Best Ice Fishing Reels

13 Fishing Black Betty Inline Ice Reel
1. 13 Fishing Black Betty Inline Ice Reel
Best Overall Ice Fishing Reel
2. Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel
Best Spinning Reel For Ice Fishing
Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel
3. Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel
Best Ice Fishing Reel For The Money

Ice fishing is one of the most specialized types of fishing around.

It's so specialized that companies build reels just for ice anglers.This guide will help you find the best ice fishing reel for your needs.

  • Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel
  • Nylon body and aluminum spool
  • Smooth Teflon drag
  • Free spool release button
  • Spool tension adjustment
Okuma Ceymar C10
  • Okuma Ceymar C10
  • 8 ball bearings
  • Multi-disc, oiled felt drag system, Max Drag Pressure - 5-lbs
  • Can be switched for right or left-hand retrieval
  • 110 yards of 4lb. Test
  • Fiblink Inline Ice Fishing Reel
  • Free spool release button
  • Aluminum star drag
  • Line clicker
  • Instant anti-reverse system
  • Frabill Straight Line 371 Ice Fishing Reel
  • Lightweight composite construction
  • 5+1 ball bearing system
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • 22-inch line retrieval
  • 13 Fishing Black Betty Fishing Reels
  • CNC machined aluminum construction
  • Carbon drag
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • 2.7:1 gear ratio

Buying Guide for Ice Fishing Reels

There are 3 basic types of ice fishing reels. Each one has pros and cons.

  • Ice Fishing Spinning Reels.
  • Ice Fishing Inline Reels.
  • Baitcasting (Revolving Spool) Reels.

Ice fishing spinning reels are usually just really small spinning reels.

Spinning reels are also known as fixed spool reels because the spool does not rotate. This name is used even though modern spinning reels have oscillating spools.

The upside to using these is that they can be used to ice fishing and ultralight applications.

For example, after ice fishing season is over, the same reel will work for panfish or small trout streams.

Ice fishing inline reels are specially designed for ice fishing. They mounted under the rod and have rotating spools. Since they're mounted under the rod, they're used with spinning rods.

Baitcasting reels are used for ice fishing. But this is not a very common usage. Normally, when you see a baitcasting reel on that ice, it's a reel that's primarily used for other types of fishing. Then, in the winter, it serves double duty as an ice fishing reel.

Which type of ice fishing reel is best for you?The answer to this relies on how serious you are about ice fishing.

Spinning Reel vs. Inline for Ice Fishing

Many anglers choose in line because they want to avoid line twist. Line twist  often happens because of the way spinning reels wrap the line onto the spool.

It's almost inevitable to get at least a small amount of line twist on a spinning reel.

Inline reels on the other hand have revolving spools. This means that the spool rotates as line is fed out. 

Line twist is much less likely to happen with a revolving spool reel.  Keep in mind though, that some baits that spin could add line twists regardless of the type of reel.

Some anglers stick to spinning reels for various reasons. Using the same reel year round can be appealing. They don’t want to bother with having different reels for ice fishing and panfishing for example.

An ultralight spinning reel can easily serve double duty as a trout or panfish reel. Then, in the winter, the reel can be put on an ice fishing rod and be ready to go.

What To Look For In An Ice Fishing Reel

When looking for the right ice fishing reel, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. We'll help you ask the right questions before you buy.

Reel and rod weight

While there are some exceptions, ice fishing rods are usually shorter and lighter. This means that having a lightweight reel is even more important.

A lightweight rod should be matched up with a lightweight reel. This will help maintain the combos balance. It will also help reduce fatigue.

Installing a reel that is too heavy for the rod can create an imbalanced setup. This could lead to difficulties in detecting strikes.

This is especially true under the ice where strikes can be very subtle. So, keep in mind that rod and reel weight should be complimentary. For most ice fishing rods, a good lightweight ice fishing reel should stay below 5 ounces.

Line retrieval

Since ice fishing doesn't involve casting, you won’t have to worry about backlash as much.

It can still happen if you’re using an inline reel and a heavy lure or sinker. This could cause the spool to over spin and result in a backlash.

Line management is still a concern even with ultralight gear. Use of fluorocarbon or monofilament lines in very cold weather can cause problems. Sometimes mono or fluoro will fly off a spinning reel because of line memory.  This can lead to tangles. Many ice anglers use line conditioners to prevent this. Other will only use braid as their mainline.

Inline reels don't suffer from these problems. The revolving spool helps reduce the chance of a tangle.

Weather resistant components

For ice fishing reels, weather resistance is a key feature.

Most importantly, this applies to the outer composition of the reel, and the gears inside. Reels composed of all metal are typically much more durable.

But, they will also conduct cold temperatures. This makes it difficult to hold the reel throughout frigid winter conditions. It can also lead to rod components locking up.

The internal gears also need some additional consideration when it comes to cold temperatures.

The best ice fishing reels will come with gear lubricant. This lubricant will repel the cold water, ensuring that gears don’t freeze up while on the water.

Another feature found in some ice spinning reels is rotors and spools that repel water as they spin. This can also help prevent the accumulation of ice on your reel.

Target Species

Ice Fishing For Panfish

If you’re going after panfish such as perch and crappie, the lightest reels and lines should work well. This means that an inline reel with 2 lb. test line should be fine.

The light weight of an inline reel will really help make fighting these smaller fish more fun. Also, the ease of handling super light lines will be enhanced by the revolving spool.

The ability to release the spool and drop the line really helps with jigging. Also, line twist will be greatly reduced with an inline reel.

Ice Fishing For Pike

Northern Pike are a different story. These toothy critters can slice right through light line. 

You may want to consider using a thick fluorocarbon leader when targeting pike.

As for the reel, you may want to opt for a spinning reel that can hold a bot more 6 or 8 pound test line.

If you hook up with a 20-30 inch northern, this type of set up will improve your chances of landing it.

Another challenge may be getting the pike up through the ice hole.  Sometimes a heavy fish can place additional stress on the line. When it is brought up through the ice hole, the lower edge of the hole may rub against the line and potentially break it. Once again, a leader may help prevent this.

Ice Fishing For Bass

Mos ice anglers targeting bass will be using a spinning reel. Often times these fish can be much heavier than panfish. You’ll want to go with a spinning reel loaded with 4 to 8 pound test line.

Many of the same techniques will work. For example jigging a lipless crankbait or a spoon should do the trick.

Ice Fishing For Trout

When fishing for trout through the ice, you should be able to use the same rod and reel that you use for bass.

Unless that is you’re going after large lake trout. Many anglers in the great lakes area seek them out in the winter. These fish can easily exceed 20 pounds and will make long runs.

Most anglers looking for large lake trout will spool a spinning reel with 8 to 15 pound test braided line. They will also use a fluoro leader. The heavier line also helps with abrasion resistance.

Line running across the bottom of the ice hole can definitely be a problem for this species.

A spinning reel used in the summer for finesse bass fishing would be fine for this application.Also, sometimes lake trout can be much deeper than normal ice fishing targets. You may be fishing for trout 100 feet below your ice hole.

Ice Fishing For Walleye

For Walleye fishing through the ice, you should be able to use a spinning reel or inline reel. While walleye can get larger, they won’t make the same long runs that a lake trout will.

So for this reason you should be able to use line as light as 4 pound test. You average ultralight spinning reel or inline reel should do fine.

Our Top Picks For Ice Fishing Reels.

1. 13 Fishing Black Betty Inline Ice Reel

This ice fishing reel has gotten nearly perfect reviews for its smooth drag and overall durability.

It comes with a bait alarm to help alert anglers to hits.

Also, the new frame design lets you use either a pistol or pencil grip when using this reel.

With a 2.7:1 gear ratio, the reel will retrieve 18 inches of line per crank.

With the combination of the instant anti-reverse, retrieves are fluid and effective. The lightweight EVA handles provide a comfortable grip, allowing ice anglers greater control over the reel.

The carbon drag system allows for reliable performance.

With solid construction, the 13 Fishing Black Betty model is becoming one of the most talked-about ice fishing reels.


  • Super Smooth Drag.
  • Lightweight.
  • Great for jigging.


  • Overruns can happen if you're not careful.
  • Line can become wrapped around tension knob.

2. Okuma Ceymar C10

The okuma ceymar size C-10 is a great choice for ice fishing. Ice fishing forums members across the upper Midwest rave about this reel.

The ceymar is known for having a silky smooth drag at a price that is reasonable.

It will hold 110 yards of 4lb. test mono or 70 yards of 6 lb. test mono. it has a gear ration of 5.0:1, weighs 6 ounces, and a max drag of 5 pounds.

The reel is constructed with a graphite body, a brass pinion gear and a machined  aluminum spool. This is standard for spinning reels and should be more than adequate for ice fishing applications.

The long handle stem is great for anglers wearing thick gloves. The eva foam grip is also large enough for gloved hands to get a good grip on.


  • Great budget reel.
  • Not just for ice fishing.
  • Handle is long enough for hands wearing large gloves.


  • Some users report early reel failure.

3. Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel

The nylon body and spool make the Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel well suited to withstand bitter winter weather.

