Over the years, saltwater spinning reels have advanced drastically; today’s models feature powerful gearing, drags with higher stopping power, improved corrosion resistance, and more line capacity because of ultra-thin braided fishing lines.
A good saltwater spinning reel could be the key to landing a large one or letting the catch escape.
This is why spinning reels have become the gear that saltwater anglers prefer to use.
However, there are some factors that every good reel must have.
This article will discuss the aspects to consider necessary, what makes them stand, pros and cons to help you choose and compare the top Saltwater spinning reels.
What Is A Saltwater Spinning Reel, and Why Do You Need It?
A spinning reel is an open-faced fishing reel with a fixed spool and revolving metal arm that winds line on the spool; when a handle turns it.
The arm’s metal is released to release the line from the spool when casting.
This lets the cable be pulled away due to weight from a rig or lure attached to it.
Since salt can destroy or damage anything it comes in contact with; therefore, there are special spinning reels for oceans: saltwater spinning reels.
Saltwater spinning reels are constructed from solid metals that can stand up to the elements and take on big game fish found in the ocean.
The reels are typically the ideal choice for those going to small or medium game fishing. However, recent advancements in design, as well as metallurgy, have allowed them to play game fishing.
With the help of improvements in gearing, drag systems, and line capacity, your reel can be a winner when it comes to sailfish, amberjack, wahoo, grouper, or other large fishes still shining in surf fishing and jigging; it is recognized for.
Since its beginning, the Shimano Saragosa SW Series of Reels has been a contender for the most valuable saltwater big game reels.
Saragosa is made of XT7 graphite, and the rotor is XGT7 graphite.
The frame of Saragosa is made of aluminum, which provides rigidity to the body and stops the body from bending during high-pressure circumstances when fishing.
The rotors of the 5000-8000 size reels are graphite, the larger 10000-25000 reels are equipped with machined aluminum rotors to withstand greater power when fighting larger fish.
The Saragosa comes with the Cross Carbon drag; all drag washers are crossed and create a “rough” texture for more grip and airflow to avoid overheating.
The Saragosa’s maximum drag force is 20kg on their largest reel (25000).
Shimano has its X shield and X-protect technology within the Saragosa range.
This means that they are “almost” fully sealed, so you’ll be able to feel secure when fishing in wet or wild conditions.
The waterproofing of the reels is accomplished through intelligent design and the strategic placement of grease where it is needed.
In addition, Shimano has prevented water intrusion by designing an interlocking lip at the point where the spools and rotors meet and applying oil at the end of the innermost lip, preventing water infiltration.
The Saragosa lineup will likely satisfy all of your needs for a saltwater fishing outfit.
From the peashooter with a 5000SW size up to the enormous game 25000SW size reels, they have a size to suit every use.
The 5000 size is ideal for casting applications that require light.
The 6000 size is for light jigging in shallow water. Size 8000 allows for casting light work on less sized GTs and tuna.
The 10000 size is ideal for medium-to-heavy fishing.
The sizes of 20000 and 25000 are suitable for big game fishing and perhaps fishing to catch billfish and other large pelagic species.
The Shimano Saragosa lineup offers elite performance without the cost and is durable. If you care for the equipment, it will last for a long time.
Low line capacity
Low maximum drag
Not braid ready
2) Best For Beginners Saltwater Spinning Reel: Van Staal’s VS X-Series Saltwater Spinning Reel
The Van Staal X-Series Spinner enhances the highly regarded and loved Van Staal spinning reel by re-engineering the features that were thought to be its primary flaws.
The brand new X-Series features a line lay optimized for braided lines and distance due to its FlatWrap Oscillation gearing and an enclosed MicroClick drag system that offers an extensive range of adjustments, including a linear drag curve.
This Van Staal VS X series reel model is ideal for all anglers just beginning in this field.
The VS X 200 is compatible with all nine-footers, ten-footers, and 11-foot sticks.
It is very lightweight at 21.6 pounds; it can hold up to 400 yards of 15 pounds test or more than 250 yards of braid, which weighs 50 pounds, and 100 yards of 15# mono backing.
The 200 can hold more than enough mono of 20 pounds (approx 215 yards). Its capacity is adequate for almost every striper.
This product is available in two colors: black and silver.
The majority of Van Staal reels come with anodizing.
If you’re looking to be more technical, black is the most durable anodizing.
Silver reels cover up a rash from rocks and are the most durable.
This is among the most durable reels available due to its rugged build quality that relies on top materials and a water-resistant design.
So if you’re looking for a model built to withstand the abuse of the surf or in the ocean, it is the one best suited for the job.
