The Fishing Reels that You Should Gift This Christmas

1. Best Spinning Reel for the Money: Pflueger Supreme XT

Pflueger Supreme XT

The Pflueger Supreme XT series is an excellent choice for anglers who want high performance without spending a fortune. Although it’s not a budget-priced reel, it is still within the budget of most serious anglers.

And you get quite a bit of bang for your fishing gear buck, thanks to the high-quality features built into the reel.

There are four different models in the series:

  • SUPXTSP25X – features a 5.2:1 gear ratio, a 22.8-inch retrieve rate and weighs only 6 ounces.
  • SUPXTSP30X – has a 6.2:1 gear ratio, a 31.8-inch retrieve rate and weighs in at 6.8 ounces.
  • SUPXTSP35X – has a 6.2:1 gear ratio, but retrieves 33.8 inches per handle turn and weighs 8 ounces.
  • SUPXTSP40X – features the same 6.2:1 gear ratio, a 38.6-inch retrieve rate and weighs 8.7 ounces.

As you can see, each of these models are very light. They are the lightest reels in their respective classes according to Pflueger. They help you avoid fatigue while fishing all day long.

They also feature carbon fiber handles which are 21 percent lighter than similar handles built from aluminum.

Just because they’re light doesn’t mean they are flimsy or cheap. The body, rotor, and spider plate are made from magnesium and the spool is braid-ready. Each model features a sealed drag system and 10 silky-smooth, stainless-steel ball bearings.

2. Best Lightweight Spinning Reel: Abu Garcia Orra SX20

Abu Garcia Orra SX20

If you like to chase panfish, perch and other small species, consider one of the Abu Garcia Orra SX Series Reels. There are three different models in the series, each of which can be set up for either left- or right-handed anglers.

  • ORRA2SX20 – an 8.3-ounce reel that has a 5.8:1 gear ratio and a 30.5-inch line retrieve rate.
  • ORRA2SX30 – weighs 8.8 ounces and has a 5.8:1 gear ratio. It retrieves 33 inches of line per handle turn.
  • ORRA2SX40 – a 10-ounce reel with the same 5.8:1 gear ratio as the others and a 37-inch retrieve rate.

Each of these reels features nine stainless steel, corrosion-resistant bearings (eight HPCR™ bearings plus one roller) to ensure smooth operation and a long life. Each one is braid-ready and engineered to hold quite a bit of line.

The ORRA2SX20 can hold either 120 yards of 8-pound-test monofilament line or 175 yards of 8-pound-test braid, while the ORRA2SX30 can hold 175 feet of 8-pound-test mono or 180 yards of 10-pound-test braid.

But the ORRA2SX40 has an even larger capacity, as it can handle 230 yards of 10-pound-test mono or 250 yards of 14-pound-test braid.

Abu Garcia’s trademarked Rocket Line Management System and Rocket Spool Lip Design ensure that you have better control of your line, whether you are retrieving or casting.

The Carbon Matrix™ drag system provides smooth, consistent pressure across the entire range of drag settings which is imperative when fishing with ultralight gear.

Both the ORRA2SX20 and ORRA2SX30 provide 12 pounds of maximum drag pressure, while the ORRA2SX40 provides up to 18 pounds of drag pressure.

Further reading:

The 5 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels Reviewed ( 2019 Hands-on Guide )

3. Best Cheap Spinning Reel: Pflueger President

Pflueger President

The Pflueger President 6920 is a great lightweight spinning reel for anglers on a budget. It features a graphite body and a corrosion-resistant stainless-steel shaft which keeps the reel light without forcing you to sacrifice strength or durability.

The six stainless-steel bearings used in the construction ensure smooth operation; while the aluminum, braid-ready spool features a titanium-coated lip to help reduce friction and increase casting distance.

The reel also features a smooth, multi-disc drag system, a Sure-Click aluminum bail, and a soft-touch handle grip to help reduce fatigue and provide a secure grip.

The President 6920 provides 6 pounds of maximum drag pressure, weighs about 5.9 ounces and holds either 100 yards of 4-pound-test monofilament or 125 yards of 6-pound-test braided line.

Pflueger also makes three other models in the President Series for anglers seeking a heavier reel:

  • President 6925 – provides 6 pounds of maximum drag pressure, weighs about 7.2 ounces and holds 110 yards of 4-pound-test mono or 140 yards of 6-pound-test braid.
  • President 6930 – provides 9 pounds of maximum drag pressure, weighs about 8.3 ounces and holds 145 pounds of 6-pound-test mono or 190 yards of 8-pound-test braid.
  • President 6935 – provides 10 pounds of maximum drag pressure, weighs about 9.9 ounces and holds 185 yards of 8-pound-test monofilament or 220 yards of 10-pound-test braid.

4. Best Spinning Reel on the Market: Shimano Stella

Shimano Stella

The Shimano Stella series are some of the most celebrated spinning reels on the market and they receive very high praise from most who use them.

They are packed with high-end features, including unique grip designs and the X-Ship drivetrain system which lowers the force required to crank the reel. This helps improve the sensitivity of the reel, enabling you to detect even the lightest bites.

The reel’s altered center of gravity helps reduce fatigue, while the polished gears and 14-bearing (13+1) system ensure smooth operation. However, all of this incredible quality comes at a price.

There are four models in the Shimano Stella Series:

  • STLC2000SFI – weighs 6.3 ounces, features a 5.1:1 gear ratio and retrieves 27 inches of line per handle turn.
  • STL2500HGSFI – weighs 7.7 ounces, has a 6.0:1 gear ratio and retrieves 34.6 inches of line per handle turn.
  • STLC3000XGFI – weighs 7.9 ounces, has a 6.4:1 gear ratio and retrieves 36.6 inches of line per handle turn.
  • STL4000XGFI – weighs 9.3 ounces, has a 6.2:1 gear ratio and collects 37.4 inches of line per handle turn.

