Best Inshore Spinning Reel in 2020

Last Updated: April 9th, 2020

There is an abundance of species to target when it comes to inshore fishing; from big bull reds and speckled trout to bonefish, snook, and tarpon. It’s a game of constant casting in some situations and others a waiting game until you see the fish and have to make an accurate cast that is on the money. Once you’re hooked up, you’re going to know about it too, these fish are tough, fight hard and can take a lot of line.


At A Glance: Our Top 3 Inshore Spinning Reels


So how do we match an inshore saltwater fishing reel to this situation? It has got to be strong enough, cast well and accurately and survive a life of saltiness day in and day out. That’s quite a big ask for any product out there. Luckily there is quite a lot of choice when it comes to reels that match these needs and here is a review of some of the best inshore spinning reels around.

OUR TOP PICKS

Penn 1259880 Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel, 8500LL
PENN Spinfisher V
  • Live liner mode
  • Awesome drag
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Shimano Stradic XG 5000FK Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel
SHIMANO Stradic
  • Light
  • Good caster
VIEW ON AMAZON →
PENN 1338217 Battle II 2500 Spinning Fishing Reel
Penn Battle II
  • Smooth drag
  • Reliable
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Spinning,Blue,Black,40
Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Spinning Reel
  • Light
  • Great caster
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel (CJ-80S)
Best Allrounder
Okuma Cedros
  • Affordable
  • Quick retrieve
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Daiwa BG2500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel, 2500, 5.6: 1 Gear Ratio, 6+1 Bearings, 33.20' Retrieve Rate, 13.20 lb Max Drag,Black/gold
Best On A Budget
Daiwa BG
  • Good drag
  • Quick retrive
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Daiwa SALTIGA5000H Saltwater Spinning Fishing Reel, 17-20 lb, Blue
Best Of The Best
Daiwa Saltiga
  • Awesome drag
  • Reliable
VIEW ON AMAZON →

Best Inshore Spinning Reels


PENN Spinfisher V

Penn 1259880 Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel, 8500LL

Penn makes great reels and the Penn Spinfisher V is no different. This is a lovely inshore saltwater fishing reel that’s a pleasure to use; you’ll be able to cast far and accurately with the confidence that no matter what inshore species you, the reel has got your back.

The body is made up of metal, as are the rotor and side plates. This makes the reel a little heavier than others but it’s more robust and will handle being bashed around a bit.

The reel features the HT-1oo slammer drag, one of the best Penn has ever made. It’s strong, smooth and it’s also sealed to stop salt or dirt getting into the reel and corroding it.

It comes with a large line capacity, so when those big bonefish or tarpon start grey-hounding across the water, there’s no need to panic as you’ll have plenty of line to manage. The retrieve rate is high, so once the fish has stopped its run, you can crank down and get them in quick.

The spool is aluminum and braid-ready, something we all need these days. It also comes with capacity markers so you’ll know where you’re at in any moment.

Penn has also added some helpful features including; anti-reverse, a friction trip ramp to stop the bail arm tripping during casting and live liner mode.

Live liner mode is specifically for live-baiting and if you do a lot of it, you’ll want to pay attention now. This mode lets you put up to 6lbs of drag against your live-bait without engaging the main drag, so you can control your bait and once hooked up, engage the normal drag. The only downfall is that it’s a bit quiet and you’ll need to pay attention.

 

Pros

  • Live liner mode
  • Awesome drag
  • Quick retrieve
  • Durable
  • Sealed
  • Affordable
  • Good line capacity

Cons

  • Live liner mode is a bit quiet
  • A bit heavy
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SHIMANO Stradic

Shimano Stradic XG 5000FK Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel

Shimano, as we know, make awesome fishing gear and they have put a lot of thought into the Stradic. 

It’s light for easy, accurate casting while being robust and durable in those salty conditions. The reel comes with a full metal body that’s been made to guarantee rigidity. The rigidity in the body keeps the gears aligned thanks to zero flex which makes sure that every crank you give it comes with the reels maximum efficiency. There is no time wasting here.

The reel features Shimano’s CrossCarbonDrag which is known to be their smoothest ever across the industry. It can be changed in micro-increments so you can set the exact pressure you want. The only thing missing from the drag is that it has a pretty low max, so if you hook a 200lb tarpon, you’re going to have to chase it with the boat. 

