Top 10 Best Spinning Reels for Bass Fishing in 2021: Complete Reviews & Buying Guide

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As an angler, one of the basic knowledge you should know is about the spinning reel!

Spinning reels are probably the most popular gears for all anglers from all walks.

This fishing gear adds a lot to your catching success if you are fishing small to medium-sized fish, especially bass. Personally, I don’t go out in the wild without bringing my best spinning reels for bass fishing.

I find it very helpful to have it with me all the time when I am fishing!

To guide you in picking the right brand, I have curated 10 of the best spinning reels for bass fishing.

Our Reviews: 10 Best Spinning Reels For Bass

PENN Battle III Spinning Fishing Reel

Features: 

  • Weight (Ounces): 7.8 to 38.8
  • IPT: 22 to 43
  • Sizes: 1000 to 10000
  • Gear ratio: 4.2, 4.7, 5.2, 5.6, 6.2, and 7.0:1
  • Body: Metal
  • Spool: Braid-ready aluminum
  • Maximum drag (Pounds): 9 to 40
  • 5+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearings

Now that we are talking about third generations. Let’s take some time to review Battle III by PENN. Beware, though. It is not a spinning reel for those with a tight budget. 

With a price well above 100 bucks, the Battle III packs everything you would expect. It has a metal body and roto, which are also saltwater-proof. Plus, the CNC gears, drivers, and pinions utilize every pound of pressure you put into the handle. 

The Battle III keeps the stock rubber gasket of the previous generation. Hence, no need for adding monofilament backing when using braid fishing lines. The spool also comes with rings that tell you how much line is left. Plus, the handle features the same knob design, which has proved itself many times before. 

Although it only has 5+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearings, the operation is buttery smooth. And, the HT-100 carbon washers offer up to 40 pounds of maximum drag. Naturally, it depends on the model. Still, it is plenty of stopping power for any freshwater game fish. 

Pros: 

  • Sturdy body with no noticeable flex
  • Saltwater proof 
  • Wide variety of options 
  • Large handle for its size

Cons: 

  • Heavy
  • Not smooth for a 100+ reel

Abu Garcia Revo SX

Features:

  • Weight (Ounces): 7.2 to 9.2
  • IPT: 30 to 40
  • Sizes: 10 to 40
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1
  • Body: Carbon 
  • Spool: Braid-ready aluminum
  • Maximum drag (Pounds)10 to 17
  • 8+1 stainless steel ball bearings 

The Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel could also be another choice for you. It consists of nine stainless steel ball bearings plus one roller bearing which provides smooth operation. Its C6 carbon side plates deliver a significant weight reduction without sacrificing its durability and strength. For an extended gear life, this fishing reel has a Duragear brass gear construction.

The reel has been precision engineered to deliver performance and power like no other. Its improved DuraCluth design and its upgraded Infini brake system offer smooth engagement for smooth and effortless casting performance. To further improve its performance, this reel is topped off with a Power Stack Carbon Matrix Drag System.

Pros:

  • It is a smooth reel.
  • It could work well in saltwater environments.
  • The reel has plenty of drag.
  • It is durable to use.

Cons:

  • The reel has a short life cycle.
  • It tends to make an awful sound.

Pflueger President Spinning Reel

Features:

  • Weight (Ounces): 6.9, 8.8, and 9
  • IPT: 26 to 31
  • Sizes: 20.2 to 31.6
  • Gear ratio: 5.2:1
  • Body: Aluminum
  • Spool: Aluminum
  • Maximum drag (Pounds): 6 to 14
  • 9+1 stainless steel ball bearings

I would also recommend the Pflueger President Spinning Reel. It features a graphite body and rotor, offering you a lightweight reel construction. It also has a braid-ready spool so that you could tie the braid directly to the spool. Its ten stainless steel bearing system is corrosion-resistant, making it an excellent choice for various fishing situations.

Its sealed drag system is also great, with sealed drag washers that are always smooth and lubricated. Its slow oscillation gearing improves line lay and minimizes line twists. With its smooth performance and great value, you will have a first-class performance when fishing for bass. This reel will surely impress you over and over again.

Pros:

  • It offers a smooth casting capacity.
  • The reel feels good in the hand.
  • It has a very lightweight feel.
  • It has a slow retrieve rate for light baits.

Cons:

  • It is not easy to operate.
  • It is not recommended for saltwater use.

