Best Saltwater Spinning Reels 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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1. Penn Battle II 2. Pflueger President 3. Penn Spinfisher V & VI

Over the last few years, the fishing industry has changed considerably. Spinning reels have become an important part of the fishing gear, so it is important to choose the best saltwater spinning reel. This may turn out to be a daunting task, as with so many reels available in the market, it often gets confusing to make a choice. However, there is no need for you to worry about it as we have done your homework for you. In this guide, we believe we have provided the ultimate solution to all of your doubts.

We have shortlisted some of the best saltwater spinning reels in the market based on the reviews of fishing experts that have tried the products personally. The frequently asked questions have also been covered so you have the answers to some of the most significant questions that every saltwater spinning reel user might need to know. A lot of additional information is provided which helps in making sure that you know all that is there is to know. Thus, it goes without saying that this ultimate guide is one that you do not want to ever miss.



The spinning reel is considered to be an integral part of the fishing rod, as a sturdy and reliable reel is needed for the rod to do its job of fighting and catching fish. There are other types of reels too which have the bait casting or casting rod style, but for beginners, the spinning mechanism is usually favored. Saltwater spinning reels are ideally used for fishing in the deep sea to catch bigger fish that are only found in saltwater.

What makes the spinning reels stand out is the fact that they are made out of pure stainless steel or even aluminum, so that it will not rust at all.

Why Have Spinning Reels Become Necessary?

Saltwater fishing is no easy task. You have to take many factors into account, which includes repairing any damages, and fighting the adverse conditions while still keeping your catch alive. The best inshore saltwater spinning reels enable you to make use of several finesse techniques that can enhance your fishing skills in no time. However, when it comes to spinning reels, there are a few ambiguous terms associated with them, that can make you scratch your head. For instance, you may not be aware of terms like gyro spin, drag or aero-wrap, and that is totally fine.

For beginners who are just finding their way into fishing, spinning reels are a go-to. They are very easy to use and are also very accurate, which make them the best choice for casting over long distances. Due to excellent line capacity, the spinning reel will work well with braided lines so you won’t have to worry about tangled lines or the reel getting jammed.

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Saltwater Spinning Reel

There are a number of qualities and components of saltwater spinning reels that you may want to consider before making your choice. After all, when it comes to the best saltwater spinning reels, there are a plethora of options to choose from. For your benefit and to make your decision much simpler, here are some of the key factors you should take into account of.

1. Construction Material

Ideally, the material used in the construction of spinning reels, is expected to be resistant to corrosion. A spinning reel may have all your desired qualities, but if it does not last long, then it would not be a good investment. For instance, magnesium fishing reels are lightweight but more prone to corrosion.

The solution to this is the usage of aluminum during the manufacturing process. Aluminum is considered to be the best construction material for saltwater inshore fishing reels. Another good alternative to aluminum would be graphite, which is also used to make the product durable and lightweight.

2. Drag

The drag refers to the mechanical, adjustable friction which determines the amount of resistance needed to pull line from the reel. It is important to select a reel with a maximum drag,as, for inshore fishing, the target is catching larger fish. Therefore, the drag on the reel must be able to withstand the pressure.

However, according to most experts, a drag rating over 30-40 lbs does you little good regarding the intended task as the angler’s arm strength becomes the weak point at that moment. Thus, a drag system should be smooth and efficient. A higher drag rating also offers extensive protection from sudden bursts of speed or strength.

3. Size of the Reel

The size is an important factor when it comes to purchasing the best saltwater spinning reel. You should ideally choose the reel according to the average size of the fish that you intend to catch. Large size reels are required for deep water fishing and medium ones when it comes to inshore fishing.

4. Spool

One of the biggest differences between freshwater and saltwater reels is the ability of saltwater reels to be able to withstand the harsh environment that they usually encounter. Hour after hour, day after day, your saltwater reel will be exposed to salt which is both corrosive and abrasive.

Hence, the reel should be specifically designed to withstand being coated with salt spray and dunked in seawater. This is where the spool factor is important, as it helps in keeping the line in place. Aluminum and graphite spools are the best options to go with as they do not corrode and are lightweight.

5. Line Capacity

When it comes to fishing in saltwater, it can mean long runs and an even longer wait as even the smallest of species can speed away when provided with a wide open escape route. To avoid this, and to make sure you make good use of the time you spend, an essential feature in any quality reel is the ability to hold enough line. In this way, you can face these challenges without seeing your fight come to a premature end just because you got spooled.
In most cases, we recommend you look for a minimum capacity of 300 yards.

