Who Makes Johnny Morris Reels?

If you buy via a link on this page, we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.Learn more

If you have been angling for many years, I’m sure you have heard Johnny Morris at least once. And it is not a surprise. These are among the best reels you can find on the market today. But who makes Johnny Morris reels?

Bass Pro Shop is the company behind this legendary name. And it couldn’t be otherwise, as you will see shortly. 

Although these reels are among the best in the market, they also come with a premium price tag. In other words, you have to be willing to pay top dollar to lay your hands on one of these.

Today we will take some time to discuss some curiosities regarding Johnny Morris reels.

Why the Name Johnny Morris?

Johnny Morris was born in 1948 in Springfield, MO. The home of the legendary Bass Pro Headquarters. Johnny started selling fishing lures in his dad’s liquor store in the ’60s. Bass Pro officially opened in 1972, in Springfield, MO Johnny is married and has four children. He also now owns Cabela’s and Ranger Bass Boats.

The incredible success of Johnny Morris’s company drove the directors to create a fishing reel line to honor the legacy of such a remarkable man. Thus, creating Johnny Morris reels. 

The rest, as people say, is history. 

Are Johnny Morris Reels Expensive?

Sadly, yes. Johnny Morris reels are expensive. They retail between 80 to 200 bucks depending on the model. But you are getting a lot of quality for the money. However, if you are starting your fishing career, these might be a little overkill, mainly because you don’t know if you are going to keep the hobby. 

Related Article: The 10 Best Spinning Reels for Bass

That’s why we highly recommend getting other options instead. Once you have tuned your fishing skills, you can focus on getting better tackle. Why not a Johnny Morris signature reel? 

Are Johnny Morris Reels Worth It?

Now that you know that the cheapest Johnny Morris reel you can get has an 80 bucks price tag, you might be wondering, is it worth it? Sadly, the answer is not as simple as a yes or no. It depends on your needs and how often you plan on using the reel.

Let’s say, for example, that you only fish two or three times per year. It does not make much sense to expend 200 bucks on a single reel when you can get something for around 50. 

However, things are different if you fish often. In this context, it is better to get something quality that will get the job done without breaking a sweat. Johnny Morris reels are just that. 

What Type of Reels Are Johnny Morris Reels?

The world is divided between spinning and baitcasting reels. Thankfully, you can get a Johnny Morris signature reel of either type. 

As happens with most reel brands, the baitcasting models are commonly more expensive. But it is not a surprise since these are used by people for whom angling is much more than a simple hobby. 

There are currently seven different Johnny Morris reels, four of which are baitcasting models. 

Are Johnny Morris Reels Smooth?

I have had the pleasure of using one of the three available spinning models. The experience was great. The reel was smooth, with no noticeable jerks while retrieving the line. 

The drag is smooth as well. It is not as powerful as other reels. But it gets the job done and done well, which is the relevant thing. Yeah, you might need to rely more on your skills rather than on the drag. But this is something that the average angler can handle. 

Do Bass Pro Shops Sell Other Reels?

Yes. Bass Pro Shops sells all kinds of fishing and hunting gear. Some pieces are from Bass Pro Shops’ own creation, like the Johnny Morris reels. But they also sell equipment from other brands like Abu Garcia Pflueger. 

Bass Pro Shops also have other signature reels apart from the Johnny Morris line. They are cheaper options ideal for those anglers looking to start their fishing journey. 

What Size are Johnny Morris Reels?

There are several sizes available for both spinning and baitcasting models. You can go as big as 4000, which is suitable for most freshwater gamefish. In contrast, the smaller models, mainly the 2000 and 10 options, are great for smaller prey.

Which size is better for you depends on how much drag and line capacity you need. These two also depend on the fish you are after. 

Are Johnny Morris Reels Good for Saltwater?

Although nothing prevents you from using Johnny Morris reels on saltwater, we recommend against it. It will get damaged eventually. So, if you don’t want to pay another 200 bucks, better keep your precious reel away from salt water. 

Besides, Johnny Morris’s signature reels are not big enough to tackle saltwater gamefish. As a result, it won’t be the right tool to go after these big fishes. On the other hand, Bass Pro Shops currently does not have any saltwater reels available. So it makes no sense to use them in such an environment. 

Do Johnny Morris Reels Require Maintenance? 

Actually, any reel required maintenance regardless of the brand. Maybe because these are premium reels, you don’t need to clean them as often as with others. Nevertheless, you still need to do it to keep it running as smoothly as the first day. Plus, it is the best way to prolong the life expectancy of the reel. 

What are Johnny Morris Reels Made of?

It depends on the specific model. For example, The Carbonlite 2.0 features an aluminum spool and carbon composite frame. It also packs several stainless steel bearings and a machined aluminum handle. 

In contrast, the 50th-anniversary model boasts a diecast aluminum frame and side plates with a double anodized aluminum spool. The ball bearings are stainless steel as well. 

The quality of the materials is the common point between both models. There are no plastic pieces, and each component is corrosion and erosion-resistant. That’s why the Johnny Morris reels are so expensive. But that’s why they are a long-lasting investment as well. 

Can you Change the Handle on a Johnny Morris Reel?

Yes and no. You can if you have a spinning model. You can check out our article on how to do it here

Sadly, if you own a baitcasting model, you won’t be able to change the handle. The reason is because of the drag location. Therefore, you need to pay attention to the model you are getting. Typically, the retrieve is shown in the reel’s description.

If the information is not available, look at the model number. Left-handed Johnny Morris baitcasting reels have an L in the model number. 

Are Johnny Morris Reels Only Suitable for Bass?

Despite the company behind Johnny Morris fishing reels being Bass Pro Shops, these signature models can be used to target any freshwater fish. Not only bass

In other words, you can catch trout, cod, bluegill, walleye, and even pike. In short, any fish that lurks in freshwater can be targeted with a Johnny Morris reel. 

Johnny Morris Fishing Reels: A Bass Pro Shops Creation 

Johnny Morris is a well-known name in the fishing community. He was the founder of the established Bass Pro Shops tackle store. The company is responsible for selling all sorts of fishing and hunting equipment, including the Johnny Morris signature line of fishing reels.  

These are top-tier fishing reels that offer quality, reliable performance, and long-lasting operation. Consequently, these are investments that will pay themselves in time. 

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *