I love to fish. I may not be the best at it, but it’s an enjoyable pastime nonetheless. To ensure that I’m getting the most out of my time on the water, it’s always important that I invest in the best equipment. Today, I’d like to share with you what I feel are the best spinning reels for under $100.
If you’re anything like me, you love a good bargain. I can say with certainty that the reels I have selected for you are some of the best around. It doesn’t matter how seriously you take fishing. These top picks are sure to provide you with an enjoyable experience. After you’ve read the reviews, be sure to stick around for the buyer’s guide.
It’s full of useful information and tips that will help you make the best buying decision. I want you to end up with a reel that’s going to provide you with years of quality service. With the proper care, I think anyone of these will do just that.
SHIMANO Sienna FE
SHIMANO Sedona FI
Okuma Ceymar C-30
Daiwa Bg 2500
KastKing Sharky III 2000
KastKing Summer 5000
Abu Garcia Revo X
Pflueger Supreme 35X
|Image||Model||Gear Ratio||line retrieve||Weight||View On Amazon|
|SHIMANO Sienna FE||5.01:1||24"||7.4 ounces||View Product On Amazon|
|SHIMANO SYNCOPATE||5.2:1||25"||8.8 ounces||View Product On Amazon|
|Pflueger President||5.2:1||25.3"||11.5 ounces||View Product On Amazon|
|SHIMANO Sedona FI||5.0:1||28.8"||7.6 ounces||View Product On Amazon|
|Okuma Ceymar C-30||5.0:1||26.6"||8.8 ounces||View Product On Amazon|
|Daiwa Bg 2500||5.6:1||33.2"||9.3 ounces||View Product On Amazon|
|KastKing Sharky III 2000||5.2:1||21.3"||9.1 ounces||View Product On Amazon|
|Top||KastKing Summer 5000||5.0:1||33.8"||9.9 ounces||View Product On Amazon|
|Abu Garcia Revo X||6.2:1||27"||8.3 ounces||View Product On Amazon|
|Pflueger Supreme 35X||6.2:1||33.8"||6.6 ounces||View Product On Amazon|
The first thing I thought when holding the Sienna FE was how wonderfully balanced it is. It has a great feel to it that screams quality. Of course, this is a Shimano we’re talking about here. If you’re not familiar with them, they manufacture high-quality sporting equipment.
I’ve used many of their products over the years, and I can tell you right now, the Sienna FE is one of their finest. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, it doesn’t matter. You’ll fall in love with this reel.
It’s built tough and features a durable body. This is because Shimano used hard casing in the reel’s construction. This ensures you’re getting equipment that’s going to last for years. Being so well-made, I found operating the Sienna FE to be a breeze. There was less strain and stress on my hands’ thanks to its smooth and effortless performance.
Retrieving can feel a little tight at times, but that’s ok. The Sienna FE is priced so affordably that it’s hard for me to complain too much. Overall, the performance was reliable, never once faltering on me.
For freshwater fishing, this is exactly the kind of reel you want to have with you. It’s light as can be and will serve you especially well if you have arthritis. It’s difficult for me to do the things I enjoy most. But thanks to Shimano’s expert craftsmanship, it’s certainly a whole lot easier.
This reel is an absolute beauty. Shimano has done it yet again, delivering a rock-solid performer that is crafted to perfection. I love both the look and feel of the Spirex. I had a really enjoyable time giving this one a try.
And although you won’t find rear-fitting drag on this one, it’s very easy to use and well worth the price of admission. Thanks to its trigger system, you can easily cast it with one hand. The distance at which you can cast with this little wonder is incredible. I really appreciated the quick-set feature, as it lets me land my lure exactly where I wanted it.
I have to say, retrieving is a bit easier on the Syncopate compared to the Sienna FE. I found it to be smooth with every attempt. The double-handle setup works surprisingly well here. Some users may feel like it gets in the way, but I had no issues with it. This proved to be especially true when I got a bite. There’s always something to grab right onto to start reeling in.
Sure, you’re going to pay a little bit more for this model than you would the Sienna FE. But thanks to its wonderful retrieving capabilities, it’s worth the extra scratch.
Pflueger’s President is a prime example of a well-made spinning reel under 100 dollars. This illustrious entry will make a great addition to anyone’s collection. It sports a graphite frame that makes it both durable and easy to control.
And thanks to its high-quality gear system, you won’t feel any negative friction while casting or retrieving. I like how the President feels while in use. I had no trouble landing casts with accuracy and precision.
This makes the second Pflueger I’ve used. Which has now become somewhat puzzling to me considering how well-designed they both turned out to be. I can assure you it won’t be my last.
