Best Spincast Reels of 2017 Reviewed – Ultimate Buyers Guide

By John Andrews | Reels

best spincast reels for your money

For those who are just beginning to learn how to fish, a spincast reel is an ideal option. These reels typically require less coordination when casting, and retain their strength and power during the retrieve. They are used by many different types of anglers, but by and large, they are the most popular amongst beginners.

This kind of reel is a bit of a hybrid between spinning reels and baitcasting reels. Their unique construction makes them incredibly easy to use, and provide widespread accessibility throughout age ranges and skill levels. Their popularity stems from their general affordability, ease of use, and their accessibility for beginning anglers.

Best Spincast Reels For Beginners

Any fisherman knows that the first step to having a successful fishing trip is often choosing the best equipment. An excellent method of determining which is the right reel for you is taking a close look at the top-rated, best reels that are currently on the market. Each of these reels have been highlighted for factors like enhanced durability and performance. By looking through positively reviewed reels, each and every fisherman can quickly determine which reel is right for their own individual needs.

zebco-omega-zo3pro
  • Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel
  • 7 bearing system
  • Triple cam, multi-disc drag
  • Ceramic line guide
  • Auto Bait Alert system
daiwa-goldcast-spincast
  • Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel
  • Oscillating spool
  • Rugged and durable metal body
  • 4.1:1 gear ratio
  • Rotating Tungsten line pickup
shakespeare-symcx-synergy-micro
  • Shakespeare SYMCX Synergy Micro Spincast Reel
  • Polished stainless steel front and cover
  • Anti-reverse and bait clicker function
  • Titanium line guide
  • Adjustable multi-disc drag system
zebco-33-spincast
  • Zebco 33 Spincast Reel
  • 3.6:1 gear ratio
  • Lightweight graphite frame
  • Comfortable handle and rubber grips
  • Quick-Set anti-reverse function
abu-garcia-abumatic-s-spincast-reel
  • Abu Garcia Abumatic S Spincast Reel
  • QuadCam Pickup system
  • 4.3:1 or 5.2:1 gear ratio
  • Ultra smooth drag system
  • 2 bearing system

1. Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel

As the first-ever spincast reel to include seven bearings, the Zebco Omega ZO3PRO is one of the most efficient reels available on the market today. In fact, Zebco’s claim to fame is not only creating a seven bearing spincast model, but the very first spincast reel itself. For the Omega ZO3PRO, the seven bearings work alongside the multi-disc drag system to provide quick and reliable retrieval. Zebco uses an aluminum casing to create a sturdy reel that can retain a lightweight quality.

 One of its best features lies within its comfortable, ergonomic design.​ This helps to ensure that time spent out on the water is not hindered by aching joints, making this one of the most comfortable spincast reels to use for longer durations of time. Additionally, it can be configured to fit either a left-hand or a right-hand retrieve.

This particular Zebco model has received tons of praise for its smooth cast and speedy retrieval. This is a versatile and durable reel that can be used for a range of species, including trout to large bass or catfish.

An impressive feature of the ZO3PRO reel is the tremendously durable construction, ensuring longevity, durability and splendid performance. Both the covers and the metal gears are constructed from hardened aluminum which is resistant to breaking. The line guide is ceramic which will provide you with the necessary smoothness in terms of performance without increasing the overall weight of the reel. The rubber guard, on the other hand, is going to prevent the water from entering the reel and causing devastating rust or corrosion which would undeniably jeopardize the performance.

While the metal gears are meticulously designed to ensure that the spin runs smoothly, the gear ratio is set to 3.4:1. This is a medium slow ratio, bringing in some very serious cranking power to the table. Of course, as you can expect, the retrieves are a little slower. Nevertheless, this is a great feature for beginners as it would enable them to easily keep the fish on the hook. There are 7 ball bearings to further enhance the smooth movement of the reel.

The spincast reel is great for both left and right handed users. Apart from the splendid looks, the ergonomic design also makes the model incredibly comfortable and, as we mentioned, you wouldn’t have issues fishing for hours without experiencing serious fatigue. This is also complimented by the overly lightweight construction.

