• Best spinning reels under $175. This group of reels are the next level compared to the reels under $100. You will notice lightweight reels silky smooth drag systems. Pflueger Supreme XT. Pflueger improved upon the Supreme with the Supreme XT by shaving nearly another half ounce an already lightweight reel.
  • The Sharky III spinning reel is an excellent fishing gear that provides excellent value for your money. The Sharky 3 with an ultralight spinning rod makes a reliable and cheap.

A survey was recently given to dozens of elite professional bass fishermen. The following list is in the order of how they responded when asked: “what is the most important characteristic to look for in choosing a spinning reel for bass fishing”.

1. Drag- the first choice by the anglers was the drag’s performance and smoothness to help avoid break-offs. This makes sense since most bass fishermen using spinning tackle are using light line.

2. Weight/Size – the second most important item is that the reel should be light and comfortable. A small to medium sized reel in the 25/2500 size was the most popular size. A lighter reel will help reduce fatigue when fishing all day but make sure you pair the reel with the correct sized rod.

Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel: View On Amazon. This reel is one of the best spinning reels in the market that works better in saltwater. This reel has an HT-100 drag system that helps the reel to make drag smoothly and nicely. It has a fully metal-body that ensures durability.

3.Wider Spool- the third characteristic was a wider spool that reduces line twists and improves casting distance. Line twist can be the bane of spinning reel users. Monofilament line has a “memory” which makes it susceptible to line twist. Even braided and fluorocarbon lines can get a twist from a spinning reel so the wider spool will help reduce this.

4. Overall Quality- the third item the professional anglers chose was the reel needed to be durable.

5. Gear Ratio – based on the survey, best gear ratio for bass fishing with a spinning reel is 6.0:1-6.9:1 range. Traditionally spinning reels come in far fewer ranges of gear ratios than baitcasting reels. In recent years a few reel manufacturers have expanded their range of gear ratios.

We chose the top spinning reels by paying attention to the traits from the survey, especially the drag, weight, wide spool and gear ratio. Using these traits as a guide, we looked at thousands of reviews, recommendations, price points, and our own experiences to put together the following list of reels. You can read more specific information about each reel at the end of this article, you can also click on thlink to get the most current price.

*All information below is based on a size 2500 (25) reel unless otherwise noted

ReelDrag (Max Lbs.)Weight (ounces)Gear Ratio
Abu Garcia Revo Ike
*3000 (30)
Abu Garcia Revo Rocket
*3000 (30)
Abu Garcia Revo S
*3000 (30)
Abu Garcia REVO X
*3000 (30)
11 8.36.2:1
Daiwa BG
Daiwa Tatula LT226.26.2:1
Okuma Helios SX *3000 (30)137.15.0:1
Pflueger Patriarch 55.35.2:1
Pflueger President87.55.2:1
Pflueger Supreme 86.65.2:1
Pflueger Supreme XT86.05.2:1
Quantum Energy PT198.35.2:1
Quantum Smoke S3 PTNA86.01:1
Shimano Stradic CI4+206.76.0:1
Shimano Ultegra208.56.0:1

Before we get into the detailed information about the reels we have chosen, let’s explore why one would choose to use a spinning rod and reel and what to look for in choosing a spinning reel. You can click on the reel links to see images and the most current and up to date pricing.

How to buy a fishing reel?

Most people really don’t know what to look for when purchasing a spinning reel. The following information will help guide you when choosing a spinning reel.

Spinning Reel Sizes

Model size numbers – There are so many sizes when it comes to spinning reels and because of this it can often be a little difficult to decide what size to purchase.

1000 (10), 2000 (20), 2500 (25), 3000, (30) etc. – The larger the number the larger the reel. Most bass fishing techniques will work best with a 2500 (25), 3000 (30) or 3500 (35) size reel. The survey the bass professionals took chose 2500 (25) as their most common size.

