10 Best Spinning Reels under $100 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Best Spinning Reels Under $100

The spinning reel is mostly known for its ease of use and efficiency. It is used by both beginners and expert anglers every day for freshwater or saltwater fishing. However, one problem that many buyers of spinning reels face when trying to purchase this product is the price.

Indeed, a good-quality spinning reel can cost you several hundred dollars which far exceeds the budget of most people. However, not all hope is lost.

In order to help you find a good deal, we have handpicked some of the best spinning reels under $100. Those are quality models that do not sacrifice features for the price.

Realistically, those models should have been much more expensive than that considering their rich feature-set and ease of use.

You can also read other product reviews on the same niche such as spinning reelsaltwater spinning reelfishing reel, baitcasting reel, fly reelspincast reelrod and reel combo.

Product Name

Gear ratio

Weight

Material

Rating

Current Price

1. KastKing Summer and Cetron Spinning Reel

5.2:1

9 oz

Graphite

4.6

2. KastKing Sharky III Spinning Reel

5.2:1

15 oz

Graphite

4.5

3. Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

6.2:1

16 oz

Aluminum

4.6

4. Penn Pursuit II Spinning Reel

N/A

16 oz

Graphite

4.6

5. Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel

5.0:1

8.8 oz

Aluminum

4.4

6. Daiwa Revros Spinning Reel

N/A

N/A

Composite

4.6

7. Piscifun New Spinning Reel

5.5:1

13.1 oz

Graphite

4.6

8. Sougayilang Spinning Reel With Free Spare Graphite Spool

4.1:5

N/A

Graphite

4.5

9. Pflueger President Spinning Reel

5.2:1

7.4 oz

Graphite

4.5

10. Burning Shark Light and Smooth Spinning Reel

5.2:1

N/A

Graphite

4.4

1. KastKing Summer and Cetron Spinning Reel - Best Overall Spinning Reels Under $100

KastKing Summer and Cetron Spinning Reel - Best Overall Spinning Reel Under $100
  • Max Drag: 17.5 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Material: Graphite
  • Weight: 9 ounces

KastKing is a manufacturer of high-quality fishing reels. The KastKing Summer and Cetron are amongst the best spinning reels that this company make. They offer a smooth drag because of the ball bearing technology and are overall very strong performers.

Moreover, there are multiple models that the user can choose from this manufacturer to suit individual needs.

The frame is made of graphite which is lightweight and durable. The only caveat with graphite is that it can easily scratch but it will definitely not break with heavy-duty usage. Additionally, the handle of this spinning reel is large and ergonomic which will prevent hand fatigue when used for an extended period.

All in all, each and every spinning reel model from KastKing are one of the best spinning reels under $100 that you can buy. They offer a very nice balance between performance and price which is hard to beat.

Pros:

  • Excellent price to performance ratio
  • Good build quality. Long-lasting and durable
  • Handle is coated with a rubbery material for comfort
  • Flexible. A wide range of models to choose from

Cons:

  • The graphite frame scratches easily

2. KastKing Sharky III Spinning Reel - Best Value Spinning Reels Under $100

KastKing Sharky III Spinning Reel - Best Value Spinning Reel Under 100
  • Max Drag: 39.5 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Material: Graphite
  • Weight: 15 ounces

The KastKing Sharky III series of spinning reels may not be the cheapest on the market, but they offer excellent features for the money. For one, this is a refreshed 2018 design that makes it look appealing and professional.

Moreover, the maximum drag of those models is around 39.5 lbs. which is high, thus making it ideal for big game fishing. In terms of speed, the gear ratio is 5.2:1 which is above average for a spinning reel. This means that you can retrieve your fishing line fast with the Sharky III fishing reels.

User experience is also excellent with this budget spinning reel as it is very smooth to use. All this is possible because it uses effective technologies like ball bearings and carbon fiber disks inside the spool for a better user experience.

Taking into account the rich set of features, affordable price and smooth user experience of the KastKing Sharky III, we elect those models as the best value spinning reel under $100.

