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Fishing Reels

Best Inshore Spinning Reels: Buying Guide! [Oct 2021]

Fishing is something that has always been a passion of mine. For me, it’s not so much about actually catching a fish (although, obviously, that’s my aim!), it’s about spending quality time with people, family and friends, experiencing adventures, and enjoying the weather.

In all of that, I don’t want to be worrying about the equipment I am using. I have spent years worrying about the reels I’ve chosen without anyone else to guide me. This is where I’m going to put my expertise to the test and help you with your choice.

Getting the right fishing reel can be a challenge, especially given that there is a huge range of choices out there today. Your success and enjoyment of fishing should not be just down to the equipment you use but making the fishing reel for your needs will certainly make your day all the better and your trip much more of a success.

Here, we are going to help you choose the best inshore spinning reel for your needs.

Top Inshore Spinning Reels: Comparison Chart

Pick Name Thumbnail Product Name Price
Top Pick PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel Check Price
Top Light Choice Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB STCI44000XGFB Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB STCI44000XGFB Check Price
Best for Saltwater PENN Slammer III Spinning PENN Slammer III Spinning Check Price
Best for Freshwater SHIMANO STRADIC HG SHIMANO STRADIC HG Check Price
Best Inshore Fishing Combo PENN Battle II Rod and Reel Combo PENN Battle II Rod and Reel Combo Check Price
Best Inshore Spinning Reel Under 100 PENN Pursuit III PENN Pursuit III Check Price
7th Daiwa BG Spinning Reel Daiwa BG Spinning Reel Check Price
8th Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel Check Price
9th Quantum Cabo PT Spin Reel Quantum Cabo PT Spin Reel Check Price
10th Daiwa BG Spinning Reel Daiwa BG Spinning Reel Check Price

Why Trust Us

Fisherreel is a dynamic online reviewing platform for fishing enthusiasts around the country to hone their skills and learn about the ultimate fishing gear, unique fishing-hacks and tips and tricks to make the fishing adventures more fun and productive.

Our team members are trained fishing gear experts and adventurers who’ve learned from their professional and adventure experiences. Apart from that, our in-house research team carries out extensive market research to single out the hidden gems of the market for our audience. We’ve devised our selection process in a way that only the top gear can get through. That’s the secret we have.

Nonetheless, we don’t have any financial affiliation with any brand or manufacturer for product promotions. Instead, we stick to the facts and data that we derive from our physical testings. Our core mission is to equip our audience with the right information and tips that help them make a better buying decision.

Our Product Selection Process

We walked the extra mile to bring you the ultimate models. Our research framework included a rigorous online market analysis, feature and specs comparisons, consumer report analysis, field-tests and reevaluation of the final choices in the light of experts’ insight and suggestions.

Initially, we spent more than 30 hours doing extensive online market research to find out the top-of-the-line inshore spinning reels up for sale by the most reputable brands. That way we could extract 25 advanced models with the highest number of positive user reviews.

Next, we spent the next couple of weeks testing out each unit. A group of community-based volunteers helped us manage the selected models. During testing, we scrutinized the build quality, building materials, design, ergonomics, strength, corrosion resistance and durability of each model. Based on the results and accumulated data, we were able to champion 10 models from the rest.

That didn’t end our quest. In fact, we had the opportunity to consult with the country’s top fishing gear designers, engineers and industry experts to talk about our final choices. They gave us invaluable insights on the models and it was useful when we proceeded to write full reviews that you’ll find in the next section.

10 Best Inshore Spinning Reels List

So, without wasting any time, let’s dive right into our top fishing reels that you’ll definitely find outstanding and effective.

01 PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel (Top Pick)

PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel

Our best inshore spinning reel is the PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel. This one comes packed with some amazing features. One such feature is the IPX5 sealing. With this watertight seal, the fisherman/woman does not need to worry as there will be no salt water seeping into the drag system or gear box and causing erosion.

The drag washers (HT-100) are encompassed in a spool that’s fully sealed, giving the stopping power for even the biggest saltwater fish. The operation of it is as smooth as silk and these reels even come with friction trip ramps to prevent early bail tripping when you’re casting.

The side plate and body are also fully metal, which keeps the CNC machined gear correctly aligned even with heavy loads. There are different models too: Live Liner, Bail-Less, Long Cast, and Standard.

The bearings are instant anti-reverse and are shielded and made from Stainless Steel. The Superline spool needs no backing and is already braid ready. The line capacity rings have markings at full capacity as well as 1/3 and 2/3.

We loved testing this one out, as you can tell by the fact that we put it in the top spot. However, it does come at a price. This one averages out at the most expensive in our list. But we firmly believe that you get what you pay for in this case.