Good drag, line capacity
Not for professionals
3) Best On Budget Saltwater Spinning Reel: Daiwa’s BG Saltwater Spinning Reel
The body structure, rotor, and side plates are constructed from metal, making it a strong reel but, it adds a bit more weight.
It comes in eight sizes (models). In addition to the reel’s size, the reel’s line capacity is an additional benefit to the Penn battle II and III since the spool can carry about 15% more than comparable models.
This can help provide the extra support needed for those long fishing runs.
Also, the Penn Battle II spinning fishing reel is simple to use; its sturdy aluminum body, side plate and rotor, and durable bail wire aluminum help take on large saltwater gamefish.
The Superline spool, which is braid-ready, has no backing required and comes with capacity rings marked at 1/3, 2/3, as well as total capacity.
Superline spool complements the ball bearings made of stainless steel and an immediate anti-reverse bearing.
The Battle II spinning real is available in series 2000 – 8000 and an increase in weight from series 5000, making it the perfect choice for casting the bait and waiting for those big hooks.
Larger reels (6000 to 80000) are perfect for fighting large fish with the capacity for fishing at depths of between 100 and 200 inches, but still leaving plenty of lines if a large fish begins stripping when they escape.
In addition, the bigger reels come with drag systems specifically designed to deal with stripping lines.
If you are a fan of throw lures would suggest using series 1000 to 4000.
Whatever the weight gain following the series 5000 model, this reel remains a light product that features an HT-100 carbon fiber drag mechanism that does not sacrifice smoothness to make it a powerful drag.
The Sedona has smooth 3+1 ball bearings that perform well in light freshwater to high-end offshore use.
This reel is lightweight, efficient, and durable.
Shimano Sedona FL has G-Free as a body design which brings the central part of the reel close to the rod.
It is also equipped with Hagane gearing, an all-metal cold-forged gear, permitting anglers to throw bigger baits and catch bigger fish.
In addition, the magnumlite rotor provides less inertia during startup and faster rotation.
The Magnumlite rotor is included in all models, with more excellent gear ratios, and the increased drag of each model, except for 1000.
The line management system for propulsion combines the spool lip and a line roller without an arm for contact bailing to increase the distance on the cast.
Combining this with G-free bodies, they bring the reel closer to the rod.
When you pair the two together, you get an extremely comfortable reel and rod combination that feels amazing in your hands but is also highly efficient.
The Varispeed Oscillation with an oval oscillation device alters the oscillation speed to achieve an even pace and, eventually, an even line on the spool—this aids in reducing wind knots and helps in casting better.
The Shimano Sedona FI has model sizes that range from 500 to 8000.
The numbers on the model refer to the size of the spool. The bigger the spool, the more line that your reel will be able to hold.
The more line you’ve got, the more size of the fish that you can manage.
Shimano has given the highest drag rating for the reels while keeping them light.
This model is 10.6 pounds yet offers 24 pounds of maximum drag.
Hagane gearing offers maximum flexibility concerning fishing applications
The saltwater spinning reel that is the most renowned within the Daiwa line is the Saltiga Bay Jigging Reel.
It utilizes advanced technology and ease of operation thanks to a 13-bearing system.
The main feature of this unique reel is its groundbreaking design of the single-piece Monocoque Body.
It incorporates a one-piece aluminum frame and a single side plate threaded in its design.
Because screws aren’t needed to connect the side plate and hold a full gear in place, the inside space of the body is more significant, allowing for a piece of more extensive and more powerful equipment to be held by the light and more substantial body instead of the standard side plate design.
The support system threaded in 360 degrees side plate improves the entire body’s strength and stops water or debris intrusion.
The strength-to-weight ratio for this design is unparalleled.
The larger main gear is from the Hyper Digigear design and is made from a more intricate brass.
Its central shaft has been Magsealed to reduce saltwater and debris intrusion.
This Saltiga Bay Jigging Reel is used for various offshore and inshore fishing and Jigging applications.
It also signals the new generation of spinning reels.
It’s currently offered in two different sizes. The 3500H possesses a 5.7:1 gear ratio and can hold 220 yards of a braid of 30-pounds.
The 4000 features a 4.9:1 gear ratio and has 270 yards of braid.
ATD drag technology, which includes an audible clicker
A suitable rate of retrieval
Types of Fishing Reels
There are generally three kinds of fishing reels:
While every reel is ideal for fishing, each has specific characteristics and capabilities.
So let’s take a look at them to determine which one is the one that is best for your needs.
Therefore, it might be challenging to operate or comprehend for novices.
While baitcasting reels can be the most challenging fishing reels for mastering, they allow you cast with the highest precision line and length using an effortless drag.
