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Best Saltwater Fishing reels

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Anglers Gear Review: 7 Best Saltwater Fishing reels

Saltwater fishing comes with its own challenges but also excitement. For your pursuit of the catch of the year, you’re going to want a specialized reel for saltwater fishing. There are numerous options available on the market. In this article, we advise how to make your choice and provide seven of the best options for you to select from.

Is There a Difference Between Fresh and Saltwater Reels?

There are some differences between the reels used for fresh and saltwater fishing. The main difference is the casting material. Saltwater is harsh water and can often cause corrosion on solid metal objects. Therefore, saltwater fishing gear is often made of full metal body with special castings designed to resist this damage.

If you were to use a freshwater reel out at sea, then you can expect damage to appear very quickly. You would need to replace it after just a couple of trips and this can be expensive.

What is the Difference Between Inshore and Offshore Saltwater Fishing?

The differences between inshore and offshore saltwater fishing are very simple. Offshore fishing, otherwise known as ‘deep sea’ fishing is when you’re going beyond thirty meters deep. This can also include a wide range of activities. Offshore fishing species are often some of the largest and require a bigger reel.

In contrast, inshore finishing, also known as ‘bay fishing’ refers to just about anything else. Normally, you would be fishing in locations such as in an inlet or near the coast.

How do I Choose a Saltwater Fishing Reel?

There are numerous things to consider when you’re choosing between reels for saltwater fishing. One of the key considerations is what you’re fishing for. Fishing for larger catches will require you to have a more powerful reel than those looking for smaller catches.

There is also the location. Many inshore fishing species require smaller reels whereas those fish that you’re going to catch offshore will require a larger reel.

You will also need to consider your fishing technique. If you prefer a certain style of catching your fish, then you need a reel that will complement you. Choosing the right reel for saltwater fishing for your style will allow you to cast your line with precision and reel in the fish when they take the bait.

Are Spinning Reels Good for Saltwater Fishing?

Considering the damage that salt water can do to reels, many beginner and experienced fishermen expect that spinning reels aren’t good for saltwater. However, in the past 10-20 years, spinning reels have been designed and produced that can cope with the harsh saltwater environment.

They’ve also grown in size.

Some top-of-the-line spinning reels are more than capable of handling some of the most powerful species like big tuna, sailfish, Pacific halibut, marlin and tarpon.

What Size of Reel do you Need for Saltwater Fishing?

The size of your reel will determine the species that you can catch. When you are deep-sea fishing, you require one of the larger reels. At a minimum, you should be looking at a minimum of 6000. This size of the reel will help you catch redfish, striped bass, snook and salmon.

If you’re looking to catch some of the largest fish, then you might need to use a 30,000 reel. These can catch tuna and sailfish.

What is a size 4000 reel good for? Is a 4000 reel good for inshore fishing?

A size 4000 reel is a good-sized reel for those who are passionate about inshore seawater fishing. The size of the reel is perfect for catching fish like catfish, snapper, redfish, snook and muskie. However, the 4000 reel is not a good option if you’re looking to fish further out to sea or looking for larger species.

What is a size 1000 reel good for?

The 1000 reel is not a great reel for most saltwater fishing. You can catch some of the smaller fish that you will find in bays and harbors, but the size 1000 reels are generally considered to be an ultra lightweight fishing size.

What is the strongest fishing reel in the world?

There are numerous strong saltwater fishing reels in the world. What you’re looking for is one that is 30000 in size. Numerous brands create reels of this size. You should also check that the materials are good for saltwater conditions.

Which saltwater reel is best?

Here we have several of the best saltwater reels that are available.

Penn Fathom Lever Drag – Best Off Shore Reel

This is a heavy-duty lever drag finish reel that allows you to catch some of the biggest fish in deep-sea fishing. The reel has some of the best durability and cranking power, helping you to reel in some of the biggest catches you will get. However, if your catch is a little smaller, not a problem. This has a quick shift 2-speed system that allows you to switch quickly between high and low gears.


Even under extreme drag settings, the Dura Drag system eliminates virtually all snags and hesitation.


