No matter whether you are a professional angler or interested in fishing as a hobby or productive pastime, you would agree that the right fishing reel is the key to having an enjoyable experience.
You don’t need too many things to go fishing; often, a fishing rod and a good quality reel are enough for bringing in a good catch. That said, you need to ensure that the reel you spend your money on is worthy enough!
Using a good reel can not only help you catch a larger quantity of fish but also make the process much more effortless. In short, the fishing reel is one of the crucial factors behind the success or failure of your fishing expedition, and therefore, it is of utmost necessity that you select the right product.
To help you select the perfect one according to your requirements, here we have listed down some of the best fishing reels that you can get in all budget ranges. Take a look below to select the perfect one for yourself!
Different types of fishing reels are available in the market for specific levels or types of fishing you intend to engage in. You may be a beginner or a professional angler, aiming to fish in freshwater, saltwater, or both, and each of these activities may require different types of fishing reels.
To get rid of any confusion, you can check out the best fishing reels of 2021 below before choosing the ideal one as per your requirements.
Top 20 Best Fishing Reels 2021
The KastKing Centron 500 Spinning Reel is the perfect choice if you are looking for a low-cost option that will let you fish like a pro! The graphite frame is designed to be lightweight but sturdy and packs in a lot of features to make it one of the best fishing reels you can find.
The reel has a well-built design, which, combined with the computer balancing system, boosts its performance level. With its Superior Drag System, you get a remarkable stopping power of up to 17.5 lbs. So even larger fish are easy to pull in!
One of the most important features that make a fishing reel stand out is the smoothness in operating it. And the KastKing Centron does not disappoint in this aspect. The nine quality ball bearings, along with a one-way instant anti-reverse bearing, ensure it works smoothly without any drag issues.
The dual color anodized aluminum spool holds longer lengths of line in comparison to many other reels. And lastly, along with being strong and durable, the finish is too attractive to ignore!
- Attractive design
- Is prone to rust
Featuring 7.1:1 gear ratios, the Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel is designed for versatility. This is a super powerful product, capable of a maximum drag of 18 lbs.
The special design of the product ensures that you reel in the fish super quickly without any issues. Moreover, the reel does this very silently, so you could enjoy faster fishing without any annoyance.
Another notable feature of this fishing reel is its special reinforced gears made of high-quality materials. These are precision cut, which makes it strong and reliable, along with adding to its water resistance for a smooth operation.
You can also control backlash with the help of a precise dial-in-gauge. So no more of those terrifying bird nests to ruin your day!
The best part of this unique product is the side-plate oil port. Unlike most other fishing reels, you do not have to disassemble the product for oiling it. Just remove the screw for quick oiling to maintain the performance of your product. This feature makes maintenance hassle-free, especially for beginners!
- Very smooth
- Almost noiseless
- Not suitable for saltwater fishing
The PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel is a reasonably priced product whose performance makes it a trusted option for many experienced anglers.
The body of the product is made of graphite that has a high corrosion-resistance. Moreover, the material makes it quite lightweight, too, without compromising on durability. It features an HT-100 carbon fiber drag system that is sturdy enough to reel in big fishes easily. The drag washers are sealed, leading to smoother operation for a long duration.
It comes with line capacity rings that ensure that you are always aware of the length of line you have out during fishing. The slow oscillation gearing helps to minimize twisting of the line, thus improving line lay.
This high-quality reel is very dependable, making it perfect for beginners engaging in saltwater fishing. Also, the reel is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing and doesn’t get damaged when used for the latter.
- Reasonable price
- Suitable for saltwater fishing
- Can be a bit noisy sometimes
The KastKing Sharky III is the best fishing reel you can go for if you want an affordable option that is high on performance. The reel is powerful – you get up to 39. 5 lbs of drag power, making it a good choice for catching big fishes.
Despite packing such power, the Sharky III is quite lightweight. It has a fiber-reinforced graphite body that makes it tough enough for regular use. The triple-disc carbon fiber drag is reliable, enabling a smoother operation while you engage in fishing.
One of the most common ways that reels get damaged is through the entry of dirt and water inside the body. But this reel comes with a unique “KISS” of protection. The KastKing Intrusion Shield System (KISS) protects the rotor, spool, and body from damage by keeping away water and dust!
Other than these, the KastKing Sharky III comes with several essential features such as greater line capacity, stainless steel bearings, and an instant lock anti-reverse system that makes your fishing experience easier!
- Powerful drag
- Suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishing
- May need frequent maintenance when used for saltwater fishing
Another high-quality product from the same brand, the KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel is a super durable product especially suited for saltwater fishing.
