Best Saltwater Spinning Reels

Saltwater Spinning Reels - Reviews & Guides For 2024

Our Top Saltwater Spinning Reels

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Saltwater Spinning Reel buying guide

Imagine a classic struggle between the fish and your rod. The worst that can happen in this situation is that the line breaks-off, and you are unable to reel in the bigger fish. We cannot let this happen.

Saltwater Spinning Reels are a vital part of the rod. Especially if you are a newbie in the fishing world, then you should opt for this option to ease in the activity and catch several fish quickly. The lightweight product is rust-resistant and returns the value of money invested in it.

Why should you read a buying guide before selecting a spinning reel?

Selecting an appropriate reel for your rod involves a whole lot of research about the product. As a beginner, the lack of knowledge and proper experience can land you in purchasing a poor-quality product.

The buying guide offers in-depth detail of all the characteristics of the spinning reel. With this, you can reduce the unnecessary hassle to gather information on different elements and can directly go through every bit and select the right product for yourself.

Something about saltwater spinning reels. How is it different from stand reels?

If you are an experienced angler, you must know the importance of fishing reels for an enjoyable fishing game. It is equally important as the fishing rod and baits.

The targeted fish size and the fishing environment have a great impact on your fishing reel, so you must choose it, keeping all these factors in mind.

When you catch fish, the reel starts spinning, and thus it gets the name. For beginners, a spinning reel is the best option for fishing because you can use this reel very easily. Also, they are relatively affordable. However, you may not find more accuracy than flying fishing reels at the time of casting.

Trolling reels are used in offshore fishing where the spinning reels are appropriate for any type of fish. They help you to catch both large and small species effectively.

Saltwater VS Freshwater spinning reels

Catching fish in saltwater is completely different from freshwater fishing, so its requirements are. When you are going to catch saltwater fish, you must consider the size of the fish before choosing the reel. You should look for a saltwater reel that is able to deal with both smaller and larger size fish. The reel you are choosing must be appropriate for casting the required lures.

The saltwater spinning reels are made of durable and corrosion-resistant materials so that they can work properly in saltwater. The seals prevent sands and saltwater from harming the inner parts. On the other hand, the freshwater spinning reels are not heavy duty and tough, so they do not perform well in saltwater.

The spinning reels specifically made for saltwater fishing are larger and have a powerful drag system that helps them to reel-in larger and faster species of fish without much effort. Freshwater spinning reels are good for fishes which are not too large.

A saltwater spinning reel can work compatible with any type of fishing environment without any hassles. But freshwater spinning reels are not suitable for saltwater fishing. Usually, freshwater spinning reels are designed with metals that are not corrosion-resistant, so they easily get damaged in the saltwater.

Moreover, a freshwater spinning reel does not support you like its saltwater counterparts when it comes to fighting larger species. So, it will be better to go for a saltwater spinning reel instead of the freshwater reels for offshore fishing.

Things to deem about while selecting an appropriate Saltwater spinning reels

Quality material

Everyone wants the spinning reels to be strong and durable. Especially the saltwater spinning reels should be tougher because they have to withstand saltwater all the time.

Therefore, you must choose the material with attention to make sure your saltwater spinning reel performs the best without any negative impact. Your comfort does also matter while choosing the materials.

The reel should be made of corrosion-resistant material that will be strong and sturdy as well. Commonly, heavy-duty aluminum or graphite is used as construction materials.

However, you may find some reels which are designed using ceramic and carbon fibers, standard quality stainless steel, etc.

If you want a lightweight reel, you can look for machined aluminum. It also has a longer lifespan, so you can use your saltwater spinning reel for years without any replacement. Spinning reels made out of aluminum are also very easy to use and maintain.

Graphite is another mostly used material for these reels that is renowned for its lightweight. They are also strong enough to deal with heavy pressure in an effective way. Graphite is not flexible like other materials, so they are perfect for fighting larger and stronger fish.


In general, saltwater spinning reels are lightweight, and they are not as heavy as the standard reels. Salt-water has more density than freshwater, so the reels should be light enough for the quicker retrieve. Because of the lighter weight, saltwater reels offer you maximum accuracy to cast in long distances without any difficulties.

Sometimes, it takes long hours for casting and retrieving. So having a lightweight reel will not strain your hands, and you can catch fish without any discomfort. Heavy reels may cause pain in joints, hands, and arms when it comes to fish for a longer period of time.

You should look for a reel which is lightweight but strong. Graphite made reels are lighter, but aluminum construction provides better strength and durability. You should try to make a balance when choosing the spinning reels.

Drag system

The drag system of the spinning reel is effective to put up with the pressure created by the larger and stronger species of ocean fish. It is responsible for tolerating the strain before the fishing rod breaks.

