10 Best Closed Face Reels – Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

Best Closed Face Reel

A closed face reel is the choice some fishermen make over an open face reel because of the ease of casting the line with a button instead of having an exposed line that requires guiding the line with your finger while casting. A closed face fishing reel is commonly less expensive than an open face fishing reel, which makes it a frequent choice among beginner and intermediate fishermen.

We browsed many closed face reels to find the top 10 reels for you, and we determined our choices based on a few key factors. Value is important, and we compare the price of the reel to the quality. Besides value, we make our choice based on the ease of use, reliability, versatility, and strength. Our top choices must be easy to use, reliable for the long haul, be able to use in multiple fishing scenarios, and must have the strength and durability to handle larger and stronger fish.

From the range of options you have for closed face reels, you will find the best product for your individual fishing needs in our list of top 10 best closed face reels.

  Quick View: The Best Closed Face Reels

  • Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Fishing Reel

  • Zebco Big Cat XT Spincast Fishing Reel

  • Pflueger President Spincast Fishing Reel

  • Pflueger Trion Spincast Fishing Reel

  • Zebco Roam 3Sz Spincast Reel 10#C

  • Zebco Authentic Spincast Fishing Reel

  • Rhino Spincast Fishing Reel Size-2

  • Lew’s Fishing American Hero Metal Spincast Reel

  • KastKing Brutus Spincast Fishing Reel

  • Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Reel

Closed Face Reel Tips

What is the difference between a closed face reel and an open face reel?

An open face reel is what many advanced and experienced fishermen use. It requires flipping the bail while holding the line with your finger. Just as you cast your rod forward, you release your finger to let the line out. Depending on the circumstance and scenario, you will either grab the line again with your finger followed by flipping the bail back over to lock the line into place.

With a closed face reel, instead of worrying about flipping the bail or holding the line with your fingers, you simply push a button on your reel that releases your line, and release your thumb from the button when you want to line to lock again.

This feature makes closed face reels the best for beginners, children, and even intermediate and expert fishermen in certain situations where a closed face reel makes more sense to use.

How to make the most of your closed face fishing reel

When looking for a closed face fishing reel, you want to look for a few specific factors and features. These include the number of bearings, construction, weight, durability, reliability, and versatility.

While a heavy reel can sometimes be too clunky for people, it can add to the power and hold up through extensive fishing trips and many years of use. A heavier aluminum reel can also add to the corrosion resistance that allows for extended use in water, and can make great closed face saltwater reels.

One thing you will see advertised in each reel listing is how many bearings come with the retrieval system. Essentially, the more bearings there are, the smoother the retrieval of your line will be. One-bearing systems can still be smooth, but they will never be as smooth as a 5 or 7-bearing retrieval.

One more thing to look for is the retrieve rate. Besides how smooth your line is retrieved, the retrieve rate tells you how fast you will be able to retrieve your line. A 10-inch retrieve rate will move slowly, and you will have to rotate your handle twice as much as a 20-inch retrieve rate reel. A 19-inch retrieve rate means you get 19 inches of line retrieved for every one full rotation of your handle when reeling in.

Do you need a multiple bearing system?

While you don’t absolutely need a multiple bearing system, it can be worthwhile, even for children and absolute beginners. A multiple bearing system allows you to retrieve your line smoother. A good closed face fishing reel has between 3 to 5 bearings, but the best closed face fishing reel will have more than 5 bearings.

We find that a 7-bearing retrieval system with a 19-inch retrieve rate will give you an extremely smooth feel and fast retrieval rate. This allows you to make more casts and have a consistently smooth cast.

What is meant by having a fast pickup or quick hook set?

Some reels mention that their retrieval system includes a fast pickup or quick retrieve, which allows for an immediate hook set. What this means is that when a fish nibbles and eventually bites your bait and hook, you have a split second to react and set the hook in the fish’s mouth. Not setting the hook quick enough can result in a lost fish or a hook that gets stuck in the gills of the fish. Neither are good for you, which is why having a fast pickup and hook set can provide you with a better fishing experience, more caught fish, and more casts and therefore chances of catching more fish.

The difference between gear ratios

Gear ratios tell you how fast a reel picks up line or retrieves line. It is similar to what is advertised as a “retrieve rate.” Some product descriptions will tell you that a line has a 14 or 19-inch retrieve rate, while others give you a gear ratio like 8.3:1, which is telling you that the spool rotates 8.3 times for every 360-degree turn of the reel handle.

