The fishing reel of choice is slowing changing. Anglers are more inclined towards fishing with spinning reels than using bait caster reels. The reason is that spinning reels are easier to use with a reduced learning curve.
In terms of performance and ease of use for light fishing operations, spinning reels reign supreme. However, choosing the bests spinning reels under $100 can be a challenging task if you are unfamiliar with how spinning reels operate.
To help you make the right choice our term of experts has put together a great review of 10 of the best spinning reels for those on a budget. We highlight the performance and major features of each fishing reel to help streamline any to your immediate fishing needs.
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Best Spinning Reel – Top Choice
It has an efficient ball bearing system to improve smoothness, reliability, and durability. The Penn fishing reel is recommended for both fresh and saltwater fishing because of its exceptional and powerful drag system.
Lastly, it comes in 8 different sizes to provide the right options tailored to any fishing need.
Review of the Best Spinning Reel Under $100
In this review section, you will find the best cheap spinning reels.
1. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel
The Penn Battle II spinning fishing reel makes the top of our list because it was crafted with the finest materials and it’s durable. The material used makes this reel one of the most popular choices for big saltwater game fishing without the fear of corrosion.
It has a fully strapped metal body with a side plate and rotor just at the side of the hand-held device. To offer exceptional durability the bail wire is made from heavy-duty aluminum.
If you have had problems with the drag of most fishing reel you will agree with me that’s it’s a very problematic issue to deal with. With the battle II reel, a study HT 100 fiber drag system provides excellent power without sacrificing on smoothness.
For more features, this model also comes with a fluid cranking system fortified with 5 sealed stainless steel balls. These together ensure that an anti-reverse bearing movement is possible.
- Sturdy all-round metallic head
- Anti-reverse bearing system
- Incorporates the use of an aluminum bail wire
- Has carbon fiber drag washers
- Superline spool
- May develop some cranky noise
2. Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel
Our next spinning reel comes from Diawa BG, a leading brand in the fishing product industry. This model sports high-quality components made from the finest materials in the industry. The Daiwa BG is one of our recommended models if smooth and effortless fishing is all you care about.
One of the distinguishing features of this fishing reel is the fact that it employs the use of a “Hard Bodyz” machined aluminum body. The hard body aluminum body coupled with a side cover improves the strength and stability of internal parts. A black electrolytically Anodized body is used to also increase the strength of the fishing reel.
Diawa BG fishing reel is lighter but sturdier than many fishing reels in the market today primarily because its air rotor weighs in about 15% lesser than the ordinary rotor. The engineered shape cuts out the fat to distribute the stress evenly. Optimizing the design to make the reel as light as possible is a core feature of this fishing reel model.
Other design features that make this model a top choice is ABS spool’s maximized core diameter with reversed taper. This design prevents deadlines from getting buried in the core. Lastly, the screw-in-handle design provides ergonomic handling to offer the angler a heightened level of confidence while rotating the handle.
- Extremely lightweight without compromising on quality
- Durable parts in aluminum hard body
- Ergonomic handlebar
- Smooth operation
- Binding issues may arise
3. Cadence Spinning Reel
Cadence is a big player in the fishing reel product niche and they have not disappointed with the introduction of this model. If you are on a tight budget, you can buy this spinning reel and still enjoy premium features of high-end models. With a solid 3-year manufacturer’s warranty and 90-day return policy, the fear of buying a defective product is nonexistent.
The cadence fishing reel was built with the user in mind this is why it comes in ultralight carbon mainframe. This frame is over 50% lighter and 20% stronger than many aluminum models of a comparable price range. However, the spinning reel’s aluminum spool is robust, strong and durable to keep the line steady.
Like most fishing reel models discussed in this write up, cadence also has an ergonomic handle for comfort. Anglers will love the feel and grip that isn’t overbearing. In terms of functionality, the body is designed to provide a unique torsion that improves reels stability and smoothness.
Lastly, a superior CS5 carbon drag system is in place to offer incredible carbon stopping power of up to 36LBs. This power is perfect if you have eyes for big catches. Remember, you need a superior spinning reel to counter the fighting power of big catches.
- It has a unique CS5 carbon composite frame
- High-performance with strong stopping power
- Good strength, durability, and comfort
- Meticulously designed
- May not perform well in saltwater
- Prone to locking up and line snap
4. Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel
The highlight of the Pflueger president spinning fishing reel is the incorporation of 10 bearing systems. The steel ball bearings are resistant to corrosion which one of the most important features in-game fishing.
The graphite body and rotor are constructed and crafted to be lightweight without compromising on the performance of the reel. To make use of Braids, the spool is designed in such a way that braids can be attracted directly to it.
The Pflueger makes use of a seal drag system which may not be the most ideal alternative for anglers on fly fishing. However, it does offer some smoothness because they are always lubricated. A slow oscillation gearing is in place to minimize line twist and line laying.
The PRESIDENT spinning reel is the first in its class in terms of performance. This is why our experts place it head and shoulders higher than some of its close competitors.
- It has a 10 ball bearing system that is resistant to corrosion
- A braid ready spool – so you can use any braid of your choice
- Top-notch design artistry
- Maybe prone to line twist
- Retrieving may give anglers some issues
5. KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel
Kastking Sharky III fishing reel is a next-gen spinning reel with jaw-dropping features. It’s a practical and equally functional unit every angler dreams to have in his/her fly fishing arsenal. This model represents an upgrade from two similar models so be confident that manufacturers have given this piece a thorough overhaul.
