Any angler would love to have at least one best spinning reel combo in their arsenal. In nearly any retail store you can find a spinning reel.
But let’s be real; most of those spinning reels are utter crap. Those reels are toys, and you deserve better spinning reels.
If you’re looking for the top spinning reel models with the best value for the money, then check out our comparison chart below.
These spinning reels are what we consider to be the best spinning reels out there in the market. You cannot go wrong with any of those reels. Each of the reels should last for many years if you maintain them nicely.
Our comparison table and buyers guide of the top-rated spinning reels will help you choose the right one for you. Let’s have a quick look at some of the best freshwater spinning reel models that most of the anglers will love to buy.
Our Recommendation for the best spinning reel of 2021 is Abu Garcia Revo SX Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel
|Top 10 Spinning Reels||Best For||Weight||Current Price|
|Abu Garcia Revo SX||Exceptional castability and smooth drag in a compact frame||1.1 pounds|
|Shimano Stradic CI4 +||Newly developed Magnumlite rotor and silky-soft resistance||7 ounces|
|Pflueger Supreme XT||Ultralightweight magnesium body and buttery-smooth drag||1 pounds|
|Shimano Stradic HG||Smooth, powerful and durable reel||1 pounds|
|Abu Garcia Revo S||Excellent spinning reel for the price||6.4 Ounces|
|Shimano Symetre||Propulsion Line Management System||9 ounces|
|PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Reel||IPX5 sealing - watertight spinning reel||4 pounds|
|KastKing Kodiak Saltwater Spinning Reel||Solid aluminum reel with a mechanized reel made to attack a big fish||11.7 ounces|
|Pflueger President Spinning Reel||Different line diameters and feature different drag pressures||10.9 ounces|
|Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel||Reliable, smooth operation and versatile castability||7.83 Ounces|
|Daiwa BG Spinning Reel||Aluminum reel and body are made for stiffness and power first, lightweight second||1 pounds|
|Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel||Fluid 8-bearing drive system and featuring Okuma precision elliptical gearing||8.8 ounces|
Top 12 Best Freshwater Spinning Reels Reviews of 2021
The Revo Sx spinning reel looks a lot like the Pflueger Supreme XT. The biggest differences are the materials and the weight.
The Revo SX has a set of aluminum gears plus a molded frame with carbon insert. It has a side plate and handle compared to the Supreme XT magnesium.
So, the Abu Garcia Revo SX is still a good spinning reel and I have two of them myself. I bought my SX for fishing with falls and fishing with the shaky and light head. They have the reputation of having ultralight carbon matrix drag systems. And After a year of fishing with them, I can confirm it.
This ultralight spinning reel comes with a spool ready to braid, which I tend to fill with 20lb Sufix 832 Advanced Braid. When using a leader, handle 10 to 20 feet of Seaguar InvizX with ease. I recommend the Abu Revo SX spinning reels for all delicacy applications specially as the best freshwater spinning reel.
The Shimano Stradic CI4 + is undoubtedly one of the best fishing reel brands that you can buy today. The CI4 + is, in fact, one of the most expensive spinning reels, but you will get a precise and refined performance.
The frame and handle are made of carbon fiber with infusion, for excellent strength and reduced weight. As there are no metal parts in the CI4 +, it is a good choice for lighter saltwater fishing applications.
The CI4 + FB has returned to the palette style grips. But they are completely recessed to save more weight. The handles of the shovel should reduce the number of times lost by looking for the grip of the handle after an unexpected blow.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Shimano Stradic CI4 + is the silky and soft resistance. When that great spotted bass is pulling hard for deep water, you can be sure that the drag will be ready to fight the fish. The 10 lb. fluorocarbon test line is a perfect combination for this best spinning reel of 2021.
The Pflueger Supreme XT is the rare high-performance reel that does not cost a fortune. The Supreme XT is built with high-quality materials.
The body, rotor and side plate of these Pflueger reels are all magnesium, which helps keep the pen light and balanced in the hand. The handle is formed by a strong and lightweight carbon fiber composite. Continuing the lightweight trend, Pflueger placed the popular EVA foam controls on the reel.
