Boat Safe is a community supported site. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we have confidence in all recommended products.
Fishing for bass is tactical. Although they occasionally move to the open waters, they often like to find cover under rocks, grass, lily, wood, docks, etc. Also, their diet and habitation patterns change with the changing seasons. They are heavy and can put up a fight when being retrieved. Therefore, they require a strong, sturdy spinning reel that has adequate and smooth drag.
This article reviews some of the best bass spinning reels on the market. We also look at some factors to consider when deciding on the best spinning reel to buy and the features to look out for.
The KastKing 3000 Summer and Centron Spinning reel offers high performance at an affordable price. It has a superior drag to handle 17.5lb. The main shaft is hardened, and it has a mesh drive gear to offer adequate fish fighting power. Its 9+1 ball bearings offer a smooth performance. It also has an instant stop anti-reverse capability.
Its narrow frame is made of graphite, which makes it super light and compact. Its spool is made of anodized aluminum. It has a good looking black and blue exterior design. It comes with a power launch clip for easy casting across long distances. It has a bigger line capacity than similar models at its price range.
It is available in a wide range of sizes and models, including a 500-size suitable for ultralight and ice fishing
The Akataka 4000 spinning reel is built for a smooth and powerful operation. Although it is super lightweight, it has a high-quality build using premium quality materials. Its body, handle, and rotor are compact and made of high tensile aluminum. The handle is left/right hand interchangeable.
The reel is made of a high-efficiency triple disc carbon fiber to offer a maximum drag of up to 29lb. Its main shaft is hardened for durability and sturdy handling even when retrieving large catches. Its gear operates on 10+1 corrosion resistant ball bearings for a smooth retrieval.
It can be used in both freshwater and saltwater. 2000 and 3000 size models are also available.
The Cadence Ideal 4000 Spinning Fishing Reel has a 30lb maximum drag load suitable for catching bass both in saltwater and freshwater. Its main shaft is made of stainless steel for sturdiness.
It has a 6:2:I ratio gear and 10+1 ball bearings for a smooth operation. Its drag system is carbon fiber sealed, while the rotor is made of graphite. The spool is made of aluminum and comes braid-ready, while the body is made of graphite.
The spool has an optimized lip design that reduces line twists and wind knots to enable seamless casting for longer distances. The aluminum handles are covered with rubber for a non-slip grip even when operating the reel with wet hands. Cadence backs the unbeatable value of this spinning real with a one year warranty.
The Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels are available in 4 sizes, including 2000, 3000, 4000, and 5,000. It is super light as its body is made of hollow graphite. Therefore, it is easy to pack and carry and can be used for a long time without tiring you down.
This reel has an exquisite appearance characterized by a matte black body with a red aluminum spool. At its affordable price range, it feels balanced and sturdy on the hands. The 9+1 ball bearings, anti-corrosion zinc, and triple drag washers offer a smooth and powerful operation consistently. It provides a drag power of up to 19.8lb
The Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel is easy to use for bass fishing. It has an ultra-thin streamlined body design with a superior drag system. It comes with a collapsible handle, which is right/left hand interchangeable. Its rotor is computer balance for enhanced performance.
Its body and handle are made of C.N.C. aluminum. The reel’s spool is made of aluminum.
Its gear ratio is 5:2:1. The cast control is adjustable and has an S-curve oscillation system for good line winding.
This reel can be used in both freshwater and saltwater. It can be used for open boat fishing, ocean beach fishing, ocean rock fishing, or a lake, river, stream, or reservoir pond.
KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel is one of the most powerful spinning reels on the market, with the 5000-size having a max drag load of 39.5lb. It has an oversize stainless-steel shaft that couples with the drag system to smoothly retrieve even big bass. It is tough and can be used on both saltwater and freshwater.
It is also lightweight as the body and rotor are made of reinforced graphite. This spinning reel’s parts are sealed with the KastKing Intrusion Shield System (K.I.S.S) for water and dirt proofing. It has 10+1 high quality, double shielded stainless-steel ball bearings with instant lock anti-reverse functionality. Its gear ratio is 5:2:1.
Sharky III fishing reels are fitted with a reliable triple disc carbon fiber drag system and strong precision mesh manganese brass pinion gears. Another unique feature of this spinning reel is that it has a Shark Fin braid-ready aluminum that does not require backing when using braid fishing line.
Incorporates several innovative features, including KISS
This P.E.N.N. fishing reel is built for durability and performance. Its full-body, side plate, and rotor are made of heavy-duty aluminum for durability and sturdiness. The drag washers are made of HT 100 carbon fiber for a powerful and smooth drag. It utilizes fluid cranking that operates on six sealed stainless-steel ball bearings. It has a gear ratio of 6:2:1 with an instant anti-reverse function.
The spool line requires no backing and is compatible with either monofilament lines or braid lines. The Penn Battle II spinning fishing reel is available in different sizes ranging between 1000 and 8000. It has an ambidextrous handle.
The KastKing Brutus Spincast Fishing Reel has a unique design, high performance, and offers excellent usability. It has a unique honeycomb lattice design that is aesthetically pleasing even when mounted on a fishing rod.
