Spinning Reel Size For Bass – Informational Guide

| Last Updated May 24, 2021

First off, any size of the spinning reel will catch fish.

However, if you want to make the most of your fishing activity, it is best to choose a reel size that matches your fishing technique. 

This guide will help you decide whether to go for a lightweight setup or a reel with considerable heft.

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Spinning Reel Sizes for Bass

Note that there are two different size classifications for spinning reels. Some manufacturers classify sizes using a two-digit number while others use four-digits. 

For example, a 1000-size reel could also be labeled 10 by another manufacturer. 

You have five-reel sizes to choose from for bass, ranging between 1000 and 3500.

1000 (10) Reel Size

Recommended Pairing

  • Rod Type: Ultra-light spinning rod with fast action and ultra-light power

  • Rod Size: 6- to 7-foot long

  • Mono: 2- to 4-pound test

  • Braid: 4- to 8-pound test

2000 (20) Reel Size

Recommended Pairing

  • Rod Type: Light spinning rod with fast action and light/medium power

  • Rod Size: 6- to 7.5-foot long

  • Mono: 4- to 6-pound test

  • Braid: 5- to 10-pound test

2500 (25) Reel Size

Recommended Pairing

  • Rod Type: Light spinning rod with fast action and light/medium power

  • Rod Size: 6- to 7.5-foot long

  • Mono: 4- to 8-pound test

  • Braid: 5- to 12-pound test

Photo credit: youtube.com

3000 (30) Reel Size

Recommended Pairing

  • Rod Size: 6- to 7.5-foot long

  • Mono: 6- to 10-pound test

  • Braid: 6- to 14-pound test

3500 (35) Reel Size

Recommended Pairing

  • Rod Size: 6- to 10-foot long

  • Mono: 6- to 10-pound test

  • Braid: 6- to 14-pound test

Spinning Reel Size Chart

Check out the chart below for the range of recommended spinning reel sizes for fishing bass.

Reel Size

Recommended Monofilament Line Strength

Recommended Braided Mono Line Strength

Suggested Application


4 – 6 lbs

5 – 10 lbs

Ultra-light fishing in freshwater, lakes, harbors, and lakes


5 – 8 lbs

5 – 12 lbs

Light fishing in freshwater, lakes, harbors, and lakes


6 – 10 lbs

6 – 14 lbs

Light fishing in freshwater, lakes, harbors, and lakes


6 – 10 lbs

6 – 14 lbs

Light fishing in freshwater, lakes, harbors, and lakes

Does Spinning Reel Size Matter For Bass?

You can go bass fishing even if you don’t stick to the recommended spinning reel size range. However, you might not be getting the optimal results if you ignore the suggested reel sizes.

First, you want to answer this question before choosing a spinning reel size for bass fishing: how exactly do you plan to use the reel?

Of course, you want to catch bass but are you targeting bass in a small pond or you are looking at making long-distance casts in a large river or lake? 

In other words, besides personal preference, your specific fishing technique will determine (to a large extent) the best spinning reel size to choose for bass.

Investing in medium to larger size reels, such as 4000 and above, will be overkill for bass. These larger options are best suited for larger saltwater game fish, such as salmon, redfish, tuna, roosterfish, and even amberjack. 

Finesse Fishing

Matching a 1000 or 2000-size spinning reel with an ultra-light rod and lure works great for finesse applications. These small-size reels offer more casting capacity and greater control in tight spaces.

In general, an ultra-light setup won’t work if you plan to haul bass out of thick weed cover because the rod doesn’t have the backbone to do that.

Multi-purpose Fishing

Anglers who plan to catch just about any medium-sized freshwater fish, including bass, will find the 2500-size reel most suitable.

This reel size offers the perfect balance between weight and performance. The reel is not too big and heavy to weigh you down, but it offers enough room for a long line that allows for a longer casting distance. 

The reel is not only excellent for bass but a wide range of other species. Having this tool in your fishing arsenal may mean you won’t need to buy another reel. 

Large Lake or Deep Water Fishing 

If you plan to jig to hundreds of feet down, or you want to use crankbaits and other larger lures, you will likely get better results with a 3000 or 3500-size reel. These are excellent even if you want to go with drop shots.