Specifications

  • IPX5 Sealed spool and body design
  • Special CNC technology
  • Drag Washers made from HT-100 carbon fiber
  • Stainless Steel 5 + 1 sealed ball bearings
  • Fully metal body
  • Line capacity ring measure

Pros

  • Fully sealed construction
  • CNC Gear Tech
  • Super-strong carbon fiber drag washers
  • Stainless Steel sealed ball bearings
  • Line Capacity Rings

Cons

  • Expensive: The priciest on our list

Our Verdict

First up, yes, it’s expensive. At $240 at the time of our research and testing, it is a little pricier than most other reels. Then why is it one of the best-rated reels out there? Well, just look at what you get for your money! Also, it’s made by the famous PENN fishing tackle company which was founded way back in 1932. As a company, they’ve always been amongst the leaders for reel designs, and we can’t argue with that. For the best on the market, this inshore spinning reel is certainly at the top of our list.

02 Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB STCI44000XGFB (Top Light Choice)

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB STCI44000XGFB

This lightweight choice looks stunning, I’m sure you’ll agree. Despite being lightweight it feels really solid and operates super smoothly to give you one of the best reeling experiences out there today.

It’s certainly a favorite of anglers worldwide with exciting concepts like G Free Body, flagship Hagane gear, Core Protect, X-SHIP and CI4+. However, perhaps the most exciting new concept is the Magnumlite Rotor – a brand new design allowing an ultra-light feel at the turn of the handles. This one is certainly built to last.

It is a noteworthy upgrade on one of the most popular high-performing reels in the world. The newest Shimano technology is incorporated but it still retains all of the top performance features serious anglers are used to. The whole rotor system is something to die for, from the Dyna-balance rotor with its fluid drive mark ii system and the propulsion line system to its casting capabilities and exceptionally smooth operation that helps avoid all issues related to managing the line

The spool is made from cold-forged aluminum and has a tough CI4+ carbon body. Combined with the new rotor, it weighs 25% less than Shimano’s previous models. There’s no wonder it is our best light choice.

A slight downside is its cost. Whilst it’s not as expensive as our Top Choice, it comes in close behind at around $220 at the time of our research, making it our second most expensive inshore fishing reel. However, as we said, if it’s lightness as well as quality that you’re after, you can’t go wrong with this little spinning beauty.

Specifications

  • Magnumlite Rotor
  • 6 ball bearings
  • 1 roller bearing
  • 20lb Maximum Drag
  • 35” retrieve per crack
  • 4 models available

Pros

  • 25% lighter than its predecessors
  • New rotor system
  • Super smooth casting
  • Tough carbon fiber body
  • Exceptional quality

Cons

  • Its cost is slightly prohibitive for some

Our Verdict

If you want a reel that is top in terms of how light it is, this one from Shimano is certainly right up there with the best. Sure, it costs a bit more than the average reels, but you won’t regret it for the quality that it offers! Silky smooth operation, tough carbon fiber casing, all-new Magnumlite rotor, there is certainly a lot to love about this fishing reel.

03 PENN Slammer III Spinning (Best for Saltwater)

PENN Slammer III Spinning

This popular spinning reel is perfect for saltwater fishing and you will soon see why. It is designed for heavy-duty operation either from the shore or by boat. Charter captains from across the globe use this reel, so you can see just how well thought of it is.

The Slammer III has PENN’s new sealed system, the IPX6. This keeps all water out of the drag system and gearbox. They have also updated their Slammer Drag System so that it now uses their own specially created Dura Drag materials. With a fully metal side plate, rotor, and body, this reel is fitted with CNC Gear Technology too.

The gear system is made of brass. This is a great choice of metal to use as brass has much-envied longevity in comparison with aluminum or composite metals. Brass also gives a smoothness, unlike other materials.

There are six models available: Slammer III 3500, 4500, 6500, 8500, 9500, and 10500. The increase in number next to the model means an increase in weight, max drag, improved gear ratios, longer line capacities, and higher speeds. The cost of these reels started at around $189 at the time of our research and went up to around $223 for the more advanced models.

So, why did we pick this one for the best for the saltwater category? It should be fairly obvious: the fully sealed system means that saltwater cannot get into the body or gears of the reel and so corrosion will be at an absolute minimum.

Of course, you can use most reels to fish in saltwater, but you may find that the corrosion of the salt in the water will cause problems if it enters your reel and gear system. With this once, this is drastically reduced and eliminated. There are many seals that keep the water out and they are designed to keep out water from any angle, so you don’t need to worry if you are hit with a spray or wave.

Specifications

  • Full-metal including rotor and side-plates
  • CNC gear technology
  • IPX6 sealed spool design and body
  • 40” retrieve rate
  • Dura Drag system – Sealed Slammer
  • Six models available

Pros

  • Strong, powerful drag (up to 60lbs)
  • IPX6 water-resistant sealed design
  • Heavy duty

Cons

  • Its weight (but these figures with it being heavy-duty!)

Our Verdict

If you are wanting a heavy-duty reel that is as waterproof as fishing reels come, then this PENN Slammer III collection is just the thing. We tested the 3500, and it stood up to our challenges very well indeed. There was great smoothness in the drag and gears, thanks to the brass gearing inside. With durability at the forefront of this design, this one should stand the test of time and last you for years.

