best saltwater spinning reels review

Best Saltwater Spinning Reels – 2018 Reviews and Top Picks

Fishing Reel

Do you always fish in saltwater? In case you do, then you require high quality and durable spinning reel that will serve you better and longer. Today, there are a number of spinning reels meant for saltwater, but not all of them will assure you of excellent services.

So, how do you find the best saltwater spinning reel? For a good purchase, there are many features and factors you need to consider.

For example, the construction, the gear ratio, size, and drag system among others. Besides these, you may also look out for the ease of use and price among others. Below are the best saltwater spinning reels to give a try.

Top 5 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels [Comparision]

Picture Name Max Drag Gear Ratio Price
Penn Battle II 10 - 25 lbs 6.2:1 - 5.3:1
Shimano Baitrunner 20 lbs 4.8:1
Penn Spinfisher 20 lbs 6.2:1 - 4.2:1
Penn Clash 10 - 30 lbs 6.2:1 - 4.7:11
Okuma Cedros 20 -33 lb 6.2:1 -5.1:1

Best Saltwater Spinning Reel Reviews [2018]

Below are some of the spinning reel reviews, we believe can qualify as sound choices for purchase.

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

Just like the name implies, the Penn Battle II Spinning Reel is ready to go to the mat for you during your next fishing trip. This reel is a solid choice from a renowned and trusted reel manufacturer.

The Penn Battle II has a sturdy, full-metal body, side plate and rotor designed to stand up to wear and tear when tackling the big fish. Its weight varies from 10 ounces to 30 ounces depending on the model chosen.

The handle is ergonomically designed for a comfortable, comfortable grip and accommodates both right-handed and left-handed fishers.

This reel has 5+1 ball bearings for optimal smoothness when retrieving a catch. Gear ratios are high and therefore fast. They vary among models of this reel from 6.2:1 to 5.3:1.

This reel includes the brand’s patented HT-100 drag washers. What exactly does this mean? This refers to the carbon fiber construction of the drag washer.

The HT stands for “high tech,” and the number (100) refers to the original tests on the washers where 100 miles of fishing line were run against the drag of a wheel without any apparent change.

Penn’s switch to carbon fiber was an improvement over the old drag washers, which were composed of asbestos. Carbon fiber tends to resist friction, so when a big catch takes out a lot of lines, the carbon fiber becomes less hot, adding strength to the line.

The Penn Battle II comes in six models with drag ranging from 10 pounds to 30 pounds. This is composed of heavy-duty aluminum wire for adjustable strength. The anti-reverse is instantaneous thereby reducing the loss of control over the line.

Penn Pursuit II Spinning Fishing Reel

This is one of the leading spinning fishing reels you will find ideal for your daily fishing. This is because the spinning real offers a 4 + 1 bearing system made of stainless steel.

Besides this, it also has a durable construction made of aluminum side plates, graphite body, and graphite rotor. This is one of the ultimate reels that will significantly enhance your fishing experience.

It is a user-friendly spinning reel with an ergonomic handle to allow for easy handling. You will always find it very comfortable. Besides this, it is also lightweight for comfortable fishing activity.

Everyone needs something that will offer them an endurance service. This is a high quality and durable spinning reel made of graphite and aluminum to ensure a long-term facility. With the corrosion-resistant graphite body, it perfectly suits saltwater fishing.

The oiled felt drag system is one key factor to consider when looking for the ultimate saltwater spinning reel. This high-quality spinning reel offers you an oiled felt drag system, which will provide you a considerable drag pressure without sacrificing its smoothness.

Shimano Baitrunner OC Reel

This beauty is designed for comfort and maximum durability, all the while offering some high-tech improvements on other reels. These improvements include a propulsion spool that fires off the line with minimal resistance.

The Shimano Baitrunner OC Reel feature provides a quick auto return. It’s notable for casting a line with less friction and tangling, as well as having a decent casting capability.

Available in three models, it’s a little heavier despite its graphite construction with weights ranging from 13 ounces to 20 ounces. The reel can be used with fluorocarbon, monofilament and braided lines.

