Best Fishing Reels: Types of Fishing Reels for Any Angler

The two most essential pieces of fishing equipment are the rod and the reel. They work together to help you fish efficiently. Both are equally important, as they allow you to cast, control the lure or bait, control a fish, and bring it within easy reach. The best reels will work in harsh conditions and give you precise control of your line.

The best fishing reels can help get the biggest catch

On a fly fishing trip to college, I snagged one of the biggest rainbow trout I’ve ever had on a line. My adrenaline skyrocketed as I chased the fish in the river. I was new to fly fishing and used a cheap rod and reel that I bought from a local outdoor store. After five minutes of fighting the fish, the drag of my reel gave way. The fish came down and I sat on the shore in disbelief.

I never thought that a reel on its own could lose a fish until I learned the hard way. I attributed my poor selection choice to my inexperience as a fly fisherman. After that day I made sure I always had a trustworthy and reliable reel while fishing.

How to find the right types of fishing reels for the place you will be fishing

To find the best reel for your fishing, you need to figure out exactly what you are going to use it for, and understand what the reel should and shouldn’t do. What do you fish and how do you do it? Do you fish for trout with a fly rod? Do you fish for bass with surface lures? The species and technique you choose will determine the type of reel you need.

Then think about the casting. How much casting time do you have to do? How much line can the reel hold? Finally, be sure to consider drag and stopping power. If your drag is weak or faulty, there is a good chance that you will lose fish.

Best Baitcasting Reel: Abu Garcia Revo SX Baitcast Reel

Low profile, high performance

Smooth casting and powerful drag system for the serious angler.
Abu Garcia

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The Abu Garcia Revo SX is one of the best baitcasting reels. It is extremely durable, lightweight, and works in the toughest conditions. This Abu Garcia reel is equipped with a powerful drag system that will brake large fish, and the brake settings make casting light and heavy lures with ease.

Best spinning reel: Pflueger Supreme Spinning Reel

Strong and light

A durable spinning reel for long and precise casts.

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Designed for use in both freshwater and saltwater, the Pflueger Supreme has an ultralight magnesium body and inlaid drag design to control fish. Durable braid-ready aluminum spool is built to last. This spinning reel is available in two sizes.

Best fly reel for trout: Orvis Battenkill Reel

Classic trout reel

A vintage looking reel with a modern design for optimal performance.

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The Battenkill is one of my favorite fly reels. It features a 4-position click-and-ratchet glide system designed to be used with your palm when fish are running. This fly reel can easily be converted to a right or left catch, and a narrow, wider spool reduces line stacking and allows for high line catch rates, which is important when you need to do enter a lot of lines quickly.

Best Saltwater Spinning Reel: Quantum Cabo PT Spinning Reel

Powerful and versatile

Battle coastal and offshore saltwater species with confidence.

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The main concern with saltwater fishing reels is their ability to withstand conditions. This spinning reel is designed to protect against corrosion and rust. It is designed for the specialist angler and can be used in a variety of situations. Fight large redfish in the bay or take on migrating striped bass from the shore. The fault-proof titanium bail system and CSC magnum sealed drag will give you the confidence to land big fish.

Best Cheap Fishing Reel: Bass Pro Shops Tourney Special Baitcast Reel

Get moving for your dough

A reliable reel without breaking the bank.
Bass Pro Shops

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The Bass Pro Shops Tourney Special reel is the perfect choice for anglers looking to save money while having a reliable reel. You can give up your casting distance and precision a bit, but this baitcast reel can still handle big bass. It is durable and will last you many seasons on the water.


Q: How to choose a fishing reel?

When choosing a fishing reel, you need to consider what you are fishing, how you are fishing, and what to do with your reel. Make sure you understand the stopping power you need for your reel drag and the impact your reel has on your casting ability. Also make sure you can launch it. Spinning reels are easy to cast and can be used almost anywhere.

Q: What is the best fishing reel for beginners?

For someone new to fishing, a spinning reel is a great choice. They are easy to learn to use and are available in sizes that are lighter than the spincasting outfits. Look for a reel that contains a 4 to 6 pound test monofilament line for trout and panfish, and an 8 to 12 pound test monofilament for bass.

Q: Are the expensive coils worth it?

If you only fish a few times a year, there is no reason to buy the most expensive reel. A quality reel is worth the investment for those who fish a lot, or need a reel with excellent drag for powerful species like rainbow trout and salmon.

A final word on the best fishing reels

A good fishing reel feels comfortable in your hand and is suitable for your rod. If you are not sure how to proceed, go for a rod and reel combo. These come in many forms, including fly rod and reel combos.

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