This next-gen model is not lighter, smoother and stronger than its predecessors. If you are into big catches, you need a spinning reel that can offer high powers to address the fight of big fishes. In light of this, KastKing employs the use of a triple-disc carbon fiber drag up to 39.5 lbs.
Notable features include a multiple stainless steel bearings, and a braid ready spinning spool system. The spool system is crafted from aluminum which is the standard material used in the industry today. The main shaft fishing reel helps create a perfect spinning rod and reel combo to generate a high brute force required to tackle the fight of larger catches.
The good thing about upgrades is that the problems of previous models are adequately taken care of. KastKing Sharky III eliminates the problems of the backing line to provide more line capacity needed to tackle a big fish catch.
- Has a slip-free control EVA grip
- Eliminates line backing
- Braid ready spool
- Fewer chances of line twisting
- Sturdy and highly functional
- A good anti-reverse system
- The design may not be for both hands
- May not be perfect for saltwater fishing
Best Spinning Reel Buying Guide
To make the most out of your fishing reel, in this section we have highlighted some useful features that you must consider to give you a head start. Make sure you read this buying guide to the end to ensure you make the right decision.
Parts of a Spinning Reel
A spinning reel is easy to use a fishing device that is perfect for beginning anglers. The reels are mounted to the underside of a fishing rod and are less likely going to tangle the fishing lines. There are some important parts of a fishing reel that newbies ought to get familiar with. Among other parts are the reel foot, the handle, the reel body, the anti-reverse switch, the bail, line spool, and line roller. These are the basic parts of a spinning reel, so a basic understanding of how all these parts function together is needed.
The body and weight
The body and weight of a spinning reel fishing device must be taken into consideration before you make a financial commitment to buy a reel. Popularly, the body is also called the “housing” and many spinning reels are made from graphite or aluminum. In rare cases though, the housing can be constructed from graphite and aluminum.
Lightweight spinning reels a mostly made from graphite, but using aluminum makes the reel stronger at the expense of extra weight. It’s a matter of choice to decide whether strength or weight is important to your fishing needs.
Anglers should also be on the lookout for a solidly constructed reel body. If you want to avoid the hassles that come with returns, avoid reels with flimsy and poorly constructed parts. Make sure all moving parts work in tandem to one another in a smooth way. You should understand that spinning reels have more mobile parts than casting reels so play close attention to the smoothness.
Weight: This is a key factor that must be taken into consideration to avoid fatigue. Lightweight reels will place less strain on your wrist and forearm but most lightweight reels aren’t built with enough power to tackle big catches. However, if you spend a great deal of time in the water as is expected from every angler, the weight of the reel is something you should consider.
Ensure you compare spinning reel weights online and read numerous customer reviews to have a good idea of what’s best for you.
To pick the correct spinning reel size, ensure you go for one that suits the fishing line you use the most. In fact, the lighter the line the smaller the size of the spinning reels and vice versa. On a spinning reel, the biggest line size should be a 10-pound test line but this might not imply saltwater or other heavy-duty fishing needs.
To get the sizing right, make sure to check the sizing information for a pound-test line on the product detail page. Look for the spool area and find out the line information stated on it. The product detail page will display all the information in a chart.
The Reel Gear Ratio
The spool on a spinning reel is fixed and is different from the fixated positioning found on casting reels. As you turn the handle of a spinning reel the bail raps the line into the spool, therefore, the gear ratio refers to the number of times the bail wraps itself around the spool with a single turning of the handlebar. A reel gear ratio of 5:1 indicates that the bail raps itself 5 times around the spool for every turn of the handle.
The smaller the gear ration the slower the speed because it takes more turns to finally get the line rap unto the spool. Higher real gear ratios are considered faster. However, the type of fishing you intend to undertake should determine the gear ratio. You should understand that smaller gear ratios normally provide more torque power to tackle large fishes.
If you are on a budget and can only buy one reel go for a medium reel gear ratio. If you have the funds, mix things up by adding a high and a slow gear ratio reels to cover all situations.
The Drag System
If you want to apply pressure to take out a hooked fish then you must pay attention to the drag system. The system helps take out a hooked fish and bringing out the line during a fight. If the drag system is poorly constructed there is a high probability that the line will break and you lose your catch.
To avoid the problem of a broken line during a drag, ensure you purchase a reel with a smooth no constrictive drag. It should pull the fish out of the water in a steady manner without any tension whatsoever.
For spinning reels, there are two types of drag systems;
1.) Front drag system
2.) Rear drag system
The main difference in both the drag system is at the location of the controls. In comparison to the rear drag system, front drag systems offer increased performance and durability. Rear drag systems, on the other hand, have an easy to access control when fighting fish.
Ball Bearing system
For additional smoothness, support and stability the ball bearing system of spinning reels is a feature you need to be on the lookout for. Some other reels will also have with the construction a roller bearing. The normal convention is that the higher the number of ball bearing the smoother the reel will perform and vice versa.
Therefore, it’s better if you can lay your hands on a spinning reel with the most ball bearings because there is nothing as annoying as a reel that doesn’t perform well. Make sure you make the right investment when it comes to this part of the reel equation.
What is your favorite spinning reel brand or model that you love to use? We would like to hear your opinion on the spinning reels that we reviewed above.
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