Daiwa Fuego CT Spinning Reel

Features:

  • Weight (Ounces): 6.7 to 8.6
  • IPT: 35.5 to 32.5
  • Sizes: 1000 to 4000
  • Gear ratio:5.2, 5.3, and 6.2:1
  • Body: Carbon 
  • Spool: Braid-ready aluminum
  • Maximum drag (Pounds): 11 to 26.4
  • 6+1 stainless steel ball bearings 

The Daiwa Fuego CT Spinning Reels is equipped with features that you will surely love. It may be small in size, but it definitely is big on performance. This reel is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that users on a budget could use. It is built using a palm-sized aluminum frame that employs Magforce-Z. It offers adjustable cast control and excellent backlash management.

In addition to what we have already mentioned, this particular spinning reel has a tournament drag system, delivering smooth performance and increased cranking power. With its contoured handle, you will feel comfortable for an all-day fishing experience. Everything you need is here on this small reel.

Pros:

  • It is smooth and lightweight when used.
  • There is no movement when setting the hook.
  • It works for all levels of fishing.
  • The reel feels great when used for topwater.

Cons:

  • The brake is quite sensitive.
  • It has breakage issues.

Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel

Features: 

  • Weight (Ounces): 8.5 to 13.2
  • IPT: 25.2 to 30.7
  • Sizes: 2000 to 5000
  • Gear ratio: 5.2:1
  • Body: Carbon fiber
  • Spool: Braid-ready aluminum
  • Maximum drag (Pounds): 13.2 to 19.8
  • 10+1 stainless steel ball bearings

The Piscifun Flame is ideal for those anglers looking for an affordable spinning reel. It might not be the best option for hardcore anglers, though. 

You must understand that, for less than 50 bucks, you can’t ask for more. You get a carbon body. The fact that it is hollow frightens us a little. But it’s been handling things quite well.

The braid-ready aluminum spool has a decent line capacity and is wide enough for an even line distribution. On the other hand, the 9+1 stainless steel ball bearings keep everything running fairly smooth for the price. However, it is not even near what you find on more expensive spinning reels. 

The carbon drag washers yield up to 19.8 pounds of stopping power. It is more than ok for most freshwater gamefish. But you will have some trouble using the Flame on saltwater. Besides, the construction won’t handle it.  

Pros: 

  • Braid-ready spool 
  • Lightweight body 
  • Wide spool 

Cons: 

  • It produces loud noises under heavy load
  • It is not a great option for long casts 

Cadence CS5 Spinning Reel

Features:

  • Weight (Ounces): 6.9, 8.8, and 9
  • IPT: 25 to 38
  • Sizes: 1000 to 4000
  • Gear ratio: 5.2 and 6.2:1
  • Body: Carbon
  • Spool: Aluminum
  • Maximum drag (Pounds): 39 to 36
  • 8+1 stainless steel ball bearings

Completing our list is the Cadence Spinning Reel. This is a high-performance reel that has a high concentration meta carbon construction. It comes with a machined aluminum spool that is robust. Its ergonomic EVA handle offers comfort while not adding additional weight.

Its distinctive torsion control body design improves the reel’s smoothness and stability. The reel has 8+1 corrosion-resistant stainless steel bearings with low torque. Its super high gear ratio gives its ultra-smooth performance.

You do not have to worry about its performance. Its superior carbon drag system provides a remarkable stopping power so that you could handle large fish such as bass.

Pros:

  • It is a lightweight spinning reel.
  • It allows for smooth casting.
  • The spinning reel has great value.
  • It has a solid construction.

Cons:

  • The reel makes a loud grinding noise.
  • It is not suitable for saltwater fishing.
  • It does not have the right drag.

Quantum Energy pt spinning reel

Features:

  • Weight (Ounces): 6.9, 8.8, and 9
  • IPT: 26 to 31
  • Sizes: 15, 25, and 30
  • Gear ratio: 5.2 and 5.3:1
  • Body: Aluminum
  • Spool: Braid-ready aluminum
  • Maximum drag (Pounds): 7 to 18
  • 8+1 stainless steel ball bearings 

Quantum’s reliable and attractive spinning reel will give you the confidence and flair you need for any bass technique. With eleven smooth ball bearings and a powerful CSC drag system, you can have faith in the reel’s ability to perform under tension.

The nickel-titanium bail wire, aluminum frame, and skeletonized spool cut down on weight while providing exceptional strength.

