Best Saltwater Spinning Reels for Your Next Fishing Expedition

Fishing is my favorite and my most practiced hobby. Go ahead, try to picture yourself fishing. Maybe you are sitting on the side of a river, surrounded by trees, casually casting your line into the water awaiting the next bite, and enjoying the quiet sounds of nature. That sounds really nice.

If you are anything like me, you are picturing something a little bit different. You may be picturing a boat with huge sails sailing out towards the horizon, a fishing pole in your hands, and the light of adventure in your eyes. Perhaps instead, you are picturing yourself knees deep in the water, waves rolling towards you as you reel in a huge saltwater fish.

Regardless of how you see it, fishing is an incredible experience that can invoke a competitive spirit or quiet peace of mind. In my opinion, having a reliable reel is key to enjoying the experience. I prefer saltwater fishing and before my next saltwater fishing expedition, I intend to find the best saltwater, spinning reel to take with me. I will compare my top ten choices and review each of them below.

Best Saltwater Spinning Reels – Comparison

PictureProduct NameWeightMaximum DragPrice
Shimano Baitrunner 8000OC 1 pounds20 lbsCheck Latest Price
Daiwa BG Saltwater1 pounds4.4 lbsCheck Latest Price
Cadence Spinning Reel- CS51.76 ounces36 lbsCheck Latest Price
Penn 1481260 Spinfisher12.2 ounces20 lbsCheck Latest Price
Penn Conflict II Spinning14.4 oz20 lbsCheck Latest Price
Ecooda 2019 Saltwater31 oz66 lbsCheck Latest Price
Piscifun Alijos Saltwater0.70 pounds33 lbsCheck Latest Price
Okuma Azores SaltwaterMalti size44 lbsCheck Latest Price
Sougayilang Spinning7.2 oz42 lbsCheck Latest Price
Daiwa Sealine-X SHA Malti size 25 lbsCheck Latest Price

 

Top Ten Best Saltwater Spinning Reels

After extensive research and a few trial periods, I’ve selected my top ten options. Each of them is incredibly different and useful for a variety of reasons. Let me explain what each reel has to offer me, as a fisherman.

1. Shimano Baitrunner 8000OC Saltwater Fishing Reel

    The Shimano Baitrunner is a solid piece of fishing equipment. It looks incredibly sleek with its polished, black appearance and silver accents. The fishing reel is a bit smaller in size and extremely lightweight, making it easy to carry and manage.

    The fishing reel encourages castability and is easy to manage due to the oval oscillation gear. This gear alters the speed to create a constant and consistent spool speed. The propulsion, spool lip design enhances the casting distance without leaving room for backlashes or wind knots. A great feature because nobody wants to deal with the backlash.

    Sand and salt are permitted no contact with the bearings, thanks to the shields on both sides of the S AR-B bearings. This drastically improves the durability and longevity of the reel. The Shimano Baitrunner also features dyno-balance, which ensures fluidity in rotation and fewer vibrations.

    This Shimano fishing reel is great for both inshore saltwater and freshwater fishing. The reel is capable of catching saltwater fish that are small to medium in size. The reel is not just a convenient size, but convenient to use as well. The lightweight gives it an added advantage over other choices because it’s so easy to handle, carry, and transport.

    What We Liked:

    • The sleek appearance
    • It is lightweight
    • The convenience of a smaller size
    • The constant and consistent speed
    • The large casting distance

    What We Didn’t Like:

    • The maximum drag is limited to 20 pounds

    2. Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel

      The Daiwa BG Spinning Reel catches your eye at a first glance. It is comprised of a black, aluminum body and gold accents. The cushioned handle is great for anyone with a strong grip. This reel features an attractive design that promotes comfort.

      Its lightweight design and dimensions of 6x5x4 allow great convenience and manageability. The reel uses an air rotor, which improves the Daiwa BG’s sensitivity and balance. The air rotor also encourages toughness and provides a fifteen percent weight reduction in comparison to most standard rotors. Once you get a bite, you can complete the catch much easier and with less manpower.

      The reel reduces drag and allows back-reel thanks to the infinite anti-reverse system and dual anti-reverse system. The spool is made of aluminum ABS spool and is a dynamic cut. It is also ready for easy braiding.

