Best Spinning Reel for Bass Fishing

best spinning reels for bass fishing

Looking for the Best Spinning Reels For Bass?

Spinning reels are a fantastic option for bass fishing. Catching bass can be finicky, meaning you need to be versatile. Having the right reel for bass fishing provides that versatility. Tossing lightweight crank baits, finesse rigs, and smaller topwater lures are sometimes the best option for wary fish, and a quality spinning reel delivers.

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best spinning reels for bass fishing. Some of the questions we asked were:

  • What sizes are available? Most bass reels are in the 2000 or 3000 range. The larger sizes hold the heavier line and are designed for bigger fish, while the smaller sizes use a lighter line for a more finesse approach.
  • How durable is the reel? Carbon fiber reels are generally known to be highly durable and light. Aluminum is also durable, along with graphite. Graphite tends to be the heavier of the three, with carbon fiber and aluminum being very light.
  • How many bearings does it have? Ball bearings and roller bearings help the reel operate smoothly.
  • How reliable is the drag system? A high-quality spinning reel will have a smooth, even, and consistent drag without stressing the fishing line too much.
  • What is the gear ratio? Gear ratios indicate how many times the spool turns per rotation of the handle. A ratio of 4:1 indicates that the spool turns four times per turn of the handle. A 6.2:1 means the spool turns 6.2 times for one turn of the handle.

Answering these questions allowed us to narrow down the field to what we consider to be the best spinning reel for bass anglers. Our choice for the best spinning reel for bass is the Abu Garcia Revo Premier Spinning Reel. We found it to offer everything needed for a high-quality bass reel without breaking the bank. It may put a dent in it, but the overall cost is worth the durability and ease of use.

We’ve put this list together to dive in and take a deeper look at seven of the top spinning reels for bass fishing.

Our Pick
Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel
$169.95 $118.88

It gives you everything you need from a reel, including a durable body and a machined aluminum spool for excellent line control.

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11/28/2022 12:03 am GMT
Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel
$239.99

The low weight makes it an ideal reel for bass fishing. You can fish for hours with this reel.

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11/28/2022 12:07 am GMT
Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel
$129.99 $92.02

Coming in at just 7 ounces, this lightweight, durable reel offers many features usually only found in much more expensive reels.

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11/28/2022 12:03 am GMT
Lews Mach II Speed Spin Spinning Reel
$84.99

For the budget-minded, this is a good reel that should last a long time. It’s an excellent option for a beginner angler who wants quality without the price tag.

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11/28/2022 12:01 am GMT
SHIMANO Sedona Fi Spinning Reel
$74.99 $69.90

This might be the best budget reel on the list. The Sedona line has always been of good quality, but the new version is far better. It gives you a lighter, smaller body with a more stable, balanced feel.

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11/28/2022 12:03 am GMT
PENN Battle II 5000 Spinning Fishing Reel
$119.95 $109.99

Stripers are bigger, more aggressive bass that need a bigger, more aggressive reel. The ultimate saltwater reel for them is the Penn Battle II. You won’t get much better than this for the price point. It works in freshwater as well, though the weight of the reel can be a bit overwhelming.

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11/28/2022 12:02 am GMT
Best For Inshore Fishing
Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
$129.99 $101.45

If you're looking for the same inshore reel used by local guides along the east coast, look no further than the Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel. You won't be disappointed!

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11/28/2022 12:05 am GMT

Spinning Reels For Bass Reviewed

Abu Garcia Revo Premier Spinning Reel

Specs:

  • Weight: 6.5 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Size: 20

The Abu Garcia Revo Premier is possibly the best reel for bass fishing and is our best overall choice. It gives you everything you need from a spinning reel, including a durable body and a machined aluminum spool for excellent line control.

The 11 stainless steel ball bearings are paired with a C6 carbon body and an X-Craftic gearbox to give the reel a smooth, reliable cast. Once you hook into a fish, this reel truly shows why we chose it. The carbon matrix drag system gives you consistent, smooth, and strong drag across the entire drag spectrum. That level of smooth control paired with the durability built into the reel itself makes this fishing reel the perfect choice for those looking for a long-lasting, high-quality spinning reel.

Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel

Specs:

  • Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 6:1
  • Size: 2000

The Shimano Vanford F provides a powerful body without sacrificing weight or size. The low weight makes it an ideal reel for bass fishing. You can fish for hours with this reel. While this reel is indeed an exceptional piece of equipment, it’s also the most expensive on the list.

The inner workings of this fishing reel have been fine-tuned to the point of near perfection, with wobbles and gaps nearly eliminated. That means you’re going to be casting farther and avoiding line twists due to reel issues.

Overall, this may be the best spinning reel for bass fishing on the list. It’s in second place solely due to its high entry price.

Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel

Specs:

  • Weight: 7 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
  • Size: 3000

The Helios is a great fishing reel. Coming in at just 7 ounces, this lightweight, durable reel offers many features usually only found in much more expensive reels. The 3000 size is a good choice for targeting giant bass.

The eight ball bearings that are corrosive resistant means you can use this spinning reel in both fresh and saltwater. Be sure to rinse your reel thoroughly if you do use it for saltwater fishing. Stripers won’t stand a chance if you keep your reel in top working condition.

The Okuma Helios comes in multiple sizes, with lighter and heavier options available. For bass anglers, the 30 (or 3000) size is the perfect fit.

Lew’s Mach II Speed Spin Reel

Specs:

  • Weight: 8.2 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Size: 3000

Lew’s has an excellent track record for making durable, long-lasting fishing reels. The Mach II Speed Spin Reel is proof of this. It offers a lightweight feel for long hours on the water while backing it up with a robust C40 carbon rotor. The 10-ball bearing system keeps things running smoothly, while the fast retrieve is perfect for casting topwater baits.

The bail is stainless steel and provides a well-balanced feel. The gears are brass and come equipped with a zero reverse anti-reverse bearing. Reviewers have praised the line management of the spool. Some negative reviews noted a weaker-than-average handle that may crack at the base.

For the budget-minded, this is the best bass spinning reel that should last a long time. It’s an excellent option for a beginner angler who wants quality without the price tag, and that is why it is one of the best reels for bass fishing. Go with the 300 size for the most versatile spinning reel.

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Specs:

  • Weight: 10.8 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 5.6:1
  • Size: 3000

The Daiwa BG 3000 is a great fishing reel that will last for years. It is heavier than other reels in this review, though it will let you cast farther. The drag is excellent, with a max of 15.4 pounds, which should be plenty of strength to help you bring in that trophy bass.

The machined aluminum body has been covered with a black anodized coating for corrosion protection. The gears are lightweight and power the ABS spool incredibly smoothly, providing a great cast.

For those just getting into angling, this spinning reel is a good choice because of its versatility. It has enough line capacity to go after bigger fish, with a gear ratio that allows for both slow and fast retrieves. The Daiwa BG spinning reel is a great option for the price and is why it is one of the best spinning reels for bass fishing.

Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Reel

Specs:

  • Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Size: 4000XG

The Shimano Sedona is an exceptional fishing reel for the price. This might be the best budget spinning reel on the list. The Sedona line has always been of good quality, but the new version is far better. It gives you a lighter, smaller body with a more stable, balanced feel.

The gears have been upgraded to the Shimano Hagene gear system, which gives the reel more strength to chase that bigger bass with larger baits.

The Sedona has a satisfying feel when fishing. At the budget price point and with the upgrades, this fishing reel is a great option for the budget-minded and is why it is one of the best reels for bass fishing.

Penn Battle II

Specs:

  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Size: 5000

Striped bass live in saltwater. The Penn Battle II is built for catching bass. The body is full metal, meaning it’s not going to corrode from the saltwater. The drag is incredible, coming in at a hefty 25 pounds. There are six stainless steel bearings sealed and protected from the elements. Instant anti-reverse provides you the ability to pick up the fight instantly without any delay.

