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Top Fishing Reel Brands That You Should Know

Finding the top fishing reel brands is not that difficult if you know what to look for. Some of the best fishing reel companies have carved a niche for themselves and ensure you get nothing but the best when you invest in their fishing reels. Typically, when you are checking out the best brands, it is advisable to consider the durability, quality, customer service, technology, and the brand’s ability to adapt to the changing needs of the fishing industry.

While we have made the task easy for you by shortlisting the 10 best fishing reel brands, we have gone a step further and also included their best reel. That way, you have a feel of the brand as well as the fishing reel and you will be better informed to make a wise purchase decision.

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Brand Founded Our Rating
Penn1932, USA★★★★★
Shimano1921, Japan★★★★★
Abu Garcia1921, Sweden★★★★★
Daiwa1958, Japan★★★★☆
Okuma1986, Taiwan★★★★☆
Pflueger1881, USA★★★★☆
Kastking2011, USA★★★☆☆
Lew’s1949, USA★★★★☆
Piscifun2013, USA★★★☆☆
Zebco1949, USA★★★★☆

So, without much ado, here are the best reel brands that you should be aware of:

1. Penn Fishing

Penn Fishing was established in 1932 by Otto Henze and ever since it has been at the helm of innovative and functional reel designs.

Henze’s journey started at the tender age of 25 in 1922, when he came to the US from Germany to work for the Ocean City Reels based in Philadelphia. He joined the company as a machinist. Henze was not content being a machinist as he dreamed of creating his own fishing reels that would wow people across the world. So, in 1932, Henze resigned from his job at Ocean City Reels and founded his own company – Penn Fishing.

The company started selling reels in 1933. The reels were Sea Hawk, Bayside, and Long Beach. Penn sold one of each reel in 1933 and that was the first sale the company made. This paved way for the Senator, Penn’s most well-known fishing reel. The Senator was introduced in 1936 and became an instant success and it could easily tackle big and powerful fish without any problem.

Today, Penn Fishing is a leader saltwater fishing reel and one of the best fishing reels that it offers is the Battle Spinning Reel along with the Senator, which is now available in around 220 unique models.

Best Selling Penn Fishing Reels

Bestseller No. 1
PENN Pursuit III Spinning...
4,808 Reviews
PENN Pursuit III Spinning...
  • 4 plus 1 stainless steel bearing system
  • Ht-100 carbon fibber drag system for smooth - LONG lasting drag even at extreme drag pressures
  • Lightweight and corrosion-resistant graphite Body
SaleBestseller No. 2
Penn 1292937 30VSW Squall...
75 Reviews
Penn 1292937 30VSW Squall...
  • Reel, RH, 3BB + 1RB, 4.2:1 / 1.8:1
  • Alum spool, Braid 1995/50 1660/65 1435/80, mono 1395/20 1035/30 595/50
  • Reels saltwater lever drag. 4 stainless steel bearings
SaleBestseller No. 3
PENN Fishing Battle II & III...
1,312 Reviews
PENN Fishing Battle II & III...
  • Full Metal Body and sideplate. Tough from the inside out, the Battle's rigid framework keeps gears protected and in alignment.
  • No equipped with CNC Gears. When it comes to crafting reels, precision is key. That's why we use state of the art software and CNC machinery to cut the Battle's drive, pinion, and oscillation gears straight from the metal.
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers. Saltwater fishing requires drag that lets you work with the fish, not against it. Engineered with longevity in mind, you can pull in 100 miles of line off the reel with no wear on the washers.

Our top pick: Penn Battle Spinning Reel

Battle Spinning Reel by Penn Fishing

Features:

  • Spinning fishing reel
  • Made for saltwater fishing of big game fish
  • Body made completely from metal
  • Bail wire is made from heavy-duty aluminum
  • Designed for durability
  • Drag system made from carbon fiber
  • Power yet smooth drag
  • Comes braid ready
  • Ball bearings made from stainless steel
  • Has ant-reverse ball bearing

2. Shimano

Shimano logo

Shimano started in 1921 as a bicycle parts manufacturer based in Sakai City. It was started by Shozaburo Shimano when he was merely 26 years old. Using a borrowed lathe, Shimano began manufacturing bicycle freewheels in 1922.

Shimano realized in the early years that precision engineering and innovation is the way forward. The brand persevered in this direction and was a pioneer in coming up with in-hub gear systems. From Japan, Shimano started going global and in 1970, its US company ventured into manufacturing fishing reels. The reels were instantaneously successful.  