It comes with a braid-ready spool and the internal parts are all made to beat corrosion. The reel features X-Protect, a water-repellent coating combined with a maze of channels that ensure water is directed out of the reel and away from any important parts. This feature is key to ensuring your reel lasts a life in the salt.

 

Pros

  • Light
  • Good caster
  • Durable
  • Sealed
  • Smooth drag
  • Semi-affordable
  • Great quality

Cons

  • Low max drag
  • Ok line capacity
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Penn Battle II

PENN 1338217 Battle II 2500 Spinning Fishing Reel

The Penn Battle II is designed according to its name, to go to battle with some big creatures. This inshore saltwater fishing reel might be a bit overkill for those smaller inshore species but if you’re into big tarpon, this is a solid choice.

It’s been made with the sea in mind and features a full aluminum body that does its best to keep the dirt and salt out. The reel isn’t sealed though so be sure to take it apart and maintain it properly. The body is also made to maintain rigidity to give you maximum efficiency from your gears in every crank.

The drag is strong, smooth and when combined with the large line capacity makes for a reel that can handle a big fish. Add in the5 bearings and the high gear ratio to give a quick, smooth retrieve and I’m not sure what more you could ask for.

It comes with instant anti-reverse and a braid-ready superline spool with capacity markings for easy filling. Overall it is a great reel, maybe a little heavy and the main gear can fail after a season or two but, it’s easy to replace. 

Pros

  • Smooth drag
  • Reliable
  • Durable
  • Very affordable
  • Quick retrieve
  • Good caster

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Main gear can need replacing after a few years
See On Amazon

Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Spinning,Blue,Black,40

This is reel specifically designed for inshore fishing and when Abu Garcia makes a reel for something, it does the job, most of the time.

One of the best things about this reel is how it casts. The superlight aluminum body while being durable makes for limitless casting. You’ll be able to pin baits into those mangrove holes effortlessly, all day. It also features Abu’s Rocket Line Management system to help you cast even further and more accurately than usual.

The carbon drag system is super smooth, easy to adjust and has some strength behind it. The retrieve is quick and the body and inner workings are made to brush off corrosion. The reel is not sealed though and if it goes for a dunk, you should certainly take it apart that evening and give it so loving care.

The spool is braid-ready and has enough capacity for most inshore species just maybe not a giant tarpon but if you’re in a boat and can chase the fish, you’ll be fine.

There are a couple of drawbacks; the bearings can grind after a while and the reel can stick a bit on the retrieve but with some good maintenance this should be avoided.

Pros

  • Light
  • Great caster
  • Quick retrieve
  • Solid drag
  • Well made
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Corrosion-resistant

Cons

  • Bearings can grind after a while
  • Not sealed
  • Reel arm can stick
See On Amazon

Okuma Cedros

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel (CJ-80S)

The Okuma Cedros has been turning some heads in the fishing world and for good reason. It’s been made specifically for jigging, making it super fast with a great drag, but that’s not all it’s good for, the reel casts beautifully too.

The body and inner workings have been designed to be used in the sea. From the aluminum body to the brass insides and the corrosion-resistant coated gears, the reel is built to last in a salty world. 

It features Okuma’s dual force drag system that gives a max drag of 33lb which is certainly enough for any inshore fish you’re looking to target. Once engaged, the drag is smooth and reliable. It’s also sealed making for less maintenance. 

The retrieve is super-fast as you’d expect from a jigging reel and that’s thanks to the multiple bearings and high gear ratio. If you’re a topwater fisherman, you know how important it is to move those baits quickly sometimes and this reel will do it for you.

The only negative I can see about this reel is that its hard to open and maintain but with some practice, it’ll get easier.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Quick retrieve
  • Big line capacity
  • Well made
  • Sealed
  • Powerful, smooth drag
  • Light
  • Good caster
  • Excellent line capacity.

Cons

  • Not easy to maintain
See On Amazon

Daiwa BG

Daiwa BG2500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel, 2500, 5.6: 1 Gear Ratio, 6+1 Bearings, 33.20' Retrieve Rate, 13.20 lb Max Drag,Black/gold

The Daiwa BG is a great budget reel for saltwater fishing. It comes in every size, from small to huge and a medium-sized one is a perfect fit as a inshore saltwater fishing reel.

