What is the Best Saltwater Spinning Reel For The Money

Best Saltwater Spinning Reel

When you are out on the ocean trying to catch a big tuna or marlin, it’s important that you have the best reel for the job.

The more time you take to look into the best spinning reel, the easier it will be to choose the right one to match your needs.

Best Saltwater Spinning Reels 2017 – 2018

How to choose the right Saltwater Spinning Reel

Best Saltwater Spinning Reel For The Money

There are many things to consider when you are trying to choose a good reel for spin fishing, including whether or not it is “braid-friendly”.

The fact is that not all reel spools are capable of handling braid well, and some of them just perform badly with braid overall. Some reels have bail rollers that are designed with small gaps on each end for thinner braid.

You should also really consider the capacity of each reel that you look at. Make sure that the reel you choose will be able to hold enough line of the kind that you are going to use when you’re out on the water. This is a particularly important thing to factor in with long-cast spools that are narrower.

If you plan on spending most of your time fishing inshore, you should look for lighter reels that aren’t going to be very heavy; even just a couple of ounces can make a huge difference on your shoulders, elbows and wrists. When you are trying to reel in a big fat roosterfish offshore, you definitely don’t want a heavy reel that is going to put a lot of strain on your arms.

Why choose a spinning reel over a conventional reel?

There are a number of reasons for you to consider getting a spinning reel over a conventional one.

Spinning tackle tends to be used most along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, whereas conventional reels are used a lot along the West Coast.

Spinning reels are a lot easier to cast and handle for those who don’t have much experience.

If you are just starting out with ocean fishing, a spinning reel is probably the right overall decision. While it’s true that conventional reels do offer more control when you have hooked a fish, they are designed for those who have a decent amount of experience under their belts.

Advantages and Disadvantages of buying Saltwater Spinning Reels

Best Saltwater Spinning Reel

It’s important that you take the time to look at the advantages and disadvantages associated with saltwater spinning reels before making a final decision.

One of the best things about spinning reels is that they are easier to use than any other type of reel, which can be a huge help if you don’t have much ocean angling experience. Another great thing about these reels is that you won’t have to worry about tangled lines or getting jammed. Saltwater spinning reels are also cheaper than most other reels, which can be great if you are on a tight budget. You also shouldn’t have any issues with maintaining these reels, so you’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration. Pretty much everyone can cast a decent distance easily with a spinning reel.

There are some drawbacks to using saltwater spinning reels, including the fact that they aren’t a great choice if you tend to use heavier lures. The overall performance of spinning reels can be affected by using larger diameter lines, which can be a problem. You will most likely find that these reels are fairly hard to pitch and flip easily as well.

How to Properly use a Saltwater Spinning Reel

First you will need to be completely familiar with all of the different components that make up a spinning real. These components include:

  • Spool: What you wind the fishing line around
  • Handle: When you turn the handle, the line is forced back into the reel
  • Bail: The bail is a metal arm that stops the line from coming out of the spool. When the bail is closed, no line can come out of the spool. When it is open, line can come out of the spool freely.
  • Reel foot: Important piece connecting the rod to the reel.
  • Drag knob: Lets you set how easily the line can come out of the spool when it is closed. When you tighten the knob, the line can come out of the spool even when the bail is closed. When you loosen up the knob, line is able to come out of the spool without having to use very much force at all.

Spooling the reel is an important step that you should know all about before actually going out onto the water. The first thing you want to do is to open the bail and place the line around the reel once. After doing this you should now have two pieces of line that are connected around the reel. Next tie a standard knot with these two pieces.

Cut the loose piece of line ¼” away from the reel and then close the bail. Tightly hold the line about one foot away from the reel. Turn the reel until you have enough line on the on it. Keep in mind that the amount of line that you are going to need will depend on the reel you are using.

Spinning Reels vs. Conventional Reels

The primary difference between spinning reels and conventional reels is that latter requires more patience and experience to use.

Spinning reels are excellent for beginners and can pack quite a bit of drag power with ample line capacity.

Conventional reels tend to be lighter and can cast further when used in conjunction with the right lure. They are also built with fewer moving parts than spinning reels, which isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing.

Our Review of the Top 6 Saltwater Spinning Reels

There are many different saltwater spinning reels that you will have to choose from, but we have selected the six best ones on the market in 2017 to review.

Penn Spinfisher Spinning Fishing Reel

The Penn Spinfisher Spinning Reel is a great choice if you plan on catching heavier fish, and it is also perfect for heavy bait. It has machined and anodized aluminium Superline spool with line capacity rings for additional durability.

Another reason that this reel is ideal for ocean fishing is because of its watertight design, which will effectively keep saltwater out. You will definitely be glad for the instant anti-reverse feature when trying to reel in a big game fish.

Overall, this reel is an excellent selection for anyone who takes ocean angling seriously.

