Best Saltwater Spinning Reels of 2020

If you’re on a quest to find the best saltwater spinning reels to complete your fishing gear, then you’ve reached your destination. Over the last few years fishing has evolved from being just a recreational activity. And this new and improved professional avatar of fishing needs all the proper tools to function smoothly. Of which reels are an important one. 

Reels empower the fishing rod to drag or fight large prey. Hence, making the retrieve cleaner and easier. However, there are different types of reels available for you to purchase depending on the kind of water you’re fishing in. Today, we’re going to talk about the best spinning reels there are for saltwater fishing. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Same or different?

This one is for all our first-timers and young anglers who are confused about which reel to use.

The first and clearest difference is ‘Size’. Saltwater reels tend to be bigger in size. They’re generally used to capture stronger and larger fishes lurking in the deep thus they have more powerful gears, unlike their freshwater counterparts.

The second major difference is a fascinating one. Saltwater reels are made of corrosion-resistant material whereas the material used to build freshwater reels doesn’t have that quality. They can withstand saltwater to a certain extent but eventually, they corrode. That’s why alloys and protective corrosion resistant coats are used to make special saltwater reels, which takes a long time to corrode. Think of it as an oven mitt, it’s there so the heat wouldn’t blister your hand.

Other than these two there exist loads of differences. For example, sealed bits. Some of the freshwater reels have them. But it’s mandatory for all of the saltwater reels to have sealed parts. Because if saltwater gets inside the reel it can corrode the gear, bearings, etc.

Price points also differ. Because of larger components and protective layers, saltwater reels cost way more than freshwater reels.

But the catch is that if you buy a freshwater reel just because it’s cheaper and uses it to fish in saltwater then it’s going to surrender itself to natural elements very soon. And then you’ll have to shell out double the money to buy a saltwater reel. So better spend a bit more and get a saltwater reel the first time.

How to find the best saltwater spinning reel 

Let’s face it, when it comes to reels there is plenty of fish in the sea. Literally. To catch one that fits your needs can take hours and hours of searching. Tired already? Don’t be. Stop yawning as we’ve already done your homework for you. All you need to do is go through this guide and choose the one that ticks all the boxes. No matter if you’re on a budget, have a preference – inshore or offshore or if you already have a special brand on your wish list, we have got you covered. Keep reading to find the top six best saltwater spinning reels.

Penn Clash

Best Saltwater Spinning Reels

The reason behind Penn clash occupying the number one spot in our list is that it’s an all-rounder. When it comes to fishing, Penn has been a trusted Institution since 1930. So expecting only the best from them is normal. And in the case of Penn clash, they’ve surpassed our expectations.

This one features a full metal body with gold and black gloss finish which makes it look like a piece of art. The side plates, bail, handle are all made of metal except the spool which is made of aluminum. The body is sealed so that salt wouldn’t be able to corrode the interior. The body is corrosion resistant as well giving it phenomenal durability. To top it all off Penn also offers a one year warranty for any broken or defective component!

The gear uses Computer Numerical Control ( CNC) technology to control contact between gears and give you a smooth experience. It has an 8+1 bearing system so that you can reel in any game smoothly irrespective of its size. The bearings also have the anti-reverse feature to stop any back play from happening.

The anodized aluminum spool and the revolutionary Leveline Oscillation system which keeps the line steady, make this a machine of precision.

Other than these amazing features this beautiful piece of machinery also sports the HT-100 drag system ( HT stands for high tech) and adjustable ergonomic EVA grips which make it work like a charm.

The cost is somewhat affordable. So if you’re not on a budget we strongly suggest purchasing this one.


  • Full metal body
  • Carbon fiber drag system
  • Sealed body 
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Anti-reverse
  • Oscillation system
  • EVA grips 


  • No ultralight version
  • Some parts are an easy target for saltwater
  • A bit on the heavier side

Penn Battle II Fishing Saltwater Spinning Reel

Our second choice is from Penn as well, no surprises there. Like it’s predecessor this one also features a full metal body with glossy back and gold finish, rotor, side plate, and five sealed stainless steel ball bearings to prevent the entry of sand and water. It goes without saying that this is also corrosion-resistant.

The full tough metal body makes it a bit heavy but it performs impressively under high-pressure conditions without getting bent or warped thus enabling the fishermen to go after big games.

It also has the same high-tech 100 carbon fiber drag system making the retrieval as smooth as it can be without taking away any power. The instant anti-reverse prevents any back play from happening which makes casting seem like a child’s play.

It also has one unique feature called the Superline Spool, which basically serves as an alarm clock for lazy fishermen like us. The capacity rings remind the handler to check and reload the spool before going fishing so that they will not waste their time.

The low price point is also a big plus point here. This costs less than a hundred dollars. So if you don’t want to empty your pockets but still want a nice reel this is the one for you.