The reel’s frame, side plate, and rotor are made of lightweight XT-7 graphite. Graphite, in particular, holds up well against saltwater corrosion. The spool itself is made from heavy-duty aluminum.

This handle is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort. This gear has a rotor that is counterbalanced, so there’s less shaking when reeling in a large catch. It has 3+1 ball bearings, not as much as some other brands.

The maximum drag is also somewhat lower than other brands at 20 pounds. Shimano’s bail patented baitrunner feature allows for free spooling when the bail is closed. There’s also an option to switch it off when you’re ready to reel in your catch.

Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel

Penn Spinfisher V Spinning is the ideal reel that is touted as being completely waterproof, making it suitable for offshore fishing as well as fishing on board a vessel.

To start, it looks great with gold and black components. It’s more than beautiful though, it’s also designed to be extra tough.

The Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel has a full-metal body and side plate for strength to handle heavy catches. Its drag system and gear are sealed and watertight and it provides 3 HT-100 drag washers on top of the spool and one below so you can be assured that no water will get in.

It has something that’s a bit of a first for the brand: three line capacity rings on the spool flange to let you know how much line you’ve got left.

Because its composition is metal, it is a little heavier than other models. It includes a rubber gasket to keep the line from slipping.

The Spinfisher V has a stainless steel main shaft and alloy main gear construction. It’s designed in a paddle-style for easy gripping and large hands.

This includes 5+1 bearings. Ratios range from 6.2:1 to 4.2:1 among seven models of the reel. Drag capacities on the available models range from 20 pounds at the low end to 40 pounds on the high end.

Penn Clash Spinning Reel

Available in seven models with weights ranging from 8 ounces to 27 ounces, this reel packs a lot of punch. Penn Clash Spinning Reel is lighter weights won’t leave you tired out even after battles with your prey. For those who fish on the water, not land, this reel offers plenty of flexibility and durability.

This reel features the brand’s patented Dura-Gear technology, which is designed for extended wear and toughness. Though not completely waterproof, its bearings are sealed against saltwater damage.

Its slow oscillation provides optimal control over the line, and line capacity rings let you know how much line is left at any time.

A sturdy construction, stiff, full-metal body stands up well against high drag pressure. Bigger than handles on other brand models, it accommodates both right-handed and left-handed fishers.

The gearbox has an 8+1 stainless steel bearing system sealed against any infiltration from saltwater. The gear box also includes an instant anti-reverse bearing. The high number of bearings assures very smooth operation. Gear ratios range from 6.2:1 to 4.7:11 among the models.

HT-100 drag washers particular to the brand give you a drag range that runs from 10 pounds to 30 pounds among the models.

The bail is composed of heavy-duty aluminum for added strength. The reel has an instant anti-reverse thanks to a dedicated ball bearing.

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning boasts that this reel is specifically designed for saltwater fishing. With that claim in mind, it does hold up well under the special environment posed by ocean waters. Its dual-force drag system promises great stopping power.

Six models are available, ranging in weight from 12 ounces to 23 ounces. The lightweight makes it easy to handle for beginning fishers who are using saltwater jigging as a technique. A smart, good-looking design makes this an excellent gift for those who are new to the sport.

The narrow frame is made of die-cast aluminum and the spool is composed of anodized aluminum, making it resistant to salt corrosion.

The handle is in the form of a knobbed, customized jigging handle. The box has 4+1 bearings and ratios from 6.2:1 to 5.1:1 giving the reel a fast retrieve. There are also oscillation gears in an elliptical shape that provide a smooth spool stroke.

Okuma Trio High-Speed Spinning Reel

The Okuma Trio High-Speed Spinning Reel is an ergonomic spinning reel with a quick set anti-reverse roller bearing. This ensures that you easily control the reel while fishing.

This is a unique spinning reel that you will find ideal for your fishing. It has a hybrid spool design with aluminum lip and graphite arbor; hence ideal for saltwater fishing.

The spinning reel also features a unique and drag system to ensure that it delivers just as expected. The precision drag system aids in incorporating both surfaces on the spool. This will, therefore, maximize its overall smoothness, efficiency, and high-end drag pressure.

