The Best Saltwater Spinning Reels 2020: 12 Top Options

Any avid angler will agree that the choice of a spinning reel is just as important as any other fishing gear. Spinning reels assist in casting and even retrieving the line. Also, they provide good leverage for you to land your next catch.

As such, a quality saltwater spinning reel is a must-have whether you’re ocean fishing or fishing bass on the lake. But what really makes a great saltwater spinning reel? Well, it should:

  • Have a strong and smooth drag system
  • Be lightweight
  • Cast a long distance
  • Be corrosion resistant

The Best Saltwater Spinning Reels Reviewed

1. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

The Penn Battle II spinning fishing reel, has proven to be the best one out there all thanks to its key features.

Product description 

This device is featured by a lightweight, long-lasting bail wire that strengthens the casting of the fishing tool into the sea.

Besides, battle II is the right choice for the people and fishers entering the deep salty seas and can hold a more significant load, such as tuna fish.

However, the reel is more massive than the rest due to its all-metal construction body.

Key features 

The Penn Battle II spinning reel is one of its kind with full-body metal construction, a side plate, rotor, and sturdy aluminum bail wire.

 It has an HT 100 carbon fiber drag technology that gives the reel a compelling performance in the sea, mainly when used to capture big fish. 

Furthermore, this cool kid offers 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings with an anti-reverse bearing and a fluid cranking design.

This Penn product does not need backing ad has an excellent line range that allows high winding when fishing in deep seas. 

Pros

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Superline ready spool
  • 5 stainless steel ball bearings
  • Carbon fiber washers

Cons

  • A bit heavy

2. PENN Slammer III Spinning reel 

The PENN Slammer III Spinning reel is considered to be the best due to its power to capture big fish, which is up to 120lbs.

Product description 

This gadget has proven to be the ideal fishing partner in deep seas and is trusted by the captain all over the world.

The Penn slammer II has a dura drag material that helps in strength while getting big fish in deep-sea without straining. 

Besides, the ergonomic stand the rotor, and the side plate increases the ability of better performance, especially when it comes to big fish.

Key features 

Equipped with EVA grip handles to aid in a sturdy grip and anti-slip technology when the fishing becomes more vigorous in the sea.

Besides, the slammer III comes with an oppressive duty 40lb drag system and a capacity of 80lb 600 yards braid, which is super healthy for tunas.

For better casting and retracting, the reel is less inclined, which makes fishing offshore and at the shores easier and efficient.

Besides, the slammer III body is made of IP6 seals to protect it from salty water with the spool design to increase durability.

Pros 

  • Good line capacity
  • High maximum drag
  • Firm grip handle

Cons

  • Heavy reel

3. SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel,

The Seaknight spinning reel is most preferred by deep-sea saltwater fishermen due to its technologic advancements for professional fishing.

Product description

With studied surveys to make fishing more reliable and efficient, this reel is made with extra fine details and calibrations for consistent improvements. 

Also, the tool is well coated with anti-corrosion aluminum ball bearings that will reduce and prevent the rusting.

However, the braid and line casting depends significantly on the spool type and also the power of the rail because stronger rails can hold longer lines.

Key features 

The reel is equipped with robust drag knobs with washers accompanied to aid in the prevention of water and dust from invading the bearings and gear system. 

Besides, it is made with a hollow dynamic design for the rotor and line spool for light feeling and casting, especially when dealing with turbulent fish.

It contains waterproof ball bearings that reduce the entry of salty water from entering in the spool in both sides of the reel.

Rapid has advanced technology such that it contains 10+1 shield stainless steel ball bearings that increases the chances of not corroding.

Pros 

  • Has a thicker main shaft
  • Protective spool shielding
  • Lightweight design
  • Washer knobs

Cons

  • Not recommended for extra big fish

4. Yoshikawa Baitfeeder spinning reel

The Yoshikawa spinning reel is an attractive fishing reel that performs more than it looks with remarkable features.

Product description 

More importantly, it offers a Baitfeeder drag system that supports a free spool mod to hasten the action whenever in a hurry or you want more.

The Baitfeeder is made from a sturdy graphite body that is not corrosive even when touched by salty water, which also offers strength to the reel.

Besides, it features super brass pinions for strength and to ensure that all the parts of the reel are working side by side for an overall result.

Key features 

This reel is equipped with a 5.5:1 gear ratio, which results in faster retrieval and suitable for big fish and small sharks because it has more power.

