Best Saltwater Spinning Reels In 2021
Spinning reels are preferable among anglers, novice, or professional since they are so easy to use. With the perfect spinning reel, your fishing experience can be utterly pleasant. But since there are so many options out there, it can be difficult to filter out which one would suit you best. Each of your fishing trips can help you create happy memories if you have one of the best saltwater spinning reels in your gear.
You don’t have to stress out about picking a spinning reel since we intend to smoothen things for you as much as possible. We put together a guide below that would help you learn everything you need to before choosing the best spinning reel. Then you can put all your learning from the guide to use and go through our selected list of the best saltwater spinning reels.
Best Saltwater Spinning reels
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KastKing Sharky III
Penn Slammer III
best saltwater Spinning Reels
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1. Penn Slammer III Saltwater Spinning Reel
The first entry on the list is the Penn Slammer III spinning reel. This is one of the best saltwater spinning reels that you can possibly get your hands on. The reel comes with a full-metal construction that makes it suitable for some heavy fishing. The rotor and side plate complement the durable built. The reel has a sealed body and spool that ensures no water can get into the gearbox.
The product is equipped with CNC tech, which obviously gives the spinning reel its much-deserved efficiency and smoothness. For the bearings, you will find 7 main bearings and 1 additional one for enhanced operation. These bearings are also constructed of stainless steel. The rate of retrieval of this spinning reel is approximately 102 cm, while the gear ratio is around 6.2:1.
When it comes to determining the best saltwater spinning reels on the market, the quality and design of said reel can play a huge role. Thanks to the sealed bearings, the drag system remains dry. Likewise, this amazing product has the design of a sealed bearing, with the drag system is perfectly tucked away. The Slammer III spinning reel uses the Dura-Drag material to ensure the reel delivers satisfactory performance. The updated Slammer drag system works well with the Dura-Drag.
Everything, starting from the external body of the product to its rotor and even side plates are made of steel.
- IPX6 sealed body and spool.
- Strong and very durable Dura Drag system.
- The bearings are also made of stainless steel, which makes them durable.
- CNC gearing is incorporated into the mix.
- Rotor and side plate made from metal
- The knob on the reel tends to come off if you pull too hard.
2. PENN Spinfisher VI Best Saltwater Spinning Reels
PENN has another spinning reel for you that can give its competitors a run for their money. The Spinfisher VI comes with IPX5 protection so you won’t have to look out for the water getting into the gearbox. The spool is also sealed and holds the HT-100 drag washers to provide more power.
Even if you decide to go after the big saltwater fishes on your trips, the spinning reel can take it. It’s made to withstand such strain and is possibly one of the best spinning reels for catching big fishes on the beach.
Pair the reel with your favorite fishing rod and you can take on whatever the ocean might throw at you. At the end of the day, you can easily be the one to go home with the biggest catch.
The Spinfisher from PENN is equipped with CNC gearing, similar to the Slammer III. You also get HT-100 carbon washers that are known for being effective no matter the size of fish you decide to go after.
The stainless steel incorporated in the spinning reel makes it highly durable. Adding to the solid construction, you have the aluminum knob made for long-lasting effects.
Also, don’t forget to read our Penn Conflict II reels review here.
- High endurance and drag power.
- IPX5 sealed spool.
- Stainless steel ball bearing.
- The live liner of the spinning reel is known to be very smooth.
- Solid performance when baiting bigger fish.
- Unfortunately, a few customers reported to have received faulty products.
3. SHIMANO Stradic FL Saltwater Spinning Reel
SHIMANO has been one of the most sought after brand for providing premium quality performance with its Stradic spinning reel. You can find this spinning reel in different models ranging from the C3000 to the C5000. The MicroModule Gear II from Shimano ensures smoothness that’s hard to find elsewhere.
Stradic spinning reel comes with a water-resistant coating so you won’t have to stress about any corrosion issues. Shimano is offering a professional quality product with its labyrinth built. If you’re looking for one of the best spinning reels with superior construction, then the Stradic might be it.
Alongside that, the bearings are sealed away; therefore they’re safe from corrosion. The Cross-Carbon Drag system of the spinning reel provides enhanced smoothness and better overall performance. The gear ratio of the models varies from 6.0:1 to 6.4:1 at most.
