Spinning reels are one of the most popular choices when it comes to bass fishing. There are many very good (and expensive) reels on the market today but, luckily for some of us anglers, there are many wallet-friendly reels that are high quality at a great price. Choosing one can sometimes be complicated. The process of selecting the best reel for bass fishing becomes less daunting, however, once you know what features are most important to you as an angler.
Each angler will have his or her own opinion on what constitutes a great reel for bass fishing, and what brand and model to choose. With the design and durability of today’s newest reels, it is a good idea to look at a few and find a spinning reel that will best suit your needs on the water.
Bass are some of the hardest fighting freshwater fish, and even smaller size fish can strip a reel, break a pole, or sometimes even both. Today, we are going to look at and review 7 exceptional spinning reels that will not only withstand the fight from big bass but will also not break the bank. I called these my magnificent 7 (Yes, I was thinking of the movie when I came up with this line!). So, if you are ready to choose a new reel that will help you catch more bass while providing great value, let’s get started!
Cadence CS10 Spinning Reel
Cadence is the new kid on the block and their reels are not as well-known as some of the others on this list, but they are an awesome value for the money with the company selling directly to the consumer, bypassing the middle man and passing on the savings to the consumer.
Now onto the CS10 spinning reel. These reels are designed to be durable, ultra-rugged, and able to handle whatever kind of fishing you are drawn to. The sleek black and blue reel is well-balanced, perfect choice for most bass fishermen, and you’ll soon see why.
The CS10 is a magnesium frame reel that includes anti-reverse and a carbon fiber drag system that ranges from 11 lbs to 20 lbs in drag power across the 4 models in the series. You’ll also find a light yet sturdy carbon rotor spinning effortlessly on 11 corrosion-resistant stainless-steel bearings (no seals, though).
This attention to design and quality components translates into a reel that is lightweight, responsive and powerful. A quick study of this reel will show that every part of it was designed for maximum performance – but at a cost-effective price. This is one reel that will continue to deliver for a long time with a little maintenance.
Offered in multiple configurations, you can buy this reel for whatever your needs may be. Whether you are targeting giant bass in the weeds or smaller bass in tiny creeks, the CS10 has a reel size that will perfectly suit your type of fishing.
Most anglers love the anti-reverse on this reel, which is a feature that locks the handle as you reel in, making sure you don’t lose any line to a hard-fighting fish. The last thing that you want to do is lose a fish, so why not enjoy the added security? This reel is an excellent choice for any serious bass anglers.
- Great quality for the price
- Very rugged and durable
- Excellent anti-reverse system
- No bearing seals
- Relatively new brand (not a deal-breaker)
Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel
The Shimano Stradic FK spinning reels had to be on this list, as they are versatile and sensitive enough for just about any type of fishing, including freshwater bass. One thing you notice right from the beginning is that these reels have excellent drag range. We’re talking 7 to 24 pounds of resistance across the series on a reel that already boasts of balance, performance and durability with few rivals standing in its way.
Shimano made these reels with their X-ship technology which not only increases casting distance but also improves the durability and longevity of the internals, which includes Hagane 3D designed cold-forged gearing. With this improved reliability around the drive, there’s less friction and warping when under pressure. This reel is perfect for the angler who wants the latest technology to help land that next big bass!
The FK spinning reels also feature Shimano’s Hagane aluminum body. Shimano went with the slightly heavier weight aluminum over graphite in order to support their higher quality internal parts and prevent flexing under heavy load. A graphite body may help reduce fatigue while fishing, but when you are fighting and landing a big fish you will be more than happy with this trade-off.
In addition to being a great bass spinning reel, this versatile reel will also handle big fish such as pike and walleye and even most inshore saltwater species. In my opinion, the Shimano Stradic FK may be the best value for the money on our list, and may even be the best spinning reel for bass in its price range on the market today!
Advanced components, Lightweight design, powerful/smooth drag and casts a mile, there few better values than the Stradic FK. Pair this up with a good bass/freshwater spinning rod such as the G. Loomis Bass EX6 or Fenwick Elite Tech (St. Croix Mojo Bass and Bass X spinning rods are other excellent options) and go have yourself some fun.
