Best Fishing Reel Brands – 2021

| Last Updated August 5, 2021

Fishing is a great past-time hobby. It is one of those things that you can enjoy regardless of the walk of life you belong to. The joy of pulling out your catch is incomparable. Fishing is very diverse. Young or old, beginner or professional, casual or serious, freshwater or saltwater, fly or surf, anybody can be a fisher. But one thing is certain; you need good fishing gear to be successful at fishing.

The fishing gear consists of a fishing rod and a fishing reel. Fishing reels are used to set out lures on the fishing line. It is a mechanical pulley system mounted on the fishing rod. Different fishing reel styles contribute to different fishing approaches.

In this article, we are discussing the best fishing reel brands. You can go through this article to determine which brand is the right one for you. 

Comparison of the Best Fishing Reel Brands

  • Heavy duty brass gears
  • Bigger gear ratio of 7.1:1
  • Winding shafts designed with double lines
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  • 9 efficient ball bearings
  • Lightweight frame made of graphite
  • Main shaft made of hardened metal
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  • Spinning reel with high range
  • Metallic body with aluminum wire
  • Drag system made of carbon fiber
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  • Water resistant drag seal
  • Easy spool disengagement with baitfeeding system
  • Made of durable, corrosion-resitant materials
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  • Graphite side plates and frame
  • 4 ball bearings made of stainless steel
  • Bent handle with compact design
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  • Versatile 85/10 mono capacity
  • Powerful reel covered with aluminum
  • Smooth, reliable, anti-reverse capabilities
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  • Ball bearings impervious to corrosion
  • Sealed, water-proof drag system
  • Durable, lightweight exterior construction
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Is a Good Brand Necessary?

The answer to this question is yes. Here’s why. 

When looking for a suitable fishing reel, you will come across a huge range of products, some high-end and expensive, others not so much. Every manufacturer boasts of its reel’s superior performance, but you can’t be sure before using it. A surefire way of getting a great fishing reel is to buy from a good and well-known brand. Good brands are called so because their customers agree with their claims of better performance. 

Since they are always in contact with water, fishing reels are at the risk of corrosion. Good brands treat their reels with anti-corrosive protection, so they are more durable than their other counterparts. They also offer a quality drag system. This means you can pull out the fish smoothly and quietly without too many jerks that can cause the line to snap. They are also better at anti-reverse action, preventing the handle from spinning in reverse so that the line does not come off. Reels are a crucial part of your fishing gear. We recommend that you get one from a good brand because it highly improves your rate of success. 

What Should I Look For When Choosing a Fishing Reel Brand?

As mentioned above, when buying a fishing reel for yourself, you should choose a reputable and respected fishing reel brand. That way, you are certain that any product you are buying from them is a high-quality one. Below we have highlighted some qualities that make a good brand stand out from others. 


In today’s time of technology, people are regularly posting reviews about the things they buy. These mention everything from what they like, what they don’t, and what could be better. When choosing a fishing reel brand, it is advised to look at the customer reviews of different brands to know which ones are worth considering and the ones to avoid. 


Fishing gear is something you use repeatedly. It is meant to be used near water, so it is bound to corrode at some point. When looking at different fishing reel brands, consider only those that provide better protection to their reels, and are crafted from high-quality materials. This is important because once you get used to a specific reel, you will want it to serve you for long. Look for a brand that is more durable than its counterparts.

Drag System

The drag system of your reel is responsible for sustaining the pressure off the line so that it does not break. The drag is adjusted according to the capacity of your reel, as well as the size of the fish you aim to catch. When choosing a fishing reel brand, look for one that is more compatible with your needs. 


When the prey takes the bait, you have to maintain a firm grip on the handle. If it slips, the catch can get away. It’s best to choose a fishing reel brand that offers a better grip on their handles, so you have a better catch. 


It is important to choose a brand that manufactures fishing reels made from the highest quality materials. Why so? You worked hard to set up the bait and line to get that elusive catch. So you don’t want your gear to malfunction at that crucial time.

Quick Take | Best Fishing Reel Brands

Just looking for the top three best fishing reel brands? Here they are:

  1. Piscifun
  2. KastKing
  3. Penn

Review of the Best Fishing Reel Brands

Fishing is a diverse activity. Young and old alike are avid fans of fishing. It is a very relaxing experience that people want to enjoy it again and again. However, for having a successful fishing experience, you need a great reel and rod combination to get you going.

Now that we have agreed on buying the reel from good, reputable, and respected brands, let’s have a look at the best fishing reel brands.