  • Impressive durability
  • Full metallic body
  • Superline spool
  • Anti-reverse


  • Heavier than others
  • Not entirely sealed

Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel


Pflueger’s President reels have a reputation of being ultralight yet very sturdy. That’s what makes them a popular choice in the fishing community.

This particular model sports a body and rotor made of graphite, which makes it super lightweight without taking away any of its durability. Lightweight models are a joy to use as they put minimum pressure on your hands.

The talk about hands reminds me that the handles are ergonomic. So, you can be extra comfortable and precise while casting. The material used to make the handle is aircraft-grade so longevity is a non-issue.  They’re also corrosion-resistant and rustproof.

It has 10 ball bearing systems which are corrosion resistance. They’re made of stainless steel, so they’re extremely durable as well.

The drag system is sealed and very powerful. Add that to the gear ratio and the high-quality ball bearings, and the president delivers an experience like none other.


  • Lightweight yet extremely durable
  • Affordable price
  • Braid ready 
  • Easy to handle
  • Ergonomically designed handle
  • Sealed drag system
  • One year warranty


  • There have been occurrences of line tangling.

Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel


The geniuses at Daiwa are known for making lean, mean, fishing machines. The Black Gold reel is one of their champions. It comes fully furnished with aluminum body and side covers which provide it immense strength. To protect the body that looks like a work of art Daiwa has covered it with a black anodized body cover.

This reel is versatile as it can be used for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. It’s available in an array of sizes and when fitted with an ultralight set up doesn’t stand out.

When it comes to Daiwa i like to say that the rotors are on a diet as they weigh 15 percent less than your ordinary rotors. But that in no way makes them unhealthy. This loss of weight is caused because of its unique shape which helps to distribute the load more evenly to avail maximum strength.

BG also features a 7 bearing drive system which comprises six regular ball bearings and one roller bearing. These make operating the reel much smoother.

And last but not least, it sports infinite anti-reverse which nips any back play in the bud.

Even though it has so many awesome features BG is still very affordable, so if this fulfills all your requirements then please go for it!


  • Ultralight
  • Versatile
  • Machined aluminum body
  • Lighter rotor
  • Infinite anti-reverse


  • No superline spool

KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel 

The first thing about this reel that drew me in was the price. It costs about fifty bucks. And what is really astonishing is that it has so many amazing features packed into a reel as light as nine ounces.

The people at KastKing aim to inject as much fun as they can into your fishing experience and with this ring I think they’ve succeeded.

The body and rotor of this reel are built with the graphite that has been reinforced with a high percentage of fiber. Hence the lightness. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not sturdy. Mix the high percentage fiber with its triple disc carbon fiber drag, and you’ll get up to 39.5LBs drag power. I would say that’s pretty amazing for a reel so small.

It is also sealed with KastKing’s unique protective gear called K.I.S.S. (KastKing Intrusion Shield System) to keep away dirt and sand from the interior. It has a variety of sizes available so you can pick the one that suits your needs.

In spite of having so much power, the spool is very quiet in its execution. It also provides you with a very smooth retrieve no matter how big the game is. To top it all off it’s waterproof and it has 10+1 corrosion resistant ball bearings and instant lock anti-reverse switch. Don’t forget the EVA handles. In my opinion, this is as close to perfect as we’re going to get.


  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • K.I.S.S protection
  • Anti-reverse
  • Variety of sizes 
  • Corrosion-free body 


  • Slow gear ratio
  • Line retrieval could be smoother

Shimano Baitrunner OC

Shimano has been a go-to brand for fishermen for a while now. Their reputation precedes them. So Baitrunner OC is no exception. This reel features a monochromatic metal body and has S A-RB bearings, which have shields on both sides blocking the entryway for any particles of sand or drop of water.

It has a new unique feature called Dyna balance that during retrieve clears all the swaying by countervailing the rotor thus neutralizing any disturbances and paving a clear path for a smooth retrieve.

It also features an aluminum spool that provides it with brute force and durability while struggling with a particularly big game. There’s also the Leveline oscillation system which doesn’t let the line twist or tangle.

For me, the most interesting thing about this reel was the rear clicker system that allows your bait to run wild until a fish catches it. After that, you can let the fish swallow it better or you can deploy the drag system and let the fish come to you. This clicker is adjustable and has a loud clicking sound to alert the fishermen.


  • Durable design
  • Corrosion proof stainless steel ball bearings
  • Rear clicker system 
  • Leveline oscillation


  • The reel is a bit heavy 
  • Needs regular maintenance

What is this article a-boat anyway?

So this article is your cheat sheet for when you’re going to go fishing. Now you’ll know what to buy and where to find it. Having the right gear at your disposal can make or break a day. I hope you have a good one out there. Thank you for reading. Stay salty!

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