Remember, bass fishermen usually use spinning tackle for light finesse lures that a baitcasting reel would have difficulty casting. This is why you see many of the smallmouth fishermen in the Great Lakes for example mainly using spinning reels with a very lightweight line.

Spinning Reel Size: (2500 or 25) This is the number one choice for most bass fishing techniques.

Best budget spinning reel

Common Applications: Finesse techniques like Ned Rig, Neko Rig, and Wacky Worm.

Suggested mono: 5-8lb
Suggested Braid: 4-10lb

Spinning Reel Size: (3000 or 30) This is the size that would be a good choice for most bass fishing techniques and probably the best choice for most weekend fishermen.

Best Lightweight Spinning Reel For The Money

Common Applications: Drop Shot, Wacky Worm and Shaky Head.

Suggested mono: 6-10lb
Suggested Braid: 8-15lb

Spinning Reel Size: (35/350/3500) This size is a little big for most bass techniques but sometimes is used because it usually has a higher gear ratio.

Common Applications: Drop Shot, Shakey Head and Tube Jig, Jerkbaits.

Suggested mono: 6-10lb
Suggested Braid: 15-20lb

Drag System – The quality of the drag system is one of the most important features in a spinning reel because you are usually using light line and really have to play the fish before you land it. All drag systems basically work the same way by tightening a knob that puts pressure on a stack of washers. In the case of the drag system, you nearly always get what you pay for.

Frame Material/Total Weight – Most reel frames are made of plastic, aluminum, carbon, or magnesium. Plastic and aluminum are the most common materials. Carbon and magnesium are found on higher end reels for their low weights and excellent rigidity. Stay away from any plastic framed reels.

Bearings – The bearings are what make the handle, gears, and spool move smoothly together. Generally speaking, the more bearings the smoother the reel will be but that is not always the case.

Anti-Reverse – This feature prevents your reel handle from unintentionally unwinding. When a reel has anti-reverse, it’s usually controlled by a little black lever or switch towards the butt of the reel. Most freshwater reels will have an anti-reverse, and most people will never even switch if off. Some anglers like to switch anti-reverse off., instead of doing something called back reeling when fighting a big fish.

When to use a spinning rod while bass fishing

When considering what type of rod to choose two main things need to be considered. 1.) Are you fishing heavy cover? 2.) Are you fishing a finesse technique?

Heavy Cover

Fishing for bass in heavy cover involves using a heavy line to cast a heavy lure and to haul the bass out of the cover. A spinning rod and reel set up is not designed for this kind of use, instead, a baitcasting rod and reel setup would be preferred.

Finesse techniques

Finesse techniques involve using light line with lightweight baits which requires a spinning rod and reel setup to accurately cast and retrieve the bait.

Situations that call for a spinning rod and reel

  • Some bodies of water have little to no heavy cover for the bass to hide in so they are typically going to spend their lives away from the shoreline following break lines and schools of baitfish.
  • Smallmouth bass are usually found in clear water and are known for moving over rocky bottom lakes. This clear water demands using thin, hard to see line sometimes as light as 4-6 pound test.
  • Techniques such as drop shot, wacky worm, shaky head, Ned Rig, Neko Rig, hair jig are all examples of situations when a spinning rod and reel set up would be the best choice.
  • Fishing a small pond that does not have large bass. The spinning rod and reel set up would make this experience more enjoyable when fighting the small bass.
  • A young angler who is just learning how to fish.

If you are on a budget but still want a really good reel the following spinning reels are all great buys for the price.

Abu Garcia Revo X

Abu Garcia has been making quality reels since 1941 and the REVO line of spinning reels was introduced in 2010. The REVO X is an above average reel for under $100. The REVO X features the compact insert molded IM-C6 carbon body design which is lightweight and durable. The REVO X uses a Rocket Line Management System™ which improves casting efficiency with braid, fluorocarbon and monofilament fishing lines. The 6.2:1 gear ratio is slightly faster than most other brands in this price point for faster line pick up on the retrieve. The “braid ready” spool means there is no fear of braid slippage on the spool. This is a solid reel capable of being used for many bass fishing techniques at a reasonable price.