There is not much to dislike about this particular reel. To top it all up, the price is also comparatively affordable. The overall construction and its sturdiness and longevity makes it a worthwhile long-term investment which is definitely worth its price tag. Furthermore, it could also be used with a range of different lures. If you love casting for anything from a small trout to a substantial double-digit catfish, this is a reel you should certainly have a look at.

2. Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel

As part of a long line of professional grade quality reels, this model from Daiwa provides a high level of quality for any spincast fisherman. The reel features a durable metal body to ensure long-lasting use and protection against wind and water damage. 

The oscillating spool provides precise level-winding, helping to eliminate wind interference while casting and retrieving. The retrieve itself is made to be quick and efficient with a 4.1:1 gear ratio. Fishermen can bring in 21.3" of line with each turn of the handle. Its large aperture allows for storage of more fishing line, making it a very attractive option for spincast fishermen.

Customers report that the Daiwa Goldcast model is easily able to stand up against aggressive, massive fish, making this a perfect model to suit a range of fish species.

If you’re looking for an entry-level spincast reel in terms of price, the Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel is definitely one to have a look at. It’s one of the best reels for the money. Its impressive design allows the user to fish even in the harshest conditions and the reel itself is usable for virtually any type of fishing. Nevertheless, it truly excels as a spincast reel and it has been a favorite option for years.

It’s important to note that this particular reel comes in three different variations – GC80, GC100 and GC120, each of which is slightly more capable than the other. Of course, they have different purposes in mind.

Regardless of the modifications, there are a few integral specifications which are characteristic for the entire series. The reels are incredibly reliable and dependable and they are arguably the best ones on the market in this particular regard. While the oscillating spool allows elimination of the wind interference, the multi-disc drag is another convenient detail which will make the reel even smoother to cast and retrieve. Even though these reels come with one ball bearing and a slower gear ratio of 4.1:1, the retrievals are convenient enough while the cranking power is absolutely substantial. The line capacity is set to 8/76 and 18.3ft of line per handle turn. The overall weight of the reel is 9.2 ounces which is absolutely inconsiderable.

Speaking of weight, the overall compact design which is appropriate yet ergonomic allows the reel to be used continuously without causing additional fatigue. This is great for longer casting sessions where you’d really appreciate it. All in all, it truly is a great reel, as reflected in the majority of the feedback left by the clients.

3. Shakespeare SYMCX Synergy Micro Spincast Reel

At only 5.2 ounces, this Shakespeare model is one of the lightest and most compact spincast reels available on the market today. Its lightweight nature doesn't compromise durability: the majority of this reel is made from stainless steel and titanium, meaning that this reel will stand up to the toughest weather conditions. As an additional benefit, the titanium line guide ensures that fishing line will not only stay in place, but that it will continue to do so for years to come.

The reel comes with one ball bearing and an impressive 4.1:1 gear ratio to keep casting and retrieval at top levels of speed and efficiency. The adjustable multi-disc drag system is a huge benefit as well, making sure that drag power and speed is adjusted to suit individual needs.

The Shakespeare SYMCX Synergy Micro reel provides high level, quality performance for a fraction of the price of competing spincast reels. Customers love the overall portability of this reel, calling it the perfect reel to bring along while camping or backpacking.

Undoubtedly amongst the best spincast reels on the market, the SYMCX Synergy Micro model by Shakespeare is a no muss, no fuss model which is incredibly convenient and ready to put into use. If you’re still searching through the abundance, have a look at what this micro reel has to show you.

Let’s start with the basics. The entire frame is made out of stainless steel. Yes, it might be a tiny bit heavier but it is absolutely reliable and extremely durable. This is something that you normally want to look for in a unit designed to tackle some serious double-digit fishes. With the line guide made out of titanium, you could easily take this to saltwater fishing and be particularly happy with the results.

Moving forward, we see that the drag system is particularly customizable and gear driven. Even though the gear ratio is set to 4.1:1 which would usually provide you with just above than average performance in terms of cranking power, this one in particular is absolutely reliable and you could easily pull out some big cats. Its line capacity is set to 4/70 yards.