Also, the fishing reel offers a high power corrosion-free ball bearings with several disc drag system that moves the reel in a smooth movement while casting.

Furthermore, the spinning reel features a unique quality in performance in that one can drag it in a backward motion to help in fighting big fish, and protecting your rods.

The main shaft is made of stainless steel, metal washers, and added screw nuts that are anti-rust and are best to perform in saltwater and challenging weather.

Pros 

  • Great ratio
  • Targets a more extensive areas
  • Longline capacity o
  • High speed retrieve

Cons

  • Drag is challenging to manipulate

5. Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel

The Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel is regarded as the best reel in the market due to its excellent design and allows for spool detachment.

Product description 

The Avenger has some added capabilities of picking up the bait and spins with it for a while and digs deep into the fish for a firmer grip.

Besides, when the fish picks up the bait, the line runs free to allow you to retrieve the catch, and also you can run the rod into a bait feeding mode.

On the contrary, this bait feeder spinning reel has a partly plastic made handle that can be slippery at times and may wear and tear after some time.

Key features

Includes a 6 ball bearing, which is most preferred to 7 because of the anti-reverse ball bearing for braking and drag-style enhancer.

The gearbox is well sealed to keep it away from the sand, salty water, and other foreign elements for a longer-lasting gear system.

Also, the reel is built from a graphite body and rotor design which lasts longer than an aluminum construction which is also lightweight

The reel has mounted rubber gaskets that help prevent water from entering the drag system for a longer life without clogging and sticking.

Pros 

  • Maximum drag
  • Front drag range
  • Anti-reverse
  • Additional graphite spool

Cons

  • Noisy in salty water

6. Penn Clash Spinning Fishing Reel

This Penn brand comes in different models to fit your deep sea fishing jobs without breaking or wearing at any cost.

Product description 

The reason that this spinning reel is preferred in salty water is that it is made of the corrosion-resistant anodized aluminum body for durability.

Additionally, the reel has an exceptional 8 sealed stainless steel bearings that do not allow water in the bearing, and in the case it does, no corrosion will take place.

This spinning reel is secure and cannot bend or break its bank due to high weight and vigorous big fish in the salty water.

Key features 

The Penn Clash Spinning Fishing Reel is equipped with CNC gear technology that offers a durable and robust mesh of brass and aluminum gears.

Besides, the level line oscillating technology is made to increase balance and the way the spool aligns itself for proper line casting.

The drag systems are improved HT-100 carbon fiber drag and extra washers on both sides of the spool for smooth drag feeling upon retrieval.

Pros 

  • Lightest reel
  • Sealed bearings
  • Smooth drag systems
  • CNC machine cut gears

Cons

  • Line rollers not aligned well 

7. Daiwa BG Salty water Spinning Reel

The Daiwa BG spinning reel is preferred due to the increased technological improvements of cut ABS spool and the Digi gear system.

Product description 

With ABS swept spool, fluorocarbon and braid fluoro leader combined, smooth and more comfortable release and retracting of the line each time.

Besides, this Daiwa reel offers an excellent casting distance with fewer loops and no bumps kind of engagement while fishing.

However, maintenance and oiling have to be done often to reduce friction between the spool and gear for efficiency.

Key features

This spinning reel has a sturdy and elegant larger roller that makes it easier for the fisherman to move faster and without line twists.

More so, the BG spinning reel has a more smooth and waterproof drag system that is adjustable even on light loads.

The BG reel is strong and durable without necessarily being weighty on your hands, which feels comfortable while handling it.

Pros 

  • Attractive and durable
  • Strong and comfortable
  • Smooth, silky drag
  • ABS spool system

Cons

  • Heavier

8. PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Reel

PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Reel is said to be an ideal fishing tool to be used in all conditions, offshore or in the sea.

Product description 

This spinning reel is considered as all-time perfect due to the durable body metal and aluminum construction for heavy loads.

The gear features a robust, ergonomic crank knob, which is an anti-friction bail to prevent tripping of bail when you fish big catches.

On the contrary, this spinning reel can be sometimes noisy while releasing the line in a faster mode and also retracting heavy load.

Key features 

Accompanied by a 4.2: 1 gear ratio that is firmly held in the spool to handle bigger fish and groups from the deep sea.

More so, it is equipped with HT slammer drag with a washer on the spool and two under for greater strength and smoothness.

The Penn fishing reel boasts shielded steel ball bearings with an anti-reverse technology to prevent them from rusting and getting damaged.