Ice anglers will be pleased to experience the free spool release button. It removes the drag and allows the reel to go into a free spool. This makes ice jigging much easier, allowing for a tight lure to be dropped into a fishing hole without causing tangles in the fishing line.

It comes with a left hand retrieve.  But if you need to change it to a right hand retrieve, you can do it with a little bit of work.

Each crank of the handle will reel in 15.75 inches of line.

The spool tension adjustment will help prevent any backlash when using heavier lures.

As an additional benefit, the Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel comes with a line clicker. This helps ice anglers monitor the amount of line output from the reel.

Users report that it's a solid, reliable reel that has converted many to inline reels.It's one of the most affordable inline ice fishing reels on the market.


  • Resistant to freezing up.
  • Not just for ice fishing.
  • Excellent spool tension control.


  • Some users report spool slippage.

4. Fiblink Inline Ice Fishing Reel

With four ball bearings and a gear ratio of 2.7:1, the Fiblink Inline Ice Fishing Reel is an altogether smooth and sturdy ice fishing reel.

At 5.8 ounces, it is light enough to comfortably hold for longer periods of time.

Even though it's light, it's still sturdy enough to withstand wear and tear from changing weather conditions.

Brass gears, and 4 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 roller bearing help ensure smooth operation.The drag system is easily adjusted, and the free spool function makes ice fishing much easier.

Fishing line can quickly drop down as far as needed, and the line clicker will keep track of each and every inch.

As an additional benefit, the Fiblink Inline Ice Fishing Reel also comes with a one-year warranty. It also includes a soft carrying case to protect the reel when not in use.


  • Lightweight for all day use.
  • Easy to use with gloves.
  • Smooth drag.


  • Some users report they got the reel without instructions.

5. Frabill Straight Line 371 Ice Fishing Reel

What really sets the Frabill Straight Line 371 model apart is its lightweight composite construction.

The construction maintains rigidity and increases durability. It also resists conducting cold temperatures. This creates an overall comfortable reel to hold during the winter.

With a 3.7:1 gear ratio, this ice fishing reel offers additional strength and power to bring larger fish through ice holes.

The large construction of the spool allows for maximum balance and a quicker retrieval rate. With each turn of the handle, it brings in 22 inches of fishing line.

As an additional benefit, this reel also comes with an adjustable bait alarm. This will help anglers who are monitoring multiple setups.

Internal sub-zero lubricant ensures that gears will continue to function throughout bitter cold.


  • Ideal for light jigging action.
  • Spool guard allows palm grip.
  • 5 +1 ball bearings.


  • Some users report early reel failure.
  • Spool may have some play in it.


Whether sitting on a lake, pond, or creek, ice fishing can be just as much of a social event as fishing during the warmer seasons.

The temperature may be less forgiving during ice fishing season, but that certainly doesn't stop us.

Whether you choose online or spinning reels, make sure you tailor your gear correctly.

The species and locations you're targeting can have an impact on the gear you choose.

Don't forget to check out our other ice fishing reviews. Ice Fishing.

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Best Spincast Reels of 2018 Reviewed – Ultimate Buyers Guide

Best Spincast Reels

 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.

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.

Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel

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.

Reel Specs:


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.

Model 6SCX

The model that you're most likely to need is the model 6SCX.

Pfleuger President Spincast Reel

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.

Model 10SCB

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.

Model 6USCX

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.

Zebco Bullet Spincast Reel

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.

Zebco 33 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.

Daiwa Goldcast Review


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.

Zebco 808 Saltwater

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.

Underspin Reels

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.

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 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.

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.

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. 

Line Capacity

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.

Reel design

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.

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 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.

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Best Line Counter Reels

okuma-cold-water-line counter-Reel
1. Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel
Best Overall Line Counter Reel
2. PENN Squall LevelWind Line Counter Reel
Best Saltwater Line Counter Reel
3. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel
Best Line Counter Reel For The Money

A line counter reel is essentially a level-wind reel that has been fitted with a line counter, a device that is built to measure exactly how much fishing line has been let out. For trolling purposes, a line counter reel is essential. This function allows anglers to set out lures in pre-determined patterns and depths. We created this guide to help you find the best line counter reels for your needs.

Once an angler finds a productive depth—commonly called an active zone—a line counter allows them to keep that measurement and replicate that success for the remainder of the day. Not only does a line counter reel let you know how much line you have let out, but it also alerts you to how much line is left when reeling in a fish. This is a great tool to help prepare for bringing in trophy fish!

Simply put, a line counter reel is one of the essential tools that each and every angler should have. For trolling purposes, this is especially so. Line counters enable for accurate and precise depths. These reels count how much line is out for you, rather than prompting manual measurement. The beauty of a line counter reel is that it makes trolling much easier, and a much more productive fishing experience overall.

7 Best Line Counter Reels

Finding the best line counter reel can sometimes be a difficult task. With so many available options, taking a close look at the top-rated reels can be a good method for determining what line counter reel is best for you. This review has taken the  seven top-rated reels to examine what sets them apart from the competition.

1. Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Walleye Special Level Wind Fishing Reel

Daiwa has long been a trusted manufacturer for top-quality reels, and it is no surprise that their Accudepth model would appear on a top-rated list. No matter what fishing line you are using, 

The Daiwa Accudepth line counter reel can be depended upon to provide accurate measurements each and every time.The line is measured in feet, allowing for simple and accurate settings for trolling patterns. The Accudepth Plus system allows for repeated access to the strike zone, redefining the ease and accuracy of locating and landing fish.

The lightweight graphite composite frame allows for enhanced durability without making sacrifices on weight. The Teflon-impregnated felt drag creates an overall drag system that is just as smooth as it is efficient.

Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Walleye Special Level Wind Fishing Reel

2. Penn Squall levelwind 20LWLC

The Penn Squall is a very well known conventional trolling reel that is very popular for saltwater trolling. Luckily, the 20LWLC comes with a Line Counter.  It is definitely one of the top rated Penn reels. It weighs 1.3 lbs and will hold 315 yards of 20 lb test. While it does have a graphite body, it is very sturdy.

It comes with a level wind that automatically places your line evenly across the spool as you reel in. It retreives line at a 4.9:1 gear ratio. The gears are made from bronzer and stainless steel.  

It has 2 stainless steel ball bearing and instant anti-reverse. It's very smoth despite the low bearing count.

One drawback is that the line counter model only comes in right handed retrieve.

It is well paired with the Penn Mariner II medium action rod.

3. Okuma Coldwater 350 Low Profile Linecounter Reel

The Okuma Coldwater 350 Low Profile Line Counter reel is build with a rigid die cast aluminum frame and a line counter that measures in feet. It will hold 150 yards of 20 lb test mono or over 150 yards of 65 lb braided line.

It has a 5.4:1 gear ratio and a smooth drag  that maxes out at 25 pounds of drag force. It has 3 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing. 

It has a low profile design that fits perfectly in the hand. Also, the line counter has an anti-fog coating for fishing those cool humid mornings.

Another benefit of the 350 is that its low profile design makes it easier to cast than a convetional round reel. This allows it to pull double duty as a trolling and casting reel.

4. Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel

For those looking for a line counter reel, the Okuma Cold Water model is an incredibly popular choice. The entire Cold Water line is based upon a powerful star drag foundation, supported by heavy duty brass gears and a full Carbonite drag system. With the ability to output 20 lbs. of drag, this particular reel model is incredibly powerful. As an additional benefit, the Aluminum ratcheting drag star enables trolling fishermen to set precise drag settings. The custom line counter includes the most recent technological innovation by Okuma: anti-fogging Clear View Technology.

This ensures that if the counter is ever waterlogged, an access port allows for the water to be completely drained and dried away. The line counter’s reset button is slightly recessed, eliminating the possibility of false resets.

The popularity of the Okuma Cold Water reel is partly due to its lightweight nature and high durability. The side plates and frame are made of corrosion resistant aluminum, protecting the reel from wear and tear due to water and humidity. Not only is this an incredibly efficient line counter reel, but it is also an overall excellent choice for a trolling reel.

Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel

5. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Line Counter Reel

The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Line Counter model is one of many top-rated reels from Abu Garcia. This line counter reel offers enhanced control and ease of use, fitting neatly into the palm of your hand. The three stainless steel ball bearings provide enough power to ensure that fish can be brought up from the deepest of depths.

Not only does it come with Abu Garcia’s patented Carbon Matrix drag system, but it also comes equipped with a synchronized level wind system. Anglers can be sure that their fishing line will stay tucked into place while trolling for deeper species of fish.

The featured line counter system allows fishermen to see the depth of their line in feet, increasing trolling and downrigging accuracy. With a precise line counter and reliable construction, the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Line Counter Reel is certainly a worthwhile and valuable option.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Line Counter Reel

6. Penn General Purpose Line Counter Level Wind Reel

Founded in 1932, Penn has been at the forefront of innovation and production of modern reel designs. Penn strives to provide high-quality products through each and every piece of fishing equipment, and the Line Counter Level Wind Reel is certainly no different.

The extreme accuracy of the line counter makes locating the strike zone as efficient and as quick as possible. Additionally, the stainless steel level wind component keeps fishing line in place, eliminating interference from wind and rain.

