10 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels (High-Performance & Durable)

Best Saltwater Spinning Reel

The saltwater spinning reel is a special type of fishing reel with a sealed spool that combines ease-of-use, high performance, and smoothness that makes it a very comfortable and efficient spinning reel.

Due to the large spool size of this reel, it is an excellent combination when paired with a long distance fishing rod like a surf rod.

Additionally, the saltwater spinning reel usually contains a heavy-duty drag system that is very smooth as well as a high maximum drag that makes it ideal for big-game saltwater fishing.

If you are fresh on the market for a quality reel, we have exactly what you need! We hand-picked some of the best saltwater spinning reels below and give you our impressions.

Let's find out how they perform!

Product Name

Material

Weight

Gear ratio

Rating

Current Price

1. Penn Spinfisher V Saltwater Spinning Reel 

Aluminum

14.4 oz

4.2:1 to 6.2:1

4.4

2. Kastking Kodiak Saltwater Spinning Reel 

Aluminum

11.2 oz

5.1:1

4.4

3. SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel 

Aluminum

N/A

N/A

4.4

4. Burning Shark Light and Smooth Spinning Reel 

Metal

8.2 oz to 15.5 oz

5.2:1

4.3

5. Shimano Stradic Spinning Reel Front Drag 

Aluminum

3.52 oz

N/A

4.3

6. Shimano Stella Saltwater Spinning Reel 

Aluminum

15.3 oz

5.7:1

4.1

7. HaiBo Saltwater Spinning Reel With Corrosion Resistant

Aluminum

N/A

4.9:1

4.9

8. Okuma Trio High-Speed Saltwater Spinning Reel

Aluminum

13.6 oz

N/A

3.8

9. Daiwa Opus Saltwater Spinning Reel 

N/A

 20.1 oz

4.6:1

3.5

10. Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Spinning Reel 

Aluminum

7 oz to 17.6 oz

N/A

3.5

1. Penn Spinfisher V Saltwater Spinning Reel 

Penn Spinfisher V Saltwater Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: 20 lbs to 40 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 4.2:1 to 6.2:1
  • Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum

The Penn Spinfisher V has different reel styles and sizes to suit different needs and purposes. This is a heavy-duty saltwater spinning reel that has a sealed spool and an aluminum build construction for durability.

Furthermore, the metal bail is heavy-duty and depending on the model you get, it has a high gear ratio that varies from 4.2:1 to 6.2:1. This fairly high gear ratio allows you to quickly and easily retrieve a long fishing line in less time.

The handle itself is quite large and ergonomic that promotes comfort and reduces hand fatigue, making this saltwater reel ideal for long-term usage.

Pros:

  • High-quality aluminum build construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • Braking adjustment knob is found right at the front of the reel and easy to adjust
  • Heavy-duty metal bail and high gear ratio. It can retrieve a long fishing line quickly
  • Versatile. Can accept both monofilament and braid lines

Cons:

  • None

2. Kastking Kodiak Saltwater Spinning Reel 

Kastking Kodiak Saltwater Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: 39.5 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 5.1:1
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum

Kastking is one of the leaders in the fishing industry. They are known to make very high-quality fishing accessories, including fishing reels.

This Kastking Kodiak saltwater spinning reel is no different. It is a high-quality reel that is exceptionally smooth due to its 11 stainless steel ball bearing system.

Moreover, its gear ratio of 5.1:1 is a little bit higher than other models in this review. Therefore, this Kodiak spinning reel is faster at retrieving a long line when compared to other models.

Pros:

  • Good overall build quality. Durable and long-lasting
  • Large maximum drag of 39.5 lbs. A high performer when it comes to big game fishing
  • High gear ratio of 5.1:1. Faster to retrieve a long line
  • 11 ball bearing system for an enhanced and smooth drag

Cons:

  • It could have been a little bit cheaper

3. SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel 

SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: 33 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: N/A
  • Weight: N/A
  • Material: Aluminum

Not everyone has a couple hundred dollars to spend on a saltwater spinning reel. This is where models like the SeaKnight Rapid come into action.