This is a highly durable spinning reel that will serve you for the longest time possible. This is because it is made of graphite hybrid body and rotor design and a crossover aluminum. With this, it will not destroy even after using it for years, making it a great spinning reel for all.

Saltwater Fishing Reels Spinning with Corrosion Resistant

Are you looking for a versatile fishing spinning reel? This is a perfect and versatile spinning reel ideal for both fresh and saltwater. The reel will always allow for smooth casting and retrieval since it features 18 sealed stainless steel ball bearing. It is one amazing reel you will definitely like.

It is a very sturdy fishing reel as it features a stainless steel metal shaft that has a patented multi-point floater gear. This will always ensure maximum stability.

This is one of the ultimate spinning reels that will enable you to add more fishing line for spooling and longer casting distance. This is because it has a unique parallel winding reel spool design, making it an excellent choice for all.

This is a reliable and convenient spinning reel that features stainless steels screws that are dustproof, scratchproof, and waterproof. Besides this, they also offer better corrosion prevention; hence will serve you better and longer as expected.

The spinning reel is more suitable for the big fish. This is because it has a stainless steel copper alloy main axis that has a double bearing system. With this, it will quickly reel on the big fish.

Sougayilang Fishing Reel with Left Right Interchangeable Collapsible Handle

Have you tried out the Sougayilang Fishing Reel with Left Right Interchangeable Collapsible Handle yet? In case you haven’t, then you need to give it a try since it is a unique and versatile spinning reel you will definitely like. It is easily portable and reliable fishing reel you can use in both freshwater and saltwater.

This is a very reliable and convenient spinning reel you will easily carry with you. It is because it has a lightweight and can easily fit in the fishing box or backpack.

This is an ergonomic spinning reel with a fully adjustable cast control with Sound S-Curve. This means that it is excellent for good line winding.

The Sougayilang Fishing Reel with Left Right Interchangeable Collapsible Handle comes in various sizes. This means that you will find one for saltwater surf fishing, freshwater bass trout fishing, and inshore fishing among others. It also features an aluminum spool with high tensile gear that is perfectly balanced to reduce fatigue.

How We Picked The Best Saltwater Spinning Reel

We’ve done extensive research online to find the best reels for your sea fishing. In our research, we’ve examined several criteria for this type of reel for you to use as a comparison among brands when you shop for a spinning reel.

best saltwater spinning reels review

Criteria We’ve Considered

We’ve compared each product here with most of the following items.

The construction: This element covers the outside of the reel, its body and other factors such as weight.

The handle: How easy is the grip on the reel? Is it easy to turn?

The gear box: The gearbox is one of the most important considerations when selecting a reel. A consideration of the gear box includes the internal mechanism of the reel, its bearings and spool construction as well as information regarding gear ratio.

Gear ration refers to how many times the spool rotates with one turn of the handle. A guideline is that a higher ratio equals a higher speed and its dispersal of line. A lower ratio will include more torque.

The drag: The drag is a measurement of the resistance a fish will feel on the line. It is measured in terms of pounds and can be controlled with mechanisms on the shaft that controls the spool.

The tighter the drag, the more resistance on the line. Many reels have a knob that sets the drag. Others may have a drag control at the back of the reel.

The bail: This wire holds the spool in place to keep it from running loose.

The anti-reverse mechanism: This feature allows the gear box to control the direction of how the spool turns, either dispensing the line forward or reeling it backward.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Saltwater Spinning Reel

Drag capability and line capacity

You might be wrestling with a big catch so select a reel that can handle the heavy weight (drag capability), and a larger spool that provides more line capacity.


Saltwater fishing is by its nature a tough environment subject to elements that can eat away at your fishing equipment. Choose a reel that, at a minimum, has a sealed gear box. Also, look for an anodized finish, which stays fresher longer.


Select a weight that feels comfortable. Remember, metal reels weigh more and are stronger, but you may tire easily.

Ball bearings

Look for a reel with more bearings, not less. There will be fewer hitches.


