Last updated on April 6th, 2023
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Fishing is a sport that requires the right tools for success, and if you’re an avid angler looking to take on saltwater fishing then you’ll need the best saltwater spinning reels of 2023. But what makes these top-tier models stand out from their freshwater counterparts? We’ll break down all the important features in our guide to finding your perfect reel such as durability, built quality, drag system line capacity and gear ratio – so you can make sure it’s ready when those fish start biting.
Top 6 Editor Picks of 2023
- Best Overall: Penn Spinfisher Vi
- Best Adjustable Drag: Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel
- Best Budget: Piscifun Captain Saltwater
- Best Allrounder: Shimano Saragosa Sw a Saltwater
- Best Lightweight: Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder
- Most exclusive: Shimano Stella
Table of Contents:
- Best Saltwater Spinning Reels of 2023 Reviewed
- Important Features of Saltwater Spinning Reels
Best Spinning Reels for Saltwater of 2023 Reviewed
Disclaimer: All products in this article were independently researched and reviewed by our team of experienced anglers. We use so-called affiliate links in this article offered by program such as the amazon associates program. This means that if you click on one of the links provided in this article and end up making a purchase, we might earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only recommend products we’ve tested and believe in.
Best Overall: Penn Spinfisher Vi Spinning Fishing Reel
Specs (for the 2500 version):
- 5+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearing system
- Full metal body
- Gear ratio: 6.2:1
- Capacity: 220/15 (braid), 175/8 Mono
- Drag: 15lbs
- Weight: 10.7 oz
- Bearings: 6
Why we picked it:
The Penn Spinfisher Vi is a great choice for saltwater anglers. This reel is made from corrosion-resistant materials and has a sealed drag system to keep out sand, dirt, and other debris. It also features an adjustable handle. The gear ratio on this reel is 5:1 which provides plenty of power for retrieving large fish in heavy currents or waves.
Durability: The Penn Spinfisher VI spinning fishing reel is designed with durability in mind. Its frame and side plates are constructed from graphite composite material that can withstand harsh conditions such as saltwater environments without corroding or rusting over time. We’ve fished the Penn Spinfisher Vi for years and never had a problem – it’s literally bullet proof in its construction.
I like the fact that the Penn Spinfisher Vi also features an adjustable handle so you can customize the length of your cast depending on what type of fish you’re targeting. I found the handle to be very ergonomic preventing fatigue in your hands even after longs days of fishing. It also has a machined aluminum spool which helps reduce line twist when casting long distances.
The Penn Spinfisher Vi comes equipped with a multi-disc HT-100 carbon fiber drag system that offers smooth performance even under extreme pressure situations when fighting larger sized fish species such as tarpon, tuna, marlin etc…It’s capable of producing up to 50lbs of maximum drag force (on the SSVI10500) while still maintaining its smoothness throughout each battle. The drag is not on the level of the Stella (no surprise since that reel plays in a (price) league of its own) but we found it to be very solid and reliable.
Verdict: Overall, the Penn Spinfisher Vi is an excellent choice for serious anglers looking for quality construction combined with reliable performance day after day no matter what situation arises while out there chasing dem finned critters around our oceans blue!
Best Adjustable Drag: Daiwa Saltist
Specs (for the 2500 version):
- Gear ratio: 5.6:1
- Capacity: 20/170 (braid), 8/170 Mono
- Drag: 15.4lbs
- Weight: 9.5 oz
- Bearings: 8
Why we picked it:
The Daiwa Saltist is a great choice for saltwater anglers who are looking for a reliable and durable reel. This reel has been designed to withstand the toughest of conditions, making it perfect for those who want to fish in extreme environments.
The body of the Daiwa Saltist is made from corrosion-resistant aluminum, which ensures that it will last through many years of use. It features a waterproof seal around all components so that water cannot enter into any part of the internal mechanism which can cause damage over time due to corrosion or rusting.
When it comes to performance, we found the Daiwa Saltist to deliver excellent results. Its gear ratio allows you to cast further distances with ease while still maintaining accuracy and control over your casts. Additionally, this spinning reel features an anti-reverse switch that helps prevent backlashes when casting or retrieving lures or baitfish.
In our test, we found the drag system on the Daiwa Saltist to work extremely reliable and smooth. The drag system is waterproof and operates on a carbon drag which has proven to work really well even under high pressure (which can always happen when fishing in saltwater environments). I also really like the very sensitive adjustability of the drag knob on top of the reel.
Verdict: With the new Magsealed technology, the Daiwa Saltist has proven to be very reliable in our test. The drag is also very responsive and strong. A definite recommendation.