Stripers are bigger, more aggressive bass that need a bigger, more aggressive reel. The ultimate saltwater fishing reel for them is the Penn Battle II. You won’t get much better than this for the price point. It works in freshwater as well, though the weight of the reel can be a bit overwhelming. The design keeps the corrosive effects of saltwater at bay, keeping your bass reel working flawlessly for years. It is always important to rinse your reels when saltwater fishing. That helps keep them in pristine condition.

This spinning reel is the perfect choice for anyone looking to get into saltwater and bass fishing. It works equally well for surf fishing and will bring in the big boys when you are catching bass, and that is why this is one of the best spinning reels for bass fishing.

How To Pick The Best Reel For Bass Fishing

best spinning reels for bass fishing

Spinning reels are incredibly versatile, which makes choosing a spinning reel for bass a time-consuming and sometimes confusing process. Getting the right reel for the target fish is critical. If you want to catch 15-pound largemouth bass, you’re not going to want a size 1000 reel with a 6-pound test. Sure, it’s possible to do so, but chances are you’ll break off before bringing it in. Bigger fish generally require bigger reels. A 3000 with a 10-pound braid would be a far better option. It holds more line, allowing the fish to make its runs without causing too much stress on the line or the fish.

Bringing it to the net also requires the spinning reel to have a very reliable drag system and anti-reverse option. The worst feeling is when you reach down with the net only to have the reel free spool line out and basically let the fish go. Anti-reverse options stop that from happening. Most reels have a switch to go from free spooling to anti-reverse. It’s good to flip it to anti-reverse once you catch one. Free spooling is generally only used when letting the bait sit on the bottom, waiting for a predator to pluck it up.

Look for a spinning reel that holds a good amount of line in the range that you plan on fishing. You can generally find this listed right on the spool body. The numbers listed indicate the capacity for that weight. As an example, the Abu Garcia Revo Premier shows:

  • Braid 10/180 LBs/Yards

That means the reel will hold 180 yards of 10lb test braided line. Each reel is different, so be sure to check the line weight and capacity of the reel before making your final decision. A good pro-tip for a beginning angler is to find a bass reel that holds anywhere from 8lb (3.63 kg) to 12lb (5.44 kg) test. That will ensure enough strong fishing line to battle most fish. Braided fishing line has a smaller overall diameter than mono of the same strength. That means you’ll be able to fit more braided lines than mono.

Smaller spinning reels will handle smaller lures and plastics with ease. They are a good choice when the bass is being finicky and not wanting to chase that crank bait you are throwing with your bait caster. Switch over to the spinning reel and toss a Ned Rig for a more finesse approach.

Spinning reels are easier to pick up and learn than bait casters and generally don’t end up with a “birds’ nest” like bait casters. Working with the best spinning reel for bass fishing will give you the perfect balance of ease of use and power to bring in even the biggest bass. Backlash does still happen with spinning reels, but not to the extent that it does with bait casters.

Choosing a reel is one of the most essential factors in fishing. While it is possible to catch fish without a good spinning reel, it’s nowhere near as easy. A good quality reel will make your sessions on the water more enjoyable and more productive. A cheap, poorly designed reel can scare fish away from the line. They can have awkward retrievals, loud gears that send vibrations down the line, and poor casting distances. Some cheap reels can even damage the line by having a loose bail that flips mid-cast or a poorly configured gear system that lets the line get caught up in the inner workings far too easily.

It is worth the money to buy a high-quality reel that will operate smoothly and last for years to come. Even the budget models on this list are far better than a cheaply constructed fishing reel at any price. Use this guide to get a good feel for what you need in a fishing reel and enjoy your next trip to the water.

What is a spinning reel?

A spinning reel is one of the most common types of reel. It features a spool parallel to the axes of the fishing poles. Unlike other fishing reels spinning reels are designed to hang beneath the fish. Spinning reels are useful when you use heavier bait. It also works nicely with light lures and lines. The easy mechanism makes this spinning reel ideal for beginners. Amateur bass anglers with no fishing expertise may want to use this to jump-start their fishing careers. With a better spinning reel for bass fishing, you can use them with no problems.

