6 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels for The Money of 2021

Last update: 2021-01-19

Cheap saltwater spinning reels will take you to nowhere, especially if you are anything more than a casual angler. It might not have to be the most expensive, but at least in a mid-tier price range.

Here are the best saltwater spinning reels for the money (Jan 2021 Update):

  • Best Overall: Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel 119
  • Best For Blackfin Tuna: Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel
  • Best For Big Fish: Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel
  • Best For Long Casts: Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels
  • Best For Smooth Drag Performance: SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel
  • Best For Sea Trout And Panfish: Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder ABF-40b
6 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels For The Money
Best Overall
Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel 119
    Best For Blackfin Tuna
    Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel
      Best For Big Fish
      Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel
        Best For Long Casts
        Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels
          Best For Smooth Drag Performance
          SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel
            Best For Sea Trout And Panfish
            Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder ABF-40b

              Best Overall: Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel 119

              Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel 119
              Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel 119
              9.8Outstanding
              Pros
              • Require no backing - Superline spool
              • Provide a smooth yet powerful drag - HT 100 carbon fiber drag system
              • Offer exceptional durability - heavy-duty aluminum bail wire, full metal body, rotor, and side plate
              • Handle big saltwater gamefish - Durable, high range spinning reel
              Cons
              • A little bulky

              If only allowed choosing one reel to buy all over again, we wouldn’t hesitate to go for the Penn Battle II & III 119.

              It is superbly durable, high-quality, and holds plenty of lines. The whole construction includes a Superline spool, fluid cranking with an instant anti-reverse bearing and five sealed stainless-steel ball bearings, an HT 100 carbon-fiber drag system, and a full-metal body.

              Its line capacity rings consist of 1/3, 2/3, and full capacity, which comes in handy for various saltwater fishing trips.

              Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel 119 Specifications

              Gear Ratio

              6.2:1

              Bearing

              5

              Drag

              HT 100 carbon fiber

              Braid Line Capacity

              1/3, 2/3, and full capacity

              Highlight Features

              Superline spool

              HT 100 carbon fiber drag system

              heavy-duty aluminum bail wire, full metal body, rotor, and side plate

              Durable, high range spinning reel

              For any novice fisherman who knows you're going to be fishing consistently, we highly recommend the Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel 119.

              Best For Blackfin Tuna: Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

              Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel
              Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel
              9.6Outstanding
              Pros
              • Affordable
              • Offer extraordinary drag system, solid metal construction, and infinite anti-reverse - Infinite Dual Anti-Reverse System, feature Drag Max of 13.2 & made of Black Anodized Machined Aluminum
              • Able to handle different fishes – multiple line capacity options
              • Look sleek
              Cons
              • Bail roller corrodes easily
              • A bit expensive to replace

              The price tag might be cheap, but this saltwater spinning reel is created far better than many options under $250 out there.

              We like it for the extraordinary drag system, solid metal construction, and infinite anti-reverse.

              The BG4500 fishes 350 yards of 40# braid is strong and functional enough to handle multiple fishes, such as blackfin tuna, Mahi, wahoo, and sailfish. To top it all off, the reel looks sleek and awesome.

              Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel Specifications

              Gear Ratio

              5.6:1

              Bearing

              7

              Drag

              13.2

              Braid Line Capacity

              15/190, 20/170, 30/120

              Highlight Features

              Infinite Dual Anti-Reverse System, feature a Drag Max of 13.2 & made of Black Anodized Machined Aluminum

              multiple line capacity options

              If you’re looking to enhance your blackfin tuna fishing awards without breaking the bank, Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel is a nice try.

              Best For Big Fish: Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel

              Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel
              Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Heavy-duty and powerful - a 6+1 stainless steel bearing system, top-notch dura-drag, and CNC gear technology
              • Easy to use – big smooth knob design
              Cons
              • Feel heavy

              The Penn Slammer III is a serious spinning reel that we’ve ever tested. It is smooth as butter, big but not heavy, and has a good range. It features a 6+1 stainless steel bearing system, an easy-to-use sealed slammer drag system with top-notch dura-drag, and a solid metal construction applied with CNC gear technology.

