7 Best Spinning Reels for Bass in 2021
When choosing a spinning reel for bass fishing, certain key considerations are important.
You want a reel that will succeed in accomplishing different fishing techniques such as drop shotting, shaky head, slip shotting, wacky worms, spinners, and different kinds of crankbaits, among others.
Reels with a high dragging capacity are preferred when fishing bass to absorb the tension caused by mid-sized and heavy fish when fighting a catch.
Construction is another key consideration when choosing a spinning reel for bass. It is important for your reel’s build to be capable of withstanding constant vibrations, harsh temperatures, and banging.
Spool construction is also important. It could be made from graphite, aluminum or steel. All these are high-quality material you can depend on for sturdy and durable spools.
For more insights on bass spinning reels, dive into our review of top 7 spinning reels for bass and buying guide to help you choose the model that best meets your fishing demands.
- 7 Best Spinning Reels for Bass – Review
- How to Buy the Best Spinning Reel for Bass
7 Best Spinning Reels for Bass – Review
1. Sougayilang WQ-3000 (Best Budget)
2. Pflueger President (Best for Deep Water Bass)
3. Shimano Stradic CI4+ (Best All-round)
4. Okuma Trio-40S (Ultra-smooth)
5. Daiwa FUEGO2000SH (Best Light-duty)
6. Pflueger Patriarch (Best Lightweight)
7. Abu Garcia Revo SX (Good Professional)
1. Sougayilang WQ-3000
2. Pflueger President
(Best for Deep Water Bass)
3. Shimano Stradic CI4+
4. Okuma Trio-40S
5. Daiwa FUEGO2000SH
6. Pflueger Patriarch
7. Abu Garcia Revo SX
1. Sougayilang WQ-3000 – Best Budget
- Max drag: 21 pounds
- Gear ratio: 5.2:1
- Material: Aluminum (spool), Stainless steel (shaft)
- Weight: 9.7 ounces
The most affordable spinning reel for bass on our list is the Sougayilang WQ-3000. This budget and high-quality spinning reel is the most accessible to anglers of all experience levels.
But don’t be thrown off by the low price, just yet, because it the reel has an impressive 21 pounds of max drag, which is more than enough to reel in very heavy fish.
At 5.2:1, its gear ratio supports deep-water fishing, where bass fish tend to retreat to, especially during summer when surface temperatures rise.
The reel’s spool is made of aluminum, its shaft is stainless steel. These materials combine to make the reel reliable and durable.
You also get a 12-month warranty and lifetime support with your purchase of this reel to ensure you enjoy its value with confidence, and risk-free.
It’s worth noting that the Sougayilang WQ-3000 is not a sealed reel and casting is necessary when using it in saltwater to avoid overexposure, which may cause rusting.
2. Pflueger President – Best for Deep Water Bass
- Max drag: 8 pounds to 10 pounds
- Gear ratio: 5.2:1
- Material: Aluminum, Graphite (body)
- Weight: 7.5 ounces to 8.8 ounces
Pflueger President series is the best spinning reel for deep water bass fishing on our list because it features a low gear ration ideal for such fishing conditions.
It has a gear ratio of 5.2:1, which supports deep crankbaits and deep-water spinnerbaits, which are known for pulling a lot of mass. This gear ratio provides high torque to minimize pulling effort.
The reel’s max drag of 8 - 10 pounds is optimal for the corresponding drag ratio and together, they can lure and reel in big bass.
You can get a 6-ball bearing or 9-ball bearing reel, both of which promise to deliver smooth performance.
Both reel’s models are lightweight, ranging between 7.5 - 8.8 ounces, and this low weight is made possible by using material such as graphite for the body, and aluminum for the spool.
An issue we noted with the Pflueger President series is that the aluminum handle’s coating is prone to flaking.
3. Shimano Stradic CI4+ – Best All-round
- Max drag: 7 pounds to 24 pounds
- Gear ratio: 6.0:1 - 6.2:1
- Material: Magnumlite
- Weight: 5.6 ounces to 8.1 ounces
If you’re looking for an all-round spinning reel for Bass, look no further than the Shimano Stradic CI4+ series.
It offers a robust max drag range of 7 - 24 pounds, which enables you to fish a wide variety of bass and other fish with little to no mass limitations.
This spinning reel also boasts of a medium gear ratio range that will support square bill crankbaits, shallow spinnerbaits, medium-depth crankbaits, and shallow castable umbrella rigs.
The reel boasts of a new Magnumlite rotor, which provides a super-light feel when turning the handle, making the process less strenuous.
Advanced technologies such as Hagane Gear, X-Ship, and Core Protect technologies have been used to extend the durability of this reel.
We did note, however, that Shimano Stradic CI4+ series’ is one of the most expensive on the market and may limit its access to budget buyers.
4. Okuma Trio-40S – Ultra-smooth
- Max drag: 19.8 pounds
- Gear ratio: 6.0:1
- Material: Aluminum, Graphite
- Weight: 10.7 ounces
When casting and reeling in your big catch, you want to perform the actions smoothly and efficiently. That ultra-smooth performance is what the Okuma Trio-40S offers with its 10-gear system.
This reel boasts of 9 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing, all made of stainless steel for durability, efficiency, and stability when working your gear.
Another prominent feature in this reel is its high max drag of 19.8 pounds. You are guaranteed that even when you have heavy bait and a heavy catch, it will maximize high-end drag pressure.
A quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing prevents our reel from accidentally spinning in the opposite direction.
You will love the fact that despite all the advanced features of this model, it is very reasonably priced, making it accessible to many anglers.