Key Features:

6 stainless steel HPCR™ bearings + 1 roller bearing
Carbon Matrix™ hybrid drag system
IM-C6 body design
Lightweight graphite rotor
Rocket Line Management System™
Rocket spool lip design™
Large PVC knobs
Machined aluminum braid ready spool
Stainless steel main shaft and components
Everlast™ bail system
Slow Oscillation

Daiwa BG

Daiwa BG spinning reel series range from ultralight to heavy big game saltwater models. Daiwa is so keen on the technology that goes into the BG series that they made models for all types of fishing. As far as the bass fishing industry, the BG offers a drive gear that is the largest ever put into a Daiwa product. This large drive gear increases gear tooth contact points which provide for smoother and more powerful torque. Another key feature of the BG series is the ABS Spool which has a reverse taper which means you will have little to no “dead” line buried deep in the spool core. The spool design allows for reduced line memory in the line.

Key Features:

Black Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing (“Hard Bodyz” Body & Side Cover)
Over-sized Digigear (Digigear™ System)
Solid Screw-In Handle
Air Rotor
Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool
Braided Line Ready Spool
Waterproof Drag System
Carbon ATD
Machined Aluminum Screw In Handle
Manual Return Bail (4500 and Larger)
Infinite Anti-Reverse System (4000 and Smaller)
Infinite Dual Anti-Reverse System (4500 and Larger)

Daiwa Fuego LT

The Daiwa Fuego LT redefines Daiwa’s commitment to the concept of a lighter reel made with tougher materials. The innovative Magleasled main shaft delivers silky smooth operation. If you are looking for an amazingly smooth, lightweight reel yet durable reel at an affordable price the Fuego LT may be the reel for you.

Key Features:

Carbon Light Material Housing – LT Concept
Machined Aluminum Screw-In Handle
7 Bearing System
Available in sizes from 1000 to 4000
5.2 : 1 and 6.2:1 gear ratios

Okuma Helios SX

Okuma’s Helios SX features a Progressive Drag which allows you to customize settings to specific conditions using the 1-K woven carbon fiber drag knob. Okuma’s C-40X long strand carbon fiber technology uses a blended graphite polymer. This creates a 25% lighter yet 50% stronger reel.

Key Features:

– Lightweight C-40X carbon frame and side plates
– C-40X Cyclonic Flow Rotor for corrosion resistance
– TCA: Torsion Control Armor reduces twisting
– 8HPB + 1RB corrosion resistant stainless steel bearings
– Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing
– Precision machine cut brass pinion gear
– ALG: Precision AlumiLite alloy main gear and oscillating gears
– Rigid, machined aluminum, anodized handle
– Lightweight, EVA handle knobs for comfort
– Precision Elliptical Gearing system
– Machined aluminum, 2-tone anodized spool
– Heavy duty, solid aluminum bail wire
– RESII: Computer balanced Rotor Equalizing System
– LCS line control spool

Pflueger President

The Pflueger President is a no-frills workhorse of a reel at an extremely low price. Pflueger is known for their lightweight reels and although this reel is not one of their lightest, it is extremely light for this price point. There is nothing fancy about this reel but it is a dependable workhorse that should last for a long time.

Key Features:

10 Bearing System
Graphite Body and Rotor
Braid Ready Spool
Sealed Drag System
Slow Oscillation Gearing

Pflueger Supreme

The Pflueger Supreme weighs in almost a full once lighter that the President model of the same size model. The braid ready spool is a nice feature usually found only in higher level reels. Just like the President, this is a reel that is engineered to be very durable and with withstand the test of time.

Key Features:

9 Bearing System
Magnesium Body and Rotor
Braid Ready Spool
Stainless Steel/Oil Felt Drag
Aluminum Handle

This group of reels are the next level compared to the reels under $100. You will notice lightweight reels silky smooth drag systems.

