Best Saltwater Spinning Reels

Best Saltwater Spinning Reel Reviews of 2016

Whether you prefer standing in a boat in the middle of the bay reeling in a big one or trying to catch a beauty from the docks, fishing in the deep blue is an experience that most anglers relish. Leaving behind the small lakes and streams that you grew up fishing in gives you the chance to experience a truly thrilling chase that is unlike any other type of fishing. Imagine hooking a 2,000 pound Atlantic Blue Marlin. An ordinary fishing pole would break under the pressure, but a saltwater spinning reel may help you take home the prize. This guide is designed to expand your fishing possibilities and introduce you to some of the best saltwater spinning reels of 2016.

Product

Price

Rating

Shimano Stella 4000 SW-B XG Heavy Duty Saltwater Reel

$$$$$

PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Reel

$$-$$$$

Daiwa STT6500H Saltist Salt Water Spinning Reel

$$

Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel

$$$-$$$

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel

$

Types of Saltwater Fishing Reels

Let’s face it, not everyone who goes fishing in the ocean is going to use the same type of reel, so which reels are acceptable for saltwater? The four most common types of fishing in bodies of water that are saltwater based are: spinning, bait casting, trolling, and jigging. Each of these types of fishing rods utilize a different method of fishing, but this article is going to explore spinning reels, so let’s start with the reel parts that you need to consider.

Important Considerations

  • The Durability of the Body – Saltwater fish are much larger than freshwater varieties, so it only makes sense that you would need a stronger fishing reel to be able to reel them in. The ocean also has waves. The water is constantly moving, so you need something that is durable and promises to last you for a long time. The bodies of most saltwater fishing reels are crafted from materials such as graphite or cast aluminum. Part of the strength of these materials is the fact that they are also resistant to corrosion, which is a big concern when you are fishing in saltwater. If you are new to fishing in the deep blue sea, then here is a casting guide that may be useful to you.
  • Size of the Reel - The size of your reel will be a major part in determining the size of your line and where you will be most likely to catch a fish. Medium sized reels are great for fishing near the shore, but they will not cut it in deep waters. Once you reach a certain depth, you will need a large reel to fish with.
  • The Handle – When you are fishing in deep water, it is a good idea to have an anti-reverse handle that will help prevent the line from being pulled back out once it is reeled in. This prevents the line from getting slack as well as the fish from pulling the line further out to sea. Also, make sure that the handle is comfortable and easy to reel in. It should have non-slip handles to help you keep a grip on the reel when you hook a big one.
  • Line Capacity – Line capacity is determined by the size of your spool and the weight of your line. The more line your reel holds, the more it is going to cost you. A great way to know how much line capacity that you need is to research the amount of line you will need to hook the type of fish you are looking to catch. Here are a few pointers for catching some of the most popular saltwater fish.
  • The Bearings – The ball bearing count has a big effect on how smoothly the reel operates. Having too little bearings means that reeling in a big fish will be a jerky experience that can be more difficult than it needs to be. Since you are now exploring the depths of the ocean, it is important to find a reel with as many bearings as possible, especially since you never know how large your next catch may be.
  • Targeting – Sometimes it is nice to simply throw out your line and see what bites, but other times you may want to try and hook a specific type of fish. Certain fish will be attracted to specific reels, so if you want to catch your prize, do the research to properly target them. Some fish are also only found at certain depths in the ocean, so you may have to test the waters a bit to have a successful fishing excursion when your goal is a specific target.
  • Cleanup and Maintenance – Leaving saltwater on your reel and rod is a great way to invite corrosion to form. To make sure that your reel stays in good condition, you will need to take a wet cloth across it to wipe the salt off after every use. In addition, if you want to give your reel a polished look, you can simply use a small amount of furniture polish. Never let your reel stay covered in salt after you have been deep sea fishing; no matter how durable the device is, once the corrosion begins, it is hard to stop.

Saltwater Spinning Reel Reviews

1. Shimano Stella 4000 SW-B XG Heavy Duty Saltwater Reel

Shimano Stella 4000 SW-B XG Heavy Duty Saltwater Reel

Our first pick is a beautiful black and gold reel crafted by Shimano. It has a gear ratio of 6.2:1, which is a bit higher than the previous model. In addition, there are 13 A-RB bearings in the unit, which add a lot of finesse to your fishing experience. In addition, the Stella 4000 is unbelievably lightweight considering all of the internal features that are included with this reel.

It features a g-free body that moves the oscillation system to a more central location on the reel, which will improve the balance of the reel and help eliminate wobbling when you are attempting to retrieve a fish. The gears are designed with micro-teeth to give you more power and torque with a lot less vibration.

This reel also features an anti-reverse handle that screws directly into the drive gear, which gives you the power you desire without the extra strain on the internal parts. In addition, the core of this reel is also designed to be extra waterproof, which add a corrosion resistant layer of protection that any angler will appreciate.

Things We Liked

  • This reel does not restrict your natural movements, making fishing a much more pleasant experience.
  • Casting and retrieving the line is almost effortless.
  • It is extremely easy to adjust the drag on this reel.

