Best Spinning Reels for Bass Fishing: Our Top 7

July 18, 2021

Our editors at Finn’s Fishing Tips independently research, test, and recommend the best products to help you make purchase decisions. You can learn more about our review process here. We sometimes get a commission through purchases made via our links.

You’ve decided to shift your attention to bass fishing. Good for you. Yet, this stubborn fish can require special spinning reels to catch, which is why you might need our help.

In this guide, we’ll recommend some of the best spinning reels for bass fishing so that you’ll have many top-quality options to pick from. We’ll also discuss the factors you should think about before buying and we’ll answer a few questions that may be on your mind.

Let’s dive in!

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…

The Top 7 Spinning Reels for Bass Fishing in 2021

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of our favorite options on the market.

Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel

We’ll kickstart our reviews with the Pflueger Supreme fishing reel, which happens to have a large fanbase. What makes it unique is its lightweight design, and it’s a point many people appreciate when they’re out fishing.

The spinning reel has a magnesium body and rotor, making it much lighter than other Pflueger reels in its class. Even better, this construction material is durable as well, promising strong and smooth operation.

We also like that the sealed carbon drag system is conveniently lubricated to give you great performance. Not to mention that the SMARTretrieve function can offer more precision each time that you cast your lines.

Sure, the Supreme isn’t exactly affordable, but its cool features and long-lasting materials should be well worth the price.

Pros

  • Available with a braid-ready spool for a time-saving experience
  • Made of magnesium which offers a balance of durability and lightness
  • Features a carbon sealed drag system
  • Comes with 10 stainless steel ball bearings
  • Equipped with SMARTretrieve for more casting accuracy

Cons

  • On the pricey end
  • The carbon handle may need a replacement after a while of use

Pflueger President XT Spinning Fishing Reel

Want to own a Pflueger reel without having to break the bank? Well, the President might be the perfect candidate for this role since it comes with incredible value for its price. Let’s take a look at its features.

First off, this buddy includes the carbon sealed drag system just like its sibling, which is a relief to have in such a reasonably priced product. Second of all, the reel is made of aluminum, making it lightweight as well as long-lasting.

Another important thing to like about the President is how it comes with corrosion-resistant ball bearings. You get ten of those if you go for larger sizes, and the smallest size includes seven ball bearings.

All in all, a lot of customers consider this spinning reel their go-to choice, especially as it could withstand so much abuse. Affordable, strong, and braid-ready, you can’t possibly go wrong with the President!

Pros

  • Aluminum-based lightweight design for ease-of-use and strength
  • Available with corrosion-resistant ball bearings
  • Comes with rubber cork knobs for a firm grip
  • Budget-friendly price

Cons

  • The handle screw tends to come loose during fishing unless you torque it very tightly

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

Another spinning reel for bass fishing that we’re pretty certain you’ll admire is Penn Battle II. Due to its efficiency in saltwater fishing and solid design, it’s one of the most popular picks on Amazon.

What drew the attention of many people toward this guy is its full-metal body, rotor, and side plate. The bail wire is also made of aluminum to give you a welcome level of sturdiness. 

Because of its heavy-duty construction, you’ll worry less about fishing in saltwater.

If you’re wondering about the drag system, you’d be delighted to know that it’s made of carbon fiber. It promises smooth drag and ease of use for all experienced and beginner users alike. What we also appreciate is that the reel is greased with a proprietary blend to last long.

The Battle II is a bit expensive, so it might not be a suitable option for someone who’s trying to save some cash. Yet, it can be a good choice for people who are looking for a premium product that could accompany them on their fishing trips for years to come.

Pros

  • The body is entirely made of metal to be compatible with saltwater fishing
  • Durable stainless steel bearing system for extra durability
  • Thoroughly greased drag system for top-notch operation
  • Comes with a braid-ready spool
  • Available in black, smoke, and gold colors

Cons

  • A pricey option
  • Heavy

Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

This Daiwa fishing reel is available at a wide range of prices based on the size you’ll be going for. It stretches all the way from mid-tier to high-end, giving the chance to people with various budgets to purchase it.

Now, let’s discuss its technical features. The body is made from machined aluminum with scratch and corrosion resistance properties for a longer life. Better still, the Daiwa spinning reel has a rotor that’s 15% lighter than most rotors on the market. 

The spool is also braid-ready, which is an essential feature to have in a spinning reel for bass fishing. Besides that, it’s made of ABS to give you less friction while casting. Even rotating the handle should give you maximum control thanks to its aluminum screw-in design.

According to several user testimonies, this reel feels smooth and comes with a ton of power, unlike other products they’ve tried. Plus, after trying it for some time, many customers have decided to buy other sizes of the same model.

One last thing that we admire about this reel is that the drag system is waterproof. We’re all in for materials and functions that can make your time at sea a lot easier!