      This Daiwa Spinning reel is incredibly tough and can handle catching larger fish. This reel does most of the hard work for you and has a retrieval rate of 28.3 inches per turn. The use of digigear enables the real to provide a stable transfer of energy from the handle to the reel allowing you to do less work.

      What We Like:

      • The eye catching appearance
      • The reel’s sensitivity and balance
      • The smooth and adjustable drag
      • The incredible durability

      What We Didn’t Like:

      • Lack of protection against sand and dirt

      3. Cadence Spinning Reel- CS5

        This spinning reel by Cadence is made from high concentration, meta carbon. This allows the reel to be lightweight ,without compromising its power. The metacarbon exterior is a shiny black with silver accents. The reel also features a dull, black handle that appears to be incredibly sturdy and long lasting.

        The gorgeous appearance of the Cadence CS5 is even more impressive because of the material’s durability and long lasting design. The Cadence CS5 is available in four different sizes. Each size features stainless steel bearings resistant to corrosion, which promotes longevity. The Cadence CS5 has a body that is perfectly designed for torsion control.

        The carbon drag system is capable of stopping power up to 36 pounds. That is an extreme amount of power, making this reel capable of catching much larger fish.

        This reel, unfortunately, has no protection against sand and dirt. You need to be careful. Also, the handle can be uncomfortable to grip at times. It’s not suited for sessions that may last a few hours. Improvements could be made here.

        This spinning reel is an impressive creation, which allows anglers to catch a variety of different gamefish. The handle is adjustable, making it easy to use for the vast majority of anglers. This reel seems to be a great fit for a competitive fisherman.

        What We Like:

        • The power allowed by the high concentration, meta carbon
        • The reel is lightweight
        • The handle is sturdy
        • It is easy to manage
        • The powerful appearance

        What We Didn’t Like:

        • There is no protection from sand and dirt
        • The handle is somewhat uncomfortable to grip

        Also Read: Best Surf Fishing Rods: Pick Your Surf Fishing Rod Like a Pro

        4. Penn 1481260 Spinfisher VI Spinning Saltwater Reel

          This reel is a thing of beauty. The black and gold exterior is striking, to say the least. The housing body provides an incredible amount of protection against water and sand.

          The reel is offered in six different sizes. It provides a maximum drag from as little as 15 to as much as 40 pounds. The Penn Spinfisher VI 2500 is extremely lightweight, weighing in just under one pound. Depending on the size, the reel seems to offer strength in addition to manageability, but the way it is sealed can make it feel a bit stiff and rigid.

          Penn uses CNC gear technology to ensure anglers are provided the smoothest transitions. The Spinfisher VI saltwater reels also feature Ht 100 carbon drag washers. These washers help to prevent the likelihood of the line breaking due to the fish’s pulls. A great feature because nobody wants to pull a line in by hand. Their research seems to have paid off with these two technological advancements.

          This is a beautiful reel capable of varying amounts of power. The availability of six sizes is great to ensure that the reel fulfills its intended purpose. Overall, the reel is great and seems to be designed to provide longevity that meets the needs of a variety of fishermen.

          What We Like:

          • The beautiful design
          • The reel provides plenty of protection against sand and dirt
          • The maximum drag provided on the larger model is 40 pounds
          • The smooth transition provided by the CNC gear technology
          • The durability of the line is enhanced by the Ht 100 carbon drag
          • The availability of six sizes

          What We Didn’t Like:

          • The sealing of the reel could cause it to feel stiff and unyielding
          • The smaller model only offers a maximum drag of 15 pounds

          5. Penn Conflict II Spinning Fishing Reel

            This is another reel by Penn that offers a variety of sizes. The Penn Conflict II is available in six different sizes with a drag ranging anywhere from 9 to 20 pounds. Each size weighs less than a pound. The smallest size weighs just over 6 ounces. This is an extremely lightweight, fishing reel.

            The Penn Conflict II features stainless steel bearings that are resistant to corrosion and the CNC gear technology often featured on Penn’s reels. The resistance to corrosion will allow the reel to offer an angler good longevity. This Cnc technology is great at providing a smooth transition.