Pflueger Supreme XT

Pflueger improved upon the Supreme with the Supreme XT by shaving nearly another half ounce an already lightweight reel. The Supreme XT is a step up with improved performance, less weight but still durable like all the other Pflueger reels. This reel is way underpriced for the features you get.

Key Features:


-Magnesium body and rotor
-Carbon inlay drag knob design
-Carbon fiber handle
-Eva handle knob
-Braid ready spool
-Sealed carbon fiber drag system
-Saltwater ready

Abu Garcia Revo S

Abu Garcia has been making quality reels since 1941 and the REVO line of spinning reels was introduced in 2010. The REVO S has a unique new design with improved smoothness, durability and eye-catching white design. The Carbon Matrix™ hybrid drag system is designed to help you fight a fish stress-free from line breakage. This is a very nice reel that feels as good as it performs.

Key Features:

7 stainless steel HPCR™ bearings + 1 roller bearing
Carbon Matrix™ hybrid drag system
IM-C6™ body design
Lightweight graphite rotor
Rocket line management™ system
Rocket spool lip design™
Large PVC knob
Machined aluminum braid ready spool
Stainless steel main shaft and components
Everlast™ bail system
Slow Oscillation

Pflueger Patriarch

The Pflueger Patriarch is the lightest weight, an amazing 5.30 ounces, of all the reels we have chosen as the best spinning reels for the money. The Pflueger tradition of making top quality reels since 1881 continues with the high-end Patriarch . This reel has a sealed carbon drag system which stays smooth during a hard fighting battle with a bass.

Key Features:

10 Bearing System
XCR Ball Bearings
Magnesium Body and Rotor
Machined aluminum main gear
Slow Oscillation

Shimano Ultegra

The new Ultegra by Shimano comes with the HAGANE Gear which delivers incredible durability. On the outset, Shimano was looking to design a reel with a focus on smoothness and efficiency and they sure delivered with the Ultegra. The Aero Wrap Oscillation improves casting distance by layering the line in a crisscross pattern to reduce line to line friction. This well-designed reel would be a great addition to ones finesse bass fishing arsenal.

Quantum Energy PT

The Quantum Energy PT is one rugged yet smooth reel. It features a nickel-titanium bail wire that is guaranteed for life. There is also a machined aluminum frame and gear cover and a hybrid Razor Rotor™ that reduces weight. Quantum’s exclusive CSC™ drag system uses stainless steel, carbon fiber, and ceramic washers for a buttery smooth and reliable drag. The Energy PT has a double anodized MaxCast™ II aluminum spool that reduces friction and it comes with an extra braid ready spool.

Key Features:

11 Bearings (10 + Clutch) NiTi™ indestructible bail system

Double-anodized MaxCast™II spool
Continuous Anti-Reverse™ clutch
Lightweight aluminum body and side plate

Aluminum main shaft
Hybrid Razor Rotor design
CSC drag system
Ni-Ti™ indestructible bail system
Double-anodized MaxCast II spool
Spare braid spool

Quantum Smoke S3 PT

The new Smoke S3 Series is one of the latest reel designs from Quantum. Quantum uses an innovative uni-body construction which ensures the gears and other key components are kept in precise alignment. The rotor is manufactured from a special lightweight C4LF polymer material that contains a matrix of carbon fiber strands. Unlike other carbon fiber materials, the C4LF carbon fibers are longer creating a much stiffer design so the rotor won’t flex under heavy drag loads. This is really an outstanding reel.

Key Features:

PT Bearings
Dura-Lok Clutch
Titanium Bail
Super Smooth Oscillation
SCR Alloy
Saltguard Protection
Reel Engine Design
Razor Rotor 2.0 Design
AS PT Gear Design
PT Anti-Corrosion Bearings
Maxcast 2.0
Hot Sauce Lubrication
Foot Forward Design
CSC 2.0 Drag System
C4LF Carbon Fiber

3Yr PT Protection Plan
Line Management System 2.0

This group of spinning reels are unbelievable. If you have never used a high-end spinning reel you are in for a real treat. Sure, these cost a few more dollars than all the other reels but if you are serious about your fishing these reels will not disappoint.