Both the gear ratio and retrieve rate can tell you more about the speed at which you reel in your line. The greater the first number in the ratio, and the greater the inches in your retrieve rate, the faster your line will be able to reel in. More is better.

What features you need in a closed face fishing reel

If you like to switch your hands when fishing, and have your handle on the right sometimes and on the left other times, you will want a reel that has an interchangeable system that is easy to switch.

The most important features are retrieve rate, smoothness, durability, and reliability. With the number of fishing reels on the market, there are a lot of cheaply made reels. One of the biggest complaints in reels is not retrieve rate, smoothness, or gear ratios; it is how well put together the fishing reel is. Some reels fall apart much quicker than others, and it helps to get a reel that is going to last many fishing trips, which is why we compiled some of the best closed face fishing reel options you can find.

Closed Face Reels Comparison Table

Top 10 Closed Face Reels Review

Key features

  • Spincast reel pre-spooled with 6-pound Zebco fishing line
  • 7 bearings and 19-inch retrieve rate
  • Mono capacity of 85/6
  • 20% lighter than the standard Omega reel
  • All-metal gears
  • Instant anti-reverse with smooth triple-cam

The Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Fishing Reel was built with versatility in mind so that you can fish for both smaller and larger species of fish. The 7 bearings and all-metal gears were built for a smoother retrieval, and the lighter build makes this easier to handle for beginner and intermediate fishermen.


  • The bearings and all-metal gears make each cast very smooth.
  • The light weight of this reel makes it easier to use for beginners.
  • The reel comes pre-spooled with 6-pound line, which is a standard weight line that can handle a variety of fish. You will have to change the line if you need a different weight.


  • Some have reported snagging in the line after continuous use.
  • The thumb button is one of the cheaper built parts of this reel and can because loose over time, which can result in your line not being released when you want.

Key features

  • Stainless steel cover and titanium plated spinner head
  • 4 bearings and 19-inch retrieve rate
  • Interchangeable hand retrieve for right and left hand
  • Mono capacity of 110/25 for heavier species of fish
  • 1-year warranty

The affordable Zebco Big Cat XT is a spincast closed face fishing reel with 4 bearings at size 80. It has a 110/25 mono capacity and 19-inch retrieve rate, making this easy to cast and retrieve for beginner and intermediate fishermen. If you are looking to catch larger fish, the pre-spooled 25-pound Cajun fishing line is an added bonus.


  • The stainless steel cover and titanium-nitride plated spinnerhead is more powerful than other lighter reels.
  • The 4 bearings and 19-inch retrieve rate makes for a smoothly retrievable line.
  • The 25-pound fishing line that is included means you don’t have to spool your own line.
  • Changeable right/left hand retrieve for righties and lefties


  • This reel is big and heavy, which isn’t suitable for younger fishermen, children, or those that are looking for a lightweight reel.
  • The 25-pound fishing line that comes pre-spooled, while high quality, could be too large if you are fishing for smaller fish.

Key features

  • 5 bearing system with stainless steel ball bearings (corrosion resistant)
  • Precise gear alignment with aluminum frame
  • High-quality machined aluminum front cone
  • Dual titanium pins for easy line pick up
  • One-way clutch ball bearing for fast hook sets

This Pflueger President Spincast fishing reel can be used by beginners and advanced fishermen alike and is professionally built with high quality corrosion resistant materials. Aluminum frame and front cone with dual titanium pins give this reel its high quality, and the one-way clutch ball bearing allows for an instant hook set when the fish bites.


  • Corrosion resistant parts provides you with extended use and reliability.
  • Your line is easily picked up and retrieved with dual titanium pins.
  • The one-way clutch ball bearing provides instant hook sets when you feel a bite on the end of your line.


  • Some find it more challenging to cast their line with anything heavier than a 15 – 20lb line. This isn’t a problem unless you are going for larger and heavier fish.
  • The drag pulls harder than other reels even at the minimum setting, which could cause some lost catches to finicky fish.