This reel from Shimano is made with the latest G-Free tech that helps balance the weight. A well-balanced reel is appreciable since it can provide you better control. The labyrinth design of the Stradic ensures no water would get in the internal parts without causing a heavy rotation experience.
The spinning reel has a stainless steel body, so you can rest easy about its durability. The HAGANE construction means the reel would not crumble under rough handling.
- Water-resistant coating.
- Finely tuned internal gears.
- Extremely silent operation of the reel.
- Balanced weight all over.
- The product can be a bit hefty on the wallet.
4. Okuma Azores
This reel from Okuma can be a great choice if you’re looking for one that won’t put a great dent in your bank account. The reel comes with a gear ratio of 5.8:1, which is a standard number for any level of angler.
The Azores spinning reel comes with the Precision Dual Force Drag system that ensures quick adjustments. The bearings are sealed and the anti-reverse roller bearings have a ratchet system. You won’t have to worry about the reel being affected by water since the outer coating would protect it from rust no matter how much saltwater it comes in contact with. You can find the product in other model sizes as well, starting from Z-55s to Z-90s.
The stainless steel drag system is not just highly efficient but makes the spinning reel pretty robust as well. Not to mention the aluminum side rotors and plates that add to the durability. As for the internal parts, the construction is designed in quite a labyrinth way. They are all sealed enough to be safe from outer substances like water and dust.
The Multi-disc washers are made from carbonite which makes the spinning reel one of the lightest ones out there.
- Precision click drag adjustment allows precise settings options.
- Anti-reverse roller bearings.
- Construction of the product is strong and sturdy.
- Corrosion-resistant coating.
- Different models are available.
- The reel feels a bit too heavy on the hands.
5. SHIMANO Twin Power
SHIMANO has another spinning reel to contribute to our list. The Twin Power spinning reel is light but powerful enough to give the competitors a run for their money. Whether you’re a professional angler or a newbie, this reel can serve anyone’s purpose in saltwater fishing.
The IPX8 specification of the SHIMANO protects the reel from triggering rust with all the saltwater you might put it through. Not just externally, the internal components of the reel are also coated to be resistant to any water damage. Also, the HAGANE construction means you have a spinning reel with a long lifespan. So look forward to creating many fishing memories with the Twin Power.
SHIMANO loves using HAGANE for the construction of many of their spinning reels since it can ensure high durability. The Twin Power falls under the same category. Apart from being long-lasting, the HAGANE build also makes the reel extremely lightweight.
The line management of the Twin Power uses the propulsion system. You will get a spinning reel with a well-balanced weight that won’t make your hands tired after a long day of fishing on the boat or at the beach. With the better balance comes better stability so you can make the best out of this spinning reel by partnering it with your chosen fishing rod.
- Very durable propulsion line management system.
- HAGANE gear (both internal and external).
- IPX8 waterproof protection.
- X-rigid rotor design.
- Sturdy and rigid rotor design.
- Very lightweight product.
- The reel is pretty noisy.
6. KastKing Sharky III: best saltwater spinning reel for the money
KastKing Sharky III is one of the best saltwater spinning reels that can be a perfect combination of efficient performance and long-term service for any type of anglers. The exquisite red and black design alone is enough to make you swoon. With a graphite body, the spinning reel comes with a rust-resistant coating so you can use it on saltwater fishing heavily without worrying about any damage being done to your precious KastKing Sharky III.
The reel has a triple-disc carbon fiber drag system along with the main shaft made from stainless steel that makes it smooth. The manganese brass pinions help the reel pack some extra muscle which makes it more stable. The KastKing Sharky III is one of the smoothest saltwater spinning reels you can find at this range. You can also choose the other models that start from 1000 to 5000 in style.
The overall graphite frame of the reel makes it quite durable and lightweight. The handle is made from aluminum so you can manage the reel easily without losing your grip. As we mentioned, the main shaft is made of stainless steel and you can also find some small parts of plastic in the overall construction. The use of different materials in the engineering of this reel makes it very easy to handle so you won’t feel any discomfort after spending hours by the beach looking for your fish.