I had a great time both casting and retrieving. In fact, I found the latter to be extremely quick and responsive. Depending on the reel, I can sometimes struggle with retrieving. The President turned out to make that a non-issue.
Casting also impressed me by how far I was able to land my lure. This can also prove to be a challenge. But the President works to reduce effort, leaving you with an enjoyable experience.
For the price, Pflueger offers up a truly impressive reel. It’s a little heavier than other entries, but I didn’t find this hurt my fishing in the least.
If you’re looking for a classy yet effective spinning reel, Shimano has your back. The Sedona is a stunning work of art, made with high-quality components and built with pride. By incorporating HAGANE gears that have been cold-forged, you’re getting a supremely strong product.
I was blown away by how well this reel performed. I’m a fan of Shimano as it is. But there’s something special here that grabs your attention. Maybe it’s the smooth casting. Maybe it’s the effortless drag. Or maybe it’s just how great it looks combined with its perfect execution.
Whatever it is, it leaves you amazed by yet another Shimano. Casting and retrieving feel really good, with little to no strain on your hands. This is all thanks to top-of-the-line HAGANE gears. You’ll have the strength you need for both smaller and larger fish.
This was one of the main things that stood out to me. At no time did the Sedona ever feel like it was going to quit on me or falter. I was able to fish with confidence that I was using a reel that had my back.
And the fact that I could cast at great distances really impressed me. The propulsion system Shimano used here is a big plus in my book. And to that point, this would make a great reel for someone who is just learning to fish.
Or, if you suffer from joint pain, you will most definitely appreciate the casting assistance the Sedona has to offer.
Wow. Now this was quite the treat. I had never used an Okuma reel before trying out the Ceymar. What I found was an incredibly well-crafted model that served to improve my fishing experience.
With its lightweight, rigid aluminum body, I had no troubles casting. Quite the contrary, I was able to cast with precision thanks largely to the Ceymar’s well-balanced construction. It felt so good, in fact, that I soon found myself looking forward to trying out its reeling.
Once I got a bite, the game was on. Reeling is accomplished with incredible speed, wasting no time drawing in your catch. In operation, there was no jarring at all, just smooth and precise action. I liked seeing this. If you’ve been fighting with an old reel that wobbles, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to Heaven after using the Ceymar reel.
Even more so was when I discovered its anti-reverse system. This worked like a charm and came in handy on more than one occasion during my testing. If you’re like me and have never tried out an Okuma reel, I highly recommend that you do. There’s a lot to like, and I found the execution to be flawless.
Coming in at just under the $100 mark, Daiwa delivers an industrial-grade reel that’s built for action. I was quite taken aback by the power this reel is capable of delivering. Even when reeling in larger fish, the amount of strength you’d typically need feels greatly reduced.
The build-quality is most excellent. This is the kind of spinning reel that will last a lifetime if it’s treated with respect and well-taken care of. It’s made with a waterproof drag, so you can expect the BG 2500 to withstand many fishing adventures.
Weighing in at 9.3 ounces, I had no issues retrieving my catch. The built-in anti-reverse system works beautifully and provides you with the stopping power you need.
I really liked casting with this one. The action is smooth as silk and has absolutely no hiccups along the way. The balancing is just right, too, making this a very well-rounded entry.
The aluminum body is rock-hard and looks stunning. Daiwa’s BG 2500 is one classy-looking reel and will look great on any rod. While I didn’t experience it, some users have had trouble with fitting it on theirs. But aside from that one potential issue, this is one truly solid entry that won’t let you down.
If you’re in the market for an inexpensive spinning reel that delivers the goods, you simply must try out the Sharky III. This affordable entry is very well-made and performs just as well as higher-end models.
I liked how easy casting was with the Sharky. I’ve used more expensive reels in the past that didn’t perform at this level. Chalk it up to KastKing’s excellent craftsmanship. It most certainly proves its worth here.
It boasts one truly smooth operating drag system. I had a great time reeling in each catch and never feel fatigued. To me, this is the mark of a quality reel. Combine this with superb balancing, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a fishing companion.
It amazes me that this wonderful reel can be had at such an affordable price. You just don’t typically see this kind of high quality for what you’ll be paying for the Sharky III. Bravo, KastKing. You made a believer out of me.
The only issue you might run into down the road is with its inner components. They aren’t made of the high-grade materials you find on premium reels. Some users have reported these breaking down after a couple of seasons.