Best Budget: Piscifun Captain Saltwater
Specs (for the 2000 version):
- Gear ratio: 6.2:1
- Capacity: 15/150 (braid), 8/220 Mono
- Drag: 18lbs
- Weight: 8.9 oz
- Bearings: 8+1
Why we picked it:
The Piscifun Captain Saltwater is an excellent choice for anglers looking to tackle the toughest saltwater species. It has a great value for money ratio and features many components that we didn’t expect in this price range such as full aluminum body and carbon fiber drag system.
The Piscifun Captain Saltwater is built with high quality components that are designed to last in harsh saltwater environments. The frame and side plates are made from aluminum which makes them highly resistant to corrosion while still being lightweight enough for easy casting.
Performance & Drag:
This reel also features a smooth multi-disc drag system that allows you to adjust the amount of pressure applied when fighting large fish without fear of breaking your line or losing your catch due to sudden changes in pressure levels. In the smallest model (2000) the max drag is 18lbs which I found to be a really good value.
The gear ratio on this model (for the 2000) is 6.2:1 which gives you plenty of speed when retrieving lures. The Piscifun Captain Saltwater has line capacities of 15lb/150 (braid) and 8lb/220 (mono), again this is for the smallest (2000) version.
Verdict: To be honest, I didn’t expect such a performance on a reel at this price point. But the Piscifun Captain Saltwater was a pleasant surprises and ticks all the boxes of a top saltwater spinning reel.
Best Allrounder: Shimano Saragosa Sw a Saltwater
Specs (for the 6000 version):
- Gear ratio: 5.7:1
- Capacity: 50/195 (braid), 16/170 (mono)
- Drag: 22lbs
- Weight: 16 oz
- Bearings: 5+1
Why we picked it:
The Shimano Saragosa Sw a Saltwater is a top-of-the-line spinning reel designed for saltwater fishing. It’s made with the highest quality materials and built to last, making it perfect for anglers who want a reliable and durable reel.
Durability & Drag:
When it comes to durability, the Shimano Saragosa Sw a Saltwater stands out from other reels in its class.
Its body is constructed from aluminum alloy which provides strength and rigidity while remaining lightweight enough for comfortable use all day long. Additionally, its spool has been treated with special corrosion resistant coating so that it can stand up against harsh saltwater conditions without rusting or corroding over time. I found the drag system on this reel to be as smooth and powerful as it gets, allowing you to easily adjust the tension when fighting larger fish.
The line capacity of this reel is also impressive, giving you plenty of room to store your line without having to worry about running out during an intense fight.
The gear ratio on this reel is 6:1 which allows you to retrieve your lure quickly while still providing enough power for heavy duty fights with large fish like tuna or marlin. This makes the Shimano Saragosa Sw a Saltwater ideal for trolling as well as casting lures into deeper waters.
Verdict: There’s no denying that the Shimano Saragosa Sw a Saltwater offers excellent value at a reasonable price point given its features and build quality – making it one of our top picks when looking at salt water spinning reels 2023!
Best Lightweight: Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder Graphite
Specs (for the 6000 version):
- Gear ratio: 5.0:1
- Capacity: 30/160 (braid), 8/200 (mono)
- Drag: 18lbs
- Weight: 9.5 oz
- Bearings: 7BB+1RB stainless steel
Why we picked it:
The Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder Graphite is a great choice for anglers looking to get the most out of their fishing experience. This reel is made from graphite, making it lightweight and durable.
The drag system on the Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder Graphite provides smooth operation with minimal effort, allowing you to easily adjust your line tension as needed. It also features an adjustable handle that can be set up for either left or right-handed use.
When it comes to durability, the Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder Graphite made a really solid impression on us during the test. Its black graphite body is made from graphite and highly corrosion resistant – an important feature when fishing in the salt. It’s also sealed with a special coating that helps protect against wear and tear caused by salt water exposure. Additionally, its metal components are coated in titanium oxide which further increases its resistance against corrosion and rusting over time.
Its gear ratio of 5.0:1 (on the 3000 version) also allows for quick retrieval speeds. The gear ratio is one of the few features where the Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder Graphite was not quite up to par with other reels in our test such as the Shimano or Daiwa.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a bait feeder reel to fish with live bait in the salt, make sure to check out the Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder Graphite. It’s value for money is hard to beat and the different sizes cover almost any saltwater species you might want to tackle.