6. Bearings

The moving internal parts of your saltwater spinning reel require protection from the damage caused by metal on metal rotation and this is provided by the ball bearings. The best saltwater spinning reels have bearings that compose the entire spinning reels in a way so as to ensure smooth rotation, even under load.

The inexpensive models use bushings which usually results in lower tolerances and a stop and go action. The ball bearings also make the reel more convenient and flexible to use by enabling ease of movement. Basically, more the number of ball bearings, higher is the performance and higher the chances of a big catch.

7. Strength of the Frame

When it comes to fishing in inshore waters, it can turn into quite a challenging task as the big fish are normally the target. This is why one should make sure that the overall frame is strong, flexible and resistant to corrosion to ensure catching a high number of fish.

8. Braided Line Compatibility

Braided lines are made by braiding or weaving fibers of a man-made material like Spectra or Micro-Dyneema into strands of line. This makes for very strong, tough lines that are very abrasion resistant. This comes in quite handy as the fish will be unable to break the line with their teeth.

While almost any modern reel can be spooled with a braided line, we have your best interests at heart. Hence, we would like to share with you the special features that come in the best saltwater spinning reel so you can take full advantage of the accessories

Limit slippage

Consists of bails without gaps in which the line can become tangled or snagged
The components are robust enough to withstand the cutting power of the line when under pressure

9. Gear Ratio

The working of the gears in your reel becomes similar to those on a multi-speed bicycle by increasing the power produced with each turn of the handle. A low gear ratio will be simpler to turn but will require a greater number of turns to retrieve the same amount of line compared to a reel with a higher ratio.

To give you a better idea, a ratio of 4:1 indicates the spool will turn 4 times for each full rotation of the handle. Furthermore, a ratio of 6:1 indicates a faster retrieval with the spool turning 6 times for each rotation of the handle. The gear ratio depends on the type of fishing you are doing. A lower gear ratio is best suited for jigging or live lining bait whereas a higher gear ratio is better when you are retrieving lures at fast speeds or trying to cover large areas.

10. Handles and Cranks

When fishing in saltwater, you will repeatedly find that your main source of comfort in using a saltwater reel is the way you handle your line spool. Large, beefy handles and a strong crank will allow you to quickly reel the line in when the fish takes the bait. On the contrary, flimsy knobs and a weak crank would do you no favors and won’t hold up to the fight. This is particularly disadvantageous when the fish you are trying to catch is huge in size.

11. Rod and Reel Matching

One of the important things to look out for is whether the rod matches the reel or not. The rod is less of a problem because there’s no specific need to adjust it so your primary focus should be veered towards the reels. When purchasing a reel, you will notice a few specific labels or numbers which indicate the size of the reel. For example, figures like 400, 200, and 2,000 are the classification of reel sizes that specifically indicate the capacity of the spool of the reel.

The bigger the number, the higher is the capacity. Furthermore, if a reel has a large spooling capacity, then this means that its physical size is huge as well. This comes in handy while saltwater fishing, as it is common to spot larger species of fish. Thus, a large reel will be needed to tackle them. One must also keep in mind the fact that the drag force is directly proportional to the size of the reel.

With a plethora of options available in the market, we realize that choosing the best saltwater spinning reel can be a daunting task. To make things simpler for you, we have come up with 10 of the best saltwater spinning reels that you might want to consider purchasing –

Top 10 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels in 2021

1. Penn Battle II 8000

Penn Battle II 8000If you find yourself in one of the most punishing saltwater battles, then you will want the Penn Battle II Spinning Reel 8000 by your side. This reel is crafted from durable material and completely packed with fish-fighting features. It is engineered to catch fish year after year.

From the full metal body, side plate, and rotor, to the five sealed stainless steel ball bearings, this reel consists of components that are designed to help you land your catch. The reel’s HT-100 Versa-Drag carbon fiber drag system helps in leveraging both sides of each drag washer to provide maximum drag. Its instant anti-reverse bearing eliminates pullback so you can reel without any interruption.

Additionally, the carbon fiber drag washers are treated with a proprietary grease to ensure long-lasting performance. The spool is equipped with a rubber gasket that prevents the Superline from slipping under pressure which allows for easier use of braided lines without the need for monofilament backing. The line capacity rings are features that displays the amount of line remaining at a glance.