The powerful carbon fiber drag system along with a unique Cymbal Washer ensures that you get an incredibly smooth drag of up to 30 lbs. The premium MaxiDur double-shielded ball bearings made of stainless steel adds to the smooth operation of the reel.
With this product, you won’t be facing any durability issues. It uses high-quality materials such as reinforced aluminum, stainless steel, high-grade brass, and alloys that are sturdy and corrosion-resistant. It won’t be wrong to say that the KastKing Rover can practically withstand a bullet!
Versatility is one of the best characteristics of this fishing reel. It is equally suitable for all the different techniques in freshwater and saltwater fishing. The unique design with the oversized EVA grips ensures that you have the maximum level of control during use.
It features a unique design that is not too bulky, thus reducing exhaustion during your fishing trips. And the best part, you get all these features at a very affordable price!
- High-quality materials
- Super durable
- Can be a bit noisy
- Backlash issues
The Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel packs a number of advanced features at a super affordable price. True to its name, it comes in a color combination of flaming red with black, giving it a classy and stylish look.
The narrow graphite body is hollow, which greatly reduces the weight of the product to ensure ease while you are fishing. Also, you get different variants of the product that are geared to suit your needs of freshwater or saltwater fishing, respectively.
The casting and retrieving operations are remarkably smooth due to the superior quality 9+1 ball bearings and the powerful precision gears. Moreover, the drag power of the Piscifun Flame is up to 19.8 lb, making it perfect for catching a variety of fishes of different sizes.
The X-shaped spool is what sets this apart from other fishing reels in the same price range. It is a braid-ready spool, which is generally uncommon in reels of this price range.
- Durable and stylish
- Braid ready X-shaped spool
- May need frequent cleaning
Looking for a high-quality bait feeder fishing reel that is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing? The KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III Spinning Reel might be just the product you need!
It comes in a classic color combination of black and red, which gives it a super stylish look. Made of graphite, it is quite lightweight but powerful enough to reel in some big catch! The carbon fiber drag washers along with the top-quality brass drive gear ensure that you get up to 26.5 lbs of drag power.
One of its remarkable features is the CNC aluminum Shark Fin Braid Ready Spool. Besides, it also comes with a spare graphite spool that adds to its value! One of the best fishing reels at its price range, the Sharky Baitfeeder III is a versatile product that is suitable for both left-handed and right-handed use without any issues.
- 10 + 1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings
- Anti-corrosion graphite body
- Is not very sturdy
With the Sougayilang Fishing Reel, you can expect to get an extraordinarily smooth performance. It comes equipped with 13+1 anti-corrosion ball bearings that ensure that you get an incredibly trouble-free fishing experience.
The computer balancing system and the hollow frame of the reel make it extremely lightweight. But this does not hamper its performance as it is made of high-quality aluminum, which gives it the needed sturdiness.
You get two spools with this reel. The original one is made of lightweight aluminum and has more line capacity to suit all your fishing needs. The spare spool is of graphite material and can act as a replacement for the original if needed.
The reel has great fish fighting power due to the precision drive gears and a reinforced metal shaft. You also get a left or right interchangeable CNC aluminum handle that lets you cast further with ease!
- Super affordable
- 13+1 anti-corrosion ball bearings
- Is not very durable
- Prone to rusting
The KastKing Megatron is a powerful fishing reel designed for use in both saltwater and freshwater fishing. This unique reel features a bionic engineering design that makes it stand out from the rest.
The reel frame is built of an aerospace aluminum alloy that does much more than giving it a super striking look! You get such a superb combination of strength and durability that fighting fish becomes easier than ever! You get a maximum drag power of 33 lbs (for size 3000).
The operation is super smooth, as it has a zinc alloy precision drive gear and a brass pinion gear designed for this purpose. It is further enhanced by the 7+1 double-shielded stainless steel bearings that are precisely placed to maximize its performance.
Also, the reel is not bulky as it is designed from sturdy but lightweight materials like aluminum and graphite. With the Megatron, you get a high standard and powerful design at a very reasonable price!
- Lightweight and sturdy build
- 7+1 double-shielded stainless steel bearings
- Available in a variety of sizes
- The smoothness may reduce with use.
The KastKing Brutus Spincast Fishing Reel is a fast and durable product that performs well in both deep and shallow water fishing. This is one of the best fishing reels you can get for freshwater fishing at an affordable price!
It has a 4.0:1 gear ratio that enables you to reel in your catch quickly to increase the success rate. Also, you save quite some time in between casts. With a drag power of up to 11 lbs, it is ideal for catching fishes such as bass or trout.
