Best Spinning Reel For Walleye: Our Top 6 Picks

September 1, 2021

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After those hard-fighting walleyes and looking for a reliable fishing reel? Then this article is for you!

Today, we’re reviewing our 6 favorite fishing reels on the market and sharing a detailed buying guide to help you find the best spinning reel for walleye.

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks

Reviews of the 6 Best Spinning Reels for Walleye

1. Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel by KastKing

Kicking off our list with one of the top-rated spinning reels for walleye fishing, the Sharky III Reel by KastKing is designed to handle heavy fishes that put up a hard battle such as walleye and salmon. This is courtesy of the premium-quality materials and advanced engineering used in construction.

The Sharky III features a body and rotor made out of graphite, reinforced with a high percentage of fiber. As a result, you get a heavy-duty reel that’s pretty lightweight to minimize arm fatigue. This is a huge plus for anglers planning to stay out on the water for a long time.

The KastKing Sharky III features an oversized main shaft made out of stainless steel and pinion gears built using manganese brass for more strength and precision. The drag on this spinning reel is also very impressive, supported by a triple-disc carbon fiber structure for up to 39.5 pounds.

The Sharky III is equipped with K.I.S.S technology ( short for KastKing Intrusion Shield System) that grants the reel’s body, spool, and rotor resistance against water and dirt to boost the unit’s longevity.

Additionally, this walleye spinning reel is fitted with 11 stainless steel ball bearings that are saltwater rater and double shielded to maximize durability. What’s more, the Sharky III comes with an anti-reverse instant lock, an anti-twist line roller, as well as an aluminum handle complete with an EVA foam grip to promote a comfortable grasp.

The KastKing Shark III is available in 5 size options, each having a generous line capacity for both monofilament and braided types. Price-wise, this is one of the most affordable options on our list, offering lots of value for money for newbie anglers and those on a budget.

What We Like

  • Very rugged construction 
  • Equipped with anti-reverse and anti-twist features
  • Comfortable grip
  • High line capacity across all sizes
  • Great value for money
  • Great for jigging for walleye

What We Don’t Like

  • A few reports of reduced smoothness with repeated use

2. President Spinning Fishing Reel by Pflueger

Another great spinning fishing reel for anglers after walleye is the Pflueger President Reel. We did find that it also works quite well in catching other fish species such as bass, steelhead, and salmon, which makes it a fantastic investment if you’re looking for a versatile unit.

Equipped with 9 stainless steel bearings that effectively resist corrosion, this reel is very durable. They’re even anti-reverse, allowing you to set the hook right after a hit and reel fish in without worrying that the bail will turn backward.

Additionally, the body and rotor on this reel are made out of graphite, which means it’s rugged yet lightweight. The handle is also constructed out of aluminum — another element that contributes to the excellent balance between longevity and weight in this unit.

The Pflueger President features a high-quality multi-disc drag system. It’s built out of sealed stainless steel washers that maintain their lubrication for an everlasting smooth performance.

The popular President lineup comes in 5 size options, each with a unique drag weight and line capacity. All of them are fitted with a braid-ready spool, which lets you directly tie your braided line with minimal effort.

You can choose your reel depending on the rod you’re using or the species you’re after, but we found that the Pflueger President is ideal for pairing with light tackle and lures. When reeling in, it doesn’t snag or twist the line.

What We Like

  • Durable yet lightweight 
  • The drag is silky-smooth
  • Minimal twisting and snagging of line
  • Ideal for light tackle and lures

What We Don’t Like

  • Not saltwater rated

3. Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel by PENN

If you’re on the hunt for walleye in both freshwater and saltwater, then the Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel by PENN should be right up your alley. With thousands of positive reviews vouching for its quality and performance, it’s no wonder that this reel is one of our top 3 favorites on the market.

Besides catching walleye, you can use the Battle II reel to bag various other fish species such as perch, catfish, salmon, and rockfish. Still, we think it’s best for walleye fishing.

The PENN Battle II is a powerful reel that you can depend on when it comes to enduring hard-fighting fish. Thanks to its entirely metal body and aluminum bail wire, this spinning reel is one of the most durable units on our list.