The paint quality also has been greatly improved which proves to be useful in protecting the reel from saltwater spray and chemicals which can potentially lead to corrosion if not taken care of.

Priced at just under $120, the Penn Battle II 8000 is an extremely affordable option that comes with tons of features. If you are just starting out and seek a quality reel without breaking the bank, then the Penn Battle II 8000 would be a great choice.


  • Solid feel and build quality
  • Smooth drag system
  • Anti-reverse bearing feature
  • Superline spool


  • Quite heavy
  • Wind Knots
  • Not fully sealed
  • A few reports of loosening up post-use

2. Shimano Stella 5000

Shimano Stella 5000The Shimano Stella 5000 Spinning Reel is a real-life example of high-level integration of power and smoothness. It was introduced in the spring of 1993 and has since held the position of the flagship of saltwater spinning reels manufactured by Shimano. The Shimano Stella 5000 has been called a lot of names including “The King of Saltwater Spinning Reels” and “The Premier Big Game Spinning Reel” so it comes as to no surprise that the price tag is set at just under $1050.

With such a huge price tag, let’s have a look at the features to see if it is worth all of that money. The power aluminum body, X-Rigid Rotor, X-Rigid Body and X-Rigid handle are the components that are constructed of metal and help in reducing the loss of power due to flex.

The X-Tough Drag system offers 29 lbs of drag which makes it is the toughest drag ever been offered by Shimano. It provides a very smooth and strong drag to go up against hard fighting fish such as Tuna and Amberjacks that love to run hard. In the X-Ship technology, there are two bearings located on each end of the pinion gear that provides support which keeps the gears in alignment when subjected to a heavy load.

The combination of the X-Shield & X-Protect technology provides the best waterproofing protection available on the market today. There are a series of o-rings and sealing gaskets precisely located in the most important areas of the reel to keep water, sand, and dirt from penetrating. The Shimano Stella 5000 is an excellent reel, but many people are less likely to purchase it due to the $1000+ price tag and the fact that other high-end Shimano reels offer similar features at much lower prices.


  • Mostly high-end construction
  • Improved castability
  • Smooth and Durable


  • High price point
  • Service port no longer exists

3. Penn Spinfisher VI 

Penn Spinfisher VI At times, when you are surfcasting from the shore or embarking on a multi day billfish hunt, the Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel will offer you the durability needed to withstand the harsh saltwater conditions. This also helps in avoiding corrosion which is a standout feature in the best saltwater spinning reels.

The Penn Spinfisher VI makes use of its watertight design that seals out water and sand from the gearbox and drag system. Thus, the smooth performance is ensured even while fighting the fierce surf. The IPX5 sealed body and spool design is a great addition which allows you to spray your reel down with a hose at the end of the day or let it get sprayed with salt water, with the IPX5 seal preventing any salt, sand or debris from getting into the gears.

The CNC Gear technology makes the gear system more precise and better lubricated. The materials that are used in the manufacture of gears play an important part too. Brass and aluminum are excellent materials that help in creating a smooth gear system that holds up even under immense pressure. The HT-100 drag washers made of carbon fiber are protected by the completely sealed spool. These carbon fiber drag washers provide you with the stopping power needed to catch large saltwater fishes without any resistance whatsoever.


  • New IPX5 sealed spool and body design
  • Superline spool
  • 5+1 stainless seal ball bearing system


  • The paint may start to chip after some time
  • Bail arm may loosen over time

4. Shimano Saragosa SW

Shimano Saragosa SWThe Shimano Saragosa SW spinning reel allows you to tackle the toughest of species and conditions with elegance and power. Let’s take a look at some of its features which make it stand out among its counterparts. The X-Ship technology provides a smoother and stronger precision gear system that supports the pinion.

It also helps in the accurate positioning of the pinion gear, close to the centerline of the large diameter drive gear. This way, more power can be transferred from the handle to the rotor. The pinion gear is also supported by two Shimano A-RB roller bearings which create more stability and minimizes pinion gear twist and rotor deflection in extreme situations.

The X-Tough Drag System is designed in a way by keeping the performance in mind. This system makes use of oversized drag washers at the base of the spool to add greater drag stability and reduces the chance of wobble that makes for a smoother experience. The easy access drag washers are housed under the cold forged aluminum spool which is watertight, as was proven by submerging the reel in water overnight and observing that not a single drop of water was to be found in the drag area.

