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If you’re a fan of going after the big oceanic games you know that you’ll need a magnificently strong reel to be able to bring the fight directly to the fish you’re chasing without fear of it breaking. Contrary to popular opinion there’s a host of spinning reels that will serve you well in this field and bring in the big ones.
For powerful fish, you’re going to want a high drag and possibly a lower gear ratio than you would normally opt for to ensure you can really haul on your line to bring in the larger fish you’re going after. High line capacity is also something important to keep in mind, you’ll need it when the fish you hooked into decides to make a sudden dive despite your best efforts to keep it from doing so, and while you won’t have any problems with the reels we’re about to present to you it’s also vital to make sure that the reel is strong for obvious reasons.
If you keep all of these qualities in mind, you’ll be able to find the reel that will bring in the fish of your dreams out on the open water. Without further ado, though, let us take a look at five of the absolute best reels on the market for heavy-duty, oceanic fishing.
Top 5 Deep Sea Spinning Reels
Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel SSV10500
- Watertight spinning reel performs reliably in...
- Durable construction with full metal body,...
- Sealed HT-100 Slammer drag system provides robust,...
Max Drag: 40lbs
Monofilament Line Capacity: 415yds/30lbs to 255yds/50lbs
Gear Ratio: 4.2:1
Bearing Count: 6
This massive, oversized reel from Penn is an absolute winner for deep sea fishing. It’s tough enough to handle almost anything that comes your way and holds a simply amazing amount of line. In spite of its low gear ratio, the large spool also boasts an amazing 40” of retrieval per crank of the handle, making this a great choice.
The heavy drag runs smoothly and with six shielded bearings, you’ll have an easier time hauling in fish. The body of the reel is made of solid, anodized metal and with proper maintenance, you’ll be using this reel for years of heavy angling action.
Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel Z-80S
- Dfd: precision dual force drag System
- Precision click drag adjustment for more precise...
- Multi-disc, carbonite and felt drag washers for...
Max Drag: 44lbs
Monofilament Line Capacity: 420yds/15lbs to 260yds/25lbs
Gear Ratio: 5.4:1
Bearing Count: 6+1
Another fantastic selection is this oversized variant of the Okuma Azores series. Okuma makes high-tech, high-quality products and they’re often available at great prices. Let’s face it, an oversized, heavy-duty reel might be in a much higher price point than you like, but you’ll find that this one can fit into even the most frugal fisherman’s budget.
It boasts the drag and line capacity you need, and with its high bearing count and oversized, smooth drag you’ll be sure to be able to give all but the biggest ocean dwellers a swift run for their money. If you’re looking to get into offshore fishing and don’t have hundreds of dollars just lying around, this is probably exactly what you need.
Shimano Saragosa SW Spinning Reel SRG25000SW
- Tackle the toughest species and conditions with...
- Equipped with a Propulsion Line Management System...
- X-Ship technology provides improved gear...
Max Drag: 44lbs
Monofilament Line Capacity: 570yds/20lbs to 320yds/30lbs
Gear Ratio: 4.4:1
Bearing Count: 6+1
This offering from Shimano is an absolutely enormous reel that meets the high-quality standards we’ve come to expect from Shimano. As always these reels come in a bit more expensive, but the Saragosa 25000SW is worth every penny of its price. Think of it as an investment in getting you some of the largest and heaviest fighting fish that the oceans of the world have to offer you.
With absolutely amazing drag, low gearing, and high line capacity, the Shimano Saragosa is a clean fit for almost any open-water situation. The reel’s hefty price comes with a quality assurance that you won’t have to deal with replacing your reel every year, and you may just have found the perfect match for your angling with this amazing reel.
Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel 8000LL
- Full metal body and side plate keep precise gear...