The Sharky III has the KISS (KastKing Intrusion Shield System) system which is basically what keeps it safe from corrosion. Not just the body of the reel, the rotor and spool are protected by KISS as well. It won’t be wise to submerge the reel into the water since it’s not waterproof but you can splash heavy saltwater all you want. The Sharky III doesn’t make any noise so you can enjoy fishing in silence.
- Heavy duty KISS feature.
- Smooth and quiet operation.
- Double-shielded ball bearings made from stainless steel.
- The product is noise-free.
- Powerful gear ratio of about 5.2:1.
- High quality gears that will last you for a really long time.
- Lightweight built.
- Can feel undersized to some users.
7. Cadence CS5 Pro Spinning Reel
This lightweight 3000 spinning reel is one of the best out there for amateur and professional fishermen. The high performance of this amazing product as well as its durable design makes it one of the most sought after best saltwater spinning reels on the market.
The main reason for the product to be so lightweight is because of its meta-carbon construction, which gives the spinning not only its much required balance but also enhanced stability and heavy duty performance. Carbon frames are also known to be at least 20 percent stronger than aluminum and stainless steel ones.
The bearings on this spinning reel come sealed away as well, so that they are well away from water and dust. The torque on the bearings is also really low, so you get better speed and enhanced performance at all times. The gear ratio of the CS5-3000 is 6.2:1. You can expect the gear ratio to range from 5.2:1 to at least 6.2:1, depending on the model you choose (CS5-1000 to CS5-4000).
The handle on this high quality saltwater spinning reel is an ergonomic EVA one, which provides fishermen with their much deserved comfort and balance. The best thing about the handle is that it is actually very lightweight, so you do not have to deal with extra weightage here.
You can only expect the best performance from the high quality CS5 carbon drag system that is incorporated into this amazing product. The pinion gears on it also have amazing precision and will easily resist any kind of external impact.
- High quality EVA handle.
- The strong and sturdy built of the product is very professional.
- Enhanced comfort.
- The external and internal parts of the product are really heavy duty as well.
- The silver-colored paint is not as long-lasting as the reel itself.
8. KastKing Megatron
Transformer fans, gather around since Megatron is here! In our list of the best saltwater spinning reels, KastKing has another entry on the list. Megatron is extremely heavy-duty, hence the name. This spinning reel has a gear ratio of 5.0:1.
The zinc alloy drive gear along with the brass pinion gear makes the reel extremely tough so it can handle almost anything you may throw its way. With a triple-disc carbon fiber drag system, you can go after the bigger fishes.
The reel has sealed ball bearings made from stainless steel which offers smooth performance and high durability. Adding to the durability is the strong graphite and aluminum construction. The Megatron is suitable for novice anglers as well as professional ones who are fond of tournaments. You can also find this spinning reel in five different sizes to choose from, starting from 2000 to 6000 at most.
The reel has a graphite body but the handle is aluminum. You can find aluminum in the body as well. The spool is made from CNC machined T6061 aerospace aluminum alloy. The combination of materials work pretty well together and makes this reel one of the most robust ones on the market. Also, the matte black finish makes the reel pretty sleek.
The use of aluminum makes the reel pretty lightweight. We already mentioned the handle made from aluminum, but it’s also reversible. The handle makes the reel easy to use. The durable build and the precise geometric forms add a unique Autobot look to the reel to do the name Megatron justice.
You can find this spinning reel in five different sizes to choose from, starting from 2000 to 6000 at most.
- Carbon fiber drag system.
- Highly efficient reversible handle.
- Heavy-duty construction.
- The grip on this spinning reel is also pretty amazing.
- Highly smooth rotor and cast system.
- Some customers stated to have received defective products with broken parts.
9. RUNCL Titan II
RUNCL is a very popular name when it comes to the world of fishing gear. The Titan II has snatched a place in our list of best saltwater spinning reels because of its performance and sturdy construction.
Like the Megatron, the Titan II is also a heavy-duty spinning reel that comes with a stainless steel and aluminum construction. The reel has 9 ball bearings made from stainless steel and an extra one for better precision. The bearings are sealed to remain unharmed from any dust and water. Aside from the coated bearings, the reel has RESS (RUNCL Entire Shield System) to help it withstand unwanted impacts.