To provide even more value for your dollar, Quantum provides you with a free braid-ready spare spool. A comfortable EVA foam knob will allow your hands to stay comfortable while reeling all day long.

The Quantum Energy reel performs as great as it looks, so you can confidently fish any bass technique while looking like a seasoned pro.

Pros: 

  • Interchangeable handle
  • Braid-ready spool 
  • Smooth operation

Cons: 

  • Low line capacity
  • Mediocre drag 

KastKing Sharky III

Features: 

  • Weight (Ounces): 7.4 to 10.6
  • IPT: 27.8 to 33.8
  • Sizes: 1000 to 5000
  • Gear ratio: 5.2:1
  • Body: Carbon fiber
  • Spool: Braid-ready aluminum
  • Maximum drag (Pounds): 33 to 39.5
  • 10+1 stainless steel ball bearings 

Starting the third generation of the Sharky line, KastKing comes up with a balanced spinning reel that performs well under various scenarios. The Sharky III features a black and red accents exterior. But what’s underneath is what matters.

It packs a reinforced carbon fiber body and rotor. According to KastKing, it is strong enough to cope with some saltwater gamefish. The braid-ready aluminum spool already comes with backing. Thus, no need to add mono when using braid fishing lines. 

The aluminum handle has an adequate size. It is reversible. Plus, the manganese-brass alloy gear and stainless steel main shaft reduce play. And, the 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings keep friction to its lowest. 

Finally, the carbon drag washers yield up to 39.5 pounds of fish stopping power. Additionally, you can wrap up to 220 yards of line depending on the model and fishing line. 

Pros: 

  • Lightweight 
  • Saltwater-proof 
  • Decent maximum drag
  • Sealed interior

Cons: 

  • It is tricky to set the drag 
  • Sizes are smaller than the competition.
  • There is some noticeable flex in the stern area under heavy load. 

Lew’s Team Custom Pro Speed Spinning Reel

Features: 

  • Weight (Ounces): 7.2 to 10.1
  • IPT: 25 to 37
  • Sizes: 1000 to 4000
  • Gear ratio: 5.2 and 6.2:1
  • Body: Metal
  • Spool: Braid-ready aluminum
  • Maximum drag (Pounds): 8 to 24
  • 11+1 stainless steel ball bearings

Lew’s has long made spinning reels of quality. The Custom Pro is no exception. 

It has an aluminum body and side plates. The rotor has a drain flush that helps with drying. Thus, it is less likely to get rusted, especially when fishing on saltwater. 

The C60 carbon rotor cuts the weight down. And the double-anodized aluminum spool needs no backing. Hence, you can make the most out of every yard, especially because the Custom Pro has a mediocre line capacity. 

Internally, you have a stainless steel main shaft, aluminum pinion, and 12 stainless steel ball bearings. Everything moves as smoothly as you can imagine. You will notice it as soon as you turn the aluminum handle. 

The drag is our only complaint. With 24 pounds tops, it is just too low for some applications. 

Pros: 

  • Rust-proof body 
  • Fast spinning reel
  • Very light

Cons: 

  • The handle binds from time to time 
  • Low line capacity 

Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel

Features: 

  • Weight (Ounces): 8.5 to 30
  • IPT: 28.3 to 53.3
  • Sizes: 1500 to 8000
  • Gear ratio: 5.3, 5.6, and 5.7:1
  • Body: Black anodized aluminum
  • Spool: Braid-ready aluminum
  • Maximum drag (Pounds): 4.4 to 33
  • 6+1 stainless steel ball bearings
  • Air rotor

Closing this list, we find the Daiwa BG saltwater series. It packs a lot of premium features to please the most demanding anglers. 

First, the anodized aluminum housing provides a stable surface for the reel internals. While also protecting from water and debris. The anodized coating won’t come off. Thus, offering many years of protection. 

The carbon drag washers offer up to 33 pounds of fish stopping power. Since it is waterproof, neither water nor sand will temper with the drag system. Hence, you can expect a steady performance even on heavy loads. The only catch here is that the drag dial is not that precise. 

The braid-ready aluminum spool holds up to 590 yards of line, depending on the line and models. Additionally, you can enjoy a fast IPT regardless of the model you purchase. In short, the Daiwa BG is a superb option for most salt and freshwater gamefish. Plus, you have a wide variety of options ranging from a 1500 spinning reel for lightweight fishing to a bulky 8000 version. 

