Welcome to an in-budget list of the best spinning reels. Spinning reels are a great choice not only performance-wise but budget-wise too. You don’t have to get bankrupt to buy the best one. We have listed some of the best spinning reels under $100 to let you know about some of the recommended reels that will be a valuable addition to the arsenals.
Yes, you might indeed be missing some features of high-priced spinning reels but most of the reels listed below are versatile enough to support your different types of fishing conditions. Whether you’re an experienced fisherman or just starting, find out how you can equip yourself with the best gear without breaking the bank.
In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the best spinning reels available on the market for under $100. We’ll highlight the features, performance, and price points of these reels so that you can make an informed decision about which model will fit your needs best.
Advantages of using best Spinning reels
There are tons of advantages of using spinning reels the main reason for writing is to deliver the anglers serious and especially the entry-level best budget-friendly options in spinning reels and why it is important to have a spinning reel in your fishing arsenal. A suitable pairing with your best spinning rod.
So it is worth to search a spinning reel that should be best and should be in the budget. Let’s highlight some of the common advantages of using spinning reels.
- Easy drag adjustments
- Controlled casting distance
- Easy to operate
- Cheaper than baitcasting reels
- Easy spool changing
- Reduced backslashes
- Less prone to line tangles and twists
- Easy to disassemble for regular maintenance
- Ambidextrous handles
- Lightweight reels causes no arm fatigue
- Versatile reel suitable for every skill level angler
- Support every type of fishing from smaller catches to trophy sized fish
Top 3 picks for the best spinning reels under $100
- Carbon body and drag
- 7 stainless steel ball bearings
- 6.2:1 gear ratio
- 8.8 ounces weight
- Graphite reel body
- 10 Stainless steel ball bearings
- Sealed drag system
- 5.2:1 gear ratio
- Metal reel body and gears
- 4.6:1 gear ratio
- 3+1 sealed ball bearings
- Available in 8 different sizes
List of best spinning reels under $100 reviewed in Detail
best spinning reel for bass
Taking a start with the most powerful reel in this list with premium body construction. Abu Garcia breaking all the bang of carbon body reels that is highly expensive.
Yes, you can get the best spinning reel under $100 with a carbon body. Its matt black attractive reel body is light in weight and not flimsy at all. In addition to this, the latest generation of Revo X is made lighter without reducing any quality hence its weight is 8.8 ounces overall.
It comprises tons of professional reel features like a carbon matrix hybrid drag system, computer-optimized gear design, rocket line management system, and rocket spool lip design for a fully controlled and mannered line release and retrieval.
Moreover, it has a carbon material drag. The carbon washers inside the reel do their job at the highest level of smoothness and power. The only drawback it has is a non-sealed drag system so saltwater will get its way to the inner components.
The good news is, to overcome this the reel comprises stainless steel ball bearings, stainless steel main shaft, and the handle is also the same corrosion-resistant material. So the reel has better backup protection against saltwater rust but still give it a freshwater wash as a safety precaution.
Although the spool is aluminum material, make sure to give it a freshwater wash if you are using the 4000-size reel for inshore fishing.
The Abu Garcia Revo X has max drag power of 13 lbs. Honestly, I was expecting more capacity from this reel but anyhow this doesn’t break the deal. It is still the best recommended for lighter catches. Confidently add it to your bass spinning reel collection
Featuring the 6.2:1 gear ratio with a 7 bearings count. Moreover, for a strong grip on the handle even with wet hands, it has a large PVC knob. Its flat design makes it easier to hold and cast as doesn’t slip from hands.
Overall a smooth operation reel with ideal casting and speedy retrievals. Try it for larger trout and bass catches and you will get addicted to its smoothness with a sturdy body.
- Lightweight reel
- Corrosion-resistant reel components
- Wide reel handle
- Ambidextrous handle
- Braid ready spool
- Less max drag power
best durable spinning reel under $100
Listing spinning reels so how can a Daiwa reel wouldn’t be a part of this? The Daiwa BG series is a durable option presented to us by Daiwa. BG series is available in 1500 to 8000-size reels so it’s a reel model suitable for almost all types of fishing.
Really like the Daiwa BG’s smaller size body many anglers top of all I like the smaller reels rather than the big bulky giant size reels. Even its all-aluminum material reel from the body to spool and handle but the manufacturers have balanced this factor and made this reel possibly lightweight still, it is heavier than Abu Garcia even the smaller sizes too.
It has a 5.6:1 gear ratio and 15 lb. max drag power with a 3000 reel size. Both of these values vary with the change in size. Featuring 7 ball bearings so it is all smoother casts with this reel.