Most Exclusive: Shimano Stella Sw C Saltwater
Specs (for the 8000HGC version):
- Gear ratio: 5.6:1
- Capacity: 50/265 (braid)
- Drag: 55lbs
- Weight: 22 oz
- Bearings: 13+1
Why we picked it:
If you want the best of the best when it comes to saltwater spinning reels, there is no way around the Shimano Stella Sw C Saltwater. It’s been in the game for ages, and still is the best saltwater spinning reel out there.
The Shimano Stella Sw C Saltwater is built to last in even the harshest saltwater conditions. Its metal construction means this reel is built like a tank.
The drag on the Shimano Stella Sw C Saltwater has been always been constructed with precision engineering for maximum strength and durability. Now, they’ve cranked it up another notch with the introduction of the “Heatsink” drag. The clue behind this technology is the transfer of heat away from the spool when under full load, which results in a reduction of the temperature around the spool’s surface. This might sound technical at first glance, but I guarantee you that every little aspect counts when you’re fighting the biggest of saltwater species. This lifts the max drag (for the 8000HGC version) to an impressive 55lbs!
This “heatsink” system has lifted the performance level of the Shimano Stella Sw C Saltwater to yet another level. If you’re going on the saltwater trip of a lifetime and want to make sure that bad gear won’t come in you way, go for the Shimano Stella Sw C Saltwater.
Verdict: There are the best saltwater spinning reels out there on the market, and then there is the Shimano Stella Sw C Saltwater. You have to fish it and experience its breaking system on a big fish to understand at what level this reel operates. If you’re going for a saltwater spinning reel to fish the rest of your life, go for the Shimano Stella Sw C Saltwater.
Now that you’ve got an overview of the best saltwater spinning reels 2023 out there on the market, it’s time to dive into our knowledge section so you understand a bit better what all this talk about drag, gear ratio, line capacity, etc. really means and why it matters.
When it comes to selecting a spinning reel for saltwater fishing, durability is key. The materials used in construction and the corrosion resistance of the reel are two important factors to consider when making your selection.
The materials used in constructing a spinning reel can have an impact on its overall durability. Reels made from lightweight aluminum or graphite are generally more durable than those made from plastic or other low-grade metals. Aluminum reels tend to be heavier but offer better corrosion resistance, while graphite reels are lighter but may not be as resistant to wear and tear over time. It’s also important to check for any exposed metal parts that could corrode quickly if left unprotected against saltwater exposure.
Saltwater fishing requires specialized gear that can withstand harsh conditions without rusting or corroding easily. Look for reels with stainless steel components and sealed bearings which provide superior protection against corrosion caused by salt water exposure. Additionally, look for features such as double anodized finishes which help protect the exterior of the reel from oxidation and wear due to UV rays or other environmental elements encountered during use in saltwater environments.
Finally, make sure you understand what type of warranty is offered with your purchase before committing to a particular model of spinning reel for saltwater fishing applications. Many manufacturers will offer limited warranties on their products so it is always best practice to read through these details carefully before making your final decision about which product is right for you and your needs when out on the water chasing after fish.
Durability is an essential factor when choosing a saltwater spinning reel. The materials used, corrosion resistance and warranty should all be taken into consideration to ensure the longevity of your reel. Moving on, let’s look at the built quality of the best saltwater spinning reels available today.
Key Takeaway: When selecting a spinning reel for saltwater fishing, it is important to consider the materials used in construction and the corrosion resistance of the reel. Look for reels with stainless steel components, sealed bearings, double anodized finishes and read through any warranties carefully before making your final decision.
When selecting a saltwater spinning reel, it is important to consider the construction techniques used. Quality reels are made from aluminum or graphite materials that are strong and lightweight. These materials also resist corrosion from saltwater exposure better than other metals like steel or brass. Additionally, look for quality craftsmanship in the construction of the reel body and handle. The parts should fit together snugly with no gaps or rattling when shaken.
Sealing and gaskets are another important factor to consider when looking at built quality of a spinning reel for saltwater use. Look for waterproof seals around all moving parts such as bearings, gears, spools, etc., which will help keep out water and sand particles that can cause damage over time if not sealed properly. Additionally, some reels have additional sealing systems such as O-rings on the line roller which helps prevent line twist while casting and retrieving lures in choppy waters.
Finally, handle design and comfort should be taken into consideration when choosing a spinning reel for saltwater fishing applications. Reel handles come in various shapes and sizes so make sure you choose one that fits comfortably in your hand without being too small or large for your grip size preference. Some models feature ergonomic designs with non-slip grips to provide extra comfort during long days on the water fighting big fish.
Key Takeaway: Built quality is an important factor to consider when choosing a spinning reel, as it affects the overall longevity and performance of your fishing tackle. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the drag system of saltwater spinning reels.