Construction

The construction of the reel would dictate its elasticity and sturdiness since that would dictate its performance. Using a spinning reel with alloy and stainless steel plates to carry the rod is able to handle the stiffness and flexion. Another material you can choose would be graphite. Graphite is lighter than aluminum and offers extra protection against corrosion. A carbon composite provides the best of aluminum and graphite and provides protection against the corrosion of the material. The best spinning reel used for bass fishing is a spinning rod with a steel rod with an aluminum body. The fishing reel will withstand vibrations during a long boat ride harsh temperature and constant pounding on the fish.

Size

The size of the spinning gear really matters when picking the best bass fishing reel. Obviously, the reels’ weight lets the user control every part of the reels. When you have bigger reels some key functions will likely be more effective. This however means that you compromise other functions such as performance and speeds. You want your workspace right between functionality and strength. You could have caused more hassle if you didn’t take a small film. A large spinning reel will hinder your experience.

Drag System

I mentioned the fact that there are many examples of dragging that do apply counter pressure at each end of the fishing reel. With an effective drag system, you can maintain smooth pressure throughout the fight with the bass fish. You will need a minimum of 12 pounds of drag pressure if you’ll catch bass. The drag system in the spinning reel is another important factor. When picking your own equipment, look for a machine with an efficient drag system with varied performance.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity refers to the way in which to measure movement in depth in water. An increase in sensitization means you’ll feel the bite once the fish does it. I like my feelings sensitive so that I know I have a good game on my plate. A spinning reel that is not sensitive enough has better chances of not feeling underwater vibrations. And I’d also suggest checking for sensitivity for a spinning reel.

Spool

Spool construction refers to the way they’re fabricated. This could be from aluminum, graphite, or carbon. Aluminum is stronger than any, and graphite is less dense. Carbon brings strength and weight to the latter two materials. While I will probably recommend using aluminum, it depends on your needs and when you use the tub and reel for bass fish. The spool was created as the head of the spinning reel and not the head of the spinner.

Why Should I Choose a Spinning Reel for Bass Fishing?

Spinning reels have many advantages, particularly for hobbyists or new bass fishermen. The drag system is reliable and solid, easy to learn how to use, and generally inexpensive. You can get good models as low as $50, but some bass anglers may argue that baitcasting reels have the upper hand. When bass fishing, buying a baitcasting reel is maybe your best option. If you want to buy a new baitcasting reel, check the list of reels on our new list of baitcasting reels.

Things to Consider When Buying Spinning Reels for Bass

Line capacity

Line capacity refers to the amount of line a fishing line is able to hold. What’s best depends on which type of line you use it from. For better results use line capacities in tests lighter than 20 pounds. If using a braided line you’re likely to accept that less line power than a fluorocarbon line. If the capacity of the line is 10 160 yards this means the reel is designed for lines between 10 kg and 165. The monolines may be better using braid lines for bass.

Weight

The weight of the reel helps because it could hurt your shoulders and arm. Graphite is heavier than aluminum. The plastic in the spool affects other variables like weight. If a heavy reel was connected to a milder rod system then it created imbalances and made that caster easier. Luckily there’s a great number of brands and reels here that work together. It also matters because if matched with lighter rods it makes them difficult to cast.

Wrapping Up

Finding your favorite bass spinning reel will take some trial and error, but that’s how things sometimes go with fishing. Read the reviews and be sure to do your research before putting down significant money on a reel. Will you enjoy the smoothness of a premium reel? Most likely, but a budget reel will do just as well for you if you’re just starting.

For more guides on Bass Fishing and Spinning Reels, check out the pages below:

Eric Larson

Eric Larson

Hi, my name is Eric. I am a contributor for A Fellow Fisherman and a former charter captain who has been saltwater fishing since before I can remember. I grew up in New Jersey, fishing mostly the Delaware Bay and River, as well as many offshore charter trips. I have had an enormous passion for fishing my whole life, and am lucky to have done it as a profession. I am confident when it comes to telling people about the best techniques for catching fish, but am still open to a good debate.

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