Generally, saltwater fish come with a larger size than other fishes which means the saltwater spinning reels should be designed with a powerful drag system that will be able to fight larger ocean game fish and help you to tire them easily.

For adults, drag pressure between 15 to 17 pounds is considered as an ideal drag for different types of ocean fishes. Too much or too little drag may ruin your fishing experience because either you will break the line or you can not reel perfectly.

If you are looking for better quality, you can go for the front-mounted drag, which also has higher durability. You should get an adjustable drag system equipped with proper ventilation facilities.

Smooth bearings

The main purpose of using ball bearings in the saltwater spinning reels is to reduce the friction of the internal moving parts. Ball bearings are mainly made up of stainless steel that is helpful to protect the moving parts from wear and tear.

The smoothness of your spinning reel depends on the number of bearings. If the reel is covered with more ball bearings, it will perform smoothly and help you to cast smaller baits effectively.

However, a higher number of bearings definitely increase the price of the reel. When you go for fewer bearings, it will be pocket-friendly, but you will have to compromise with the smoothness. With a lower ball bearing count, it will be difficult to catch a large and strong fish.

Ball bearings are essential for the flexibility of the reel. So, if you are after a big fish, you must opt for a higher ball bearing count (not less than five) to ensure a better performance.

Anti-reverse switch

You should check the anti-reverse switch of the saltwater reel to put the hooks perfectly. Most spinning reels are equipped with the anti-reverse switch, which makes sure that the handle will not go back while you are reeling a large lure.

It prevents the line from getting slack. Also, a good quality anti-reverse handle to ensure that the fish can not pull the line into the sea. With an ergonomic anti-reverse handle, you can have a stronger and tighter grip that will allow you to control the reel comfortably.

Line capacity

If you are after a bigger fish, you will need more line to struggle with the fish. Therefore, you should not overlook the line capacity of your saltwater spinning reel.

The line capacity of the reel depends on the weight of the line and spool size. Line capacity is measured as 255/14, which shows the line length/line weight capacity.

Determine the type and size to find out the right line capacity of your reel. It will be too disappointing to go out of your line during the casting. You can look for a spool with marking to know about the remaining lines.

Handle and cranks

If you are not allowed to handle the line spool properly, it will not be comfortable for you to catch fish in saltwater. Hence, you must choose the handle and cranks of the saltwater spinning reels carefully. It is recommended to get a large and bulky handle with a powerful crank so that you can draw your line as soon as the fish grabs your bait.

Needless to mention, the shaky knobs and weak cranks will not serve your purpose flawlessly. They will not support you the best while fighting bigger species.


It will be wise to buy a saltwater spinning reel having anti-corrosion features. Usually, reels are made up of graphite, aluminum highly resistant to corrosion. Also, you should go for stainless steel ball bearings and carbon fiber crafted drug systems to ensure the highest protection of your saltwater reel.

Make sure that the internal parts have corrosion and abrasions resistance features, which will protect them from saltwater. You should pay attention to the coatings and seals to ensure that the sand and saltwater can not damage the bears, drag system, etc.

However, going for a non-sealed reel will make it easier to clean and maintain manually.


If you want a smooth retrieve, you must pick up a quality reel. It will help you to fix the hook easily. Also, make sure it stays onto the lining spool evenly.

Gear ratio plays a big role in the smooth retrieve. Try to go for a 6:1 ratio that will work effectively for smaller fish, faster baits, etc. However, a lower gear ratio, such as 4:1 provides more power for fighting bigger fish effortlessly.

The bearing count is equally important for the retrieve. A higher number of ball bearings ensure smoother retrieval so you can catch bigger fish without any jerk.

Speed VS Power

The gear ratio of the saltwater spinning reels determines their power. It will be best to choose metal gear that can bear the pressure required in saltwater fishing. The number of times a spool rotates to complete a turn of the crank is denoted by the gear ratio.

Always keep it in mind that a lower gear ratio is ideal for more cranking power of the handle, but it will need more turn. So, in case you want a smooth and fast retrieve, you should select a higher gear ratio.

Usually, saltwater reels come up with a double-speed gear selector that lets you balance between a quick take up and decent cranking power. So, keep all these factors in mind when you are about to buy your saltwater spinning reel.


When the lines come out from the spool, bail helps to control the spools. Bail is like a metal arm that can control the spool in a significant way. When the bail is open, it allows the line to come out of the pool. When it is closed, it prevents the line from coming out of the spool.

Generally, the anglers keep the bail open when casting the lure and then crank the handle to close the bail. You must close the bail as soon as possible after casting a lure.

Moreover, a ball bearing helps the bail arm to move freely even with the load.