The lightweight composite side plates ensure that the reel composition is as strong as possible without creating unnecessary strain on wrists and hands due to weight. As an additional benefit, the HT-100 drag washers increase the strength and power of the drag, making for an overall smooth operation of this line counting reel.

Penn General Purpose Line Counter Level Wind Reel

7. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Level Wind Trolling Reel

This left-handed crank line counter from Okuma is composed of a lightweight, corrosion resistant material. The mechanical line counter gives measurements in feet, and it utilizes a rubber push button for resetting. Setting line out to the same measurement is an easy procedure, offering the peace of mind to know that you are getting the same measurement each and every time.

Not only does the Okuma Magda Pro offer an excellent line counter function, but it comes equipped with a carbonite drag system, rugged machine cut brass gears, and a self-lubricating gear system. The stainless steel level wind system ensures that the fishing line stays in place, without being hindered by natural elements.

The Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter is a well-made and reliable reel, not just as a trolling reel, but as a line counter reel as well.

Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Level Wind Trolling Reel

Buying Guide for Line Counter Reels

When looking for the best reel for you, there are a few common characteristics to keep in mind. Although many come with enhanced features, some features will play a larger role in determining the overall value and function of the reel. When looking for a line counter reel, keep these elements in mind:

Size of the reel

The size of the reel will determine how much fishing line can fit onto the spool. This can make a huge difference, depending on what depths you are looking to troll in. If your chosen fish species migrates to a certain depth, ensure that you are purchasing a line counter reel that has enough room to house the right amount of fishing line.

Level wind system

Because most line counter reels are also the best options for trolling reels, you’ll want to make sure that your reel comes with a level wind system. This is the best way to make sure that the fishing line stays secure when trolling, and doesn’t slip out of place from the reel due to wind or movement from the boat.

Counting measurement

By and large, most line counters will operate on a measurement of feet. This is the best method for measurement when trolling since line depths usually tend to get relatively deep. Still, it is important to make sure that the line counter reel you purchase can provide the most accurate measurement for you. The best line counter reels will measure in depths of feet, not inches.


No matter what line counter reel you choose to invest in, keep in mind the common characteristics that set these reels apart: an accurate line counting system, the amount of fishing line, and a good level wind system. Looking at popular line counter reels can also help determine what additional features you want out of a reel. There may be other factors to consider, like the amount of ball bearings, and the drag system.

By taking an in-depth look at the top-rated line counter reels that are on the market today, any fisherman will find themselves well-equipped and prepared to find the best reel to suit their individual needs.

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5 Best Shimano Spinning Reels for 2018

best shimano spinning reels

Shimano reels have nearly a century of dedicated engineering behind them, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. In nearly every list of top-rated reels, Shimano reels are featured, and typically more than one model. As a company, the innovative engineering behind Shimano reels focuses on precision, quality, and performance.

For any fisherman, whether professional or otherwise, Shimano reels can help improve fishing performance. Although they began by creating baitcasting reels, Shimano spinning reels have been growing in popularity, due to their superior engineering and performance.

While Shimano has certainly enhanced the mechanics and efficiency behind the spinning reel, there are a few essential characteristics to spinning reels that set them apart from baitcasting reels.

  • Shimano Stradic HG FK Spinning Reel
  • Hagane construction
  • X-Ship gearing
  • 35” line retrieval
  • 20 lb. drag force
  • Shimano Stradic CI4+3000 Spinning Reel
  • X-Ship gearing
  • Reinforced carbon material
  • Waterproof drag system
  • 6 S-ARB ball bearings
  • Shimano Stella STLC3000XGFI Spinning Reel
  • 19.8 lbs. maximum drag
  • 36.6” line retrieve
  • S-Direct drive system
  • 13 bearings
  • Shimano Syncopate 2500 FG
  • Propulsion spool lip
  • Graphite frame
  • Quickfire II system
  • Propulsion Line Management system
  • Shimano Sahara 3000 FE
  • Graphite frame, side plate, and rotor
  • Cold forged aluminum spool
  • 4 bearing system
  • Slow Oscillation system

Benefits to Spinning Reels

Spinning reels are perhaps the most popular of all fishing reels. For light-weight lures and lines, and for enhanced finesse techniques, spinning reels are quickly becoming the reel of choice for many fishermen. When compared to baitcasting reels, there are some specific characteristics that set spinning reels apart. These characteristics can also be seen as benefits, listed below:


Spinning reels can be used for multiple purposes, whether you are bass fishing going after catfish. They can also be used in conjunction with a variety of tackle options, including live bait and artificial lures. While they can sustain heavier bait, they work best with lighter weights.

Widespread use

One of the reasons that spinning reels are so popular is that they are easy to use and can be used for light baits and in high winds.. This includes fishing for fish, like bass, redfish, and crappie in both salt and fresh water.

Ease of use

Spinning reels are typically much easier to use than a baitcasting reel. You don’t have to worry about backlash when using a spinning reel. You can use much lighter baits and lures as well as cast in high winds more easily with a spinning reel.

Baitcasting reels tend to have a learning curve attached: that is, it takes time and patience to learn how to use one properly. Spinning reels, however, don’t need extensive time to perfect form and performance.

Best Shimano Spinning Reels

Over the years, Shimano has produced approximately 100 different reels, influencing and defining the way fishing equipment is manufactured. Shimano reels are globally recognized for their precision, durability, and lightweight construction.

We have compiled a list of the best Shimano spinning reels for 2018. These spinning reels have earned accolades from professionals and amateurs alike. Our review will provide a detailed overview of what makes each model stand out above the competition, and what characteristics make Shimano exceptional spinning reels.


1. Shimano Stradic HG FK Spinning Reel

This model introduces a brand new technological concept employed by Shimano, called Hagane. This term refers to the high-quality steel used to manufacture Samurai swords. The Shimano Stradic HG FK model is made entirely out of this high-quality metal component. From the body of the reel to the internal components, this model utilizes the Hagane concept to increase the strength and durability of the reel.

When dealing with the additional pressure of a large fish, the X-Ship gearing performs incredibly well. This gearing configuration provides a smooth transfer of pressure, keeping gears working under high stress levels. The result is a stronger, smoother operation. It also preserves gear function, which promises to contribute towards long-term use.

Fishermen love the smooth drag, an undeniable feature of any Shimano reel. In fact, as one of the newest models, the Shimano Stradic HG FK is also lauded as being one of the best Shimano reels currently available.

Shimano Stradic HG FK Spinning Reel

2. Shimano Stradic CI4+3000 Spinning Reel

The Stradic series are some of the most popular and best Shimano reels available. The CI4+ 3000 is the third model in the series, and it has been praised in multiple reviews as being the best possible value on the market today. With a gear ratio of 6.0:1, it is one of the fasting spinning reels available.

Its large spool allows for increased distance and increased weight drag, with customer reviews reporting being able to catch fish over 25 lbs. with ease. The waterproof drag system and X-Ship gearing ensure that gears stay in alignment and operate smoothly, regardless of weight.

The CI4+ 3000, however, includes an additional element to enhance durability and performance. Cold forged aluminum is added to the drive gear, and hardened brass is added to the pinion gear. These two materials have been proven to last even longer than stainless steel.

Shimano Stradic CI4+3000

Shimano reels are known for smooth operation, and adding these two materials ensures that the Stradic CI4+ 3000 will remain as one of the most affordable and best Shimano reels.


3. Shimano Stella STLC3000XGFI Spinning Reel

Shimano’s Stella series has largely been regarded as one of the best Shimano reels. This Stella model includes a MicroModule gear system, which adds little micro-teeth to gears in order to increase power and torque. This results in firmer feel and fewer vibrations, making for a much more efficient and comfortable experience.

The patented S-Direct drive system connects directly to the drive gear, making power transfers much more efficient and reducing overall wear and tear of the most critical gear components. When compared to previous models, the Stella 3000XGFI spinning reel employs advanced engineering technology meant to decrease unnecessary movement and increase overall smoothness and control.

At 7.8 ounces, Shimano manages to increase durability and efficiency without drastically increasing weight, making this model one of the best Shimano spinning reelsm.

Shimano Stella Review

4. Shimano Syncopate 2500 FG

The Shimano Syncopate model is perfect for fishermen who are looking to enhance speed and efficiency. With a combination of the Propulsion Line Management system and a propulsion spool lip, this spinning reel is made specifically to improve speed and distance when casting. The Quickfire II trigger system is easy to use and is much more balanced than other similar brands.

The line management system and spool lip work together to allow for greater distances with less effort, even with natural interference like the wind. Customers love that this spinning reel is smooth, quick, and durable, easily lasting throughout years of fishing.

By combining affordability with enhanced speed and durability, the Shimano Syncopate 2500 FG is one of the best Shimano reels to invest in.

Syncopate 2500 FG Spinning Reel Review

5. Shimano Sahara 3000 FE

This spinning reel is one of the best Shimano reels, due partly to its expert graphite construction. At 7.2 ounces, the Shimano Sahara 3000 FE is one of the most lightweight spinning reels available. This is a substantial benefit for fishermen looking to spend extended time on the water without irritating joint pain. The graphite and cold forged aluminum both increase durability while maintaining a comfortable, lightweight form.

