Are you looking for a new reel or do you have one in mind that’s been sitting on your wish list for too long now? This article will help you find the best spinning reels for bass fishing. We’ll look at what to consider when buying, and then take a closer look at seven of the most popular reels available right now. Let’s get started!
This buying guide:
- Provides everything you need to know for picking the right reel
- Helps take away hours of research time and frustration
- Gives insight on what to look for in a spinning reel
Top 7 Best Spinning Reels for Bass
When choosing a spinning reel for bass fishing, certain key considerations are important.
You want a reel that will succeed in accomplishing different fishing techniques such as drop shotting, shaky head, slip shotting, wacky worms, spinners, and different kinds of crankbaits, among others.
Reels with a high dragging capacity are preferred when fishing bass to absorb the tension caused by mid-sized and heavy fish when fighting a catch.
Construction is another key consideration when choosing a spinning reel for bass. It is important for your reel’s build to be capable of withstanding constant vibrations, harsh temperatures, and banging.
Spool construction is also important. It could be made from graphite, aluminum or steel. All these are high-quality material you can depend on for sturdy and durable spools.
For more insights on bass spinning reels, dive into our review of top 7 spinning reels for bass and buying guide to help you choose the model that best meets your fishing demands.
1. Pflueger President – Best for Deep Water Bass
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Pflueger President series is the best spinning reel for deep water bass fishing on our list because it features a low gear ration ideal for such fishing conditions.
It has a gear ratio of 5.2:1, which supports deep crankbaits and deep-water spinnerbaits, which are known for pulling a lot of mass. This gear ratio provides high torque to minimize pulling effort.
The reel’s max drag of 8 – 10 pounds is optimal for the corresponding drag ratio and together, they can lure and reel in big bass.
You can get a 6-ball bearing or 9-ball bearing reel, both of which promise to deliver smooth performance.
Both reel’s models are lightweight, ranging between 7.5 – 8.8 ounces, and this low weight is made possible by using material such as graphite for the body, and aluminum for the spool.
An issue we noted with the Pflueger President series is that the aluminum handle’s coating is prone to flaking.
- Low gear ratio for deep water bass fishing
- Optima max drag for reeling in big fish
- 6 or 9 ball bearings for smooth performance
- Lightweight reel
- Handle coating prone to flaking
2. Shimano Stradic CI4+ – Best Budget
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If you’re looking for an all-round spinning reel for Bass, look no further than the Shimano Stradic CI4+ series.
It offers a robust max drag range of 7 – 24 pounds, which enables you to fish a wide variety of bass and other fish with little to no mass limitations.
This spinning reel also boasts of a medium gear ratio range that will support square bill crankbaits, shallow spinnerbaits, medium-depth crankbaits, and shallow castable umbrella rigs.
The reel boasts of a new Magnumlite rotor, which provides a super-light feel when turning the handle, making the process less strenuous.
Advanced technologies such as Hagane Gear, X-Ship, and Core Protect technologies have been used to extend the durability of this reel.
We did note, however, that Shimano Stradic CI4+ series’ is one of the most expensive on the market and may limit its access to budget buyers.
- Robust max drag range for a wide fish variety
- Medium gear ratio to support many bass fishing techniques
- Magnumlite rotor for a super-light handling feel
- Advanced technologies to support durability
- Notably pricey
3. Okuma Trio-40S – Best All around
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When casting and reeling in your big catch, you want to perform the actions smoothly and efficiently. That ultra-smooth performance is what the Okuma Trio-40S offers with its 10-gear system.
This reel boasts of 9 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing, all made of stainless steel for durability, efficiency, and stability when working your gear.
Another prominent feature in this reel is its high max drag of 19.8 pounds. You are guaranteed that even when you have heavy bait and a heavy catch, it will maximize high-end drag pressure.
A quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing prevents our reel from accidentally spinning in the opposite direction.
You will love the fact that despite all the advanced features of this model, it is very reasonably priced, making it accessible to many anglers.
An issue we noted with this model is that the gear assembly is not the sturdiest. Gears may be prone to stripping so extra caution is necessary when operating it.
- 10-bearing system for ultra-smooth performance
- High max drag rating for heavy fish reeling
- A quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing
- Reasonably priced compared to rival models
- Gears prone to stripping
4. Daiwa FUEGO2000SH – Best Light-duty
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Daiwa FUEGO2000SH is one of the top light-duty spinning reels for bass fishing given its low max drag rating.
Packing a modest 4.4 pounds of max drag, this reel will deliver in cranking in bass and other fish weighing up to 15 pounds comfortably.
At 8.1 ounces, the reel minimizes the entire rod’s overall weight allowing you more control over the whole gear.
It also boasts of corrosion-resistant ball bearings, which promise to last 12 times longer than standard stainless-steel ones.