This reel comes equipped with a propulsion line management system that provides longer casting distances while preventing backlashes and wind knots from forming. The Shielded Roller bearings reduce the possibility of salt or sand from obstructing the bearing’s rotation.


  • Hagane body and gears
  • Smooth drag system


  • Not fully waterproof

5. Yoshikawa Baitfeeder

Yoshikawa BaitfeederThe Yoshikawa Baitfeeder is a classy looking spinning reel which performs just as good as it looks. It features a Baitfeeder Drag System which delivers a fully free-spool mode with just flipping the small lever on the back of the reel. The result is a free-running line which does not open the bail, which assists you in fighting big fish easily while also protecting your gear.

The side plates, rotor housing, and reel leg are all made of Titan Graphite which provides great strength and excellent corrosion resistance. Brass pinions of high strength are featured which are precisely machine engineered to make sure that all parts work consistently and all the force is applied to the right place. This helps in making fishing totally effortless and comfortable.

With a 5.5:1 gear ratio, you can expect a secure, fast retrieve from it. This makes the reel very suitable for catching carp, striped bass, catfish, bluefish, mackerel, and small sharks. The cool-gray finish makes the Yoshikawa Baitfeeder a great match to all popular fishing rods.

Moreover, this reel is priced at just under $30 which makes it a real catch. The amazing features are offered at an extremely affordable price which is why the Yoshikawa Baitfeeder is our pick for the best saltwater spinning reel for the money.


  • Excellent gear ratio
  • Fast and secure retrieve
  • Long casting distance
  • Wide target area


  • Some parts can break easily
  • The line may snap when catching heavy fish
  • The drag may become difficult to manipulate

6. Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast

Abu Garcia Revo Toro BeastUsers are often on the lookout for a reel that can offer the three main characteristics of a slow gear ratio, big line capacity and strength when it comes to a rigid frame. To find a reel that excels in all three of these areas is rare, but in the Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast, you will see that such rarities do exist.

This reel comes with two extra power handles which are very useful in catching the big fish. It also features a level wind that is non-disengaging, which means that when the drag is engaged, the fishing line guide moves back and forth as the line is extracted from the reel.

Owing to its large fishing line capacity, slower gear ratio, and longer handle, this reel is able to pull musky lures like large Bull Dawgs nearly effortlessly. The Revo Toro Beast’s main gear is a brass main gear that helps in contributing to the reel’s overall smoothness.

The reel’s frame and handle side plate is made from an aluminum alloy (X-Craftic Alloy) which doesn’t flex when under load. The Carbon Matrix Drag System is one of the ways to treat yourself to the ultimate modern high-tech efficiency reel experience. This reel can produce a whopping 22 pounds of drag force, so you can be assured that the reel won’t shudder, even with the heaviest of clients tagging at the end of the line.


  • Durable
  • Easy To Use
  • Great Design
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile


  • The reel does not have a classy finish as compared to other modern designs
  • Some fishermen may find the handle a little bigger than necessary

7. Penn Fathom Lever Drag

Penn Fathom Lever DragThe Penn Fathom Lever Drag is a type of conventional reel that uses a sliding lever mounting on the side of the reel for easy drag adjustments. The lever drag reels are able to achieve high drag pressure which is ideal for heavy lines and to target heavier fish.

The Fathom Lever Drag frames and side plates are made from die-cast aluminum which has the properties of being both lightweight and durable when it comes to resisting corrosion from saltwater. The stainless steel main and pinion gear are the reasons behind the tremendous amount of power in the Fathom reels. The main gear, which is drilled out to reduce weight, is combined with the stainless steel pinion to give a quick retrieve rate with gear ratios as high as 7.1:1.

Dura-Drag washers aid in delivering a very smooth and strong drag. They virtually eliminate any snags and hesitation, even under extreme drag settings. The 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings make for a smooth spinning spool that has great castability and fluid cranking. The Anti-Reverse system offers you backup and basically distributes the pressure to minimize the wear and tear on the reel.