- Well-balanced rotor gives smooth retrieves
- 4+1 shielded stainless steel ball Bearings
Max Drag: 25lbs
Monofilament Line Capacity: 340yds/20lbs to 230yds/30lbs
Gear Ratio: 5.3:1
Bearing Count: 5
This is a bargain-priced reel for open water, combined with Penn’s assurance of pragmatic quality. This isn’t the beefiest, strongest reel on this list but for a cheap price, you’ll be able to handle most of the things that the ocean throws at you.
Its low gearing and high line capacity will make this a great purpose, and if you’re just getting into offshore fishing the Penn Fierce II 8000LL might be just the thing. With a bit of care, it will last for years, and you’ll be able to get your feet wet in open marine fishing for a fraction of the cost of some of the most expensive reels available in the marketplace.
Max Drag: 44lbs
Monofilament Line Capacity: 370yds/40lbs to 250yds/60lbs
Gear Ratio: 4.4:1
Bearing Count: 14
The Shimano Stella series offers some of the greatest quality reels for any application and the 30000 SWB is a massive, oversized version of these iconic reels. Boasting superior line capacity, lightweight, and a frankly absurd number of high-quality bearings, this high-tech reel is simply superior to most of the competition.
The Stella series is reserved for the most serious of fishermen, however, at a high price point which reflects the amazing amount of technology and solid design which goes into these reels. If you’re a serious marine fisherman and looking to catch prize-winning fish, however, this is exactly the reel you’ll want to make the catches that you thought only occur in your dreams.
Best Deep Sea Spinning Reels: Everything You Need to Know
I know. Choosing the right spinning reel is not easy. Even after reading a shortlist of the best models available on the market. But don’t worry. You are in the right place as we are about to share what you should know before picking the models that best suit your needs.
You must pay close attention to the drag system on the reel you want to buy. For one side, it has to be strong to help you fight against the fish. On the other hand, it has to be smooth enough to ensure an even operation. This way, the line is less likely to snap.
Typically, most reels come with either felt or carbon drag washers. The latter is a better option altogether as it is smoother and more durable.
But to the point that everyone knows what to know. How much drag do I need for deep-sea fishing?
Well, 30 pounds should be more than enough for the average gamefish. You can go higher if you want. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t overdo it. Abusing the drug might result in a broken line.
A bit of advice. You should set the drag around 1/3 of the line test strength.
Line Capacity and Reel Size
The bigger the reel, the more line it can hold. The amount of lines you need depends on where you will be fishing and the target. In this case, deep-sea fishing requires lots of yards wrapped around the spool.
I use a reel size 7000. It houses enough drag and line capacity for my fishing adventures in the ocean. But you can go as low as 5000 if you want to save in costs and weight.
The gear ratio shows how many times the spool spins per handle crank. You just need to look at the reel body to know the ratio.
The takeaway here is to know that the higher the ratio, the faster you will reel the line in. But the less power it will have. In other words, a strong fish will put the internal gears under too much strain.
I suggest getting anything between 5 and 6.5:1. These options are suitable for working both fast and slow lures.
It comes without saying that deep-sea spinning reels should have a corrosion-resistant body. This means looking for anodized aluminum, carbon fiber, or stainless steel.
Ideally, you want the internals to be sealed tightly. This way, neither sand nor water will find its way inside. Shielded ball bearings are another nice-to-have feature in a deep-sea spinning reel. These bearings, as the name suggests, have an intrusion shield. This means that the reel will keep running smoothly even after getting soaked with salty water.
Now that we are talking about ball bearings, let’s clarify something. It is a common misconception that more bearings mean better performance. This is not always the case, as the quality of the piece plays a role as well.
There is no way around it. The Penn Spinfisher V is our top pick for today. There are six different models to choose from. I size 7500 as it gives me a good balance between line capacity, weight, and drag. Besides, it is cheaper than the bigger models, which are a little overkill for the average angler.
However, if your pocket can’t spare 140 bucks, then going for the PENN Fierce II & III is the way to go. Not convinced? Don’t worry. Now you have the necessary information to pick the model that best suits your needs.