04 Shimano Stradic HG (Best for Freshwater)

SHIMANO STRADIC HG

This Shimano Reel is a new development from the company that focuses on their new tech concept called “Hagane”. If you’ve not heard of Hagane, then you need to. It means strength, robustness, reliability, and durability in fishing reels.

The gears are at the heart of the real. With the most recent technological advances, the robustness and exceptional strength go right to the very core, within the gears. They use all new cold forging methods giving the materials high resistance.

The outer Hagane body protects these inner mechanisms perfectly. When this is combined with Shimano’s X-Ship, the reel is one of the most powerful, durable, and smooth out there today. Your fatigue is also reduced as the body of the reel is sleek and G-Free, giving a better balance of weight.

The whole aim in this design is to make an angler’s experience whilst fishing out on the water the best it can possibly be. And we would certainly agree after testing it! It is similar in price to others in our list, starting at $189 at the time we carried out our research.

Specifications

  • 7lbs Max Drag
  • 31” Line Retrieve
  • 6 Ball Bearings
  • Dyna-Balance Rotor
  • Fluidrive II System
  • Propulsion Line System
  • X-Ship gear technology
  • X-Shield to keep out water
  • HAGANE gearing and body

Pros

  • Super smooth gears
  • Propulsion line management
  • Hagane Cold-forged gears
  • Hagane technology for strength in the body
  • Rigid roto

Cons

  • Lack of anti-reverse
  • Some parts are plastic
  • No back reeling

Our Verdict

For freshwater fishing, this Shimano STRADIC is just the ticket. It combines all of Shimano’s new technological features such as the X-ship and X-shield as well as their HAGANE proprietary gearing and materials. We loved this one for its strength and smoothness when out in the open water. We did find that it lacked an anti-reverse and we were not too keen on the plastic parts but, overall, this reel did a great job!

Other popular top-rated Shimano models that you might want to check out: Saragosa SW 10000, Socorro SW 8000, Sedona, Sienna, Stella SWB, Saragosa SW 20000, Baitrunner 8000OC, Saragosa SW 8000, Saragosa SW 6000, Saragosa SW 25000, Socorro 6000, Stradic 3000, Stradic 4000, Socorro 5000, Spheros SW, and Socorro 8000.

05 PENN Battle II Rod and Reel Combo (Best Inshore Fishing Combo)

PENN Battle II Rod and Reel Combo

Another PENN has made the list. This time, it’s for our rod and reel combo! This is perfect for getting those huge, saltwater game fish. This combination gives you a fishing reel with a full-metal body and a fishing rod that is super-responsive. This all combines in a powerful combination of sensitivity with strength.

The materials are durable and robust, ready to fight those fish. The reel is created to last, so you will be catching fish for years and years. Every part of this combination is designed specifically so that you make that catch. The reel has a carbon fiber system for drag (the HT-100 Versa Drag) that uses either side of the drag washers giving you the utmost possible drag. There’s an anti-reverse bearing to eliminate any pullback meaning you can reel in a way that’s not interrupted.

The washers have a special grease too to make sure they stand the test of time. You can use both Spiderwire Superline or Berkley and the spool has a gasket made from rubber to make sure the line doesn’t slip when under pressure. This means that you could use a braided line too without a monofilament backing. The capacity rings mean that you can glance and see how many lines you have left.

The rod is made from a graphite composite and has guides of aluminum oxide. This gives it responsiveness and superior durability, an ideal partnership with the reel provided. This amazing combination comes in at under $130, making it a real bargain.

Specifications

  • The gear ratio of 6:2:1
  • Fully metal side plate, rotor, and body
  • Bail wire made of ultra-strong aluminum.
  • Drag system made from HT-100 Carbon Fiber
  • Stainless Steel Sealed ball bearings
  • Anti-reverse bearing.
  • 15lbs Max Drag
  • Braid ready Superline spool
  • Line capacity rings with markings at full, 2/3, and 1/3 capacity

Pros

  • A great combination
  • Very reasonable price
  • Anti-reverse bearing
  • Full metal
  • Carbon Fiber Drag system

Cons

  • Not suitable if you only need the reel, not the rod

Our Verdict

If it’s a combination reel and rod you’re after, look no further than this PENN combo! It is a reasonable price and has some fantastic features including a full metal body and gears as well as a carbon fiber drag system. No wonder why it’s on the top 5 models on our list. It can take braided spools and has line capacity markings too. Oh, let’s not forget its anti-reverse bearing. For a reel and a rod, this is the choice for you. If you get this combo, you wouldn’t need to worry about choosing a fishing rod separately for your reel.

06 PENN Pursuit III

PENN Pursuit III

In sixth place is another PENN, this time the PENN Pursuit III. This one is jam packed with amazing features (just check out its spec below!). It has a ultra-durable construction, as you would expect from the PENN brand, which is coupled with the smooth gears that PENN is famous for.

The body is ultra-lightweight as it is made from graphite that is also corrosion resistant. This reel has an HT100 carbon fiber drag system that makes it super powerful and able to withstand pretty much anything you can throw at it. This is what makes it such good value for money.