  • Attractive design with a black-red colored outline
  • Lightweight so comfortable to handle
  • Sturdy metal-made body and side-plates that ensures durability
  • A high gear ratio makes it easy to cast


  • Does not come with a 2-speed system
  • Not fully sealed

8. HaiBo Saltwater Spinning Reel

HaiBo Saltwater Spinning ReelThe Haibo Saltwater inshore spinning reel has been specifically engineered to handle the abuse of big fish that put up a fight, as well as, corrosive saltwater environments. This reel offers the power, casting range, and durability you will need to conquer big saltwater gamefish. The HaiBo Saltwater Spinning Reel is made up of quality material and also has a stylish design which sets it apart from its counterparts in the market.

It consists of a built-in sealed drag system, a smooth operating gear train, and a rubber gasket that prevents super lines from slipping. If this is the first time you are dealing with reels with high-end features like these, then you may want to take some time to familiarize yourself with them.

Once you’ve mastered them, they can be a joy to use. The HaiBo Saltwater Spinning Reel is also quite versatile it can be used in freshwaters like large lakes or even in shallow waters. The mechanically sealed drag system and the Dura-Drag system plays its role in preventing saltwater infiltration and corrosion while also offering extreme protection from sand. The one-piece full metal body provides extra-strength; the side plate keeps the gear in perfect alignment with the rotor under heavy load, and the heavy-duty aluminum bail wire offers exceptional durability.


  • The high amount of drag power
  • Available in various sizes, ranging from freshwater reels to reels for big game fishing in saltwater.
  • All metal housing
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Ideal for long casting


  • Some cases of the drag not locking when engaged

9. Spinning Saltwater Fishing Reel A650 

Spinning Saltwater Fishing Reel A650 The Spinning Saltwater Fishing Reel A650 is an exquisitely designed reel with a classy finish. It is priced at just under $1000 which is quite a hefty price for a fishing reel. Let us dig into its features and determine whether it justifies the price tag or not.

It has a ball bearing of 12+1BB and a gear ratio of 5.2:1. The small gear ratio ensures that the retrieve rate is quick and secure which enhances your chances of getting the big catch. The left/right handles are collapsible and interchangeable. These interchangeable, quick-folding handles are made of aluminum die casting material. The cast control is fully controllable, sound included.

The Spinning Saltwater Fishing Reel A650 consists of an S-curve oscillation system which accounts for very good line winding. All in all, the Spinning Saltwater Fishing Reel A650 has an excellent line lay oscillation system. However, these features are also available in other models that are not as pricey as the Spinning Saltwater Fishing Reel A650. So we would recommend you to look for other options on the market that can give you an equal amount of satisfaction.


10. Goture II-Cast Series Full Metal CNC

Goture II-Cast Series Full Metal CNCThe Goture II-Cast Series Full Metal CNC Spinning Reel is equipped to tackle anything the big blue sea can throw at it. This reel offers the ultimate smoothness and power, so you can fish with the confidence that you have control of the right tool for the job. To be able to do its job, the Goture-II has many features that prove to be useful.

The thickened stainless steel main shaft and stainless steel low wear rate pinion gear is introduced into the heart of the aluminum body. High rigidity aluminum is utilized for the body material since it offers the ideal housing to protect the precision interior of the reel from a severe exterior environment. The result is an extremely rigid and tough body that packs the kind of power required to fight monster fish.

The drag system in Goture-II dramatically enhances smoothness, control, and toughness as well as anticipates the vigorous speed of your target fish. The large diameter drag washers at the base of the spool are accountable for greater drag stability for smooth & consistent drag performance. The spring features include steady elasticity at any compression level and slight deformation under repeated compression. This gives precise drag adjustments throughout the curve, giving the user more control at higher drag pressures. The final result is a very tough and durable drag system in the spinning reel.

The Goture II-Cast Series is a great buy for people seeking spinning reels around $200.


  • 11+1 stainless steel ball bearing system
  • Water-tight design
  • Propulsion line management system
  • Premium wooden case packaging


  • No anti-reverse switch

Freshwater vs Saltwater Reels

These are some of the major differences between freshwater and saltwater reels.

1. Material Used

Freshwater reels are built using a variety of simple metals which work well in a freshwater environment. These metals eventually corrode, but that happens after quite some time. On the contrary, saltwater spinning reels consist of metals that easily deteriorate within a very short period of time.

As a solution to this corroding problem, most saltwater reels are manufactured using special alloys that do not corrode quickly. Some saltwater reels are manufactured using material that, when subjected to corrosion, form a protective coating that helps withstand the contact with saltwater and reduces any further chances of corrosion.