Some features like manual bail and infinite dual anti-reverse system are only available with 4500 and larger so make sure to read the specifications before buying.
I strongly recommend this reel for freshwater fishing mainly because of its aluminum construction. But if you are a pro with reel maintenance like regular cleaning and greasing as I know someone who has been using this Diawa reel for more than 10 years.
They are durable and stiffer reels. For entry-level anglers, it is the best spinning reel for freshwater while for professional anglers it is the best spinning reel for saltwater.
These top-rated reels always have a backup solution when they don’t have sealed drags. Daiwa BG features a water-proof drag system for corrosion protection.
At this price point, Daiwa BG comprises many of Daiwa Technology’s featuresBlack Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing (“Hard Bodyz” Body & Side Cover), Over-sized Digigear, Solid Screw-In Handle, Air Rotor, and Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool so no doubt Daiwa BG is a bang for the buck.
- Durable reel
- Long-lasting product
- Smooth casts
- Best for entry-level anglers
- Heavier reel
best ultralight spinning reel
Now here comes the graphite reel with a sealed drag system. A perfect reel for saltwater fishing without any fear. Pflueger’s president comprises all the features required for inshore or shore fishing conditions.
Starting with its body construction it is all graphite material so guaranteed lighter than Daiwa BG. In addition to this, graphite offers better protection from saltwater rust.
The reel is specially designed to keep saltwater particles and other dust particles away from entering and disturbing the internal reel components. It is a reliable, stronger, and sturdier reel with a budget-friendly price tag.
Its sealed drag system comprises sealed drag washers so smooth operation is long-lasting. Pflueger 2000-2500 size is the best ultralight spinning reel ideal for pan fish.
It is also the best entry-level spinning reel because of its spool design the line lays smoothly and spools off with reduced twists and tangles. It is easier for a novice angler to fish with this reel and handle this weight reel.
If you are looking for a spinning reel for a full day long, Pflueger President is a recommended reel. The President series is available in five different sizes from 2000 to 4000. They have used the 20 or 40 tags but it means the same.
The size from 2500 to 4000 comes with 10 ball bearings (it is the highest count till now). The only drawback is that the 2000 reel size has 7 ball bearings instead of 10.
Featuring the stainless steel ball bearings and handle material are all resistant to corrosion and durable in nature. The reel’s durability can be rated on this case as it dropped from my hand on a hard surface but still no damage to the reel.
Overall it’s a best-reviewed spinning reel overall and mostly has fans of it as the best ultralight gear setup.
- Lightweight body
- Sealed drag system
- Greater number of gearing count
- Suitable for spider rigging
- The 2000 size has 7 ball bearings
best spinning reel for the money
This reel offers optimal performance, reliability, and power with its lightweight frame and modern drag system. Whether you’re fishing in saltwater or freshwater streams, this reel will provide you with the perfect balance of function, convenience, durability, and affordability.
The HT-100 carbon fiber drag system on this reel is designed to battle and withstand the abuse of large saltwater fish. The drag’s discs work together to provide a smooth, consistent drag on the fish, while also protecting the harsh saltwater environment.
When it comes to preventing corrosion, graphite is one of the best materials around. The Penn Pursuit III features a corrosion-resistant graphite body. This material is not only resistant to corrosion, but also impacts and scratches. So, you can rest assured that your reel will withstand the elements and keep on fishing day after day.
When you’re fishing for a big game in the surf, you need a reel that can handle the conditions. The Penn Pursuit III is designed for anglers who fish in saltwater and need a reel that can stand up to the elements.
Its machined and anodized aluminum superliner spool is one of the features that make this reel so durable. The anodized finish protects the spool from corrosion, while the machined construction ensures that it will hold up to years of use.
This fishing Reel is available in six sizes from 2500 to 8000. It has a durable construction and can be used in both fresh and saltwater. Features a shielded 4+1 stainless steel bearing system for smoothness and durability.
It is recommended if you are looking for a reel for longer casts as the reel features a larger spool than other reels. With a 6.2:1 gear ratio, it allows quick hook sets for saltwater anglers.
It is important to know that this ratio is only available up to 4000 sizes, the reels above this have a 5.6:1 gear ratio.
- Shielded ball bearings
- Bigger sized spool
- Durable reel body
- Larger reels have low gear ratio than smaller-sized reels
- Heavier than regular spinning reels
I am a big fan of Shimano reels mainly because of their high-tech features and smooth casting experience for almost every type of fishing. Shimano offers their premium reels’ features like cold-forged Hagane gear and Hagane body for built-in toughness under heavy loads even in their low-budget reels.