The heavy-duty construction, however, resulted in a somewhat heavyweight reel. If you’re planning to land bigger fish, this tradeoff is pretty much expected considering the reduced flex of the reel.

The Battle II is equipped with an HT 100 drag mechanism that adopts carbon washers and is treated with the company’s unique grease formula. Superior to felt washers, the drag system on this spinning reel is strong without sacrificing smoothness. It’s even equipped with anti-reverse technology to keep pullback at a minimum.

What’s more, the Battle II reel sports 5 sealed ball bearings. These are made out of stainless steel, which boosts their resistance to corrosion with prolonged use.

Another cool feature in this spinning reel by PENN is the rubber gasket that eliminates the need for using a monofilament backing with your braided line as it prevents slipping due to pressure. Additionally, the Battle II Reel has line capacity rings that allow anglers to find out how much line is left on the spool with a simple glance.

The PENN Battle II is available in 6 different sizes, ranging from 2000 to 8000.

What We Like

  • Heavy-duty structure
  • No pullback
  • Equipped with line capacity rings 
  • Available in 6 sizes

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit on the heavier side

4. Carbon X Spinning Reel by Piscifun 

Next up, we’re looking at the Carbon X spinning reel by Piscifun. This model is popular among hundreds of anglers and we found that it does the job beautifully, certainly living up to the hype when it comes to walleye fishing.

It also comes at a pretty budget-friendly compared to other candidates on the market with similar features, so it’s a good pick for beginners and anglers looking for something on the affordable side.

The Piscifun Carbon X has an impressively lightweight construction that feels great when you hold it and doesn’t cause arm fatigue after extended hours of use. Still, it’s built quite sturdy using stainless steel, aluminum, and carbon materials. It’s even fitted with a solid handle to withstand stubborn walleye.

Looks-wise, we love how sleek the all-black color scheme appears. As for the ball bearings, this spinning reel is equipped with 11 double-shielded ones made of stainless steel to effectively resist corrosion when exposed to saltwater.

Additionally, the Carbon X reel features large carbon washers that provide a drag power of up to 33 pounds. The drag system is sealed with a rubber ring to keep out water and dirt to ensure long-lasting, consistent performance.

The spool has a braid-ready design that eliminates the need for backing to save you precious time in the water. What’s more, the Piscifun Carbon X comes complete with a direct screw-in handle to support quick assembly and a thick EVA grip to boost comfort. 

What We Like

  • Ultra-lightweight construction
  • Very smooth operation
  • Easy and quick to put together
  • Looks sleek
  • Ideal for beginners

What We Don’t Like

  • You may need to re-tighten the drag occasionally

5. Sedona Fi Spinning Reel by SHIMANO

No best fishing gear list would be complete without a product from the renowned brand SHIMANO. In the spinning fishing reels department, the Sedona Fi is our favorite for catching walleye. Not only does it come at a competitive price, but it’s also packed with features that are usually part of premium models.

For example, the Sedona Fi is equipped with HAGANE gears — the cold-forged flagship gear of the company. They enable this reel to deliver massive drag power while possessing a higher gear ratio and an adaptive design that suits a variety of conditions.

This Sedona Fi reel is built to tackle any size of fish, even heavier ones that tend to put up a fight. Still, it doesn’t weigh much, so you can use it during long fishing sessions without worrying about arm/hand fatigue.

As for line capacity, this spinning reel for walleye features a machine-cut double-anodized spool to fit a lot more line than average. To improve line management, this reel is also equipped with a propulsion system that minimizes the occurrence of wind knots and backlashes.

The SHIMANO Sedona Fi isn’t exactly easy to handle for newbies right at the start, but you can get the hang of it with time. The real downside, in our opinion, is the lack of a reverse switch.

What We Like

  • Incredible drag power
  • Adaptive design
  • High spool capacity
  • Improved line management

What We Don’t Like

  • No reverse switch

6. Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel by Pflueger

Last but not least, we have another fantastic option from Pflueger – the Supreme XT. This is one of the best spinning reels you can get your hands on for walleye fishing, with its remarkably smooth drag being its primary selling feature.