The rotor surface has phosphating coating protection to help increase the wear-resistance you might face. With a gear ratio of 5.3:1, the multi-disc carbon fiber drag system of the reel ensures smooth and well-balanced performance. It also offers better stopping power so you can go after the bigger fishes without worrying about snapping your reel.
The reel has a beautiful combination of red and black. The careful polishing makes it shine more and also makes the color stick properly so it won’t easily wear off after long-term use.
The braided spool is one of the best you can find on the market. With its strong metal grip, the spool cannot easily slip away from your hands. You won’t feel the need for a monofilament tape to keep the spool in place. The RESS protects the spool and motor from any saltwater corrosion. You can expect a spinning reel with a prolonged lifespan since it won’t befall any damage caused by water or dust.
- Amazing durability and performance.
- The product is really light weight even though it packs in a mighty punch.
- Heavy duty sealed ball bearings
- Braided spool is very convenient.
- Sleek-edge design with red accents.
- The handle itself is pretty big, which can be quite a hassle for small built fishers.
10. Yoshikawa Baitfeeder
The last entry on our list is from the Japanese company Yoshikawa. It’s one of the best saltwater spinning reels you can get your hands on in the market if you want a quality product for a really budget friendly price. With a gear ratio of 5.5:1, the reel is perfect for light inshore fishing. Avoid using it for heavy fishing on the beach. Aside from saltwater fishing, the reel can be used for general freshwater fishing as well.
The reel has a multi-disc carbon drag system with oiled felt washers that ensure proper use of the gear ratio. You get a secure retrieval quick enough and an adjustable lever that lets you find the perfect power needed. It’s easy to manage whether you’re a professional angler or a novice.
The anti-reverse system on the spinning reel allows you to pull on the line with ease. The roller has a chrome coating that makes the reel more robust. The product comes in other models too, ranging from a style of 3000 to 6000 at most.
The reel uses graphite for its construction with stainless steel and aluminum thrown into the mix. The spool is made from anodized CNC aluminum that provides high endurance and the durability it can need for being efficient in saltwater.
To add to the reel’s strong build, the side plate is engineered from TITAN graphite. The handle of the reel is made from die-casted aluminum and is conveniently foldable. The overall construction of the reel is quite strong but it’s not bulky. The combination of different materials makes the reel a great choice for all levels of fishermen. Internal parts have a water-resistant coating to help against corrosion. A smooth grey finish makes the reel perfect for any fishing rod.
- Durable hardware.
- Adjustable Baitfeeder drag system.
- Can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
- Convenient mechanical system.
- Chic external appearance.
- The teeth on the handle shaft are unfortunately made of plastic
best Saltwater Spinning reels
Just going through a few product reviews is not enough when you have to determine which best saltwater spinning reels to go for. This is why you should always prepare yourself by researching in depth about the product in general, regardless of brand names and price tags attached.
To help you out with that, we have also compiled a bunch of important stuff and factors that you need to look for when buying a saltwater spinning reel.
Material and Construction
The first thing you need to focus on is the material and construction of the spinning reel since it defines how long the product would last. Manufacturers tend to focus on making reels that are lightweight so anglers can easily handle them and achieve the desired casting distance. But it also has to be durable enough so the line can tolerate the pressure it would face.
We all know that aluminum is pretty lightweight but robust as well. It’s preferred by a lot of people since you wouldn’t have to worry about corrosion if the spinning reel has aluminum in its body. Having an aluminum spinning reel means keeping it away from being damaged by water and dust. It would prolong the reel’s life.
Metal is extremely durable, yes, but it can start to rust unless you are extremely cautious in using the spinning reel. Metal also adds to the weight of the product. Manufacturers have to shrink down different parts to make the reel lighter.
Aside from aluminum and metal, graphite is also heavily used in making spinning reels. It would cost you more than an aluminum one but it’s also lighter. You can always look for spinning reels that have a combination of materials in their construction so anglers can have the best of everything. You can have a highly durable graphite spinning that has a metal or aluminum parts.
Your saltwater spinning reel should be able to tackle whatever circumstance that you throw at it, be it shallow water or rough waters.