Pflueger is owned by Pure Fishing, which also owns Abu Garcia. An experienced eye can see many similarities with the Revo STX and Revo STX reels.
However, according to all the online reviews I have read, it seems that the quality of this Pflueger reel is better than that of the Revo series. The Supreme XT is a top spinning reel and receives almost universal ratings from fishermen who buy it. The feeling is excellent, the castability and the sealed carbon fiber carry pile is soft like Jagger.
The Shimano Stradic HG series has been very popular among freshwater fishermen for many years. Thanks to an excellent mechanical design and an exceptional drag system.
This top-rated spinning reel brand is well known for its almost white finish. Although it seemed strange when the reels appeared for the first time years ago, they look awesome now than ever before.
Under that white finish, the reel is built with high-quality materials everywhere, with very few plastic parts. The frame and handle of this best high end spinning reel is made of solid aluminum, with a cold-forged aluminum reel, and the side plate and rotor constructed with light graphite. The Stradic weighs 9.2 oz. For size 2500, which is light enough for days of use without fatigue.
The handles are traditional T-shaped and palette depending on the size of the reel you get. The drag is constructed from a steel stack and tightly fitting felt washers that fit together and are sealed with a washer inside the spool.
The result is a drag that can be locked at the top end of 15 lb and stays fluid and smooth at the lower end, allowing you to keep the pressure on the fish without worrying too much about breaking your line in a sudden surge.
The Abu Garcia Revo S is an excellent spinning reel for the price. The white parts of the Revo S are the polymeric body and rotor, while the matt black parts are the X-Craftic alloy frame and the machined aluminum spool.
The body houses a one-piece gearbox with the main gear of duragear brass to provide starting power. It weighs only 8.5 ounces, making it one of the lightest reels in our list.
This Abu Garcia Spinning Reel has a specially designed reel for the braid, which will flow from the reel effortlessly by clicking on open the large Everlast bail system with the cable. Thanks to the alloy frame as its anchor, the Revo S will be solid with almost no flex when fighting a fish. The reel sports the popular Carbon Matrix drag system.
The maximum resistance is announced at 12 pounds, but it has been shown to increase. The Revo S maintains a good softness at the lower end to fight fish. For its light weight, quality drag, solid components, elegant appearance and an even better price, the Revo S would be an excellent purchase for any fisherman.
Shimano Symetre is the brother of the Stradic. It costs considerably less than the Stradic, plus the same level of performance and quality that we have expected from a Shimano reel.
For its price, the Shimano Symetre is one of the best reels, but it will not damage your wallet. The Symetre has the small profile compact body “M” and is composed of aluminum and plastic components.
This best ultralight spinning reel is the lowest priced reel that has the new X-Ship gear configuration that fishermen love. X-Ship accepts the longest and narrowest pinion on both ends with stainless steel ball bearings. No matter how much pressure you or the fish put on the handle, the gears will remain firmly in place to provide starting power.
The two things that fishermen love most about this Shimano fishing reel are soft casting, soft start, and line management. Thanks to its sealed bearings, you will feel the movement of your bait and not the grinding of the bearings. This allows you to concentrate on moving your bait the way you need to get a bite.
The variable oscillation speeds in the shot are excellent for keeping light, but the constant pressure on your decoy. The line management of this shimano spinning reel is solid on this reel. Do you know how, after a day of release with a cheaper reel, sometimes, suddenly, there is an explosion of bird nests? With this best Shimano reel you can be sure that there will be many trips before you notice any line turn. When it happens, it will not prevent you from casting like cheap reels.
Penn’s Spinfisher has a solid 5 + 1 bearing system that could be more robust, but for most anglers, you will not have any problems.
I like the anodized aluminum reel and the full metal body. While it will not be as light as a graphite reel, the added volume is not much and will resist almost any capture easily.
This freshwater spinning reel has a sealed drag system that is a great innovation that prevents corrosion and failure of the drag system over time due to water contamination. This is just another way to ensure that your investment and purchase really last a long time.
The instant backstop is basically a non-recoil function that locks the handle every few degrees as it goes. Most fishermen consider this essential. There are a handful of different variations in this model, so when it comes to capacity, gear ratio and specific technical specifications for your needs, you can find the model for you.
