Last Updated on February 4, 2021 by Donnell Henderson
Welcome to our review for best saltwater spinning reels. To jump right in, why can’t you use a freshwater reel while fishing in saltwater?
Generally, spinning reels designed for saltwater fishing have higher quality internal components, made from special corrosion-resistant materials. Saltwater is notorious for corroding most types of metal. Saltwater spinning reels usually are also much larger than their freshwater counterparts.
While you can use your freshwater reel in the saltwater, you should keep in mind that your reel will have a shorter lifespan than expected. Let’s explore some of the best saltwater spinning reels on the market, so you can have an easy time choosing one that suits your needs.
My Top Pick
When it comes to build quality, smoothness of cast and retrieve ease of use, and durability, we would recommend the Shimano Saragosa 25000SW. This is a top-quality saltwater fishing reel and is built to handle even the largest, hard fighting and fast swimming fish. It is reasonably priced for the premium features.
- Top-rated Saltwater Spinning Reel Reviews
- 1. Shimano Saragosa 25000SW – Best Offshore Saltwater Spinning Reel
- 2. PENN Battle II 2500 – Great All-around Reel for Inshore Fishing
- 3. Penn Spinfisher V – Best Saltwater Spinning Reels for the Money
- 4. Penn Slammer III – Great for Heavy-Duty Saltwater Fishing
- 5. Accurate TwinSpin SR-30 – Best Overall
- 6. HaiBo Saltwater Spinning Reel – Best Spinning Reel for Surfcasting
- 7. Daiwa Saltist 2500 – Best for Under $200
- 8. Tsunami Shield 4000 – Best Saltwater Spinning Reel for Beginners
- Buying Guide – Choosing the Best Saltwater Spinning Reel
- Final Thoughts
Top-rated Saltwater Spinning Reel Reviews
1. Shimano Saragosa 25000SW – Best Offshore Saltwater Spinning Reel
Shimano Saragosa SW is a fantastic series of spinning reels. The simple combination of first-rate features and competitive prices makes them virtually irresistible. If you’re looking for an affordable, offshore saltwater spinning reel, you should consider the Shimano Saragosa 25000 SW.
- Mono Line Capacity 30 lbs., 360 yards
- Braid Line Capacity 80 lbs., 520 yards
- Line Retrieve Per Crank 45 inches
- Maximum Drag 44 lbs.
- Ball Bearings 6 shielded anti-rust
- Gear Ratio 4.41
- Retrieve Reversible
- Weight 34.2 ounces
This spinning reel features a machined-aluminum body with blue highlights, which looks incredible on the rod. It comes equipped with Paladin Gearing and shielded A-RB bearings, which run quietly and freely. Another remarkable feature of the 25000 SW is X-Ship bearing system.
This system features bearings on each side of the spool, ensuring maximum support and allowing the reel to crank smoothly through 360 degrees regardless of the size of the fish. The bail action on the 25000 SW is so sensitive that it opens and closes with a slight touch. It can even close inadvertently with a bump or touch.
Nonetheless, this is a great piece of equipment, laying out exceptionally longs casts for a heavy reel. It is designed to deliver the quality, sturdiness, and attention to detail that you would expect from Shimano.
It is not without a few setbacks, however. Its most significant issue is that it doesn’t have cut-away vents to dissipate heat. The drag also tends to jerk on full setting.
- Runs smoothly
- Robust construction
- Casts far
- Lacks cut-away vents for dissipating heat
- Cranking handle is not very strong
- Drag is quite jerky on full setting
Overall, the Shimano Saragosa 25000 SW is a robust saltwater spinning reel. You can expect it to take on hard fighting fish such as snapper, mackerel, and giant trevally. It is an excellent purchase if you are looking for an affordable spinning real for offshore fishing.
Overall Rating 4.8/5.0
2. PENN Battle II 2500 – Great All-around Reel for Inshore Fishing
A high-quality spinning reel doesn’t always have to be expensive. The Penn Battle II 2500 attests to that fact, thanks to its premium features and competitive price.
- Mono Capacity (Yards/pounds) 140/10, 175/8, 255/6.
- Braid Capacity (Yards/pounds) 160/20, 220/15, 240/10.
- Drag 12 lbs.
- Weight 10.3 ounces
- Gear Ratio 6.21
- Ball Bearings 6
- HT-100™ carbon fiber drag washers
- Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire
- Instant anti-reverse bearing
- Line capacity rings
- Superline spool
- Full metal body, side plate, and rotor
This reel features full-metal construction for unmatched durability and performance. It comes equipped with six stainless-steel ball bearings, which deliver a smooth as silk action all through. Another remarkable feature of this spinning reel is the HT-100 drag system featuring carbon fiber washers, which are effective in keeping the elements at bay.