5. Best Spinning Reel for Bass: Shimano Stradic CI4+

Shimano Stradic CI4

The Shimano Stradic CI4+ provides the perfect blend of precision and power that modern bass anglers need. Made from Shimano’s CI4+ material, this reel is lightweight yet rugged – CI4+ is 250% stronger than the old CI4 material used in previous iterations of this product line.

It’s also stronger and 20% lighter than the graphite material Shimano uses in many of their other reels. And while we recommend using this reel for bass fishing, it is impervious to rust and ready for saltwater fishing trips too.

The Stradic CI4+ also features X-ship gearing, which not only extends the life of your gears but allows you to crank with 20% more power as well.

It features a waterproof drag system to prevent snapped lines and help you battle big bass, and the machined aluminum handle comes with an EVA grip so that your hand will never slip off while reeling.

Further reading:

The Best Spinning Reels for Bass Fishing Reviewed ( 2019 Hands-on Guide )

6. Best Reel Under $100: Shimano Spirex

Shimano Spirex FG

The Shimano Spirex proves that you don’t have to spend a fortune to obtain a very high-quality reel. Designed for effortless one-handed casting, the Spirex features the QuickFire Clutch II, which keeps the line and trigger within the reach of your index finger.

It also comes with a built-in propulsion feature, which helps to extend your casting range, while simultaneously helping to prevent backlash and line twist.

Also, unlike some other low-cost fishing reels, the Shimano Spirex is built to last, and it features a cold-forged aluminum spool and a graphite rotor and side plate for improved durability.

The Shimano Spirex comes in three different models:

  • The Spirex 1000, which features a 6.2:1 gear ratio, retrieves 28 inches per crank and weighs 9.9 ounces.
  • The Spirex 2500, which features a 6.2:1 gear ratio, retrieves 33 inches per crank and weighs 11.3 ounces.
  • The Spirex 4000, which features a 5.7:1 gear ratio, retrieves 33 inches per crank and weighs 14.5 ounces.

Further reading:

The Best Under $100 Spinning Reels Reviewed ( 2019 Hands-on Guide )

7. Best Spinning Reel for Catfish: PENN Spinfisher V Live Liner

PENN Spinfisher V Live Liner

You need a stout reel to catch big cats, and the PENN Spinfisher V Live Liner provides all of the strength and durability you need, while still performing like a precision reel should. It features a full metal body and side plate and comes with a Techno Balanced Rotor to ensure smooth casts and retrieves.

It has a 5+1 shielded bearing system and Live Liner features with a rear drag adjustment to make it easy to make changes on the fly.

The Spinfisher V Live Liner comes in three different models, each of which has a different line capacity:

  • The SSV4500LL, which can hold 300 yards of 8-pound-test monofilament or 200 yards of 30-pound-test braided line
  • The SSV6500LL, which can hold 330 yards of 12-pound-test monofilament or 280 yards of 50-pound-test braided line
  • The SSV8500LL, which can hold 440 yards of 20-pound-test monofilament or 470 yards of 65-pound-test braided line

Further reading:

The 3 Best Catfish Reels Reviewed & Revealed ( 2019 Hands-on Guide )

8. Most Expensive Spinning Reel: Shimano Stella STL 30000 SWB

Shimano Stella SWB

You could probably spend upwards of five figures if you want to have a custom reel built, and you’ll occasionally see these kinds of super-extravagant reels offered for sale, but the most expensive production model currently on the market is the Shimano Stella STL 30000 SWB, which comes with a price tag in excess of $1250.

However, you’ll get plenty of reel for your money if you decide to go with the Stella STL 30000 SWB.

It features a rugged and rigid frame to stand up to the biggest fish, yet you’ll still enjoy silky smooth casts and retrieves, thanks to the high-quality components included in the design.

This includes Shimano’s X-Rigid Rotor, X-Rigid Bail and X-Rigid Handle.

It also comes with Shimano’s X-Rigid Drag System, which is tough enough to handle the biggest fish, yet smooth enough to avoid locking up when you need it most.

9. Best Long-Cast Spinning Reel: PENN Spinfisher V Long Cast

Penn Spinfisher V long cast

If you are interested in slinging your lures farther, you’ll find that the PENN Spinfisher V Long Cast Spinning Reel fits the bill perfectly.

Made from a full-metal body, side plate and rotor, the Spinfisher V Long Cast Reel is rugged and strong, yet still includes all of the high-end design features you’d expect in a good spinning reel, including a main shaft made from stainless steel and a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire.

It has a 5+1 stainless steel, shielded ball bearing arrangement, a sealed HT-100 Slammer Drag System and a Superline Long Cast Spool, which requires no backing material.

It’ll hold up to 370 yards of 15-pound-test monofilament or 400 yards of 40-pound-test braid, and it allows you to retrieve your lure at very high speeds, as it winds 36 inches of line for every turn of the crank.

It also features a completely watertight design and is ready for your inshore, offshore or freshwater fishing needs.

10. Best Spinning Reel for Crankbaits: PENN BTLII6000 Battle II

If you are heading out to fish crankbaits all afternoon, you’ll want a high-speed reel to make sure you can get your lures down to the target depth quickly and easily. The PENN BTLII6000 Battle II allows you to do exactly that, thanks to its 5.6: 1 gear ratio and impressive 41-inch per crank line retrieval rate.

This reel also provides a lot of line capacity, and it’ll hold up to 490 yards of 30-pound-test braided line.

All credit for this great list goes to Outdoor Empire.

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