The only major issue we noted with Daiwa FUEGO2000SH spinning reel is that its max drag may limit anglers who desire to enjoy all the other many benefits of this model.
- Modest max drag for light-duty fishing
- Medium gear ratio for fast reeling in of fish
- Lightweight build
- Corrosion-resistant ball bearings
- Low max drag may lock out prospective anglers
5. Pflueger Patriarch – Best Lightweight
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While spinning reels are generally light, there’s no harm in having an ultra-light one, especially if you’ll be out fishing bass and other heavy fish. That’s where the Pflueger Patriarch family excels.
The base model weighs only 5.3 ounces while the top one weighs 7.3 ounces, which is significantly lower than many other high-performance spinning reels.
It has a superior 10-bearing system for smooth performance. The bearings are also corrosion-resistant and will perform excellently even in saltwater fishing.
Smoothness is further enhanced by a tough, machined-aluminum main gear. The carbon drag system is also sealed and always lubricated for consistently smooth performance.
The reel’s low gear ratio of 5.2:1 support slow oscillation for the management of different lines.
A notable drawback of the Pflueger Patriarch bass spinning reel is its handle assemble, which is not as sturdy as you’d expect and is prone to coming off when especially with intensive reeling.
- Ultra-lightweight with high-quality build materials
- 10-bearing system for smooth performance
- Corrosion-resistant bearings
- Low gear ratio for management of different lines
- Handle assembly can prove weak
6. Abu Garcia Revo SX – Good Professional
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Abu Garcia Revo SX is a great professional spinning reel for bass because if feature superior max drag, a medium gear ratio, and excellent build quality to handle all demands of seasoned anglers.
The SX family of reels boasts of a max drag range of 10 – 17 pounds, which is more than enough to comfortably reel in 40 – 60-pound bass and other fish.
You also get a medium gear ratio of 6.2:1, which offers the control you need for robust fishing techniques and presentations.
The key issue we noted with this family of reels is its high cost even for the base model. However, the prices will be worth it for all the value you get.
- Superior max drag range for reeling in heavy fish
- Medium gear ratio to support robust techniques
- High-quality build materials
- Lightweight and durable
- Notably pricey
- Its build quality is one of a kind, combining an aluminum braid-ready spool, stainless steel shaft, and graphite rotor to achieve a high-quality and lightweight reel.
7. Sougayilang WQ-3000 – Good Alternative
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The most affordable spinning reel for bass on our list is the Sougayilang WQ-3000. This budget and high-quality spinning reel is the most accessible to anglers of all experience levels.
But don’t be thrown off by the low price, just yet, because it the reel has an impressive 21 pounds of max drag, which is more than enough to reel in very heavy fish.
At 5.2:1, its gear ratio supports deep-water fishing, where bass fish tend to retreat to, especially during summer when surface temperatures rise.
The reel’s spool is made of aluminum, its shaft is stainless steel. These materials combine to make the reel reliable and durable.
You also get a 12-month warranty and lifetime support with your purchase of this reel to ensure you enjoy its value with confidence, and risk-free.
It’s worth noting that the Sougayilang WQ-3000 is not a sealed reel and casting is necessary when using it in saltwater to avoid overexposure, which may cause rusting.
- Reasonably priced and affordable
- Low gear ratio for deep-water bass
- Aluminum and steel build materials for durability
- 1-year warranty and lifetime support
- The reel is not sealed
How to Buy the Best Spinning Reel for Bass
- Drag system
The drag system is critical to the performance of your bass spinning reel, and consequently, the models you ultimately buy.
Bass tend to have moderate weight; small bass can weigh 6 pounds, while large ones can weigh up to 12 pounds. However, you also want your reel to handle heavier fish because if you bait one, you don’t want your reel to limit you.
Thus, the drag system you choose will be determined largely by the size of bass you’re used to catching. Higher of more than 10 pounds is ideal for heavy bass so that it does not exert too much pressure on the rod while fighting.
However, with a max drag of at least 6 pounds, you are guaranteed to catch many kinds of bass.
- Spool size
The spool size of your bass spinning reel with determine how many yards of mono or braided line if can accommodate.
Your line’s length is important because it determines how far you can cast your bait using the rod, and influences how you reel in your catch.
A consensus among many seasoned and professional anglers is that even though long and narrow spools are the most common, wide and short ones are highly effective.
Wide and short spools tend to cover more line with each handle turn, hence reducing the chances of line twist.
Also, wide spools allow you to cast longer because more line comes off the spool. Ultimately, its best to have a feel of both types of spools to decide the one that best meets your fishing needs.
Seasoned anglers regard sensitivity as the holy grail of bass fishing. Sensitivity includes the ability to detect and interpret bumps, ticks, taps, and any vibrations occurring on the line.
This ‘sixth sense’ enables anglers to monitor changes in line tension, especially during retrieval. Reels play a critical role in determining your line’s sensitivity, which in turn, can affect your fishing performance.
