tips and techniques on how to handle the spinning reel.

On the contrary, bait casting reels could be challenging and technical for a beginner, but they yield better results.

What is the most reasonable amount to spend on a spinning fishing reel?

For a beginner, I would suggest going for a low-cost reel. Then you can uplift your game gradually and shift to premium reels as you gain more experience and learn reel tackling.

You can get an affordable budget reel under $100, and a high-end would cost somewhere between $ 300 and above.

What is the perfect way to spool a fishing reel?

  1. Hold the reel as you are casting
  2. Start turning the wheel to identify the direction of the reel.
  3. Start to spool the line onto the reel in a similar direction. Keep spooling until the spool is filled with one-eighth of an inch to its edges.
  4. Cut off the excess line, and you are done spooling.

What should a beginner begin with, spinning reels or spin cast reels?

A basic spin cast reel and rod provides limited control, while the spinning reel and rod give you more control and smooth casting. However, I think the spin-cast reel is an excellent and accessible form of casting for beginners and kids.

This is the low-budget, pretty expensive style of fishing. Anyone and everyone can afford to give it a try.

What are some best fishing reels of 2022?

The best fishing reel is PENN Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel and PENN Fierce II & Fierce III Spinning Fishing Reel.

And when it comes to the best fishing reels that are budget-friendly, I would suggest SHIMANO Sahara FI Spinning Reels and Daiwa BG Spinning Reel.


This article has provided you with a review of a variety of my top fishing reels. The top choices in my opinion are Abugarcia’s Zata and Daiwa Bg spinning fishing reels. These reels are specifically designed to ensure you get a good fishing reel every time. Good luck to all of my anglers friends out there. Feel free to give your recommendations.

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