As with all Shimano models, you can expect a consistently smooth experience with the Saharas. ​The waterproof drag system ensures that stray water won’t get in the way of your fishing. Additionally, the Slow Oscillation system works to make sure that casts are as long as possible without getting tangled up.

The Shimano Sahara 3000 FE is both lightweight and incredibly durable, making it one of the top-rated Shimano reels.

Shimano Sahara Review

What do you think of our top 5? Please click the button below to leave a comment.

Buying Guide For the Best Shimano Reels

Although Shimano has a long history of creating top-quality spinning reels, it can be difficult to figure out which spinning reel is best for your needs. The best Shimano reels come with common characteristics that affect performance, durability, and efficiency. When looking for Shimano reels, here are some qualities to look closely at in order to get the best Shimano reels for your needs:

Weight and Durability

Weight is important, as heavier reels can result in joint pain, increasing stress to the wrist and the forearm. For fishermen who like to spend longer periods of time on the water, stress and fatigue can be huge factors in their fishing performance. Lighter reels will decrease joint pain due to heavy or bulky reels.

The reel body should also be durable. Finding a durable reel body without sacrificing lightweight construction is important. While aluminum is stronger, graphite is much lighter. A combination of the two might be your best bet when looking for improved weight and durability.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio for spinning reels is much different than with baitcasting reels. For spinning reels, the spool itself is fixed and does not revolve. Instead, a bail will wrap the line along the spool as the handle is turned. As a result, the gear ratio describes the number of times the bail wraps along the spool on each turn of the handle.

A low, medium, or high-speed retrieve (gear ratio) depends largely upon what type of fishing you are planning to. For versatility, the best gear ratio might be a middle speed, typically considered as a gear ratio of 5:1. Still, depending on whether torque is necessary or speed is important, the gear ratio of a spinning reel will play a huge factor.

Drag System

The drag system determines the application of pressure onto a hooked fish, and for that reason, having a good drag system is crucial when using spinning reels. Without a smooth, steady drag system, lines can break, and fish can escape.

There are two types of drag systems that a spinning reel might have: front drag and rear drag. Front drag systems typically have enhanced durability and performance when compared to rear drag. The benefit to rear drag systems, however, is that the controls are much easier to access, so they may be easier to manipulate. All the reels in this list use a front drag system..


When looking for a spinning reel, it is hard to deny the inherent value and efficiency that comes with Shimano reels. As one of the top-rated brands in the fishing market, Shimano reels have continued to defy expectation and define the manufacture of high-quality spinning reels.

In looking at top-rated Shimano reels, any fisherman will find themselves well-equipped to enhance their fishing experience through some of the best Shimano reels available on the market.

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How A Spinning Reel Works

Before you learn the basics, on how to set up a spinning reel and how to cast, it helps to know how a spinning reel works. 

Spinning reels are easy to use and are great for casting lightweight baits or lures. A baitcaster, by contrast, usually requires more skill to use and is also meant for heavier lures or baits.

Several physical concepts govern how a spinning reel works, and in a nutshell, it is mounted under a rod instead of over. It also uses a fixed spool.  

When you crank a spinning reel, a line guide spins around the spool and lays the line on it.  Additionally, as you turn the handle, the spool moves forward and back. This causes the line to be layed oevenly over the spool instead of being bunched up at one end.

For right-handed people, the rod is held and cast by the right hand, leaving the handle of the reel to be worked on by the left hand. However, most spinning reels have handles that can be switched from side to side. This will allow you to select which hand you want to crank the handle with.

Note: If you're using braided line click : How to spool braided line on a spinning reel.

How To Set Up A Spinning Reel

One key thing to avoid when setting up your spinning reel is line twist. Here's a quick guide on how to set up a spinning reel without line twist:

1.  Gather the needed tools such as your spinning reel, your spinning rod, your fishing line spool, and a pair of scissors.

2. Before you start putting the line on, you'll want to attach your reel to the rod by placing the reel foot in the reel seat and screwing down the seat so that it's nice and tight. You don't want the reel to move once it's seated.

3. I like to put the tip of the line through the first guide on the rod. 

4. Open the bail arm, then use an arbor knot or a uniknot to tie the line to the spool.

5.Once the line is tied to the spool close the bail.

6. Here is the important part. When you look at a spinning reel from behind, you'll notice that it cranks in a counter clockwise direction. As you look past the reel to the spool that the line is coming off of, make sure that the line is coming off in a counter clockwise direction too.

7. Fill the reel until there is about 1/8th of an inch between the line and the end of the spool.

These are the basic steps on how to set up a spinning reel and successfully putting one in use, and it can enhance your performance as you head outdoors to fish. After learning this, you should also learn how to cast a spinning reel.

Knowing how to cast a spinning reel properly can be difficult if there is nobody to guide you in doing so. You can easily find tutorials on how to cast a spinning reel on the internet or in video streaming sites such as Youtube. Some tutorials on How To Cast A Spinning Reel 101 can be as short as a minute, but you can search for more comprehensive lectures. Casting a spinning reel involves precision in manipulating the physical laws that govern fishing, and in a nutshell, you can cast your spinning reel by following these steps:

1. Hold the rod with your dominant hand, while using the other to hold the fishing line.

2. Point your pole towards your potential catch. Tilt your fishing pole back at an angle opposite to your target.

3. Swing the pole forward and release the line that you held with your other hand.

4. Wait for a fish to take your bait.

These are only some of the steps you can follow to cast a spinning reel successfully. The most important step is to take precaution whenever you go outdoors to consummate your fishing plans.

How to Care for a Spinning Rod and Reel

As you learn the concepts needed for successful fishing, you should also learn how to care for a spinning rod and reel to enhance its shelf life under your care. Doing so can help you save time, money and effort, and all of these can provide answers to your problems with equipment durability. For starters, you should always keep your equipment dry. Wash any traces of dirt from your rods, lines, and reels and pat them dry. Store them in a cool, dry place to prevent them from rusting. If you've used your equipment in salt water, make sure you wash it with fresh water. Lubricate your wheel regularly to avoid your gears from getting stuck.

Fishing is a popular recreational activity, especially during the summer. Before you start exploring this new activity, do some research and learn the things you should know to maximize your first fishing experience. Maintain your equipment properly by handling them with care and by making sure they are stored appropriately.

A note on Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities such as recreational fishing have been promoted by many experts due to the emotional, intellectual, mental and physical benefits it can give to an enthusiast which further helps in developing and enhancing an individual's overall well-being.

In this regard, knowing the basics of recreational fishing ranging from the equipment needed down to the actual activity is essential for any aspiring angler. Things such as learning how to set up a  spinning reel, how spinning reels work, how to cast a spinning reel and how to care for a spinning rod and reel, are only some of the basic concepts any enthusiast should know.

7 Best Baitcasting Reels For 2018 Reviewed

Best Baitcasting Reel

7 Best Baitcasting Reels Compared

This guide will help you find the best baitcasting reel for your fishing style.

We looked at features like weight, line capacity, gear ratio, and drag strength when researching this guide. 

We also searched for reports on build quality and consistency. 

Top 7 Quick Stats

  WeightGear RatioMax Drag
Shimano 200IHG Curado RH 4Shimano Curado IGH7.4 oz.7.1. 6.312lbs.
Piscifun Torrent8.0 oz.7.1:118 lbs.
Shimano Caenan6.5 oz.7.2:111 lbs.
Daiwa TatulaDaiwa Tatula R100XS7.4 oz.6.3, 7.3, 8.113.2 lbs.
abu-garcia-revo-stx-3Abu Garcia Revo STX6.35 oz.8.020 lbs.
KastKing Rover Round 40R11.7 oz.3.611 lbs.
abu-garcia-revo-rocket-low-profile-5Abu Garcia Revo Rocket6.75 oz.9.020 lbs.

While the art of using a baitcasting reel be seem daunting to beginners.  Stick with it.

The advantages of baitcasters can really become evident after you get some practice.

The enhanced control, distance and power is well worth it.

After a few hours of backyard practice, you should be able to get the basics down.

Advantages to Baitcasting Reels

Heavier Lures and Lines

By nature, baitcasting lures are meant to cast heavier lures than spinning reels.  

1/8th ounce lures are about as light as I've ever heard being cast from a baitcaster.

The revolving spool requires a certain amount of weight to get it spinning.

Increased Power

The spool layout and gear design in baitcasting reels also have greater power and torque than spinning reels.The spool lies directly in line alongside the handle and gears.

Spinning reels by contrast have a 90 degree turn from the crank to the rotor.

Braking System

Most baitcasting reels come equipped with a braking system. These are usually centrifugal or magnetic. Some baitcasting reels have both.

Centrifugal braking systems use the spinning of the spool to push brakes against the spool raceway.

Magnetic brakes use small magnets. Some are on the side plate and others are on the spool.

You increase the braking force by turning a dial that moves the magnets on the side plate closer to the spool magnets.

Turn the dial in the opposite direction and the magnets move away from each other. This reduces braking action.

Reduced Line Twist

If you're throwing lures over 1/8 ounce and need heavier line, a baitcaster is most likely your best bet.

Baitcasting Reels - Buyers Guide

Baitcasting reels are also known as baitcasters or revolving spool reels.

There are a few key components in a baitcasting reel which are different from spinning reels.