2. Line and Lure

Unlike freshwater reels, saltwater reels are usually designed for heavier lines so they can be more efficient when it comes to tackling big fish. This is one of the reasons why you may not find many people using an 80-pound-test line, 2-ounce sinkers and foot-long lures at the local farm pond. Freshwater reels are best used in small water bodies, given its lightweight line.

3. Cost

Numerous and various design techniques are used in the production of saltwater reels which makes them more costly than their freshwater counterparts. However, you should not let this fact influence your decision and coerce you into buying a freshwater reel instead, as is the case for many anglers.

In the short run, it may seem that you have saved quite a lot by investing in freshwater reels, but once your freshwater reel fails then the cost of repeatedly paying for the piper will eventually nullify your savings. Saltwater spinning reels may cost a bit more, but they are known to be very durable, and it is likely you will be using the same reel for quite some time.

4. Reel Types

A lot of different reel types fall under the category of freshwater and saltwater reels. The freshwater anglers typically make use of spinning, spin casting, and baitcasting reels. The water body where they are being used for fishing, such as a lake or a river does not matter much.

On the other hand, saltwater spinning reels consist of different types of both inshore and offshore fishing. Inshore angling makes use of typical spinning and baitcasting reels while more specialized, high-capacity, heavy-duty spinning, and baitcasting reels are utilized for offshore fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How to Spool a Saltwater Spinning Reel?

A common technique employed by people is putting a spool on the reel’s side and then reeling it in some few seconds later. After that, the bail is opened and the tip is released. In case the line starts wrapping up on itself, you should flip the spool and when the line hangs limp, you should close the bail down.

Another way of reeling the spool is by piercing a very long screwdriver through it and then into the foreyard so that the spool is horizontal. You can sit on the front moves and reel it in easily. In case the screwdriver is pushed deep into the ground, you can apply some tension on the spool so that it gets on the reel tightly.

2. How do I fix the Drag on my Reel?

A perfect drag setting is essential in order to find big fish. The drag force ought to be ideally fixed at one-third of the breaking limit of your specific line. Then, you have to attach a loop at the end of the line and wire it through the rod’s eye. Place the rod in a rod holder and append the loop to the available hand scale. Check the weight displayed on the scale to determine the amounts of stress that the drag would be applying. We recommend that you examine and set the drag prior to each of your fishing trips.

3. How to Disassemble my Reel to Work on the Insides?

In order to do this, you will require a few basic tools and some sort of mechanical aptitude. However, if you are the type of person that can’t figure out which end of a screwdriver to use, then this may not be the right job for you. Here are a few things you might need –

  • Screwdrivers
  • Bearing grease
  • Fishing reel oil

It is preferable that you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. To help you with the task, we have provided some tips for you which will make it easier for you –

  • Always start the screws by hand to avoid stripping them
  • Make use of the clutch on an electric drill to avoid over-tightening
  • Ensure that you are using the correct type of bearing grease since there are numerous kinds
  • Make use of a small bowl in which you can drop the tiny parts such as a screw to avoid losing them

4. What Kinds of Reels are Right for me?

There are a lot of different kinds of reels on the market so you need to take into account the purpose of your trip to be able to choose the best saltwater spinning reel. If you are going out with a charter, you will normally be informed by the captain about the stuff to carry. If you are going for offshore fishing, then baitcasting or conventional fishing reels are ideal. In case of an inshore fishing trip, a spinning reels should be your go-to option.

So, you should accordingly decide the type of reel that would best suit you depending on the trip you take.

5. Can I use my Saltwater Reel for Inland Fishing?

Yes, you totally can. However, you should take note that saltwater reels are meant to handle relatively large line diameters simply because saltwater fish tend to be larger and fight harder.

When it comes to fishing inland, you will want to be using a much thinner, lighter line. Also, ensure that the reel can handle a line that small when you throw it off the saltwater rig. One must also consider the fact that using a small line on a big rig can cause problems too. One of these includes shortened reel life and to slow it down, the reel has to be properly washed and cleaned every time you come in.

6. How To Properly use a Saltwater Spinning Reel?

When it comes to the best saltwater spinning reels, there are various casting methods that can be employed such as side-arm, overhand, roll cast, underarm etc. It is important that you choose the casting technique that works best for you. If all of this is new for you, then we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the basics of each method first before making any choice. After acquiring a new saltwater spinning reel, one thing you should make sure of is to go through the casting and reeling motions before you hit the water. This way, you can get the feel of it in your hand.