Pros:

  • Very smooth drag thanks to efficient technologies
  • Drag adjustment is easy to use
  • Updated 2018 model. More efficient than previous generations
  • Ability to choose different models

Cons:

  • The price. It could have been a little bit cheaper

3. Penn Battle II Spinning Reel - Best Saltwater Spinning Reels Under $100

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel - Best Saltwater Spinning Reel Under 100
  • Max Drag: N/A
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 16 ounces

One of the main advantages of the spinning wheel is that it is versatile and not reserved for only freshwater. Indeed, you can even use it for marine fishing in the open because of its large gear ratio of 6.2:1.

Models like the Penn Battle II are some of the best saltwater spinning reels under $100. They have an excellent build construction, can be used for heavy-duty big game fishing and are extremely easy to use by both beginners and experts alike.

What we like about this spinning reel is the wide range of sizes that you can buy to fit your need. Furthermore, the drag in this model is very smooth because it uses HT-100 carbon disks and 5 ball bearings for maximum efficiency.

More impressively, the frame of this model is made from a solid and highly durable aluminum which is extremely long-lasting and can resist saltwater quite well. Overall, we can't see any model better than the Penn Battle II when it comes to saltwater fishing.

Pros:

  • Big gear ratio of 6.2:1 makes it a very fast spinning reel when retrieving the line
  • Excellent build construction from aluminum. Durable and long-lasting
  • Wide range of sizes to choose from to suit individual need
  • Very smooth drag and retrieve due to ball bearing system

Cons:

  • Heavier than other models at 16 ounces
  • The price. It is expensive

4. Penn Pursuit II Spinning Reel - Best Freshwater Spinning Reels Under $100

Penn Pursuit II Spinning Reel - Best Freshwater Spinning Reel Under 100
  • Max Drag: N/A
  • Gear Ratio: N/A
  • Material: Graphite
  • Weight: 16 ounces

Unlike the Penn Battle II which is an expensive but excellent saltwater spinning reel, the Penn Pursuit II, is a very good freshwater counterpart. It also comes at a much more attractive price.

Despite being not very expensive, it does not sacrifice quality and still made from a durable graphite material. The side plates and spool are made from aluminum for more durability. Moreover, all outer and inner parts of this spinning reel are corrosion resistant and long-lasting.

The handle is quite large and ergonomic. Very comfortable to work with especially when retrieving a long line. Additionally, the front metal bail is easy to use and can be switched by simply using your thumb. To make it a more comfortable spinning reel, it is equipped with 4 quality steel ball bearings that give it a very smooth drag.

All in all, the Penn Pursuit II is one of the best freshwater spinning reels under $100 because of its affordable price, corrosion resistant parts, and smooth drag system.

Pros:

  • Very affordable. Value for money
  • Corrosion resistant. Can be used for heavy-duty freshwater fishing
  • Steel ball bearings for a smoother and more fluid drag

Cons:

  • Graphite frame. It will scratch easily
  • Less line capacity when compared to other spinning reels. Not for long-distance casting

5. Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel 

Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: 8 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces

The Okuma Ceymar is known for being a high-quality and extremely lightweight spinning reel. Indeed, the frame is made from aluminum which makes this reel lightweight, highly durable, and long-lasting.

Moreover, since it only weighs 8.8 ounces, it can be used for an extended period without experiencing hand fatigue. In addition to this, the frame is ergonomic which promotes user-friendliness. As for the installation of this fishing reel, it is very easy and can be done in a matter of seconds.

Drag adjustment can also be made quickly and easily in this spinning reel since the drag adjustment knob is right at the front and easy to reach. Furthermore, the metal bail that brakes or releases the spool can easily be triggered with the thumb.

Pros:

  • Easy to use by even beginners
  • Very lightweight at 8.8 ounces
  • Comfortable and large reel handle will not cause hand fatigue even when used for an extended period

Cons:

  • None

6. Daiwa Revros Spinning Reel 

Daiwa Revros Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: N/A
  • Gear Ratio: N/A
  • Material: Composite
  • Weight: N/A

The Daiwa Revros is known for being an extremely sensitive spinning reel. It can be used for both saltwater or freshwater and comes in different sizes to suit individual needs. Of course, you can choose which size you want during purchase.