Often times manufacturers may have additional features that only their reels have.

These can be anything from an oil port to a microchip for backlash control.

Here you'll find the basic types and functions of a baitcasting reel. If you learn the details below, you should be able to make an informed buying decision.

They type of fishing you're going after will also play a large role on your reel selection.

A very popular use for baitcasters is Largemouth Bass fishing.

You could say that the whole low profile baitcasting reel market was created for going after Largemouths.

Keep this in mind if you intend on using a baitcasting reel in saltwater. You'll need to pay close attention to maintenance after every use.

There are baitcasting reels designed for saltwater use. However, cleaning and corrosion prevention are still something you'll need to do.

Low-profile and Round Reels

Baitcasting reels started out a round reels that had no brakes. Back in the day, you have to prevent brake the spool with your thumb.

Round reels are still made today. They now come with advanced braking systems. But using your thumb to slow down or stop a lure is still something you should learn.

With this mind, some of the advantages of round reels are as follows:

  • They can cold more line.
  • They're usually all metal.

 Catfish anglers, salmon and saltwater anglers often opt for round reels. The extra line capacity can help deal with fish that make long runs. The all metal construction can also be a benefit in salty environments.

Low profile reels are a favorite with bass anglers. Here are some of the advantages of low profile reels:

  • Lighter weight.
  • Can be palmed in your hand.
  • Come in many varieties to fit your needs.

Low profile baitcasting reels are extremely popular. They're usually made with graphite composite shells that help keep weight down.

Below, we'll look at some of the features that are common and what you should look for.

Ball Bearings and Gears

The gears in a baitcasting reel are commonly made out of brass. There are also reels with gears made out of duralumin.

Duralumin is a lightweight alloy of aluminium and copper and other elements. The distance between gear teeth can be a factor that impacts how smooth are reel operates.

Shimano has introduced micromudule gears with very short distances between teeth. This leads to a smoother and more powerful feeling retrieve.

When it comes to ball bearings, a larger number of bearings is not necessarily better. The key is that the bearings be of high quality.

You may also want to look for bearings that are sealed and protected against water intrusion.

Spool Tension

The spool tension knob is usually found on the side of the reel where the cranking handle is.

Turned clockwise, it is tightened and places tension on the spool. Turned counter-clockwise, it releases tension on the spool.

So, as you can see, it works kind of like a screw.But why would you want to apply tension to the spool. Well spool tension works with the braking system to prevent backlash.

A backlash happens when the spool spins more quickly than the lure leaving the reel requires.

The result is that the line keeps leaving the spool and piling up. Unfortunately instead of going out with the lure, the line stays in the reel and creates a backlash.

Some reels come with a clicker in the spool tension knob. This helps you get a good feel for how much tension you're putting on.

You want to set your spool tension when you tie a lure on and are getting ready to cast.

Click the spool release bar and let the lure drop. Be careful with a spool that has too little tension on it as it may backlash just from the weight of the lure.

If the lure drops too quickly, you want to add more spool tension by tightening the knob. Do this by turning it clockwise.

If the lure does not drop at all, you have too much spool tension on. You want to release some of it by turning the spool counter-clockwise.

Ideally, you want to have the tension set so that the lure drops slowly to the ground.


While it may not be all that important if you're fishing for a short while, you may want to think about weight if you're going to fish for long periods of time.

Most low profile baitcasters will range anywhere from 5 to 10 ounces.  There may be some exceptions to this, but that is the general range for most freshwater and light inshore fishing.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio measures how many times the spool revolves during one turn of the handle.

When you turn the handle on a baitcaster, you're turning a large gear. This large gear meshes with a smaller gear that is inline with the spool shaft.

When you turn the large handle gear once, the smaller shaft gear turns more than once. This ratio is what is known as the gear ratio.

Higher gear ratios mean that more line is retrieved in a shorter amount of time. Lower gear ratios are suitable for reeling bait in slowly, and they will produce more torque.

Conversely, higher gear ratios are all about speed. If you need to reduce slack and bring the line back quickly, you'll want to look for higher gear ratios.

A middle of the road gear ratio would be something like 5.5:1.  That means that the spool turns 5.5 times for every 1 handle turn.

On the low end you'll find reels with ratios in the 3.x to 1 range. On the high end, you'll find ratios as high as 8 to 1.

Brake System

Having an efficient brake system can drastically increase your ability to cast with precision. Brakes are especially useful when casting directly into the wind, as this causes the spool to spin faster than the bait.

The braking system on your reel will be key in preventing backlashes.

Reels usually come with a centrifugal or a magnetic braking system. Some reels come with both.

Centrifugal braking systems work by using the spinning of the spool to apply pressure on the raceway.

This means that as the spool accelerates, small blocks move outward. As they move they apply pressure on the inside of of the reel housing. This creates friction and helps prevent the spool from over spinning.

Anglers normally prefer centrifugal brakes to magnetic.  Many report that that they're more effective at preventing backlash.

However, magnetic brakes have improved and many anglers use them.

Centrifugal brakes are usually adjusted by opening the side plate on the reel. Once opened, there are often times 4 switches that you turn on or off.

You need to ensure that they're activated with the correct symmetry. This means that of you turn on the upper right switch, you should also turn on the lower left switch.

Magnetic brakes work with magnets on the side plate and on the spool.

There is a dial on the side plate that you turn to increase or decrease the magnetic force. This force slows down the spool to prevent backlash.

The dial on the side plate has numbers on it. This helps you remember the correct setting for the lure you're using.

Reels that have both types of brakes are adjusted by combining both techniques mentioned above.

What's A Flippin' Switch

Any enthusiastic bass fisherman is going to relate to this particular feature. They are particularly productive but not all of them are made in the same way.

The main purpose of a Flippin’ Switch on a baitcaster is to conveniently re-engage the reel’s spool.

Some of these devices are designed to be on throughout the entire time once they are actually triggered. However, there are other types which enable you to simply push down the thumb-bar and release the spool conveniently.

Big Game Saltwater Baitcasting Reels

So, you want to be fishing in heavy, saltwater conditions. Maybe you're going after mahi mahi, sailfish or grouper and you want something you can cast long distances with.

There is a distinctive difference between regular baitcasting reels and big game reels.

Big game casting reels are not designed for quick and repeated casting. They are commonly set with specific lures which are used for open water.

They're usually made of metal and can be heavy. These types of casting reels are often used for casting heavy saltwater jigs.

Some companies to make low profile baitcasters designed for saltwater. We will include at least one of these in our review.

Surely, these are far from being the only details to consider. Right-handed reels are usually the preferred and, hence, most common configuration.

1. Shimano 200IHG Curado Baitcast Reel

Shimano started as an iron works company almost a century ago. Today, they produce some of the finest fishing reels around.

The Curado series maintains this standard. With X-Ship gearing which adds ball bearings to both ends of the pinion gear. The result is improved alignment and durability. Gears stay put even under heavy loads. Additionally, friction between the gear and spool shaft is reduced which improves casting distance.

The Curado also uses the SVS infinity braking system. Brake weights use friction against the spool's inner raceway. This helps improve precision when casting lighter lures.

The Curado 200IHG is now available with a hagane body. This is a cold forged, high rigidity metal body.  The improved stiffness and impact resistance greatly reduces body flexing and helps transfer cranking power efficiently.

It holds 180 yds. of 8 lb., 155 yds of 10 lb. or 110yds of 14 lb. test mono.  If you prefer power pro braid, it will hold 190 yds. of 30 lb, 120 yds of 50 lb, and 65 yds or 80 lb braid.

Shimano 200IHG Curado Baitcasting Reel

The HG in the name is for High Gear which means it will retrieve 30 inches of line per crank with it's 7.2 : 1 gear ratio.  It weighs 7.4 oz. and has a max drag force of 12 lbs. If you don't wan the 7.2 gear ration of the Shimano 200IHG Curado you can get the I version which has a 6.3:1 ratio.

Best Baitcaster Under $50

2. Piscifun Torrent

The Piscifun Torrent is a great choice if you're looking for a good baitcasting reel for less than $50. It weighs 8.0 oz.

It has a max drag of 18 lbs and a gear ration of 7.1:1. This high gear ration allows it to bring in 30 inches of line per handle turn.

These are respectable stats, especially for this price point. The reel features a machined, aluminum spool that can hold 120 yards of 10 lb mono or 120 yards of 30 lb braid.

The Torrent features a side plate oil port. This allows you to lubricate the reel without having to disassemble it.

The only drawbacks I see are that it only has a magnetic brake system.

This might not be ideal for beginners unless you are willing to train your thumb to prevent backlashes. It also weighs 8 ounces which is a bit on the heavy side. 

Best Baitcaster Under $100

3. Shimano Caenan

Featuring the VBS braking system that uses centrifugal brakes instead of magnetic.

Centrifugal brakes are considered to be more effective at reducing backlash than magnetic brakes. 

Additionally, HEG technology provides a larger drive gear and pinion gear to increase power.

The Caenan comes with 5 bearings, and an 11 lb drag. 

The 150A model has a gear ration of 6.3:1 and cranks 26 inches of line per handle turn.

It will hold 105 yards of 10 lb. mono and 150 yards of 20 lb. braid.