The Battle II 2500 also features hardwearing aluminum bail wire, instant-anti-reverse, and Superline-ready spool, all of which make it a robust and reliable piece of fishing gear. It is an excellent choice for those who are just getting started in the world of saltwater fishing as well as experienced anglers looking to expand their options without straining their finances.
With minimal maintenance, this spinning reel can last you a good number of years, offering a greater lifespan that some models that go for double the price. However, some users have complained that it is quite heavy, making it somewhat uncomfortable to use.
- Competitively priced
- Great build quality
- Smooth drag system
- Braid-ready, marked spool
- Rough retrieve
- Somewhat heavy
- Wind knot
- Loosening up after some use
- Not effectively sealed
All in all, the Penn Battle II 2500 is a great option for any budget-conscious angler looking for quality. It is a fantastic all-around reel for inshore fishing. You won’t regret investing in it if you want excellent power, sturdiness, and casting range without having to break a bank.
Overall Rating 4.5/5.0
3. Penn Spinfisher V – Best Saltwater Spinning Reels for the Money
Penn has been a premier manufacturer of saltwater fishing gear since its inception in 1932. The Penn Spinfisher V is one of the brand’s best-selling series of spinning reels. This reel is popular largely for its durability, versatility, and waterproof construction.
- Mono Capacity (Yards/pounds) 240/15, 270/12, 360/10
- Braid Capacity (Yards/pounds) 250/40, 320/30, 425/20
- Maximum Drag 30 lbs.
- Ball Bearings 6
- Gear Ratio 5.61
- Weight 20.4 ounces
The Spinfisher V series offers eleven models of spinning reels so that you can get one for virtually any fishing condition. This reel’s body, side plates, and rotor are entirely made of metal, making it resistant to the elements. It comes equipped with six stainless-steel ball bearings, which ensure everything turns smoothly regardless of the kind of fish you are dealing with.
It has an HT-100 drag system that uses three washers for reliable power and six seals to prevent the entry of saltwater and dirt into the system. Besides being watertight, this spinning reel is also resistant to corrosion, and you can expect it to last a good number of years. Unfortunately, it is quite heavy for its size.
- Watertight inner components
- Versatile and durable
- Exceptionally smooth reeling
- Has super line spool with handy line capacity rings
- Quite heavy for the reel size
The Spinfisher V makes an excellent choice for anyone looking for a spinning reel with a great price point but offers excellent quality, reliability, and durability. This reel comes in a variety of sizes, so can find the right one for your specific fishing needs. It is one of the best saltwater reels for the money.
Overall Rating 4.8/5.0
4. Penn Slammer III – Great for Heavy-Duty Saltwater Fishing
The Penn Slammer III, an award-winning spinning reel, comes equipped with a variety of innovative features to help anglers overcome some of the most arduous tasks of saltwater fishing. This heavy-duty, open-faced reel is popular largely for its capability to hook and hold fish from the shore or boat.
- Mono Line Capacity 30 lbs., 435 yards
- Braid Line Capacity 80 lbs., 540 yards
- Maximum Drag 60 lbs.
- Line Retrieve Per Crank 43 inches
- Ball Bearings 7
- Gear Ratio 4.21
- Weight 43.1 ounces
- Retrieve Reversible
The Slammer III is one of the most durable reels out there, thanks to its full-metal construction. It comes equipped with CNC gear technology, which is known for exceptional smoothness, cranking power, and durability.
It also features die-cast aluminum spool, which helps enhance strength and minimize rotor flex under heavy loads. Another remarkable attribute of the braid-ready spool is that it features line capacity rings on each side, ensuring a great view.
This heavy-duty spinning reel is built to handle the meanest blue water fishes that require a smooth drag system. It utilizes Penn’s exclusive Dura-drag system, which is effective in fighting large fish and preventing water from getting into the system. Its major setback is that it is quite heavy compared to its competitors.
- Robust construction
- Smooth operation
- Easy to set up
- Sealed drag system for optimal performance
- Waterproof internal components
- Quite heavy
Overall, the Penn Slammer III is a premium spinning reel built from high-end materials. While the weight is somewhat on the higher side, it compensates for that with exceptional performance and durability.
Overall Rating 4.6/5.0
5. Accurate TwinSpin SR-30 – Best Overall
Accurate TwinSpin reels are popular for their eye-catching, polished-aluminum construction and robust components—and the Accurate TwinSpin SR-30 saltwater spinning reel is no exception.
- Weight 31 ounces
- Mono Line Capacity 30 lbs., 325 yards
- Brain Line Capacity 80 lbs., 300 yards
- Line Retrieve Per Crank 50 inches
- Ball Bearings 14
- Maximum Drag 40 lbs.