They also have efficient and quick retrieval. This will enable them to catch larger and heavier fish.
c) Spincast Fishing Reel
Spincast Fishing Reel is a closed-faced model which ensures that all necessary elements are stored safely within the nose cone.
Its operation is simple: press the button while casting the line, and let it go when it’s at the length you’d prefer.
This is an ideal option for beginners to fish.
Overall, spinning reels are often chosen as the most efficient reel suitable for fishing. It is simple to wash, throw and install.
In addition, they permit casting long distances compared with the two other models, making it easier to cast on oceanfront beaches.
Your choice of a surfing reel can affect your ability to catch fish.
A variety of reels range from the simplest models to the most advanced models.
What to Consider While Buying A Saltwater Spinning Reel?
Saltwater Spinning Reels vs. Freshwater Spinning Reels
If you are thinking, what is the difference between saltwater and freshwater spinning reels?
Why should one purchase a saltwater spinning reel?
The simple answer is that saltwater-spinning reels usually feature higher quality internal components composed of special corrosion-resistant alloys, which are generally more prominent than freshwater reels (e.g., larger knob, drag strength, or spool depth, etc.)
Saltwater can cause corrosion to metal components found easily in freshwater reels.
Additionally, saltwater also has sand, and if sand and erosion get mixed, you’ll likely have a severe impact or damage to the internal components of your reel.
However, saltwater reels have corrosion-resistant metal specifically designed to withstand these kinds of sands and saltwater conditions.
It’s not that you should never utilize freshwater reels in saltwater, but it can increase the likelihood of causing damage to your reel or, at worst, shorten its life.
Furthermore, even if you take the time to thoroughly clean a freshwater reel following a fishing trip in saltwater, it is unlikely that you will be able to remove altogether all the salt entangled within the line coiled against the spool or inside the body of the reel.
Factors To Consider
The essential requirements for high-quality saltwater spinning reels are specific to each angler, determined by your preferred style of fishing, the type of gamefish you want to hunt, and your individual personal preferences.
But, there are some general guidelines to consider when looking at saltwater reels.
Every saltwater spin reel needs to be highly resistant to corrosion from saltwater.
Fishing gear ideal for freshwater, such as magnesium, isn’t suitable for saltwater environments.
The most durable and light material is aluminum, which is widely used in creating an aluminum reel that will have many years of use in a saltwater setting.
Graphite components like side plates are also located on saltwater spinning aluminum reels.
However, saltwater spinning reels can be constructed in a hybrid manner with the spool, the crank handle, and the rotor is made from aluminum, while the frame and other parts can be made of graphite.
Graphite, magnesium, and aluminum frames can all be used for cutting down on the force that larger gamefish could apply to the saltwater spinners.
The choice you make will boil down to the weight, cost, and endurance you can expect of saltwater spin reels.
2) Gear Ratio
The gear ratio decides how many turns the spool makes every time you rotate your crank.
It is simple to see; For instance, when spinning saltwater reels with a ratio of 7.3:1, the spool spins 7.3 times for each crank rotation.
The gear ratio of 5.6:1 means that the spool will rotate 5.6 times per rotation of the crank, and the cycle continues.
A higher gear ratio is ideal for quicker retrievals using spinners or top-water plugs and reels with longer lines when trolling.
A lower gear ratio gives greater power to pull larger gamefish from deeper water.
The larger saltwater gamefish exert more stress on the saltwater spinning reels; here, the drag on the reel helps take off the burden, reducing the possibility of a rod or line break.
The majority of saltwater spinning reels come fitted with a multi-disc drag system.
They can pump brakes on any powerful, high-energy fish you may encounter, with drag weights ranging from 40-50lb. (This is the standard.)
Keep an eye out for drag systems made of carbon fiber that can be adjusted smoothly and effortlessly.
Saltwater spinning reels need to be spaced throughout the spool to allow for adequate circulation of air and cooling in the system.
The drag should also have properties that resist heat.
4) Line Capacity
Fishing for bigger game fish in open water increases the amount of line is required, typically significantly more than is anticipated in the freshwater fishery.
The majority of the saltwater spinning reels are designed explicitly for offshore saltwater fishing.
Therefore, they are of greater diameter or have a giant spool that can hold more lines than otherwise.
It is essential to ensure you have the right reel, with a bigger spool and a more significant line capacity for dealing with more extensive and powerful gamefish.
Having the line, you need to tackle for an extended distance is essential.
5) Braided-line Compatible
In most offshore fishing situations, you’ll be able to decide that you will need braided lines due to the additional strength, longer casting distance, and greater sensitivity when operating the saltwater spin reels.
However, braided lines have an unfortunate habit of sliding around during the reeling process, making reeling your fish very difficult once you’ve reeled out.
