If you're just beginning to learn how to fish, or looking for an easy to use reel, a spincast reel is an ideal option.
I've been using spincast reels since I was a kid. They're great for teaching people how to fish. I created this guide to give you all the information you need to pick out the best spincast reel.
The key feature of spincast reels is that they're easy to use. You simply push a button to release the lure or bait. Thy're so user friendly that many professional guides have them on hand.
This kind of reel is a bit of a hybrid between spinning reels and baitcasting reels. Spincast reels are also called closed face reels. This is because they have a cover that fits over the spool.
Table of Contents
- Best Spincast Reels
- 1. Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel
- 2. Pfleuger President Spincast Reel
- 3. Zebco Bullet Spincast Reel
- 4. Zebco 33 Platinum Spincast Reel
- 5. Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel
- Best Saltwater Spincast Reel - Zebco 808 Saltwater.
- Buying Guide for Spincast Reels
Best Spincast Reels
Anglers know that a key to having a successful fishing trip is choosing the best equipment.
In this guide I we'll take a look at some top reels. I'll rate them based on things like quality or materials and durability. We'll also look at some of line capacities, gear ratios and other aspects.
I'll also key you in on what users of these reels are saying to give us an idea of how well made they are.
- Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel
- 7 bearing system
- Triple cam, multi-disc drag
- Ceramic line guide
- Auto Bait Alert system
- Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel
- Oscillating spool
- Rugged and durable metal body
- 4.1:1 gear ratio
- Rotating Tungsten line pickup
- 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 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
- 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
This reel was 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.
Not only has Zebco created a 7 bearing spincast reel, they invented them. R.D. Hull came up with the idea while watching a butcher pull meat packing string off a spool.
For the Omega ZO3PRO, the seven bearings work alongside the multi-disc drag system. It also uses an aluminum casing to create a sturdy reel that's still lightweight.
One of its best features lies within its comfortable, ergonomic design. The reel has a great ergonomic design to help reduce casting fatigue. Additionally, it can be set up to fit either a left-hand or a right-hand retrieve.
This model has received tons of praise for its smooth cast and speedy retrieval. It's versatile and durable reel that can be used for a range of species, including crappie, bluegill, bass or catfish.
An impressive feature of the ZO3PRO reel is it's durable construction. Both the covers and the metal gears are constructed from hardened aluminum.
The line guide is ceramic. This will reduce line friction and keep the weight down too. The reel is not waterproof. But, the cover and some internal rubber gaskets help keep splashes away from key parts.
The brass worm gear is designed to ensure that the reel 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.
This spincast reel is great for both left and right handed users. It features continuous anti reverse and will retrieve 19 inches of line per turn of the handle. This is also complimented by the lightweight construction. It comes in at 10.6 ounces. This is not bad for a reel meant to hold 10lb. test line.
The cover is made of machined aluminum and the spinner head is anodized for protection.
There is not much to dislike about this particular reel. To top it all up, the price is also affordable. The overall sturdiness and longevity makes it a worthwhile long-term investment. It even comes with a spare line spool and a dual paddle handle.
It will hold 85 yards of 10 lb. test mono. This will make it suitable for most freshwater fishing scenarios. It will work well for panfish and small bass.
You probably wont want to use it for long running species like large steelhead or salmon. I would also recommend you avoid using it in saltwater unlsess you plan on cleaning it thoroughly.
2. Pfleuger President Spincast Reel
The Pfleuger President Spincast reel series features 3 models to choose from including an underspin model.
Plueger has long been known for making reels. They have a quality spinning reel in the president line as well. I have owned several of these. The spincast models are no different in their level of quality.
Let's start with the features that they all share.
All the Pflueger President spincast reels come pre-loaded with fishing line. This is a great add on as it's one less thing to buy.
They also have 5 ball bearings each and are built on an aluminum frame. Aluminum is also used for the cover and handle shaft.
These reels also feature titanium pins, instant anti-reverse and a "soft touch" knob.
Let's take a look at the differences between the three models.
The model that you're most likely to need is the model 6SCX.
It comes pre-spooled with 6 lb. test monofilament line. It will hold:
145 yards of 4 lb test mono, 90 yards of 6 lb. test mono or 70 yards of 8 lb. test mono.
The gear ratio is 3.1:1 and it will retrieve 14.5 inches of line per handle turn. It comes in at 8.6 ounces. It's a great reel for light freshwater fishing for panfish such as crappie or light duty bass fishing.
The next model we'll look at is the model 10SCB. This model is a step up in size from the 6SCX. So, if you're looking to handle larger bass, this might be the reel you want to go with.
The 10SCB comes pre-loaded with 10 lb. test mono. It can hold 90 yards of 8 lb. test, 75 yards of 10 lb. test, or 65 yards of 12 lb. test monofilament. It's heavier than the Zebco Omega Pro coming in at 11.2 ounces.
It has a 3.8: 1 gear ratio that retrieves 18.5 inches of line per crank. This is a very respectable set of specs for a reel in this category.
Finally, we have the model 6USCX. This reel is different than the others in that it's an underspin reel. Click here to learn about underspin reels.