What we like
  • Versatile design: This reel can be used in either freshwater or saltwater without having to worry about corrosion at all.
  • Solid and durable: The stainless steel design of this reel means that you can count on it to serve you well for many years.
  • No backing needed: There is no mono fluorocarbon backing needed, as the rubber gasket will keep the superline from slipping.
  • Big maximum drag: You will certainly be glad for the big maximum drag that this reel offers when you are trying to bring in a marlin or some other big game fish.
  • Smooth drag: The sealed HT-100 Slammer drag system will provide you with silky-smooth drag, and the friction trip ramp prevents premature bail trip when you cast out.
What we don't like
  • Minor issues with build quality
On Sale
Penn Spinfisher V SSV3500 Spinning Reel
586 Reviews
Penn Spinfisher V SSV3500 Spinning Reel
  • Watertight spinning reel performs reliably in saltwater and sand environments
  • Durable construction with full metal body, sideplate, and rotor and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire
  • Sealed HT-100 Slammer drag system provides robust, silky-smooth drag, while friction trip ramp...
  • Weight:14.40. Fluid cranking with 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse...
  • Superline spool requires no backing, is braid ready, and has line capacity rings marked at 1/3, 2/3,...

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 Round Reel

The Abu Garcia Amabassadeur could be the perfect solution you’ve been looking for if you want a reel that combines smooth drag with durability. This saltwater spinning reel is also an excellent choice for anyone who wants complete control when they are out on the water.

With a six-pin centrifugal brake and an extended bent cranking handle, the Ambassadeur is definitely meant for those who need to fight fish hard.

If you typically go out on the water looking for big gamefish, this reel could very well enable you to reel them in with a lot less effort.

What we like
  • Designed for precision and power: One of the best things about this saltwater spinning reel is that it is designed for both precision and power, allowing you to cast where you want and bring in the big fish with ease.
  • Carbon matrix drag system: This reel can provide you with smooth and consistent drag, which every ocean angler can agree is important.
  • Perfect for reeling in big game fish: The extended bent cranking handles and power knob make this reel a great investment if you plan on going for the big game fish.
  • Smooth operating: The 3 stainless ball bearings and 1 roller bearing that come with this reel will ensure you get smooth operation at all times.
What we don't like
  • Pricey: While it’s true that this reel offers lots of advantages for ocean fishing, it is a bit on the pricey side.
On Sale
51 Reviews
  • Carbon Matrix Drag system
  • Unrelenting power and premium performance
  • Six-pin centrifugal brake

Okuma Trio High Speed Spinning Reel

The Okuma Trio High Speed Spinning Reel is perfect for anglers who don’t have a ton of experience. Its graphite side plates reduce the overall weight, which is great if you don’t want a very heavy reel.

There is also a highly unique crossover construction that you simply will not find with many other spinning reels.

When it comes to having a strong and dependable lure for ocean angling, you will find that the Okumo Trio is a great option to explore.

This reel is an excellent choice for both novices and more experienced ocean anglers.

What we like
  • Stamped aluminium stem: The stamped aluminium stem with two graphite side plates makes this reel extremely durable, so you can trust that it will last quite a while.
  • Stability and smoothness: The aluminium drag chamber that this reel also comes with can provide you with a smooth and stable means of bringing in even the bigger fish.
  • Dual Force Drag System: This reel will provide you with tension on the spool from the top and bottom, which in turn can dissipate heat quickly.
  • Durable rotor: The rotor is made of stamped aluminium and graphite, making it incredibly durable and long lasting.
  • Corrosion-resistant: You will never have to worry about this spinning reel corroding over time, as it has an aluminium handle and graphite parts that won’t rust.
What we don't like
  • Arm plate is a bit flimsy and prone to breakage
  • Spool is not “braid –friendly”
On Sale
Okuma Trio High Speed Spinning Reel, Black/Orange
363 Reviews
Okuma Trio High Speed Spinning Reel, Black/Orange
  • Hybrid spool design with graphite arbor and aluminum lip
  • Crossover aluminum and graphite hybrid body and rotor design
  • Precision Dual Force Drag System (DFD): Incorporates both surfaces of the spool to maximize high-end...
  • 10 BB + 1 RB stainless steel bearings
  • Quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing

KastKing Kodiak Saltwater Spinning Reel

If you like to head out onto the ocean to catch particularly big fish, the KastKing Kodiak saltwater spinning reel can most likely provide you with the necessary durability and performance.

You will find that this reel has a saltwater-tough design that is made specifically for ocean angling. It is part of the KastKing heavy duty reel series, so you can rely on it completely while you’re out on the water.

This saltwater spinning reel is made up of quality stainless steel inner parts, and it’s a particularly great selection if you enjoy going bass fishing.

