The Best Fishing Reel Brands of 2019

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Looking for a fishing reel for your first fishing trip? Well, we would like to offer a few fishing reel brands to your attention.

There are many reels on the market that you could choose from. Perhaps too many. But by narrowing your options down to a few brands, you should be able to make things a little easier for yourself.

Below, we will introduce you to reel brands in a few reel categories – spinning reels, baitcasting reels, trolling reels, fly reels, and spincast reels. Hopefully, such a breakdown will allow you to find what you are looking for quicker.

With that said, let’s have a look at the best fishing reel brands in each of these categories!

The Best Fishing Reel Brands of 2019

Spinning Reel Brands

Shimano

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 2500 FB HG Spinning...
  • Gear ratio: 6.0:1, Weight: 6.70 ounce
  • Line Retrieve Per Crank: 35 inch
SaleBestseller No. 2
SHIMANO Stradic 2500FL HG Spinning Fishing...
  • HaganeBody - The HAGANE Body is a metal reel body with high rigidity. The body stiffness and impact resistance virtually eliminates body flexing. The result transforms the angler's actions directly...
  • X-Ship - provides improved gear durability. By supporting the pinion gear on both ends with bearings, the pinion gear maintains precise alignment with the drive gear. This means the gears will stay in...

Shimano is one of the best-known names in the fishing tackle market, if not the best-known. This Japanese brand is also quite renowned for its cycling components and rowing equipment, so you have probably heard this name more than once when shopping for bicycles or maybe rowing shoes.

Shimano offers many types of reels, and – a little spoiler alert – this brand will be featured for a few other fishing reel categories.

The total number of spinning reel models offered by Shimano as of October 2019 was 55 – 10 surf spinning, 20 saltwater spinning, and 25 regular spinning reels. Not only that, but Shimano offers fishing reels across multiple ranges, allowing newbies or experienced anglers alike to find something by their budget and needs.

Penn

SaleBestseller No. 1
Penn 1338219 Battle II 4000 Spinning Fishing...
  • Durable, high range spinning reel ideal for conquering big saltwater game fish
  • Full metal body, sideplate, and rotor and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire offer exceptional durability
SaleBestseller No. 2
Penn 1403983 Slammer III Spinning
  • Full metal body, sideplate, and rotor
  • Cnc gear technology

Penn’s selection of spinning fishing reels isn’t nearly as wide as that of Shimano. But while you do have only 15 models in total to choose from, Penn’s assortment should be pretty enough for most people.

On the lower end, you have the Penn Fierce III spinning reel, an inexpensive but solid piece of equipment that will appeal to newbies or those who don’t need an over-the-top spinning reel. This reel has all the basics you would want, as well as fairly decent build quality.

On the higher end, you have the Torque II spinning reel that’s just shy of costing a grand. This guy offers a remarkable sealed body design along with exceptional smoothness delivered 9+1 stainless steel bearings.

Aside from these two reels, you have 13 models in between that would be more suitable for the not so demanding angler. And by the way, most of Penn’s fishing reels are in the middle price range, with Torque II being the only higher-end model as of October 2019. This makes this brand quite a good option for those who want something good but not too pricey.

Okuma

SaleBestseller No. 1
Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel- C-30
304 Reviews
Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel- C-30
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1, Precision Elliptical Gearing system
  • 7BB + 1RB bearing system, Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing
SaleBestseller No. 2
Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder ABF-40b Graphite...
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for reliability and quality

Okuma is another well-known fishing tackle manufacturer.

The spinning reel variety of Okuma is pretty remarkable – you have 35 regular reels, 3 saltwater reels, and 6 surf spinning reels. While Shimano offers a wider selection of saltwater and surf spinning reels, Okuma may actually be better in the regular spinning reel department.

The high-end Okuma spinning reels like the Surf 8k are particularly remarkable since they boast the wide array of technology used by Okuma in their reels. The Surf 8k reel is filled with patented design solutions like a rotor brake system and the rotor with brush guards, which shows that Okuma has its own vision and direction in fishing reel design.

Pflueger

Bestseller No. 1
Pflueger PRESSP30X President Spinning Fishing...
  • 10 bearing System : corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings
  • Graphite body and rotor : lightweight graphite reel construction.Braid ready spool - allows Braid to be tied directly to spool
SaleBestseller No. 2
Pflueger Trion Spinning Reel
  • 7 bearing System - corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings
  • Graphite body and rotor - lightweight graphite reel construction

Pflueger isn’t the most renowned fishing reel manufacturer on the market since it doesn’t have those really spectacular high-end models. However, if you are on a tighter budget, then this brand may be a good option for you.