It’s also worth mentioning that Shakespeare is one of the few brands which undergo some tremendously serious quality assurance and they impose very strict standards. This reel is manufactured abiding by all the requirements set forth by the same, which attests to its tremendous quality and performance. The reel has a sturdy metal handle for improved durability but it’s coated with soft-grip rubber knobs in order to provide you with the necessary comfort. It is also convertible and it could be used with both left and right hands.

4. Zebco 33 Spincast Reel

The Zebco 33 is perhaps the most popular and well-known spincast reels. Due to their affordability and ease of use, the Zebco 33 model has provided reliable reels for generations of young and old fishermen. This model comes pre-spooled with 100 yards of 10 lb. fishing line, making it easy to simply take it out of the package and put directly into use. The lightweight graphite frame ensures that the reel will be durable over time without drastically increasing weight.

In fact, at only 5.6 ounces, this reel can comfortably be held in even the smallest of hands. The Zebco 33 also introduces tons of updates, including a new line management system to improve better casting, control, and line retrieval.

The new and improved gear train provides an overall smoother feel and performance, using better bearing support to enhance each and every retrieve. Not only is this reel incredibly affordable, but it is also extremely durable and versatile, making it a top choice for a spincast reel.

If you’re looking for a shop-and-go type of reel, the Zebco 33 spincast is without a doubt one of the best options on the market. With some serious history behind its back, you can rest assured that countless of fishermen have been left thoroughly content with the performance of this pre-spooled reel.

Starting off with the important specifications, the Zebco 33 only has one ball bearing. However, despite this it’s an iconic model with a stainless steel exterior combined with a composite body. The reel is surprisingly stout for its small sizes. The plastic button located at the back of the reel is specifically designated to enhance your casting capabilities. It is actually quite convenient. When you begin initiating your cast, you have to press the button in order for the spool to start releasing the line. Once your cast is complete, you release the button and just like that, the line is stopped. Even though it might sound a bit complicated, the truth is that this is the easiest and most comprehensive spincast reel that we’ve come across. The entire range of motion is completely intuitive so nothing for you to be worried about here.

The retrieve, despite the simplistic drag system and a single ball bearing, is incredibly smooth. There is some noise, however, but it’s nothing major or to be concerned with. The model also comes with a definitively audible clicker and it is marked as “Bite Alert”. Its application is most certainly appreciated by a lot of fishermen who fail to react to every hit.

To put it in simpler terms, the Zebco 33 Spincast Reel is the perfect entry-level reel in terms of both price and experience required. It’s a perfect reel for both advanced fishermen with years of casting behind their backs and for the beginner enthusiasts who finds it hard to deal with a regular spinning reel.

5. Abu Garcia Abumatic S Spincast Reel

Those who recognize the Abu Garcia name will immediately recognize high levels of quality and performance that are often associated with Abu Garcia. The Abumatic S model is certainly no different. With two different sizes to choose from—the ABUMS10 or the ABUMS15—this particular model offers two different gear ratios to suit any speed or power requirements.

The ABUMS10 comes with a 4.3:1 gear ratio, with the larger model, the ABUMS15, built with an ultra-quick 5.2:1 gear ratio.

Composed of a graphite frame and a stainless steel front cone, the Abu Garcia S provides long-lasting durability for prolonged use. It also features a comfortable push button in order to deliver smooth casting performance. As an additional benefit, the QuadCam Pickup system enhances the speed and performance of line pickup.

Needless to say, Abu Garcia’s brand name is associated with high-end quality, serious performance and tremendous reliability, The Abumatic model S is absolutely no exception to these principles. Apart from the graphite frame and the overly reliable overall design of the reel, there are quite a few additional things which should be noted.

Right off the bat, the bearing system includes two ball bearings. Even though this is considered to be on the lower end of the bearings count, the reel performs surprisingly smoother than expected. Steady retrieves are allowed with the medium 4.3:1 gear ratio. Some people find it a bit slow but the truth is that it would allow for stable retrieves which would help you keep the fish on the hook. This is perfect for entry-level fishing enthusiasts who don’t have serious experience when it comes to fighting the fish out of the water. The drag system is tremendously smooth which definitively compensates the lower amount of ball bearings.