              Based on its durable design, the reel can bring in big fishes, up to 20 pounds’ weight (due to our tests and other customers’ feedback), meaning that it’s perfect for bluefish, striped bass, tuna, swordfish, and more.

              It also appears to hold up a lot better shark fishing while the big smooth knob feels great in your hand.

              Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel Specifications

              Gear Ratio

              5.6:1

              Bearing

              6+1 stainless steel bearing system

              Drag

              Sealed Slammer

              Braid Line Capacity

              485 yds/30lb, 410 yds/40lb, 355 yds/50 lb

              Highlight Features

              a 6+1 stainless steel bearing system, top-notch dura-drag, and CNC gear technology

              big smooth knob design

              Smooth, durable, and powerful, the Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel is great for Saltwater fishing, especially for those big fishes.

              Best For Long Casts: Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels

              Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels
              Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels
              9.6Outstanding
              Pros
              • Offer long casts without hurting your wrists – made of carbon fiber & weight of 5.7 ounces
              • Affordable yet high-quality – feature high-density EVA knob, smooth positive click-drag, reinforced anti-corrosion main shaft, and more
              Cons
              • Not ideal to go fishing schooling fish - The line is easily wrapped over the top cover of the spool
              • The drag could be better

              For a lightweight spinning reel that can cast a long way, we’d go with the Piscifun Carbon X.

              It is sophisticated made of premium carbon fiber material – one of the most lightweight in its realm, weighing no more than 6 ounces. Hence, if you use it with a top-water lure over a long day, your wrist won’t hurt.

              We also find in this model the features that only have in more expensive reels.

              Such as the high-density EVA knob, smooth positive click-drag, hollow nest shaped spool, direct-drive screw-in aluminum handle, Zinc Alloy drive gear, and reinforced anti-corrosion main shaft.

              Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels Specifications

              Gear Ratio

              5.2:1-6.2:1

              Bearing

              10+1

              Drag

              smooth positive click drag

              Braid Line Capacity

              10, 15, 20, 30 lb/110 yd,

              Highlight Features

              made of carbon fiber & weight of 5.7 ounces

              feature high-density EVA knob, smooth positive click-drag, reinforced anti-corrosion main shaft, and more

              Looking for something that can help you cast longer in saltwater but not too heavy to make your arms feel like falling off? Well, the Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reel might fit the bill.

              Best For Smooth Drag Performance: SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel

              SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel
              SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel
              9.4Outstanding
              Pros
              • Offer long-lasting smooth drag experience & more drag settings - cross-carbon drag & Shimano Hagane Gear
              • Better sand/salt inhibiting prevention - SA-RB bearings
              • Enhance casting comfort & reduce fatigue - G-FreeBody
              Cons
              • Not for people in a tight budget

              Making the SHIMANO Stradic FL outstanding from others is the cross-carbon drag that offers superior smooth drag experience, along with more drag settings.

              Moreover, it is also built with Shimano Hagane Gear for long-lasting smoothness. This feature utilizes special 3D design to calculate the whole surface then formed by Shimano's cold forging technology rather than applying cutting work to the teeth.

              What’s more, it emphasizes SA-RB bearings which feature shields on both of its sides for more efficient sand/salt inhibiting prevention. So the reel should hold up well fishing in saltwater.

              SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel Specifications

              Bearing

              A-RB bearings

              Drag

              CrossCarbonDrag

              Highlight Features

              cross-carbon drag

              Shimano Hagane Gear

              SA-RB bearings

              G-FreeBody

              For unrivaled smooth drag performance, this is the best spinning reel on the market.

              Best For Sea Trout And Panfish: Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder ABF-40b

              Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder ABF-40b
              Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder ABF-40b
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Enhance your sea trout and panfish fishing achievements - signature Okuma Baitfeeding Technology
              • Reliable – tested for quality & widely used by lots of professionals
              Cons
              • Still have to pull the line off the reel when yellowtail fishing

              The Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder ABF-40b gives you more than just a fishing tool.

              It is specifically created with the commitment to longevity, dynamic design, and advanced materials to enhance your passion for fishing, whether you fish for sea trout, panfish, or both. Compared to traditional spinning reels, this option – with emphasis on the signature Okuma Baitfeeding Technology – is superior.