We found these reels for under $100; some wIn sixth place is another PENN, this time the PENN Pursuit III. This one is jam packed with amazing features (just check out its spec below!). It has an ultra-durable construction, as you would expect from the PENN brand, which is coupled with the smooth gears that PENN is famous for.

The body is ultra-lightweight as it is made from graphite that is also corrosion-resistant. This reel has an HT100 carbon fiber drag system that makes it super powerful and able to withstand pretty much anything you can throw at it. This is what makes it such good value for money.

We found these reels for under $100; some were massively below that price too! You can see why it’s our budget choice! But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a great little reel either! This one really puts up a fight against the more expensive options in terms of its features and quality.

The four Stainless Steel bearings were shielded and gave us smooth retrieves each and every time. The anti-reverse was instant, and it eliminated even just a little back play in the rotor, which gave us an instant hook up every time.

The spool is made from anodized machined aluminum and it comes with Superline Spool and Line capacity rings. It is perfect for saltwater due to its corrosion resistance. I’m sure you’ll see why we loved it so much!

Specifications

  • Drag Washers made from HT100 Carbon Fiber
  • Lightweight, graphite body
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Stainless Steel (4+1) bearing system
  • Six sizes (2500 – 8000)
  • Anti-reverse
  • Anodized and machined aluminum spool
  • Line capacity rings
  • Saltwater type
  • 33” retrieve rate
  • Black/silver
  • Left/Right handle positions
  • 6:2:1 gear ratio
  • 8oz in weight

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Corrosion-resistant graphite
  • Extremely lightweight
  • HT100 carbon fiber drag washers

Cons

  • Not as advanced as other inshore reels on the list

Our Verdict

If it’s cheap and cheerful you’re wanting, this reel is the best inshore spinning reel that we could find for under 50 bucks . In fact, it can complete any other models under $100 (indeed, we found a couple of these PENN reels that were much less than this if you shop around!). The graphite not only makes it corrosion resistant along with the Stainless Steel, but it also makes it super lightweight! Amazing!

Other PENN models you might want to check out: Slammer iii 9500, Fierce 2.

07 Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

This Spinning Reel from Daiwa is new and improved. It is now leaner and there are ten different options in the range from the ultralight options for freshwater to the heavier, bigger game models for saltwater.

These were released back in 2016 and are an excellent reel for the money. They have enough drag that they’re able to handle inshore species all the way to the larger pelagic on the beach.

One of the best features is the “Hady Bodyz” finish – a black anodized layer to give the aluminum housing a solid and protective layer which protects the carbon drag system too. The drag system is also waterproof. The retrieve is super-smooth thanks to the ball bearings that are anti-rust.

This reel has all the reliability and features of its high-spec competitors but only cost around $100 at the time of our research. The reel can withstand a heck of a lot of use and still perform well. It has 13.2lb of drag capacity within its waterproof drag system. There’s a solid, screw-in handle too. We really loved trying this one out due to how solid and durable it felt time after time.

Specifications

  • Anodized black housing from machined aluminum
  • 3 oz weight
  • 190 yds (10lb. braid) line capacity33.2” line per turn of the handle
  • “Hard Bodyz” Side and Body cover
  • Digigear System with gear ratio 5:6:1
  • Air Rotor
  • Braided line compatible
  • Drag system is waterproof
  • 2lbs drag capacity
  • Solid handle
  • Six + 1 Stainless Steel Ball bearings
  • Anti-reverse

Pros

  • Smooth operation
  • Anodized durable body
  • Strong drag
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • The spool isn’t anodized but is painted, unlike the body

Our Verdict

We really loved trying this one out. The anodized body is really durable and resistant to the erosion you find from fishing in saltwater. The drag was super strong, and its operation was very smooth indeed. The price is affordable too. However, the spool is not anodized and only painted, which was slightly disappointing. Having said that, this is a great deal to be had if you want a durable and affordable inshore fishing reel.

Other Daiwa models that might interest you: Ballistic EX 4000, Saltiga, Opus, D Wave, BG 4000, BG 4500, BG Surf Combo, BG 6500 and BG 5000.

08 Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel

This high-speed reel is specifically designed to be used in saltwater. It has a dual force drag system which gives it the utmost stopping power. It has a rigid body and rotor made from machined aluminum, giving it super strength and resistance to the corrosion found with use in saltwater environments.

The construction of the frame allows for precise tolerances within the gear alignment as well as ultimate durability and maximum castability. The high-density gear system has been designed specifically for this reel and has been layered with a corrosion-resistant coating for extra protection.

The gear ratio starts at 6:2:1 for the CJ-40s model and goes all the way to 5:7:1 in the CJ-80s model. The pressure drag maximum is around 20lbs going to 33lbs for the more advanced models. The lighter models start at just 12.1 oz whereas the larger models weigh 23oz. The line retrieve starts at 38.3” with the first model, moving to 50” at the top-end model.