The brand is considered among the top fishing manufacturers and is renowned for its high-quality and innovative designs. One of its most well-known fishing reels is Sedona Spinning Reel.

Best Selling Shimano Fishing Reels

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Spinning Reel...
192 Reviews
Bestseller No. 2
Shimano Fishing Vanford...
270 Reviews
Shimano Fishing Vanford...
  • CI4+ Body: This material is an advanced version of the original CI4. This highly technical carbon material maintains 2.5 times more rigidity than CI4. While improving lightness and rigidity, the body is further reduced in size and weight.
  • MGL Rotor: The new design of the MagnumLite Rotor produces unprecedented light rotation. The rotor profile is now asymmetrical. The bail arm mechanism, which was previously situation on the same side as the line roller, has been moved to the opposite side. This improves balance and combined with a lightweight line roller, titanium bail and optimum arrangement of rotor thickness, a 14% reduction in rotational inertia has been achieved increasing sensitivity to unreached levels
  • Hagane Gear: With amazing strength and durability, the HAGANE Gear is at the very heart of the reel. Shimano, through the application of state-of-the-art technologies, gives you the long-lasting smoothness and pleasure that you feel when you first use a reel, over and over again. No cutting work is applied to the teeth of the drive gear. Instead the entire surface is calculated in minute detail by special 3D design and then formed by Shimano's cold forging technology
Bestseller No. 3
SHIMANO Tiagra 30 W LRS A Wide...
10 Reviews
SHIMANO Tiagra 30 W LRS A Wide...
  • HAGANE Body
  • Cross Cbon Drag

Our top pick: Shimano Sedona Spinning Reel

Shimano Sedona spinning reel

Features:

  • Comes with Hagane gears
  • Ideal for freshwater fishing
  • Has double anodized spools that are machine cut
  • Compact body design
  • Enables longer casting distances
  • Maximum drag of 24lb
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Can be used for inshore or offshore freshwater fishing

3. Abu Garcia

abu garcia logo

As one of the best fishing reel brands, Abu Garcia has some of the best baitcasting fishing reels. The company was founded in 1921 in Sweden and initially used to manufacture pocket watches, taximeters, and phone timers. The company was started by Carl August Borgstrom, who had excellent light precision engineering skills.

During the Second World War, there was a reduced demand for taxi meters, and Abu Garcia, which was known as AB Urfabriken, shifted to manufacturing fishing reels. The focus of the brand was on superior quality and craftsmanship. Its first fishing reel was introduced in 1941 and ever since, the company has never looked back and forged a name for itself in the world of fishing reels.

The company’s name changed to Abu Garcia after AB Urfabriken (ABU) merged with Garcia, a US-based distributor. Today, it is among the leading fishing reel brands in the world and offers anglers innovative, high-quality, and long-lasting fishing reels. While the brand produces a range of fishing reels, one of the best is the low profile baitcasting reel.

Best Selling Abu Garcia Fishing Reels

Bestseller No. 1
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Round...
701 Reviews
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Round...
  • 4 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 roller bearing provides smooth operation
  • Carbon Matrix drag system gives smooth drag performance
  • Compact bent handle and star provide a more ergonomic design
SaleBestseller No. 2
Abu Garcia unisex-adult Max...
329 Reviews
Abu Garcia unisex-adult Max...
  • 6 ball bearings + 1 roller bearing provides smooth operation
  • Lightweight graphite body and rotor
  • Machined aluminum spool provides strength without adding excess weight
SaleBestseller No. 3
Abu Garcia 1430435 Revo x Low...
929 Reviews
Abu Garcia 1430435 Revo x Low...
  • Carbon matrix hybrid drag system for super smooth reliable drag performance
  • Duragear brass gear for extended gear life
  • Carbon Matrix drag system provides smooth and consistent drag

Our top pick: Abu Garcia Low Profile Baitcasting Reel

Abu Garcia Low Profile Baitcasting reel

Features:

  • Baitcasting fishing reel
  • Lightweight at just 0.03kg
  • Frame made from a single piece of graphite
  • Side plates
  • Highly sensitive
  • Strong and durable
  • Ensures accurate casting of the line
  • The handle comes with an ergonomic grip
  • Four ball bearings made from stainless steel
  • Spool made from machined aluminum

4. Daiwa

daiwa logo

Daiwa is the brand under which all fishing products by Globeride Inc are sold across the world. The company was previously known as Daiwa Seiko Corporation but in October 2009, it changed its name to Globeride. The original company was founded in 1958 in Japan.

