Say you’re just getting into fishing or just getting back into fishing after a long hiatus. Where do you start? With a good, general-purpose spinning reel. With that said, spinning reels aren’t just for beginners.
Using a spinning reel is one of the best ways to catch a lot of fish. Having a good one is a must for any angler. You can go after a wide variety of fish with one of these reels and have all kinds of fun and unforgettable experiences out on the water.
In order to have a truly good time, you’ll need some quality gear. There are tons of options out there, and while you can just go to any fishing outfitter or outdoor retailer and grab a spinning reel of the shelf, you’re going to have a better time and be more successful if you purchase a reel that’s of high quality. Here are my recommendations.
Best Overall: Shimano Stradic FK
If you’re looking for a reliable spinning reel that will work for years to come, then the Shimano Stradic FK is the one to get. The build quality here is excellent and the design is modern and built by a brand that many anglers know well and trust.
Its sturdy design reduces flexing and allows you to really crank on it without worrying about damaging the reel. The top-notch materials and high overall quality also mean this thing can take a real beating. It’s the kind of reel you buy once and use for a decade or more. I’ll outperform most other reels for years to come. That’s probably why it’s a bit on the pricer side of things at $230.
Best Value: Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel
Light and fast, the Pflueger President XT is a lovely reel to have on your rod. The name of the game for this reel is lightweight strength. It achieves this through the extensive use of aluminum. The body, main shaft, and pinion gear are all top-notch components, and the rest of the reel is just as high quality.
Is it as nice as the Shimano shown above? To put it plainly, no, but you can’t expect a reel that costs a mere $80 to compete with a high-dollar one. You could almost buy three of the Pflueger President XT reels for the price of one Shimano Stradic FK. You won’t need to do that, though. The President XT will perform admirably and catch you plenty of fish. Use it, love it, and then upgrade to a seriously premium reel when the time comes.
The following reels are still good choices. However, they’re not quite as good, in my opinion, as the ones above, which is what kept them out of the special slots. If the two options I’ve chosen as my top picks don’t do it for you, consider one of these.
Penn Fierce II
This reel ranges in price from $57 to $90 and offers quite a lot. The reel has a full-metal body and sideplate, anodized aluminum spool and handle, and four shielded steel bearings w/ instant anti-reverse. It’s not as good as the other reels on this list, but it’ll catch you plenty of fish.
Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel
The Supreme XT offers fantastic build quality and excellent functionality for a reel priced at just $150. Here’s some of what you get with this reel: a 9+1 stainless-steel bearing system; a carbon-inlay drag design; magnesium body, rotor, and sideplate; an anti-twist titanium line roller; and a carbon handle with EVA handle knobs.
Penn Spinfisher VI
There’s a lot to love about the Penn Spinfisher VI. What you get is a 5+1 bearing system, anodized aluminum spool and full metal body. The one downside is that this reel is a little on the heavier side, but for its reasonable price starting at $133, that shouldn’t bother you too much. It’s a smart choice if you want to get into some nicer, higher-priced reels.
What reels do you think should be included? Leave a comment below!