KastKing makes an appearance yet again, this time with the Summer and Centron spinning reel. If you’re on a tight budget and in need of a quality reel, this is the one for you. It’s a slick-looking model that’s sure to turn heads.
I had a great time with this one. It feels great to hold and even better to fish with. It’s lightweight enough and won’t cause you any trouble when casting. While it’s not quite as smooth as some of the other entries I looked at, it performs well enough.
Retrieving felt a little tight at times, but by and large, it didn’t let me down. One of the biggest issues I have with lower-end models is retrieving. But I’m happy to report that I was able to reel them in with little issue.
So while casting is smoother than reeling, they both get the job done at a fraction of what you’d pay for premium reels.
Considering the extremely low cost of this reel, it’s an incredible feat that KastKing was able to pull off. The build-quality seems to be relatively high, and the design is attractive, to boot. If I were on a budget and needed a solid performer that’s reliable, this is the reel I’d go for.
Build-quality not as high as others
Abu Garcia Revo X is another top-performer that shines. Its greatest achievement is its amazing drag system. It’s built with a super-tough frame that is sure to give you years of use. It’s lightweight, too. I had a great time putting this one through its paces.
Casting is smooth as glass, allowing you to easily deliver one-handed casts with distance. Combined with its 8.3-ounce body, anyone can cast with ease. I’ve never once used an Abu Garcia spinning reel. But if they all perform this well, I’ll most certainly be trying them again.
As I mentioned, the Revo X’s drag system is in a league of its own. I sometimes wrestle with retrieving my catch. But the drag is so smooth on here that I had fun every step of the way. There were a couple of large species that normally would have given me trouble. But the Revo handled them like a pro thanks to its stellar drag ability.
While the look and design might be up some people’s alleys, it’s not for me. While this has nothing to do with the way it performs, this is a higher-priced unit. You want a reel that looks and delivers the goods.
I just found it to be a bit dull and lifeless. It’s only a minor nitpick, and again, it doesn’t change how wonderfully this one performs.
The last spinning reel I tried out was another Pflueger. Imagine that. Being pretty new to their brand, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But with both entries, I left wondering why I’d never used their reels.
The Supreme is an all-around solid model that is sure to serve you well. If you’re in need of smooth casting, this is the reel for you. It’s going to cost you a bit more than the majority of our entries. But it delivers some of the finest fishing around thanks to its fantastic design and craftsmanship.
Just with the short amount of time I spent with the Supreme, I’m confident this is one that will last you many years. It’s made with a magnesium frame and rotor. It gives it an incredibly lightweight feel. And at only 6.6 ounces, it’s one of the lightest I’ve ever used.
The handle on the Supreme is made with the same type of aluminum they use on aircrafts. If you’ve been looking for a reel you can count on to last, I think it’s safe to assume this is it.
I like that you can retrieve on either side of the Supreme. Lefties and ambidextrous folks will surely appreciate that feature.
Drag feels exceptionally smooth. So much so that I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s pricey, no doubt. But when you stop to think about all the years of service it will likely provide, it’s hard to argue with the cost.
As you’ve just read, you don’t always need the most expensive reel to enjoy successful fishing. Heck, I was able to catch and reel just as many fish with low-cost reels as I was with premium models.
What’s important is that you thoroughly research each reel to ensure it’s made with components and material that’s going to last. You don’t need a pricey reel, only a reliable one. By purchasing your reel with this mindset, you’re more apt to walk away with a product that will last.
But even better, you’ll end up saving a lot of money in the long run. Why? Because you won’t constantly be replacing defective parts. When I first started fishing, I didn’t understand this. I wound up spending more money than I care to admit replacing part after part and piece after piece.
Had I known how often lesser brands broke down, I would have saved up and bought a quality reel from the start. Who knows, I might still own it today had I gone that route. But I learned my lesson. That’s why I’m able to share it with you, so you don’t make the same mistakes that I did.
So, with that being said, how are you supposed to know what to look for? If you’re new to fishing, this can be just as tricky as selecting the right rod and reel your first time around. Fear not, because I’m here to help. I’ve put together this handy guide that nearly anyone can understand.
I want you to feel confident when buying your reel. By knowing exactly what to look for, you stand a better chance of investing in a model that will last years, if not a lifetime.
I’m not going to discuss looks so much as I am material. We all have differing tastes. I’d be a fool if I thought everyone liked the same styles as I. If you’re just getting started, I’d suggest foregoing looks for the time being. That can come later. It’s best that you find a quality reel that’s going to help complement your fishing.