The best feature of the Brutus spin cast reel is its smoothness. It comes with 5 stainless steel ball bearings that are double shielded to ensure that you get a super-smooth fishing experience every time.
With the KastKing Brutus Spincast, you get 33% more line capacity compared to other products in the same price range. And as an added advantage, you get 160 yards of 10 lb test KastKing Premium Monofilament fishing line pre-spooled with it! So your product is ready to use as soon as you get it!
- Pre-spooled with 160 yards of premium fishing line
- 33% more line capacity
- Can be a bit noisy
- Not suitable for heavy fishing
The KastKing Valiant Eagle Gold Spinning Reel is a powerful product crafted as a salute to one of the supreme birds of prey, the golden eagle. Just like the golden eagle, this reel combines speed, power, and agility to ensure that you get the most out of your fishing trip!
Made for both saltwater and freshwater fishing, the reel provides 22 lbs of drag power thanks to its sealed carbon drag system. You can expect the operation to be as smooth as possible due to the placement of 7+1 stainless steel MaxiDur shielded ball bearings.
The reel is quite lightweight but incredibly strong and durable at the same time. With a 6.2:1 gear ratio, you get a super quick pick-up speed, which is crucial when you are pitted against stubborn fish!
With a strong graphite frame, the KastKing Valiant Eagle Gold is a super durable fishing reel. The spool and handle are also crafted from high-grade aluminum to ensure that you get consistent performance each time.
- High-quality materials
- Powerful and quick
- Suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishing
- May need frequent maintenance
The Zebco Authentic Spincast Fishing Reel is the perfect choice if you want a low-cost and lightweight product for teaching your kids the art of fishing.
The enclosed frame is made of reinforced stainless steel for strength and durability, allowing you to reel in your catches with ease.
It has a 3.6:1 gear ratio, which is reasonably fast for beginners in angling. To ensure good grip and comfort, the handles come with rubber coverings that ensure you have the perfect control while fishing.
- Suitable for kids
- Super affordable
- Not suitable for catching large fish
- Can be noisy
The PLUSINNO Fishing Reel is a stylishly designed product that is the perfect choice if you want an affordable reel for freshwater fishing. This is a very lightweight reel that allows you to make the most of your fishing trips.
It packs in up to 17.5 lbs of smooth drag power to resist the fighting fish without damaging your rod! The 9+1 high-quality ball bearings ensure reduced noise and a smooth as silk performance.
The collapsible and left or right interchangeable handle comes with a paddle-shaped rubber grip that gives you ample control in all situations. The anti-twist line roller makes sure that there are almost no chances of tangling in the spool.
Last but not the least, the reel features a super attractive design that will add a touch of style to your fishing gear. The black and gold color combination with hollow cut-out designs makes it one of the most appealing fishing reels in its price range.
- High capacity spool
- Not suited for saltwater fishing
- Not for heavy fishing
Looking for a spin-cast reel that will last you for years without fail? The Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Reel is a product that you should surely check out!
The all-metal construction, along with the double anodized forged aluminum front cover, ensures that it is super durable. The 85/10 mono capacity makes it perfect for catching heavier fish species without any issues.
With 6+1 bearings and a patented tangle-free design, you can expect remarkable smoothness during casting and retrieval.
The Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Reel is one of the best fishing reels if you are looking for power and reliability. And the best part is that you don’t have to go through the hassle of spooling a line before you go fishing! It comes with a 10 lb Zebco Cajun Line pre-spooled with it!
And that’s not all, you also get an extra dual paddle handle and spool with the pack!
- Very durable
- Pre-spooled with a 10 lb Zebco Cajun Line
- Tangle-free design
- The smoothness may lessen with the use
The Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel is a perfect choice if you want a professional-grade reel to level up your fishing experience.
The frame, spool, side plates, and other parts are made of high-quality materials that are very resistant to corrosion. This gives it the reliability and standard that makes it a favorite of experienced anglers.
The spool has a good line holding capacity – it can hold up to 420 yards of 20 lb test fishing line. This makes it suitable for deep fishing as well as fishing over a large area. Also, the multi-disc carbonate drag system ensures that you get enough fish fighting power to make your fishing trip worthwhile.
One of the most remarkable features of this fishing reel is the self-lubricating gear system, which makes it low maintenance. It also has 2 stainless steel ball bearings that are rust-resistant to ensure a smooth operation. The product comes with a one-year warranty.
- Corrosion-resistant design
- Self-lubricating gear system
- More line holding capacity
- Can be a bit noisy sometimes
- Comparatively heavier
The SeaKnight Rapid II is specially designed for saltwater fishing. Its stainless steel components are further protected with an anti-corrosion layer that is tested for efficiency in saltwater.