To lessen this chance, lots of the saltwater reels include a rubber gasket on the spool when the line comes into contact.
Instead of the line moving and sliding, it will create friction against the gasket that will catch the line, giving you the necessary strength to reel in the line.
6) Sealed Components
Many of the components on spinning reels will be sealed to minimize any interaction that the parts might have with saltwater.
Seals typically function as gaskets, and they act as an additional defense against saltwater to guard against erosion.
7) Handles and Cranks
Most saltwater spinning reels come equipped with a single handle and are simple to operate, even for beginner anglers.
But, if you modify it, you’ll make the most of your desired fishing style.
Because the handle’s weight is low and adjustable, you can alter the lure to move it more quickly.
When you can feel the bite of the fish, you can rotate it swiftly to capture excess line slack to use as an enticing hook.
If you are into the power of fighting, it is possible to customize the handle using a larger knob.
Keep in mind that the handle turns following the load of the knob.
Therefore, you often pressure the knob when you pull the handle to pull the line more quickly and increase leverage.
When you increase the handle, the speed of your reel decreases, the handle moves like a pendulum, and the handle is turned faster. Likewise, when you crank up your handle’s speed, its spinning speed decreases.
It is crucial to consider the way your fingers sit on the reel’s grip when it touches the handle.
It is essential to ensure that your fingers have an even surface to travel on to avoid blisters during extended power fights.
A handle shaped incorrectly or has a design that your hands can’t accommodate can cause injuries to your wrists and crack knuckles.
Grips made of rubber can make the handle easier to grasp, mainly when your hands are slippery or wet.
Cleaning Tips for Saltwater Reels
Dirt can damage your saltwater spinning reels’ drag and overall performance if you don’t clean them up properly.
So make sure you follow these guidelines to clean it properly:
Set up all of your equipment and spray the reel with water.The saltwater will flow through the reel, and you don’t need to apply a harsh spray.
Wipe the reel clean with an unwashed cotton cloth or a paper towel.
Don’t blow into the reel! This will only push water into the mechanism itself, which may cause corrosion.
Before putting the spinning reels that spin saltwater away after cleaning and wiping them, take the drag off.This should ease some stress on discs, springs, and washers. Make sure to tighten it before casting next time.
Apply a thin lubricant layer to the reel’s surface after cleaning it.It will keep dust from getting in and ensure that the ball bearings and other parts run efficiently.Make sure not to put any in the reel. They could damage the fishing reel and the internal components inside the reel.
Any of our reviewed products will make an excellent saltwater spinning reel, don’t hesitate.
However, if you feel none of these matches your requirements, remember that a good spinning reel includes durability, corrosion-resistant quality, sealed bearings, greater line capacity, and drag strength.
If you find a spinning reel that offers all these qualities, then chances are they’ll prove to be trustworthy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a good spinning reel for saltwater?
The excellent and topmost saltwater spinning reels are high-quality metals like stainless steel, aluminum, and brass, with precise-machined single-piece frames. Low-speed bass and redfish reels, high-speed saltwater reels designed to catch game fish, or even two-speed reels designed to quickly recover slackline if a considerable saltwater fish takes a swift turn. The most effective spinning reels use braided lines, monofilament lines, or both with different lengths and strength capacities.
What are good saltwater reels?
While the reels listed above are tested and proven to be among the top available, the ideal/good reel is the one that will meet the requirements of fishing. Be sure to select one that is strong enough to endure saltwater for a long time.
Furthermore, it must possess enough power to stand up to the weight of massive and robust fish such as swordfish. Finally, the good reels are compatible with the line weights laid in the rod.
What size reel is best for saltwater?
Large spinning reels, ideally used with heavy rods, are the best for saltwater fishing, surf casting, offshore boat fishing, and rock fishing. They are excellent for catching larger species of up to 150pounds. They are best suited to monofilament 12-60lbs or 24-100lb braid. They are perfect for large saltwater applications. In addition, the most influential models are utilized to capture large game fish, like sailfish.
Are there saltwater spinning reels?
Yes! Spinning reels with great length and power are designed especially for saltwater.
How are saltwater reels classified?
Saltwater reels are classified as high-speed with a gear ratio higher than 6:1 and low-speed with a gear ratio of 3:1.
How do you measure drag pressure?
The drag pressure is measured as pounds, and it is recommended to adjust it to 1/3rd the breaking strength of the line.
What fishing line should be used for a saltwater reel?
The saltwater braided fishing lines are ideal because they're durable enough to withstand saltwater and cannot store memories. The line can be seen through the water, but it isn't something that fluoro leader lines cannot solve. The line's capacity is reliant on the kind of reel you own.