Pflueger offers 12 spinning reel models, and the prices don’t go over $300! If you desperately need a fishing reel, then you may also go for the $30-$50 models like the Monarch Ice or the President spinning reels.

The “you get what you pay for” rule will apply to this brand’s cheap reels, but if you don’t need anything too over-the-top, Pflueger is a solid option.

Daiwa

SaleBestseller No. 1
Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel,...
  • 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
SaleBestseller No. 2
Daiwa Legalis LT 6.2:1 Left/Right Hand...
  • Carbon light material housing - lt concept
  • ABS spool (advanced Ballistic System)

Daiwa doesn’t sell the most expensive spinning reels either, but they do have a few interesting things to offer.

The first is the Exist spinning reel that’s a product of Daiwa’s 60 years of innovation. While this particular reel is far from being the priciest model out there, it does offer a remarkable combination of durability, lightness, and smoothness. This spinning reel is among the more cost-efficient models you can find out there.

Then, you have the middle-end Certate LT spinning reel with its aim at corrosion resistance, particularly thanks to the 10 corrosion-resistant ball bearings.

Aside from these two reels, you have 22 others to choose from, and each offers its own interesting features.

KastKing

Bestseller No. 1
KastKing Megatron Spinning Reel,Size 2000...
  • MOST POWERFUL TRANSFORMER IN FISHING – KastKing MegaTron transforms the industry with the roll out of another great freshwater and saltwater fishing reel. The MegaTron spinning reel brings you a...
  • RIGID ALUMINUM SKELETAL FRAME - The KastKing MegaTron spin fishing reel is built for enormous strength and endless durability. The MegaTron aerospace aluminum alloy skeletal design frame is more than...
Bestseller No. 2
KastKing Emerald Eagle Spinning Reel,Size...
  • Emerald Eagle Addition – The new dynamic KastKing Emerald Eagle is part of the KastKing series of Valiant Eagle spinning reels. This edition with dazzling green trim reflects with the brilliance of...
  • Light, Fast, Strong - KastKing Valiant Eagle fishing reels convey speed, power, relentless pursuit and fearless spirit in the hunt. The Emerald Eagle edition honors America’s symbol by providing an...

And the last notable brand in the spinning reel category is KastKing, which is a great option for those who are looking for inexpensive fishing reels whether because you are a newbie or a not too demanding angler.

The spinning reel selection of KastKing doesn’t go over $100, with the most expensive model as of October 2019 being the Speed Demon Pro with its $99.98 price tag.

On the lower end, you have things like the $29.98 Mela II reel, or even the $19.98 Summer spinning reel!

Now, since KastKing’s reels are very cheap, there isn’t too much to expect from them. But this won’t necessarily be a problem if you don’t need that much!

Baitcasting Reel Brands

Abu Garcia

SaleBestseller No. 1
Abu Garcia 1365366 Black Max Low Profile...
404 Reviews
Abu Garcia 1365366 Black Max Low Profile...
  • Lightweight design with one piece graphite frame and side plates
  • 4 stainless steel ball bearings
Bestseller No. 2
Abu Garcia C3-6500 Ambassadeur Catfish...
  • Round baitcast reel designed especially for catfish fishing
  • Engineered for smoothness with 3 stainless ball bearings and 1 roller bearing

Abu Garcia is the go-to reel brand if you want a middle-end baitcasting reel. This company may be able to also satisfy you if you are looking for some low-end options.

The reel selection of these guys is pretty remarkable – you have 16 round baitcasting reels and 29 low-profile baitcasting reels. This is a much wider selection than those offered by the more renowned brands, e.g. Okuma with its 6 models.

And while you have more low-profile baitcasting reels to choose from, you can find good low- to middle-end reels in both categories represented by Abu Garcia.

Shimano

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano SLX 150, Low Profile Baitcasting Reel
  • The Shimano SLX is an incredibly sleek looking baitcaster with a stunning matte black finish and beautiful blue accents
  • This reel is 22% more compact than the Caenan Baitcaster but its small size does not mean it lacks in strength; and with an amazing 150 PowerPro line capacity for such a compact reel
Bestseller No. 2
SHIMANO SLX DC 150 Baitcast Fishing Reel...
  • HaganeBody - The HAGANE Body is a metal reel body with high rigidity. The body stiffness and impact resistance virtually eliminates body flexing. The result transforms the angler's actions directly...
  • SVS Infinity - Shimano's newest innovation in brake system technology, SVS Infinity provides easy-to-manage, consistent spool control and brake force. With weights that use inner friction against the...

Is it a surprise that Shimano has made it into our list for the second time? Well, 34 regular and 8 saltwater baitcasting reels are a pretty good reason for this brand to be featured again!

