Best Fishing Reels Made In The USA

Last Updated: April 9th, 2020

In a time when a lot of companies choose low manufacturing costs and export their factories to places like China, it’s hard to know that what you’re buying is still made with the quality you’re used to. There are even some scoundrels out there trying to make ‘knock-off versions’ of our favorite reels, making it even harder to trust that what you’re seeing online is the real deal.


At A Glance: Our Top 3 Fishing Reels - Made in the USA


This is what has inspired this review, ‘The Best Fishing Reels Made In The USA’. Here we have a line up of some of the best fly, spinning and offshore reels that are made right here at home in the good old USA. You can trust the quality, the customer service and know that you’re money is staying at home rather than moving across the world.

OUR TOP PICKS

Penn 1403983 Slammer III Spinning
PENN Slammer III Spinning
  • Big line capacity
  • Smooth, fast retrieve
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KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel,Size 2000
KastKing Sharky III Spinning
  • Large line capacity
  • Good max drag
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Penn 1259880 Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel, 8500LL
PENN Spinfisher V Spinning
  • Live Liner mode
  • Good drag
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KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel, Left Handed Fishing Reel,Rover70
Best Allrounder
KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel
  • Quality materials
  • Good drag
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Accurate TwinDrag SR Spinning Reels
Best Spinning Reel
Accurate SR30 Spinning
  • Amazing line capacity
  • Insane quality
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Galvan Torque 5 Fly Reel, Green - with $30 Gift Card
Galvan Torque 5 Fly Reel
  • Light
  • Durable
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ABEL Super 10 Reel
Best Fly Reel
ABEL Super 10 Fly Reel
  • Well made
  • Durable
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Tibor Everglades Fly Reel Satin Gold
Tibor Everglades Fly Reel
  • Quality materials
  • Excellent drag
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Avet 5.3:1 Lever Drag Conventional Reel, Green
Avet 5.3:1 Lever Drag Conventional Reel
  • Well made
  • Corrosion-resistant
VIEW ON AMAZON →

Best Fishing Reels - Made in the USA


PENN Slammer III Spinning

Penn 1403983 Slammer III Spinning

Penn have always been a US company and have never strayed to moving their manufacturing abroad. They make awesome reels and the Slammer III Spinning reel is no different. I’ve spent time bringing in huge yellow-fin tuna and dogtooth tuna with these reels and believe me, they pack a punch. 

The body, rotor and side plate are all made for a life in the salt and come with an IPX6 sealed body and spool to protect the drag and gearbox from any salt/dirt that may try and creep in there.

The drag, line capacity and retrieve rate come together to make a reel that will put the hurt on any species out there. The drag is made from Penn’s own Dura-Drag material and can give you up to 60lbs of pressure, that’s some stopping power. Now throw in a huge line capacity and a super-fast smooth retrieve and you’ve got a winner.

This reel is made to deal with anything the ocean can throw at it, the only downside is that it’s heavy, but it has to be to deal with those large oceanic creatures. Make sure to pick the smallest model that can handle the fish you’re after, this’ll take the pressure off your casting arm a bit. 

Pros

  • Big line capacity
  • Smooth, fast retrieve
  • Powerful, smooth drag
  • Sealed
  • Durable
  • Well made

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Drag can be too high at the lowest setting
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KastKing Sharky III Spinning

KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel,Size 2000

 

It was a pleasant surprise to find out that KastKing made their reels in the USA, a company that tries hard to create quality reels at affordable prices. The KastKing Sharky III comes it at an amazing price, is light, great to cast with but does have some quality issues on occasion, I guess you can’t have everything.

The graphite body keeps this reel light but durable and corrosion-resistant. The lightweight makes it a pleasure to cast with all day and the high max drag combined with the large line capacity make for a pretty heavy duty reel that will handle most freshwater and some saltwater species.

The retrieve is fast, smooth but it can cause an uneven line lay and wind knots on occasion. The reel features an aluminum handle, braid-ready aluminum spool and anti-reverse; everything you’d expect from a good reel. It’s also sealed but water still gets in and there are some reports fo the reel failing after use in saltwater so I’d recommend some virulent maintenance.

Pros

  • Large line capacity
  • Good max drag
  • Quick retrieve
  • Lightweight
  • Casts well
  • Great value
  • Sealed

Cons

  • Issues arise after use in saltwater
  • Needs good maintenance
  • Un-even line lay & wind knots on occasion
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PENN Spinfisher V Spinning

Penn 1259880 Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel, 8500LL

We are back to Penn again with another homegrown spinning reel that does the business. The Spinfisher V has your back in fresh or saltwater and it’s got some added features specifically for live-baiting.