A set of 6+1 ball bearings, oversized gears, air rotor, and machined aluminum handle makes for the rest of Daiwa BG saltwater spinning reel. 

Pros: 

  • Superb line capacity 
  • Large and solid handle 
  • Sealed drag system 
  • A smooth and steady retrieve 

Cons: 

  • It sits on the heavier side 
  • The area where the handle joins the body wears rapidly 
  • We wish the drag dial to be more precise 

What is a spinning reel, and why use it?

Before we dive deep further into the article, it is proper to get to know more about spinning reels. A spinning reel is one of the most popular types of reel. It features a spool that is parallel to the main axis of the fishing rod. Unlike other fishing reels, spinning reels have a design that hangs beneath the rod when you use it.

What makes it similar to other fishing reels, though, is that its spool rotates as you turn the handle and when reeling in line. I believe that spinning reels are useful when you use lighter baits. It also works well with light lures and lines.

I personally use spinning reels because they are easy to operate. First, I flip the bail into the up position. This unspools the line, so this is where I pull the line with the finger before preparing to cast.

Then, I release it at the end of the casting motion. I typically adjust the drag of the spinning reel using the dial on the front of the spool. Then, I close the bail, then reel it back in.

With its easy mechanism, this is an excellent reel which beginners could use. Amateur anglers who do not have enough expertise in fishing may want to use this to jumpstart their fishing career.

So with the best spinning reels for bass fishing, you will have no problem using them. Another reason why you have to use the spinning reel is that it works best with small baits. It also has excellent line capacity and versatility.

These features would help you switch lines out easier while you are still on the water.

What to look for in the best spinning reels for bass fishing?

Construction

When looking for the best spinning reels for bass fishing, you should always consider their construction. The construction of the reel is a crucial factor since it would dictate its durability and its strength. You should make sure that it could withstand vibrations from long boat rides, harsh temperatures, and constant banging.

To withstand these variables, I recommend you use a metal body. Using a spinning reel with a metal aluminum body would help you cope with the flex of the rod. Aluminum also tends to provide a tighter fit. It is also a lot stronger than other options. Another material that you could choose is graphite. Graphite is lighter than aluminum, and it provides additional protection from corrosion. However, it is not as sturdy. Finally, a carbon composite material provides the best of aluminum and graphite.

One thing to have in mind is that while graphite is corrosion-resistant out of the box, aluminum is not. Look for anodized aluminum spinning reels for better performance in such circumstances. 

Spool

As the body of the spinning reel, you should also take a look at the construction of the spool. Spool construction refers to how it is made. It could be from aluminum, graphite, or carbon. Aluminum is stronger than the others while graphite is lighter. Typically, most spinning reels use aluminum spools, for it copes with abrasion better. However, make double sure that it has an anodized coating before casting your rod on saltwater. 

Another handy piece of advice is to get a spinning reel with a braid-ready spool. This way, you don’t need to add a monofilament backing, saving some space on the spool.

Drag System

The drag system of the spinning reel is another vital factor to look into. When picking your right tool, consider the reel with an effective drag system that could perform in varied situations. The drag that I am referring to works by applying counter pressure on the line once you have a fish hooked to your line. With an effective drag system, you will be able to use smooth pressure throughout the fight with the bass fish. You will need at least 12 pounds of drag pressure if you want to catch bass.

There are two common drag systems: Carbon and felt drag washers. The first offers a smoother and consistent drag, while the latter is slightly cheaper. However, the advantage of using a jerk-less drag outweighs the higher price you pay for it. 

A good practice is to get a spinning reel with a sealed drag system. This way, neither water nor sand will mess up with the washers, thus, prolonging their durability. 

The drag selection also plays an important role. Most spinning reels come with a front drag dial. Others offer front and read independent controls. 

Sensitivity

I would also suggest looking into the sensitivity of the spinning reel. Sensitivity refers to the manner of detecting the movements from the bass fish in the water. It may be from biting your lure or by merely touching it. A higher sensitivity means that you will feel the bite as soon as the fish does it. When you have a spinning reel that is not sensitive enough, there is a higher chance that you would not feel the vibrations from underwater. I like mine to be sensitive so that I know that I have a good catch ahead of me.

Line Capacity

When you go bass fishing, you find yourself using long casts and runs. And when fishes snag your lines, the latter might end up breaking. Because of this, you should ensure that the line capacity of your spinning reel (specifically the spool in the reel) would be efficient. You do not want to let go of too many bass fishes because your line ends up getting snagged or broken time and again. Whether you use a monofilament or a braided line, you must ensure that the capacity would work for you and not against you.