- Responsive, powerful drag system
- Excellent corrosion protection
- Line sensitivity is great
- A little heavier than some of the competition
- No extra spool (should be included considering the reel’s cost)
KastKing Speed Demon Pro Spinning Reel
Another stellar bass spinner option is the KastKing Speed Demon Pro, an offshoot of the best-selling Speed Demon baitcasting reel series. Labeled as the fastest spinning reel on the market currently thanks to a ridiculous 7.2:1 gear ratio, this bad boy will let you make up to 16% more casts and cover more water than ever possible before during your fishing outings.
But it doesn’t stop there. If you’re at all familiar with KastKing, you know that they love to over-deliver with their products. So, in Speed Demon Pro spinning reel you get a super-solid aluminum alloy reel with a machined braid-ready spool, along with other tournament-grade features that include a 10:1 bearing system and 25 pounds (on all models) of bass-stopping drag! This thing can handle knock-down, drag-out fights with the biggest bass. And oh, lest I forget, this is also one of the best-looking bass reels you’ll come across – at any price.
Though designed for freshwater fishing primarily, this reel has also become popular with many saltwater fishermen because of its durability and strength in handling bigger fish. So, as a bass fisherman, you know you’re getting a reel that can easily take on large bass and last through many seasons, even with some hard fishing.
Brass gears and carbon fiber drag provide both corrosion resistance and reduced the wear impact on the reel. Stainless steel ball bearings are another example this reel’s top to bottom high-quality design and ability to stand up to harsh conditions.
It’s clear that KastKing designed the Speed Demon Pro to be a heavy hitter at a decent price. For any angler looking at specifically targeting trophy-sized bass, this reel is a must. But this reel will also let finesse and ultralight bass fishermen fish ultralight lines with confidence thanks to its strong yet silky-smooth drag
To get the maximum performance out of this reel, I would recommend that it be paired with a lightweight and sensitive yet strong spinning rod such as the KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series bass fishing rod, perfect for feeling the bite and pulling big fish out from thick places in the weeds and brush.
- Fastest gear spinning reel on the market
- Can handle big bass but also sensitive for light fishing
- Made with high-quality materials
- Super-fast gearing may be overkill for some anglers
Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel
There is something special about Pflueger reels – anyone familiar with their President reels can attest to that – and the Supreme XT is no exception. With an ultralight magnesium body and a sleek black and orange color scheme, this reel is one you will be proud to own. Not to mention having a quality name like Pflueger on your reel, a company that has been making fishing tackle since 1881, you know you can expect equipment that will exceed most expectations.
The Supreme XT is a lightweight, nimble reel for anglers who like quick casting and good fights. The large handle and textured EVA-grip combined with its high bearings system (10 SS bearings) make using this reel a treat, with one of the smoothest recoveries in a reel of this size.
This reel has a sealed carbon fiber drag system with 8 lbs to 14 lbs of stopping power in its 4 sizes to ensure smooth stopping power and longevity even after many hard battles. The braid-ready magnesium spool makes using your favorite braided line a snap for a perfect afternoon of bass fishing.
I would say this is probably the best option in this lineup for an overall versatile reel that is ready for just about any situation. Its compact and ultralight design also makes it one of the most comfortable reels for the money. There are 4 Supreme XT sizes to fit different types of fishing. The 30X is a perfect all-around reel for everyday fishing.
I would match this up with a lightweight rod, something like a Fenwick HMG 6’6″ or a 6’8” St. Croix Mojo Bass spinning rod. A good budget-friendly option is the Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod. This is a great reel for use with Texas rigs, Ned rigs and Wacky rigs, and to target not only bass but also bluegill, crappie, trout, walleye and much more.
- Very lightweight but strong
- Provides precision casting
- Excellent drag system
- No extra spool
Abu Garcia Revo X Spinning Reel
Abu Garcia is a popular brand known for making quality equipment. One of their newer reels is relatively unknown but fast gaining in popularity. I’m talking about the Revo X spinning reel. You generally can’t go wrong with anything from Abu, and their Revo X spinning reel is up to the task.
This reel sports high-quality stainless-steel bearings (9 to be exact) and computer-designed machined gears and internals, so you can bet on tight tolerance between moving parts for superior strength and extra smooth performance. It also means better durability and longevity out of your reel for years to come.
Designed with the angler in mind, this reel has a carbon body and graphite rotor with 6 stainless steel bearings and just enough aluminum (machined aluminum spool) to make for a super solid reel. The hybrid drag, ranging from 11 lbs to 13 lbs across the four sizes/models, while not as powerful as some of the other reels here, is super smooth and reliable. Every single Revo X component has been designed to maximize durability and performance.