The reel has quick-set anti-reverse technology to enable you to make solid hooksets. If you want to jig for snapper, jack, or tuna species, you’ll need the high speed as well as high strength and this is what this reel provides. The body is still compact but has formidable strength too.

This one was similar in price to others in our list, costing around $110 at the time of our research. We really enjoyed our fishing experience with this one, so it was an easy contender for our top ten list. It didn’t quite make the top spots, but it certainly has a lot to offer.

Specifications

  • Multi-Disc Drag System with Japanese oiled felt
  • Dual Force Drag – precise drag system
  • Reduced fatigue due to the narrow body design
  • Pinion Gear made from machine-cut brass
  • The coating is resistant to corrosion
  • Anti-reverse bearing
  • Anodized machined-aluminum spool
  • Elliptical oscillation patented system
  • Die-cast frame (aluminum)

Pros

  • Light, aluminum construction
  • Anti-reverse system
  • Precise drag system

Cons

  • Lacked the features of some higher-end models

Our Verdict

This great little spinning reel is up there amongst our top ten for very good reasons. It has a long casting capability like the Surf-8K model. We loved its precision and the drag system as well as the fact that it is super resistant to corrosion, which is a must when fishing in saltwater. It is a reasonable cost at not much over $100. It may not have the fancy-pants gadgetry and strength of some of the reels higher up our list, but for the money, you really can’t knock it!

Other top-rated Okuma models that you might like: Ceymar, Azores.

09 Quantum Cabo PT Spin Reel

Quantum Cabo PT Spin Reel

This reel was first put on the market in 2015 where Quantum had redesigned its spin reel completely. The Cabo name was kept simply for their branding and marketing reasons. Many anglers haven’t really heard of Quantum, but it is a brand that should get some attention because they produce reels of good quality, specifically those for saltwater fishing.

The reel is designed for saltwater heavy-duty fishing. It, therefore, has multi-layer corrosion protection and huge drag. It also has Quantum’s Performance Tuning (PT – hence the name!). Looking at the gear ratios (5.3:1 on the smaller reels, 4.9:1 on the medium and 4.4:1 on the larger ones) and the line capacities (from 270yds of 30lbs braid to 400yds of 100lbs braid on the larger models) you can see that this is a reel designed for bigger fish.

It doesn’t matter if you want to be on the beach or the boat, this reel has a watertight drag system and hybrid bearings so that they stand the test of time and do what they need to do even under difficult saltwater conditions day after day.

The 8 PT bearings are stated to be made from a hybrid material of polymer-stainless steel and ceramic. However, we didn’t find ceramic bearings in our tested reels but Stainless Steel (of excellent quality) instead. We weren’t sure if this was due to the re-design of the Quantum Cabo and that the previous designs had ceramic bearings. This did not seem to affect the functionality of the reel at all and we were pleased with its performance.

This reel was on the more expensive side of reels, however. So it is worth factoring this in when deciding which reel to buy.

Specifications

  • SCR Alloy side and body cover
  • 8 PT bearings
  • Sealed Magnum drag and clutch
  • Titanium bail system (fail-proof!)
  • Line Management system
  • SaltGuard multilayer protection from corrosion.
  • Carbon Fiber composite rotor on some models (40 and 50)

Pros

  • Fail-proof bail system
  • SaltGuard Corrosion protection
  • Smooth reel and extreme drag

Cons

  • We didn’t find ceramic in the drag system as stated, just stainless steel
  • A little pricier than others on our list

Our Verdict

This nifty little reel pulled a lot of hefty punches! It is certainly mighty when it comes to drag. We loved the extreme drag and how smooth the reel delivered time after time. Whilst we haven’t had the reel for too long at the point of testing and writing this review, we can see how well the SaltGuard protection against corrosion measures up to similar materials used in other reels. It is definitely a plus for this reel! And, whilst we dismantled the reel and found no ceramic, we don’t believe this affects the reel’s performance in any way. Overall, it’s one of the best inshore saltwater reels under 200 bucks.

Here are other Quantum models up for sale that you might like to check out: Smoke Inshore 40, Smoke 40, Smoke Inshore 50, Smoke inshore 25, Smoke Speed Freak, Smoke S3 Inshore.

10 Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Last in our list is the Revo SX from Abu Gracia. It’s a great item for anglers thanks to its great engineering. It has HPCR bearings and a rocket line management system making it a great little buy.

We found this reel to be very smooth to operate and we loved its durability, enhanced by its AM gear system. It was perfectly aligned to give us an improved edge to withstand hard pulling fish. The body is made from C6 carbon, which makes it lightweight and easy to handle. It has a rocket spool lip to improve its casting capacity, making it much easier and more accurate. This gave us a great experience every time we used it.

This reel has anglers that gave a great grip on the reel itself which helped reduce any slippage. We were able to fish for a long time without any issue or discomfort. The cranking was interruption-free thanks to the K-clutch system on the handle for its anti-reversing. The Stainless-Steel bail also meant that it will stand the test of time too.

