5 Best Spinning Reels Under $100

best spinning reels under $100

Are you looking for the best spinning reels under $100?

You’re in the right place. We’ve done all the hard work of finding and testing some of the best reels on the market so that you don’t have to. After testing reels from all the top brands, we picked the Pflueger President Spinning Reel as the best spinning reel for under $100.

Our Pick
Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel is one of the most versatile reels on the market, perfect for bass, walleye, trout and countless other game fish.

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03/15/2024 06:08 pm GMT

With so many options out there, it can be difficult to choose which spinning reel is best for your needs. That’s why we’ve put together this guide with everything you need to know about buying a spinning reel under $100 – including what features are important, how much power they have, and which one you should buy based on your target species. So read on if you want to learn more about these great reels! And if after our mini-reviews, you still aren’t sure which one is right for your needs, then check out our buyer’s guide at the end. This is where we go into even greater detail about how to decide the best reel for your particular style!

Keep reading to see our top picks!

Our Pick
Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel is one of the most versatile reels on the market, perfect for bass, walleye, trout and countless other game fish.

Shop on Amazon
03/15/2024 06:08 pm GMT
Budget Pick
SHIMANO FX Spinning Fishing Reel

The Shimano FX Spinning Reel is an entry-level reel, no doubt about it, but it’s a good one. This is a solid reel for panfish, trout and bass fishing. 

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03/19/2024 05:35 pm GMT
Best for Panfish
DAIWA QG Ultralight Spinning Reel

The dainty Daiwa QC Ultralight Spinning Reel is just the right size for panfish anglers, including those who fish for crappie, bluegill and perch.

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03/15/2024 03:55 pm GMT
Kid's Pick
Ugly Stik Ugly Tuff Spinning Fishing Reel

Most kids start out using a spincasting reel, because these reels have a simple push-button design that makes them easier to use. But as kids get a little older and are ready to graduate to more advanced fishing techniques, the Ugly Stik Ugly Tuff Spinning Fishing Reel is a great first entry-level spinning reel for them to start out on. 

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03/15/2024 04:39 pm GMT
Combo Pick
Pflueger Trion Spinning Combo

There’s certainly something to be said for buying a spinning combo, as opposed to purchasing your rod and reel separately. For starters, you know you’re getting a rod and reel that are perfectly matched. You’re also likely to save some money.

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03/19/2024 01:26 pm GMT

Best Spinning Reels Under $100 Reviewed

Pflueger President Spinning Reel

The Pflueger President Spin Reel is a one-of-a-kind fishing companion, perfect for bass and trout alike. The lightweight construction of this product makes it light enough to cast all day long without worrying about the strain on your arm or back! It’s also corrosion-resistant, so you can take it into any body of water with confidence; no matter what type—fresh or saltwater fishing.

Pflueger has been designing and manufacturing fishing reels since 1916 and released their first spinning reel in 1954. These reels have been a favorite among fishermen for generations. These affordable and durable rigs offer many features to make fishing easier, including braid-ready spools that allow the braided line to be tied directly onto them without backing.

They make this fishing reel in several sizes, we tested out the PPS30 model! The PPS30 model uses stainless steel ball bearings that allowed for flawless casting.


  • Versatile
  • Braid ready spool
  • Sure-click bail
  • Corrosion-resistant and durable
  • Smooth drag system


  • Drag system is not strong enough for big game fish

Shimano FX Spinning Reel

One thing that you can always be sure of when it comes to Shimano reels is the quality. This popular manufacturer makes reels on both ends of the budget spectrum which gives anglers angles good options across the board no matter what your budget may look like! For those who want an excellent spinning reel at a more affordable price point, this Shimano fishing reel is for you!


  • Great value for the money
  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for smaller game fish
  • Stainless steel ball bearings


  • Not the most durable
  • A bit small

Daiwa QG Ultralight Spinning Reel

The Daiwa QC Ultralight Spinning Reel is a small, lightweight fishing reel perfect for panfish anglers. It’s light enough to not tire your arm out when reeling in those tricky little ones like crappie or bluegill! This rod is made with a minimal profile that will match most ultralight fishing rods it’s also great as an option when you want finesse presentations while bass fishing.

The QG Ultralight Spinning Reel has a wider spool than many of its counterparts, which aids in reducing line tangles. The aluminum bail arm is somewhat flimsy and less rigid than other parts but some customers have reported that after extended use so it should loosen up.


  • Perfect reel size for panfish and trout
  • Lightweight reel
  • Wider spool for fewer knots
  • Smooth casting with the right size line
  • The best bass spinning reel


  • Not as smooth of drag system as other reels
  • Issues with weak bail arm

Ugly Stik Ugly Tuff Spinning Fishing Reel

This Ugly Stik reel is a great first spinning reel for kids who are ready to graduate from spincasting reels. These tough reels are perfect for kids who want to take their fishing experience up a notch. They won’t get broken easily when trying to figure them out and provide a silky smooth casting experience.

If you don’t want to break the bank, this budget reel might be just what your little angler needs. Pair it up with one of our top-rated rods like the Ugly Stik GX2, and they’ll put a hurting on their next bass tournament.