The 150AHG has a 7.2:1 gear ratio and brings in 30 inches of line per handle turn.

This reel get praised for having a solid build as well as being very smooth

4. Daiwa Tatula Baitcasting Reel TATULA-R100XS

Daiwa’s product features, designs, and materials have helped make it an industry standard since 1966. Their Tatula model has brought in waves of positive baitcasting reel reviews, with professional and amateurs alike raving about the precision and quality of this baitcasting reel. 

With each handle turn bringing in 33.9”, the Daiwa Tatula R100XS is efficient enough for professional and recreational use. The gear ratio of 8.1:1 brings precision and unmistakable quality with each spin of the handle.

The patentented T-Wing system changes the design of the line guide, nearly eliminating friction and obstruction while casting. 

The T-Wings flip up during the cast and flip back in place while reeling in. Though it may take some getting used to, baitcasting reel reviews rave over the T-Wing design.

Daiwa Tatula Baitcasting Reel TATULA R100XS

At 8.1 ounces, the Tatula R100XS is a bit heavier than other models, but its aluminum frame ensures ultimate lasting durability. Additionally, the increased line capacity allows for maximized fish catching ability while out on the water.

For anglers looking for a professional grade baitcasting reel at an affordable price, the Daiwa Tatula R100XS is a perfect choice.


Daiwa’s R-Type TATULA reel series is designated to meet the performance and durability standards set forth by professional anglers. The R100XS comes with a gear ration of 8.1:1 which is particularly fast in terms of retrievals but, surprisingly, it’s also bringing in serious cranking power. This is due to the comprehensive and high-quality bearing system.

The R100XS model comes with 8 ball bearings, two of which are corrosion resistant, five are regular and one is roller bearing. This allows high-end movement of the reel and a smoother appeal for an extraordinary casting potential. Of course, if you find the 8.1:1 ratio to be faster than you really need, you could always order the all-around 6.3:1 setup.

While the TWS System allows splendid casting capabilities, the overall housing of the reel is what impresses the most. The frame and side plate are made out of rugged yet highly extruded lightweight aluminum which brings durability and comfort. The TWS system is also complimented by the comprehensive Magforce-Z cast control as well as the infinite anti-reverse feature, offering precision and casting distance beyond comprehension.

Up front, you should expect a unique and hybrid levelwind design which combines the proven durability of a standardized levelwind with the high-end casting performance of the T-Wing aperture characteristic for Daiwa’s reels.

The clutch mechanism, alongside the ball bearing system is also corrosion resistant, ensuring longevity and durability. The large swept power handle, measuring a total of 90 mm comes with cutouts in order to reduce the overall weight of the reel without compromising its performance and durability one bit. This is a significant improvement over Daiwa’s previous models which included certain plastic components in order to reduce the weight.

5. Abu Garcia Revo STX Right Hand

With its compact design and innovative materials, this model from Abu Garcia is an incredibly competitive baitcasting reel. At only 6.35 ounces, this model is 29% lighter than its predecessor, making for a baitcasting reel designed for prolonged use and comfort. Its lightweight nature comes from the C6 carbon sideplates, which allow for less weight without lowering durability standards.

As far as the inner workings of a baitcasting reel are concerned, Abu Garcia has employed some impressive technology. The 8.0:1 gear ratio boasts incredible speed, turning 33” in a single turn of the handle.

Abu Garcia uses a D2 gear design system for their baitcasting reels, resulting in superior efficiency and durability. Ten stainless steel ball bearings and one additional roller bearing ensure smooth operation of the baitcasting reel.

Abu Garcia Revo STX Baitcast Reel

The magnetic braking system allows for nearly limitless adjustability to adapt and handle every fishing situation. Baitcasting reel reviews praise this reel’s ability to distribute control and increase precision, both when casting and when retrieving.

Abu Garcia Revo STX boasts a total of 11 ball bearings. Now, the ball bearing system is pretty much the most integral component which defines the smoothness of the movement of the reel. The more bearings there are, the better it runs. 10 of those are made out of high-quality stainless steel while the last one is a roller bearing designated to enhance the operation.


The entire reel is made out of X2-Craftic alloy frame which is going to increase the resistance to corrosion of the unit, ensuring that you’ll be using it for more than just a couple of seasons. The reel is incredibly convenient thanks to the C6 Carbon sideplates which are designated to significantly reduce the overall weight without sacrificing durability, strength and performance.

Furthermore, the reel comes with a Carbon Matrix drag system which will provide you with consistent drag pressure throughout the entire range. However, one of the most notable components is the Infini II spool design. This is going to provide you with tremendously extended castability, regardless of how extreme the load may be.

Abu Garcia is a company which is well-known for its efforts to provide anglers with serious convenience and ultimate comfort. This is reflected in the reel through its compact bent handle and star which are designated to secure an ergonomic design for increased convenience. At the same time, there is a TI coated line guide which is intended to improve the durability of the reel through reducing the friction when casting. It’s a well-rounded baitcaster with all the specifications you may actually need.

6. KastKing Rover Round

The KastKing is one of the most affordable baitcasting reels that manage to provide a high level of value without draining your budget. The stainless steel ball bearings and shaft protect against corrosion, making the KastKing Rover Round suitable for saltwater and freshwater use. Trolling and bottom fishing can easily be accomplished with this round baitcasting fishing reel.

The carbon fiber drag system delivers powerful performance that outmatches all similar baitcasting reels. The non-slip handles help ensure that control and power will remain, even in the most soaked situations.

Baitcasting reel reviews love that the KastKing comes with a bait clicker to help alert fishermen to baits and runs. Another attractive feature is the impressive stopping power that comes with the centrifugal brake system. For an affordable baitcasting reel that doesn’t sacrifice value, the KastKing Rover Round baitcasting reel is a phenomenal option.

KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

This KastKing Rover Round reel saw a major improvement back in 2016. This particular baitcaster comes with anodized side plates as well as a spool which is made out of reinforced aluminum, brass gear which is tailored to perfection with precision machining, and alloy levelwind. Obviously, the company has put a lot of effort into making the product particularly durable, convenient and yet comfortable enough. The materials do not add up a lot of weight which is something absolutely essential.


However, it doesn’t really end with the construction. The carbon fiber drag system ensures splendid drag. You can put up to 9 kg of pressure and you will see that the reel responds splendidly. To compliment the convenience and to reduce the fatigue, there is an oversized EVA grip as well as easy to access thumb bar for the spool release.

We are saving the best for last. One of the most integral characteristic of a baitcasting reel is its ball bearing system. This one comes with 12 ball bearings. 7 of them are regular ball bearings on 40-60 while 5 of them are on 70-90. This will bring smooth operation and an unparalleled appeal.

The reel is great for a range of different techniques which are conveniently used in both salt and fresh water. At the same time, it’s comparatively affordable and it’s a conventional reel that a lot of anglers would love to add to their baitcasting reel collections.

The one thing which you should consider is that these high-quality reels are built to last. They are functional, they come with flawless design, performance and power and all of that is available at a price point far less than what you’d have to pay for any of the branded counterparts.

7. Abu Garcia Revo Rocket Low Profile

For fishermen who want increased speed with increased performance, Abu Garcia has provided the perfect solution. The Revo Rocket is one of the quickest baitcasting reels available, and with a gear ratio of 9.0:1, it isn’t hard to see why. For spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, or crankbaits, the Revo Rocket promises a lightning-fast retrieve.

The Revo Rocket is just as much designed for durability as it is for speed. This baitcasting reel is made with the highest quality components, with metal alloy frame and sideplates to protect against corrosion. A winning combination of the Infini spool design and the Infini brake system ensure that casts are extended, durable, and precise.

Fishermen who want maximum speed and precision in their casts and their retrieves will find that the Abu Garcia Revo Rocket is ideally suited for both.

Abu Garcia Revo Rocket Baitcast Fishing Reels

Starting off, the Abu Garcia Revo Rocket Reel comes with 10-piece bearing system, consisted of 9 HPCR stainless steel bearings and 1 RB, all of which are conveniently featured to provide you with smooth movement of the reel and increased corrosion resistance.


The patented AMGearing system is going to bring high-end precision machined gears. This is designated to bring unparalleled durability and smoothness to the reel. The gear design is computer-optimized in an attempt to make it as efficient as it is possible. What is more, the gear ratio will provide you with rocket-fast line retrieve, hence the name of the reel.

If you are the kind of fishermen who prefers its reel a little bit more powerful in terms of cranking power, rest assured that the rocket line management system will provide you with flawless control as well as the powerful capabilities you are looking for. Paired with the Rocket Spool Lip Design, you will have additional comfort of the line which comes off your spool.

Another thing which excels in this reel is the Carbon Matrix drag system. Even though it is characteristic for other baitcasting reels in the series, it’s just a fact that it would offer smooth as well as consistent drag pressure throughout the entire range. The C6 Carbon rotor, on the other hand is going to bring some serious reduction to the weight. While you might be worried that this is going to reduce the durability and the strength of the reel, precision machining of the IM-C6 body design proves you wrong.

Top top it all out, there is a compact bent carbon handle which is the perfectly ergonomic finish to a design which is already flawless enough. However, it’s worth noting that the flat EVA knob also plays its part when it comes to comfort and durability.