Pros 

  • For heavy-duty
  • Braid-ready spool
  • 5-shielded steel ball bearings

Cons

  • Not the best control

9. Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

This is a Pflueger redesigned model and has a reduced body weight to 10% less for proper handling and swiftness but still durable.

Product description 

This President spinning reel from Pflueger company coms in 5 sizes to suit the various fishing purposes in the market without interfering with the quality and features.

Furthermore, the reel has a heavy-duty bail made from aluminum alloys for stronger and firmer grips when you have a massive catch.

However, this model cannot be recommended for a beginner fisherman due to its slightly lower features because it has open sides allowing salty water to get in.

Key features

It includes a 10 bearing system with an anti-corrosion ball bearings that provides for a smooth retrieval and casting in case of a long-range catch.

This spinning reel has its body made from graphite that makes the whole reel lightweight and durable at the same time.

The spinning knob is made with an ergonomic style for adjustability and firmer gripping during the fishing activity at all times.

Besides, the drag system of this gear is quite smooth and typically moves without noises even when retrieving a more massive load in deep seas.

Pros

  • Has a10 bearing system
  • Lightweight
  • Switchable from right to left retrieve
  • Smooth drag

Cons

  • Not sealed

10. Daiwa Saltiga saltwater spinning reel

The Daiwa Saltiga salty water spinning reel is a known performer that has been improved with new technology for durability and smoothness.

Product description 

This fishing reel is efficient when it comes to long-range heavy fishing as it can cast up to 440 yards bearing the weight of 80lbs at once without straining.

With new reduced and well-curved weight measures with various Zaion carbon composites rotor and an aluminum spool for better and easier retracting and casting.

In addition, the bail carrying the line is made from a hollow sturdy stainless steel metal for both durability and lightweight experience.

Key features 

The saltiga 6500H is superfast as it retrieves with a speed of 51.6 inches per crank without bumps on the way following a quiet fishing time. 

Besides, this reel has an added 3 mag sealed ball bearings with oil strips to lubricate the ball bearings and all the levers in this tool and keep away elements.

In addition, the fishing reel is driven by a Digi gear drive system with 14 bearings to enhance the smooth and comfortable retrieval without noises.

An aluminum Spool wit anon breakable titanium nitride coated lip is built in to increase the performance and smooth running.

Pros 

  • Strong lightweight package
  • Anti corrosion ball bearings
  • Balanced
  • High speed and smooth

Cons

  • Has a manual bail

11. Okuma Cedros top Speed Spinning Reel

The Okuma spinning reel can be best used when mounted on rods that are lighter, sturdier, and more durable for best performance.

Product description 

Built of die-cast aluminum rail that is embedded around this reel for strength and rigidity in all situations without having a scratch of wear.

Due to heat concentration, the spool and crank are drilled to make it lighter and also disperse some heat out of the metal during hot seasons to avoid stretch.

The Cedros spinning reel is the sleekest fishing tool that can be named although it still handles 30lbs within 180 yards and enormous drag with a standard speed. 

Key features 

This reel is equipped with carbon fiber discs that can be oiled to allow smooth drag and silky movement of the line while retrieving the load.

Furthermore, Okuma Cedros contains a brass gear machine that id boosted by a 4 corrosion repellent stainless steel ball bearings for smooth and stable running. 

The 5.7:1 gear ratio system with a large spool serves as a ground for a high-speed gesture while retracting the line and suitable for lures.

The visibility efforts Okuma companies have employed in this tool is excellent with blue and gold highlights, and it looks clean and noticeable.

Pros 

  • Gives ventilation for drag rotor
  • Smooth and lubricated
  • Line lay-up is accurate
  • Crank handles 90-degree angle movement

Cons

  • Not braid ready

12. SHIMANO Socorro SW Spinning Fishing Reel

Due to the changing demands in line with technology, the Shimano Company has produced the Socorro spinning reel for saltwater fishing.

Product description 

More of the features are put together to increase the performance of this fishing reel in challenging situations and longer endurances.

The Socorro reel is equipped with a stable and reliable Hagane gearing system that is a smart solution for both inshore and offshore fishing action.

However, this machine as sturdy as it is has some lousy noise while using it, and one would require protective gear for the ears for safety.

Key features 

Socorro SW reel is made in an ergonomic style with no frills and ensures that all its weight id evenly dispersed throughout the handle. 

Besides, the reel provides an X-ship design that gives smoothness and power while operating in tricky situations and while handling heavy loads.

This tool also features cross carbon drag that is built to withstand strong high-speed actions from stubborn inshore species.