This is one of the lesser-known brands of fishing reel, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a punt. We liked this one a lot due to how comfortable it felt to use and how we didn’t suffer from casting fatigue even after a full day on the water. Its cost varies but we got it for around $150 at the time of our research.

Specifications

  • 8 + 1 Stainless Steel HPCR bearings for improved corrosion protection
  • AM precision-machined gearing for ultimate durability and smoothness
  • Lightweight C6 Carbon reel body
  • Computer-optimized design in the gears for utmost efficiency.
  • Gear Ratio of 6.2:1
  • Hybrid Drag Carbon Matrix System

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Durable thanks to Rocket Spool Lip
  • Reduced slippage

Cons

  • No spare spool

Our Verdict

This one made the last place of our top ten thanks to its build. Despite its lightweight, we can tell that it’s a durable reel. The carbon body and rocket spool lip certainly add to this. Given that it is very similar in price to others on the list, it certainly made the cut! We loved the reduced slippage features that we found. It was comfortable to use for extended periods and we really enjoyed our fishing experience with this one.

Other Notable Brands

Let’s take this space to mention other reputable brands and their popular models that didn’t make it to our list.

3-Tand, Florida Fishing Products, Accurate (known for their SR 30, and 30-lb. class models), Abu Garcia (known for Orra, Orra 2, Revo inshore 30, Mitchell 302, Mitchell 303, Mitchell 402, Cardinal Bruiser), Kastking (known for Kodiak 5000, Kodiak 2000, Kodiak 4000), Lew’s (known for Blair Wiggins), 13 FISHING, Fin Strike (known for Fin-Nor IFS 5000, Fin Nor Inshore 4000, Fin Nor 3000), Tsunami, SeaKnight (known for Rapid 6000), Pflueger (known for President XT), Shakespeare, Tempo Apex, Canyon (known for Salt 7500), ACCURIST (known for S3 PT), Sougayilang (known for their telescopic model), Haibo, Saion, RUNCL, Piscifun, Dr.Fish, Tempo Sphera, Gomexus (known for jigging models), Maraehan Jackgold (known for their open face models).

What Are the Benefits of Using Spinning Reels Inshore?

So, what is the best inshore spinning reel? Well, since its invention by the Song dynasty of China, spinning reels have been super popular. When Europe was introduced with this tool, more and more manufacturers improved the to the perfection. So, choosing a spinning reel is often difficult because of the diversity of source. It is actually crucial that you choose the right reel rather than the right rod when you are fishing inshore. It’s much more important. An inshore reel is designed for use in shallower water that is either on or near the shore. This means less than nine miles from the shore in some cases.

If you have the right inshore spinning reel it can make all the difference in your fishing trip, changing it from hassle-full to hassle-free! The best inshore saltwater reel means that you encounter fewer issues whilst out fishing on the water, giving you reliable drag whilst being easy to use too. If the reel is of high quality, it can handle most fish sizes, allowing you to reel it with comfort and ease. You shouldn’t need to worry about big fish snapping the line.

Inshore spinning reels need to withstand the saltwater too and therefore materials such as aluminum, Stainless Steel, and carbon are the best types, as are units that are sealed so that water doesn’t enter the reel’s delicate parts. A real that gives you smooth, strong drag will help the biggest fish to land right in your lap!

Best Inshore Spinning Reel – A Comprehensive Buying Guide

1. Line capacity

The line capacity means how many lines the reel can hold. Some reels have a greater line capacity than other reels. The capacity will also vary depending on the type of line or braided line you are using. Salt fishing might mean longer runs and deeper water as even smaller fish can get away quickly with such a big escape route.

Any good quality reel should be able to have enough lines so that these challenges are met with ease. You don’t want to get spooled after all your effort. For most reels, you want to have at least a 300-yard capacity. The capacity depends on the sizing of the reel. You can choose from 30, 25, 20, 3000, 2500, 2000, and 1000 series matching your needs. The capacity can make all the difference between scoring a winner or trophy-worthy fish and just a fishy tale.

2. Material & Construction

The construction and materials that your reel is made from are also important things to consider. Fishing in salt water can affect the materials to a much greater extent than if you are fishing in lakes and rivers. This means that durability of the build is of vital importance. You need to choose a reel that is resistant to corrosion such as in a coating or a design that stops water from getting inside. The more expensive a reel, the more likely it is to have these features.

3. Weight & Color

You need to think about how you may respond to the feel and weight of your reel after long periods of fishing. Lightweight reels are best, particularly if you’re a traveler when it comes to fishing destinations. Some are used to heavy reels and if that’s you, then don’t worry about it. Lighter weight reels do tend to be a little more on the expensive side due to their materials such as carbon fiber.

These reels come with a wide range of graphics and color schemes. You can choose from black, silver, brass, gold, grey, teal, and many more cool color options.

4. Drag

Drag refers to how the fish resist once they’ve been hooked. If the drag can’t take the fish’s weight, then the rod and reel could become damaged. The higher the drag, the better the reel as a general rule. You also need to pick the right rod for your reel to tackle any unwanted situations. You’ll find different rod types out there to pick from.