Braid ready

Before choosing your saltwater spinning reel, make sure the reel you have chosen is compatible with braid. Braided lines are essential for offshore fishing because of their strength, sensitivity, and longer casting distance.

But the downside of the braided line is it may plunge on the spool, and you can not reel in effortlessly without having a monofilament backing. Some saltwater reels can include braided lines directly.

The line gets in touch with the spool near the rubber gasket that ensures it does not need any backing.


The spool is used to store the fishing line. As mentioned above, both the castability and line capacity of your spinning reel is determined by the configuration and size of the spool. You should not overlook the factor like line capacity, braided line, and bail to choose the right pool of your reel.

Comfort and convenience

Comfort is one of the essential factors that you must consider while buying your saltwater spinning reel. It will be unreasonable to get a reel that is not handy. So, you should search for a saltwater reel that is well-balanced and thus convenient enough to have a big catch.

On this note, you also check the left or right-handed problems in advance. If you are going to cast for a longer period of time, it will be beneficial for you. You will find a few modern designs of the spinning reels that are available with flexible handles for comfortable use.

Rod and reel matching

Many people do not give importance to this feature, but it is suggested to check if the rod and reel are matching properly or not. There is no need to adjust the rod frequently, so what you should do is to consider the reels. There is some specific number attached to the saltwater spinning reels, which refers to the capacity of the spool.

Always go for a bigger number as it will have a higher capacity. Larger spooling capacity means the size will be big, which will be helpful to target larger species of fish in saltwater fishing. Also, the drag force of the real increases with the size of the reel.

Therefore, it is recommended to find out the best saltwater reel that can ease out the task of offshore fishing, and you can have a large catch hassle-free.

Gear ratio

The gear of your spinning reel works exactly like the gear of a multi-speed bicycle. Each turn of the handle helps to maximize the power of the cycle. A low gear ratio is easier to revolve but needs a more turn to retrieve a line than a higher gear ratio.

Gear ratio is important to have smoother retrieval. For example, a 4:1 ratio implies four turns of the spool for one complete rotation of the handle. Similarly, the 6:1 ratio implies a quicker retrieval which means more speed.

A lower gear ratio is appropriate for smaller fish, swimming baits, etc. But a higher gear ratio retrieves faster speed.

Steps to use a saltwater spinning reel

You should be aware of all the basic parts of a saltwater spinning reel before starting to use it. There are several types of castings techniques followed by professional anglers, including side-arm, overhand, roll cast, and more.

You should choose your casting strategy according to your convenience. For the novice anglers, it will be useful to learn about the basics of all techniques to pick up the right one. You should go through the casting and reeling motions of the saltwater spinning reels before use.

Typically, the casting methods include—

  1. Attach the reel to your fishing rod. You should get the best reel and rod match for your target species.
  2. Make sure the line is above the bail. String your rod with your index finger. Check the line size, whether it is going well with the reel.
  3. Next, you can open the bail to make sure the line can come out of the pool freely.
  4. Set the baits after fixing the drag knob.
  5. Cast your bait, and you will see the line does not leave the spool anymore inside the water.

You will need a little more practice and experience to use the saltwater spinning reel effectively.


  1. Why are spinning reels so important for beginners?

Spinning reels solve the ultimate problem of saltwater fishing without any hassle. Its high accuracy and easy to use features make it a go-to for all the beginners in fishing. Not only this, but they also help you to cast to a long distance in a jiffy. Thus, it is ideal for all the beginners who are unaware of the core terminology of fishing and are just starting out!

  1. Can spinning reels be used to catch big fishes too?

No, normally spinning reels are not meant for big fishes. However, there are high-quality ultimate saltwater spinning reels that are quite robust to withstand the weight of the big fishes such as Tuna, etc. They are equipped with an excellent drag system that allows them to catch large fishes with equal ease.

  1. As a beginner, should I invest in an inexpensive saltwater spinning reel?

No, we recommend that you always keep a long-term vision and spend on a food-quality spinning reel only. It is because if you are a newcomer, you will tend to make mistakes and easily damage your spinning reel. Thus, a supreme quality spinning reel will be highly durable and help in making your fishing expedition a huge success.

  1. How can I prevent the line from getting tangled?

We believe if you take relevant precautions, your line will never get tangled. Initially, make sure that you use the apt size of the line as per your reel. Next, you must ensure that you never reel backward to avoid any hassle. Also, take care of the excess line over your spool. With this, you are all set to go!

Final Verdict

Having a rod without a proper reel is like bringing a knife in a gunfight. Saltwater spinning reels provide a simple and effective solution for the anglers to reel in the bigger fish smoothly.

In this buying guide, we have listed out all the vital points to deem about while selecting the right product for yourself. Go through it and make an informed decision and select an ultimate reel for your rod. / - © Copyright 2020