If you’re into kite fishing for sails or simply enjoy live-baiting, the live-liner mode on this reel is something you’ll love. You can apply up to 6lbs of drag against your bait and once a fish eats, then click on your main drag at the flick of a switch. This makes controlling, free-spooling and hooking up from a live-bait smooth and effortless.

The frame is full metal, the braid-ready spool, and bail wire are aluminum which all combined do make this reel a tad heavy to cast with all day. It’s a sign of quality at an affordable price though and you’ll want that quality when going up against some big fish.

The drag is solid, the retrieve smooth and quick and it’s made for a life at sea. Overall it’s an awesome reel at a great price. 

Pros

  • Live Liner mode
  • Good drag
  • Solid retrieve
  • Well made
  • Durable
  • Large line capacity
  • Good value

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Not sealed
  • Needs good maintenance
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KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel, Left Handed Fishing Reel,Rover70

The KastKing Rover round baitcasting reel is a nit like the leatherman of the fishing world, a multi-tool of a reel you could say. It’s good for trolling, bottom fishing as well as casting with, specifically the size 40-60 models. 

There is almost no plastic in this reel, pretty much everything is made from aluminum or stainless steel, making it a robust choice for use in the sea.

It comes with a star drag that uses a carbon fiber braking system that provides up to 30lbs of drag. That’s enough power for most species out there. The reel is not sealed though, so be sure to maintain it well if you plan on using it in the salt.

The line capacity is solid and the retrieve rate is ok. The retrieve overall is nice and smooth plus it can handle a heavy load.

If you do go for the casting 40-60 models be aware that the spool lock and pop on its own causing some backlashes but it doesn’t happen often.

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • Good drag
  • Light
  • Affordable
  • Multiple uses
  • Good line capacity

Cons

  • Average retrieve rate
  • Spool lock can release on its own
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Accurate SR30 Spinning

Accurate TwinDrag SR Spinning Reels

If you’re looking for bombproof quality that will make a meal of any species, and I mean any species, look no further than Accurate reels and their SR30 dual-spinning reel. This reel was actually designed to catch marlin and I think it might be the only spinning reel in the world that was made just for that.

It’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum with the only true twin drag system in the world that includes a heat-dissipating mechanism. Imagine the first run of a blue marlin, your reel can get so hot, it’ll blister and burn you if you touch it. This reel has been made for that, can you imagine the thought and quality control that’s gone into it. 

The drag allows you to pre-set the drag tension like you would on an offshore reel, allowing you to get the strike drag just right. The line capacity is huge, and the retrieve is awesome too.

Now, this reel is an investment coming in at just under $1000 but it’s for life. The only drawback is its damn heavy.

Pros

  • Amazing line capacity
  • Insane quality
  • Twin drag system
  • Heat-dissipating system
  • Quick retrieve
  • Reliable
  • Amazing drag
  • Made for the biggest fish out there

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive
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Galvan Torque 5 Fly Reel

Galvan Torque 5 Fly Reel, Green - with $30 Gift Card

As far as the fly fishing industry goes, Galvan have made their mark and continue to do so with their well thought out and enthusiastic designs.

This reel has won awards for its drag and quality at its price point. The reel was specifically designed to have a better drag than any other reel and be good looking, and it certainly did the job. The Torque was the first reel to feature the Torque drag system which is now found in every Glaven reel.

The drag is super smooth, strong and has very little start-up inertia. It’s perfect for use in salt or freshwater. The reel has been designed to be light but durable and comes in a large arbor design for a quick retrieve rate. You can easily change from left to right hand retrieve too 

Overall it’s a sexy fly reel that’ll have your back no matter where you’re fishing and is well worth the money.

Pros

  • Light
  • Durable
  • Saltwater ready
  • Excellent drag system
  • Low start-up inertia
  • Good retrieve
  • Good looking

Cons

  • Expensive
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ABEL Super 10 Fly Reel

ABEL Super 10 Reel

Abel makes awesome reels. Their signature cork drag system is one of note and I’ve seen them make light work of GT’s and sailfish which isn’t easy for a fly reel, believe me.

The Super Series comes in a large arbor for a quick retrieve and have a specially designed oblong shape that retains durability while keeping them light. The interchangeable spool design means you can switch from a 10 to 12 weight set-up on the same reel which is super useful when targeting multiple species on the flats.