In the beginning, Daiwa focused just on spinning reels and ensured anglers have access to high-quality reels that are durable and well-built. The brand started growing steadily, and it decided to open a sales office in Culver City in California. This was a masterstroke as Daiwa was able to capture a large portion of the market share in the Western Hemisphere, and it established the brand as one of the good fishing reel brands in the world.

While the brand focuses primarily on freshwater fishing reels, it does have a few reels meant for saltwater. The latter are considered high-end reels and come with innovation that is seldom seen in the fishing tackle industry. Most of Daiwa’s freshwater fishing reels are spinning and baitcasting reels but it also has a few trolling and fly fishing reels. Daiwa is known for being an innovative brand that lays emphasis on craftsmanship, durability, and quality.

Best Selling Daiwa Fishing Reels

SaleBestseller No. 1
Daiwa BG4000 BG Saltwater...
2,496 Reviews
Daiwa BG4000 BG Saltwater...
  • Black Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing ("Hard Bodyz" Body & Side Cover), Over-sized Digigear (Digigear System)
  • Solid Screw-In Handle, Air Rotor, Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool
  • Braided Line Ready Spool, Waterproof Drag System, Carbon ATD, Line Per Handle Turn: 39.9"
SaleBestseller No. 2
Daiwa LX-HD300HS-P Lexa 300 Hd...
31 Reviews
Daiwa LX-HD300HS-P Lexa 300 Hd...
  • Stainless Steel Drive Gear & Pinion Gear
  • 7 Bearing System (6CRBB +1RB)
  • EVA Custom Handle Knob
SaleBestseller No. 3
Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater...
756 Reviews
Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater...
  • Black Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing ("Hard Bodyz" Body & Side Cover), Over-sized Digigear (Digigear System)
  • Solid Screw-In Handle, Air Rotor, Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool
  • Braided Line Ready Spool, Waterproof Drag System, Carbon ATD, Line Per Handle Turn: 53.3"

Our top pick: Daiwa BG3000

Daiwa spinning reel BG3000

Features:

  • Lightweight, the reel weighs merely 0.25lb
  • The housing of the reel made from black anodized aluminum
  • The handle is a screw-in type
  • Ergonomic grip
  • ABS spool
  • The spool is braided line ready
  • Comes with a manual return bai
  • Has a drag of 15.4
  • Gear ratio is 5.6:1
  • Compact but effective for big game freshwater fish

5. Okuma

okuma logo

In case you are looking for good fishing reel brands, you cannot go wrong with Okuma. You can find budget reels that come replete with features that are practical and functional when you go out fishing and angling. This Japanese brand is one of the newcomers in the world of fishing reels. It entered the market in the 1980s even though it has been around since 1898 when it used to make noodle-making machines.

The product development is done in the US but the manufacturing unit is based in Taiwan. That enables the brand to come up with innovative products for affordable prices. It keeps abreast of the fishing trends in the US and caters accordingly. You can get fishing reels that are simple in design and perfect for beginners or you can get overly complex fishing reels that are best for seasoned and experienced anglers.

Today, Okuma boasts of a range of fishing reels to suits the needs of different anglers. You can get spinning reels, baitcasting reels, freshwater reels, saltwater reels, and fly fishing reels. You will be surprised to see that the price has not affected quality, and even today, Okuma reels are used during competitions and tournaments.

Best Selling Okuma Fishing Reels

SaleBestseller No. 1
okuma Ceymar Lightweight...
2,577 Reviews
okuma Ceymar Lightweight...
  • Used by professionals worldwide
  • Tested for reliability and quality
  • Made using the highest quality materials
SaleBestseller No. 2
Okuma Cold Water Linecounter...
1,396 Reviews
Okuma Cold Water Linecounter...
  • Lightweight, corrosion-resistant frame & sideplates
  • Multi-disc, carbonite drag System
  • Aluminum handle arm with Ergo grip handle knobs
SaleBestseller No. 3
Okuma CDX-65 Coronado 'Cdx'...
224 Reviews
Okuma CDX-65 Coronado "Cdx"...
  • On/off auto trip bait feeding System
  • Dfd: precision dual force drag System
  • Carbonite drag washers on dual force drag

Our top pick: Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

Shimano Sedona spinning reel

Features:

  • Comes with Hagane gears
  • Ideal for freshwater fishing
  • Has double anodized spools that are machine cut
  • Compact body design
  • Enables longer casting distances
  • Maximum drag of 24lb
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Can be used for inshore or offshore freshwater fishing

6. Pflueger

pflueger logo

This is another top fishing reel brand that you should check out if you are looking for a high-quality rod and reel combos. Pflueger is a tackle and rod brand used by Pure Fishing. The company started as Enterprise Manufacturing Company based in Akron based in Ohio. It was founded in 1880 by Ernest Pflueger and from the beginning, the brand has concentrated on fishing gear and products. However, in the initial 40 years, the company focused on lures and hooks.