Best Overall:

Piscifun Torrent Baitcaster Fishing Reel, 18LB Carbon Fiber Drag, Magnetic Braking System Baitcasting Reel, 7.1:1 Gear Ratio Innovative Low Profile Casting Reel, Left Handed


  • Work great for saltwater fishing as well
  • Reels are available in different color options
  • Sturdy, durable, and bound to serve you long
  • Features products that are unique in terms of design
  • Backed with a one-year warranty and great customer support


  • Their shipping period can be prolonged
  • Require regular oiling for smooth functionality
  • Some units are reported to develop loud noise

What Buyers Report About the Brand

People who recently bought Piscifun fishing reels are extremely satisfied with their purchase. The products have managed to blow away people with their price point and functionality. Sturdy and reliable, these reels are ideal for freshwater fishing. But what buyers really liked is with some proper oiling and maintenance, they are just as good as any expensive gear for saltwater fishing. Buyers are also more inclined towards this brand because it backs its products with a one-year warranty. It also has a great customer care service where representatives are more than willing to help their clients in any way possible. This further increases the trust people have in this brand.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Piscifun stands out as the best overall fishing reel brand for us. Its lineup consists of products with both classic and unique designs. All of its products are available in multiple colors, so you can add a personal touch to your fishing gear. The reels are suitable for all types of fishing, be it freshwater, saltwater, creek, pan, or ice fishing. The reels are crafted from quality materials, so they are quite sturdy and reliable. Piscifun is so sure of the durability of its reels that it covered all its products with a one-year warranty. It also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, although using its products is a hassle-free experience. But if you do have some issues, the customer care reps are eager to point you in the right direction. It certainly is one of the best fishing reel brands out there. Buying a product from its range is a decision you will not regret. 

KastKing Centron Spinning Reel, Size 3000 Fishing Reel


  • Come at a decent price range
  • Have a very smooth spinning action
  • The drag is quite stable and smooth
  • Customer care is eager to assist in case of issues
  • Diverse lineup is suitable for either or both fresh and saltwater fishing


  • It has no metal-framed reels
  • Knobs could have been better
  • Replacement parts are hard to come by

What Buyers Report About the Brand

Users of KastKing fishing reels are mostly happy with their performance. People are reportedly quite amazed at how smooth and functional these reels are, given that they are quite pocket-friendly. They have gone as far as to equate their functionality with the likes of more expensive models. Lightweight and easy to carry, this brand has managed to capture public attention with its high power design and brilliant finish. Buyers also report that its replacement parts are not easy to find. And if you do find some, they are worth almost as much as half the reel. Other than that, KastKing surely has gained its buyers' trust.

Why it Stands Out to Us

KastKing is one of the pocket-friendly fishing reel brands. But that does not mean that its products are lacking in any way. It has produced a huge and diverse lineup, some of which are suitable for freshwater fishing, some for saltwater fishing, and some for both. Regardless of that, all its reels are super smooth and easy to operate. They have a stable drag system in place to take on the pressure of the ensuing struggle when the bait is taken. They are so durable that even with the rod bending, the reels have no trouble handling the stress. We highly recommend this brand.

3. Penn

PENN Battle II Spinning Inshore Fishing Reel, Size 3000 (BTLII3000), HT-100 Front Drag, Max of 15lb, 6 Sealed Stainless Steel Ball Bearing System, Built with Carbon Fiber Drag Washers


  • Promotes robustness and durability
  • Manufactured by using the finest materials
  • Highly reliable because of its effective drag system
  • Has an instant anti-reverse system for added reliability
  • Features reels that have a smooth and balanced retrieval


  • They are a bit on the heavy side
  • There have been instances of sudden lockup
  • Require religious cleaning to keep in top shape

What Buyers Report About the Brand

People who recently bought a Penn fishing reel report that the performance is quite satisfactory. They are quite impressed with the stable drag system and instant anti-reversal action. People like that these reels are a perfect combination of price and functionality. Some people have had issues with the weight and bulkiness of these reels. Some instances of sudden lockups have also been reported. However, buyers say that proper cleaning and maintenance of their reels have yielded in an increased lifespan. Penn is so respected amongst its customers that people who bought from it say that they will not hesitate to do so again.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Penn is one of the reputable fishing reel brands. The name itself signifies quality. Its product lineup is known for its smooth function and effortless retrieval. The reels also feature designs that promote robustness and durability of the line. All its reels are equipped with a smooth and effective drag system. It further stands out for its instant anti-reverse action that quickly stops the line from spinning in both directions. Penn reels are specially created for saltwater fishing, so they are designed and built in a way that offers greater protection against corrosion. Buying a Penn fishing reel will ensure that you have full command over your fishing experience.