Gear Ratio and Speed of Retrieval
You need to focus on the gear ratio since it defines the performance of the spinning reel along with the speed. Gear ratios are presented in number forms like 4:1, or 7:1. The ratio tells you most of times you need to turn the spool to get one rotation. The fewer turns you need, the faster your spinning reel is. 5.2:1 is considered to be a decent enough gear ratio when it comes to choosing the best saltwater spinning reels.
As for the speed of retrieval, that depends on the gear ratio. Lesser numbers of turning the spool also indicate that the line would come back to you faster. That’s what speed of retrieval is and it can be calculated by the gear ratio.
Saltwater fishing is more dangerous for your fishing gear since they can corrode more when they come in touch with the water. If you have metal parts on your gear, their lifespan would decrease significantly faster.
Many anglers tend to focus on the materials and build quality of their spinning reel but they don’t bother to check whether it’s corrosion-resistant or not. No matter how durable the metals on your spinning reels are, if they start to corrode, nothing would save them. So you need to focus on a reel that has coatings or the metal parts are properly sealed to avoid being damaged by any water.
Corrosion-resistance should be a must when it comes to buying the best saltwater spinning reel. Regular water can trigger rusting in no time but when it’s saltwater, the rusting intensifies. Manufacturers are well-aware of that issue. So even if you forget to check for the corrosion-resistance, most of the spinning reels come with the necessary protections. Since saltwater can trigger corrosion faster, avoid looking at spinning reel meant for freshwater since the protection in those might be lacking.
Line capacity is the indication for how far you can throw your bait and it plays a vital role in choosing a spinning reel. The line capacity is not something you should look over on its own. The best way for you to evaluate the line capacity is to consider it with your fishing rod side by side to see how it would fare.
You also need to take into account the kind of fish you look to capture. The reel spools show the line capacity from which you can select one depending on how large of a fish you might catch. Stay within the recommended line size of a reel to avoid any unwanted complication.
To have the best saltwater spinning reel, consider testing lines less than 10 pounds. You would get proper balance and the casting distance would be higher since this weight class means super-light experience. As for a yardage measurement, try to stay within 300-400 yards. It’s large enough for you to get your gears in order as you prepare to capture the fish.
When it comes to choosing the best saltwater spinning reel, the drag system plays a crucial role. High drag strength means it would be easier to pull back the line, and your fish with it. That’s why it’s important to focus on the drag strength before you decide on your spinning reel.
If the drag isn’t smooth enough, it can lead to the fishing line being broken and no one would want that. So make sure the spinning reels you look at come with a smooth drag system. Powerful drag would allow you to put high pressure on the line. But there should be a limit as well since putting too much pressure can tire you sooner and your fishing rod would take the hit as well.
Instead of figuring out the suitable drag strength, look for spinning reels that have adjustable drag strengths. It would provide the best results no matter how experienced you are at fishing.
Most people pay less attention to the handles when they are out looking for a preferable spinning reel. You should realize that the handle is a very important part of the reel since it has to fight against the strain as you battle with a fish.
The handle has to feel comfortable to the user no matter where they stand looking for their catch. Whether it’s on the edge of a fishing boat or the dry shore, the handle should have a strong grip. The built quality of the handle is crucial since it can feel flimsy if the material there is cheap.
Sadly, it’s not impossible for you to end up with a great spinning reel but one that has a weak handle. Even many manufacturers neglect the importance of this part of the spinning reel. So you need to take matters into your hands (literally) and see which reel has a handle that can offer you the ease and stability you require for fishing.
The power of a spinning reel depends heavily on the gear ratio. We already established how the gear ratio works. A lower number in the gear ratio would mean your spinning reel is stronger. So when it comes to choosing the best saltwater spinning reel, figure out the gear ratio that would work the best for you.
Individual preference plays a big role when it comes to choosing factors like this. If you need a faster response from your spinning and don’t want to turn the spool a lot of times, then a low gear ratio is what you need. But the number depends solely on you. The power of a spinning reel can be determined by the angler. If you’re experienced enough, you can handle a high ratio but for novices, it might be a bit difficult.
In the end, shopping for the best saltwater fishing reels depends on the user’s experience, preference, and the kind of fishing gear they are setting up.