What we like
  • High performance drag system: This reel’s drag system offers unparalleled strength with a maximum drag of up to 33lbs, which can be incredibly useful when you go fishing for marlin.
  • Unique rotor design: The high-quality aluminium design of this reel’s rotor is designed for saltwater fishing, as it doesn’t allow any water to get in.
  • No more line breaks: The thick bail wire will help you take your fishing experience to the next level, and line breaks will become a thing of the past.
  • Affordable: This is definitely one of the more affordable saltwater spinning reels on the market.
  • Big line capacity: The line capacity of this reel is quite significant, so you shouldn’t have any problem with not being able to get enough line on it.
What we don't like
  • No stainless steel: While this reel may still have a durable design, there aren’t any stainless steel parts.
On Sale
KastKing Kodiak Saltwater Spinning Reel - 39.5 LB Carbon Fiber Drag, All Aluminum, 10 + 1 Stainless...
179 Reviews
KastKing Kodiak Saltwater Spinning Reel - 39.5 LB Carbon Fiber Drag, All Aluminum, 10 + 1 Stainless...
  • SOLID - The NEW KastKing? Kodiak is a brute power spinning reel named after the bears that roam...
  • POWERFUL - Enhanced 15% thicker stainless steel main shaft, fortified brass gears, and a carbon...
  • SMOOTH - Exact manufacturing tolerances and high quality 10 + 1 shielded stainless steel ball...
  • SALTWATER TOUGH - New special design aluminum spool and rotor structure prevent water and sand from...
  • AWESOME - The exceptional Kodiak is KastKing's flagship of the heavy duty reel series. KastKing?...

Shimano Curado E Reels

The Shimano Curado E Reels are perfect for baitcasting and jigging.

This low-profile reel has an impressive line capacity and torque that is necessary if you plan on wearing down some of the bigger game fish in the ocean.

The unmatched line control and long distance casting capabilities of this reel make it a truly great choice if you enjoy fishing on the high seas. It has a very durable, well-constructed overall design that can handle large fish without any issues whatsoever.

This is a wonderful reel for ocean anglers of any experience level.

What we like
  • Unmatched strength: The solid 1-piece frame and durable side plate construction of this reel eliminate flex in the drive-train.
  • Instant hook-setting power: This reel features a Super Stopper, which functions as an instant anti-reverse system. It is made with a one-way roller bearing to eliminate back-play.
  • Smooth and powerful retrieve: The smooth and powerful retrieve capabilities of this reel make it perfect if you want to catch big ocean game fish.
  • Reduced fatigue: The lightweight design of this reel means that you won’t have to deal with constant arm fatigue when reeling in big fish.
What we don't like
  • Drag system issues: The drag system on this reel can be a big weak, but it’s a problem that can be corrected with aftermarket parts.

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

The Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel is the second saltwater spinning reel in this series, and it offers many improvements for ocean anglers.

This reel is a great pick for saltwater use, and it has a bigger rotor and spool than the previous version.

If you are currently looking for a spinning reel that will enable you to catch the bigger fish in the ocean without any unnecessary frustration, this one is certainly worth taking a close look at.

A very big improvement over the previous model and comes highly recommended by us.

What we like
  • Corrosion-Resistant: This reel is designed to be used in saltwater, and it cannot be damaged nearly as easily as the previous model in this series.
  • Increased drag pressure: The bigger drag pressure with this reel was achieved with the HT-100 drag washers. You can definitely expect nice smooth drag with this reel.
  • Anti-reverse handle: The Battle II reel is convenient for right and left-handed anglers that want to battle big fish.
  • Steel design: The fact that this reel is made entirely of steel makes it very durable to say the least.
What we don't like
  • Heavy: This reel is definitely on the heavy side, which is something to keep in mind.
  • Noisy: Another drawback of this reel is that can tend to be quite noisy at times.
On Sale
Penn Battle II 5000 Spinning Fishing Reel
616 Reviews
Penn Battle II 5000 Spinning Fishing Reel
  • Durable, high-range spinning reel ideal for conquering big saltwater gamefish
  • Full metal body, sideplate, and rotor and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire offer exceptional durability
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag system provides powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness
  • Fluid cranking with 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse bearing
  • Superline spool requires no backing, is braid ready, and has line capacity rings marked at 1/3, 2/3,...


While there are many different saltwater spinning reels on the market, the Abu Garcia Amabassadeur is the best option you have for a number of reasons.

This saltwater spinning reel is specifically designed for both power and precision, allowing you to catch those big game fish without any issues at all. The smooth overall operation of the reel is well-suited to just about any ocean angler.

While you might have to spend a little bit more on this reel, it is well worth it when you consider everything you are getting for the money.

All of the reels reviewed here are designed for saltwater use, but this one is a cut above the rest in terms of its overall quality and capabilities.

Last update on 2018-01-22 at 20:12 / Affiliate links / Images / Prices from Amazon Product Advertising API

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