The brand revolutionized artificial fishing lures in 1883 when it pioneered the use of phosphoric paint on the lures. It became an instant hit, and lead to an increase in demand for Pflueger fishing lures. These lures used to glow in the dark and aided anglers who enjoyed night fishing. Today, it is one of the largest fishing gear and equipment manufacturers in the US.

It was in 1916 that the brand entered the fishing reel market. The first reel launched by Pflueger was a baitcasting reel and it was immediately loved by anglers. While the brand does not have a wide range of reels, you can be assured of quality and handy features. The fishing reels range from baitcasting reels and spinning reels to trolling reels and fly reels. Most of their reels are designed for freshwater fishing.

Best Selling Pflueger Fishing Reels

Bestseller No. 1
Pflueger PRESSP30X President...
2,775 Reviews
Pflueger PRESSP30X President...
  • 10 bearing system: Corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings
  • Graphite body and rotor: Lightweight graphite reel construction. Braid ready spool - Allows Braid to be tied directly to spool
  • HT 100 carbon fiber drag system provides powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness
SaleBestseller No. 2
Reels Spinning Pflueger...
2,816 Reviews
Reels Spinning Pflueger...
  • Spincast reel offers reliable performance at a great value
  • 5 ball bearings help ensure smooth operation
  • Machined aluminum frame holds gears in flawless alignment when under pressure
SaleBestseller No. 3
Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning...
  • 11 Bearing System
  • Magnesium Frame
  • Machined Aluminum Braid Ready Spool

Our top pick: Pflueger President Spinning Reel

President Spinning Fishing Reel

Features:

  • Comes with corrosion-resistant ball bearings made from stainless steel
  • Seven ball bearing system
  • Body and rotor made from durable and lightweight graphite
  • The spool is braided line ready
  • The drag system is sealed and ensure smooth, unhindered performance
  • Line twisting is minimal, thanks to oscillation gearing
  • Ambidextrous hand orientation
  • Ergonomic handle

7. KastKing

kastking logo

KastKing was the brainchild of college friends studying at Syracuse University. In 2011, the buddies decided to take a break from their MBA program and spend time on Finger Lakes located in upstate New York. They enjoyed fishing at the lake with fishing tackles that they had borrowed. 

The friends returned to college and came up with the idea of launching a start-up. So, this prompted the launch of Eposeidon Outdoor Adventure in March 2013. The aim of the company was to provide fishers with the best quality fishing tackle at affordable prices. It managed to do that by directly working with manufacturers and doing away with retail space and traditional advertising.

Even today, KastKing focuses on affordable pricing without compromising quality. Besides exceptional fishing reels, the brand also has a range of lures, electronics, tools, and accessories. When it comes to fishing reels, KastKing has a fine selection of both spinning reels and baitcasting reels.

Best Selling KastKing Fishing Reels

Bestseller No. 1
KastKing Sharky III Spinning...
3,894 Reviews
KastKing Sharky III Spinning...
  • NEXT-GEN - KastKing Sharky III spinning reels look great. They are built tough to land trophy fish in saltwater and freshwater. Sharky III are superb lightweight fishing reels built with a high percentage fiber reinforced graphite body and rotor!
  • PURE POWER - You will love Sharky III spinning reel's amazing best-in-class up to 39.5LBs / 18KG of smooth, reliable triple disc carbon fiber drag, oversized stainless-steel main shaft, and stronger precision mesh manganese brass pinion gears.
  • K.I.S.S. - Sharky III spinning reels are sealed with a KISS! Sharky III has a unique protection water resistant design for its spool, body, and rotor - K.I.S.S. (KastKing Intrusion Shield System). It helps keep water and dirt out.
Bestseller No. 2
KastKing Centron Spinning...
6,832 Reviews
KastKing Centron Spinning...
  • GREAT VALUE - Loaded with features yet low on price. KastKing Summer/Centron offers the best value...at any level. The KastKing Summer Fishing Reel turns any angler into a PRO.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT - narrow graphite frame design and computer balancing system combined with high performance in the compact Spinning Reel makes KastKing Summer/Centron an awesome gift for anybody who loves fishing.
  • HIGH POWERED - KastKing Summer/Centron spinning reel's Superior Drag System offers incredible stopping power up to 17.5LBs. It has a hardened metal main shaft, perfect mesh drive gear and precision machined pinion gear for fish fighting power.
Bestseller No. 3
KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III...
2,937 Reviews
KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III...
  • NEW! KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III is a unique baitfeeder style fishing reel with classic front and rear drag functions. Approved for freshwater and saltwater fishing.
  • DURABLE-Each Sharky Baitfeeder III live liner fishing reels have 10 + 1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings, precision alloy gears with a 5.5:1 gear ratio and a stainless steel mainshaft.
  • POWERFUL-The Sharky Baitfeeder spinning reels have carbon fiber drag washers for up to 26.5 Lbs/ 12 Kg of the smoothest fishing reel carbon drag on the fishing tackle market.