The reel has been designed for use in the sea and features all the right materials you’d want in a reel to make it last. The drag is strong, smooth and waterproof to help keep the maintenance down, don’t panic if it takes a dunk, just take ot apart and give it a clean.

The reel includes Daiwa’s Digigear System that makes the super-fast retrieve smooth as butter. Each size comes with a large line capacity that fits snugly onto the braid-ready aluminum spool. 

The bail arm has been made sepcifically to assist with line management. It actively stops twists and loops to make for easy casting.

There are a few drawbacks; the reel is a bit heavy for all day casting and the bail roller can corrode, but is easily replaced.

Pros

  • Good drag
  • Quick retrive
  • Casts well
  • Great value
  • Durable
  • Big line capacity
  • Sealed drag

Cons

  • Bail roller can corrode
  • A bit heavy
See On Amazon

Daiwa Saltiga

Daiwa SALTIGA5000H Saltwater Spinning Fishing Reel, 17-20 lb, Blue

This reel might have more technology and thought in it than any other reel made by Daiwa. It’s been specifically designed to last a lifetime of use in saltwater. Their MAG SEALD technology uses a magnetic oil that runs around the inside of the reel to make it not only smooth but to repel anything that tries to get in there. This means the reel should last forever, especially if you take care of it.

The reel’s price tag is close to $1000 so it’s certainly an investment, but worth it if you’re looking for one reel for the rest of your life. It’ll handle any inshore species and even some offshore ones, depending on the size you choose.

The line capacity, retrieve rate and drag are all top of the line, it’s hard to put a foot wrong with this reel. The only drawback is that it’s a little heavy and you may get tired casting it all day. 

Pros

  • Awesome drag
  • Reliable
  • Super-sealed
  • Good line capacity
  • Designed for life long use
  • Great retrieve rate
  • Casts beautifully

Cons

  • Expensive - it's an investment
  • A bit heavy
See On Amazon

What to Look for

Here are a few things to think about when you’re looking for your inshore reel.

What are you fishing for?

The fish you find inshore are usually strong and tough. They will dash into the mangroves, go on blistering runs and use everything the can to stop you from getting them in. You’re going to need a reel that can manage that and the salty environment, like all the ones in the review.

Using Braid

Using braid is key to making long, accurate casts and putting extra pressure on fish, all of which are key when doing some inshore fishing. So you’re going to want a reel that comes with a braid-ready spool. Pretty much all new reels do but be sure to check before you buy.

How Heavy Is The Reel

Heavy reels make long days of casting tiresome and chore-like until you hook a fish that is. Buy a reel that is light and comfortable to use; we already live in a busy enough world and no one want’s their fishing time to be dragged down by a weighty reel.

Corrosion & Durability

This reel is going to spend most of its time in the sea, make sure it can handle it and be sure to look after it. Check the reel is made from quality materials and if possible, that it’s sealed in some way.

Drag, Strong and Smooth

The fish you’re targeting are no joke and when they go, they go hard. You’ll need a drag that keeps up in terms of both smoothness and power.

Our Top Reels

The Okuma Cedros is the best allrounder of the bunch. It’s made to last, is affordable and does everything you need to when you’re inshore fishing.

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel (CJ-80S)
  • DFD: Precision Dual Force Drag System
  • ALC: Rigid, die-cast-aluminum Frame

The Daiwa BG is the best on a budget. It does the basics well, will last and is very affordable.

Daiwa BG2500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel, 2500, 5.6: 1 Gear Ratio, 6+1 Bearings, 33.20" Retrieve Rate, 13.20 lb Max Drag,Black/gold
  • Black Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing ("Hard Bodyz" Body & Side Cover), Over-sized Digigear (Digigear System)
  • Solid Screw-In Handle, Air Rotor, Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool

The best of the best has to be the Daiwa Saltiga. The reel has been made to last a lifetime and it does everything else as well if not better than any other reel out there.

Daiwa SALTIGA5000H Saltwater Spinning Fishing Reel, 17-20 lb, Blue
  • MAG SEALD support anglers with it's best performance for fighting His taget fish
  • Daiwa new saltiga 2015 has atd (automatic drag System)