The overall composition of this baitcasting reel is designated to bring a lot of value to fishermen who use techniques where you need to deliver the bait fast and to pick up a serious amount of slack line when it’s needed.

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Baitcasting reels are an invaluable tool for most anglers.

This is especially true when looking to manage heavier lines and heavier baits. When looking for a baitcasting reel, keep in mind the key characteristics of the best baitcasting reels, listed above.

Modern braking systems are very effective at reducing backlash.If you've been intimidated by baitcasters because you tried an old one many years ago. You should give on of the modern baitcasters a try.Learning how to use your thumb to help supplement the braking systems can seem daunting.

However, there are many videos available to help you learn. Remember though that nothing beats practice.So get a baitcaster and get out there.

Shimano Cardiff Baitcasting Reel 4+1 Ball Bearings (5.2:1) Review

Shimano Cardiff Baitcasting Reel 4+1 Ball Bearings (5.2:1)

Daiwa Tatula-R100XS

Rating: 3.9/5

Gear Ratio




- It is strong and sturdy

- It has a crank handle that feels soft in your hands and is comfortable

- It is a great reel for the bottom, live bait, and swimbait fishing


- It is a bit pricey

Shimano Reels Comparison

  • Shimano Stradic HG FK Spinning Reel
  • Hagane construction
  • X-Ship gearing
  • 35” line retrieval
  • 20 lb. drag force
  • Shimano Stradic CI4+3000 Spinning Reel
  • X-Ship gearing
  • Reinforced carbon material
  • Waterproof drag system
  • 6 S-ARB ball bearings
  • Shimano Stella STLC3000XGFI Spinning Reel
  • 19.8 lbs. maximum drag
  • 36.6” line retrieve
  • S-Direct drive system
  • 13 bearings
  • Shimano Syncopate 2500 FG
  • Propulsion spool lip
  • Graphite frame
  • Quickfire II system
  • Propulsion Line Management system
  • Shimano Sahara 3000 FE
  • Graphite frame, side plate, and rotor
  • Cold forged aluminum spool
  • 4 bearing system
  • Slow Oscillation system


Shimano Cardiff Baitcasting Reel is specifically designed for saltwater applications. It has a strong drag with a greater line capacity and is pretty fast for retrieval.

The reel comes with a nice clicker button, which enables it to be more efficient. The 5.2:1 ratio gives it a smooth retrieve and makes the reel dependable especially for anglers who spent most of their time in the ocean.

Daiwa Tatula-R100XS_2

One of the reasons why this tool is the most sought after it is that it is a right hand retrieve reel that gives anglers easy time during emergencies and is efficient. The reel will do everything it is designed to do and is blissful.

Main Usage

This Cardiff Baitcasting Reel comes with 5 A-RB bearings, an aluminum frame, and anti-reverse stopper. The reel performs superbly well and is quite reliable. Also, the reel comes with a diecast aluminum frame that makes it sturdy and more dependable

When it comes to the braking system, no reel out there will guarantee you a brazen performance like the Cardiff Baitcasting Reel. It comes with VBS braking system that offers anglers firm control. Also, it comes with non-disengaging level wind system, aluminum spool and side plates. This reel has been approved for saltwater use and can be used with fluorocarbon, mono and power pro lines.


Product Features

Aluminum Spool

The Cardiff Baitcasting Reel comes with an Aluminium spool that allows anglers to make longer castings. It gives them the advantage of making faster retrieves when it is required. The spool is designed to hold the line effectively and at the same time allow for smooth and distant casting.

Shimano opted for aluminum because he wanted a more rigid reel that could do what it is expected to do even when it is under immense pressure. The reel is greater in strength and is designed to eliminate the possibility of the lines getting entangled. This has helped to alleviate frustrations that anglers face with other reels, which quickly allows the lines to get entangled.

Variable Brake System (VBS)

Perhaps Shimano decided to use the variable brake system (VBS) in the Cardiff Baitcasting Reel because of the ease with which it can be adjusted and synchronized with lure weight.

Also, the brake system can easily be changed depending on the conditions and gives the angler an opportunity to control the spool.

This system automatically adjusts the braking force on the reels axle and allows for maximum weight transfer when casting. In fact, this is what prevents backlashing.


When anglers notice that the spool is not slowing down, all they need to do is to click on the button, and the ruthless tool will be back to work. In the event of backlashing, all you need to do is to turn the cast control up free the spool and allow the reel to move more slowly.

Anti-Rust Bearings

A good reel has the duty to release, store or retrieve a line depending on the anglers needs. To be able to do this, it is important that the friction between moving parts be reduced to the desired levels.


To achieve this, Shimano Cardiff Baitcasting Reel utilizes the powerful anti-rust and anticorrosive bearings made from hardened material and specially coated to enhance their performance. The bearings have an inner and an outer ring and are all designed to last longer and perform better in salt water conditions.

One Piece Diecast Aluminium Frame

Shimano Cardiff Baitcasting Reel comes with a one-piece diecast aluminum frame that gives the reel the strength it requires to do its duty. The die cast aluminum is stronger, durable and is light weighted

The frame is corrosive resistant and is a one-piece frame which increases the strength of the reel. The fact that it is light weighted enables the anglers to fish for longer hours.


Choosing a reel is always a hard decision. It becomes even more difficult for newbies.

However, this review had looked at some of the key traits you should consider before you spent your hard earned dollar. Shimano Cardiff Baitcasting Reel offers the best opportunity to both seasoned and inexperienced anglers.

It is a solid reel and good for any casting. The reel is of high quality, smooth and easier to cast. Besides, it can be used to throw finesse baits and comes with a high-speed gear that allows for a quick retrieve. This is certainly one of the reels you need to add to your stock.

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How A Spinning Reel Works And Other Things Beginners Should Know

How a spinning reel works
How a spinning reel works

Recreational fishing is slowly gaining popularity, given that this hobby has enabled many people to enjoy the benefits of this activity. Like any other recreational sport or activity, recreational fishing has given many psychological benefits to fishing enthusiasts, thereby keeping their overall well-being at optimal conditions. If you are considering getting into this activity, then you should know the basics of using the equipment you need. Knowing the basics such as how a spinning reel works, how to set up a spinning reel, and understanding different types of fishing reels can surely aid you on your first fishing trip and make it a memorable experience. You can learn all these concepts through a guide you can find online. Casting a spinning reel instructions or guides can help you with steps on how spinning reels work, which can ultimately help you enjoy your fishing trips thoroughly. With this in mind, studying things in advance can help you fish with other anglers and employ a more efficient system of catching that trophy fish with little to no trouble.

Understanding Different Types of Fishing Reels

There are many different kinds of fishing reels which can be used for fishing. These reels work differently from each other, that is, these reels work for specific types of parts, gears, and activities which will ultimately be determined by the anglers who will cast the fishing line and rod. Understanding different types of fishing reels can help you employ a better fishing system for you to cast your line with less drag with optimum efficiency. The different types of fishing reels include:

  1. Spinning Reel - this is the most popular reel of choice due to how user-friendly it is, it is easy to use and efficient at the same time.
  2. Baitcasting Reel - this reel is difficult to use, given that the spool has a tendency to turn as you cast your fishing line.
  3. Spincast Reel - it is similar to a spinning reel, but the parts and gears are enclosed, limiting the line you can cast and also limiting your accuracy
  4. Conventional Reel - similar to a baitcasting reel, a conventional reel can get difficult to use. This reel is normally used for bigger fish.

As you can see, each type of fishing reel has a different set of features which are all defined by how their parts are assembled for efficient usage. It is important to note the anatomy of fishing reels can be different from each other, but they all employ a similar principle. Understanding different types of fishing reels can enhance your performance as you determine which ones will best suit your intended activity.

How a Spinning Reel Works

Now that you have gained an understanding on the different types of fishing reels, knowing how a spinning reel works should come next. Given that a spinning reel is one of the most common and popular choices used by anglers. This type of reel has been in use in North America as early as the late 19th century, and it is considered to be one of the most efficient and easy to use fishing systems in existence. Understanding how a spinning reel works is simple; a spinning reel works by using a fixed line spool with a safeguard and roller framework (or wheel) that goes around the spool to take up and discharge the fishing line. In turn, this can enable a user to cast the rod and the line at various distances to catch smaller fish to moderately heavy bass. This is how a spinning reel works, and it is important that you learn how to set up a spinning reel for a more efficient catch.

As you learn how a spinning reel works, it is equally important to learn how to set up a spinning reel properly to ensure your fishing trip will be lined with less trouble. As you learn how to setup a spinning reel, you should make sure you follow an efficient set of instructions for casting a spinning reel after you gain some degree of understanding the different types of fishing reels so you will catch your fish with a clean sweep. Some of the steps on how to set up a spinning reel are as follows:

  1. Collect your needed tools, parts, and equipment.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the anatomy or the different parts of the equipment.
  3. Start spooling the reel.
  4. Attach the fishing line or the fishing string to the rod.
  5. Tie the knot and set up the drag knob.
  6. Cast your bait and reel the line.
  7. Enjoy Fishing!

With these steps, you can set up a spinning reel and see how a spinning reel works in no time.