Our top pick: KastKing Sharky

KastKing Sharky fishing reel

Features:

  • Can be used in freshwater and saltwater
  • Designed to last
  • Lightweight as it is made from graphite
  • Ideal for fishing trophy fish
  • Pinion gears made from manganese
  • The main shaft is stainless steel
  • Has a water-resistant design that protects the rotor, body, and spool
  • Has an aluminum spool that is braid ready
  • Comfortable aluminum handle
  • Anti-reverse instant lock
  • 10 plus 1 stainless steel ball bearings

8. Lew’s Fishing

lews fishing logo

Lew Childre and his wife, Vivian (also known as Bebe) used to initially sell shrimp as live bait to the local fishermen in Alabama, along the Gulf Coast. This slowly transformed into a tackle store for the fishermen. However, Lew noticed that the bamboo poles he had in his small store were inconsistent. So, he started growing his own bamboo and tempered them so that it retained its shape. However, this was an expensive process and that meant Lew’s bamboo poles were more expensive than the ones available in other stores.

This prompted Lew to go to Japan to look for good and affordable Bamboo. Here, he got acquainted with Fuji, a Japanese company that made outstanding components for a fishing rod. Lew and Fuji forged a partnership and Lew brought Fuji products into America. As his business grew, Lew started innovating more products and this led to his creating a teardrop-shaped fishing reel. It was a roaring success and was often used with the pistol-grip fishing rods that Lew had created.

Today, Lew’s is famous for different types of fishing reels. While the brand makes mostly baitcasting fishing reels, it does have a few spinning fishing reels that are extremely popular among anglers.

Best Selling Lew’s Fishing Reels

SaleBestseller No. 1
Lew's Custom Lite SLP Speed...
55 Reviews
Lew's Custom Lite SLP Speed...
  • Package length: 7.899 cm
  • Package width: 11.277 cm
  • Package height: 14.478 cm
SaleBestseller No. 2
Lew's Mach 2 Metal Spin 300...
564 Reviews
Lew's Mach 2 Metal Spin 300...
  • Quality 10-bearing system with Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing. Aluminum body and side. Lightweight high strength C40 carbon skeletal speed rotor with strong aluminum bail wire.
  • S-curve oscillation system. Quality solid brass pinion gear. Durable stainless steel main shaft.
  • Braid ready double anodized knurled aluminum spool. DuraMax drag system, ultra smooth and super strong.
Bestseller No. 3
Lews Fishing SS1SHA Speed...
573 Reviews
Lews Fishing SS1SHA Speed...
  • 10 Bearing System with stainless steel double shielded ball bearings
  • Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing
  • External lube port

Our top pick: Lew’s Speed Spool LFS Baitcast Reel

Speed Spool LFS Baitcast Reel by lews

Features:

  • Designed for right-handed use
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Frame made from one-piece aluminum
  • The graphite side plate is removable
  • 34mm spool made from anodized aluminum
  • Speed gears are made from solid brass
  • Comfortable aluminum handle
  • Gear ratio is 7.5:1
  • 10 ball-bearing system
  • Comes with Zero Reverse

9. Piscifun

Piscifun logo

Two friends, Peter and Ben, founded Piscifun in 2013. Both had prior experience, with Ben having years of experience in making fishing gear and components while Peter, as a hardcore fishing enthusiast, has been traveling around the world and knows the best fishing destinations. Although this brand is a new entrant, it is one of the most popular fishing brands in the world. It ensures you always have access to affordable and superior quality fishing equipment and gear. The success of the brand lies in making high-quality fishing gear affordable for anglers and fishing enthusiasts.

