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Best Saltwater Spinning reels for 2023

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Many people especially beginners found themselves in confusion when it comes to buying a saltwater spinning reel. The very question that comes to thier mind is “Isn’t my freshwater spinning reel also suitable for saltwater fishing?” Although experienced anglers very much know this difference, so I have tried to solve this puzzle for some innocent beginners. A complete review and buying guide for the best saltwater spinning reels is presented here or you can check the Shimano spinning reels if you are a big Shimano reels fan.

This list of best saltwater spinning reels will not only upgrades your reel collection but will also saves your time from the endless searching as I have tried my best to display you the best of all options. Knowing reels’ features, their pros, and cons, and a buying guide will help you a lot in search of your perfect reel as saltwater reels are now upgraded with advanced components and they should be sturdy, strong, and large in size to perform best in ocean or sea or for the big fish game.

Top 3 picks of best saltwater spinning reels

Shimano Baitrunner D Spinning Reel
  • Smooth cast
  • Consistent spool speed
  • max drag system
  • one year warranty
Daiwa BG3500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel
  • corrosion-resistant
  • filled up to the spool lip
  • Infinite anti-reverse system
  • relatively larger in size
PENN Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel
  • full metal body
  • sturdy and strong
  • Braid ready spool
  • Instant anti-reverse bearing

best Saltwater Spinning reels

best saltwater spinning reel for braid

Shimano Bait runner best saltwater reel for braid
  • 4.8:1 gear ratio
  • 3 ball bearings plus 1 rotational bearing
  • 20 lbs max drag
  • One year warranty

The Shimano Bait runner D series is the best option for saltwater fishing.

Its max drag system along with auto-return bait runner settings allows surf fishers to cast long and smoothly with enough line capacity and power for a bog catch like kingfish, snapper, or grouper. The secondary drag lets a controlled free spool, allowing the bait to swim freely.

Its consistent spool speed results in an even and better line lay moreover without the inevitable knots, and less friction on the line, you can enjoy the improved casting experience on the Shimano D series.

This is available in four different sizes where 4000 is recommended for moderate and 12000 is recommended for heavy-duty saltwater.

The comfortable and larger handles provide a strong grip for both dry and wet hands.

  • The reel has loud clicker sound
  • It is durable and strong
  • Less Line Backslash is faced with this reel
  • The price range is higher than other reels
  • Low line Capacity
  • Weigh heavy for whole day surf fishing

best saltwater spinning reels for the money

best saltwater fishing reels
  • smooth drag
  • corrosion-resistant
  • can be filled up to the spool lip
  • larger in size
  • lightweight air rotor
  • Infinite anti-reverse system

The most important properties of a saltwater reel are it is corrosion-resistant for longer life and max drag system for tough and aggressive fishing conditions. The Daiwa BG series comprises all these qualities. Its Black anodized body and body cover make a sheildshield against corrosion while a 33lb drag system with the infinite anti-reverse system which prevents the line from going back into water results in a little chance that you will miss your catch.

Anglers are super satisfied with its performance due to its ABS spool’s maximized core diameter with prevents line tangles, evens the line flow and also can be filled up to the spool lip smoothly which means long and smooth casting with more line capacity.

Daiwa reels are relatively larger as compared to reels of other companies so this 3500 is equivalent to the size 5000 of other reels.

This BG3500 has a 5.7:1 gear ratio, 6 plus 1 bearing with 17.60 lb. max drag with a newly designed lightweight air rotor which consumes 15%less weight than ordinary rotors.

However, the weight may be a little heavier for you if you have been using any other lightweight Shimano or Okuma Cedros reel but this can be fixed when attached with the perfect rod.

This one is referred to for both heavy saltwater and freshwater fishing game.

  • The reel is built tough and strong
  • The product has waterproof drag system
  • It works great with braided line
  • slightly heavy

best heavy-duty saltwater spinning reels

PENN battle best spinning reel for speed
  • 5 stainless steel Ball bearings
  • Instant anti-reverse bearing
  • Braid ready spool
  • Designed to land hard-hitting species

If you are interested in some serious fishing, up to a big catch, and in search of a tough and durable reel Penn Battle II and PENN Battle III is where you can top. Its full metal body, metal side plate, and rotor serve as a tough fishing buddy however this also adds a little more weight but it is acceptable in accordance with its performance.

The reel is sturdy, strong, and durable and offers a smooth cast with enough line capacity for shore fishing.

PENN Battle III has 350 yards/ 15 lb. capacity which is quite enough for inshore or other bigger-size catches. The HT-100 Carbon fiber drag system and CNC gear technology just rank its performance high.

For increasing its life span, I recommend you give it a freshwater wash and re-grease it annually after a big game.

Best for both inshore and offshore fishing.

  • This reel is best for the money
  • It is strong and tough enough for heavy catch
  • The reel has sealed bearings
  • The components are sealed but not shielded

best inshore spinning reel

Okuma Cedros best spinning reel for inshore fishing
  • Aluminum construction body and handle
  • Dual anti-reverse system
  • Cyclonic Flow rotor
  • Dual Drag force

Okuma Cedros saltwater reel comprises aluminum which not only increases the reel’s structural strength but also makes it corrosion-resistant, and weatherproof and protects it from UV rays which may cause reel damage. Moreover, because of its construction material, it weighs also less.

