Best Spinning Reel For Bass in 2020

Last Updated: April 9th, 2020

Bass fishing is a delicate and skilful art, and when you’re spending long days casting into nooks and crannies it’s important to have the right tool for the job. With accuracy and weight being important factors, alongside drag and retrieve, choosing the right reel can seem a little daunting.


At A Glance: Our Top 3 Spinning Reels For Bass


But don’t worry, that’s where we come in – we’ve put together a list of the top bass reels to help you find the one that suits you best.

OUR TOP PICKS

SHIMANO Sedona 1000FI, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel
Shimano Sedona F1
  • 10-year warranty
  • Good for long-range casting
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Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB Spinning Fishing Reel With Front Drag, STCI44000XGFB
Best Of The Best
Shimano Stradic CI4+
  • 10-year warranty
  • Good for long-range casting
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Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel Size 10 - 5Lb Max Drag Pressure
Okuma Ceymar
  • Sleek design reduces overall size
  • Smooth rotor that dries rapidly
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Abu Garcia REVO2X30 REVO X 30 SPIN 1430447
Abu Garcia Revo X
  • Lightweight (<8 ounces) to aid casting
  • Smooth drag
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Pflueger President Spinning Reel
Best Allrounder
Pflueger President
  • Good value for money
  • Lightweight (8.8 ounces) to aid casting
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KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel,Size 1000
KastKing Sharky III
  • Water-resistant
  • Lightweight to aid casting
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Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reels with Left/Right Interchangeable Collapsible Wood Handle Powerful Metal Body 5.2:1/5.1:1 Gear Ratio Smooth 11BB for Inshore Boat Rock Freshwater Saltwater Fishing
Best Budget
Sougayilang Spinning Reel
  • Very affordable
  • Foldaway handle
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Best Spinning Reels For Bass


Shimano Sedona F1

SHIMANO Sedona 1000FI, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel

The Shimano Sedona F1 is an exceptionally smooth reel, thanks, in part, to its HAGANE Gear system. This is one of the most durable gear systems out there, and it guarantees an effortless performance time and time again. On top of this, the reel has a double-anodised machine-cut spool to increase line capacity and uses a propulsion line management system, so you can target bass from even further afield without worrying about wind knots and bird nests. It’s also a lightweight option at just over 8.5 ounces and this, combined with its G Free Body, helps to reduce fatigue and keep you going that little bit longer when you’re out on the water all day.

Despite having a bearing count of just 4, this reel retains a smooth drag and retrieve, and its major downside is a lack of anti-reverse, forcing the drag to take on the fish every time. Another drawback is the bail arm, which is a bit stiff and can get in the way while casting. Despite this, Shimano are a reputable name in the fishing industry and offer a 10-year warranty for peace of mind, and with high-end features at low-end prices, this reel is a winner.

Pros

  • 10-year warranty
  • Good for long-range casting
  • Smooth drag
  • Good retrieve
  • Affordable
  • Durable

Cons

  • Lacks an anti-reverse switch
  • Low bearing count
  • Bail arm is bit stiff
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Shimano Stradic CI4+

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB Spinning Fishing Reel With Front Drag, STCI44000XGFB

If you like the sound of a HAGANE Gear system, G Free Body and a propulsion line management system but you have a larger budget to play with, then the Shimano Stradic CI4+ might be the perfect choice for you. The retrieve on this reel will stay nice and smooth even under pressure, thanks to its X-Ship pinion gear support system, and the light magnumlite rotor only adds to the smoothness of the retrieve. As well as this, the carbon fibre body brings the weight of this reel down to just over 11 ounces, making it even easier to keep bass hunting all day long. The drag also takes advantage of the durability of carbon by using a multi-disc carbon fibre system to provide a tough but incredibly smooth drag. Although the drag is definitely slightly on the high side of the bass spectrum, this does mean you can use this reel with other fish, including saltwater species.

As with the Shimano Sedona F1, the spool is made of lightweight yet durable aluminium that can handle braid as well as mono, but in this model there’s also a grooved power roller feature to further cut down on those pesky twists and turns. Finally, in case a reputable brand name and 10-year warranty wasn’t enough already, this reel is even water-resistant – there’s really no reason why this reel shouldn’t last you a lifetime!

Again, there is no anti-reverse on this reel, although this is somewhat made up for with a one-way roller bearing system, and the bail arm can be a little annoying, but with all its other features it remains one of the best reels out there.