The casting process is as follows

Connect the reel to the rod. Ensure you have the best rod and reel combination for the type of fish you are aiming to catch. String the rod by using the index finger of your dominant hand to pull the line just above the bail and line roller and bring it back to the rod. Ensure that the line size that you are using is perfectly suited to your saltwater reel

Spool the reel by using your other hand to open up the bail in order to enable a free spool where the line can now leave without encountering any resistance
Set the drag knob and attach the bait

Ultimately, cast the bait by releasing the line from your index finger. The line will stop leaving the spool when the bait hits the water
You will be able to perfect your casting technique, increase your casting distance and improve your casting accuracy over time by practicing.

7. How do you Avoid Backlash When Casting the Reel?

The best way to avoid backlash is to apply a good amount of thumb pressure onto the spool. However, this takes a lot of practice and cannot be attained in one fishing session. You will have to estimate the amount of pressure with a lot of practice, and trial and error. Even though some fishing reels are equipped with a mechanism that slows the reel down which helps in preventing backlash, you should still depend upon your thumb technique and hone it.

8. Why should I replace the monofilament on my fishing gear?

Monofilament is a single and continuous strand of synthetic fiber. Nevertheless, it can get old and worn out quickly which could spell big trouble if you are going to catch for a big fish that fights in a really strong way. This could cause the monofilament to break apart and your catch getting away from your hands. This is why you should make sure that your monofilament is new and durable.

Advantages of a Saltwater Spinning Reel

For starters, saltwater spinning reels have the ability to throw lighter lines at a farther distance. Baitcaster reels may have better lure control with heavier 1/2 – to 1-ounce lures, but when it comes to casting a lure weighing 1/16th of an ounce, there is no beating the spinning reel. Many top pros in the world use spinning reels regularly for shaky heads, drop-shotting and throwing light jerkbaits and crankbaits.

If the wind is an issue at all, the spinning reel’s advantage becomes even greater. This is because the backlash problem blooms in baitcasters when they are cast into the wind. Casting across or into the wind is much more efficient with spinning reels, especially if the lures are on the light side.

Another benefit of spinning reels is that it allows your lure to sink down straighter without experiencing as much of a “pendulum effect” as experienced by rotational spool found on baitcasters. When a lure sinks from a baitcaster, it encounters resistance in the form of pulling from the rotational spool, which causes a lure to swing to and fro as it sinks. This is why anglers using baitcasters in deeper water will sometimes strip line off the spool by hand, to feed the sinking lure resistance-free line so it will free fall.

Since the line on a spinning reel will uncoil freely from the fixed spool, it thus encounters far less resistance than the pull needed to keep a rotational spool in line. This is very critical when it comes to fishing in deep water since there is more chance of facing barriers such as pilings, standing timber, steep bluffs, seawalls or tall vegetation. It is also key when targeting current breaks where it is essential for the lure to fall straight down.

What if we told you that for efficient use of the spinning reel, it does not matter if you are right handed or left handed? This is because, on most spinning reels the reel handle is easily interchangeable between the right and left sides to suit your needs. Unlike this, there is no option to be able to swap sides with reel handles in baitcasters and hence, you will be stuck with a dedicated right-hand or a left-hand model.

One big advantage of using a spinning reel is that it gives you the ability to easily adjust your drag during the fight with a fish. Whether the drag is on the front or on the rear end of the reel, spinning reel drags are often easily accessible and liberally graduated, thus giving you full-range adjustment during your battle. This gives you the upper hand in the battle so you will be able to get your catch.

With so many benefits that the saltwater spinning reel has to offer, it is no wonder that it is still considered a standard in sportfishing today.

Drawbacks of the Spinning Reel

Even the best saltwater fishing reels have their own flaws. One of the setbacks of the saltwater spinning reel is that it is often susceptible to damages under harsh conditions. Also, the spinning reel can place a lure of any size and weight into a certain target, but the accuracy is limited to only twenty yards.

Explaining the Spinning Reel Sizes:

1. Smaller Fish

If you are targeting smaller fish species, a 500 to 1000 size reel would be the perfect fit. If your reel is too big for your line size, you will have more line than you need which may impair your casting distance.