Believe it or not, your preferred fishing spot plays a part in choosing a reel. If you’ll be fishing on the water, you can get away with a reel with more give and take that allows for movements (oscillations).

If fishing from shore, you want a reel with more line capacity and drag since the fish will have all the advantages of movement.

Match reel with the rod

Your choice of the rod is dependent on several factors including length, action and weight. While the subject of rod selection is not addressed here, it is an important factor in ultimately determining your choice of a cheap spinning reel.

saltwater fishing reel

How to Choose the Reel Size

Now that you know how to choose the fishing reel, it is time to understand what should determine the size of fishing reel you buy. Size is important because it will determine the kind of fish you catch.

A very small reel cannot catch a big fish. You will lose either your spinning reel or the fish. So, how do you go about choosing the fishing reel size?

The Fishing Line You Intend To Use

The fishing line you plan on using is the most important factor to consider when choosing the fishing reel size. This is because the measurement of the line is directly proportional to the dimensions of the reel itself.

The lighter the line you plan on using, the smaller the dimensions of the fishing reel you should purchase. The highest diameter and strength of the fishing line is usually 10-pound test.

The Fish Species of Interest

A good example is if you will predominantly go for lightweight species like walleye or small mouth brass then you should choose the fishing line with 8-pound test.

Conversely, if your hunting area always has more weighty species that weight 10 pounds, you will have to go for a fishing line of 10-pound test.

A good practice would be to choose a fishing reel that is medium in size and rated for 8-pound, 9-pound and 10-pound tests.

Freshwater Vs. Saltwater Fishing

Things are much different if you are talking about saltwater fishing. Their reels have heavy lines because the saltwater fish species are quite heavy. The saltwater reels are big and suited for saltwater fishing and or trolling scenarios.

Depending on the type of fishing you intend to do; you will have to choose the right size for you. It is also important to point out that you are free to choose the size that you are comfortable with depending on your preferences.

How to clean a fishing reel after saltwater use?

Just as the name sounds, saltwater contains a variety of chemicals that can interfere with your fishing reel after saltwater use and cause damage through corrosion and other chemical reactions. It’s therefore, vital to clean your fishing reel after every use in saltwater.

Some people use pressurized water to clean their fishing reels but this can be seriously damaging to your expensive gadget. Here is how you can clean your fishing reel after saltwater use:

Give It a Gentle Bath

The first thing after a fishing trip is to give your gadget a gentle bath with misty water. This will dissolve any salt accumulations allowing it to run off the fishing reel with ease.

If you use harsh water or pressurized water, the salt accumulations will be pushed further inside the reel leading to malfunctions.

Wipe the Reel Down

Using a cotton cloth or dry paper towel, wipe down the reel gently. Some people usually bow to the temptation to blow the reel with compressed air. This can be counterproductive. It will drive water into the internal parts of the device accelerating its wear and tear.

How to Clean a Fishing Reel after Saltwater Use

Loosen the Reel’s Drag System

Once you give the spinning reel a gentle bath and wipe it down, you should loosen the reel’s drag system before you keep it. Doing this will relieve the tension on the discs, springs and drag washers.

While doing this is important, some people might forget to re-tighten their drags before making their next cast on their next fishing trip. Be safe by re-tightening the reel’s drag system before your next trip.

Apply a Lubricant

The final thing before you store your best spinning reel is to coat it with an appropriate lubricant. Lubrication is especially important for reels with metallic parts. It prevents rusting and ensures parts of the reel function smoothly.

Desist from spraying lubricant inside the reel. Also, avoid using oil-based lubricants because they can break down greases in the reel’s body and accelerate wear and tear.

Final Verdict

While we have outlined what we consider some of the excellent saltwater spinning reels available, the choice of the right one for your needs will eventually come down to personal choice, comfort level and level of experience you have with the sport.

Be sure to consult your local sporting goods store because there is no substitute for trying fishing gear out before making any kind of an investment in a reel.

We hope our guide has been helpful in getting you started on your search, and you find that your fishing expeditions yield large catches so that you may say, in the words of science- fiction author Douglas Adams, “Thanks for all the fish.”

You May Like to Read:

Leave a Reply