The brand gets its name from the Latin word Pisci, which means fish, and the English word fun is added to it to ensure that anglers realize they can have fun while fishing and using affordable fishing gear. Piscifun focuses on understanding the needs of their customers and accordingly designing and developing products.

Today, Piscifun offers a wide range of spinning fishing reels, baitcasting reels, and fly fishing reels. It also has a number of other products, such as backpacks and tackle boxes. While this brand is famous for its sealed drag fly fishing reels, it has carved a niche for itself among anglers for large baitcasting reels that come with an open design and can be used in freshwater and saltwater. While its reels are large, they are high-quality and feature-rich.

Best Selling Piscifun Fishing Reels

Bestseller No. 1
Piscifun Chaos XS Baitcasting...
1,320 Reviews
Piscifun Chaos XS Baitcasting...
  • Professional Grade - The Chaos XS round baitcasting reel features a CNC caved, anti-line skip aluminum spool, this makes fishing and spooling much easier
  • Versatile - Egineered with 6 + 1 anti-corrosion bearings, smooth consistent drag and an extended forged handle, the Chaos XS conventional reel fits the bill for a variety of species and techniques
  • Innovative Cast Technology - Delivers superior casting performance and rock-solid durability. The innovative cast technology ensures a smoother & longer casting distance while reducing the chance of backlash
Bestseller No. 2
Piscifun Alijoz Baitcasting...
738 Reviews
Piscifun Alijoz Baitcasting...
  • Durable - The Piscifun Alijos size 300 baitcasting reel designed with premium aluminum frame and gear side plate which provide incredible durability to handle the biggest freshwater fish
  • Incredibly Powerful & Strong - Boasts with an incredible 33Lbs of drag and HUGE Hamai cut hardened brass gearing to handle fish way out of its league, the Alijos is built for big fish and big swimbaits which make it a great inshore saltwater baitcasting fishing reel
  • Top in Class Components - Loaded with high end components, Alijos 300 baitcasting reels are a next level baitcaster reels for pro fishing tournaments. Alijos features 8 double shielded stainless steel bearings and one instant anti reverse paired with Hamai cut hardened brass main gear and pinion gear to ensure the durability, low noise as well as smoothness
Bestseller No. 3
Piscifun Carbon X Spinning...
1,411 Reviews
Piscifun Carbon X Spinning...
  • Feather Light - The Carbon X is meticulously crafted with an all carbon fiber body, rotor and side plate making it one of the lightest in its class, weighing in at a mere 5.7 oz. The Carbon X greatly reduces the fatigue placed on your wrist over a long day of chasing those trophy fish
  • Multiple Retrieves - The Piscifun Carbon X spinning reels features a lightning fast 6.2:1 gear ratio as well as a buttery smooth 5.2:1 in our 1000 model. These 2 gear ratios are the perfect combination, the high speed retrieve helps every angler battle the strong, fast runs of the biggest fish and the moderate speed is perfect for finessing in your next trophy
  • Silky Smooth - You will be amazed at the incredible smoothness of the Carbon X, the 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings are critical for increased smooth operation, retrieve performance and corrosion resistance.

Our top pick: Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

Features:

  • Powerful and performance-oriented
  • Comes with an 18lb carbon fiber drag, making it perfect for fishing big or trophy fish
  • Durable and resistant to corrosion
  • Has the quality brass gears
  • Gear ratio of 7.1:1
  • Can be used by beginners and seasoned anglers
  • Comes with double-wind shafts
  • Has a magnetic dial setting of 0 to 10 to do away with backlash
  • Body made from composite graphite
  • Handle made from high-density EVA
  • Comfortable grip

10. Zebco

zebco logo

In 1932, Zebco was initially called the Zero Hour Bomb Company and it used to manufacture electric time bombs that were used for oil drilling. However, it was R.D. Hull, a watchmaker, who had an epiphany about a fishing reel design after seeing a clerk pull at a string from a spool that was fixed. He brought his design over to Zero Hour Bomb Company. This was instrumental in the world getting its first-ever spincasting fishing reel that did not have a backlash. The first spincast fishing reels were launched in 1949. The reel was marketed as being easy to use.

In 1956, the company was asked to send a fishing reel to President Eisenhower. However, the security saw the name of the company on the package and immediately dunked it into water and asked the bomb squad to investigate the package. It was then that the company changed its name to Zebco.