There is a ball bearing system inside reel that makes it very smooth to cast and drag. Another thing that makes this spinning reel a pleasure to use is its large handle that is very ergonomic and can be used for an extended period.

Despite being a budget spinning reel, the build quality is excellent and it is durable and long-lasting. Indeed, it sports an aluminum spool that can be used for heavy-duty fishing if necessary. Moreover, the whole design makes this spinning reel extremely efficient and a model that is hard to beat, especially at the price that it is listed.

Pros:

  • Efficient design. Can be used for heavy-duty fishing in both saltwater and freshwater
  • Long ergonomic handle
  • Flexible. The user can select the size during the purchase
  • 8 ball bearing system for a smoother drag

Cons:

  • The price could have been a little bit more competitive
  • The composite frame is not as tough or durable as an aluminum frame

7. Piscifun New Spinning Reel 

Piscifun New Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: 26.5 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 5.5:1
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 13.1 ounces

This Piscifun is one of our favorite spinning reels in this review. It is simply a very well constructed and relatively affordable spinning reel that has a lot to offer.

For one, it has an excellent aluminum build construction that is highly durable and long-lasting. Further, the maximum drag of 26.5 lbs makes this fishing reel an excellent model for catching big prey. This is a big drag resistance that only very powerful fishes can overcome.

Moreover, there is a wide range of adjustments that you can make in this spinning reel. For even more flexibility, you even have the choice between 5 different models to suit your need.

All in all, this Piscifun unit is one of the best cheap spinning reels that we can safely recommend. It is performing, durable and offers a very nice user experience for both smalltime and big-game fishing in freshwater or seawater.

Pros:

  • Excellent price to performance ratio
  • Superb build construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • A strong performer during big game fishing
  • Big drag of 26.5 lbs will offer a smooth experience when fighting large catches

Cons:

  • Does not come with a user manual

8. Sougayilang Spinning Reel With Free Spare Graphite Spool 

Sougayilang Spinning Reel With Free Spare Graphite Spool
  • Max Drag: N/A
  • Gear Ratio: 4.1:5
  • Material: Graphite
  • Weight: N/A

Sougayilang is known for its budget fishing reels. This Sougayilang spinning reel is highly affordable and yet has a rich set of features that make it appealing for both beginners and experts alike.

One of the main attractions of this spinning wheel is its 14 ball bearing system that makes it an incredibly smooth fishing reel. Additionally, there is a high-powered drag system that makes this unit a strong performer for big-game fishing. Further, we like the fact that this spinning reel comes with an additional graphite spool for more convenience.

Adjustments like drag can quickly and easily be made in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, the front metal bail acts as a braking system and can easily be flickered up or down with the thumb. As for installation, it is very easy as this model uses a standard mounting base.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • Comes with an additional spare graphite spool
  • Heavy duty drag system
  • 14 ball bearings for a smoother drag and retrieve

Cons:

  • Small gear ratio of 4.1:5. Not the fastest spinning reel

9. Pflueger President Spinning Reel 

Pflueger President Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: N/A
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Material: Graphite
  • Weight: 7.4 ounces

The Pflueger President is the lightest spinning reel in this review. It is not the cheapest model we have reviewed so far, but it offers a lot of flexibility and can still be used for heavy-duty big-game fishing.

What makes this model a worthwhile contender is its 10 ball bearing system that gives it a very smooth drag. Moreover, both the rotor and the frame is made from graphite. Despite being a tough material, graphite still scratches easily and we would have preferred an aluminum rotor instead.

However, all is not lost as this spinning reel offers an exceptional user experience with a large handle and easy drag adjustments.

Pros:

  • The most lightweight spinning reel in this review at 7.4 ounces
  • Excellent gear ratio of 5.2:1 makes this spinning reel fast to retrieve
  • Efficient guide system prevents the line from twisting
  • Spool can be re-spooled with a braided line

Cons:

  • None

10. Burning Shark Light and Smooth Spinning Reel 

Burning Shark Light and Smooth Spinning Reel
  • Max Drag: N/A
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Material: Graphite
  • Weight: N/A

For those looking for a bargain, the Burning Shark is one of the best cheap spinning reels on the market. Despite its low price, it has decent features and is a very smooth spinning reel to use.