- Gear Ratio 61
- Retrieve Left
- Patented TwinDrag™ System
- Five Class 5 ABEC stainless steel bearings
- Greased AccuDrag system
Compared to other TwinSpin reels, the SR-30 features a somewhat faster gear ratio of 61. It is also lighter while still holding a significant amount of line – 375 yards of 80-pound braid or 30-pound mono.
Moreover, this spinning reel boasts a drag that can put 35-pound pressure on large tuna, trevally, and billfish. If you’re looking for a sturdy spinning reel that runs exceptionally smooth, the SR-30 would be a perfect choice. It runs on five Class 5 ABEC stainless steel ball bearings.
It is also equipped with Accurate’s exclusive lubricated twin-drag system, which puts enormous drag friction washers on both sides of the spool. The twin system neutralizes the startup inertia that generates shock on the line and escalates loss of fish on high-drag settings. This makes the drag have an exceptionally smooth feel.
The top of the spool features drag preset registration lines, which allow for easy drag setting. Additionally, making adjustments during the fight is very easy, thanks to the bold, high-relief drag handle. The major hindrance to enjoying the exceptional performance of this spinning reel is its high price, especially if you are shopping with a tight budget.
- Great aesthetics
- Well-ventilated spool
- Durable construction
- Exceptionally smooth casts and retrieves
- The reel arm can be too short for some anglers
- Quite pricey
The Accurate TwinSpin SR-30 is a top-notch saltwater spinning reel. It is crafted to handle large game fish like marlin and trevally, which are usually not considered to be spin fishing targets. The reel casts long and smooth. While it is a bit expensive, it is certainly worth the price. It is our recommended saltwater spinning reel.
Overall Rating 4.9/5.0
6. HaiBo Saltwater Spinning Reel – Best Spinning Reel for Surfcasting
If you are looking for a smooth running, robust reel for surf fishing and jigging, you might consider the HaiBo Saltwater Spinning Reel. This real was designed especially for such types of fishing. It is built with corrosion-resistant technology to bear the inflexibilities of saltwater fishing.
- Maximum Drag 61.7 lbs.
- Gear Ratio 4.91
- Six sealed stainless-steel bearings
- Corrosion-resistant technology
- CNC Gear Technology
- Aluminum bail and side plate
- Braided spool
- Mechanically sealed drag
- Aluminum spool with a sealed magnetic click
The HaiBo Spinning Reel features a full metal, heavy duty finish, which makes it ideal for prolonged periods in the boat. It boasts big, high-density foam handles and solid-cast crank. This makes it easy and comfortable to reel in large, hard-fighting fish.
What’s more, the real comes equipped with a 50-pound carbon fiber drag with up to 375 yards of 80-pound braided line capacity. Hence, you get what it takes to fish out in deep waters. It also features Dura-Drag and a mechanically-sealed drag system that helps to keep elements such as water, dirt, sand, and salt at bay.
Other outstanding features of this spinning reel are an aluminum bail and side plate, which ensure gear alignment under massive stress. While this reel is sturdy and has the capacity of handling heavy fish, its line capacity is quite limited compared to other models in its class.
- Excellent maximum drag
- Comfortable handles
- Durable construction
- Braided line ready
- A bit heavy
- More line capacity would be better
Overall, the HaiBo saltwater spinning reel is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable, reliable surf-casting reel. It is designed for optimum performance and durability when it comes to these kinds of fishing. The corrosion-resistant gear has foam handles, making it comfortable to use all day long on the water. It is reasonably priced, and hence affordable for many people.
Overall Rating 4.7/5.0
7. Daiwa Saltist 2500 – Best for Under $200
Like all Daiwa Saltist spinning reels, the Daiwa Saltist 2500 is designed to withstand the elements. The rugged and robust piece of gear features Magsealed main shaft, Magsealed line roller, and corrosion-resistant ball bearings (CRBB) for lifelong smoothness and performance.
- Maximum Drag 15 lbs.
- Line Capacity 10 lbs., 140 yards
- Gear Ratio 5.61
- Ball Bearings 8
- Weight 9.5 ounces
- Line Retrieve 33.2 inches
- Hand Retrieve Right or Left-handed
- Lightweight Air Rotor design
- HardBodyz” body and side cover
- Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS spool
- Digigear™ digital gear design
- Waterproof Carbon ATD Drag System
- Braided line ready spool
- Protrusion free AirBail
- Infinite dual anti-reverse system
Built to bear the harsh saltwater environment, the Saltist 2500 offers everything that you’d ever want in a saltwater spinning reel. It features a machined-aluminum body, ensuring strength and durability. With its black anodized body and body cover, it is effective in preventing corrosion and scratches to the reel itself.
Hence, the reel won’t peel or chip as is common with most painted reels. However, the most outstanding feature of this spinning reel is Magsealed technology. The main shaft, line roller, and the ball bearings are all Magsealed, ensuring enduring smoothness and performance.
