Fishing

The 10 Best Spincast Reels of 2021

Best Spincast Reels

Photo: Zebco

Spincast reels have been traditionally associated with kids or beginners because they are placed above the rod, which makes casting easy. They also have a button or trigger mechanism for releasing the line and this further simplifies the casting process.

That said, these units have evolved with time to become very effective and efficient. For instance, their felt disk friction drag system captures the line between felt and metal disks for easy resistance control.

If you want one of these, we have listed 10 of the best spincast reels in the market. Read through and take your pick.

10 Best Spincast Reels – Review

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Zebco 33 Platinum

1. Zebco 33 Platinum (Best Overall)

  • High-speed retrieval system
  • 5-bearing system plus a GlideLine ball bearing
  • Instant anti-reverse
KastKing Brutus

2. KastKing Brutus (Best Budget)

  • Reasonably priced
  • High-speed 4.0:1 gear ratio
  • 5 stainless-steel double-shielded ball bearings
Zebco Omega Pro

3. Zebco Omega Pro (Best High-Performance)

  • 7 bearings (6BB + clutch) for smooth retrieval
  • Triple-cam dial-adjustable disk drag
  • Durable construction
Zebco 202

4. Zebco 202 (Best Ultralight)

  • Lightweight (6.2 oz.)
  • Durable all-metal gears
  • Dial-adjustable drag system
Zebco 33 Max

5. Zebco 33 Max (Best Pre-Spooled)

  • Pre-spooled with a 20-lb Zebco Cajun line
  • Bite-alert feature
  • Microfine dial-adjustable drag system
Zebco Omega

6. Zebco Omega (Smooth Running)

  • 7-bearing system (6BB + clutch)
  • Sturdy all-metal gears & solid-brass pinion gear
  • Comfortable soft-touch thumb-button
Abu Garcia Abumatic 170

7. Abu Garcia Abumatic 170 (Easy-to-Control)

  • Highly effective carbon matrix drag system
  • 4 ball bearings for smooth retrieving
  • Instant anti-reverse
Daiwa Spincast 80

8. Daiwa Spincast 80 (High-Speed)

  • Fast retrieval 4.3:1 gear ratio
  • Oversized line aperture
  • Smooth disk drag system
Pflueger President

9. Pflueger President (Durable)

  • Dual wear-resistant titanium pick-up pins
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum handle
  • Machined aluminum front cone
Pflueger Trion

10. Pflueger Trion (With a Bait Clicker)

  • Bait click alert
  • Two wear-resistant titanium pick-up pins
  • Sturdy aluminum handle & cone

PRODUCT

1. Zebco 33 Platinum

(Best Overall)

Zebco 33 Platinum
  • High-speed retrieval system
  • 5-bearing system plus a GlideLine ball bearing
  • Instant anti-reverse

2. KastKing Brutus

(Best Budget)

KastKing Brutus
  • Reasonably priced
  • High-speed 4.0:1 gear ratio
  • 5 stainless-steel double-shielded ball bearings

3. Zebco Omega Pro

(Best High-Performance)

Zebco Omega Pro
  • 7 bearings (6BB + clutch) for smooth retrieval
  • Triple-cam dial-adjustable disk drag
  • Durable construction

4. Zebco 202

(Best Ultralight)

Zebco 202
  • Lightweight (6.2 oz.)
  • Durable all-metal gears
  • Dial-adjustable drag system

5. Zebco 33 Max

(Best Pre-Spooled)

Zebco 33 Max
  • Pre-spooled with a 20-lb Zebco Cajun line
  • Bite-alert feature
  • Microfine dial-adjustable drag system

6. Zebco Omega

(Smooth Running)

Zebco Omega
  • 7-bearing system (6BB + clutch)
  • Sturdy all-metal gears & solid-brass pinion gear
  • Comfortable soft-touch thumb-button

7. Abu Garcia Abumatic 170

(Easy-to-Control)

Abu Garcia Abumatic 170
  • Highly effective carbon matrix drag system
  • 4 ball bearings for smooth retrieving
  • Instant anti-reverse