It has a uniquely designed drag knob with a washer that keeps away dust and water for more durability. Moreover, the sealed aluminum spool and the rotor are also crafted to be water and dust-resistant! So you need not worry about your reel being damaged from sand or saltwater while fishing!
Along with durability, you also get incredible smoothness due to the 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings. You also get up to 22 lbs of smooth drag power.
The Rapid II is the perfect fishing spool for light saltwater fishing as well as freshwater fishing and is powerful enough to give you a good haul every time.
- Dust and water-resistant
- Line capacity could be a bit better
- Can be noisy sometimes
If you are looking for an efficient product suitable for heavy fishing, the RUNCL Spinning Fishing Reel is among the best fishing reels you can go for! It features a hollowed-out design that makes it strong and durable without adding too much weight.
With this awesome reel, you can expect a super-smooth, almost effortless fishing experience. It has 10+1 high-precision ball bearings that are treated to be corrosion resistant, along with a multi-disc drag system and zinc alloy pinion gears that make it perform smoothly for multiple seasons.
The CNC line management system is a special feature of this reel that allows you to get the line laid smoothly and consistently on the spool with minimal chances of tangling. Also, the spool has a braid-ready design, which prevents braided lines from slipping while spooling.
In short, this spinning reel is a reliable and long-lasting product that is sure to be a constant for all your fishing expeditions for years to come.
- Ultra-smooth performance
- Braid-ready spool design
- Can be prone to rust
- Unsuitable for saltwater fishing
The Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reel is a versatile and super lightweight product that will ensure that your wrists stay free from exhaustion even after a whole day of fishing.
Made of carbon fiber, the reel is sturdy and durable despite being so light – it is powerful enough to easily help you reel in some big fishes. One of its most remarkable features is the superfast speed. With a 6.2:1 gear ratio, you can get hold of your catch in a jiffy. Also, the performance is silky smooth!
The spool features a CNC hollowed technology that gives it a solid construction. The braid ready design ensures zero wastage of time if you are using a braided line.
With 3 oversized carbon washers, you get a remarkable super smooth drag power of up to 33 lbs, ideal for getting in some big catch. The drag is protected from dust and water by a sealed rubber ring, thus increasing its lifespan.
The Piscifun Carbon X is corrosion-resistant, which makes it suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing.
- Very lightweight
- Sturdy and durable
- Resistant to corrosion
- Can be noisy sometimes
Want a reel with superior fish fighting power? Take a look at the RUNCL Spinning Reel Titan II! This amazing product comes with a maximum drag power of 33 lbs, which is guaranteed to get you a big catch without fail!
It has an all-metal body covered with a corrosion-resistant phosphate coating that makes the product quite durable. It delivers a consistently smooth performance thanks to the 9+1 shielded precise stainless steel bearings and a sealed multi-disc carbon drag system.
In addition to this, you also get the RUNCL Entire Shield System (R.E.S.S.) that protects the body, rotor, and spool from damage by keeping away dirt, sand, and water from getting inside.
Also, you don’t need to spend time adding a monofilament backing to use a braided fishing line as it comes with a braid-ready spool.
- More drag power
- Braid-ready spool
- Not recommended for prolonged saltwater use
The PLUSINNO Spinning Reel is among the best fishing reels you can get if you want a reliable one within a tight budget.
You get a well-balanced, smooth performance as a result of the 9 high-quality ball bearings and one anti-reverse bearing combined with the drag and braking system. It has a stopping power of 19.8 lbs that prevents your catch from slipping away!
The graphite frame with an aluminum spool makes the reel quite lightweight without any compromise on durability. You can rest assured that this reel will remain usable for many years!
It features a braid-ready spool that prevents slippage when using a braided line, thus saving you both time and effort! And last but not least, the classic black and gold combination makes it too eyecatching to be ignored!
- The bail may get jammed up sometimes
Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Fishing Reels
Getting the perfect reel can be a tricky affair if you are not aware of the features that you should look out for. To help you in this matter, we have listed down a few of the key factors that you should keep in mind while choosing the best fishing reels. Check out the following to ensure that you make the right choice!
Not all fishing reels are suitable for all fishing methods. There are several different kinds of fishing reels, such as spin cast, spinning, and baitcasting reels, each of which is targeted towards a specific type of fishing. Choosing the best fishing reels thus depends on identifying which one you need.
Also, while almost all the fishing reels are suitable for freshwater fishing, the same might not be the case for saltwater. The corroding properties of saltwater can easily damage your reel and render it useless if you do not use one that is made for saltwater fishing.
