From beginners to experts, having the best spinning reel for your level, and budget, will make the difference between a nightmare, and a good day out!
Below we set out our top picks for spinning reels.
Read next:Check out our review of the best Fish finder, Kayak GPS, and Sit On Top Kayak
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This is a great spinning reel for those fishermen new to the sport, or those who are looking to upgrade their gear.
The anodised aluminium spool is long lasting and hard wearing. The sealed drag system is one of its best features and will prevent corrosion.
The 5 bearing system and techno balanced rotor make this unit retraction very smooth.
The anodized and stainless steel construction makes this reel durable and long lasting. This reel can stand up to the riggers of sea fishing as its seals will protect the unit from corrosion
The rotor system is 15% lighter than other reels of its size while still maintaining good balance.
The Daiwa BG features an oversized digger system this reduces the stress on the mechanism and provides a smoother action.
This reel is able to cope with inshore or boat fishing. Its size and weight make this reel suitable for kayak fishing too.
Shimano is a name synonymous with quality and this reel is no exception. It offers a great retrieval rate of 78.74 cm (31 in) to 104.17cm (41 in)
Many users have commented on the improvement in balance making this model elegant and a pleasure to use.
The Stradio FX features a Hagane Body giving this unit a strong durability. Despite this though if you wish to use this reel while fishing in saltwater, you will need to maintain it carefully.
There is a steel ball which gives a satisfying snap to indicate its transition. The combination of both felt and steel washers provide quality drag.
The Abu Garcia Revo SX comprises of a one piece, carbon body with aluminum mechanism. This means the unit is not only light but strong and durable too.
With a combination of the everlast bail and rocket lip system. This enables the line management of the unit to be one of its best features.
A graphite rotor completes this unit, making it extra light whilst still keeping its strength
This is a great entry level spinning real. It has an aluminum shaft that’s 30% lighter than other shafts.
It has a sealed unit but is not totally water tight. If you use this unit to do salt water fishing you need to make especially sure to clean it or the unit will corrode.
A carbon fibre handle and rubber cork finishes off the sleek design
When choosing a spinning reel, it's best to remember that not all reels are created equal.
Different reels are suited to different types of fishing, trout, bass, sea dwelling species etc.
Using a small reel suited for trout fishing will not withstand the rigours or sea fishing. The type of fishing you want to do will determine the types of reels you can choose from.
The gears on a reel are similar to that of a bicycle. Choosing different gears will alter the rate at which the ball rotates around the spool.
Smaller gear ratios (Less than 6) are best for larger or more stubborn fish. Larger gear ratios are better for smaller types.
No I am not talking about you reel being dressed up in sparkly clothes and singing “It’s raining fish”. Drag is the amount of “give” a fish can receive when it pulls against your line.
The reason for this is to protect your reel, line and rod from sharp shocks that can cause damage or even break the line, or the rod itself.
To better illustrate this point, think of your line being connected to a static poll. If you pull consistently against the line, the line will hold However if you jerk the line suddenly and violently, there is a good chance it will snap.
Setting a reels drag will prevent this from happening.
Different reel sizes are suited for different gauges of fishing lines. The thinner the line, the smaller the reel size should be.
The quality of a reels bearings can make a significant difference to your fishing experience. Poor quality bearings will make the line retraction stiff, jerky and unpleasant.
The poorer the quality of the bearings, the more susceptible to corrosion the reel will be.
Hey, I'm Brad - the founder and editor of Watercraft Watch. My love for boating is what prompted me to start WatercraftWatch.com – helping people find the right equipment and supplies so they can enjoy their time on the water. I hope you find the articles on the site useful, and share in my love for boating.