Now, Shimano offers a couple fewer baitcasting reels than Abu Garcia, and the selections of the two brands are a little different. Abu Garcia also has more saltwater baitcasting reels, though not that Shimano is too far behind in this regard.

However, given that the two reel brands are pretty close to each other in terms of price, Shimano is a good alternative to Abu Garcia (and the other way around) if you find that Abu Garcia’s reels aren’t exactly what you are looking for.

Lew’s

SaleBestseller No. 1
Lew's Fishing Mach Speed Spool MCS Casting...
  • FISHING REEL: Features strong and lightweight, Super Low Profile (SLP) graphite frame and sideplates, machine and anodized aluminum U-shaped spool as well as high strength solid brass main gear and...
  • BAITCASTING REELS: Premium double shielded, stainless steel, 10-bearing system with Zero Reverse anti-reverse clutch bearing
SaleBestseller No. 2
LEW'S Fishing Tournament Pro Speed Spool LFS...
  • LEW'S TOURNAMENT PRO SPEED SPOOL: Baitcast reel features a one-piece aluminum frame with lightweight carbon side plates and a machined, double anodized aluminum 20-hole drilled U-shape 34mm spool
  • ZERO REVERSE: Premium 11-bearing system with stainless steel double-shielded ball bearings and Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing

Lew’s is yet another solid brand option if you are looking for a baitcasting fishing reel for not too much money. This brand offered 28 models in total as of October 2019, with the priciest Pro-Ti Speed Spool model costing $349.99. Though this model is far from being the most sophisticated baitcasting reel on the market, it still has great smoothness and durability to boast.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have extremely cheap models like the Speed Cast Underspin or the Speed Cast Spincast, both costing $19.99. These can’t boast exceptional durability or smoothness, but they are good enough for the newbie angler.

Trolling Reel Brands

Cabela’s

Bestseller No. 1
Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind...
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for reliability and quality
Bestseller No. 2
Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel...
  • Lightweight, corrosion-resistant frame & sideplates
  • Multi-disc, carbonite drag System

On the trolling reel market, you aren’t going to find as many reel models as in other categories. You probably won’t find more than a couple of models from a single brand, but there are nonetheless a few brands who you can buy trolling reels from.

One of them is Cabela’s with its DepthMaster trolling reel line that includes lower- to middle-end models. If you can’t spend more than around $200 on a trolling reel, then Cabela’s reels may interest you.

Okuma

SaleBestseller No. 1
Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel...
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for reliability and quality
Bestseller No. 2
Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind...
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for reliability and quality

Okuma is a little bit better than Cabela’s in terms of the trolling reel selection.

You have the Line Counter reel line that’s specifically designed for boat fishing, with high-performance options like the Coldwater Line Counter, Convector Line Counter, and Magda Line Counter reel lines. In total, you have 6 models in the lower and middle end.

Well, such a selection sure is nowhere near the 35 models in the Okuma spinning reel line, but given how specific trolling reels are, 6 reels to choose from is pretty good.

Shimano

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Triton TLD25 Lever Drag Graphite...
  • Shimano's incredibly versatile Triton Lever Drag Reels deliver unsurpassed performance for casting; live-bait and trolling fishermen who demand precise; specialized equipment
  • Features incredibly strong and durable 1-piece graphite body; precision stainless steel gears and main shaft; power handle with oil-ported torpedo knob; 1-piece cold-forged aluminum spool; and strike...
SaleBestseller No. 2
Shimano Triton TLD20 Lever Drag Graphite...
  • Shimano's incredibly versatile Triton Lever Drag Reels deliver unsurpassed performance for casting; live-bait and trolling fishermen who demand precise; specialized equipment
  • Features incredibly strong and durable 1-piece graphite body; precision stainless steel gears and main shaft; power handle with oil-ported torpedo knob; 1-piece cold-forged aluminum spool; and strike...

Shimano is a fairly good option if you are ready to spend the money on a solid middle-end trolling reel.

The reel selection with Shimano is a little bit poorer than with Okuma. To be more precise, Shimano offers just 2 trolling reel models – the Tekota A that’s priced around $200 and the Charter Special that’s a little bit cheaper.

At the moment of this post’s writing, the Tekota A line offered 8 size options, whereas Charter Special had only 2. While you may be able to find what you are looking for in the Charter Special Line, the Tekota A series is more likely to provide you with what you want.

Fly Reel Brands

Orvis

Bestseller No. 1
Orvis Clearwater Large Arbor Reels/Only...
  • Stealthy matte-gray powder-coat finish
  • The best performance-to-value reel in the industry
Bestseller No. 2
Orvis Hydros Sl Fly Reels/Only Hydros Sl Fly...
  • Large arbor fly reel
  • Fully sealed drag-clutch bearing

Things are a little better in the fly reel department. In this market segment, you actually have brands that are focused on fly fishing tackle specifically.