Okuma ABF-90 Avenger Baitfeeder Spinning Reel (30lb/330yd)


  • Covered by a one-year warranty
  • Designed for a smoother operation
  • Features an anti-corrosive durable build
  • Spool can be disengaged to activate live bait feeding system
  • All products are put through rigorous testing before hitting the market


  • They are a bit heavy
  • A bit complicated to use correctly at first
  • Some of the products are uncomfortable to hold for long

What Buyers Report About the Brand

Recent buyers of Okuma fishing reels say that they couldn’t have asked for a better one. They are especially impressed with the live bait feeding system, which enabled them to set down the pole and engage in other activities until the bait is taken. After that, one-click brought the drag back under their control. Its drag is also reported to be very smooth and powerful. Some people did have difficulty in figuring out how to use one of these reels. Because of the weight and bulk, some people had difficulty holding these. But considering that it does not have any maintenance issue, buyers are in favor of Okuma fishing reels.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This brand stands out to us for its sturdiness and durability. It makes a point of using the finest quality non-corrosive materials, so Okuma reels are built to last. They are specially designed for smooth operation. You can easily use them for daily application. Okuma is well-known for putting all of its products through rigorous testing before sending them out to the market. It has complete faith in the performance of its reels that it backs them up with one-year warranty coverage. One of the distinguishing features of this brand is its live bait feeding system, which offers a hands-down innovative approach towards fishing.

Abu Garcia 1365366 Black Max Low Profile Reel, 6.4: 1 Gear Ratio, 5 Bearings, 26' Retrieve Rate, 18Lb Max Drag, RH, Boxed


  • Good looking with a better price
  • Made with lightweight but solid components
  • Feature a smooth and consistent drag system
  • Outlast all the competition in terms of durability
  • A highly favored fishing reel brand amongst anglers


  • The retrieval rate is slow
  • Anti-reverse system could have been better
  • Require constant adjustments to work effectively

What Buyers Report About the Brand

Overall, recent buyers are satisfied with the price and quality of Abu Garcia reels. They like that the drag is super smooth and offers a lot of fine adjustments to set it according to personal preference. They require minimal maintenance and reportedly outlast its fisher in some instances. People like that they are lightweight, which makes it easier to hold them for longer periods of time. Buyers also report that using Abu Garcia reels requires some skill, but once you have it figured out, they will become your go-to for fishing purposes. Users say that these products look and work as good as any of the expensive models. They like the fact that the lineup features a product for everyone.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Abu Garcia stands out to us for its lightweight but durable construction. It is one of those brands that provide pocket-friendly reels without compromising on the quality. That’s why it is a consistent name in the world of fishing reels. Its reels are crafted using lightweight but durable materials. They have an appealing design and are not hard to maneuver. You just need a bit of practice to get it right. The drag, tension and brake mechanism are easy to adjust to suit your comfort level. These reels do not need regular maintenance. However, to do so will yield in a fishing reel that will last you a lifetime. All in all, it’s a highly recommended fishing reel brand.

Zebco OMEGA PRO 3SZ SC REEL 10#, Size 30, Black


  • Has a great drag and retrieve speed
  • Strives to make fishing safer and easier
  • Well known for its push-button spin-cast gear
  • Feature simple yet stylish designs on all its products
  • Product lineup features a diverse range of fishing reels


  • Drag adjustment is located in the wrong position
  • Handles have an issue of unscrewing and falling out unexpectedly
  • There have been instances of gear grinding and loud noise output

What Buyers Report About the Brand

People who recently bought a Zebco fishing reels report that they not only feel solid but are easy to use and work great. People are having so much fun using these that Zebco has become a household name for fishing gear. What buyers really like about this brand is its diverse range. It has something for everything, be it amateurs or pros and even women and children. Female buyers love that Zebco has manufactured reels specially designed to ease them in fishing. Some buyers reported that the gears in their reels have started grinding after a while resulting in irritating noise output. Other than that, people are mostly satisfied with the products of this brand.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Zebco is one of the affordable fishing gear brands. But that does not mean its products are lacking in any way. It is highly reputed for its push-button casting. This feature makes it easy to use even by the handicapped. This is something not every brand considers. Zebco has always strived to make fishing fun and easy for everyone. It made sure that it has something for everyone, which includes specially designed gear for women and kids. All its products are simply designed but are stylish at the same time. They have a powerful and consistent drag with a decent retrieve rate, making it one of the best fishing reel brands.