Overall the reel is made of great quality materials with a great drag, solid line capacity and it’s a reel that you can rely on.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Durable
  • Awesome drag
  • Interchangeable spools for differing line capacities
  • Large arbor
  • Good retrieve
  • Pretty

Cons

  • Pricey
  • A bit heavy
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Tibor Everglades Fly Reel

Tibor Everglades Fly Reel Satin Gold

Tibor are an American made company that doesn’t quit on a reel until it’s pretty much perfect. They ask for tips and reviews from some of the most renowned fly fishermen out there and thanks to their dedication to quality, Tibor reels have caught over 350 world-records.

The reel is made from solid bar stock aluminum making it super-durable to fishing conditions and a clumsy angler. This does make it quite heavy though and you’ll feel it if you’re consistently blind casting. 

The drag is made from cork and is dubbed as the smoothest and strongest in the industry. Some Tibor reels struggle with slipping in my experience due to some start-up inertia but this model may have ironed out those bugs. The retrieve is also solid thanks to the large arbor and large line capacity.

 

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • Excellent drag
  • Good retrieve
  • Durable
  • Made for saltwater
  • Big line capacity

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive
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Avet 5.3:1 Lever Drag Conventional Reel

Avet 5.3:1 Lever Drag Conventional Reel, Green

The Avet Conventional reel was designed, machined and assembled in the USA from marine-grade aluminum. It utilizes a carbon fiber drag system that has some serious stopping power while being smooth as butter.

It features 8 deals stainless steel ball bearings for a solid retrieve under pressure, an ergonomic handle to reduce wobble and a super comfortable handle knob.

Overall a solid conventional reel that’s affordable.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Good drag
  • Nice retrieve
  • Solid line capacity
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not great for big fish
  • Could be smoother
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What to Look for When Buying A Reel 

What are you fishing for?

No matter what style of fishing you’re into, whether it’s fly, spinning or deep-sea, you’re going to need a reel that can manage the fish you’re targeting. Make sure the one you choose matches the strength of the fish and can handle the environment you’re fishing in, particularly if its saltwater.

Line Capacity

This is also related to the fish you’re trying to catch. Some fish take blistering runs, like sailfish or marlin and the last thing anyone wants is to be standing there with an empty reel watching the fish of their dreams tail-walking away with all their line. Make sure the reel you choose holds enough line for the species you’re after.

Using Braid

This is only important if you’re using a spinning reel. All fly reels and conventional reels are ready to for braid but with spinning reels, you need to make sure they come with a braid-ready spool. This will make sure the braid doesn’t slip and is easy to fill onto the spool.

How Heavy Is The Reel 

Casting with a heavy reel is tiring. We don’t get that much time to get out on the water in the busy world of today and you don’t want those precious moments to be weighed down by your reel. Remember to check the weight and pick a reel that is light but can still stand up well to the fight of your chosen species. Heavy reels are a sign of reliability too and finding the balance between weight and power is key.

Corrosion & Durability

No one want’s to invest in a reel that’s not going to last. Be sure the one you choose is made of quality materials that’ll last, especially if you’re going to fish in saltwater.

Drag, Strong and Smooth 

Drag is key, especially if you’re chasing big fish. You need a smooth and strong enough drag if you want to succeed in catching the fish of your dreams. Check the max drag setting matches the line weight you want to use and has the stopping power to subdue the fish you want to catch.

Our top picks…

The best allrounder is the KastKing Rover Round. This reel does everything well and is perfect for bottom fishing, trolling and baitcasting. It covers a multitude of fishing options with great quality and a good price. If you enjoy light offshore/inshore fishing, this is a great match for you. 

KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel, Left Handed Fishing Reel,Rover70
  • BULLET PROOF - The hot Rover reel just became hotter. The KastKing Rover round baitcasting reel has been reinforced with thicker hard anodized aluminum side plates, CNC machined spool, precision cut brass gears, all alloy flawless level wind, industry-first stainless steel worm gear, patented metal idle gear, stainless steel shaft and other components for superior durability and corrosion protection.
  • MORE POWERFUL - You will love the stronger, more powerful KastKing Rover round baitcasting reel with a superior carbon fiber drag system. With its newly designed “Cymbal Washer” System, KastKing Rover now offers up to 30LB of smooth drag.

The best fly reel is the Abel Super 10 reel. It’s made to handle any fish that comes along and inhales your fly, from a GT to a sailfish, this quality piece of kit has you covered all the way from the line capacity to the drag.

ABEL Super 10 Reel
  • For 10- and 11-weight lines.
  • The Super 10 interchanges with the #4 spool/frame.

The best spinning reel is the Accurate SR30. This reel is built to such a high standard that I cant think of a better one I’ve seen or even read about. It’s made to conquer the biggest fish in the ocean and it does it with style.

Accurate TwinDrag SR Spinning Reels
  • Patented TwinDrag System
  • Five Class 5 ABEC stainless steel bearings