Spinning reels are great because they are incredibly easy to use and you don’t have to worry about backlash. This makes them great for beginners. Whether you’re new to fishing, or an expert angler, if you’re going saltwater fishing, you want a good durable reel with smooth casting. Here we are going to look at some of the best affordable options for spinning reels.
Best Saltwater Spinning Reels for the Money
- Penn 1338217 Battle II 2500 Spinning Fishing Reel
- One Bass Fishing Reels Light Weight Saltwater Spinning Reel
- Penn Pursuit III 8000C Spinning Fishing Reel
- Shimano Socorro 6000F SW Offshore Spinning Fishing Reel
- Penn CLA4000 Clash Spinning Fishing Reel
1. Penn 1338217 Battle II 2500 Spinning Fishing Reel – Best Spinning Reel Under 100
Brand Name: Penn
Weight: 10.3 Oz
Max Drag: 12 lbs
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
The number one spot on our list goes to the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel. This is a durable high performing reel built from reel from a full metal body with a side plate that helps keep the saltwater out. The reel also has a powerful carbon fiber drag system that operates smoothly with 5 bearings + 1 instant anti-reverse bearing. This is our top pick if you’re shopping for a reasonably priced saltwater reel. It operates smooth, has a good drag, and fast retrieval rate. The specs we are referring to here are for the 2500 model. They have other models with more power, but they are more expensive.
2. One Bass Fishing Reels Light Weight Saltwater Spinning Reel – Best Budget Saltwater Spinning Reel
Brand Name: One Bass
Weight: 7 Oz
Max Drag: 33 lbs
Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
The One Bass Lightweight Saltwater Fishing Reel is one of the cheapest options you will find. This is a great beginner-friendly reel fishing reel. It features 12 ball bearings and 1 instant anti-reverse bearing to keep the reel operating smoothly. It’s lightweight and has a powerful triple disc carbon fiber drag system with a max drag of up to 33lbs. The reel also has a large ergonomic handle for comfort and ease of use. The best thing about this one is really the price. It can handle saltwater, but may not be as good for large fish.
3. Penn Pursuit III 8000C Spinning Fishing Reel – Best Spinning Reel Under 50
Brand Name: Penn
Weight: 29.1 Oz
Max Drag: 25 lbs
Gear Ratio: 5.3:1
The third spot on the list belongs to the Penn Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel. The reel is made from a corrosion-resistant graphite body which is great for saltwater. It has 4 stainless steel bearings and 1 instant anti-reverse bearing which keeps the reel running smoothly. The reel boasts a powerful carbon fiber drag with a max drag of 25lbs. It also has a superline spool which keeps superline from slipping. The specs we are referring to here are only for the 8000 model. They also have other models. Overall this is a very well made saltwater real at a great value. If you’re looking for a budget reel that can compete with higher-end models, you need to check this one out.
4. Shimano Socorro 6000F SW Offshore Spinning Fishing Reel – Best Spinning Reel Under 150
Brand Name: Shimano
Weight: 15.7 Oz
Max Drag: 22 lbs
Gear Ratio: 4.6:1
Another excellent option is the Shimano Socorro 6000 Offshore Spinning Reel. This reel is designed for offshore saltwater fishing, so you know it’s built tough. It features a gear ratio of 4.6:1 with a powerful caron drag with a max drag of 22lbs. The reel is made with enhanced gear durability which improves long-distance casting performance. This reel has everything you expect from a high performing spinning reel. It can handle big game species whether fishing inshore or offshore, making it an excellent reel for any angler to add to their arsenal.
5. Penn CLA4000 Clash Spinning Fishing Reel – Best Spinning Reel Under 200
Brand Name: Penn
Max Drag: 15 lbs
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
If you need a smooth and precise reel you need to check out the Penn Clash Spinning Fishing Reel. This model has 8 stainless steel bearings and 1 instant anti-reverse bearings which makes for an unmatched smooth reel The reel weighs a lightweight 10.7 ounces and has a powerful carbon fiber drag. This might be your favorite reel in terms of performance. It’s easy to use, works great for all kinds of fishing, and is comfortable for all-day fishing. The drag isn’t as powerful as some of the other options on the list, but good technique is more important than the max drag anyways.
Saltwater Spinning Reel Buying Guide
When shopping for a budget-friendly spinning reel for your next fishing trip there are a few things you want to consider
- Gear Ratio
- Max drag
If you intend to use your reel for saltwater fishing, being made of a material that can handle this is extremely important. Always look for a saltwater friendly reel or something that says anti-corrosion. Most commonly you will find graphite, aluminum and other metal components on a saltwater reel.
Usually the more bearings a reel has the better. But the quality is equally important. Good bearings help a reel run smoothly and quietly. Having a low number isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the quality is good.
The gear ratio refers to how fast the reel picks up the line. Spinning reels usually have a gear ratio of around 5.2:1 to 6.2:1 so these are pretty standard.
Generally the larger fish species you are fishing, the higher max drag you will need. If you mostly go inshore fishing, you likely won’t need something with as high of max drag, conversely, if you are mostly intending to go offshore fishing, max drag might be more important for you. Proper technique is more important than max drag, and an experienced angler will be fine with a lower drag reel.
Obviously cost is an important factor or you wouldn’t be reading this guide. If you’re a beginner we recommend buying a cheap reel under $100. As you get more experienced you will learn about the things you want in a fishing reel and then you can spend a little extra on a higher-end model.