Pflueger President Spinning Reel, Size 30 Fishing Reel, Right/Left Handle Position, Graphite Body and Rotor, Corrosion-Resistant, Aluminum Spool, Front drag System


  • They are quite easy to use
  • Capable of casting at high distances
  • Smooth performance at a great value
  • Offer a high quality yet lightweight build
  • Feature non-corrosive stainless steel bearings


  • Retrieval could be a lot smoother
  • Replacement parts are not available
  • Not very suitable for saltwater fishing

What Buyers Report About the Brand

Recent buyers of Pflueger fishing reels are generally impressed with the functionality. Some have gone as far as calling them the best reels on the planet. They like that the reels cast smoothly, are lightweight, durable, and quite comfortable to hold. People are disputed over its slow retrieval rate. Some want it to be faster. Others say that a slower retrieval rate helps keep the light baits suspended in the water for longer. Users also reported that Pflueger reels are so easy to use that they take the joy of fishing to a whole new level. Anglers like the fact that the reels from this brand can go on for years without maintenance, making it a highly favored brand.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Fishing reels from this brand stand out to us for their smooth performance and high casting distance. They consist of high quality, non-corrosive stainless steel bearings, which make them stand out from their competitors. Pflueger is known for its lightweight yet durable built. It designs its reels with ease of usage and good appearance in mind. Considering the price, it has a far superior performance when compared to other brands at the same price. These reels operate not only smoothly, but they have an effective drag system in place that consistently takes on the pressure without snapping the line. You can never go wrong with a Pflueger fishing reel.

CS5 Spinning Reel,Cadence Ultralight Fast Speed Carbon Frame Fishing Reel with 9 Durable & Corrosion Resistant Bearings Super Value Smooth Powerful Reel with 36 pounds Max Drag & 6.2:1 Spinning Reel


  • Provide a 90-days risk-free trial period
  • Features smooth and stable drag system
  • Offers high performance at an unbeatable price
  • A powerful anti-reverse is great at handling bigger fishes
  • High concentration meta carbon structure is strong and lightweight


  • The reel foot does not feel solid
  • Not suitable for saltwater fishing
  • Handle rotation can get wobbly during retrieval

What Buyers Report About the Brand

People who recently bought fishing reels from Cadence are most impressed with their performance and functionality. They like the fact that Cadence offers quality products for lesser prices and backs them up with one-year warranty coverage. What further gained the customer’s trust is its great customer care service. They go out of their way to satisfy their clients beyond any doubt but are also happy to replace faulty products within the warranty period. Recent buyers report Cadence reels to be lighter than any other reeks available in the market, making them easy to carry and maneuver. The only issue reported is the handle wobbling or scrapping at some point during retrieval.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Cadence is the manufacturer of some of the best fishing reels. It offers great products for a lower price without compromising on the quality. Its fishing reels are comprised of highly concentrated meta carbon that is stronger and lighter than aluminum-based reels. They are equipped with a smooth, powerful, and stable drag system that maintains the pressure while fighting to retrieve the catch. They also feature an effective anti-reverse gear that stops the line from getting loose, allowing the prey to escape. Cadence shows its faith in its products by offering a 90-days risk-free trial period and one-year warranty coverage. It goes through with its claims with a great customer care service that attends to every matter until the customer is satisfied. All in all, it’s a great brand for buying fishing gear.

Shimano Syncopate 1000FG Front Drag Freshwater Spinning Reel


  • Retrieval is also smooth and fast
  • Capable of single-handed casting
  • Can cast out at increased distances
  • Offers smooth and consistent casting
  • Equipped with a propulsion line management system


  • Anti-reverse gear is a bit lacking
  • With too many models, buyers become confused
  • Require more effort when the spool is at the lowest point

What Buyers Report About the Brand

Recent buyers of Shimano reels are raving about the quality and performance of this brand. What they like even more is the diverse range this brand has come up with priced at different rates to suit everyone’s budget. However, buyers report that choosing a reel from such a vast range can get confusing. Its reels are popular amongst anglers for their smooth casting and fast retrieval. They have also impressed buyers with their durability and sturdiness. Users highly recommend this brand and do not hesitate to call it one of the best brands for fishing gear.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Shimano stands out to us as one of the best fishing reel brands because of its effortless operation. It offers a consistently smooth single-handed casting. You can easily use it cast at longer distances. Its retrieval is also a smooth and fast action. Shimano reels are equipped with a propulsion line management system that prevents the line from backlashing or winding up in knots. Shimano also made it to our list because of its vast and versatile range of products. You can almost always find a suitable fishing reel that is within your budget range. Being low on price does mean lower quality. You will find that all of the Shimano products are built to last and are equally effective. It’s a great brand with a great approach.