Do You Need a Larger Size Reel for Larger Bass?

Many anglers assume that they need a larger size reel to catch larger bass. While that may sound logical, it is not necessarily correct. Unfortunately, it is a rather common misconception.

Saltwater gamefish usually put up a good fight for very long and can break your tackle if you use smaller tools. But that’s not the case with bass, even with larger ones.

You can easily tire out a 6 or 8-pound bass using a lightweight spinning reel such as the 2000-size option without any issues.

Not Sure About the Ideal Spinning Reel Size for Bass Fishing?

If you are unsure about what size to choose or want something that will serve as an all-rounder reel, consider getting a 2500-size reel.

These are highly versatile spinning reels and will work for nearly all types of fishing situations.

Other Considerations With a Bass Spinning Reel

Size is not the only consideration when choosing a spinning reel for bass. Here are some of the other essential factors to keep in mind.

Reel Weight

Your arms and shoulders can become fatigued if you have to carry a heavy setup all afternoon. Consider striking a balance between strength and weight for optimal performance.

Drag System

If you are targeting larger and stronger bass, you need to opt for spinning reels with metal washers and not plastic. The right drag system will put the right amount of pressure on the fish to wear it down without breaking your line. 

It is even better if you can find a drag with knobs or buttons, as the reel’s drag system will determine your casting ability.

Line Capacity

How many yards of a line can the spool hold? This depends on the type of line you plan to use. 

First, though, line capacity is indicated using two separate numbers. For instance, a 20 150 line capacity means the reel can hold lines up to 20 pounds and 150 yards long.

Braided lines are commonly used with spinning reels for bass fishing. This requires less line capacity than fluorocarbon and monofilament lines. 

Gear Ratio

A reel’s gear ratio refers to the number of times the spool will rotate for each handle turn. A 6:1 gear ratio is ideal for bass, regardless of fishing technique. 

Construction Material

This is perhaps the most important factor when choosing a reel. If the device is made from poor quality materials, it will underperform and won’t last very long, regardless of the size.

Die-cast aluminum options are more durable but are expensive and a bit heavier. Graphite reels are cheaper and great for saltwater fishing but are less sturdy. Although metal reels are stronger than graphite, they are susceptible to corrosion. 


The 2500-size reel might be the most versatile option, but the best spinning reel size for bass depends on what feels most comfortable in your hands. 

Consider the recommendations and use the chart as a guide, but the deciding factor should be what you prefer for your specific fishing technique.

Photo credit: youtube.com

People Also Ask

It’s okay to still have questions, even after reading through the main article. This is why we created this section to clarify some of the possible (and usually common) doubts that many anglers are likely to have, especially those new to bass fishing. 

Hopefully, the answers below will offer more clarity.

Is a 4000 Reel Too Big For Bass?

A 4000 or bigger reel works best for larger fish, especially for saltwater fishing. While that size can work for bass, it is best suited for Bone, Snapper, Cod, and other large fish. 

The most versatile size for bass is a 2500-size reel with an impressive balance between weight, line capacity, and drag system.

Photo credit: wired2fish.com

Do Pro Bass Fishermen Use Spinning Reels?

Yes, professional bass anglers use spinning reels. While baitcasting reels tend to dominate the world of pro bass fishing, pros still prefer spinning tackles when it comes to drop-shots, using light jerk baits, tossing small crankbaits, and shaky heads.

Pro fishermen who want to throw the lightest lures further choose spinning reels.

How Big is a Size 40 Reel?

A size 40 (or 4000) reel falls into the medium-sized category, making it ideal for targeting mid-sized fish species. 

The reel size is most suited for medium action rods between 7- and 8-foot long. Consider using this with a braided line of 8- to 20-pound test or 8 – 12-pound monofilament.

Are Smaller Reels Easier to Handle When Fishing For Bass?

Smaller-sized reels are lightweight and surprisingly strong for hauling in fish. Although they offer a limited spool capacity for your line and may not be as fast as larger reels when it comes to retrieving, they are more forgiving on the wrist. This means they are ideal for fishing for longer periods.

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 admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.