            Its Rigid Resin RR30 body and rotor are extremely lightweight and incredibly durable. This is a great combination for any fishing reel because a reel seems easier to use when its lightweight, but sometimes the weight could affect its durability. Whenever a reel is able to combine the two qualities I am an impressed and happy angler.

            What We Like:

            • The combination of durability and the lightweight
            • Each model weighs less than a pound, the smallest weighs just 6 ounces
            • The smooth transition accompanied by the CNC technology
            • The corrosion resistant bearings

            What We Didn’t Like:

            • It offers little protection against water and sand
            • The small handle that can be inconvenient to grasp
            • The smallest reel only offers a maximum drag of 9 pounds

            6. Ecooda 2019 Saltwater Fishing Reel HS15000

              The Ecooda HS15000 is impressive to look at and sure to make any onlooker envious. The colors are striking and it appears to be massive and capable. The body and rotor are made of high strength aluminum. The spool structure is also made up of aluminum.

              This reel features an O ring sealed body and rotor. This feature enables the real to be waterproof. This seal also prevents the entry of sand and salt. It is a great way to ensure that the reel will work for future fishing expeditions to come.

              The HS15000 offers a maximum drag of 66 pounds. The reel is capable of this insane amount of power because of the Instant Anti-Reverse System and the Carbon Fiber Friction System. These qualities will enable the capture of very large fish, which is great for the competitive angler.

              The reel provides consistency due to the brass oscillation gear and is relatively easy to manage despite the somewhat heavier build. The Eccoda HS15000 is heavy duty and extremely well protected against the elements. It’s a great choice for many different situations and will last a long time.

              What We Like:

              • The breathtaking appearance of the reel
              • The incredible maximum drag of 66 pounds
              • That the reel is waterproof due to the O ring seal
              • It is capable of protecting against sand and salt
              • The consistency offered

              What We Didn’t Like:

              • The reel is on the heavy side, at about two pounds
              • Its large size could be difficult to work with

              7. Piscifun Alijos Saltwater Double Handle Casting Reel

                The Piscifun Alijos Casting Reel features an easy to use double handle that provides anglers with a comfortable grip. The reel is available in two sizes featuring different colors.

                The handle is not adjustable, so the reel will only work for a left-handed, or right-handed, person depending on the model. The aluminum structure and side plate promote durability. It is a uniquely engineered reel that is designed to impress.

                This reel is capable of capturing large fish and has a maximum drag of 33 pounds. The Alijos 300 is smooth and quiet, which is due to its double shielded, stainless steel bearings and the instant anti-reverse bearings. The reel features a hardened brass pinion and main gear.

                The magnetic braking system eliminates backlash and the double shafts improve the stability and durability of the reel. Anytime a reel eliminates backlash it improves the overall success of a fishing trip.
                The Alijos 300 Casting Reel looks capable and is heavy duty in design. The bearings are resistant to corrosion. Overall, the Alijos 300 is a great inshore, fishing reel that can be used in both saltwater and freshwater.

                What We Like:

                • The heavy duty appearance
                • Its high durability promoted by the side plate
                • The capability of catching large fish
                • The reel’s maximum drag of 33 pounds
                • It is very smooth

                What We Didn’t Like:

                • The lack of versatility due to the handle
                • Its lack of protection against sand and salt
                • Use is limited to a right handed or left handed person

                Also Read: 10 Best Fishing Poles for a Successful Fishing Trip

                8. Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel

                  The Okuma Azores Reel offers a grey and black exterior that is relatively small and easy to handle. It appears to be a capable fishing reel. The handle is small, adjustable, and provides a comfortable grasp. The reel is extremely durable because the body, side plate, and rotor are comprised of diecast aluminum. Its durability is sure to provoke longevity.

                  The Azores Spinning Reel offers a maximum drag of 44 pounds due to the Okuma dual force drag system. There is a mechanical stabilization system that halts electrolysis. This protects the reel from any damage due to saltwater. The engineering behind the creation of this reel is very impressive.

                  The Okuma Azores Spinning Reel offers an incredible amount of power provided by the dual anti-reverse system and stainless steel spool shaft and sleeve. Overall, this reel is absolutely incredible. It offers great power and durability.