So make sure that you choose the correct fishing reel according to the type of fishing you want to engage in.
2. Size And Weight
The weight of the reel is another important factor that you need to consider while selecting the best product.
A lightweight fishing reel is an ideal choice as it will lead to lesser wrist fatigue if you are fishing for longer durations. Also, it is the best choice for teaching your child fishing as they will be able to handle the weight.
But, a small and lightweight reel may not be powerful enough for reeling in heavier or larger fish and can damage your rod in the process. Also, a smaller reel may not have enough line capacity for casting over long distances or deep fishing.
Therefore make sure that you check the power and capacity of the reel while choosing it.
Undoubtedly, this is the most important factor while choosing your product. Needless to say, you don’t want to buy a fishing reel that will become useless after a few times of use!
The durability of a fishing reel depends on several factors, the most important of which is its material. Make sure that the reel you are buying is made from high-quality materials that are corrosion resistant.
4. Line Capacity
Your chosen fishing reel should have enough line capacity to ensure that you have a satisfactory fishing trip. Depending on whether you intend to go for shallow or deep water fishing, you would need a fishing reel with a lesser or greater line capacity, respectively.
Price is another key factor when you are choosing the best fishing reels. In the case of fishing reels, it is not true that the more expensive product will be better than a lower-priced one. There is an assortment of reasonably priced good quality products that you can get in the market within your budget.
All you need is to make sure that you check the features of the products carefully so that it matches with your requirements.
Best Fishing Reels – Conclusion
Choosing the best fishing reels can be very difficult due to the large number of products that claim to be the best in the market. This is further increased due to the fact that many of these may appear to be more or less similar, especially for beginners who are buying a fishing reel for the first time.
To ensure that you buy the right fishing reel, you need to ensure that you lookout for a few essential factors such as the line capacity, price, weight, durability, and suitability of the product.
To help you get rid of the confusion, we have, in this article, described 20 of the best fishing reels that are ruling the market currently. We have listed down all their positive and negative aspects to be fully aware of the product you are spending your money on.
While all the products are the best in their own right, it is recommended that you go through their details to identify the one most suited to your fishing requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What Are The 4 Types Of Reels?
The fishing reel you choose determines the success of your fishing trip. Therefore it is necessary that you choose the right kind of reels. Fishing reels are mainly of 4 types, each suited towards different modes of fishing. These are the spinning reel, spin casting reel, baitcasting reel, and fly fishing reel.
A spinning reel is suitable for both beginners and professionals as it is the easiest to handle. These are generally suited for both freshwater and saltwater fishing and offer the most value for your money. It is ideal for catching small fishes, but may not work as well while fighting larger ones. Using braided lines in a spinning reel adds to its power.
A spin casting reel has the simplest design, making it the do to option for beginners. It is the most affordable type of reel and is ideal for fishing in inshore (shallow) water. It has a smaller casting range and is comparatively less durable. Also, you can only catch small fish with a spin casting reel.
Baitcasting reels have the longest casting range, which makes them suitable for deep water fishing. These are more suited for professionals as beginners may face difficulties in using them the right way. A baitcasting reel is perfect for catching large fishes with remarkable ease, as it is made to be sturdy and powerful. On the downside, these can be expensive.
The fly fishing reels are designed for casting lightweight lures efficiently. Its design is quite simple, with a single spool rotating around a pin in the center. These are found in several sizes to suit the type of fish to be caught.
Your choice of a fishing reel should thus ideally depend on your level of expertise (i.e., beginner or professional), the type of fish that you intend to catch, as well as your preferred budget.
Q2. What Are The Best Spinning Reels?
Spinning reels are one of the easiest to handle among the different types of fishing reels available in the market. These are powerful and efficient, making them a preferred option for both beginners and professionals in angling.
Some of the best spinning reels that you can check out include the KastKing Centron 500 Spinning Reel, the PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel, the Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel, and the KastKing Valiant Eagle Gold Spinning Reel.
Q3. What Is The Best Fishing Reel For The Money?
The best fishing reel is one that will match all your requirements in terms of durability, fishing method, size, weight, capacity, and of course, budget.
Some of the best fishing reels that provide the full value for money include the KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel, the KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel, the Zebco Authentic Spincast Fishing Reel, and the Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel.
Charles Reynolds is an engineer from New York University with a passion for fishing. His earliest memories of fishing go back to the days spent on the lake with his grandfather who taught him the sport. Reynolds spends a large part of his holidays fishing with his son and passing on the skills to the little one.