Key features

  • 2 bearing system
  • Aluminum cone, frame and handle
  • Dual titanium pins
  • Spool applied drag

The Pflueger Trion Spincast fishing reel is an affordable closed face reel that is great for beginners and children and can also be used by intermediate fishermen. This is also a new model which is easier to handle and more reliable than previous models. You can also interchange the retrieve for right or left hand.


  • This reel is affordable and great for beginner fishermen.
  • The aluminum construction of the cone, handle and frame make this corrosion resistant.
  • You can choose between different sizes for the same model reel.


  • After extensive use, the release button can disengage and eventually come apart.
  • The 2-bearing system, while decent enough for beginners, isn’t as smooth as other 4 or 5 bearing systems.

Key features

  • 3 bearings with 19-inch retrieve rate
  • Interchangeable hand retrieve for right and left hand
  • Instant quickset anti-reverse technology
  • Mono capacity of 110/10 for light to medium species of fish
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty

The Zebco Roam 3Sz spincast reel is a closed face fishing reel, pre-spooled with 10-pound fishing line. The 3-bearing, 19-inch retrieve rate and 110/10 mono capacity is best used for light to medium sized fish like panfish, bass, and trout, and the instant quickset anti-reverse technology makes for faster hook sets.


  • The patented no-tangle design is good for beginners and less experienced fishermen.
  • Like other new Zebco models, the instant quickset technology makes it easier to catch more fish and get a faster hook set when the fish bite.
  • The 10-pound Cajun fishing line that is pre-spooled on this reel is perfect for smaller to medium sized fish.


  • Some have reported the thumb release button breaking after extensive use over a one-year period.
  • The 10-pound line might be too large for some finicky fish, and too light for larger fish. It is recommended to spool your own desired line on the reel.

Key features

  • 3:6:1 gear ratio
  • Comes with pre-spooled 10lb red fishing line
  • Quickset anti-reverse clutch
  • Single ball bearing drive

This Zebco spincast fishing reel is perfect for beginners and children who are just getting into fishing. The reel is built with quality like other Zebco reels and fishing products, yet it is lightweight and simplistic with its design. This reel comes pre-spooled with 10lb red fishing line for easy visibility for inexperienced fishermen.


  • Lightweight design and construction for children and beginners
  • Quick set anti-reverse clutch makes it easier to hook set and catch fish
  • This is the most affordable reel on our list, and can even work great as a backup.


  • The red line, while great for visibility, should more than likely be changed to help catch more fish.
  • The single ball bearing drive makes this reel not as smooth as others when reeling in.

Key features

  • 4-bearing drive with brass gears
  • Machine forged aluminum constructed cover and crank handle
  • Dual ceramic line pickup pins
  • Interchangeable right or left hand retrieve
  • Sealed thumb release button

This Zebco Rhino spincast fishing reel is a smaller constructed reel with some of the same high-quality features as more advanced reels. This is good for both beginners and intermediate fishermen, and comes with a 4-bearing drive, aluminum cover and handle, and a changeable retrieve for right or left hand. The roller-adjustable drag makes it easy to change the drag even for beginners.


  • Lightweight construction makes this easy to handle
  • 4-bearing drive gives greater handling and smoother retrieve than 1 or 2-bearing models.
  • Aluminum construction is corrosion-resistant.
  • The thumb release button is a higher-quality than previous models


  • Some might find this reel to be too small for their liking.
  • This model only comes in a shiny red color, which some don’t like.

Key features

  • Injection molded body
  • Double-anodized aluminum cone
  • Dual pin line pick up system
  • Soft touch rubber grips
  • Pre-spooled reel with 8lb mono line

The Lew’s Fishing American Hero model of closed face spincast reel is an affordable option for beginners and children. It is a lightweight reel made of mostly aluminum, and has a dual pin line pick up system for fast hook sets when fishing.


  • Mono capacity 90/8 gives 90 yards of line
  • The 16-inch retrieve rate is a decent rate for beginners
  • The rubber grips make this easy to control and feels good on the fingers
  • This reel is another extremely affordable option compared to similar reels.


  • The reel is smaller than some would like.
  • The cover can sometimes come loose after continuous use.