Importance of Casting a Spinning Reel Instructions

As you learn how a spinning reel works and how to set one up, you should also know the proper maintenance of your equipment. As a buyer, you want to maximize the longevity of your reel while making sure it functions with maximum efficiency. In this regard, you can look for casting a spinning reel instructions which you can easily find on the internet to help you care for it. As you learn the functionalities of your spinning reel, it is equally important to learn how to work with it by looking at casting a spinning reel instructions to ensure you are maximizing the functionality of your fishing reel.

Instructions for casting a spinning reel should be easy to understand and follow while giving tips on how to take care of it. As a guide, some spinning reel instructions for equipment care and maintenance include:

  1. You should lubricate your spin wheel regularly to avoid getting the gears, or the levers stuck.
  2. You should clean your spinning reel after using it by washing it with fresh water especially if you've used it in saltwater.
  3. You should store your spinning reel in a cool, dry place to avoid it from getting rusted.

Ultimately, learning how a spinning reel works and learning how to take care of your equipment can help you maximize your performance as you go on a fishing trip.

Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel Review

Wright-McGill-Skeet Reese Spinning Reel Featured

Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel

Wright McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel 1

Rating: 4.7/5

Gear Ratio




- The front drag is precise and can easily be adjusted when reeling

- It's inexpensive


- If you don't know how to use the smooth drag, you will end up losing a lot of fish


Spinning Reels Comparison



Getting a reel that you can use to fish bass and other types of fish in that category is not a bed of roses. You need a reel that is solid and of high quality. A reel that easily brings up big fish is certainly a number one choice for many anglers. 

Wright McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel 2

This is where the Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel comes in. It is engineered to last long and serve the fishermen no matter what. The reel is capable of standing up to any rigorous test and has been tested by anglers and found to perform well. This is why the reel is commonly used by professional anglers like Skeet Reese.

Main Usage

The Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel comes loaded with features anglers look for in reels. It enjoys a 9+ bearing with a gearing ratio of 4.8.:1. The spool is made of aluminum and comes with 190 line capacity.

The reel is available in 4 popular sizes and is suitably used alongside Skeet Reese spinning rod. It offers a perfect balance and performs superbly well in all fishing conditions. The reel is made of an ultra-light aluminum body and comes with infinite anti-reverse gears.

Wright McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel 3

The reel comes with an oversized power handle crafted from aluminum alongside an aluminum spool plus handle. Also, it features an anti-twist line rod and is saltwater resistant. When you order for this reel, you will get a free protective storage bag.

Product Features

Ultra-Light, Strong Aluminum Body:

Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel comes with a strong body made of aluminum. Aluminum is, certainly, superior to graphite when it comes to the period it serves anglers. Wright and McGill chose aluminum because they wanted a reel that was lighter and inexpensive. Also, aluminum stands strong when it comes to wear and tear.

Maybe they chose aluminum because it is also quicker to mold a frame from it and aluminum does not flex as much as graphite does and is not subject to abnormal wear the way graphite does. This is why all reels that come with aluminum frame don't make noise as is in the case of graphite made frames.

Infinite Anti-Reverse:

Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel comes with the much-appreciated feature – infinite anti-reverse. This feature eliminates backslap and back play. This means that the angler has no opportunity to disengage the anti-reverse. It guarantees a successful fight especially when the angler comes across the hard fighting fish.

Note that most modern reels allow the angler to put off the anti-reverse feature because of the annoying noise that they make, which is always irritating. However, Wright & McGill utilize this feature to give anglers peace of mind when faced with hard fighting fish.

Wright McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel 4

9+1 Ball Bearing:

Having enough ball bearings is advantageous in that it reduces friction between any two moving parts and allows the reel to move freely even when it is under a severe load. 

Wright McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel 5

Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel comes with 9+1 ball bearings which make the reel smooth when dragging a load. The 9 bearings eliminate the possibility of heat which is normally created by moving parts.

It makes this reel the most appropriate tool for anglers who spent most of their time fishing. The many bearings improve the performance of the reel and make the drag smooth.

Smooth Front Drag:

The front drag is certainly smooth and easier to adjust than the rear drag. Also, it is more than consistent, and it does not require regular cleaning as it was in the case of rear drag. Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel utilizes the front drag washer which gives the reel a smooth drag and is easier to clean and oil.

The smooth front drag works exceptionally well if the angler knows how to use it. When the bass makes a run, it is important that you turn the handle backward. This way, you give the line to the fish and only start reeling again when it stops running.


The Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Spinning Reel is a strong and smooth reel that is suitable for saltwater fishing. It is a beautiful reel that is recommended for both novice and seasoned anglers.

The reel requires regular maintenance if you want it to give the desired results. The reel embraces the new front reel technology that makes it the darling of career anglers.

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How to Spool Braided Line on a Spinning Reel and Other Fishing Equipment Tips

How to spool a braided line on a spinning reel
How to spool a braided line on a spinning reel

Outdoor leisure activities have been noted to induce health benefits such as improved emotional, mental, intellectual and physical health on many people. Activities such as recreational fishing have enabled aspiring enthusiasts to take advantage of these benefits and become a better version of themselves in the long run.

pros and cons of braided fishing line

With this in mind, many fishing enthusiasts have continued to look for ways to learn more tips and tricks to enable a more efficient fishing activity using their equipment. At this rate, many have learned some tricks such as how to spool a braided line on a spinning reel, to ensure that they are getting the best out of their fishing trip.

Braid ready spinning reels may be available in the market, but in any case, where supplies are scarce, it pays to know techniques on spooling braided line on a conventional reel while learning the pros and cons of braided fishing line. Doing so can help you decide whether you should pursue with a braided line or not. Hence, you should know the pros and cons of braided fishing line used to make sure that you are best suited to utilize this item.

Pros and Cons of Braided Fishing Line

Some kinds of equipment may work well with you, but some of them simply won't and it is all a matter of preference from the angler's point of view. There are several pros and cons of braided fishing line and it is important that after you find out what these are, you can assess yourself if whether this is the best design for you or not. Some pros of using braided fishing line include:

  1. It has a smaller diameter compared with monofilament.
  2. It is highly durable, given that it is composed of several strands of the line material.
  3. Because of its durability, a braided fishing line can be used to catch heavier fish. It can also be used for deeper waters such as bodies of saltwater where both depth and fish size are major deterrents of successful fishing.

While the pros mentioned above are considered highly beneficial to a fishing performance, there is also another side of the story. Braided lines also have cons and these include:

  1. It still has the tendency to tie up unnecessarily and form knots when not spooled properly onto the reel.
  2. It can be expensive, although some stores do offer them at good prices.
  3. One of the common troubles with braided lines is getting injured. Some may be abrasive and can cut through your skin.

Also, keep in mind that you should use fishing knots for braided line to prevent knot slippage. 

If you are trying to decide between using a braided fishing line or not, always take note of the pros and cons of the braided fishing line before you make a decision to make sure that you will encounter less trouble as you begin to scout for a catch in the water.

How to Spool Braided Line on a Spinning Reel

As you learn the advantages and disadvantages of using a braided line, it also pays to know how to spool braided line on a spinning reel. These pros and cons can ultimately guide you in employing safe techniques on how to spool a braided line on a spinning reel properly. You can look for a video on youtube which demonstrates the proper way of spooling a braided line on a spinning reel. In this regard, these are some ways on how to spool a braided line on a spinning reel properly:

  1. Study the anatomy of your fishing gear. This can help you determine where to attach one part and where to attach the other.
  2. Gather all your needed materials and equipment.
  3. Use a set of gloves if you need to especially if you think that the braided line is abrasive to the skin.
  4. Using an arbor knot, tie your line to the arbor to load it effectively. Tying this can effectively anchor your line onto your spinning reel.
  5. Put the roll of your line and place the line over and under your fingers in one hand, alternately. Clench your fist into light grips to induce a bit of pressure on the line. Start spooling.
  6. Check the line for any twists, given that some lines have large tendencies of getting twisted.

These are only some of the steps you can follow on how to spool a braided line on a spinning reel effectively.

spooling braided line on a conventional reel

Braid Ready Spinning Reels

By now, you may have already learned how to spool braided line on a spinning reel, but did you know that there are also braid ready spinning reels which can accommodate these braided lines readily? These braid ready spinning reels can wind your line with little to no trouble as braid ready spinning reels were designed in a way which can prevent a line from getting twists due to unneeded twisting. The key to getting a braid ready spinning reel is to look for forums and reviews on recommended products or braid ready spinning reels to ensure that you are getting the best product around.

As you begin your journey into the world of recreational fishing, there are a few things that you must remember.

First, you need to familiarize the concepts and principles underlying behind how the equipment operates. Doing this can help you assess which types of gears work best for you and which ones don't, depending on your intended activity level.

Next, learn how to set-up your gear. Check videos and other guides on how to spool your line on a reel and make sure that you adjust accordingly with your own set of conditions.

Lastly, you can go and check for other types of equipment such as braid ready spinning reels in any case that you have chosen a certain type of fishing line but you can't fit it properly with your current reel.

Always remember that it pays to know the basics of any activity you want to get yourself involved in, so you better do some research to enhance your fishing experience.