When selecting a saltwater spinning reel, look for quality construction materials, waterproof seals, and an ergonomic handle design for maximum comfort. #fishingtackle #fishinglures #bassfishingClick to Tweet
The drag system on a saltwater spinning reel is an important factor to consider when selecting the right reel for your fishing needs. There are several types of drags available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Types of Drags Available:
The most common type of drag found in saltwater spinning reels is a disc-drag system. This type of drag uses two discs that rotate against each other to create friction and resistance when line is pulled off the spool. Other types include star-drag systems which use multiple small cogs or stars that move against one another, as well as lever-drag systems which utilize a lever arm to increase or decrease tension on the line.
Maximum Drag Pressure Ratings:
Each type of drag has its own maximum pressure rating, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). Generally speaking, higher PSI ratings indicate more powerful drags that can handle larger fish and heavier lines. Disc-drag systems tend to have higher PSI ratings than star or lever drags due to their increased surface area contact between the discs. It’s important to note that some manufacturers list “maximum” ratings while others list “recommended” ratings; be sure you know what you’re looking at before making your purchase.
In addition to strength, it is also important for a good drag system to be smooth so that it does not jerk or snag the line during casting or fighting a fish on the end of it. Smoothness can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it is recommended that experienced anglers read reviews before making any purchase. Some high-quality models feature sealed bearings which help reduce friction and ensure smoother operation over time even after being exposed to salt water conditions repeatedly.
Drag systems are an important feature to consider when choosing a spinning reel, as they determine the maximum drag pressure rating and smoothness of your line. The next heading will discuss the line capacity and gear ratio of saltwater spinning reels.
Key Takeaway: When selecting a saltwater spinning reel, it is important to consider the type of drag system as well as its maximum PSI rating and smoothness. Popular types include disc-drag, star-drag, and lever-drag systems; sealed bearings can also help reduce friction for smoother operation over time.
Line Capacity and Gear Ratio
When it comes to choosing a saltwater spinning reel, line capacity and gear ratio are two of the most important factors. The spool size and line capacity should be chosen based on the species of fish being targeted. For example, if you’re targeting large gamefish like tuna or marlin, then you’ll need a larger spool with higher line capacity than if you were fishing for smaller species such as trout or bass. Gear ratios should also be selected based on the type of fishing technique being used. Higher gear ratios are better suited for faster techniques such as trolling while lower gear ratios work best for slower presentations like jigging or bottom bouncing. Reel weight and balance is another factor that should not be overlooked when selecting a saltwater spinning reel; lighter reels will reduce fatigue over long days of casting while balanced reels help to improve accuracy when making long casts in windy conditions.
Choosing the right saltwater spinning reel? Line capacity, gear ratio, weight & balance are key. Get the perfect setup for your fishing technique. #fishingtackle #saltwaterfishingClick to Tweet
Conclusion on the Best Saltwater Spinning Reels
When it comes to saltwater spinning reels, there are a few key features that you should consider before making your purchase. Durability, built quality, drag system, line capacity and gear ratio are all important aspects of any good saltwater spinning reel. With the right knowledge and research into these areas you can be sure to find the best saltwater spinning reel for your needs in 2023. So don’t forget to do your homework before investing in a new reel.
Leonard Friedrich and his team spend countless hours on the water testing new gear almost every day. Our goal is to give you the honest truth about the products we put to the test. We never get paid for reviews. We see it as our challenge to “translate” the pros and cons of each product for you in our big gear guides. We hope that the information we provide is valuable to you so you can make a solid purchase decision.
Are spinning reels good for saltwater?
Spinning reels can be used for saltwater fishing, but they are not ideal. They are more prone to corrosion due to the salt in the water and require frequent maintenance. Spinning reels also lack the power of a conventional reel which is necessary when targeting larger fish species found in saltwater. Additionally, spinning reels do not have as much line capacity as conventional reels which could lead to lost catches if using heavier lines or lures. For these reasons, it is recommended that anglers use a conventional reel when fishing in saltwater environments.
What size spinning reel is best for surf fishing?
When it comes to surf fishing, the size of your spinning reel is an important factor. A medium-sized spinning reel with a capacity of up to 6500 yards of line is best for most applications. This will provide you with enough power and line capacity to handle larger fish in deeper waters. Look for reels that have good drag systems and corrosion resistant components so they can stand up to the harsh conditions found near shorelines. Make sure the gear ratio is appropriate for your style of fishing as well; higher ratios are better suited for fast retrieves while lower ratios are more suitable for slow presentations.