Saltwater Spinning Reels vs. Freshwater Spinning Reels
When it comes to pointing out the differences between saltwater and freshwater spinning reels, a lot of fishermen would agree that the saltwater ones are more expensive compared to the freshwater reels you see on the market. It’s probably because of the extra protective coating a saltwater spinning reel would need since saltwater can cause more damage to the fishing gear than freshwater.
Both types of spinning reels do share common features but the price difference allows room for debate. Saltwater fishing can be more complex and the spinning reel might need an extra feature or two to help you handle that. We already mentioned one issue with saltwater. The water concentration is also quite different when you look at saltwater and freshwater. The flow of water in a freshwater pond won’t be the same as in the ocean.
Since the water bodies won’t act the same way, don’t expect their respected spinning reels to do the same. You are bound to notice some differences.
From the outside, saltwater and freshwater spinning reels can appear to be quite similar but once you dig inside, you can see the differences more clearly. The internal gears in these reels are far from similar.
At first, let’s talk about the ball bearings. For a freshwater spinning reel, you won’t always find one with bearings that are sealed and have a protective coating (unless the reel is universally compatible). But almost every saltwater spinning reel comes with protective coating and sealed ball bearings so they won’t get affected by the splashes from the saltwater. It’s imperative to keep the ball bearings protected since your reel won’t feel as smooth if they start to get rusty. Saltwater can trigger rust way faster than freshwater so you need fully-functional ball bearings to get the best out of your experience.
The high saline concentration in saltwater can damage any part of your fishing gear, especially the ones made from metal. That’s why it’s important to have spinning reels with a water-resistant coating. Freshwater might not have zero saline concentration but it’s much lower and affects the reels less than saltwater. We already mentioned how saltwater spinning reels are significantly more costly than freshwater ones.
To ensure the reels won’t get damaged by the high saline water, manufacturers have to spend extra resources to cover their products with water and rust repellant substances. They can either use some coating on internal gears or cover the entire product with corrosion-free alloy. Either way, the process is not cheap which makes the end product has to cost higher than the ones made for freshwater.
best Saltwater Spinning reels
Let us now take a very quick look at some of the questions a lot of readers have regarding saltwater spinning reels in general. We hope you find your desired questions and queries being responded here as well!
What is a saltwater spinning reel?
A saltwater spinning reel is a piece of fishing equipment that is made solely for tackling and baiting on water bodies that have a high saline concentration. A saltwater spinning reel comes constructed with materials that prevent premature corrosion and damaging from that excess amount of salt.
How do I choose a saltwater spinning reel?
A saltwater spinning reel is actually not too hard to look for at all, that is, if you have the basics down already. If not, scroll back and check out the Buying Guide that we listed above with all the factors you possibly need to know before you place an order for a saltwater spinning reel.
What makes a good saltwater reel?
What makes a good saltwater spinning reel actually depends on factors such as its material of construction, its various versatile features, and the ease of using it to begin with, and of course its quality.
What is gear ratio on a spinning reel?
The gear ratio on a spinning reel is what tells you how many times you need to turn the spool for each rotation when retrieving your line back. For example, a 4000 styled spinning reel with a gear ratio of 5.2:1 is ideal for bait-casting and anglers.
What size spinning reel do I need?
As a general rule of thumb, you should get reels around the size of 100 or more if you want to go for heavier and bigger catches. However, for lighter catches, you should go for smaller reel sizes such as around 80 or maybe 90.
What spinning reel holds the most line?
When it comes to holding the most line, our reviewed KastKing Megatron is one of the best out there.
Why do spinning reels have reverse?
Spinning reels have the reverse feature as it works to prevent the reel from getting jumbled up with the drag.
What is the best drag for a spinning reel?
The best drag of a spinning reel really depends on the line of the reel itself. Just note that the drag of a reel should be at least 25 percent of its breaking strength on the line.
Can you use any reel in saltwater?
No, you cannot use any reel in saltwater because the high concentration of saline in the water will corrode the equipment. Only use a reel that is compatible with saltwater when fishing on such concentrated water bodies.
Freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing are not the same, but they are both fun activities. All you need is the right fishing gear and you can have a great time. You can go after your preferred species and set new challenges for yourself. We hope you can find your pick among our list above for the best saltwater spinning reels. You might end up on a fishing boat or the beach with one of these reels in your gear.