The PENN Spinfisher is one of the best freshwater spinning reels available for 2021. Just be sure to look for the model that really seals the deal for you!
This is another solid aluminum reel for freshwater that comes with a mechanized reel made to attack a big fish! With a 10 + 1 bearing system and up to 40 lb of drag, you’ll want to consider this reel if you like long fights with heavy fish.
They have directed this reel directly into the saltwater crowd that seeks serious power and control. I would recommend this to saltwater fishermen who wish to land fatty fish on the net for dinner.
Brass gears and carbon fiber drag are corrosion resistant to help drastically reduce the possible impacts of saltwater corrosion on your investment in your fishing gear. The armored stainless steel ball bearings add to the list of components designed to withstand the hard wear of saltwater fishing.
It is a beast of high capacity and low transmission ratio that could almost get a jeep out of a mud pit and do it all without a rust stain. It is clear that KastKing thought a bit about the components and was designed to be one of the best saltwater reels on the market.
There is something that really feels presidential about the presentation of this spinning body roll of graphite.
With silver, gold and blue anodization, it almost says “executive”. It is a lightweight and agile reel for those who like a fast pitch and a good fight. I like the big handle and the easy textured grip mounted on the top of a 10-bearing system for a smooth recovery of any line.
With a felt and stainless steel drag system, you will have a smooth application of friction and long life outside of your interior. Depending on the model you choose, you can advance up to 12 pounds of test if you wish.
Again, Pflueger president spinning reel is another one of those reels that you can buy again and again to adapt to any condition or target fish you want to tackle. If you fall in love with this Pflueger President Spinning Reel, there is a model for each encounter and probably the best spinning reel for the money.
Abu is a brand that knows how to make a quality reel that looks as elegant as performance. They watch and attack like the James Bond of the fishing reels.
With a system of 9 bearings of high quality and computerized machining of gears and internal components, there is little margin for error. Of course, what does not a computer do these days?
However, we will give them the benefit of the doubt and we will assume that they designed it from scratch to comply with the Abu Garcia quality standard.
The carbon body and the graphite rotor combined with the stainless steel bearings and some aluminum spatters create a solid overall construction in which each component is optimized for its work.
They have actually reduced the weight by using heavy materials only where they are really needed to balance the light weight and durability on a reel. In my opinion, the Revo is the best rotary bass drum. Once again, this is a reel that can find a model to meet any need. From light to chunky, Abu has one of these attractive black and red reels for any situation he encounters.
Another great line of high quality spinning reels that you can find in any size or capacity you may need.
These reels are made for fishing in freshwater and have a black and gold design reminiscent of a bumblebee! The aluminum reel and body are made for stiffness and power first, lightweight second.
Like some of the other reels that we have reviewed, this reel is ready to accept braided lines, a feature you may not find on each reel. You will not have problems if you try to use a braided line on a reel that is not designed for that. Let’s say it will leave you frustrated.
With a 6 + 1 bearing system, anti-return handle (double anti-return on larger models) and manual return bail, it has all the features you need to be an athlete. In my opinion, the Daiwa BG is the best rotating reel below $ 100. There’s nothing you can not find on this line of reels, from ultra-light freshwater to fleshy saltwater models in the high-end range.
Now we are going to see a small reel made for light catches and precision fishing. This small spinning reel comes in a sexy red and black anodized body made of machined aluminum.
The anti-recoil reel and the 7 + 1 ball bearing system are standard and I think there is more than enough softness on the reel for everyone.
This reel is available in 5 different models with varying capacities and transmission ratios. I like it a lot when manufacturers do this because once you find a brand that you love, you can simply have the variation of your favorite reel on hand for any type of fishing.
They made this reel to handle anything, from a 2lbs test to a 6lbs test, so it is definitely a lightweight made for quick punctures. With a greased felt drag system, there is not much to worry about with corrosion.
The maximum drag pressure of 5 lbs should warn you that this reel will not be to land the type of fish you could handle with something similar to the Kodiak KastKing. This is a light, playful and fun reel, and with its economical price, it is the best revolving reel for beginners.