One of these brands is Orvis. While Orvis can’t boast the widest selection of fly reels on the market, you can find both cheap and expensive fly reels from it.

If you want something less expensive, then the Clearwater Large Arbor or Battenkill reels costing around $100 may interest you. But if you are up to spending a few hundred dollars on a great reel, you could opt for Mirage fly reels that cost from around $500 to $800.

Echo

Bestseller No. 1
Echo Bravo Fly Reel | 7/9 WT
  • Material: aluminum alloy
  • Drag System: Pit Stop (carbon fiber disc, roller clutch bearing system)
Bestseller No. 2
Echo Ion Fly Reel Size 4/5 Black
  • Maintenance-free Rulon disc drag
  • Low start-up resistance protects light tippets

Echo is also specifically focused on fly fishing tackle. And while Echo only offers 3 fly reels to choose from, this brand is a nice option if you are looking for a cheaper reel.

The priciest fly reel from Echo costs just $139, while the budget Base reel is priced at just $39. You also have the Ion line in between with a price tag of $79-$99 depending on the model, which shows that Echo is pretty decently represented in the lower end.

Piscifun

SaleBestseller No. 1
Piscifun Crest Fully Sealed Drag Large Arbor...
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - Piscifun offers Life Time Warranty for all Crest fly reels without Human Damage problem. The Crest fly reel has been set at the factory for left-hand retrieve. To convert your reel...
  • FULLY SEALED CARBON-to-STAINLESS DRAG - Impervious to water, sand and grit, requiring no maintenance except for simple rinsing. Can be used for both fresh and saltwater fishing.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel with...
  • THREE-YEAR WARRANTY - Your reel has been set at the factory for left-hand retrieve. To convert your reel to right-hand retrieve, please contact us for guidance.
  • SILKY SMOOTH DRAG - Multi-disc cork and stainless steel drag system with one-way clutch bearing for smooth immediate drag engagement. Accurate click drag and silent retrieve.

Finally, we have Piscifun, a fishing tackle brand that has a few other reel kinds other than fly reels. These guys are focused around the lower end across their entire reel selection, which makes this brand another good option if you have a tight budget.

Piscifun offers 10 fly reel models to choose from, and their price doesn’t go over $100. Most of the Piscifun reels are priced around $50, which isn’t as cheap as Echo reels, but it’s cheap enough if you are looking for an inexpensive beginner’s fly reel.

Spincasting Reel Brands

Daiwa

Bestseller No. 1
Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel, GC120
48 Reviews
Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel, GC120
  • Gear ratio: 4.1: 1
  • Line capacity: 100/12
SaleBestseller No. 2
Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel, GC100
33 Reviews
Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel, GC100
  • Gear ratio: 4.1: 1
  • Line capacity: 80/10

Daiwa’s selection of spincast reels pales in comparison with its spinning reel line we’ve overviewed earlier, but that’s actually how things go on the spincast reel market. You only have a few brands to choose from, and there aren’t too many options available to you.

The Daiwa spincast reel lineup includes 4 not too expensive models. On the higher end are the Goldcast and Silvercast reels with smooth operation, and you also have the Underspin and Minicast reels if you aren’t too demanding.

Pflueger

Bestseller No. 1
Reels Spincast Pflueger PRES10SCX President...
  • 5 bearing System
  • Aluminum frame and core
Bestseller No. 2
Pflueger PRESSC-606L2CBO President Spincast...
  • 10 bearing System
  • Braid ready spool

Pflueger only has 2 spincast reel models, but priced under $40, they appear to be pretty decent for beginners or those who don’t need an over-the-top spincast reel. 

The $39.99 President spincast reel isn’t going to be the absolute best reel on the market, but it seems to be a fairly solid option of a lower-end spincast reel. And if you want something even cheaper, then the $25.49-$29.99 Trio line could be a good option for you.

Zebco

Bestseller No. 1
Zebco/Quantum ZO3PRO, 10, BX3 Zebco/ Quantum,...
362 Reviews
Zebco/Quantum ZO3PRO, 10, BX3 Zebco/ Quantum,...
  • The pinnacle of spincast performance
  • All-metal gears
Bestseller No. 2
Zebco 33 Authentic Spincast Reel, Retail Box
  • 3.6:1 retrieve Ratio with ball-bearing drive and Quick Set Anti-Reverse
  • Lightweight graphite frame with metal handle and rubber knobs

Finally, we have Zebco. With a selection of over 20 spincast reels, Zebco is a great option if you are looking for a very inexpensive spincast fishing reel. The spincast models of this brand don’t go over $100, and you can also find reels that cost as low as $20 or even $10!

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