Pros

  • 10-year warranty
  • Good for long-range casting
  • Extremely light weight (6.7 ounces)
  • Super smooth drag
  • Solid retrieve
  • Can be used in saltwater
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bail arm not the most reliable
  • No anti-reverse
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Okuma Ceymar

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel Size 10 - 5Lb Max Drag Pressure

The sleek design of the Okuma Ceymar and its EVA-coated handle makes it easy to handle and stop bulkiness distracting you from the job at hand. However, despite its small size and light weight, this reel packs a punch. Its sturdy brass gears are designed to reduce friction, giving consistent drag pressures (although occasionally they become noisy after prolonged use), and the drag system itself is incredibly smooth due to its multi-disc oiled-felt system. The bail and braid-ready spool is made of solid aluminium, and the reel uses a line control system to keep things orderly. The body itself is made of graphite, and the cyclonic flow rotor uses airflow to rapidly dry wet reels so that this reel can stand up to corrosion. The rotor can also withstand high speeds without shaking thanks to its computer balanced technology. With a quick and smooth retrieve to boot, there really are few downsides to this reel, although problems with the handle loosening have been known to occur from time to time.

Pros

  • Sleek design reduces overall size
  • Smooth rotor that dries rapidly
  • Good drag
  • Nice retrieve
  • Durable
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Gears can become noisy
  • Handle can become loose
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Abu Garcia Revo X

Abu Garcia REVO2X30 REVO X 30 SPIN 1430447

The Abu Garcia Revo X is a sleek little number made with a carbon body to keep the weight down yet retain strength, and the rotor itself is made if super sturdy graphite that doesn’t break the bank. The retrieve on the reel is fast and smooth thanks to the high number of bearings and a high gear ratio. The gears themselves are precisely aligned with the main body of the reel, and the Carbon Matrix drag system keeps the drag smooth, even when fighting the boldest of bass, and also ensures long-term high-quality performance. The aluminium spool can handle mono, braid and fluorocarbon, and whatever line you go for you can be sure that it won’t end up in a tangle thanks to the Rocket Line management system.

A couple of things to bear in mind are that the reel handle can stick sometimes, and the bearings may become clunky with time. Also, the reel is not sealed so make sure you take care of it, especially if you’ll be using it in saltwater as well as freshwater.

Pros

  • Lightweight (<8 ounces) to aid casting
  • Smooth drag
  • Quick retrieve
  • Good value
  • Durable
  • Corrosion-resistant

Cons

  • Not sealed
  • Reel handle can become sticky
  • Bearings might grind after a while
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Pflueger President

Pflueger President Spinning Reel

The Pfleuger President is an old favourite among anglers of all ages and it’s easy to see why. This reel is comfortable and easy to get to grips with, but it doesn’t compromise on quality. When bass bolt for cover they have some power behind them, and you’re going to need something that can handle it. The 10-bearing system of this reel gives it a snappy yet effortless retrieve, which makes it handy not just for bass fishing but also for when you’re using topwater lures. It’s also super lightweight, weighing in at just 8.8 ounces, making it perfect for those long days of constant casting.

The rotor and body of this reel are made from graphite, and it has a stainless steel and oiled-felt drag that prevents corrosion as well as providing a continuous drag. This smooth drag can be kicked into action using the anti-reverse switch, which lets you can choose whether to back reel or let the drag fight the fish. The aluminium spool will also stand up to corrosion, and it can easily be spooled with braid to give you that extra edge. The handle itself is aluminium, like the bail arm, but its soft grippy knob retains comfort. Overall, this makes for a sturdy reel that should last you a while in both salt and freshwater environments – just make sure you show it some TLC as it isn’t sealed. Also, make sure you watch out for the line bunching up during retrieve and the bail arm closing halfway through casting.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Lightweight (8.8 ounces) to aid casting
  • Smooth, fast retrieve
  • High bearing count
  • Nice drag

Cons

  • Bail arm can shut during casting
  • Uneven line lays on retrieve
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KastKing Sharky III

KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel,Size 1000

If you’re after something you can use to catch bass but you can also use with stronger fish, then we’d recommend the KastKing Sharky III. This reel is lightweight and tough thanks to its graphite rotor and body being reinforced with high-percentage fibre. What’s more, its spool, body and rotor are all water-resistant and it has 10+1 saltwater-rated stainless steel ball bearings so you can use it with both freshwater and saltwater targets. As well as its impressive bearing count, its high gear ratio means the retrieve on this reel is sharp and smooth, and it comes with instant lock anti-reverse and a braid-ready aluminium spool. Its triple-disc carbon-fibre drag has a high maximum and this, combined with its large line capacity, is what makes it able to stand up to not only the boldest of bass but also those larger game fish. For the price, it really does have a lot to offer.