This model is one of the best budget saltwater spinning reels on the market. Despite its relatively low price, it still has decent features that you normally find in more expensive saltwater fishing reels.

For one, it has a very fast gear ratio of 6.2:1 which makes it retrieve a long line extremely quickly. In fact, this SeaKnight model is one of the fastest reels in this review despite its highly affordable pricing.

Moreover, the handle is large and ergonomic. It has a smooth drag system with no less than 11 ball bearings for maximum efficiency. Lastly, the aluminum shell craftsmanship is excellent and makes this reel elegant, durable and long-lasting.

Pros:

  • Large gear ratio of 6.2:1. One of the fastest saltwater spinning reels in this review
  • Carbon fiber discs and 11 ball bearings for a smooth drag and retrieve system
  • Easy to use braking system right at the front of the spool

Cons:

  • Build quality is not the best. Not as durable and long-lasting when compared to other models

4. Burning Shark Light and Smooth Spinning Reel 

Burning Shark Light and Smooth Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: N/A
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Weight: 8.2 ounces to 15.5 ounces
  • Material: Metal

The Burning Shark is another king when it comes to budget saltwater spinning reels. There are no less than 7 different sizes to choose from in this product.

They are all high quality and made from aluminum for durability. Moreover, all models have a carbon fiber discs system as well as a 13 ball bearings that make the drag, brake system and retrieve system quite smooth.

You will not say that this is a budget saltwater spinning reel from the feel of it. Even if the gear ratio of 5.2:1 is not the highest, it is still very decent as it is able to retrieve a long fishing line quite fast.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • Decent build construction for the price. Excellent price to performance ratio
  • Carbon fiber discs and no less than 13 ball bearings for a smooth user experience
  • Decent gear ratio of 5.2:1 makes this saltwater fishing reel quite fast

Cons:

  • The handle knob is not very sturdy. However, it can easily be fixed with some glue.

5. Shimano Stradic Spinning Reel Front Drag 

Shimano Stradic Spinning Reel Front Drag
  • Max Drag: N/A
  • Gear Ratio: N/A
  • Weight: 3.52 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum

The Shimano Stradic is regarded as one of the world's best saltwater spinning reel. This reputation does not come easy, as this Shimano spinning reel amply deserves it.

For one, it has the best build construction we have seen in a spinning reel. It is made from a special CI4 material that is known to be 250% stronger than conventional aluminum. Needless to say, it is very durable and long-lasting as well.

Moreover, it employs sophisticated technologies like Fluidrive II and Dyna-Balance that makes operating this reel very smooth and efficient. This is clearly a professional saltwater spinning reel.

Pros:

  • Professional saltwater spinning reel for maximum efficiency
  • Technologies like Dyna-Balance, Fluidrive II, and Super Stopper II makes it a high-performance spinning reel
  • Spool can accept braid lines and can also be easily re-spooled

Cons:

  • The price. It is an expensive saltwater spinning reel

6. Shimano Stella Saltwater Spinning Reel 

Shimano Stella Saltwater Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: 29 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 5.7:1
  • Weight: 15.3 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum

The Shimano Stella is even more expensive than the Shimano Stradic we have reviewed above. Rightfully so, this model is a more heavy-duty saltwater spinning reel that is a specialist at big game fishing.

One feature that demarks the Stella spinning reel from others is its quick reverse mechanism that allows you to quickly change the retrieval system direction with the push of a button.

Moreover, its max drag of 29 lbs shows that this reel is sensitive and a good match for all types of fish sizes. Furthermore, with its high gear ratio of 5.7:1, you will have no problem reeling a long fishing line quickly.

