The 10 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels

Updated February 06, 2017 by Sam Kraft

10 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 27 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. The conditions for saltwater fishing are often more challenging and dynamic than they would be if you were inshore or freshwater fishing. The fish you’re targeting are typically bigger and stronger, the underwater structure is more extreme, and the ocean is clearly larger than any inland lake. Choose from the saltwater spinning reels listed here to conquer these challenges and land the big one. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best saltwater spinning reel on Amazon.

10. Okuma Avenger

A patented bait feeding system combined with a premium spinning reel make the Okuma Avenger a unique option. Six sealed ball bearings allow for an ultra-smooth line release, while a tension adjustment knob operates just like a rear drag for fine-tuning line tightness.
  • includes watertight drag seal
  • comes with spare graphite spool
  • handle may break down over time
Brand Okuma
Model AVENGER ABF
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Abu Garcia MGX

Thanks to its innovative compact design and one-piece alloy frame, the Abu Garcia MGX is more lightweight and ergonomic than most models currently available. It features original gear ratios that allow for remarkable precision – even when improvising on the open water.
  • strong yet light carbon side plates
  • coated line guide reduces friction
  • cast controls take time to set up
Brand Abu Garcia
Model 1239022
Weight 12.2 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Penn Battle II

With a name like the Penn Battle II, you can feel confident this reel is combat-tested. Equipped with a full metal body, rotor and side plate, it features a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire and HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers greased to perfection for strength and longevity.
  • instant anti-reverse bearing
  • eight size options
  • line does not spool easily
Brand Penn
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Abu Garcia Classic

If you’re seeking unrelenting performance and superior efficiency in your fishing gear, the Abu Garcia Classic will reel you in. Once you hook a monster, its powerful carbon matrix drag system will leave you in command during the battle that follows.
  • comes with six-pin centrifugal brake
  • excellent retrieval rate
  • can be difficult to adjust drag
Brand Abu Garcia
Model 1292718
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Penn Spinfisher

Throw your saltwater anxiety out to sea with the Penn Spinfisher, which boasts a watertight design that prevents saltwater from getting into the gearbox or affecting the drag system. Under heavy strain or out in the elements, its durable build should dispel any worries.
  • spool with line capacity rings
  • available in multiple models
  • special live liner drag feature
Brand Penn
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Shimano Curado

If you peeked into an angler’s dream, you’d probably see visions of effortless casts that blend power and finesse. You also might see the Shimano Curado, which offers a combination of muscle and dexterity that few reels today can surpass.
  • compact but sturdy
  • power grip for easy reeling
  • anti-backlash controls
Brand Shimano
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Penn Clash

The Penn Clash features thick aluminum bail wire and a slow oscillation system to ensure your line is balanced and controlled. Penn’s exclusive cutting-edge technology extends the life of its reels, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking down during a feeding frenzy.
  • heavy-duty body eliminates twist
  • braid-ready spool
  • simple assembly and maintenance
Brand Penn
Model CLA2000-P
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Shimano Thunnus

It may seem to defy the basics of physics, but the Shimano Thunnus can, indeed, handle huge fish despite its simple functionality and nimble weight. It’s known for its smoothness – not only in casting and reeling, but in its abrupt stopping power as well.
  • dependable in heavy surf
  • made of resilient carbon
  • supports extensive range of line
Brand Shimano
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Shimano Baitrunner

You concentrate on locating and landing the fish, the Shimano Baitrunner will handle the rest. Thanks to its auto-return feature, you’ll enjoy fewer knots and tangles, less backlash, improved casting and nearly unnoticeable friction on your line.
  • extremely comfortable grips
  • convenient dual drag feature
  • outstanding value
Brand Shimano
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. 2017 Daiwa BG

With a machined aluminum body cover that’s anodized for better adhesion and a chip-resistant surface, the 2017 Daiwa BG looks as brilliant as it performs. Its oversized gear significantly prolongs the longevity of the reel even as it provides more torque.
  • screw-in handle locks in place
  • air rotor reduces unnecessary weight
  • special spool causes less friction
Brand Daiwa
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

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Last updated on February 06, 2017 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.


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