500 Size Reel

When using a 2-4 lbs monofilament line, this is the right size of your reel. We recommend pairing it with an ultralight rod of 5 to 8 feet, depending on the application. When fishing in streams a shorter rod would make it easier to navigate branches and bushes. A 7-9 foot rod would find its best use in rivers or lakes.
1000 Size Reel

This reel size is best used with a 4-8lb line when fishing for bass, walleye, or medium size trout. For vertical bass fishing or drop shot techniques, we suggest a 6 foot 8-inch rod with light action and a 7 foot 6-inch for long distance casting.

2. Medium Size Fish

The reels for catching medium-sized fish consist of lies with a larger diameter and deeper spool.
2500-3000 Size Reel

When you upgrade the size of the fish up to 6-15lb, you need to upgrade your reel size too. The length of the rod doesn’t inevitably change just because you went up a reel size or two. One thing you need to make sure of is that the rod needs to have higher ratings so that it matches the lure size and line that you are using.
4000-6000 Size Reel

The 4000 size isn’t too big but the 6000 size gets really bulky and heavy. This means that the user can get fatigued easily after using the reel for long periods of time. Generally, medium size reels make use of 10-17 lbs monofilament line.

3. Larger Fish

8000-10000 Size Reel

These reels are designed for a bigger line in the 20-30lb class. One must keep in mind that these are bigger fish. What often happens is that newer anglers think bigger reels are necessary for saltwater fishing, but this is not usually the case. Just make sure that you match the reel and rod size to the size of the fish you are targeting and not towards the bigger fish that you might accidentally catch. We recommend a longer rod with a lighter tip which will allow for better casting. The light tip and stiff backbone generally prove effective on bigger fishes.

14000-30000 Size Reel

Now we are getting serious! These gigantic reels are no joke and are best suited for serious anglers that want to catch really big fish. We are talking of a 20-60 lbs monofilament line with a high-end rod to match. We recommend that you don’t look for very cheap options as we are dealing with both gigantic rods and fish, so you must look to buy the best saltwater spinning reel.

Cleaning Tips for Saltwater Reels

Excessive saltwater can take a toll on your fishing reel if it is not properly cleaned and maintained. It is important to keep your reels clean, oiled and greased up so they continue to work at their top efficiency. This will also increase the lifespan of your spinning reel. To help you with this, we have prepared some quick tips to consider when fishing in/around saltwater.

After you are done with your fishing in saltwater, do NOT use a high powered hose to rinse off any saltwater as you may be successful only in pushing it further into the reel. Instead, you can use a wet towel and thoroughly wipe down the reel. If you don’t have access to a towel/rag then you can quickly submerge the reel in moving freshwater such as a stream or a river and use your hands to wipe it down.

If your reel has been completely submerged in saltwater, you might want to thoroughly soak the reel in a bucket of fresh water for 10 minutes.

For preventative maintenance, you can use 3-4 quick sprays of any common household furniture polish on the reel. After that, use a dry rag or brush to spread the polish around and then wipe it off. This not only cleans up the reel but also adds a small protection layer for the next time you go out fishing.

Apply lube and oil on your reel when changing the line. This is better, especially in the case when you plan on taking only a single part of the reel for maintenance but the whole line has to be taken off anyways so it’s best to plan to do both at the same time.

Our Verdict

Saltwater fishing gear can be quite expensive, thus, it is crucial to get a reel that will offer you the soundest value for your money. If you don’t pay attention, you might end up spending a lot of cash and not even getting the quality fishing gear you require. Nonetheless, it is vital to ensure that the cost directly matches the value of the reel and you can achieve that by taking your time to research about them.

We have done exactly that and have come to the conclusion that the Yoshikawa Baitfeeder is the best saltwater spinning reel for the money as it offers tons of incredible features at a low price.

When it comes to saltwater equipment, from the lures to rods and reels, they have to be kept in good condition since they go hand in hand with the spinning reel. Taking good care of them will get you the best returns for a longer period. We hope that this extensive review will assist you in deciding upon the best saltwater spinning reel that you wish to have. At least by now, you would have the knowledge of the best saltwater spinning reels in the market and the gear that goes with it. We hope you find the reel that best suits you. Happy fishing!

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Ronald Nieves

Roland Nieves is a kayak and boat enthusiast who has been a rower since his time at college and has always loved the sport. He loves to write articles on topics he has a great interest in. Roland’s work is well-researched at all times and he works dedicatedly to provide the readers with the most authentic information.

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