Saltwater reels are a must-have for any fishing trip in the open ocean or even coastal waters. If you’re a long-time saltwater fisherman, then you probably already know that saltwater spinning reels are made with materials that won’t easily corrode in the salty environment, and many of the reel components are sealed to keep water out. If you are new to the sport of saltwater fishing, then you will need a reel that can perform in harsh elements while also being sturdy enough to land the trophy fish of your dreams.
InshoreInshore fishing rods and reels are typically smaller, lighter and have less fishing line capacity. This makes them affective for catching small fish that gather close to shore.
BaitcastersBaitcasters are typically heavy-duty fishing reels, which are used for catching large game fish such as marline.
Deep SeaDeep sea fishing rods and reels are some of the sturdiest fishing equipment available. They have extensive fishing line capacities as they are used to drop lines in some of the deepest parts of the ocean.
Saltwater JiggingSaltwater jigging reels are lightweight spinning reels that allow for an easy and constant range of motion that allows anglers to run their jigs through the water.
Saltwater BargainCheaper fishing equipment will usually last for shorter periods of time and is prone to rust. If you are looking for a saltwater fishing reel bargain, be sure to only buy rods that resist saltwater corrosion.
High-PowerHigh-powered fishing reels help anglers reel in large and power game fish. With a line capacity of 500 yards of 60-pound braided line, this is the type of reel you’ll want in any competition.
Most ReliableA reliable fishing reel will utilize a thin film of magnetic oil that keeps debris and damaging saltwater from getting into the rotor bearings. These reels will cost you a pretty penny, but they will last a long time.
Saltwater fishing reels are better suited to the task than a freshwater reel both because of the materials used and the robust design itself. However, as with any product, some reels are far superior to others. Whether you are a new saltwater fisherman or have been doing it for years, your chances of landing fish are much better if you have a reel and gear that can keep up with you.
1. Best Saltwater Reel for Inshore Fishing: Shimano Stradic
Shimano saltwater reels are some of the best-known on the market and for good reason. If you’re afraid of corroding metal on your reel, then the Shimano Stradic has got you covered. The body and spool of this saltwater reel are made entirely of reinforced carbon rather than metal components that are more likely to corrode. Not only does this keep your reel lasting longer, but it is also lightweight. This makes it an ideal choice for kayak fishing since you will not become worn out casting before the paddle back to shore.
The Shimano Stradic reel is better suited to inshore fishing due to its comparatively limited spool capacity. If that is an issue, then another good inshore option, the Abu Garcia Revo S60 Inshore Spinning Reel, is a comparable reel with a bit more line capacity.
- Tip: Braided line can oftentimes be used interchangeably with monofilament for most modern reels. Because braided line has a smaller diameter than most monofilament at the same weight, you can spool more onto your reel. Even if you get a reel with a lower line capacity, using braided line allows you to get the most out of your reel.
2. Best Saltwater Baitcaster: Abu Garcia Revo 4 Rocket
When looking for the best baitcasting reel for saltwater, the Abu Garcia Revo 4 Rocket is one of the top models available. Abu Garcia is one of the most successful manufacturers on the market today, seeing popularity among tournament fishermen and casual anglers all over the world.
The Revo 4 Rocket features a body made fully of graphite, which is strong enough to stand up to large fish species without being too heavy. It also provides smooth casting without causing too many issues with backlash that may occur when using heavy bait or casting into the wind. While this reel is commonly used for freshwater fish, it compares with other saltwater baitcasters with its corrosion-resistant components and brass gearings.
If you are considering saltwater fishing, then download our mastering fishing guide for details on catching with a net.
3. Top Deep Sea Fishing Rod and Reel: Accurate SR-50 TwinSpin
No list of top saltwater reels would be complete without an Accurate reel. Consistently ranked as some of the best fishing reels on the market, Accurate Twin Spin reels are known for their durability and capability for handling big game fish. The SR-50’s body is machined from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum and it has a titanium spool shaft and drag plates. This reel is capable of retrieving 50 inches of line with a single crank of the handle and it can hold an impressive 450 yards of braided 80-pound-test line.
The smaller version of this top saltwater reel, the Accurate SR-30 TwinSpin is another option you shouldn’t overlook. The SR-30 is considered one of the best all-around reels for saltwater fishing, even including offshore deep-sea fishing. The SR-50 and SR-30 are some of the most expensive models available, but they will not disappoint.
4. Best Jigging Saltwater Reel: Shimano Stella SWB
Another great saltwater fishing reel from Shimano is the Stella SWB STL8000. This reel has a heavy-duty drag system that is still lightweight and capable of picking up line quickly. The Stella SWB is ideal if you want to spend hours jigging, as its weight will not wear you out. The aluminum body and Septon handle grip make it durable and comfortable to use when cranking a fish to the surface.
5. Best Saltwater Fishing Reel Bargain: Penn Battle II Spinning Reel
If you wanted to, then you could easily spend more than $1k on a single reel. Fortunately, brands such as Penn make it easy to get a quality saltwater spinning reel without breaking the bank. Most retailers sell this reel for about $100, but even at a bargain price, it is highly capable of keeping up with the more expensive reels on the market.
The Penn Battle II Spinning Reel has a full-metal body, a carbon-fiber drag system and corrosion-resistant stainless-steel ball bearings. This saltwater fishing reel is often used for inshore fishing and is a popular choice for saltwater bottom fishing.
- Tip: If you’re looking for an even more affordable option, then the Penn Pursuit II Spinning Reel is a high-quality reel that compares to pricier options. The Penn SpinFisher V is yet another low-cost reel that won’t let you down.
6. Top High-Power Saltwater Reel: Canyon Reels Salt 7500
When looking for a quality, U.S.-made saltwater fishing reel that delivers on performance, the Canyon Reels Salt 7500 is one of your best options. These saltwater reels feature an aluminum body with a stainless-steel drive, pinon and gear system. The spool of the Canyon Reels Salt 7500 utilizes double ball bearings and has stainless steel drag washers that can deliver more than 65 pounds of braking power. It’s great for deep sea fishing and landing game fish with its capacity of up to 500 yards of 60-pound braided line.
These heavy-duty reels will also need sturdy rods to support all the tension brought on by trying to catch large game fish.
7. Most Reliable Saltwater Reel: Daiwa Saltiga Dogfight 8000H
If you’re willing to spend more than $1k on a saltwater reel, then you can get one of the most dependable setups on the market. The Daiwa Saltiga Dogfight 8000H utilizes a thin film of magnetic oil that keeps debris and damaging saltwater from getting into the rotor bearings.
Not only does this protect your reel, but it also delivers low-friction winding that makes it easier to reel in your fish. With a manual bail trip feature and a rotor brake, you can also avoid issues with bail springs and rotor movements while casting.
Now that you know about the best saltwater fishing rods to purchase, download our guide on mastering fishing to learn about spearfishing and other methods of fishing.