Pros:

  • Premium build quality. Very durable and long-lasting
  • Quick reverse system for more ease of use when retrieving
  • Sensitive reel with a max drag of 29 lbs. Excellent for fishes of all sizes

Cons:

  • Very expensive. Outside the budget of most people

7. HaiBo Saltwater Spinning Reel With Corrosion Resistant 

HaiBo Saltwater Spinning Reel With Corrosion Resistant
  • Max Drag: 61.7 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 4.9:1
  • Weight: N/A
  • Material: Aluminum

The HaiBo is a saltwater spinning reel that has an excellent price to performance ratio. This model comes in different sizes to fit individual needs.

Moreover, the HaiBo has one of the highest max drag of 61.7 lbs we have found in this review. With this value, this saltwater spinning reel is a good model for big game fishing only as it lacks the sensitivity for smaller fish.

In terms of comfort, this HaiBo saltwater spinning reel has no less than 11 carbon fiber discs that make the drag and retrieve system work smoothly.

Furthermore, the spool is fully sealed so as to protect the inner parts from saltwater corrosion.

Pros:

  • High maximum drag of 61.7 lbs. An excellent saltwater reel for big game fishes
  • Very smooth drag and retrieve system
  • 100% watertight spool

Cons:

  • Not the best saltwater fishing reel for small inshore fishes

8. Okuma Trio High-Speed Saltwater Spinning Reel 

Okuma Trio High-Speed Saltwater Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: N/A
  • Gear Ratio: N/A
  • Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum

As its name suggests, the Okuma Trio comes in 3 different models for more flexibility.

One department where this saltwater spinning reel shines is the price. Indeed, it is one of the most affordable spinning reel solutions you will find in this review. It still has very decent features for the money.

For one, it uses a precision dual force drag system (DFD) that regulates the drag pressure on the fly and provide you with a very smooth drag and retrieve.

Moreover, the handle in all 3 models is large and ergonomic making it more comfortable to use, especially for those who use their reels for an extended period.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • Uses a precision dual force drag system for maximum efficiency and smoothness
  • Comes in 3 different models for flexibility

Cons:

  • Not 100% watertight. Saltwater can still get inside the spool and cause corrosion

9. Daiwa Opus Saltwater Spinning Reel 

Daiwa Opus Saltwater Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: 33 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 4.6:1
  • Weight: 20.1 ounces
  • Material: N/A

The Daiwa Opus is an excellent general purpose saltwater spinning reel that has an attractive price. It comes in 4 different models that have different spool sizes depending on your need.

Moreover, the gear ratio of 4.6:1 is quite slow when compared to other top-rated saltwater spinning reels we have reviewed so far. However, it is still a decent speed, especially for casual use.

With its max drag of 33 lbs, this spinning reel offers good sensitivity for small to medium size fishes making it an ideal inshore saltwater spinning reel.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective saltwater spinning reel
  • Smooth drag and retrieve system
  • Large and ergonomic handle that prevents hand fatigue

Cons:

  • The spool size is smaller than advertised
  • Build construction not as durable as other models

10. Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Spinning Reel 

Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: N/A
  • Gear Ratio: N/A
  • Weight: 7 ounces to 17.6 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum

The Revo from Abu Garcia is a series of semi-professional saltwater fishing reels that have a lot of offer. They have an excellent aluminum build construction for durability. This model will definitely last a long time.

Further, the drag system has efficient carbon fiber discs and 6 stainless steel ball bearings that make both the drag and retrieval system smooth.

The spool is sealed and 100% watertight which prevents seawater from entering the innards and causing damage. As for the handle, it is large and produces good action power.