Its cyclonic flow rotor results in increased airflow letting the rotor dry easily and quickly thus lessening the chances of dust particles, sand, and water remaining there.

Okuma Cedros series is made strong, sturdy, and lightweight to make it perfect for outdoor games and inshore fishing.

The EVA foam handles with a screw-in-handle design allowing to switch left and right make handles easy to use.

It comes with 44 lbs. max drag system and a gear ratio of 5.4:1 offering smooth drag. A perfect spinning reel for vertical jigging.

  • The reel has smooth drag
  • Plenty of drag
  • It is perfect for vertical jigging
  • The reel’s handle is longer for some users

best lightweight saltwater spinning reels

Stradic FL, the best lightweight saltwater spinning reel
  • Water-resistant drag
  • Silent drive
  • Long-stroke spool

Shimano product has never disappointed us with its performance. Talking about Shimano Stradic FL, it is Saltwater resistant, strong, durable, and lightweight. Being light in weight is perfect for casting all day so is recommended for long day fishing anglers.

This reel has a cross carbon drag with a max drag of 24 lbs. added with smooth dragging performance.

The anti-reverse lever is removed from the latest Shimano Stradic on demand of many anglers. Its unique silent drive technology removes unnecessary sounds, as many users found reels’ sound irritating.

Via reviews from its user the reel has yet proved best performer in fresh water despite that it is also perfect for a small saltwater catch and still recommended.

  • The reel offers smooth casting
  • Light in Weight
  • Sturdy reel
  • Costly reel
  • Low and sticky drag

best saltwater spinning reels under $100

  • corrosion-resistant graphite body
  • lightweight
  • superline spool
  • available in six different sizes

Those experienced anglers who are in search of smooth action and a lightweight reel to tackle heavy saltwater waves and beat a large fish. Here comes the Penn Pursuit III and IV. This comprises of graphite body with stain steel ball-bearing material yet maintaining its corrosion-resistant property.

Due to its Ht-100 carbon fiber drag system, casting becomes long and smooth hence it is also suitable for beginners and already popular among its users.

My favorite thing about the PENN pursuit is it is easy to manage one can clean and grease its components with great ease and maintains its reel for better and long-lasting performance.

PENN pursuit series is almost available in 6 different sizes. Its affordable range of prices and suitability for every skill level angler makes it a worth buying reel for both fresh water and saltwater.    

  • It is easy to disassemble reel’s components
  • A perfect Lightweight reel
  • Corrosion resistant reel
  • Economical Price
  • It is suitable for all skill level angler
  • The reel exterior is not protected from UV rays

Difference between Saltwater and Freshwater Spinning reels

For a more clear picture, let’s have a look at the difference between a Saltwater spinning reel and a freshwater spinning reel.

best saltwater fishing reels
Saltwater Fishing reel
  • Material uses stainless steel, aluminum, or resin
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Can be used in both salt water and fresh water fishing
  • Designed to catch big fish
  • Expensive Reels
  • Bigger line capacity
  • Sealed components
  • Larger in size
Freshwater Fishing reel
  • Made from simple metal
  • Corroded when used with saltwater
  • Only designed for freshwater fishing
  • To catch Normal freshwater fish
  • Cheaper than saltwater reels
  • Smaller than saltwater reel
  • Lack sealing
  • Smaller in size as compared to a saltwater reel

What Qualities should the best saltwater spinning reel have?

Following things you should consider when you going to buy a saltwater reel

Reel Weight

As saltwater fishing includes both inshore and offshore fishing usually heavy water game. So your reel should be lightweight to reduce pressure and stress on your arms. Moreover, lighter reelwill allow you to fish all day long.

Corrosion Resistant

Saltwater can damage your reels, can affect their performance, and reduce their life span. As salt water is extremely corrosive your reel should be corrosion resistant. Light duty metal reels are highly corrosive so you should go for aluminum, stainless steel, or graphite reels.

Line Capacity

Offshore fishing often requires more line capacity as compared to inshore because a saltwater big fish runs long and you may require hundreds of yards of line capacity.

So for inshore fishing 100 yards are enough and typically 400-500 yards for offshore or 1000 yards can be used for a heavy long fish game.

Reel Size

Medium to large-sized reels is perfect for both inshore and offshore saltwater fishing. Medium size ranges from 4000 to 5500 and large size ranges from 6000 to 30000 with enough line capacity.

Drag Strength

Saltwater fishing is all about targeting a big, heavy catch that may run fast and long. So you must have maximum, strong, and smooth drag.

Properly Sealed Components

To protect internal components from saltwater destruction, the saltwater reel’s components should be sealed properly to protect them from corrosion.

How to clean a corroded saltwater reel??

The most common problem among saltwater reels is “Corrosion” even freshwater reels may also suffer from this.

Corrosion just destroys your reel so by following these tips you can clean your corroded reel and also can serve as safety precautions to increase the reel life span.

There are many tips to clean however you can use white vinegar to remove corrosion from your reels. It is one of the most common tricks commonly used by many anglers.

Concluding my thoughts

There are plenty of other points to considder while buying saltwater reels but it also depends on your budget , location , your fishing style, your knowledge of reels. So just for your ease, after trying and using different reels I have listed all the best saltwater spinning reels to upgrade your collections of fishing reels.

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