Zebco is one of the leading fishing reels manufacturers and offers heavy-duty fishing reels for deep sea fishing and surf fishing. However, you can also pick up spincasting fishing reels with a closed head design and these are famous for not tangling the line. The brand offers durability and quality and that is evident from the fact that some spinning reels that were manufactured in the 1950s are still being used by anglers.

Best Selling Zebco Fishing Reels

SaleBestseller No. 1
Zebco 404 Spincast Fishing...
1,153 Reviews
Zebco 404 Spincast Fishing...
  • EASY-TO-USE: The Zebco 404 spincast reel has been a mainstay for anglers for years. This reel features a patented no-tangle design making it easy to use for both beginners and experienced anglers. The built-in bite alert simply and precisely uses an audio indicator to alert anglers of activity below the water
  • LEGENDARY PERFORMANCE: The legendary heavy-duty performance and durability of the reel is utilized to reel-in bigger lures and bigger fish. The durable material of the stainless steel pick up pin does not wear over time and is corrosion resistant making it the perfect reel to outlast even the toughest weather conditions
  • HEAVY-DUTY & SMOOTH: This size 40 reel is constructed with all-metal gears and a 2.8:1 gear ratio for a silky-smooth retrieve and consistent performance that will stand tough for many fishing adventures to come. Meant for the right-handed anglers, this heavy-duty reel features a right-hand retrieve and is pre-spooled with 15-pound Zebco fishing line so you can start catching bigger fish right out of the package
SaleBestseller No. 2
Zebco 33 Platinum Spincast...
800 Reviews
Zebco 33 Platinum Spincast...
  • EASY-TO-USE: The Zebco 33 Platinum spincast reel features a patented no-tangle design. Featuring a dial-adjustable drag and QuickSet anti-reverse to stop your handle from moving backward and create a solid hookset in the mouth of a fish when reeling in your prize catch
  • ULTRA-DURABLE PERFORMANCE: The durable 33 Platinum reel is truly a showstopper. It comes equipped with stainless steel covers, an all-metal body and gears. The size 30 spincast reel features a 4.7:1 gear ratio for a silky-smooth retrieve
  • SUPERIOR DESIGN: Featuring a durable, tough-yet-sleek design, the 33 Platinum spincast reel will look and perform great, keeping you reeling in fish after fish all day long. Designed with 4 stainless steel ball bearings and a GlideLine ball bearing to reduce friction and get the most efficient line retrieval
SaleBestseller No. 3
Zebco 202 Spincast Fishing...
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Zebco 202 Spincast Fishing...
  • EASY-TO-USE: The Zebco 202 spincast reel features a patented no-tangle design and simple push-button mechanics that are anchored to the body of the reel for ease of use and a much more solid feel. The spincast reel is a fishing favorite and is great for both beginners and experienced anglers
  • SMOOTH & ALL-PURPOSE: This size 30 spincast reel is constructed with all-metal gears and a 2.8:1 gear ratio for a silky-smooth retrieve. Featuring a dial-adjustable drag and quickset anti-reverse to stop your handle from moving backward and create a solid hookset in the mouth of a fish when reeling in your catch
  • TOUGH YET SLEEK: Featuring a durable, tough-yet-sleek design, the famous 202 spincast reel will look and perform great, keeping you reeling in fish all day long. The long-lasting stainless steel pick up pin does not wear over time and is corrosion resistant making it the perfect material to hold up for many fishing adventures to come

Our top pick: Zebco Quantum Spincast Reel

Quantum Spincast Fishing Reel by Zebco

Features:

  • Can be used by men and women
  • Has both left and right hand retrieve
  • Rubberized handle for superior grip and comfort
  • Ideal for freshwater fishing
  • Comes with a red line that makes it visible in the water
  • Has ball bearing
  • Entire assembly covered with stainless steel cover
  • Resistant to corrosion
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Lightweight
  • Gear ratio of 3.6:1

What to Look at When Buying a Fishing Reel?

If you are looking for a good fishing reel brand, remember the type of reel you choose will depend on the kind of fishing rod you use. And, your fishing rod choice will be based on the kind of fish species you want to catch and your favorite fishing spot.

Prices of fishing reel vary based on the brand name, features, style, functionality, and warranty. So, consider what you are willing to invest and it is best to create a budget. There are several top fishing reel brands that you check out, and we have listed the top 10 to make it easy for you. We also have listed the most popular fishing reels from these brands. So, you can opt for one of them or following the following guide.