The type of line capacity you choose largely depends on the lure you’ll be using. If you’re going to be using a heavier lure, it is highly recommended that you go with a greater line capacity. The reason for this is that it allows you to throw that heavy lure much farther than a line with lesser capacity.
Choosing the proper line capacity greatly improves your catching a fish. If you don’t pay careful attention to this, you risk losing out on any catch at all. There are some great resources to help you zero in on the right line capacity.
While you’d be forgiven for thinking more bearing means better performance, this simply isn’t the case. It’s possible for real with 7 bearings to outperform a reel with 10. What matters most when it comes to bearings is the material they are made out of.
During your buying journey, you’ll likely see all kinds of bearings. Your best bet is to go with a reel that uses stainless steel. You’re going to get much more use out of this material than others. They will last longer on top of performing smoothly.
The reason being is that stainless steel won’t rust on you. Obviously, fishing involves you and your reel getting wet. If you get a reel with bearings that are prone to rusting, you’re not going to have a reel for very long. This durable material will generally provide you with years of service without breaking down.
As you’ve likely seen in our reviews, drag plays a big part in how well a catch is reeled in. It’s always best to have a reel that has a powerful drag system if you want the best results. Of course, depending on your budget, this may not always be possible.
If you can’t get a reel that has powerful drag, check to ensure that it at least has smooth drag. You’ll see that I mentioned that a lot in the reviews. This makes all the difference in how easily you retrieve your catch.
A drag system that causes you jarring and jerking is no good. You’re more likely to lose your catch because of this. You never want to have to fight with your reel when fishing. Doing so will take you out of the game in no time flat.
For me, a quality drag system is tantamount to my having a good fishing experience. Anything less causes me troubles and usually results in a bad day at the lake. Even if a reel’s casting isn’t the greatest, I’ll always forego that in favor of smooth drag.
For help on how to properly set your drag, click here or watch the video below. They have a wealth of useful information that will show you how to set your drag for all kinds of reel types.
Gear ratio is just as important as any other aspect of your reel. The ratio is simply how often your bail spins around the spool with each and every rotation. Now, this varies greatly depending on the type of fishing you’re going to be doing.
As a general rule of thumb, you want a higher ratio for faster retrieving. If you’re only planning on casually fishing with no regard to how fast you reel in your catch, you can get away with a lower ratio and be just fine.
If you need help better understanding how gear ratio works, head on over to here. This helpful guide will show you what ratio is best for your type of fishing.
While you may think a beefier reel is better, that’s not always the case. The weight of your reel varies depending on the type of fishing you’re doing and what you’re planning on catching. But aside from that, you want a reel that is going to cause you as little fatigue as possible.
While 12 ounces may not sound like much, after a few hours on the water, your hands will start to feel it. If you have joint pain or arthritis, you’ll be wishing you sprang for that feathery 7-ouncer.
The longer you can put up with the weight, the greater your chances are of landing that catch of the day. And when it comes to fishing, that’s what it’s all about.
In this section, let’s discuss some of the more frequently asked questions folks tend to hear when it comes to spinning reels. This will help you better understand the verbiage that goes on behind the buying scenes, so you make the best decision.
If this happens, you need to test for any line slippage. Doing this is easy and only takes a minute. With your thumb and finger, squeeze the line tightly and turn the reel’s handle. If the line doesn’t move while the spool rotates, that’s a sure sign of slippage.
The quick fix for this is to wrap some masking tape around the spool’s arbor. This gives it the grip it needs and will stop slippage in its tracks.
This isn’t as bad as you may think. The problem is there not enough grease on the drag’s washer. If you don’t want to replace the washers, simply grease them up for your drag to return to normal.
This happens when the line isn’t wound properly. That or the roller bearing is binding up. Either use the reel to properly wind the line onto the spool, lubricate the faulty bearing with oil.
I hope that you found this guide to spinning reels useful in your quest to find the best one for your fishing needs. As you can see from the reviews, I really appreciate the quality craftsmanship of Shimano reels. They are some of the best of the best, providing years of service and enjoyment.
If Shimanos are out of your price range, I think you’ll be plenty pleased with KastKing’s Summer and Centro. It’s very budget-friendly and will provide you with pleasurable fishing experience. Regardless of which model you ultimately decide on, it’s important that you remember what to look for.
Refer back to this guide as much as you need until you are confident you’ve landed on the right reel. Feel free to use all the resources available so you know what to look for. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t find one right away. It’s always best to spend plenty of time researching so you don’t make any hasty decisions.
You want your new reel to be your fishing companion for years to come. By taking your time and reading detailed reviews like this one, you stand a much better chance of choosing the best spinning reels under $100.