It’s also worth noting that the model comes pre-spooled with Berkley Trilene XL. This is a monofilament line and even though we usually suggest against using pre-spooled lines, this one performs quite prominently. It’s also quite comfortable and convenient as you can easily convert it from right handed to left handed usage.

The reel is one of the so-called shop-and-go units as the only thing you’d need is to put it on the rod, knot a hook and be gone. It’s ideal for recreational fishermen who are assembling their equipment exclusively for the upcoming fishing trip with friends and for experienced anglers who want some smooth and steady retrieving capabilities added to their current setup. The Abu Garcia Abumatic S reel, in all of its variations, remains one of the best options on the market, even though its release was quite some time ago.

Buying Guide for Spincast Reels

When looking for the best reel for you, there are a few innate qualities that you may want to identify. Spincast reels are certainly their own brand and style of reels, and there are a few general tips to follow when looking for the reel that is most suited for your needs. Some things to consider include:

It goes without saying that spincast reels catch more fish throughout the entire country every year than any other reel type or design. And why wouldn’t they? Spincast reels are inexpensive in comparison, widely available and, most importantly – they are very easy to use.

Interestingly enough, baitcasting reels used to be a commonplace throughout the entire 20th century and were used all over the world. However, they did have one major flaw – backlash. Baitcasting reels actually produced a messed of tangled line unless you managed to apply the exact amount of spool tension – something which doesn’t really come without years of experience. So, manufacturers start looking for a solution. It was the 1940s when the spincast reel was invented and it pulled beginner and recreational anglers out of the aforementioned mess.

Of course, spincast reels have come a long way ever since and there is a tremendous abundance of different options on the market, each one of which competing for the top spot. Even though competition is generally a good thing for progress, it also puts a lot of pressure on the average fishermen who don’t really make the difference between a 2.5:1 and a 4.3:1 gear ratio.

That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of providing you with a few quick tips that would help you choose the spincast reel which is fit for your needs. Keep reading to find out more about the main specifications of spincast reels and the way they will affect your fishing.

Different Spincast Reel Types

There are two major types of spincast reels available on the market: push-button and underspin. The first one would require you to push a thumb button and hold it as your rod is brought back to casting position. Once you are there, just release the pressure on the button during the swing to let your line feed. These are usually mounted on the top of your baitcasting rod.

On the other hand, we have the trigger-equipped underspin type which is usually paired with a spinning rod. They are usually installed under the rod just like a spinning reel and they work similarly to their push-button counterpart. However, you’d have to keep applying the finger pressure held right on the trigger until you have to release it throughout your cast.

Push-button reels are usually preferred by advanced fishermen while those of you who want to make a smooth transition from baitcasting to spinning gear or beginners who want to move away from the push-button spincast to a spinning reel, an underspin is the more appropriate and also the affordable option. It’s also the most optimal one to make this transition happen.

Key Specifications

Now, once we’ve taken a look at why spincast reels are so preferred and we are already aware of the two main types to look out for, let’s see what their specifications are. This would allow you to make a confident choice and, what is more important – to conveniently modify your reel as you wish and when it’s needed.

Drag Systems

There are two types of drag when it comes to spincast reels. The start drag is mounted externally and it is located on the side of your reel – right between its body and the handle. It is usually rather large and quite easy to operate with just two fingers.

The other type of drag system is internally and it is controlled by a tiny wheel which has one protruding edge going through the cover of the reel. You will be able to see a “+” and a “-“ on both ends of the drag control wheel which would enable you to tune it depending on whether you want more or less drag.

Typically, the manufacturer will position those drag-control wheels in a manner which would allow you to operate them easily with nothing but your thumb. However, when you go shopping for your spincast reel, make sure to try out both of these to see which one of them fits you the best.

Gear Ratios

This is where most of the people tend to struggle. We’ll try breaking it down as much as it’s possible. The ratio is expressed with numbers. A common example is 2.6:1. The number on the left shows the amount of times the line is wound around your spool. The number of the right displays the number of complete handle turns which is needed to accomplish the number displayed on the left. Therefore, in the spirit of the given example, a spincast reel with a gear ratio set to 2.6:1 will end up winding the line around your spool 2.6 times for every turn of your handle.