8. Daiwa Spincast 80

(High-Speed)

Daiwa Spincast 80
  • Fast retrieval 4.3:1 gear ratio
  • Oversized line aperture
  • Smooth disk drag system

9. Pflueger President

(Durable)

Pflueger President
  • Dual wear-resistant titanium pick-up pins
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum handle
  • Machined aluminum front cone

10. Pflueger Trion

(With a Bait Clicker)

Pflueger Trion
  • Bait click alert
  • Two wear-resistant titanium pick-up pins
  • Sturdy aluminum handle & cone

1. Best Overall Spincast Reel: Zebco 33 Platinum

Zebco 33 Platinum

Photo: Zebco

  • Gear Ratio: 4.7:1
  • Material: All Metal
  • Reel Size: 10C

In our spincast reel review, the Zebco 33 Platinum is the best overall because it has a high-speed retrieval system, multiple bearings, and a durable design. The retrieval system has a 4.7:1 gear ratio, which gives you a fast pickup of 26 inches per turn.

Coupled with a 5-bearing system plus a GlideLine ball bearing, this ensures smooth, fast, and efficient line retrieval. One of these bearings is for the clutch system, which has an instant anti-reverse feature to prevent the line from rolling out as you set the hook or reel in your catch.

Other than that, the reel has a sturdy all-metal construction on the gears (including a solid brass-pinion gear), body, and covers.

You also get a 120-yard/10-lb mono-line capacity, a pre-spooled 10-lb Zebco Cajun line, dial-adjustable drag, two ceramic pickup pins for grabbing the line quickly, a patented tangle-free spool design, a rear thumb button, and an ambidextrous handle for left or right-hand use.

The only issue is that the ceramic pins are not as durable as metal ones. However, Zebco has been in existence since 1954 and they have constantly improved their products over time.

Therefore, you can be assured of the reel’s quality plus it comes with a 1-year warranty to cover against any defects in material and/or workmanship.

Pros:

  • High-speed retrieval system
  • Smooth 5-bearing system plus a GlideLine ball bearing
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • Sturdy all-metal construction
  • Tangle-free spool design

Cons:

  • The ceramic pins are not very durable

2. Best Budget Spincast Reel: KastKing Brutus

KastKing Brutus

Photo: KastKing

  • Gear Ratio: 4.0:1
  • Material: Graphite
  • Weight: 9.88 oz.

This spincast reel gives you a high-speed retrieval system and a durable design at a bargain. The retrieval system has a high-speed 4.0:1 gear ratio that enables you to reel in the line faster to save time between casting.

To help these high-speed gears run smoothly, the reel is equipped with 5 stainless-steel ball bearings. The bearings are double shielded to prevent dirt/debris from getting in to cause wear and tear.

A dual pickup system with stainless steel pins enables the reel to pick up the line quickly to roll it around the zinc-alloy spool.

Other features include a large graphite thumb bar for easy casting, 11 lbs. of single-finger-controlled drag, instant anti-reverse for quick hook setting, an aluminum honeycomb-lattice front cone, and a reversible left- or right-hand retrieval system.  

The unit is also pre-spooled with a premium 160-yard 10-lb mono line. However, it has a graphite frame that is not very sturdy. This might flex and misalign the gears if you are fighting heavy fish.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • High-speed 4.0:1 gear ratio
  • 5 stainless-steel double-shielded ball bearings
  • Dual stainless-steel pickup pins
  • Aesthetic aluminum honeycomb-lattice front cone

Cons:

  • The graphite frame is not very durable

3. Best High-Performance Spincast Reel: Zebco Omega Pro

Zebco Omega Pro

Photo: Zebco

  • Gear Ratio: 3.4:1
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Reel Size: 30
  • Weight: 10.6 oz.

A smooth retrieval system and a highly effective drag system make this Omega Pro the best high-performance unit. For the former, it is fitted with 7 bearings (6BB + clutch) that give you a very easy time. These also enhance the reel’s durability.