Overall, this inshore saltwater fishing reel is geared towards comfort and provides an excellent user experience. Especially for those who use their spinning reels for an extended period

Pros:

  • 100% watertight spool. Saltwater cannot get in
  • Carbon fiber discs and 6 stainless ball bearings for a smooth drag system
  • Semi-professional spinning reel. Smooth and heavy-duty
  • Flexible. Comes in different sizes to suit different needs

Cons:

  • The price. It is an expensive saltwater fishing reel

How to Buy a Saltwater Spinning Reel

How to Buy a Saltwater Spinning Reel

Before you can find the best saltwater spinning reel, there are some important factors to take into account. Here are the most important ones:

1. Type of material

The type of material used in the build construction of the saltwater spinning reel will eventually dictate its durability and how long the reel lasts.

If you want to get the maximum bang for your buck when purchasing a saltwater spinning reel, look for those build construction materials. Aluminum for the spool casing, carbon fiber for the drag system and stainless steel for the ball bearings.

These materials will not corrode when in contact with saltwater and literally guarantee that your saltwater spinning reel is durable and long-lasting. Additionally, it will not lose its performance over time.

2. Gear ratio

The gear ratio in a saltwater spinning reel is essentially the speed of the reel. The higher the gear ratio, the faster you can retrieve your fishing line. Basically, it is a number that denotes how many times the spinning reel turns with one turn of the handle.

For example, a gear ratio like 6.0:1 shows that the spinning reel turns 6 times when the handle is turned on 1 time.

However, choosing the gear ratio is not black and white. It will depend mostly on your use and purpose.

If you are long distance casting with your saltwater spinning reel, then it makes sense to choose a model that has a fast gear ratio.

On the other hand, for casual and smalltime fishing you can save some money and choose a model with a lower gear ratio.

3. Drag

The drag is the amount of force necessary on the fishing line so that it starts engaging the spool of the saltwater reel. The higher the drag, the more force is required on the line. Therefore, a reel with a high maximum drag value is more suitable for big game fishing than a smaller one.

4. Ball Bearing System

Inside the spool is a ball bearing mechanism that is responsible for providing a smooth drag. As a general rule, the more ball bearings present inside the spool, the smoother the drag.

However, there are high-quality saltwater spinning reels that have a low ball bearing count and still offer a very smooth drag.

In addition to the ball bearings, ensure that your chose saltwater reel has carbon fiber discs for a more enhanced and smoother drag and retrieval system, Most of the time, the carbon fiber discs and the ball bearing system work hand in hand to provide a better user-experience when using the reel.

5. Handle

The handle is the most important part of the saltwater spinning reel. You must ensure that it is sufficiently large and ergonomic so as not to cause hand fatigue.

6. Spool Size

Since the saltwater spinning reel is a fishing reel that was designed to be used in the marine open, it needs to have a sufficiently long fishing line for long distance casting.

Most of the time, the amount of fishing line that a fishing reel can contain can quickly be judged by looking at the size of the spool. Obviously, the larger the spool then the more fishing line the latter can contain.

Moreover, when choosing a saltwater spinning reel you must make sure that your desired model is able to accept not only a monofilament fishing line but also braid lines for more versatility. Additionally, ensure that it can quickly and easily be re-spooled as well.

7. Sealed Spool

Technically, it is the spool that decides whether the spinning reel is made for freshwater or saltwater use. A spinning reel that has a "sealed spool" is watertight and thus not be in direct contact with water. This makes it ideal as a saltwater spinning reel because the inner parts will not corrode over time.

In addition, a saltwater spinning reel with a sealed spool is way more versatile than a freshwater one as it can be used in both freshwater and saltwater.

The contrary is not true as a normal freshwater spinning reel cannot be used in saltwater.

Conclusion

As we have seen, the saltwater spinning reel is a special type of fishing reel that has a sealed spool to prevent saltwater from entering and corroding its inner parts.

This type of fishing reel is not the cheapest, as a top-rated saltwater spinning reel can easily cost a couple hundred bucks.

However, despite its high price, this is a very durable and long-lasting reel that delivers excellent performance. Especially when used for big game fishing in the marine open.

If you have still not found a good saltwater model for the money, we recommend that you go through our saltwater spinning review one more time.

Mark Taylor