If you’re wondering what Magsealed is, it is a technology that utilizes special liquid material known as Magoil. Created by space engineers, this material is effective in creating water and dust barrier. It can be solidified with the aid of magnetic force to create a solution that can seal a device from water permanently.
Moreover, the reel comes equipped with a waterproof fiber drag system that can handle virtually any kind of fish. The only setback of Daiwa Saltist spinning reels is that they get heavier as you go up in size. Nonetheless, the Saltist 2500 is quite light and affordable.
- Water-resistant design
- Waterproof drag system
- Line capacity
- Reasonably priced
- Some models are quite heavy
If you’re looking for a spinning reel that delivers quality and durability at an affordable price, the Daiwa Salitist 2500 can be a solid choice. This reel boasts industry-leading technology, lightweight design, and robust construction to withstand the harsh marine environment.
Overall Rating 4.6/5.0
8. Tsunami Shield 4000 – Best Saltwater Spinning Reel for Beginners
If you are just getting started in the world of saltwater fishing and don’t want to make a huge investment on a spinning reel at first, you might want to look at what the Tsunami Shield 4000 has to offer. This spinning reel provides plenty of valuable features that you would expect to get on a reel that is at least three times more expensive.
- Maximum Drag 20 lbs.
- Line Capacity 20 lbs., 200 yards.
- Aluminum spool
- Gear Ratio 5.11
- Weight 9.8 ounces
- Ball Bearings 4
- Hand Retrieve Right or Left-Handed
The Tsunami Shield 4000 is completely sealed, preventing saltwater, sand, and other elements from getting in. It is one of the few completely sealed spinning reels under $100 you can find on the market today. In fact, it boasts 10-13 internal seals.
It features a hybrid, all-metal construction, which encompasses machined aircraft aluminum and robust protective anodizing. These features ensure your reel delivers optimal performance and stands the test of time.
Besides being durable, this water-resistant reel is also lightweight, thanks to its all-aluminum body and rotor. Adding to the durability of the gear are sealed ball bearings. This reel also boasts an aluminum handle arm with an EVA knob, providing a great retrieve.
- Reasonable line capacity
- Competitively priced
- Durable aluminum body
- Internal seals safeguard against water
- May not be a great choice for professionals.
All in all, the Tsunami Shield 4000 is an excellent option for a beginner looking for an all-around spinning reel. This reel is designed to handle medium- to heavy-fishing applications. It’s certainly a worthy investment if you are tight on finances but want something reliable.
Overall Rating 4.4/5.0
Buying Guide – Choosing the Best Saltwater Spinning Reel
We’ve seen that there’s a wide selection of saltwater spinning reels available on the market, and not all of them are created equal. You can also check out other great performing spinning reels that are applicable in a wide variety of fishing environments.
Here are a few factors to consider so that you can choose the best reel for your needs:
Material and Construction – You want a spinning reel that will stand the test of time. Spinning reels are normally made from aluminum or graphite. Aluminum reels boast a more solid construction, but they can be quite heavy.
Graphite reels, on the other hand, are not as strong as aluminum, but they are lighter and easier to handle. Also, graphite doesn’t corrode, so it is ideal for saltwater fishing.
Corrosion Resistance – Saltwater spinning reels should be corrosion-resistant. Be sure your preferred reel has corrosion protective features like graphite and aluminum construction, high-grade stainless steel or titanium ball bearings, and carbon fiber drag systems.
Internal components should be protected from corrosion with features such as quality gaskets, seals, shielded construction, and protective coatings that prevent the entry of elements like sand and saltwater.
Handle – You want a reel that has a well-built and reliable handle. With large, sturdy handles, and a robust crank, you’ll have an easy time reeling in the line. Otherwise, your reel won’t bear up to some of the toughest tasks.
Power – The power of a fishing reel is dependent on gear strength and ratio. Metal gears are perfect for saltwater fishing. The gear ratio determines how easy you’ll reel the fish out of the water.
A high gear ratio like 61 retrieves line much faster. It is perfect for quick moving bait, reeling in smaller fish, and fishing with top-water plugs. Conversely, a low gear ratio like 41 is much slower in retrieving but delivers more power and clout when reeling large fish.
Resistance – It’s advisable to choose a reel has the largest number of ball bearings for the smoothest performance. This is especially true if you’re targeting larger fish. However, keep in mind that the smoother the reel works, the more expensive it will be.
Drag –A drag system that handles 15 to 17 pounds is an ideal option as it can handle most of the strong, hard fighting fish.
For both novices and veteran anglers, a spinning reel should be versatile, easy to use, reliable, and affordable. When it comes to saltwater fishing, there is a wide range of options to choose from. We have reviewed some of the best options on the market. We hope this review will help you find the best saltwater spinning reel for your needs.