This reel has really brought down the weight by only using heavier materials where they are absolutely needed, making it wonderfully lightweight and balanced. With this balance, technology, and durability, you can’t more to ask for in a spinning reel. I think this reel is the perfect balance quality and pricing – just an exceptional value for bass fishermen.
- Lightweight and balanced
- High ball bearing making smooth retrieves
- Comfortable grip
- Drag system not as robust as others on this list
Daiwa Tatula LT Spinning Reel
Many freshwater spinning reels on the market today are super lightweight and have a smooth retrieve. Not many, however, do it as well as the Daiwa Tatula LT Spinning Reel. This reel does it well and at a fraction of the cost of many high-end reels on the market. To highlight just how little these reels weigh, the two smallest models – the TALT1000D-XH and the TALT2000D-XH – come in at the ridiculously ultra-lightweight of 5.8 ounces each! And even at the high end, the TALT4000-CXH weighs just 7.4 ounces.
When paired with a good rod, there is not much that this reel cannot do. The drag system is one of the best on the market today, putting out 11 lbs for the smallest (1000D-XH) reel to 22 lbs and 26.4 lbs, respectively, for the very popular TALT25000D-XH and the larger 4000-CXH. The Tatula spinner can handle almost any kind of line you want to put on it, including braided line if you want to target some big bass. Daiwa continues to produce simple reels that keep their designs centered on angler’s needs on the water without sacrificing quality.
With an anti-reverse switch and a great price point, it is no wonder many fishermen are falling in love with this Daiwa reel. In my opinion, Daiwa is one of the best brands for the money, and the Tatula will perform no matter what kind of fishing you like most or whatever kind of bass baits you love to throw. Great little reel for finesse fishing.
- Excellent value for the money
- Powerful drag system
- Ultra-lightweight design
- Some may find the all-black color scheme too spartan
- Plastic drag knob can feel flimsy
Okuma Helios SX Spinning Reel
Okuma is a well-known brand geared towards anglers who want high quality at an affordable price. The beautifully designed lightweight Helios SX with its high-strength interweaved carbon strand body, side plate and rotor fits perfectly into that category.
This reel, like many others on this list, comes feature-rich and is very versatile. It has a high stainless steel ball-bearing count which makes its retrieves super smooth, and the anti-reverse is exceptional. The Helios comes in 4 sizes and 2 drag pressures – 6 lbs for the HSX-20 and 13 lbs for the 3 bigger models – for anglers wanting to better match reel to application.
One of the best things about this reel is its weight – or lack thereof. It was constructed from the ground up to be one of the lightest on the market, and Okuma hit their target. The HSX-20, which is its smallest size weighs just 6.2 ounces! Even the HSX-40, the largest size in the series, weighs in at a feathery 9.1 oz.
Internally, lightweight aluminum main gear and machined brass pinion gear eliminates added weight while ensuring strength, smooth reeling and longevity. Speaking of internals and longevity, one of the Helios most innovative features – one I like a lot – is its Cyclonic Flow Rotor design. The rotor is ported out and uniquely shaped to quickly wick away water and moisture from the reel during use. This greatly reduces the chances that water will find its way into the reel and guards against corrosion, during fishing as well as while being stored after a day out on the water.
The Okuma Helios SX is an awesome reel for those looking to shed a few ounces and not pay an arm and a leg for expensive reels. Though experienced anglers will certainly appreciate this reel, It is also an excellent choice for beginners as it is easy to use and fun to cast.
- Lightweight with high-strength carbon construction
- High-quality components throughout
- Rotor design reduces potential water intrusion/corrosion
- Only modest drag power
- No extra spool
Overall, these are some of the best bass spinning reels on the market today. Each one comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, but I don’t think you could go wrong with any of the choices on this list when it comes to having a quality reel that will last. Spinning reels are some of the most versatile and easy to use reels out there and are an excellent choice for any angler.
There are many different options when it comes to bass spinning reels on the market today, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Whether you want something lightweight, durable, or with the smoothest retrieves, I’m sure you’ll find a reel here that can meet your needs. With a little homework and deciding what you want in a spinning reel, you can find the perfect reel at a great price to help you not only start catching more fish but bigger fish as well! Tight lines and good luck!
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