An issue we noted with this model is that the gear assembly is not the sturdiest. Gears may be prone to stripping so extra caution is necessary when operating it.
5. Daiwa FUEGO2000SH – Best Light-duty
- Max drag: 4.4 pounds
- Gear ratio: 6.0:1
- Material: Aluminum (body), Stainless steel (bail)
- Weight: 8.1 ounces
Daiwa FUEGO2000SH is one of the top light-duty spinning reels for bass fishing given its low max drag rating.
Packing a modest 4.4 pounds of max drag, this reel will deliver in cranking in bass and other fish weighing up to 15 pounds comfortably.
At 8.1 ounces, the reel minimizes the entire rod’s overall weight allowing you more control over the whole gear.
It also boasts of corrosion-resistant ball bearings, which promise to last 12 times longer than standard stainless-steel ones.
The only major issue we noted with Daiwa FUEGO2000SH spinning reel is that its max drag may limit anglers who desire to enjoy all the other many benefits of this model.
6. Pflueger Patriarch – Best Lightweight
- Max drag: 5 pounds to 14 pounds
- Gear ratio: 5.2:1
- Material: Magnesium (body), Titanium (shaft), Carbon (handle)
- Weight: 5.3 ounces to 7.3 ounces
While spinning reels are generally light, there’s no harm in having an ultra-light one, especially if you’ll be out fishing bass and other heavy fish. That’s where the Pflueger Patriarch family excels.
The base model weighs only 5.3 ounces while the top one weighs 7.3 ounces, which is significantly lower than many other high-performance spinning reels.
It has a superior 10-bearing system for smooth performance. The bearings are also corrosion-resistant and will perform excellently even in saltwater fishing.
Smoothness is further enhanced by a tough, machined-aluminum main gear. The carbon drag system is also sealed and always lubricated for consistently smooth performance.
The reel’s low gear ratio of 5.2:1 support slow oscillation for the management of different lines.
A notable drawback of the Pflueger Patriarch bass spinning reel is its handle assemble, which is not as sturdy as you’d expect and is prone to coming off when especially with intensive reeling.
7. Abu Garcia Revo SX – Good Professional
- Max drag: 10 pounds to 17 pounds
- Gear ratio: 6.2:1
- Material: Aluminum (spool), Stainless steel (shaft), Graphite (rotor)
- Weight: 7.2 ounces - 9.2 ounces
Abu Garcia Revo SX is a great professional spinning reel for bass because if feature superior max drag, a medium gear ratio, and excellent build quality to handle all demands of seasoned anglers.
The SX family of reels boasts of a max drag range of 10 – 17 pounds, which is more than enough to comfortably reel in 40 – 60-pound bass and other fish.
You also get a medium gear ratio of 6.2:1, which offers the control you need for robust fishing techniques and presentations.
Its build quality is one of a kind, combining an aluminum braid-ready spool, stainless steel shaft, and graphite rotor to achieve a high-quality and lightweight reel.
The key issue we noted with this family of reels is its high cost even for the base model. However, the prices will be worth it for all the value you get.
How to Buy the Best Spinning Reel for Bass
1. Drag system
The drag system is critical to the performance of your bass spinning reel, and consequently, the models you ultimately buy.
Bass tend to have moderate weight; small bass can weigh 6 pounds, while large ones can weigh up to 12 pounds. However, you also want your reel to handle heavier fish because if you bait one, you don’t want your reel to limit you.
Thus, the drag system you choose will be determined largely by the size of bass you’re used to catching. Higher of more than 10 pounds is ideal for heavy bass so that it does not exert too much pressure on the rod while fighting.
However, with a max drag of at least 6 pounds, you are guaranteed to catch many kinds of bass.
2. Spool size
The spool size of your bass spinning reel with determine how many yards of mono or braided line if can accommodate.
Your line’s length is important because it determines how far you can cast your bait using the rod, and influences how you reel in your catch.
A consensus among many seasoned and professional anglers is that even though long and narrow spools are the most common, wide and short ones are highly effective.
Wide and short spools tend to cover more line with each handle turn, hence reducing the chances of line twist.
Also, wide spools allow you to cast longer because more line comes off the spool. Ultimately, its best to have a feel of both types of spools to decide the one that best meets your fishing needs.
Seasoned anglers regard sensitivity as the holy grail of bass fishing. Sensitivity includes the ability to detect and interpret bumps, ticks, taps, and any vibrations occurring on the line.
This ‘sixth sense’ enables anglers to monitor changes in line tension, especially during retrieval. Reels play a critical role in determining your line’s sensitivity, which in turn, can affect your fishing performance.
Experts contend that looser bass spinning reels will help you feel your bait. If your reel is too tight, it may limit sensitivity to bait movement.
Anti-reverse is a handy feature, which you can manipulate to tighten or loosen your reel to help you control sensitivity.
A key consideration we can’t overlook is the cost of your bass spinning reel. If you’re on a tight budget, you can get a high-quality reel at affordable prices.
We discovered that many of the premium-priced models pack advanced reel technologies and a mix of materials that make them durable and light.
However, don’t shy away from budget reels as many of them are so reliable and rival premium ones in many aspects.
We’ve covered a great deal on bass spinning reels and why they are important for anglers who enjoy fishing bass.
When shopping for your spinning reel, remember to check its max drag to determine how much tension your line and rod can handle comfortably.
Your reel’s spool size and sensitivity are factors you may need to experiment with to determine which configurations work best for you.
Lastly, you can find a high-quality reel for at budget and premium prices. Our review and buying guide are here to help you pick the best model for you.