The highlighting features of Shimano Sedona are hagane gear and body, double-anodized machine-cut spools, a propulsion line management system to reduce line tangles and backslashes, and carbon drag washers for more enhanced performance than ever before.
If you are looking for a durable reel to target larger hard-fighting fish, Sedona is a recommended reel for this category. It has enough power to lift heavy loads.
Shimano Sedona is a clear example of reel selection based on quality bearings instead of bearings count. It has well-built 4 ball bearings that offer the smoothness of reels having 6, 7 bearings count. In addition to this, these bearings are shielded. So a fully protected reel with long-lasting smoothness.
A fully controlled cast with proper line management, the line lays on the spool properly and the credit goes to its oscillation system.
A fast reel with a 6.2:1 gear ratio with smaller sizes but as the size increases the line retrieval rates decreases. The larger-sized reels have gear ratio of 4.6:1 which is quite perfect as larger catches do not require quick hook sets.
I recommend going with Sedona’s bigger sizes 5000 to 8000. They have larger spools and durable bodies to tackle the harsh saltwater bruises.
Its metal body is pretty tough on the field but still, I recommend you give it a freshwater wash and proper greasing after saltwater exposure.
Sedona also features the anti-reverse switch so not any single feature of expensive reels is skipped in this budget-friendly reel.
I like its flat larger size handle knob which didn’t slips from the hand even when wet. So it is fair enough to give this reel the title of the best spinning reel overall.
- Durable reel suitable for large-sized fish catches
- Support longer casts
- Less prone to line tangles
- Heavy reels
- Fewer ball bearings count
best performance spinning reel under $100
Whether you are an avid angler or just starting having the right gear is essential to ensure you have the best experience possible. KastKing and Centron Spinning Reels are two of the most reliable options on the market for fishing enthusiasts.
These reels offer anglers of all levels the best value for their money.
KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels feature a robust design that is built to last. They are also packed with features that make them a great choice for anglers of all levels.
While most other spinning reels in this price range have a drag system that can only handle up to 12 pounds of fish, the KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels have a drag system that can handle up to 17.5 pounds of fish.
This is thanks to the use of KastFlex technology in the drag system, which offers far more stopping power than traditional drag systems. As a result, you’ll be able to land bigger fish with ease, even when using a lighter line.
The Summer model has a six-bearing system while the Centron has nine bearings, making it one of the smoothest operating reels in its class. This provides a smooth, flawless operation for the life of the reel.
The KastKing Summer and Centron models both feature a unique spool design that holds more lines than competitors’ models. This gives you more capacity for longer fishing trips, or for targeting larger fish.
Features the 5.2:1 gear ratio with smaller sizes and the 4.5:1 gear ratio with bigger ones i.e. 4000 and 5000 sizes. KastKing Summer and Centron are perfect reels for crappie fishing, jigging, and other casting techniques with live baits.
- Perfect reel for crappie fishing
- Easy drag settings
- Suitable for every skill level angler
- Easy to disassemble for regular maintenance
- Heavier than other spinning reels but the weight difference is minor that many anglers don’t even realize it
- Saltwater can affect reel parts so regular maintenance is required
- No braid ready spool
best inshore spinning reel under $100
I barely know about this reel performance until I got a chance to borrow it from a friend and make a cast. I was super impressed by its buttery smooth casting and retrieving.
It is an aluminum body reel so might be heavier than other graphite and carbon fiber reels but that wasn’t that bulky to cause arm fatigue. I used it for a full day long caused no arm fatigue at all.
The Quantum Accurist Inshore Spinning Fishing Reel is an ideal option for anglers looking to take their fishing game to the next level. This reel is made with a unique combination of features that allows for effortless casting and outstanding accuracy all without sacrificing reliability and durability.
The Quantum Accurist is a great option that can handle both flats and inshore waters. It is designed with a strong metal body and a robust drag system that can handle big fish. The smooth operation and accurate casting make this an ideal choice for both novice and experienced anglers alike. Whether you’re fishing for trout in a river or redfish in the gulf, the Accurist will help you land your catch.
This reel is packed with Quantum’s Performance Tuned features, including a redesigned Dura-Lok Clutch, a patented nickel-titanium “memory metal” bail wire, and an ergonomic handle design. With these features, you can be sure that your reel won’t fail under heavy stress and will retain its optimal rotor balance for years to come.
Available in two different sizes the 2500 and 3000. So technically it’s an ultra-light reel setup but can perform more than its capacity. Having the max drag power of 18 lb. weighing less than 10 ounces.
Easily fish all day long, with a smooth drag, controlled cast, and fast hook sets featuring 7 ball bearings and a 5.2:1 gear ratio, and all under $100.