The five shielded stainless steel ball bearings protect your reel from damage in the harsh sea environment. For those looking for the top-performing reel in deep-sea conditions, this is the best option.




  • You can catch some of the largest fish available with this reel.
  • Protected from the damaging impact of seawater for long life.
  • Has a quick switch to ensure you’re pulling in the catch with the right settings.
  • Is perfect for beginners and experienced fishing enthusiasts.

KastKing Kapstan Elite Saltwater Spinning Reel – Best Value Saltwater Reel

KastKing Kapstan Elite Saltwater Spinning Reel – Best Value Saltwater Reel

The KastKing Kapstan Elite is a great option for those looking for a saltwater reel with some power. The Spinning Reels comes in several different sizes from 3000 which is a perfect size for those who are looking to catch smaller fish in bays or just off the coast. There are also versions up to 8000 which allow you to catch fish like barracuda and amberjack.

The KastKing has a super-strong aluminum body offering maximum strength with a carbon fiber rotor that offers strength but reduced weight. If you’re buying some of the larger sizes (5000-8000) then you will also have a CNC aluminum rotor to provide additional cranking power.

Turning the handle on this reel does not automatically close the bail. This is feature is a performance feature on some of the larger saltwater reels. This feature is not a defect. You will need to cast and manually close the bail.


  • Available in different sizes so you can choose the reel that is best for your fishing location.
  • Strong, robust design.
  • Perfect for beginners and experienced fishing enthusiasts.
  • Affordable pricing at each size.
  • 5.7.1 gear ratio
  • fishing line capacity: 10/130, 12/110, 14/90

Penn Clash II Saltwater Spinning Reels – Best Inshore Fishing Reel

Penn Clash II Spinning Reel – Best Inshore Fishing Reel

Those looking to stay closer to the coast might want to consider the Penn Clash II saltwater spinning reels. The reel comes in a range of sizes from 1000 to 5000. The smaller couple of sizes are not suitable for saltwater, but they are good for those looking for stream fishing. In contrast, the 4000 and 5000 are great for some of the inshore fishing that many people enjoy.

In addition to the strong construction, the inshore fishing reel is made from stainless steel that is perfect for those looking to fish in seawater environments.


  • Available in several different sizes, so you can get the reel you need.
  • Made with sea water-resistant materials.
  • Cost-effective reel that is suitable for all skill levels.
  • Strong, robust construction.
  • 5.2.1 gear ratio for the 1000
  • fishing line capacity: 275/2 135/4 105/6 for the 1000

Penn Pursuit III & Pursuit IV Spinning Fishing Reel – Most Versatile Seawater Reel

A very versatile set of saltwater reels spinning, this group is perfect for anyone who is looking to get started with inshore or offshore fishing. The reel comes in numerous sizes from 2500 to 8000. Therefore, there is a large potential range of fish that you can catch, choosing the right reel for you.

The reel has a Ht-100 carbon fiber drag system for smooth and long-lasting drag. This is even when you have extreme drag pressures. Despite the potential power that is behind the reel, the lightweight and corrosion-resistant body are easy to handle and perfect for anyone, whether you’re an experienced offshore fishing enthusiast or a beginner.


  • Versatile, available in many different sizes.
  • Great materials protect the reel from damage from seawater.
  • Perfect for experienced and beginners.
  • A large potential range of fish can be caught with this reel.
  • 6.2.1 gear ratio for the 2500
  • fishing line capacity: 255/6 175/8 140/10 for the 2500

Slow Pitch Jigging Reels 66lbs Slow Jigging Reel Saltwater – Best Left-hand Reel

If you’re looking for a fantastic left-hand reel for your offshore fishing reel. The bearings of the reel are made from high-density, high-speed stainless steel. Therefore, the reel cannot be corroded by seawater and the reel is highly durable. You can expect to have this reel for years, fishing in sea waters and catching the fish you want.

The reel includes an accurate drag setting while still maintaining smooth operations, perfect for those that want to enjoy the experience to the fullest. And this reel has left-handed features, something that is not included with many other reels.