By that logic – the lower the gear ratio is, the slower your line is going to be retrieved after your cast. Lower gear ratios also mean that your reel will provide you with more cranking power. It’s worth noting that the range of gear ratios which is actually available in spincast reels is far from being as great as the one in spinning reels and baitcasting reels and it would usually fall within the range of 2.5:1 and 4.5:1.

Line Capacity

Spincast reels have a fairly smaller line capacity when stacked against their spinning and baitcasting counterparts. The majority of reels of this type will hold anywhere between 80 and 120 yards worth of line. Of course, the exact amount would vary depending on the strength and diameter of the line as well as the size of the reel itself.

A Helpful Tip*: Most spincast reels will come with the line pre-spooled in the reel and included in the price. While this might seem like a convenient option, you should refrain from using this line. It’s usually of low-end quality and it’s likely to snap upon the first challenge.

More advanced units come with interchangeable spools which would enable the angler to swiftly switch from one type to another depending on the changing fishing conditions.

Bearings

When it comes to the bearings, the rules that apply to other reels apply to these ones as well. Usually, people tend to believe that the more ball bearings you have – the better. That’s not entirely true. It is better to use a smaller amount of bearings which are made out of high-end, shielded or even double-shielded material.

However, it’s also important to note that the greater the number of your ball bearings is, the smoother the reel is likely to operate. Spincast models usually have bearings in the range between two and six.

Reel design

These reels are made in a variety of designs, with the majority of the reels fluctuating between closed-face or open-face. Choosing which design is best for you may mean taking a close look at the advantages and disadvantages of each design.

Open-face spincast reels are a good design to invest in because they make it much easier to identify tangles and snags within the fishing line. With an open-face reel, fishermen can stop the line from “bird’s nesting” inside the housing of the reel, increasing efficiency of use over time. The advantage to an open-face design also means that fishermen will have to keep a close eye on the fishing line so that tangles and knots can quickly be identified.

Closed-face spincast reels are quickly gaining popularity, as their design is much easier to maneuver, particularly for beginners. This is perhaps the most widespread option for contemporary spincast reels. These reels are popular choices for children who are just learning how to fish, as they offer fewer complications than other reel types. Unfortunately, the key to using a closed-face design is keeping regular maintenance. With a closed body, it may be harder to identify whether or not the line is snagging, and water can unknowingly become trapped inside the reel.

Targeted fish species

Although spincast reels are easy to use, they are traditionally not well-suited for 00catching larger fish. Of course, some models are better equipped for this than others. Depending upon the targeted fish species, buyers may want to ensure that their reel will be able to handle larger amounts of pressure and weight.

Fishing environment

These types of reels cannot be cast out quite as far as spinning or baitcasting models, so determining the fishing environment will often directly follow the targeted fish species. Depending upon where you will be fishing, buyers will want to make sure that the spincast reel has enough distance to reel in their fish.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that fishing can be an altogether enjoyable experience. An excellent way to enhance that experience is by using the best equipment. The great advantage to spincast reels is that they make the sport of fishing accessible to all ages and skill levels, helping to cultivate a love of fishing early on or allowing casual anglers to fish without the frustration of managing a complicated reel. By thoroughly examining the top-rated reels, anglers of all skill levels can be well-equipped to find the perfect spincast reel for them.

With all of the above being said, we truly hope that you find value in what you read. Being aware of the aforementioned integral specifications would allow you to choose a spincast reel conveniently and quickly.

Keep in mind that anglers throughout the entire world use spincast reels and they are, by all means, not a measurement for skills or professionalism. While they are easier to use and less complicated than other reels, they are also incredibly effective. This is the main reason for which spincast reels have caught the most fish in the country.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of looking for a reel on your own, we’ve also compiled a list of high-quality yet affordable options that you can take advantage of. This will take all the burden out of it and all you’d have to do is start fishing.

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About the Author

John is the wisest member of our team since he's the oldest person here. He has gathered lots of tips and tricks throughout his 35-year angling career. His love for angling has led him to join our team because he wants to share his wisdom with others. Back in the day, he had to visit locations around the country and speak to many anglers to get more information about angling and now he wants to share it online. He doesn't fish as much as he used to, but his passion for angling is ever present.

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