Experts contend that looser bass spinning reels will help you feel your bait. If your reel is too tight, it may limit sensitivity to bait movement.
Anti-reverse is a handy feature, which you can manipulate to tighten or loosen your reel to help you control sensitivity.
A key consideration we can’t overlook is the cost of your bass spinning reel. If you’re on a tight budget, you can get a high-quality reel at affordable prices.
We discovered that many of the premium-priced models pack advanced reel technologies and a mix of materials that make them durable and light.
However, don’t shy away from budget reels as many of them are so reliable and rival premium ones in many aspects.
Things To Consider When Buying Spinning Reels for Bass
The spinning reel is the most important piece of kit for any bass fisherman. It’s what holds your line, and it’s what you use to cast out bait. A good spinning reel can be a very expensive item, so it pays to do some research before buying one. Here are some things you need to know before buying one:
- Consider the brand
- Get a reel that is right for your skill level
- Find one that you’re comfortable with and will last
- Avoid cheap, knock-off reels at all costs
- Save time by purchasing the best reel you can afford
- Learn about different reels and their features
- Use guidelines to narrow down your search for a quality spinning reel
- Prevent yourself from spending more money than you need to on an expensive reel
Faq about bass fishing with a spinning reel
- What is your favorite bait for bass fishing?
“The first thing I need to say about this question is that there are no set baits for fishing. It all depends on the water temperature, what time of year it is, if you’re fishing for summer bass or winter bass, and so on. With that being said I will share my favorite baits (these are just suggestions) that might work best depending on the situation: a. Plastic worms- These are my go to bait when trying to target more aggressive fish within 5 feet of their bedding areas. The plastic worm also helps bring in other predatory fish because they feed off those that feed off the beds. Because these fish are more aggressive and have less structure to hide around they tend to be easier targets. b. Crankbait- This is a great bait because it works in many different situations and the action of the lure just attracts other predatory fish. I like to use this bait in thick, weedy areas where visibility isn’t very good or near structure that has a lot of shade around it. Also, crankbaits are definitely your best option when targeting big bass during the winter months.”
- How long does it usually take you to catch a bass when fishing with a spinning reel?
“This is hard to say because it all depends on the situation and what kind of fish I’m going after. When I am targeting smaller, aggressive fish that feed heavily off beds I can catch them right away but if there isn’t much action but there are big bass around they could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours (or longer sometimes).”
- What kinds of baits do you think are best for catching Largemouth Bass for beginners?
I feel like plastic worms are the best bait for beginners because they’re easy to use, don’t require any special type of hook (most times), and are also the most affordable bait. The plastic worm is pretty much a universal bait that you can use in just about every situation.
- What do you think are some of the biggest mistakes people make when fishing with spinning reels?
“I feel like one of the biggest mistakes people would make while using spinning reels is using to small of a hook for their size and style of bait they’re trying to catch bass on. When I see someone fishing with a big, bulky bait (i.e… large plastics, craws) and try to target them on light tackle I cringe knowing how easy it will be for a fish to literally tear that thing apart once they get it in their mouth.”
- What kinds of things should someone keep in mind when fishing in tall grass, weeds, and other kinds of tough-to-access areas?
“The biggest thing I would say to remember is that you need to make sure the area you’re fishing has enough structure (weeds, rocks, logs) for the fish to hold up against. If there isn’t any structure then chances are high that your bait will get hung up on something. Also don’t be afraid to use a weedless lure or jig if needed.”
- What kind of spinning rod do you recommend for people who have never fished before?
“I always recommend starting out with a medium action spinning rod because they can target both large and small bass due to their versatility. They allow for different techniques to be used while still having enough backbone to reel in hooked fish.”
- What is the best spinning reel you’ve ever used?
“The best spinning reel I have ever used would probably have to be my Abu Garcia Cardinal 6600SE, specifically because it is so versatile and has a smooth drag system. Also, it has a very sensitive tip that allows for the most accurate presentation ever.”
- What kind of line do you recommend?
“I like to use 15lb braid because I feel like it works best with my setup. It helps cast farther and stay connected better than anything else I’ve tried thus far. Also, I am a spool-to-spool caster so I feel like it works best with that technique.”
- Do you use any sort of bait enhancers when fishing?
“I’ve tried both Gulp and Fishbites (the liquid type) but prefer to not because they can actually make the bait less appealing to fish and just contaminate the water even more than it already is as well as cause possible safety issues with people having to get burned by hot hooks on baits that might have been sitting in the sun for awhile.”
We’ve covered a great deal on bass spinning reels and why they are important for anglers who enjoy fishing bass.
When shopping for your spinning reel, remember to check its max drag to determine how much tension your line and rod can handle comfortably.
Your reel’s spool size and sensitivity are factors you may need to experiment with to determine which configurations work best for you.