The drag system is a triple cam type and it is easily adjustable via a dial to control the line tension as you fight the fish.

Other than that, the unit has a durable construction that consists of all-metal gears, a solid brass pinion gear, an anodized aluminum spinnerhead, an aluminum helical-cut worm gear drive, and machined aluminum covers to wrap everything up.

More features are instant anti-reverse for quick hook setting, a comfortable soft-touch thumb button for easy casting, and an oscillating quick-change spool. There are also 3 ceramic pick-up pins and a left/right interchangeable retrieval system.

Though expensive, these features make this the best spincast reel for the money.

Pros:

  • 7 bearings (6BB + clutch) for smooth retrieval
  • Triple-cam dial-adjustable disk drag
  • Durable construction
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • Oscillating quick-change spool

Cons:

  • Expensive

4. Best Ultralight Spincast Reel: Zebco 202

Zebco 202

Photo: Zebco

  • Gear Ratio: 2.8:1
  • Material: All Metal
  • Weight: 6.2 oz.

Coming in at only 6.2 oz., Zebco’s 202 is very lightweight. This makes it ideal for long hunting days because it minimizes hand fatigue. Despite this, the reel is solidly built because it has all-metal gears inside.

A durable stainless-steel pick-up pin is built in to grab the line during retrieval. You also get a dial-adjustable drag to adjust the line’s tension as you set the hook. This is complemented by quickset anti-reverse, which lets you set the hook quickly.

More features include a built-in hook keeper and a patented tangle-free design on the spool. However, the product is not ambidextrous and it has a slow retrieval system due to its 2.8:1 gear ratio. On the bright side, it is very affordable.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Durable all-metal gears
  • Dial-adjustable drag system
  • Quickset anti-reverse system
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Slow retrieval system
  • Only designed for right-hand use

5. Best Pre-Spooled Spincast Reel: Zebco 33 Max

Zebco 33 Max

Photo: Zebco

  • Gear Ratio: 2.6:1
  • Material: Stainless Steel

Most spincast reels are pre-spooled with 10-lb lines but Zebco’s 33 Max comes with a stronger 20-lb Zebco Cajun line that is ideal for catching large, heavy fish like catfish and striped bass. Its spool has a 100-yard capacity for 20-lb monolines.

A push-button is built-in at the rear end to simplify casting while a bite-alert feature notifies you via a click sound when a fish takes your bait. This can be switched on or off, depending on your preference.

Dual ceramic pick-up pins are used to grab the line quickly then pass it to the patented tangle-free-designed spool. Line tension is adjustable via a microfine dial-adjustable drag system, which makes very small and precise adjustments.

Other features are durable all-metal gears, an ambidextrous retrieval system that lets you test which hand you are comfortable casting with, and durable stainless-steel covers.

On the downside, the reel has a slow retrieval system due to its 2.6:1 gear ratio. It also has a single ball bearing, which negatively affects the smoothness of the retrieval system.

Pros:

  • Pre-spooled with a 20-lb Zebco Cajun line
  • Bite-alert feature
  • Microfine dial-adjustable drag system
  • Durable all-metal gears
  • Ambidextrous retrieval system

Cons:

  • Slow retrieval system
  • Only has a single bearing

6. Smooth Running Spincast Reel: Zebco Omega

Zebco Omega

Photo: Zebco

  • Gear Ratio: 2.9:1
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Reel Size: 30
  • Weight: 13 oz.

Zebco’s Omega has a 7-bearing system (6BB + clutch) that ensures it runs smoothly so that the premium internal components can last for years. These internal parts comprise sturdy all-metal gears plus a solid-brass pinion gear.

The reel has a comfortable soft-touch thumb-button design that makes it very easy to cast the line. You also get a double handle that is changeable for left or right hand retrieve.

Once cast, a dial-adjustable triple-cam disk drag system lets you adjust the line’s tension as you reel in the fish. There is also an instant anti-reverse clutch that comes in very handy when setting the hook. 3 ceramic pick-up pins on the rotor ensure the line is grabbed quickly when reeling in.