Abu Garcia REVO IKE

Designed by BASS Elite Pro Mike Iaconelli, the REVO IKE was created to stand up to the type of fishing that Ike demands. Iaconelli wanted to create a reel that included power, comfort, speed and action that can stand up to tough day to day tournament fishing. “All of the Abu Garcia Ike Series Reels also feature ‘ike approved’ new concept reel handle design. The handle itself is made of super strong, but lightweight carbon fiber. The EVA foam round knobs are custom designed with an outer flared lip that locks your fingers onto the knob, ensuring a better grip, surer hook sets, and a steadier retrieve.” 2003 Bassmaster Classic Champion, Mike Iaconelli

Key Features:

9 stainless steel HPCR™ bearings + 1 roller bearing
Integrated Drop Shot Keeper
AMGearing™ system
Carbon Matrix™ drag system
IM-C6™ body design
C6 carbon rotor
Rocket line management™ system
Rocket Spool Lip Design™
K-Clutch™ anti reverse
Round EVA knob

Abu Garcia Revo Rocket

As with all Abu Garcia REVO reels, the REVO Rocket comes with all the features that the others have but with speed in mind. The REVO Rocket has a 7.0:1 gear ratio which allows the angler to pick up and amazing 40” of line with every turn of the flat EVA handle. This reel also comes with 10 bearings, AMGearing system and COG Computer optimized gear design combine forces to provide precision-machined gears in one of the most efficient gear systems ever created which ensures buttery smooth operation. Yes, this reel costs more than the average reel but this is no average reel.

Key Features:

9 stainless steel HPCR™ bearings + 1 roller bearing
AMGearing system™
Computer optimized gear design
Rocket Gear Ratio
Rocket line management™ system
Rocket spool lip design™
Carbon Matrix™ drag system
C6 carbon rotor
IM-C6™ body design
Compact bent carbon handle
K-Clutch™ anti reverse

Flat EVA knob
Machined aluminum braid ready spool
Aircraft grade aluminum main shaft
Titanium main shaft (35 size only)
Everlast™ bail system
Slow Oscillation

Daiwa Tatula LT

Best Spinning Reels Of 2020

The Daiwa’s Tatula LT is our top pick of all the reels in the article. This reel is one of the lightest reels on the market yet the Zaion Body is composed of a high density carbon strain material that is stronger than conventional material. We like the fact that the Tatula LT comes with a faster gear ratio than most other reels. Another key feature that makes this reel our top choice is the digitally Machined Aluminum Alloy Digigear which is smooth and flawless delivering the power of the handle directly to the rotor with no play. Word of caution: If you buy this spinning reel you may never want to use your other reels again.

Key Features:

Best Light Spinning Reel For The Money Market

ZAION LT Housing
Machined Aluminum Alloy DIGIGEAR
7 Bearing System (1 CRBB+5BB+1BB)
Gear Ratio – 6.2 : 1
Sized from 1000 series to 4000 series

Shimano Stradic Ci4+

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is an extremely high-end spinning reel that looks as good as it works. Shimano engineers packed this reel with HAGANE gearing, G Free Body, Ci4+, X SHIP, Core Protect and a Magnumlite Rotor which allows for a super light feel when the handle is cranked. This improved model is lighter, stronger and smoother than ever before.

Key Features:

Best Spinning Reel For The Money 2016

-Hagane Gearing
-Magnumlite Rotor
-X- Ship
-G Free Body
-Titanium Bail


Best Light Spinning Reel For The Money Reviews

We have chosen top quality spinning reels at each price point in this article. If you would like to research spinning rods to go with the reel you can read this article which looks at top quality spinning rods at each price point.