- Lightweight reel of less than 10 ounces
- A reliable reel for inshore fishing
- Fast-line retrieving rate
- Durable reel components
- Fully gripped large-sized handle
- Only two sizes are available
- Not sealed
best spinning reel under $50
Usually spinning reels under $50 or $100 have lower count of ball bearings normally 6 or 7. Sougayilang breaks all these rules and added 14 ball bearings to a highly budget friendly reel. And what the good part is? They didn’t reduced the quality, these are stainless steel ball bearings that are durable and resistant to corrosion. Enjoy the smoothest cast of a spinning reel with highest number of bearings in the list.
Features the graphite frame and aluminum spool, the reel is perfect combination of both materials being durable against the tough ocean and river fishing conditions and increased protection against saltwater corrosion.
It is available in 5 different sizes 1000 to 5000, and its 5000 sizes resulted as the best pairing with my long surf rod. It is a reliable addition to your saltwater gear. If you are looking for a better option than Shimano Sedona price-wise, Sougayilang is a recommended alternative to that saltwater reel.
The only reason why it is listed after Sedona is that the maximum size you can get is 5000 while Sedona’s sizes are up to 8000. The amazing thing about this reel is that it is extremely lightweight as the 5000 size weighs 11 ounces which is a pretty noticeable difference from other reels of the same size.
Getting the best spinning reel under $50 is the bang for the buck. As it is not only its spool and bearings, other features like a hardened metal main shaft, mesh drive gear, precision machined pinion gear, and multi-disc carbon drag washers are all set to deliver a powerful reel to land bass and other prominent fish catches.
It has a long arm handle with an EVA knob which offer a firm grip on the handle to hold under tough fights. To catch something big and enjoy the exciting fishing experience with Sougayilang spinning fishing reel that also comes with an extra graphite spool.
This a highly recommended reel to novice anglers as getting this level smooth reel, with easy drag adjustments is something like a start-up reel. On the other hand, a reliable reel for serious angling.
If you are searching for a cheap reel but don’t want to sacrifice on quality and performance, then this reel is recommended from my side. It can be your best saltwater spinning reel under $50.
- Lightweight reel
- Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing
- Corrosion-resistant reel gear
- Comes with an extra spool
- The handle knob is smaller
Features we look to choose the best spinning reels under $100
Let’s dive into the features of the spinning reels we considered to shortlist the best ones.
Many brands use low-quality materials or plastic to build reel bodies to cover the price factor. Thanks to popular brands like PENN, Daiwa, KastKing, and top of all that Shimano, they produce rigid reel bodies at this price range.
Mainly reel bodies are aluminum or graphite. The latest model reels are constructed with carbon fiber or fiber strands but this also raises its price.
Aluminum body reels are durable enough to bear fishing bruises however are a bit heavier than graphite. You might notice the difference between aluminum and graphite but only if you are a regular angler.
If you are a recreational angler then both will be the same for you. That’s how slight the difference is. Both are good but graphite reels are more corrosion-resistant and last longer than aluminum as later might get rusted if aren’t regularly greased after saltwater exposure.
The only material to avoid is plastic as it might get damaged on hitting the ground so not a durable option to pick.
The gear ratio indicates the line’s recovery rate the more times the bail rotates around the spool on one crank of the handle the more line is retrieved, and the faster your reel is.
The reels at this price range aren’t ideally fast like 7.0:1 or more. The maximum gear ratio you can get with these reels is 5.0:1.
The reels with higher gear ratios are good at fast hook sets. If you are using lighter lures with lightweight lines then fast-spinning reels with a 6.0:1 gear ratio reel or more are perfect the ratio of 5.0:1 is a mid-level category below this the reels are all slower.
Usually, the bigger-sized reel to target larger-sized fish has gear ratios below 5.0:1 as heavy baits aren’t retrieved quickly because bigger fish aren’t skittish.
Long story short, a gear ratio of more than 5:1 is recommended but if you are available with 5.0:1 or any of this range as it indicates that the bail will rotate 5 times around the ball on each complete handle turn. At this price, it is best don’t hesitate and confidently pick that reel.
The good news is the spinning reels are overall lighter in weight as compared to other types of reels. You can fish all day long without any arm fatigue.
The weight varies with the construction material of the reel if it’s graphite or carbon fiber they are lightweight reels while aluminum reels are 2, or 3 ounces heavier than other ones.
When you know your target, it’s easier to pick the reel size. Spinning reels range from 500 up to 30000 sizes, the increase in weight also increases the weight of the reel. For instance, 1000 to 3000 reel sizes are mostly less than 10 ounces i.e. the ultralight spinning reels.These size reels are perfect for panfish and other smaller catches.