                  What We Like:

                  • The adjustable handle
                  • The handle provides a comfortable grip
                  • It is easy to manage
                  • The maximum drag of 44 pounds
                  • It will allow you to catch large fish

                  What We Didn’t Like:

                  • The reel is on the heavy side
                  • It could be a little bit difficult to manage
                  • The appearance is very basic

                  9. Sougayilang Spinning Saltwater Fishing Reel

                    The stunning exterior and affordable price on this fishing reel is an incredible combination. The Soungayilang Fishing Reel has a striking all black appearance that is broken up by bright green accents. The result is an impressive and attractive looking piece of fishing equipment.

                    The reel is comprised of a reinforced, graphite rotor and body. This Sougayilang reel features a small handle that is easy to grasp and retrieves fairly quietly and smoothly.

                    An anti-reverse bearing prevents line slipping and a carbon fiber drag system allows for consistency. This reel is very lightweight due to its hollow design, coming in at just over a pound in weight. That means it’s very easy to carry and transport. However, on the other hand, it may not have the strength and durability other rods possess.

                    This reel would be great for a beginner, but probably less impressive to a fishing veteran. It is capable of catching smaller fish and can be used in saltwater and freshwater. It may also be useful to someone looking for an ultralight rod to carry and transport with ease.

                    What We Like:

                    • The stunning exterior
                    • Its affordable pricing
                    • The easy to grasp, adjustable handle
                    • The prevention of line slipping
                    • Its lightweight design
                    • The dual usage in saltwater and freshwater

                    What We Didn’t Like:

                    • It offers less technology than the other reels
                    • The reel appears to lack durability
                    • The hollow design could reduce the reel’s strength

                    10. Daiwa Sealine-X SHA Conventional Saltwater Reel

                      The Daiwa Sealine-X is a unique reel with a black and gold appearance. The handle is smaller and is accompanied by a lever that can be used to stop the line. This reel is offered in four different sizes.

                      This Daiwa Sealine-X features a free-floating spool. This decreases friction, elongates casts, and speeds the lure drop because of the separation of the spool from the gear train. These features make the reel perfect for jigging, and is an invaluable feature.

                      The seal drag is comprised of six elements, which encourage smoothness and consistency. The high tensile, aluminum spool allows for strength and manageability.

                      This reel is tough and lightweight, however, it is only intended for right-hand retrieves. A left-handed fisherman would really struggle to use this reel if they could use it at all. The Daiwa Sealine-X looks like a professional fishing reel. It really is visually appealing. It is powerful, easy to manage, and offers a maximum drag of 25 pounds.

                      What We Like:

                      • The handle offers a comfortable grip
                      • The appearance is tidy and professional
                      • The variation in sizes
                      • The quickness of the lure drop due to the free floating spool
                      • Its smoothness and consistency encouraged by the seal drag

                      What We Didn’t Like:

                      • It is only capable of right hand retrieves
                      • There is not a model available for the left handed fisherman
                      • The manual switch of the lever to stop the line is inconvenient

                      Wrapping It Up

                      I feel that finding the best saltwater, spinning reels is a task that requires trial and error. There are so many things to consider. A lightweight design would be convenient to carry and manageable, but it could be a risk for the reel’s durability. In an ideal situation, my reel would offer both durability and manageability through its lightweight.

                      Another key factor is the strength that the reel provides. This can be created by a combination of things, such as; the material, the maximum drag, and the technology used to create the reel. The research and engineering put into creating a fishing reel is a key indicator of the reel’s strength. In order to determine the strength needed from the reel, you will have to determine what you intend to catch.

                      A final factor I find important to consider is the pole, lures, and bait you prefer to use. I wouldn’t want to give up my preference for a new fishing reel. I would rather my new reel compliment my own fishing equipment. With these considerations, I believe that the Ecooda 2019 15000 and the Okuma Azores Spinning Reel are the best options.

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                      Derek S. Webb
                       

                      Derek Webb is a family man, outdoor enthusiast, and Editor-In-Chief at Outdoor On! He is a regular columnist in big media publication - writing from fishing to camping to various outdoor stuff.