Furthermore, this Shimano reel has a 4+1 bearing style with a gear ratio of 4.6:1 that proves its power while on the operation.

Pros 

  • Flexible and easy to use
  • Performance is the best
  • With an ergonomic design
  • Hegane gear system
  • Cross carbon drag design

Cons

  • Bearings not well protected

Buying Guide- How to Choose the Right Saltwater Spinning Reel

With so many spinning reels for saltwater fishing available to choose from, how do you know which one is the best? What makes a certain reel better than the other?

Well, here are some of the things to pay attention to when buying a saltwater spinning reel.

Drag System

The drag is the mechanical, adjustable friction that determines the amount of resistance required to pull line from the reel. Therefore, it’s advisable to choose a spinning reel with the maximum drag.

This is because there are large and strong fish in the ocean which may put so much strain on the reel. And since the drag system is built to bear some of that strain, it should be strong enough. 

Also, the drag system should be smooth, easy to adjust, and efficient. Generally, drag with a higher rating is the best. This is because it offers more protection from sudden bursts of strength or speed.

Line Capacity

Fishing in saltwater is not as easy as you may think especially if you don’t have the right gear. You may have to endure long runs and longer waits because even the smallest species can easily speed away.

So, to avoid this, you will need a spinning reel that can hold enough line. A reel with a good line capacity makes it easy for you to handle long-running fish without being spooled.

Generally, you should consider a reel with a minimum capacity of 300 yards depending on where you plan to fish.

Corrosion Resistance

Spinning reels designed to be used for saltwater fishing should be highly resistant to corrosion. So, you should be on the lookout for reels made from materials like graphite, aluminum, or titanium.

Additionally, the drag system should be constructed from carbon fiber and the bearings from high-grade stainless steel.

Also, you should make sure that internal components are protected from the abrasive and corrosive nature of offshore water. So, look out for shielded construction, quality seals, protective coatings, and gaskets that prevent saltwater from reaching the internal parts.

Bearings

Ball bearings are an important part of every reel. After all, they are the parts within the reel that are responsible for metal-on-metal rotation. So, if you compromise on the bearings, you’re bound to have the overall quality of the device compromised as well.

At this point, it’s worth noting that cheap reels typically use low-quality bushings which normally lead to reduced tolerances. If you want the best bang for your bucks, it makes perfect sense to go for a reel with good bearings.

Some pundits argue that the higher the number of ball bearings, the better. However, that’s not always true as ball bearings shouldn’t be looked at in isolation.

Braided Line Compatibility

Are you considering getting braided lines instead of monofilament ones? Well, it’s advisable to get spools that are meant for braided lines.

Worth noting is that the majority of the reels out there are meant for monofilament lines. So, if you have this specific need in mind, be sure to look even closer before you pick.

Reels meant for this are usually graded as such so it should be pretty easy for you to pick them from the rest.

Construction Material

If you’re determined to catch fish in freshwater bodies, then you may not need to worry much about this. However, if you’re specifically looking for a salt-water spinning reel, it’s important to confirm that it’s corrosion-resistant.

Normally, the aluminum material is one of the best ones as far as this factor is concerned. And by extension, if you can get reels whose frames are made from CNC-machined aluminum, you would do yourself a big favor.

Weight

Of course, since you’ll be holding onto your reel for the better part of your fishing mission, it makes perfect sense to go for one that’s light in weight. Other than that, the reel should be easy to handle and preferably come with an ergonomic handle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now, revisit some of the commonly asked questions about saltwater spinning reels. We hope you’ll find this section informative.

Can I use any reel in saltwater?

Yes you can use a freshwater reel in salt water as long as it packs similar features to saltwater spinning reels.

How often should I oil my spinning reel?

You should lubricate the reel bearings at least every two to three weeks to help keep them smooth and working well.

How do I maintain my saltwater spinning reel?

Generally, you should clean it regularly e.g. by spraying with fresh water. Alternatively, you can dunk it in a container with fresh water.

Best Overall Choice

Overall, the Penn Battle II reel is our top pick. We love that it comes braid ready and it’s also durable. What’s more, the spinning reel boasts a drag system that is made from carbon fiber to ensure a powerful drag. On top of that, the reel features a super line spool that does not need backing.

Final Thoughts

Now that you've got an idea about the best saltwater spinning reels, we hope you find a reel that meets your needs. Just remember, choosing a saltwater fishing reel mostly depends on your style of fishing. So, happy fishing!

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