4000 to 6000 are medium-sized reels eligible for inshore and offshore fishing targeting larger catches. These all sizes are the best you can get at this price point because larger reels greater than 6000 are for professional saltwater fishing which requires sealed and shielded drag systems, larger spool capacities, and higher prices.
To pick the right size of the reel, it is important to know whether you are fishing lake, stream, shore, or inshore. Many factors like line capacity, weight, and casting distance are dependent on the reel size.
Larger-sized reels have a larger spool and so have more line capacities. The more the line/spool capacity, the more lines are spooled, and the longer you can cast. Larger spools also allow using of heavy fishing lines. Mainly two line ratings are mentioned with the reel the monofilament and braided line. Braided lines being thin in diameter offer more lines on the spool than a monofilament line on the same size reel.
In addition to the spool capacity, the material and the design of the spool also influence the cast. These two factors combined offer smoother casts with fewer line twisting and tangles.
The spool design is either wide or shallow, I preferably pick the reels with wide spools. As the line comes off the spool more smoothly with lesser line coils.
Regarding its construction its two types graphite and aluminum. With spinning reels under $100, it’s not a main concern both materials are good and work perfectly fine in different fishing conditions.
Ball bearings are smaller parts located inside the reel body and are responsible for the smooth rotating functioning of the reel by reducing friction between the moving parts.
These bearings are mostly of aluminum or stainless steel. The latter type of ball bearings are more corrosion-resistant than the previous one and hence offer smoother reel operation.
It is recommended to go with the reel having a greater number of ball bearings. Initially, with cheap spinning reels, there were a lesser number of ball bearings in entry-level reels almost 4 or 5. But the latest reels like Sougayilang break all the stereotypes and features 14 ball bearings even under $50. This is amazing because, with the increase in their number, the price also increases.
But sometimes quality wins over quantity. If ball bearings are made of cheap material even though greater in number they are trash. Try to go with corrosion-resistant bearings like stainless steel.
In that case, I have two options one is a reel with 5 high-quality ball bearings while the second one is a cheap reel with ball bearings of more than 10, the perfect pick will be the one first. Hope you get the point.
Lower-price spinning reels might be missing the sealed ball bearings for protection from saltwater so make sure to give your spinning reel under $100 a freshwater wash.
Every reel’s working relies on its drag system. To make sure the hooked fish doesn’t spool out much line and runs far away, a certain drag pressure is applied by tightening the drag washers (the metal plates).
Drag systems are responsible for smooth line release and retrievals in a controlled way. If the drag is loose, the line can be easily released from the spool. The drag is at one-third of the fishing line’s breaking strength. This way the line is saved from breakage before its breaking strength.
Drag adjustments are very easy to set with spinning reels. The reels come with either the front drag or rear drag. All the reels listed here feature the front drag. All you have to do is to turn the knob clockwise to tighten while turning it anticlockwise will lose the dag and reduce pressure on the line.
For beginners, it is always recommended to pick the front drag spinning reels. I also prefer the front drag knob reels as they are good with larger catches.
Drag is also featured as sealed or water-repellent coatings. These types of drag systems protect the reel and its internal components from saltwater particles and other dust and debris. Cheaper spinning reels aren’t sealed. To get a fully waterproof drag system you have to raise your budget.
Sometimes all the reel’s internal features are set, with no low-quality construction and specifications. But still, you didn’t get the feel. The reason is the handle and its size. The stronger grip on the knob of the reel influences you a lot cast.
Mostly cork and EVAA knobs are placed on the handle. Try to pick the reels with larger-sized handles. This way you can better hold the reel under tough fishing conditions even with wet hands.
Quick Anti-reverse Switch
The latest spinning reels mostly feature the anti-reverse switch. This way the reel is restricted from turning in a backward direction. It is a good additional feature for more control over the spool.
There are switches placed on the reel for setting the reverse switch ON and OFF.
Frequently asked questions
When searching for the best spinning reels under $100 you have to compromise some features. But again thanks to the brands like Shimano, Daiwa, PENN, and Kast King who have released many durable spinning reels under $100.
These reels are preferable for freshwater fishing if you are looking for bigger-sized, larger spool 8000 size reels or more you have to look forward to the best saltwater spinning reels, as they are specially designed to resist corrosion and rusting. But if you want a saltwater reel within this budget, make sure it has a sealed drag system or other case material used is corrosion resistant.
So here is my verdict for the best spinning reels overall, if I have to pick one from the list that is Shimano Sedona, it’s a durable reel with zero flimsy. A reliable spinning reel and one of my go-to reels.