Check the Fishing Rod:

Most rods have a series of numbers printed just above the grip. These numbers denote the length of the rod and the best line weight range that you should use. The range refers to the weight of the fish that you can catch. Fishing reels too have weight categorization and hence, you should ensure that the reel is the right match for your fishing rod. This will help balance the rod and made it easier for you to cast with accuracy. It will also minimize fatigue if you are out fishing for long periods.

Build Quality:

Make sure that you check the build quality of the fishing reel. You don’t want a reel that breaks easily or tangles up the line. Read reviews of other buyers and find out what they are saying. A top brand will focus on the quality and ensure you have a long-lasting fishing reel that facilitates fishing rather than being a hindrance.

Brand Name:

It goes without saying that you should carefully check out the brand name. It is advisable to choose a fishing reel from a reputed brand rather than going in for a brand that is relatively unknown and cannot offer evidence to back its claim. The 10 fishing reel companies listed here offer some of the best fishing reels you will find on the market.

Related read: The best fishing rod brands

Types of Fishing Reels

When you are looking to buy fishing reels, you may get confused as to which one is the right choice for you. Here are a few of the most common types of fishing reels.

Spinning Reel:

This is the most versatile fishing reel out of all the reels you will find on the market. It has a whipping action and utilizes a bail-guide system that securely holds the line and wraps it around the spool when you retrieve the line. The spool has a bail that is positioned across and this enables the line to fall without obstruction. If you pinch the fishing line, it will stay tight around the spool and you will have to time your cast so that the line is at its highest point. During retrieval, just put the bail back into position and you will be able to enjoy smooth line retrieval.

Most spinning reels come with a drag that you can adjust. The quality of a spinning fishing reel is dependent on the material used and the features it possesses. Remember, the more ball bearings a spinning reel has, the smoother it will perform.

Baitcasting Reel:

This reel is made especially for baitcasting rods. It is best to leave this reel aside if you are not an experienced angler. You need to master this reel and once you do it, you will have control over the line and will be able to cast with accuracy. Baitcasting reel has a low or round profile. In low profile, you have the freedom to palm the fishing reel when you cast or retrieve. Hence, it is the choice of sports fishers while fishing big bream, bass, or barramundi. On the other hand, a rounded profile can easily hold more line and that is why it is the perfect choice for fishing species that tend to dash away after taking the bait.

These reels have a braking system that allows you to adjust the tension of the line. You can loosen or tighten the line and this prevents backlash. Or, you can look for a baitcasting reel that has a minimal backlash. You have to adjust the rotation of the spool if you using weighted lures. That will enable you to cast the line more easily and accurately.

Fly Reel:

This type of fishing reel is meant for use just with fly rods. They usually have a simple design and you can find brands that have complex designs incorporating a lot of modern technology. For instance, the reel can have drag systems that allow you to adjust drag and minimize drag friction.

When you use this reel, you will have to strip the line from the spool with one hand and use the other to cast the line using a rod. The main purpose of a fly reel is to ensure you have drag if a fish runs off after taking the bait. Usually, a fly reel is designed to balance the weight of a fishing rod while the angler casts the line.

How to Care and Maintain Your Fishing Reel

When you are buying a reel from one of the top fishing reel companies, it is essential that learn to look after the reel to ensure its longevity and performance.

Whether you go fishing in freshwater or saltwater, it is crucial you clean the reel well. The best way to do this is by rinsing it under running tap water. It will remove salt, dirt, and grime that the reel may have collected during your fishing trip. Make sure that the reel dries thoroughly before you store it away. You can also remove the spool and handle and oil the moving parts of the reel. That way, you don’t have to worry about corrosion or rust. Refrain from opening casings as you will dislodge springs, washers, and cogs. If you lose one, it will make your reel useless.

Related article: How to use fishing reel grease & oil

The Final Verdict

These are the top 10 good fishing reel brands that make superior quality fishing reels that can be used either in freshwater or saltwater. We have endeavored to create a fair list that has all the details that you need to come to a conclusion. We have even listed the best fishing reel for each brand so that you know what to expect when you opt for the brand or the reel.

Fishing is a fun, exciting, relaxing sport or hobby. Just like you invest time and effort to buy the best rod and fishing gear and accessories, you should take time to check out fishing reels. That way, you will always choose a reel that is right for your fishing needs and ensure that you come away happy and satisfied with your trip. That is why you should always opt for the best reel brands as you will never be disappointed with the performance and durability of their reels.

Updated: June 9, 2022