5. Bearings

Bearings help reels to spin in casting as well as retrieving. The number and quality of the bearings is important to consider. If there are more gears then the operation of the reel will be smoother but if they are of poor quality and end up corroding, then the quality of the bearings will likely be poor quality and will decrease in their functionality too. Some of the best quality bearings are often Stainless Steel or Ceramic.

6. Gear ratio

Gear ratios come as a number sequence like 6.2:1. The higher number at the start indicates the number of times the reel will rotate per handle crank. So, 6.2:1 indicates that for each crank, the reel will turn 6.2 times altogether.

7. Bail

All reels have bails on them. It is a u-shaped metal part that can move from each side. When it is open, you can cast your line and the spool can move so the line comes off the reel. This is an essential function inline casting. If you close the bail wire, the spool can’t move but can only be moved to retrieve the line.

8. Frame

The frame is something that is worth a lot of consideration in a product such as this. Saltwater impacts materials in a much more significant way in comparison with freshwater. This means you need to consider the durability of the build too. Corrosion resistance is crucial for saltwater reels. They may have a coating for example or be made from graphite or another corrosion-resistant material.

9. Braided line compatibility

Braided lines give many advantages for saltwater fishers. This is why it is important to ensure that any reel that you choose is able to fit braided lines as well as monofilament lines. Almost any reel these days can spool a braided fishing line, the best reels have specific features for this purpose to limit slippage and to bail without any gaps so that there’s no tangling or snagging.

10. Corrosion protection

As mentioned, protection from corrosion is crucial with saltwater reels as the environment to which these reels are subject is far harsher. The reel will be constantly exposed to saltwater which is not only corrosive but abrasive too. Stainless and Carbon fiber are stronger and more corrosion resistant than iron.

11. Reel handle position

A basic thing to consider perhaps but an important one. The position of the reel handle needs to be suitable for whatever handedness you are! It’s no good having a right-handed reel if you’re left-handed. Some reels have the option of switching the handle over, but not all.

12. Sturdy Sealing

When fishing in saltwater, potentially in the waves on the shoreline, it’s important that you consider how water-resistant the sealing is on the reel itself as well as the materials the components are made from. This is where it differs from traditional inshore fly fishing reels.

13. Retrieve

The retrieve rate of a line is how many lines can be retrieved back per turn of the handle. Some reels have more retrieve per crank, up to 40” in some cases. It is great for those needing to retrieve quickly.  

14. Anti-Reverse Handle

Spinning reels that have an anti-reverse handle engage the drag and stop the reel from rotating backward. Some have a switch that lets the angler choose to engage the anti-reverse feature or not. It can help people to “back-reel” instead of allowing the fish to fight solely against the drag.

15. Species of fish You Usually Catch

If you usually try to catch small fish such as deep sea fluke, bass, bream, or trout, a smaller spinner reel size would work well. If you venture off the coast a little you may be able to catch snapper fish, cod, bonefish, mowing, or tailor fish. These are medium size and heavier than the smaller fish listed above. As a result, you will need a reel capable of this (at least a size 4000).  The bigger reels will mean you can try to catch fish like salmon, kingfish and even tuna fish.

16. Where Do You Fish?

Another area in which people do not always realize makes a difference. Where you fish makes a difference to what kind of reel you need. Fish that are heavier are further away offshore. So, if you want to catch those fish, you will need a reel that can handle them.

Ocean fishing and offshore spinning reels enable you to catch bigger fish with a larger reel capacity and high drag. With inshore reels, this is not as much of a consideration as the fish inshore are more likely to be lightweight.

17. Budget

The inexperienced fishers amongst us might well assume that reels are just reels and there’s not much between different models and types. However, this is not the case. There is obviously a price difference (some models start at around $50, others into their hundreds) but there are also many features to consider.

Some models prioritize different things whether that be reliability or features. High-quality reels make the world of difference and will mean the difference between replacing a reel regularly or having one that will stand the test of time. The best inshore spinning reel will combine quality materials and features with good value for money.

Care & Maintenance Tips

There are many ways of cleaning spinning reels. But make sure you know how to set it up after cleaning. Firstly, here are a few tips that everyone should follow:

  1. Always clean your reel after saltwater fishing with a towel or a low-pressure hose.
  2. Don’t spray the reel from underneath, spray from above so water doesn’t get into the mechanisms as easily.
  3. Clean it by taking out the removable parts and use soapy water.
  4. Dry your reel as thoroughly as possible with a dry cloth.
  5. Don’t dip the reel in the water if possible.
  6. Avoid knocking the reel on rocks, the deck, or hard floors. Any dents or scratches will expose metal that will corrode.
  7. Don’t place it in the sand on a beach as they will scratch the inner parts and the housing too.

Without caring for your reel properly, even the expensive corrosion-resistant reels will be compromised due to salt exposure.