The 6USCX comes pre-loaded with 6 lb. test. It has a line capacity of: 145 yards of 4 lb. test, 90 yards of 6 lb. test and 70 yads of 8 lb. test.
This makes it fit in the same species category as the 6SCX. This reel would be fine for panfish, light bass fishing and small trout.
The reel has a 3.4: gear ratio. It will retrieve 14.5 inches of line per handle crank.
It comes in a 9 ounces. This is a bit heavy for reels of this size, but it's common for unerspin reels to be a bit heavier.
Overall the president spincast reels get great reviews for build quality. Reviewers especially like the all metal construction. There are a few reviews complaining about the reels breaking after a short use duration.
3. Zebco Bullet Spincast Reel
The Zebco Bullet is a recent addition to the Zebco lineup. It's touted as their fastest ever spincast reel.
Zebco is the originator of spincast reels. With the Bullet model they have added new features that will delight many anglers.
This reel comes with a 5.1:1 gear ratio. This leads to a retrieve of 29.6 inches of line per handle crank. This is the highest of any reel in this category.
Most spincast reels average less than 20 inches of line per crank. So, this is a big step up in line retrieval.
The Bullet also comes with a total of 9 bearings. This is the highest of any reel in this review and should lead to silky smooth operation.
Another great feature is that it comes pre-loaded wit 10 lb. test line and even includes a spare spool.
Additionally, the reel has a forged aluminum, anodized front cover, brass gears and all metal construction.
As with most spincast reels, the handle can be switched between left and right sides. The handle is also equipped with Grip Em all weather handle knobs.
As for line capacity it will hold 90 yards of 10 lb. test mono. Users have reported that they have loaded it with mono up to 17 lb. test with no problem.
Zebco also states that the reel will hold up to 80 yards of 30 lb. braid.
As for rod pairing recommendations, this rod can be paired with a Quantum QX36 6' Medium Action.
As with most spincast reels, some reviewers report reel failures. These seem to be infrequent.
4. Zebco 33 Platinum Spincast Reel
The Zebco 33 is perhaps the most popular and well-known spincast reel. Due to their affordability and ease of use, the Zebco 33 model has provided reliable reels for generations of young and old anglers.
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 all metal body ensures that the reel will be durable over time without increasing weight.
In fact, at only 9.7 ounces, this reel can comfortably be held for long sessions.
The Zebco 33 also introduces tons of updates, including a new line management system. This helps improve casting, control, and line retrieval.
The new and improved gear train provides an overall smoother feel and performance. It also includes, better bearing support to enhance each and every retrieve.
Not only is this reel incredibly affordable, but it is also extremely durable and versatile. It's a top choice, if you're looking for a reliable spincast reel.
Starting off with the important specifications, the Zebco 33 only has four ball bearings.
It has a stainless steel brushed cover. This not only helps protect against corrosion, but it looks great too. The reel is surprisingly stout for its small sizes. It features a brass pinion gear and an anodized metal handle.
The handle is also reversible between the let and right side. This reel also come with instant anti reverse and a 4.1:1 gear ratio.
It will retrieve 22 inches of line per handle turn. This is a pretty long retrieve per turn. Most spincast reels retrieve less than 20 inches per handle turn. It will hold 90 yards of 10 lb. test mono.
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.
5. Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel
Daiwa is known for making high quality reels. The Goldcast is no exception.
This reel features a durable metal body for professional grade durability. It comes with an oscillating spool to help wind fishing line evenly on the spool.
The level-wind feature also helps with casting distance. Without it, your line could dig into itself on the spool. This could greatly reduce casting distance and cause tangles.
The reel has a 4.1:1 retrieve ratio in all models. This means that the spool rotates 4.1 times for every handle turn.
You can attach the handle to the left or right side based on your preference.
The drag is one of the smoothest on a spincast reel. It's made from multiple discs that allow for "micro-fine" adjustments. This will help you set the drag to the perfect setting for the type of fish you're after.
The rotating line pickup is made from tungsten carbide and it turns with the line. This helps reduce wear on the line and roller.
There are 3 models of the Goldcast available. They all come pre-loaded with fishing line.
The GC80 weighs 9.2 ounces and will hold 75 yards of 8 lb. test mono. This would be adequate for panfish and bass fishing in open water. it will retrieve 18.5 inches of line per handle turn.
The next model up in size is the GC100. It weighs 9.9 ounces and will hold 80 yards of 10 lb. test line. It will retrieve 20. inches of line per handle turn. This reel should work fine for most light bass fishing applications.
Finally we have the GC120. This is the largest goldcast model coming in at 12 ounces in weight. It will retrieve 21.3 inches of line per handle turn. It will hold 100 yards of 12 lb. test mono.
This reel should work for most bass fishing applications. You might not want to use these in saltwater or in heavy cover. I think it would be fine for most light to medium freshwater fishing scenarios.
The majority of reviews are favorable. A few critics have indicated that they had problems with broken parts after using it a short time.
Best Saltwater Spincast Reel - Zebco 808 Saltwater.
Contrary to popular belief, spincast reels can be successfully used in saltwater environments.