  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Easy for kids to use
  • Versatile for most freshwater fishing
  • Quality drag system
  • Excellent value for the money


  • Heavy for its size
  • Lacks a reverse lock

Pflueger Trion Spinning Combo

You know you’re getting a rod and reel that are perfectly matched when buying the Pflueger Trion Spinning Combo which is backed with a Fenwick Eagle rod. You’ll also likely save money by purchasing it as opposed to just getting separate pieces, especially considering how affordable this combo is without skimping on quality!

This combo is great for everything from bait and bobber fishing to jigging. It’s available in sizes ranging from ultralight models to medium, which can be used when you want more casting distance. It’s well-balanced and casts just as well as any other combo on the market.


  • Convenient combo
  • Light and well balanced
  • Smooth casting and reeling
  • Sensitive graphite rod
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Affordable


  • None

Buyers Guide

We all want you to get the best value for your money. 

But it can be hard to know what you should look for when shopping around and which products will actually fit your needs.

This buyer’s guide breaks down everything you need to know about fishing reels so that you’ll never overpay again. So when going through our list of top spinning reels under $100, you can find out which one is best for your style of fishing.

What Are Spinning Reels Good For?

Spinning reels are perfect for just about any angler because of how versatile they are. You can cast finesse baits with a light line or use a bigger size with a 40 lb. braid for surf fishing.

Because of this versatility, spinning reels are a staple in any angler’s fishing gear. They can even be used to target a variety of fish species from both saltwater and freshwater!

With that being said, there are some factors you should consider before picking one up for yourself. That includes the size, gear ratio, and power.

What To Look For In A Spinning Reel?

There are a few different things you’ll want to look for before checking out our reviews. You’ll need to consider what your needs are going to be, as well as the size of the product and how it’s going to be used. 


You’ll want to determine what size spinning reel best fits your style. This is going to be dependent on a few factors, such as the type of fish you’re looking to target and the conditions you may face out on the water.

So with that being said, here are some things that will help you decide which size best suits your needs.

  • Bigger reels are best for bigger lines and lures, while smaller reels are best for finesse fishing with a low gear ratio.
  • Mid-sized reels fall in the middle of the spectrum and are best suited to match with most baits and techniques.
  • Lastly, you should consider how much power or strength your fishing reel has. The best thing to do is take a look at the rods you own and try to match them with the best spinning reel for under 100 dollars.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio determines how fast you can reel in the fishing line.

For example, a higher gear ratio will let you reel in more quickly than one with a lower ratio.

You’ll want to consider if you want the best spinning reel under 100 dollars for finesse fishing or speed fishing. Matching your speed to your rod is best.


Much like the gear ratio, you’ll want to match your power with your rod for optimal performance.

If you know the species you’ll be targeting, then this is best determined before buying one of these best spinning reels under 100 dollars.

Once you get all of this down, it will make it much easier to narrow down which best spinning reel under 100 dollars is best for you.

Weight & Balance

One thing to consider is how much weight you want your fishing reel to have. A lightweight spinning reel is easier for kids, women, and people who don’t want an arm workout just to go fishing.

However, this weight does come at a cost. A lighter spinning reel under 100 is going to be less powerful and harder to use for big fish. A lightweight spinning reel under 100 dollars is best for finesse fishing.

The best way to figure out the best balance for you is by trying them out. If you can, find a store that has a few different types and models, so you can see how they feel in your hands.


Another thing you’ll want to consider is what material the reel is made out of. Aluminum, graphite, and fiberglass are popular choices, but there are pros and cons to each, so make sure you pick one that’s best for your uses.

Aluminum reels will be best for bigger species of fish and more frequent use. They’re best because they’ll last a long time and don’t corrode as easily as other materials might.

Graphite is best for those who want a spinning reel under 100 dollars that performs best but don’t want to break the bank. This material is best for those who want a lightweight and durable spinning reel under $100.

Freshwater vs. Saltwater Fishing

Before you go out and make a purchase, you’ll want to know what type of fishing you’re going to be doing most often. If it’s saltwater, then your needs are going to be very different from if you’re just using it for freshwater applications.

The best saltwater spinning reel needs to be able to hold up against corrosion from the salty water. It is important to make sure you get one that has some type of rust protection on it.

It is also essential to make sure your saltwater spinning reel under $100 can cast further and reels smoother. This is because you’ll be fighting against the weight of the fishing line, which will slow down your saltwater spinning reel.

On the other hand, a freshwater spinning reel doesn’t need to be as strong and can come with different features such as extra ball bearings.

If you’re looking to use spinning reels for both saltwater and freshwater, make sure your spinning reel under 100 dollars has rust protection and is made of corrosion-resistant materials like aluminum or graphite.

Wrapping Up

Spinning reels are typically the most popular type of reel on the market for novice to expert anglers. When you have a quality product, it will literally pay for itself over time, so there isn’t much downside to investing in one.

This list of budget spinning reels is designed to help you find your perfect match, whether it be for saltwater or freshwater fishing. Although these are considered inexpensive spinning reels, they are still quality reels and dependable. If we missed one, let us know! We love hearing from our readers and will continue updating this list as we test more products.

For more information on reels, check out the pages below.

Captain Tyler Brady

Captain Tyler Brady

Hi, I'm Captain Tyler Brady, founder of A Fellow Fisherman. Thank you for reading this post and visiting my site. I strive to provide the best information when it comes to fishing, whether it is myself or A Fellow Fisherman that is part of my team. Now stop reading and GO fishing!

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