Inshore Fishing Safety Tips

When fishing, you should always follow basic safety rules. Be aware that everything you do on the water or near to it will have consequences, whether that is standing to cast, moving in the boat, or bending over the water. Here are some essential rules that everyone should follow:

  1. Lifejackets should be worn
  2. Have a float plan
  3. Keep your boat neat and tidy. Neat = safe
  4. Lures and hooks should be in a tackle box
  5. Fish with another person
  6. Have safety equipment with you

Wearing a Life Jacket

Most of today’s life jackets are comfortable so you have no excuse for not wearing one. Look at the pros – they all wear life jackets as they know how important they are. If you take an unexpected tumble overboard, wearing a life jacket will be the thing that saves you first. Make sure you have one that fits well.

Float Plans

All anglers need to file “float plans”. This just means listing the location you’re headed and who you will be with and when you will be back. Also include what your boat and vehicles look like and where you will park. You need to be specific and write who to call if you don’t make it back when expected.

Neat Boats

You should keep your boat tidy and that goes for your lines too. You don’t want any tangles. All knife blades should be covered too. Ensure your lures and hooks are all stowed well away as well.

Company

Having a companion is a great idea for extra safety. If something happens on the water, they can help you and summon help if you need it too.

Wrapping It Up

You’ve now had the lowdown on the best inshore spinning reels to suit all needs and budgets. But, which one will you go for? It’s a tricky decision for sure. First and foremost, it is important to ascertain what your individual needs are and then you can look for a spinning reel that suits your budget.

Will it be a lightweight model you want? Do you need something that is for saltwater rather than freshwater? If you still can’t decide you could opt for something that ticks most boxes. For us, that is without a doubt our number one choice: the PENN Spinfisher V. Why not take a punt and go for it?

FAQ

Q. 1: Is There Anything Extra to Be Taken Care of for Fishing in Saltwater Inshore?

Ans: With saltwater, you don’t need to do anything particularly different in caring for your reel than you would with freshwater. However, you should clean your reel frequently and after every use. Saltwater is damaging to reels, especially if it is not washed off carefully.

Q. 2: What are the Differences Between a Saltwater and Freshwater Spinning Reels?

Ans: The biggest difference between the two types of reels is that a saltwater reel is usually tougher and more resistant to corrosion and quite often is more heavy-duty in their design. They usually have strong seals to keep sand and seawater out of the important parts of the reel. Freshwater reels are usually more light duty in their design and can’t withstand saltwater environments.

Saltwater reels are the strongest with a more powerful drag than their freshwater counterparts. This is due to the fact that they can reel in stronger and larger species of fish. Freshwater reels catch smaller, freshwater fish species and therefore can be more light duty.

Q. 3: Should I Use a Spinning Reel for Big Fish?

Ans: Spinning reels aren’t designed for the biggest of fish. The power and strength needed to fight some fish aren’t as strong as will conventional or baitcasting reels, which is more suitable for big catches. Having said that, some of the best saltwater reels are capable of reeling in big fish. They have smooth and strong drag systems due to their design to catch fish like Marlin and Tuna.

Q. 4: Whenever I Cast, the Line Got Tangled. How to Fix It?

Ans: Firstly, make sure you’ve closed the bail before casting. Try not to reel backward as this causes tangles in the line. You need to make sure that there aren’t any abrupt or inconsistent changes in the speed of your line, caused by the wind or otherwise, whilst you are casting.

Also, make sure there’s not too much fishing line on the spool. It needs to rotate well when you’re winding. Inspect it to ensure it is clean and moving freely. With a braided line, there’s no stretch and it can slip on the spool. If your reel isn’t ready for braided line, you could add anchoring like a mono line to grip the braid.

Finally, check that the line you’re using is the right size!

Q. 5: What does inshore saltwater mean?

Ans: The depth of the water is what is important when you are talking about what inshore fishing means. Inshore means that you are close to the land, within a mile or two from the coastline. Bays and estuaries are where a lot of people go inshore fishing. Inshore fishing involves smaller boats, kayaks, or canoes.

It is possible to fish inshore all year round, even if there are seasonal weather changes. You won’t need to travel as far to fish inshore in comparison to offshore. You won’t need as much fuel for your boat, but it does affect the types of fish you can catch, and their size of course! You can catch smaller species such as flounder, speckled trout, and redfish.

Inshore, you’ll need light tackle only. You could have dead and live bait. You won’t really need any tracking devices such as satellite radios for weather, radar or sonar technologies.

About the author

Immanuel Baranov

My life is pretty much defined by my avid outdoor activities. I’m generally obsessed with fishing, skiing and occasional hunting and whitewater paddling. I’ve been active since my early years. I inherited my passion for fishing from my father who made frequent family trips to the banks of Sacramento River. Growing up, I did a lot of fishing in the vicinity. Now that I have two sons, our weekends are full of fishing activities. I would say, you need good spots where you can go out a lot for the thing you love. I had the privilege to grow up near numerous water bodies and I’m proud to say that I made good use of them. It’s also great to do something with kids that helps them learn patience, endurance and preciseness.

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