Pros

  • The design is both sturdy and lightweight due to the aluminum construction
  • The aluminum is treated to be scratch and corrosion resistant
  • Comes with a braid-ready, ABS spool to enhance performance
  • Available with a waterproof drag system
  • Moderately-priced

Cons

  • The bail roller tends to corrode quickly and is a bit expensive to replace

Yoshikawa Baitfeeder Spinning Reel for Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing

Many people assume that if a product is affordable, it can’t offer you much in terms of performance. Well, this isn’t true for many examples, including this Yoshikawa spinning reel. Delightfully, this reel can be a good option for fishing in both saltwater and freshwater.

Yet, that’s not the only thing that makes this piece of fishing equipment unique. A lot of people fell in love with the different versions of this reel, offering a multitude of styles, weights, line capacities, etc.

Also, the Yoshikawa spinning reel features a design that’s capable of winning awards. The lever included controls up or on, and you can use the cranking handle to flick back or off. Better still, the rear drag system does a pretty good job when the fish is hard to capture.

The body itself is a blend of three durable materials that unite to create ultimate sturdiness. It’s made of graphite, stainless steel, and aluminum, promising you a long lifespan and a smooth fishing experience.

Last but not least, it’s important to note that the gear ratio is 5.5:1, which promises a secure and quick retrieve. Paired with all the features we’ve already mentioned, the Baitfeeder is ideal for light inshore fishing and rough weather fishing.

Pros

  • The ultra-durable body is made of graphite, aluminum, and steel
  • Corrosion-resistant finishes for max performance
  • Gives you excellent control thanks to its unique design
  • Comes in various styles, weights, and capacities for different fishing needs
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • The teeth of the handle shaft are plastic

Shimano Sahara FI Spinning Reels

If you’re a loyal Shimano customer, then you’ll probably want to invest in one of their spinning reels. We can’t blame you for that since this brand is a favorite of many people across the country. The Shimano Sahara spinning reel is a wonderful option if you’re on a budget.

The first thing we like about the Sahara is its G-Free body design. According to the manufacturer, this design moves the center of gravity toward the angler. As a result, this should reduce your fatigue and increase your comfort, especially if you’ve been casting for days.

Another aspect that earned the Sahara its popularity is that it’s both lightweight and efficient in catching difficult bass fish. The handle and bearing material is aluminum to give you this much-needed balance. This point has won over many people who gave the reel a shot.

Lastly, we must admit that the gear ratio, which is 6.0:1, could be better. Still, many customers were okay with this little drawback when compared to the budget-friendly price.

Pros

  • Has a G-Free body feature to minimize the strain on the angler while fishing
  • Offers a balanced combination between sturdiness and light weight
  • Available with a sealed, water-resistant body
  • Great value for the price

Cons

  • Some customers preferred a higher gear ratio
  • Buying extra spools for this reel tends to be pricey

One Bass Spinning Reel

This is our best pick for beginner anglers. If you’re still new to the world of bass fishing and want a spinning reel that’ll give you room for trial and error, the One Bass should do the trick. Here’s a quick breakdown of everything we like about it.

First of all, the spinning reel weighs less than half a pound, all thanks to the materials that went into its construction. The body and rotor are made of lightweight fiber-reinforced graphite. It also comes with an aluminum handle, which is both sturdy and isn’t too heavy.

Second of all, we think that the One Bass spinning reel can be a good candidate for long-time fishing. This is all because of its hollow frame design, which, paired with the EVA handle knob, increases the overall performance of the fishing tool.

Another thing to appreciate about this buddy is its anti-twist line roller. This feature is especially great for beginners since it helps keep line twists and tangles to a minimum.

Last but not least, many people loved how versatile this fishing reel can be. It’s suitable for light freshwater all the way to medium saltwater fishing. This makes it convenient for catching bass, trout, walleye, redfish, and more. That’s pretty impressive at such a price, don’t you agree?

Pros

  • The perfect spinning reel for beginners and experienced anglers alike
  • Weighs less than half a pound for a user-friendly experience
  • Made of strong materials such as aluminum, fiber-reinforced graphite, and carbon fiber
  • Versatile enough to catch a wide array of fish species
  • A budget-friendly choice

Cons

  • Not many people were fans of the line lay
  • The finish could be improved

Factors to Think About Before Buying a Spinning Reel for Bass Fishing

With so many great options on the market, it may be a bit tricky to pick a favorite. This is where you might appreciate our help. In this section, we’ll discuss all the features and aspects you should consider before investing in a spinning reel for catching bass.

  1. Gear Ratio

Knowing the gear ratio is one of the most important things to think about before buying a spinning reel. It’s an indication of how swift the retrieval of the lure or fish will be, which any fisherman should keep in mind when out in the water.

The gear ratio consists of two numbers. The first one will tell you the number of times the spool will turn with a single crank of the handle. For example, when reading the technical features of a spinning reel, you’ll find the gear ratio to be 5.2:1 or higher.

In general, most spinning reels come with gear ratios anywhere between 5.2:1 to 6.2:1. You can find even faster reels with a ratio of 7.1:1 or higher. Make your decision based on your needs and your fishing techniques.