10. Daiwa

Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel, 8000, 5.3: 1 Gear Ratio, 6+1 Bearings, 53.30' Retrieve Rate, 33 lb Max Drag, Black/gold


  • Safe and easy to use
  • Reels are customized according to water conditions
  • Equipped with best materials, features and gear ratio
  • Offers a reliable reel system that delivers strike after strike
  • Its range covers everything from freshwater to controlled depth fishing


  • Customer service is not satisfactory
  • Gears can get noisy after some time
  • Require regular maintenance to keep it smooth

What Buyers Report About the Brand

People who recently bought Daiwa fishing reels are satisfied with their choice. Being a reliable name in the world of fishing, Daiwa has managed to gain the trust of its customers with an impressive lineup of products designed to meet the unique demands of any fisher. People are raving about its solid built and quality. They like the fact that each reel is specially customized to suit the water conditions users plan to operate it in. All in all, this is a well-known and reliable brand.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Daiwa is one of the most reputable fishing gear brands of all time. It offers a vast range of products that are crafted from the finest materials and equipped with excellent features and gear ratio. They have a reliable reel system that is successful almost every time you cast it. Daiwa has always strived to make its reels safer and better. The result is a product lineup that is very safe and easy to use, even for someone who has just started fishing. It has a diverse range that is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. They are built to last, but like everything else, it is important to regularly oil and maintain it. Overall, Daiwa is certainly one of the best fishing reel brands you should consider buying for your next fishing trip.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

As said before, a fishing reel is the mechanical part of your fishing gear. Each is tagged along with a list of specifications. They seem quite complicated at first but start making more sense once you think them through. These mechanics constitute the aspects you should consider before buying a reel for yourself. Some of these are discussed below. 


Fishing reels are crafted from either aluminum or graphite. Both are quite different materials but have their own perks. Aluminum is sturdier but heavier, while graphite is much lighter. Because of its non-corrosive tendency, aluminum is ideal for freshwater fishing. However, at the end of the day, you should consider the product that is more suitable for the kind of fishing you want to conduct. 

Spool Size and Line Capacity

Spool size and line capacity of a fishing reel usually depend upon the kind of fish you are planning to catch. Bigger spool means more line capacity. You can easily handle a bigger fish with it. Smaller spools have less line capacity, so use it for smaller catches. Manufacturers usually provide the line capacities of their reels, so when buying one, always consider the size of fish you aim to catch with it.


Remember, you are the one holding the gear. You can end up with it in your hand the entire day. It is important to consider the weight of the product you are buying because you don’t want something that is not comfortable to hold. Also, when your catch takes the bite, you have to control its resistance too. So, it’s better to buy a product that is not too heavy and bulky to handle.

Drag and Anti-Reverse System

Drag and the anti-reverse system are the most important aspects of any fishing reel. Drag is responsible for maintaining the pressure of your lines, so it does not snap. Anti-reverse action stops the reel from turning in both directions. It restricts the line from going loose so that your catch has fewer chances of escaping. When buying a fishing reel, it is suggested to consider its drag and anti-reverse capability closely.


Fishing reels are all essentially made of a few key components. These include a handle, knob, body, spool, bail, drag, and gearbox. Different assembly of these parts results in different designs, each of which addresses different needs. For example, the handle is positioned differently for both right and left-handed users. It is recommended to consider a product that best suits your requirements. 


Fishing is one of the most enjoyable activities. But without proper gear, it can get risky and dangerous. Fortunately, above, you have the list of the best fishing reel brands to make sure you have exceptional gear at your disposal when you head out to catch your prey. Being a diverse outdoor pursuit, there is a huge range of products available to facilitate every kind of fisher. Your choice of a fishing reel largely depends upon the size and kind of fish you intend to catch. We suggest that you properly consider the type of fish and fishing you intend to do before buying a reel from the above-mentioned brands because that greatly determines the rate of your success.

My name is Caleb and I am obsessed with hunting, fishing, and foraging. To be successful, you have to think like your prey. You have to get into the mind of your target - and understand Big Game Logic. If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.