The main thing to keep an eye on with this reel is its longevity – occasionally the bearings grind and dust and salt manage to worm their ways into the inner workings of the reel, but you should be able to circumvent this with standard maintenance.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Lightweight to aid casting
  • Affordable
  • High max drag
  • Large line capacity
  • Smooth retrieve

Cons

  • Bearings might grind after some use
  • Sealing may let in salt and dust
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Sougayilang Spinning Reel

Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reels with Left/Right Interchangeable Collapsible Wood Handle Powerful Metal Body 5.2:1/5.1:1 Gear Ratio Smooth 11BB for Inshore Boat Rock Freshwater Saltwater Fishing

The Sougayilang spinning reel is the cheapest of our selection, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthwhile reel. The drag is sealed and has a carbon fibre multi-disc system, making it sturdy but smooth, and it comes with an instant anti-reverse. The graphite body is another robust feature and the gear ratio and steel ball bearings mean you can catch those heavier fish in freshwater and saltwater environments. Finally, its handle, just like the spool, is made from durable CNC machine-cut aluminium, and it also folds away for convenient storage – not bad for the price eh? Just make sure you watch out for the gears grinding – although you should be able to fix this with a lick of grease on the gears – and don’t be too disappointed if the colour chips off.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Foldaway handle
  • Durable
  • Lightweight (8.6 ounces) to aid casting
  • Anti-reverse system

Cons

  • Gears can become rough
  • Paint can peel
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What to Look For

When you’re hunting for bass, you want a lightweight and accurate reel. But is that all you’re interested in? Some reels that can be used with bass can also be used with larger fish if that’s your thing and others can be used in saltwater too – it’s important to consider exactly what you’ll be using your reel for. On top of this, there are a whole bunch of other factors to keep an eye out for, so here’s a few things to bear in mind when purchasing your next reel:

Weight

Bass fishing involves constant casting into tiny spaces, and this can be a real test of endurance… why make it hard on yourself by going for a heavy reel? You’ll want something lightweight that you can brandish all day without fatigue getting the better of you.

Drag

When the bass your aiming for hurls itself towards the nearest hiding hole, you’ll definitely want a smooth drag to help you win the fight. The maximum drag doesn’t need to be super high for bass, but if you want to catch larger fish with the same reel then you’ll have to make sure the drag range covers both types.

Lifespan

Is your reel made of high-end materials? Is it sealed? Does it come with a warranty? All of these factors can be good indicators of how long your reel will last you, and sometimes it’s worth paying that bit more for one that will last you a lifetime.

Our top three…

So, there you have our selection of the best bass reels but, just in case you’re still undecided, we’ve whittled it down even further to bring you a final three – the best budget, the best all-rounder and our top pick:

The best budget reel is, surprise surprise, the Sougayilang Spinning Reel. Really though, what’s not to love? It has a solid drag system, anti-reverse and is lightweight and durable. It can even be used on heavier fish and should stand up to saltwater as well as freshwater. If you’re on a budget but want something sturdy and versatile, then this is definitely the reel for you.

Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reels with Left/Right Interchangeable Collapsible Wood Handle Powerful Metal Body 5.2:1/5.1:1 Gear Ratio Smooth 11BB for Inshore Boat Rock Freshwater Saltwater Fishing
  • The Fishing Reels Spinning Freshwater Saltwater with 5.2:1 Gear Ratio 11BB ,CNC machine cut ABS collapsible handle, Left/right Interchangeable .
  • Fully adjustable cast control with sound.S-curve oscillation system for very good line winding .Aluminum spool with high-tensile gear.

Our allrounder is the Plueger President. The high bearing count makes for a super smooth retrieve that’s handy not only with bass but also when you’re using topwater lures. With graphite, stainless steel and aluminium components, this reel is durable and well-suited to salty and fresh waters, yet despite this the reel manages to retain the light weight needed for bass fishing. It’s also one of the better-looking reels on the market and with its attractive price tag it’s great value for money.

Pflueger President Spinning Reel
  • 9 Stainless Steal Ball Bearings; 6920 has 6 ball bearings
  • On/Off instant anti-reverse bearing

Overall, there is one reel that stand above all of the rest – the Shimano Stradic CI4+ has it all. Quality materials, modern systems for gear functionality and comfort and a smooth, quick retrieve. The super smooth drag is high enough to be used with larger catches too, and the spool is braid-ready. It is a little on the pricey side, but that can be forgiven seeing as it’s water-resistant and comes with a 10-year warranty – this reely is worth the investment!

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB Spinning Fishing Reel With Front Drag, STCI44000XGFB
  • Gear Ratio: 6.0:1, Weight: 5.60 ounce
  • Mono line capacity lbs/yd: 2/270, 4/140, 6/110