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The infinite bounty of the wild blue yonder calls to souls of every ilk.
Be you fishing off a pier, a coastal kayaker, or taking out a boat for a great big sport fish, there is a saltwater meal or trophy with your name on it.
While the game is out there in abundance, without the proper tools—the right reel—those delicious fishes can be awfully hard to catch and eat.
With the wrong reel, you’ll spend more time working out knots, fixing bails, and otherwise not fishing.
But with the right equipment, well, who knows what kind of a catch you can land.
Tie on your leader and lets cast-off to find you, your best saltwater spinning reel.
IN A RUSH?
Get this: Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel
Powerful, smooth, durable, and all sorts of other accurate if complimentary adjectives. And it comes in many sizes making it the best heavy duty saltwater spinning reel available today. And at under a hundred bucks it simply can’t be beat.
Top Saltwater Spinning Reels on the Market Today
The 8 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels
1. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel - Best Overall Saltwater Spinning Reel
If you want an absolute multipurpose saltwater dynamo, you simply can’t beat the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel. (This best all around saltwater spinning reel is Also available at Basspro.)
Built for battling the big fish in heavy salt spray, this rugged and well-engineered reel is strong, but still pulls in line smooth as silk. And when you are matching wits with masters of salt and surf, smooth is never underrated.
Better still, they’ve options in sizes for any fish or depth you prefer to fish. So pick the Penn that’s right for you, and take on whatever sea monster of legend your nearest body of water holds.
Best yet, this bad boy is surprisingly inexpensive. Making the Penn Battle II the best saltwater spinning reel under $100 on the market.
Reel Tips: Remember that over-lubricating a reel can cause problems just as bad as not lubricating your reel. Use only a drop of grease or oil on your bearings.
2. Lews Fishing TPI400 TP1 Inshore Speed Spinning Reel - Best Inshore Saltwater Spinning Reel
Tarpon, Bonefish, Striped bass, Redfish, Snook or Barracuda. The pleasure and bounty found in a small fishing boat—or off a pier—can not be overstated.
With the Lews Fishing TPI400 TP1, you’ve got one of the best inshore spinning reels you can find, with features that let you focus on the fish.
Features like an ambidextrous handle, and hardy yet lightweight frame and side plate, an anti-reverse clutch bearing.
Speaking of bearings. Seven of the bad boys and a 33” retrieve make for one of the smoothest pulls on an Lews Fishing inshore spinning reel that one can experience.
3. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel - Best Small Saltwater Spinning Reel
Whether your piscatorial pursuits have you fishing a stream, river, lake, ice-hole, or on the big blue sea, one delish sport fish can be found readily.
For landing more trout than bargained, little beats the Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel line. Most trout species are easily and consistently reeled with model C-10, and that’s pretty great considering it’s their least expensive model.
Okuma precision machines all key components on all models of their reels. That attention to detail produces smooth operation that you can count on. Hence the full year warranty.
So get yours now, and drop a line in the nearest ice-hole.
Our Tip: To reduce the occurrence of pesky caught lines, don’t fill the spool to/past capacity and try closing your bail manually.
4. SHIMANO ULTEGRA Spinning Fishing Reel - Best Saltwater Spinning Reel for Surf Casting
SHIMANO—a trusted name in Japanese manufacturing in cycling, golf, and other sports for nearly a century—really demonstrates their experience with their globally best-selling fishing reels.
Currently standing tall atop the pack, the SHIMANO ULTEGRA Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel. Sleek but strong materials comprise its G-Free Body for superb balance. (Also available at Basspro.)
Inside, an ultra-durable, cold-forged proprietary Hagane Gear is so well engineered to reduce friction, that when combined with its X-Ship double-bearing pinion support system, grants a long, smooth accurate cast.
For the angler in your life who deserves experienced quality craftsmanship, even if it’s you—especially if it’s you—you cannot go wrong with any SHIMANO reel, and the ULTEGRA—while exceptional—is no exception
5. Piscifun Flame Light Weight Ultra Smooth Spinning Fishing Reels - Best Budget Saltwater Spinning Reel
Humankind has slapped a hook on bait and pulled dinner from the sea for over 42,000 years.
Evidence suggests that we've done as such with a line and rod for a hot minute too. Since at least 2000BCE. Barely a millennium into recorded human history.
That makes fishing one of mankind’s oldest skills. One that beckons to us through our history, or instinct, or ancestral DNA, and as such it should not be reserved only for those with the most resources.
With the Piscifun Flame line of Light Weight Ultra Smooth Spinning Fishing Reels, anyone can afford to get out on the water.
Fill your creel, look good doing it, and honor whatever of the wild calls to you.
Pro Tip: For freshwater fishing choose 2000 or 3000 series. For saltwater/bigger game fish jump up to the 4000-5000 models.
6. Cadence CC6 Spinning Reel & Rod Combo - Best Saltwater Spinning Reel Combo
For those looking to grab and go, you can't do better than the Cadence CC6 Spinning Reel & Rod Combo.
Ideal for freshwater fish like bass, walleye, and trout as well as popular inshore species like redfish, speckled trout, and flounder, so long as one remembers to rinse your rod and reel after a saltwater fish.
All 17 models of Cadence Spinning Rods—both 1-piece and 2-piece—are constructed from 24-30-ton carbon matrix graphite blanks. This offers the best mix of strength, durability, and sensitivity without being hefty.
Guides on all Cadence rods are stainless steel to resist corrosion and have a SiC insert for smooth even line control.
The best part? Cadence—and vicariously all Cadence customers—is dedicated to educating and encouraging future angles, and is partnered with a number of charities to that end.
7. Pflueger President Spincast Fishing Reel - Best Beginner Saltwater Spinning Reel
According to a number of actual customer reviews, the construction on the Pflueger President Spincast Fishing Reel was akin to stepping back in time when craftsmanship was a thing of pride and not just a bottom dollar.
Intuitive, incredibly rugged and reliable, this call back is great if you (or more likely a rambunctious and over enthusiastic kiddo) is like me, and drops or otherwise mangles any delicate or intricate thing encountered.
All the high-end features one can’t do without once spoiled. Like a 5 bearing system with an anti-reverse bearing and titanium pins.
Today's fishing engineering, in the long-lasting design of yesteryear.
8. Okuma Fishing Tackle Hx-35 Helios - Best Lightweight Saltwater Spinning Reel
As mentioned above, Okuma precision machines all key components on all models of their reels. That consistent attention to detail produces smooth operation that you can count on. Hence said full one year warranty.
The Okuma Fishing Tackle Hx-35 Helios Extremely Lightweight Spinning Reel is made out of some of a combination of the most durable and most lightweight materials available today.
While still having all the features of larger heavier duty models.
And while this is a list of saltwater reels, The Helios delivers inland just as smoothly as it does at sea.
Reeling It In
We shan’t pretend that a reel by itself will catch fish for you. Heck. That doesn't even sound like fun.
Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Ree
Nor are we apt to pull old Champy out of lake Champlain with our trusty rod and reel—though with the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel you’ve got a better chance than without.
We average anglers are not likely to be enshrined in the halls of eternity for our fishing. Because it doesn't leave behind anything but the treasure of memories made with the people we love the most. Memories with a rod and reel in hand.
And THAT is really the point, isn’t it?