Things We Didn't Like

  • This reel is a bit on the pricy side for someone who only fishes in the ocean on occasion.
  • The gold surface may reflect in the sun, but sunglasses can easily protect you from the glare.

2. PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Reel

PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Reel

The Penn Spinfisher V is another one of the best saltwater spinning reels that you will want to get your hands on. This unit can be purchased in any size from 3,500 up to 10,500; each of which has a larger line capacity and drag customizability. It is constructed to be a durable reel that will last you for years, even if it is exposed to saltwater. It features a water tight design with six seals to keep the saltwater away from the internal gears of the reel.

This reel does not require a backing to secure the line, so this means that it is much easier to fill the spool when you need fresh line on your reel. In addition, there are indicators on this unit to help let you know how much line you still have on the reel. To help make your casts smoother, there are five stainless steel bearings inside this reel. The handle on this reel features an anti-reverse design that is perfect for reeling in a big one, whether you are right or left handed.

Things We Liked

  • This reel is capable of pulling in a 40 pound fish with very little effort.
  • Extremely durable and water resistant; in fact, it will not corrode even if it is dropped into the ocean.
  • This reel is really easy to clean and make sure there is not salt on the surface, especially since the inside gears are sealed to be protected.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The drag system is not as strong as it is on some similar products; in fact, sometimes it has issues engaging.
  • The bail arm works a bit differently with this reel, so it may take a bit to get use to.

3. Daiwa STT6500H Saltist Salt Water Spinning Reel

Daiwa STT6500H Saltist Salt Water Spinning Reel

Our next choice is another unique looking reel that is created by Daiwa. The Saltist is a black and blue reel that is specifically designed to be used for saltwater fishing. It is designed with an all metal construction that is durable and dependable, especially when a lot of weight is on the line. The entire reel, including the ball bearing are designed to be waterproof and corrosion proof, so you never have to worry about rust forming on this reel. The bearings have been treated to make them 12 times more resistant to the effects of saltwater.

The gearing system of the reel is designed to smoothly transfer the handle’s spinning energy to that of the rotor, which means that the internal parts will last longer in this unit. The bail trip is done manually, to decrease the amount of moving parts in the reel, but it is actually more durable than an automated one. In addition, this reel has an anti-reverse handle that is fitted with an anti-slip grip that is comfortable to use.

Things We Liked

  • This reel has a great drag that is smooth and easy to use.
  • Retrieving a fish that is hooked on the line is nearly effortless.

Things We Didn't Like

  • It lacks a few gadgets that some anglers have grown to love, but some may enjoy the manual features of this reel.
  • This reel is a bit on the heavy side, which may be a turn off for some.

4. Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel

Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel

The next reel on our list is one that does not have all of the glimmer and glam as some models, but it is a durable and dependable option that was manufactured by Nor-Fin. The Offshore is designed with a single piece aluminum frame that is designed to help prevent the corrosion and the rust that can be an effect of fishing in saltwater. The internal gears are stainless steel and so are the four bearings; in addition, they have also been sealed to add an additional layer of protection.

Things We Liked

  • The Fin-Nor Offshore has the drag power of some spinning reels that cost twice as much.
  • This reel is a great value for the price.
  • This reel has amazing drag power; in fact, it offers more than most anglers will ever need to use.
  • This reel is very easy to clean and maintain.

Things We Didn't Like

  • This reel is a bit heavy for some anglers to utilize.
  • The design of this reel is a bit old fashioned.
  • The anti-reverse on this rod is not instant, so it may be an inconvenience for some.

5. Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel

The final reel on our list is the Okuma Cedros. It is a solidly designed and attractive reel that has a more affordable price range than many of the other options on our list. This reel is designed with silver, blue, and gold features that are attractive to look at.

It features a die cast aluminum frame that is durable. The precision dual force drag system offers you 26 pounds of drag. It has nine ball bearings that are coated with an additional layer that provides corrosion resistance. In addition, the anti-reverse on the handle is a quick set unit that is easy to switch manually. This reel features a patented elliptical oscillation system that makes is simple to reel in a fish of any size, which is a great benefit when you are fishing in the ocean.

Things We Liked

  • This reel has a great amount of drag, which optimizes your fishing experience.
  • This reel offers a great value for the price point.
  • The reel is lightweight and easy to cast; in fact, many of the interior gears are designed with holes in them to make sure that the weight of the reel is acceptable.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The line capacity of this spool is not as large as many other saltwater spinning reels.
  • The reel is reversible, but it requires you to remove the shaft, which is an inconvenience for many.

Conclusion and Final Pick

Fishing in the deep blue sea is an experience that you will love; in fact, once you go once, you will not be able to resist going again. Hopefully this guide has helped you decide on the best saltwater spinning reel, but if you are looking for an opinion, I’d say to go with the Shimano Stella 4000. It is a great all around reel that you will be able to use for years. It has a great line capacity, the bearing number is rather high, and the drag is amazing. Of course the price may be a bit high for some anglers, but if you can spare the extra, you will not regret purchasing this beautiful black and gold reel.