But what makes this Burning Shark spinning wheel so smooth is its 13 ball bearing system. Additionally, the gear ratio of 5.2:1 is excellent for those who cast their fishing line at long distances as it is fast to retrieve.

Moreover, the handle is special as it is enlarged making it more comfortable to hold, especially when used for an extended period. However, many users have complained that the handle can easily come loose. Not a big deal as this can quickly and easily be fixed.

Pros:

  • Available in different colors and sizes
  • Large and comfortable handle. Prevents hand fatigue
  • 13 ball bearing system. Extremely smooth drag
  • Fast spinning reel with a gear ratio of 5.2:1

Cons:

  • The handle is fragile

How to Buy a Spinning Reel under $100

How to Buy a Spinning Reel under $100

Before finding the best budget spinning reel for the money, there are some important aspects you need to take into account. Here are a few of the most noteworthy ones.

1. Bail arm

The bail arm is a metal bail located right in front of the spool. What this does is to lock or unlock the spool by simply flicking it up or down with your thumb. The bail arm in a spinning reel is usually much bigger than in other types of fishing reels like the baitcasting reel, in which it is much smaller.

Additionally, another purpose of the bail arm is to reel in the fishing line whenever you turn on the handle. The reeling speed will depend on the gear ratio of the spinning reel.

2. Drag adjustment

The drag adjustment is what dictates the smoothness and overall experience of using a spinning reel when catching fish of varying sizes. Indeed, it allows you to adjust the maximum drag exerted by the fishing line on the spool. This drag adjustment is normally found as a knob located right in front of the spool for better ease-of-use.

Ensure that your preferred spinning reel has a drag adjustment setting in that it is also easy to access.

3. Gear ratio

Technically, the gear ratio is a value that shows you the speed of the spinning reel. The higher the gear ratio, the faster the spinning reel will be able to retrieve the fishing line. This is a very handy value especially if you are planning to do some long-distance casting with your spinning reel.

Of course, the gear ratio is not as important for those who are doing casual fishing with a short line. Eventually, everything will depend on your need and purpose for the spinning reel.

4. Comfort

Comfort is extremely important when operating a spinning reel. That is because many of you will probably be using this fishing reel for many hours on end and it can become quite tiring if it is not a comfortable reel.

There are many factors that make a spinning reel comfortable, but most of the time comfort or smoothness is delivered by the ball bearings inside the spool that makes it smoother to cast and reel.

Pay attention to terms like "ball bearings" or "carbon fiber drag" as those features make the spinning reel incredibly comfortable to use.

5. Handle

Additionally, much of the comfort you find in a spinning reel is obtained by using a comfortable handle. The handle is where your hand will rest the most, therefore it needs to be ergonomic.

Ensure that it is coated with a soft material like rubber and large enough to accommodate your hand. You don't want to hold the handle with your fingers, but rather with a full hand for more comfort.

6. Line capacity

The line capacity is a value that is measured in lbs per yards and shows you how big a fish you can catch and at what distance you can cast your fishing line without it breaking.

Knowing the line capacity is important because over time you will need to re-spool as you will lose much of the original length of your fishing line.

7. Material

The build construction is one of the most important factors of the spinning reels. A model that is built with high-quality and tough materials will be durable and long-lasting. Additionally, this spinning reel will be able to withstand heavy-duty fishing without breaking or underperforming.

Keep an eye out for construction materials like aluminum, carbon fiber, and graphite. As much as possible, we recommend spinning reels that come with an aluminum frame as it is lightweight, durable, and long-lasting.

At the very least, you can go with a graphite frame which is even more affordable but bear in mind that this material also scratches easily.

Conclusion

As we have seen in this spinning reel under $100 review, you can still get a high-quality reel without spending a fortune. The models we have selected above are excellent fishing reels for the money and despite their relatively low price, they are high performers.

Above all, those reels are solidly built and will last a long time. Moreover, they are beginner friendly so if you have never owned a spinning reel before, do not worry as they are very easy to use.

Just in case you have still not found a spinning reel that fits your need, we recommend that you go through our review again.

Allen Ethan