  1. Drag System

To put this in a few words, the drag system of a spinning reel is responsible for keeping the line from snapping free. Therefore, it’s a crucial aspect, and its quality must be top-notch to regulate the amount of line that’s coming off the reel according to your use.

Thankfully, most products on the market feature carbon fiber drag systems, and that’s what you should be shooting for. A carbon fiber drag system is easily adjustable, simple to maintain, and prevents slippage.

  1. Spool Material

Most spinning reels are available with strong spools to withstand the elements and constant wear and tear. Still, you can’t just pick any type of spool without taking a closer look at its material. You must choose what fits your needs and your budget best.

For example, there are aluminum spools, which are durable and lightweight. Not to mention that aluminum frames tend to last longer than graphite-made ones.

On the other hand, a graphite spool is even lighter than its aluminum sibling and is more corrosion resistant.

If you want the best of both worlds, you might want to invest in a spinning reel that includes a magnesium frame. This is both incredibly lightweight and highly corrosion-resistant. It may be a bit pricier, though, so you’ll have to take all these points into account to determine the perfect fit.

  1. Sealed Components

If you happen to fish in saltwater from time to time, you must buy a spinning reel that’ll fight off the corrosion. Your search shouldn’t just be limited to the materials of the reel, but you must also ensure that the components are sealed.

Things like the drag system, gearbox, bearings, and others should be sealed not to be vulnerable to corrosive elements. If you find a spinning reel that includes this feature, there’s a good chance that it’ll last for years in perfect condition.

  1. Handle Design and Material

Last but not least, let’s not forget about the design and material of the handle of the spinning reel. While this factor might not seem all that important to a beginner angler, it’s a major point to keep in mind for everyone.

Imagine going out and onto your boat and fishing for an entire day, repeatedly cranking the handle back and forth. While this sure requires a huge effort, a handle with a comfortable ergonomic design should make things more bearable.

While plastic and rubber handles are good options, EVA material is even better. This is due to its flexibility, not to mention that it’s a softer alternative. Also, this material is crack resistant and has excellent weathering.

Plus, it’s a great idea to go for a handle that spins freely. This way, it’ll put less strain on your muscles, which we can’t say for handles that rotate stiffly.

A Beginner’s Guide to Catching Bass Fish

Buying the best spinning reel for bass fishing is the first step down that path, but that’s not all. In order to catch more bass, there are a few basic steps you’ll need to follow as a beginner.

Here’s how you can start this interesting journey.

  1. Find the Perfect Spot

The first thing you should do is aim for the right location to lay down your lure so that it will draw the attention of the fish. Place the lure where the bass fish are either feeding or sheltering for the best odds.

Bass likes to stick close to places such as boat docks, lily pads, grass, rocks, etc.

  1. Be Smart About the Lure

The type of bait you’ll be using must be able to catch the attention of the bass you’re fishing for. Using a lure that’s either too big or too small won’t work.

The bait has to mimic whatever the bass is feeding on. A better idea is to release a lure that appears like a predator of the bass hatchlings.

  1. Monitor the Weather Conditions and Water Temperature

Bass fish behaves differently in various weather conditions and water temperatures. Before you head outside to catch this stubborn fish, you must know what to expect.

The water shifting from warm to cool can affect the depth at which the bass will be. Once you take note of the temperature, you’ll be able to match the right technique to the exact behavior and depth of the fish.

  1. Calculate the Wind Speed

Another thing you should consider before fishing for bass is the speed of the wind. If it’s over 15 mph, you might need to choose another day for fishing as it can be challenging at this wind speed.

Both casting and steering the boat will not be an easy task in these circumstances.

Of course, wind could still be your friend, but only if it’s a normal quiet wind that you can use to your advantage.

FAQ

Which spinning reel size is best for bass fishing?

Many experts recommend using size 2500. This is because it offers a suitable degree of power, keeps the weight down, and has a perfect line capacity.

You can still choose anywhere from a 1000 to a 4000-size reel. However, shooting for size 4000 may be more suited for larger fish. And be sure to not hold your fishing rod and reel upside down.

What is the best gear ratio for bass fishing?

This depends on many factors including the lure and technique you’ll be using. Still, it’s a good idea to choose a reel that has a gear ratio between 5:1 and 7:1. This range can be perfect for simpler techniques.

If you’re using crankbait, go for lower gear ratios. Alternatively, jigs work better with higher ratios.

The Bottom Line

Catching a stubborn bass can be both challenging and fun, especially if you find the right fishing reel for your needs. After checking out our list of the best spinning reels for bass fishing, we hope you’ll find the one.

We know our top pick, which is the reasonably priced Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel. We like its strength, durability, and how lightweight it is.

If you want a premium option, you’ll probably love the Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel. People were fans of its great performance, heavy-duty materials, and SMARTretrieve function.

Now, what about your favorite pick?

Happy Hunting!

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