The Zebco 808 saltwater is one of the few spincast reels that is designed for saltwater. The comes with a corrosion resistant coating and a stainless steel handle.
This is a larger reel that weighs a bit over a pound. It does come pre-spooled with 20 lb test monofilament and will hold 145 yards of it.
It has a 2.6:1. gear ratio and will crank in 19 inches of line per handle turn. Unfortunately, it only comes with 1 ball bearing.
You'll need to exercise more care maintaining the reel. Make sure to rinse under the cover with freshwater after every use.
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 have a reputation for being a beginners reel. This means that some advanced anglers have a tendency to look down on them.
However, these reels can be a great resource for anglers that are starting out or have coordination problems.
In this section, we'll cover some general tips on what to look for when selecting a spincast reel.
It goes without saying that spincast reels catch tons of fish throughout the country. And why wouldn’t they? spincast reels are inexpensive in comparison, widely available and, most importantly, they are very easy to use.
Spincasters Solve The Backlash Problem
Interestingly enough, baitcasting reels used to be more common throughout the early 20th century. They were used all over the world. However, they did have one major flaw – backlash.
Early baitcasting reels wold produce horrible backlashes that would require cutting line out to fix. Anglers had to use their thumbs to manage spool speed. If they could not do this expertly, a backlash would result.
This meant that you had to spend time practicing with your baitcasting reel so you could learn to avoid backlash.
So, manufacturers started looking for a solution. It was the 1940s when the spincast reel was invented and it drew beginning anglers in droves.
Of course, spincast reels have come a long way ever since. There is a tremendous abundance options on the market, each one of which competing for the top spot.
Even though competition is generally a good thing for consumers, too many choices can lead to confusion.
That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of providing you with some features you can look for when selecting the spincast reel that's right for you.
Keep reading to find out more about spincast reel construction and how it 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 start your forward cast. As you reach the end of your forward cast, release the pressure on the button. This will cause the line to be released so the lure or bait can fly in the direction of your cast.
Push button spin cast reels are mounted on top of a biatcasting style rod.
Another type of reel that falls into the spincast category is the underspin reel.
These are trigger-equipped reels that are are mounted under the rod.
This means that they should be paired with a spinning rod instead of a baitcasting rod.
To cast an unerspin reel, you simply pull the trigger. Then, raise your rod up and back. Finally, as you start the forward cast and get to about 45 degrees in front, release the trigger.
This will release the lure and cast it in your intended direction. Hopefully.
Push-Button Spincast Reels
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.
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.
There are two types drag settings when it comes to spincast reels.
The star drag and the internal wheel drag. The star drag is mounted on the side of the reel on the handle shaft. You can tighten it in the same way you'd tighten a screw.
Turn it clockwise to make it tighter and counter-clockwise to loosen it. A tighter drag makes it harder to pull line away from the spool and vice versa.
The second type of drag setting is the wheel setting found on the top of the spincast reel. These normally have a "-" minus sign on the left and a "+" plus sign on the right.
If you turn the wheel towards the minus side, you;ll loosen the drag. Turn it to the plus side and you'll tighten it.
You'll want to set your drag to match the line weight you're using. This will help you when fighting fish. Over tightening your drag could result in line breakage. So be careful.
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.
So, in this 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 in spinning reels and baitcasting reels. They usually fall within the range of 2.5:1 and 5.5:1.
Spincast reels have a fairly smaller line capacity when compared to 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. This is a very convenient option.
But if you get serious about fishing, you might want to replace this line with some quality line. Sometimes the line included with these reels is not the best quality fishing line.
More advanced models come with interchangeable spools which would enable the angler to swiftly switch from one line weight another depending on the changing fishing conditions.
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 ball bearings is, the smoother the reel is likely to operate. Spincast models usually have bearings in the range between two and ten.
You may have seen spincast reels used in popular childrens fishing started kits. These reels are usually made of plastic.
Of course they're fine for catching small bluegills and for teaching kids about fishing.
Unfortunately, these reels will most likely break fairly quickly. This is because of the plastic components they're made from.
Most high quality spincast reels are made with all metal bodies. And while plastic is used on some internal parts, it's usually a denser form.
Aluminum is a popular metal for reel construction. It's corrosion resistant and lightweight.
But unfortunately, spincast are usually heavier than spinning and baitcasting reels.
This is because spincast reels have a cover for the spool that adds to the toal weight.
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. Also, 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 catching larger fish. Of course, some models are better equipped for this than others. Buyers may want to ensure that their reel will be able to handle the right amounts of pressure and weight. This will depend on the targeted species that the angler is pursuing.
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 get the lure to the fish.
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.
This helps cultivate a love of fishing early on. Casual anglers can fish without the frustration of managing the complexities of other reel types.
By thoroughly examining the top-rated reels, You will hopefully be able to pick out the right reel for you. With all of the above being said, we truly hope that you find value in what you read.
Keep in mind that anglers throughout the entire world use spincast reels. Many pro guides have them on their boats for use by their clients. 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 remain extremely popular.
This will take all the burden out of it and all you’ll have to do is start fishing.