              In a brief, this tech highlights dual drag systems controlled by the Baitfeeder switch, which lets the line payout under a modifiable amount of tension.

              It allows fish to eat baits with no feeling of resistance, therefore, enhance your fishing achievements. Don’t worry, this new, unique construction was tested for quality and reliability, and it’s widely used by lots of pro fishermen at the current.

              Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder ABF-40b Specifications

              Bearing

              6BB + 1RB bearing drive system

              Drag

              Multi-disc oiled felt drag system

              Highlight Features

              signature Okuma Baitfeeding Technology

              tested for quality & widely used by lots of professionals

              Many professionals have used this to improve their sea trout and panfish fishing experience with ultimate trust, will you?

              How To Choose The Best Saltwater Spinning Reel For The Money?

              Corrosion Resistance

              First and foremost, your spinning reel is able to hold up well in saltwater without corroding.

              Aside from considering the material, you should pay attention to the internal features of reels, such as gaskets and seals.

              Make sure they’re corrosion-resistant and besides, there must be extra protective coatings for saltwater and sand prevention, saving the reel’s bearings and gears from getting corroded and being destroyed.

              Gear Ratio

              A high gear ratio is faster and more effortless to retrieve the same amount of fishing line than a lower ratio reel because it requires fewer turns. However, it is harder to turn.

              For example, a gear ratio of 8:1 indicates a spool will turn eight times for each full rotation of the handle. A ratio of 4:1 requires only four times, which means it is a faster retrieval.

              That said, a faster gear ratio isn’t beneficial all the time, but will depend on the specific situation and your needs. If you try to cover large areas for fish or retrieve lures at faster speeds, a high ratio comes in handy.

              If you’re a fisherman who loves using live lining bait or jigging techniques, choose a lower one.

              Others

              Bearings – the more the bearings, the better the action

              Line capacity - should be at least 300 yards to ensure it gives you enough line to face with fishes who are speeding away. You don’t want your fight to come to an end soon just because you’re spooled, right?

              Which Brands Make The Best Saltwater Spinning Reel For The Money?

              Penn

              An American company founded in 1922 by Otto Henze – a Germania. They are specialized in manufacturing fishing tackle, primarily known for fishing rods and reels.

              Nowadays, they’re the leader in saltwater fishing reels, with more than 1,400 IGFA (stand for International Game Fish Association) world records being set using them.

              Daiwa

              Established in 1955, Daiwa has now been one of the world’s largest and most influential tackle companies.

              They’re the pioneer in improving the innovation and quality of saltwater fishing reels in the old-time, resulting in a long list of product materials, designs, and features that have become standards for the fishing tackle industry.

              SHIMANO

              This Japanese company was set up in 1921 by Shozaburo Shimano. First, they were one of the most reliable manufacturers in Kansai, then the best in Japan, and now, the world’s leader. Their products focus on unbeatable precision engineering.

              FAQs

              What are the differences between saltwater spinning reels vs. freshwater spinning reels?

              The biggest difference between them is corrosion resistance where the saltwater spinning reels are better than the freshwater.

              Are expensive spinning reels worth it?

              Not at all. More expensive spinning reels are commonly longer-lasting and more reliable while offering smoother drag and retrieval. But if you’re just a casual fisherman, such advanced performance isn’t really necessary.

              How do you know what size spinning reel to buy?

              The heavier the line you’re going to use, the bigger the reel. The 10-pound test line must be the highest strength and diameter.

              Are baitcasters better than spinning reels?

              A baitcaster is better than the spinning reel if you go fishing in dock pilings or lily pads where precision and focus are needed.

              A spinning reel is better than others if you want something for all-around usage or you’re a newbie.

              How many lines can a 3000 reel hold?

              Braid line: 6-15 pounds.

              Monoline: 8-10 pounds.

              Conclusion

              Regardless of your budget, purposes, and needs, the best saltwater spinning reel for the money should be able to handle all of the strains and stress that this fishing type might throw at it. Above is everything you should learn (at least) to find out the right one for you. Good luck!

              Bryan Listor
              Bryan Listor

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