The unit comes pre-spooled with a 10-lb Zebco Cajun line but it is quite expensive and heavy.

Pros:

  • 7-bearing system (6BB + clutch)
  • Sturdy all-metal gears plus a solid-brass pinion gear
  • Comfortable soft-touch thumb-button
  • Instant anti-reverse clutch
  • 3 pick-up pins

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Quite expensive

7. Easy-to-Control Spincast Reel: Abu Garcia Abumatic 170

Abu Garcia Abumatic 170

Photo: Abu Garcia

  • Gear Ratio: 3.9:1
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 9 oz.

A highly effective carbon matrix drag system in this reel gives you smooth and consistent performance when it comes to line tensioning. This makes it easy to control. The system has carbon matrix washers that give a high drag pressure to give this impressive performance.

Aside from that, the reel has 4 ball bearings for smooth retrieving plus an instant anti-reverse clutch bearing to eliminate back play.

The unit comes pre-spooled with a Berkley Trilene XL line and its gear ratio of 3.9:1 gives you a retrieval of 25 IPT, which is quite fast. All these mechanisms are enclosed in a diecast and machined aluminum body plus front cone.

On the downside, this product does not have a changeable left- or right-hand retrieval system.

Pros:

  • Highly effective carbon matrix drag system
  • 4 ball bearings for smooth retrieving
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • Fast retrieval (25 IPT)
  • Diecast and machined aluminum body/front cone

Cons:

  • Not ambidextrous

8. High-Speed Spincast Reel: Daiwa Spincast 80

Daiwa Spincast 80

Photo: Daiwa

  • Gear Ratio: 4.3:1
  • Weight: 8.8 oz.

With its 4.3:1 gear ratio, Daiwa’s Spincast 80 has a fast retrieval of 56 cm/rev, which is about 22 IPT. This enables you to pull the line faster to save time between casting. The line aperture is oversized and this helps to enhance optimum performance when casting or reeling.

A smooth disk drag system is built-in for line tensioning and this has a dial for adjusting the tension.

You also get a soft-touch handle knob for comfortable cranking with firm gripping while 3 ball bearings ensure the internal mechanisms run smoothly. A rigid aluminum alloy construction holds all these features firmly in place for long-lasting use.

The only problem is that the unit does not have a changeable handle for left- or right-hand use.

Pros:

  • Fast retrieval 4.3:1 gear ratio
  • Oversized line aperture for optimum performance
  • Smooth disk drag system
  • Comfortable soft-touch handle knob
  • Rigid aluminum alloy construction

Cons:

  • Not ambidextrous

9. Durable Spincast Reel: Pflueger President

Pflueger President

Photo: Pflueger

  • Gear Ratio: 3.4:1
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Reel Size: 10
  • Weight: 11.2 oz.

The Pflueger President features dual wear-resistant titanium pick-up pins that are very durable. It also has an aircraft-grade aluminum handle and a machined aluminum front cone, which combine to form a robust product that lasts a long time.

A soft-touch rubber knob gives you a comfortable holding point when casting while 5 ball bearings smoothen the operations inside. This is enhanced by the durable aluminum construction, which holds all the gears in precise alignment for smooth spinning.

Other features include instant anti-reverse for quick hook setting, a thumb-adjustable disk drag system for smooth fish fighting power, and a 3.4:1 gear ratio that retrieves 14.5 inches per handle turn. The only problem is that the unit is quite heavy.

Pros:

  • Dual wear-resistant titanium pick-up pins
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum handle
  • Machined aluminum front cone
  • 5 ball bearings for smooth running
  • Instant anti-reverse

Cons:

  • Quite heavy

10. Spincast Reel with a Bait Clicker: Pflueger Trion

Pflueger Trion

Photo: Pflueger

  • Gear Ratio: 3.8:1
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Reel Size: 10U
  • Weight: 10 oz.

When a fish takes your bait, the Trion has an alert feature that lets you know so that you can set the hook. This alert can be turned off via a switch if you keep getting false alerts, for instance, if the water has strong currents.