Key features

  • 5-bearing drive that are double shielded stainless-steel for smooth reeling
  • Dual pickup system that grabs slack quickly for instant hook sets and fast casting
  • 4:0:1 gear ratio picks up line faster for additional casts and saved time.
  • Rubber grip, reversible, dual paddle handle
  • Pre-spooled with 160 yards of 10lb test monofilament fishing line

The KastKing Brutus closed face reel is the best closed face fishing reel for fishermen of any experience level. Every feature that you can ask for is included in this reel, and on top of the features, the style and black and red color scheme of the reel is very professional looking and appealing.


  • 160 yards of line are pre-spooled, and this reel holds much more line than most other spincast reels
  • Compared to similar models and brands, this reel has the fastest pickup for easy hook sets and quicker additional casting.
  • With 5 ball bearings, the reeling is smoother than comparative models.
  • The reversible handle makes this easy to use for right and left hand.


  • Some beginners may find this reel to be heavy or clunky, especially those who are used to light-weight smaller reels.

Key features

  • 7-bearing and 19-inch retrieve rate
  • Interchangeable right and left hand retrieve with all-metal gears
  • Anti-reverse technology for a reliable smooth reel in
  • Mono capacity of 85/10 for heavier fish species
  • 1-year manufacturer’s warranty

The Zebco Omega Pro is the best closed face fishing reel in the Zebco line-up of reels, and features a powerful aluminum design and a smoother retrieval system than any of the other models in our top 10 lineup. Like other professional model Zebco reels, this one comes with the instant anti-reverse technology to provide a quick hook set and smooth feel when reeling in your catch.


  • 7-bearing system with all-metal gears is the best out of any model in our lineup.
  • The interchangeable retrieve handle makes this great for right and left hand.
  • The reel has a soft-touch thumb button that makes casting smoother than other models.


  • The reel is on the more expensive side, but the features and high-quality build make it worth it.


What is retrieve rate?

Retrieve rate is simply the speed at which you can retrieve your line. While gear ratio, as we explained before, can be a great contributor to how fast your line can be retrieved, the real factor to look for is the retrieval rate in inches.

A reel that is advertised as a 12-inch retrieval rate means that for every 360-degree spin of your handle, you will retrieve 12 inches of line. If you cast 100 feet of line and your retrieval rate is 12 inches, you must spin your handle 100 times before you get your line back. The same scenario with a 24-inch retrieval rate will make you rotate your handle only 50 times to retrieve your line.

As you can see, the greater the retrieve rate, the more casts you can make, the more chances you have to catch a fish, and the faster you can retrieve fish.

Many professionals look for the fastest retrieval rate they can get, because they can always adjust how fast or slow they reel in their line based on the specific scenario.

What size line do I need for smaller or larger fish?

Your line weight will be determined by what kind of fish you are trying to catch. When going for much larger fish like 40lb tuna, you will want a very heavy line, like 30lb test line. When going for something like trout, a 4lb line is more than enough. Bass fishing can vary, but an 8 to 10lb line is a good start, and based on the type of bass you are fishing for, you can change up the line.

It is recommended that you bring multiple lines with you in case you need to switch out your line in the middle of a fishing trip to better accommodate the type of fish you are baiting.

Is a heavier or lighter weight reel better?

The heaviness of the reel depends entirely on the comfortability of the individual fisherman. For a young child, a smaller and lighter reel is going to do more good for them, because they won’t get tired as quickly, and can cast their line further. They also won’t get tired of holding their lightweight reel while waiting for a bite.

If you can handle a heavier weight reel, that’s a better option because of the overall durability. Heavier weight reels last longer and are commonly built better. While some find very heavy reels to be clunky, they can be the best closed face fishing reel that you can use on many fishing trips.

Our Verdict

So, what’s the final verdict of the best closed face reel?

While what we listed are a great variety of reels to choose from, the best closed face reel comes down to two of these:

The Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Reel is our number one choice because of the smooth retrieval system, good line capacity, fast retrieve rate, and durability. It is an extremely powerful reel that will last you a very long time.

However, this reel is also more expensive than many of the other reels on the list. So, if you can’t afford to get the Zebco Omega, the next best reel is the KastKing Brutus Spincast Fishing Reel. At half the price of the Zebco Omega, this high performance reel has almost as smooth retrieval, with the addition of a larger line capacity for fishing in deeper waters.

Whether you go with the Zebco or KastKing reel, either of these should last you a very long time and give you great value and fun times on many fishing trips to come. Take a look at both of these reels, you can’t go wrong with either one.

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