Check the reel body. There you usually find an engraving showing the line capacity for different test strengths. If not, check the official website or box. The thing to know here is that thicker lines take more space, meaning fewer yards. Get a larger spinning reel if you are planning on using such lines. 

Size

In picking the best spinning reels for bass fishing, size does matter. This is because the weight of the reel lets you control your whole rod. When you get a bigger reel, some of the key features might become more effective. However, you end up compromising other features such as speed and power. You want to make sure that you have the right balance between functionality and strength. Taking a large reel would deter your experience. Taking a tiny reel might even cause you more trouble.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio is another relevant feature in any fishing reel. It comes as an X:1 rating, where X is a number. It shows how many times the spool spins (X) per handle crank. Although it looks like a fickle thing, it has its impact on performance. For instance, a high gear ratio means that the spinning reel is faster. Therefore, the faster you can retrieve the line. 

However, speed comes at the expense of power. Fast spinning reels are usually weaker. Hence, you have less torque to muscle the fish. In contrast, low gear ratios yield more power per crank. But you retrieve the line at a slower rate. Most spinning reels for bass sit anywhere between 5.3 to 6:1 ratio. 

Inches Per Turn (IPT)

Shortly known as IPT, inches per turn shows how many inches of line you retrieve per turn. It is quite obvious, yes. But it has nothing to do with gear ratio, for it depends on the spool size. Large-diameter spools tend to have a higher IPT. However, they also carry fewer yards of line. 

Handle Size

Although most spinning reels have handles of the same size, it is still relevant to talk about it. The handle is the connection between you and the spinning reel. Thus, it has to be strong, comfortable, and it should move evenly. 

Size also matters. For example, large handles grant more torque. But they increase the weight. So, it is some sort of balance. 

When to use the best spinning reels for bass fishing?

In all honesty, you could already use the best spinning reels when you want to apply the different techniques which would be appropriate in catching bass. There is no reason to stop trying out a spinning reel when you want to fish bass since the said reel could work well with different kinds of fish.

When bass fishing, you could try out multiple techniques such as shaky head, drop shot, and split shot. You could even use a variety of lures. Though I highly recommend using light lures. When you use the best spinning reel with the right technique, you are bound to have an excellent bass catch. So go on, no one is stopping you.

Can I Use Spinning Reels In Saltwater? 

Naturally, you can use spinning reels for saltwater fishing. However, make sure that it can handle the conditions without corroding in the long run. Look for anodized aluminum and graphite bodies. 

Spinning reels with shielded ball bearings, sealed interior, and water-tight drag systems are the way to go. Either way, make sure to rinse the spinning reel with plenty of freshwaters. A corrosion-resistant construction with waterproof internals only helps that much.

What Size of Spinning Reel Should I Get? 

It depends on the fish you are after. For example, a 500 to 1500 spinning reel is more than enough for small fish. Use between 1500 to 4000 from medium-sized fish. We recommend anything between 2000 and 3000 for bass fishing. 

Keep in mind that your spinning rod should be compatible with your reel. So, check the rod beforehand.

Does Any Reel Fit Any Rod?

Sadly no. Reels aren’t universal. However, you can use the same spinning reels on several spinning rods. But you can’t use it on a casting pole. In addition, some reels might be just too big for a blank. So, do as we said before. Check the spinning pole to see whether or not it is compatible with the reel.  

Best Spinning Reel: PENN Battle III

The best spinning reel is also among the most expensive. However, it is an investment that will pay itself in time: The Battle III.

The third generation of the Battleline has kept all the good features of its ancestor and spiced things with new ones. It offers the highest maximum drag of any other spinning reel here. Thus, you can use it to land some massive saltwater monster. Plus, the sealed interior and corrosion-resistant built promise many years of operations. Yes, the PENN Battle III could be a little smoother. But the power handle, CNC gears, and shaft make pulling fish as easy as it sounds. It cast great as well, and the braid-ready spool keeps the line well distributed. Get your Battle III today!

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Hi! I’m Steven!

I am an avid life long fisherman, having caught over 25,000 fish over the years. My life-long passion for fishing began when my father taught me how to fish at the age of ten. I started luremefish.com to share my extensive knowledge of all things fishing.

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