The Best Spinning Reel Buyer’s Guide
There is a long list of mechanical specifications that accompany each spinning reel. They are simple to understand once you think about them.
Some specifications are more important than others, at least in our opinion. Here is our explanation of the most common specifications, starting with the most important ones.
1. Trawl System:
The quality of the trawl system is one of the most important characteristics in a spinning reel, especially in the larger sizes in which you fish larger fish.
A smooth drag allows you to play a large fish on a smaller line. You want the drag to fit smoothly into your set of hooks or when a fish dives. A sticky drag can cause your line to suddenly detach from the impact of a moving fish.
2. Drag System:
Most reels have a front drag system that you control with a dial, while others have a rear drag controlled with a knob. In both cases, you control the amount of tension on the reel by turning the knobs.
The quality of the drag usually corresponds to the price of the reel. In the case of the trawl system, you almost always get what you pay for.
3. Reel size / Line capacity:
Most spinning reel models come in 3 or 4 different sizes. The total capacity of the line increases as it increases in the size of the reel.
Manufacturers often provide line reel capabilities for both the monofilament and the braided line (which has a smaller diameter for a resistance equal to the regular lines). Many times you will get an additional reel with your new reel that you can fill with a different type of line to serve as an emergency backup.
4. Frame material / Total weight:
Most reel frames are made of plastic, aluminum, carbon or magnesium. Plastic and aluminum are the most common materials. Carbon and magnesium are found in the highest-end reels because of their low weight and excellent rigidity.
5. Aluminum or carbon spinning reels:
As a reel enthusiast, we recommend that you first look for aluminum or carbon spinning reels. They are affordable, resistant and lightweight. A plastic reel simply will not give you the longevity you deserve.
6. Line Recovery Speed:
This number is simply the amount of line, in inches, that the reel takes and replaces on the reel with one full turn of the handle. The spinning reels can usually recover a few more inches of line per turn than a bait launcher of similar size.
The bearings are what make the handle and the spool move smoothly. The amount of bearings is not what makes a large spinning reel. A good spinning reel only needs 4 or 5 bearings, anything else is just an additional expense for your reel.
8. Amount of bearings on a reel.
Need bearings in the main shaft of the handle and in the main gear. Then one for the anti-recoil, and one roller bearing for the line roller.
When you see reels with 8, 9, 10 or more bearings, all you are doing is replacing the bushings inside the spool with bearings. Most of that is unnecessary, so do not settle for the amount of bearings on a reel.
This function prevents the reel handle unwinding unintentionally. When a reel has anti-recoil, it is usually controlled with a small black lever or switch to the spool stock.
Most freshwater drums have an anti-backlash, and most people will not even change it if they are turned off. Some fishermen like to turn off anti-retreat. Instead, he does something called staggering when he fights a big fish or when he tries to swim a plug through an intense current.
Advantages of choosing the best spinning reels
Light line, light lures:
The main advantages of spinning freshwater reels are their ability to easily handle light lines and attract light lures. The reason for this is due to the fixed and open reel, which in the mold allows the line to flow in coils and then is channeled through the guide system of its bar. This is also what makes them so easy to throw, and very rarely create contractions or entanglements.
Spinning reels are most often used in live baits or thin presentations, which makes them very popular with fishermen of panfish, bass and walleye. Small templates, spinners and small crankbaits are perfectly suited for use in a spinning combo. The 6 to 10-pound test line is perfect for most freshwater reels.
Ideal for all levels of experience:
The spinning reels are excellent for teaching someone to throw and fish. The operation is as simple as opening the bail, placing your finger on the line and letting the lure navigate. As a fisherman gains experience, he can easily update and appreciate the most refined models with better features.
Most of the reels we reviewed are offered by renowned manufacturers that offer large lines of models for any need. Whether you’re looking for cutting-edge technology or proven coils with the limited budget, here you can trust something. It is up to you to research what type of fishing you are doing and which reel is the best for your choice.
Jump to the top and read our buyer’s guide to have a clear idea of which reel will meet your needs! I hope this guide is useful to find the “best spinning reel of 2021” that fits your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a reel that I did not include, use my contact form to get in touch. Good Luck and Have fun!