The reel is also great for catching some of the biggest fish you can attempt to catch. And this reel comes with a support team from the manufacturers, allowing you to solve problems with their team at any moment.


  • Left-handed reel, an uncommon feature.
  • Durable materials, help you to fish with this reel for years to come.
  • Smooth operations for a better fishing experience.
  • Can be used to catch some of the largest fish.
  • Gear ratio: 6.3:1.

Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel, 8000 – Best for Big Fish Fishing

This is one of the top reels for you to use if you’re looking to catch some of the largest fish offshore. The black anodized machined aluminum housing protects the reel from the hardest of salt water, allowing you to fish for some of the largest species.

The Daiwa is one of the top brands when it comes to reel, and you can be sure that this reel is robustly made and able to cope with some of the strongest drags. The design is also aesthetically pleasing, simple to use and perfect for beginner and experienced fishing enthusiasts alike.


  • A great reel for catching some of the biggest species at sea.
  • Perfect for use by both beginners and experienced fishing enthusiasts.
  • An aesthetically pleasing design.
  • Can cope with strong drags and is durable.
  • Gear ratio: 5.3:1.
  • fishing line capacity: 30oz (850g) Mono Line Capacity (lb/yds): 20/550, 25/440, 30/370

SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel – Best for Protection

SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel – Best for Protection

The SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel is a great option for those who are looking to have a reel protected from the sea elements. The reel has a carbon fiber design that can support 33lb drag that allows you to catch some of the largest game fish available.


The 10 + 1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings create one of the most smooth reel experiences available on this list. The design also prevents any water or sand from entering the gearing, offering you a long-lasting reel system that you will use for years.




  • Allows you to catch some of the largest game fish available.
  • Highly protected from seawater and sand.
  • Robust design that can support drag of up to 33lb.
  • Can be used by experienced and beginners.


If you still have some questions about the best saltwater reels for fishing you might find them here with their answers.

Are there saltwater reels?

Some reels are specially designed for saltwater conditions. This is because saltwater fish often require larger sizes and protection from harsh saltwater conditions.

What size reel is best for saltwater fishing?

The reel size you will need for saltwater fishing will depend on the game fish you’re trying to catch. However, you need a minimum of 4000.

What type of reel is best for saltwater fishing?

There are lots of different reels that are suitable for saltwater fishing. You need to consider where you’re fishing, what fish you’re trying to catch and the type of fishing you’re doing to determine which is the best fishing reel for you.

Which saltwater reel is best?

There is no definitive saltwater reel that is best. It will depend on several factors to determine which is best for you.

Who makes the highest quality fishing reels?

There are numerous brands which make great saltwater fishing reels. Daiwa and Penn are two of the best brands. But there are others which produce good reels.

What is the best sea spinning reel?

There are numerous sea spinning reels. You need one though that is designed for your fish and fishing style.

What size reel is best for offshore fishing?

For offshore fishing, you will need to have a reel that is 6000 or larger. These reels can catch fish like salmon and snook.

What are deep-sea reels called?

The trolling reel is often the name most applied to deep-sea reels. They can also be known as conventional or big game reels. They are the most used for fishing big species like marlin or sailfish.

What is a good ocean fishing reel?

Numerous fishing reels are perfect for ocean fishing. You want to have a reel that can cope with some of the largest fish, so a reel that is 10,000 or more.

How do I choose a saltwater reel?

Choosing a saltwater reel is something that is down to the size of the fish that you want to catch and also the style of fishing.

Are Daiwa reels good for saltwater?

There are Daiwa reels that are great for saltwater. But you need to ensure that the particular reel model that you buy is large enough to handle the fish you’re attempting to catch.

Final Word: The 7 Best Reels for Saltwater Fishing

Above are seven of the best reels for saltwater fishing. The final choice of what you use is up to you, but it is important to consider what fish you’re trying to catch and the type of fishing you prefer. This can help you choose the best reel for you.

If you are looking for a baitcaster or the best baitcaster combo read our 12 best review