Just like its sibling, the Pflueger President, this spincast reel is fitted with two wear-resistant titanium pick-up pins that are very durable. It also has an aluminum handle and an aluminum cone for maximum durability.

Drag is spool applied and there is a knob at the top for easy adjustment. You also get a changeable left or right retrieval system but with only 2 bearings, the reel does not run very smoothly.

Pros:

  • Bait click alert
  • Two wear-resistant titanium pick-up pins
  • Sturdy aluminum handle and cone
  • Changeable left or right retrieval system

Cons:

  • Not very smooth

How to Buy the Best Spincast Reels

How to Buy the Best Spincast Reels

Photo: Abu Garcia

1. Trigger or Button

Both options are meant to let the line free for easy casting. However, a trigger mechanism is mostly used for reels that sit below the rod. These have the trigger handle extending above the spool cover and are easy to pull up as you swing the rod.

On the other hand, buttons are usually found in reels that are mounted above the rod. Such a mechanism is easier to use if the reel is above because the thumb will be directly on it.

That said, you should pick the one that feels more comfortable to use. You might have to try both to determine this.

2. Line Capacity

This factor is a measure of the line length the reel’s spool can accommodate. That said, lines come in different strengths and are measured in pound-test units. The higher the pound test rating, the stronger the line and the thicker it is.

Therefore, with thicker lines, the spool accommodates less of it. You will get descriptions like 6-95 / 8-70 / 10-50 (lb.-m), which means the reel has a capacity of 95, 70, and 50 meters for a 6, 8, and 10-lb. test line respectively.

These variations help to make a better comparison between the reels and the higher the capacity, the better.

Note: Most spincast reels come pre-spooled and those with thick lines that have a rating of about 20-lb test and above are better because they can be used to catch most types of fish. A good example is Zebco’s 33 Max.

Thin lines can only be used for light or medium fish; they can snap if you fight heavy fish. In this case, the best spincast reel for bass should have about a 10-lb test line because bass fish are medium-sized.

3. Gear Ratio

The gear ratio determines how much line is retrieved per handle turn. For instance, with a 3.0:1 ratio, this means when you turn the handle once, the spool turns 3 times.

As such, higher ratios give you faster retrieval, which enables you to save time between casting. They also give you the best action for the best chances of getting a bite.

Ideally, a ratio of 3.0:1 and above is okay but if you go lower than this, don’t go below 2.5:1. In this review, the one that stands out is the Zebco 33 Platinum because it has a 4.7:1 gear ratio. We highly recommend it.

4. Quality Drag

Drag systems are meant to put pressure on the line to give it some tension so that the fish gets some resistance as it fights back. Too much pressure can break the line but too little can make you lose the fish.

You need to strike a balance between the two and the best system to use is disk friction. These come in many types such as carbon matrix, triple cam, etc. For this, you can check out the Zebco Omega Pro, which has an effective triple cam system.

5. Smooth Retrieval

Smooth retrieval is usually determined by the number of bearings, in which the more they are, the better. We recommend reels that have at least 3 bearings. Anything lower than this might not run smoothly, especially when retrieving heavy fish.

6. Durability

The material used to make a spincast reel determines its durability. Those with metal frames such as aluminum are stronger and hold the gears plus internal mechanisms firmly for smooth running.

However, frames made using softer materials such as graphite might not hold together when fighting heavy fish. Such reels should only be used to catch small or medium-sized fish.

Conclusion

As you can see, the Zebco 33 Platinum is our overall best spincast reel because it has a high-speed gear ratio for quick retrieval. The product also runs very smoothly because it has a 5-bearing system plus a GlideLine ball bearing.

However, if you want a high-performance unit, check out the Omega Pro. It has 7 bearings for smooth retrieval and a highly effective triple-cam dial-adjustable disk drag system.

While most reels come pre-spooled, Zebco’s 33 Max has a 20-lb test line that is strong enough to handle heavy fish. We recommend this if you want to catch catfish or saltwater bass.

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