Offering tons of value for money, the Supreme XT reel is equipped with a total of 10 ball bearings — that’s more bearings than you can find in many of the more expensive models on the market. They’re made out of stainless steel, sealed, and resistant to corrosion, which provides anglers with outstanding smoothness, stability, and longevity when it comes to maintenance breaks.

The Pflueger Supreme XT is all about weight reduction from the magnesium body and rotor that promises a feather-light feel, to the carbon drag system and handle that’s significantly lighter than aluminum — a typical handle material in spinning reels of this price range.

To boost your comfort on the water, the handle is fitted with an EVA grip. Additionally, this reel adopts the SMARTretrieve technology that ensures better precision of your line positioning with every cast.

The Pflueger Supreme XT is available in 4 different size options, all of which are designed to be braid-ready.

What We Like

  • Feather-light construction
  • Buttery-smooth drag system
  • Convenient retrieve technology
  • Comfortable knob

What We Don’t Like

  • On the pricey side

How to Choose the Best Spinning Reel for Walleye

When shopping for the best spinning reel for walleye fishing, you should take the following points into account:

Compatibility with Fishing Rods

The first thing you need to consider before buying a walleye spinning reel is whether or not it’s compatible with the rod you plan on fishing with. Look through the specs of the rod as well as those of the reel to make sure they’ll match one another. 

This doesn’t mean that every reel out there will only fit on a specific rod. On the contrary, the best spinning reels will be compatible with a wide range of fishing rods to accommodate the needs of most anglers. 

Reel Size

Next, you should figure out the right reel size for your walleye fishing needs. This will depend on the size of the fish you’re hoping to catch.

In most cases, catching walleye will require a 10-pound test line, so you’d want a reel size that can accommodate such a line.

Generally, it’s a good idea to get a spinning reel that supports 6, 8, and 10-pound test lines. This will give you decent flexibility to use different lines according to your fishing needs. 

Reel Body

When it comes to the construction of the reel, consider the material and weight of its body.

Ideally, your walleye spinning reel should be made out of a tough material such as graphite, aluminum, or a combination of the two. This will provide plenty of power and durability without adding too much weight to the unit.

Beyond the relation between the material of the body and its weight, you need to think about how solid vs flimsy the body is. Of course, you want as little of the latter as possible.

Also, try to choose a spinning reel with fewer parts to decrease the risk of it breaking down. 

Drag System

If you’re hoping to catch walleye, your spinning reel of choice has to possess a powerful drag system. 

As such, you’re better off with a drag system made out of carbon fiber drag system to ensure a smooth operation. This is important to avoid breaking the line and losing your fish.

Check that the drag system is also non-constrictive. This means it pulls the line without interruptions despite the tension you set it at.

Reel Power

Another important aspect you should think about is the reel power. Walleye fish come in a wide range of sizes, which means that your reel needs to have enough power to accommodate a variety of walleye sizes that you may encounter on the water.

The last thing you should use when walleye fishing is a tiny line on a small reel. Instead, you want to be accompanied by a powerful reel that can withstand any challenge you come across.

Bearings

One of the most critical components of a reel is its bearings. The higher the quality of the bearings, the better your walleye fishing experience.

On the other hand, lower-quality bearings can’t give you the strength and smoothness required for catching walleye. For such a purpose, the minimum number of bearings in your reel should be 8, plus one for quick reverse.

Don’t forget to check that the bearings are corrosion-resistant as well.

Line Capacity

The line capacity of the reel is also an important factor to consider before purchasing a unit. This is because walleye like to swim deep — at least 15 to 20 feet down the water column or so.

As a result, anglers after walleye should use reels with enough capacity to accommodate an amount of line that can enable them to reach the bottom.

Wrap Up

Choosing the best spinning reel for walleye can be quite a challenging task, especially with so many factors to think about such as reel size, construction, weight, drag system, bearings, and reel power.

This is why we made sure that our list includes only the top-performing walleye spinning reels on the market to guarantee you end up with a great product no matter what.

That being said, we recommend the Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel by KastKing as today’s winner. It offers amazing value for money with a highly durable construction, a comfortable grip, as well as anti-reverse and anti-twist features. It’s also available in multiple sizes, all of which come with a generous line capacity.

Happy Hunting!

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