It also stands out because it has a 33% higher fishing line capacity than other push-button reels on the market. It is versatile and can be used to catch bass and other fish types even in deep water conditions.
The body of this spinning reel is made of graphite. At the heart of its excellent performance is a stainless-steel line pick-up system. It operates on a 4:0:1 gear ratio for a quick catch and smooth crank. The gear has five stainless-steel double-shielded ball bearings.
It comes pre-spooled with premium quality monofilament line and has a maximum drag of 12lb. Its drag washers are made of Teflon for durability and smooth operation.
When it comes to handling, it has a double-sided aluminum handle with rubber grips. It can be operated with the simple push of a button. It also has an anti-reverse gear, and the handle is right/left hand interchangeable.
Daiwa has to be included on any list of spinning reels for bass. They made some of the best reels on the market, and they’re made to last. So what makes the Tatula stand out? This is a bit of a hidden gem, for sure. It doesn’t have the sleek design of a lot of reels but what it does do is perform.
Made from a high density carbon called Zaion, this reel is tough. At the same time, it’s an incredibly light 6.2 ounces. The 7 bearings are aluminum. The overall effect is a light, smooth performance few other reels can match. The Air Rotor boasts being 15% lighter but also stronger than others.
The gear ratio is 6.2:1. You’re pulling back 36.8 inches of line per turn with that. And it’s on a spool that holds 160 yards of 8-lb mono. That’s a solid stat for any reel to boast. Drag is 22 lbs max.
The handle is comfortable and well designed. The entire reel is comfortable and conforms well to the hand when you’re fishing. You’ll notice great distance and great line lay. No matter the line or bait you’re using, expect a reliable and smooth performance.
The Tatula may not look like much, but it doesn’t have to. This is a reel designed by people who clearly know fishing. The performance is good because you barely even notice it. At the end of the day you’ll stop to realize you just spent hours fishing with not a single hang up or issue. That’s the sign of a greta reel. That’s what Daiwa did with the Tatula.
Made from magnesium and aluminum, the Pfleuger Supreme XT is one tough reel. It features 10 bearings for a super smooth feel and operation. Pfleuger is all about ensuring your fishing experience is as easy and fun as it can be. To that end they loaded this reel up with all kinds of helpful features. You’ve got your anti-reverse to allow you to backreel. The SMARTretrieve system for precision line lay. A sealed carbon drag system has been designed to last. It’ll stay well-lubricated and reliable for ages.
The reel itself is incredibly light. It clocks in at just 0.6 lbs. That’s thanks to that lightweight frame with a magnesium rotor. Even the carbon handle is feather light and super easy to manage. The gear ratio is 6.2:1 and it features a line capacity of 145 yds for 6lb and 130 for 8lb.
The spool is braid ready if monofilament isn’t your thing. The overall lightness of the reel is perfect for drop shotting and more. Be careful if you do choose braided line though. There’s a chance you’re going to get it stuck in the bail assembly. It may not happen every time but there does seem to be a tiny gap in there where braid can get snagged.
You can’t talk about spinning reels and not mention Shimano. Their Stradic Ci4 spinning reels are among the best of the best. Line up 100 bass anglers and you’ll find more than half of them using this reel. Shimano does a great job of making entry level reels as well as ones like the Ci4 here.
So what does Ci4 mean? It stands for Carbon Infusion. That’s a clever marketing way of saying they reinforced the carbon in the reel itself. The end result is a tough piece of equipment. It can handle a lot more abuse than most similar reels on the market. Shimano says it’s one and a half times stronger than similar reels made by competitors.
You’ll notice most Shimano gear is made of what they called Hagane metal. That’s less a kind of metal and more a style of metalworking. It’s a design intended to offer exceptional strength and performance. The metal itself is typically aluminum and magnesium
To get the specs out of the way, the Stradic Ci4 has 6+ 1 bearings. Max drag clocks in at 24 lbs. The gear ratio is 6.2:1. There are a couple of sizes of the Ci4 available, however. Those will slightly alter things like gear ratio and drag.
Shimano is known for innovating to offer a smooth, even performance. The Stradic Ci4 is the culmination of those efforts. They’ve included a dyna-balance rotor and fluidrive ii system. There’s also Shimano’s propulsion line management system. What does all of that mean to you an an angler? That Shimano took the time and effort to make this reel work. Casting is smooth and easy. Line management is barely an issue.
The rotor reduces tension on the line at the end of the retrieve. If you’ve never tried casting with one before, ask a friend who has one if you can. It’s really something you need to try for yourself to get a feel for. We’re pretty confident you’ll be hooked on the Shimano afterward.
At 0.65 pounds, it’s a pretty light reel. You won’t feel it dragging you down even after an afternoon of fishing.
Abu Garcia knows how to make a solid spinning reel. And they offer it at a pretty good price. This is another one of those reels that uses a lot of marketing language to try to sell you on how good it is. For instance, the Revo offers a carbon matrix hybrid drag system. Not to mention the Amgearing System for machined gears. But what does that mean to you when you’re at the lake casting for bass? It just means the gears have been very precisely machined. You’re getting smooth operation with very tough and durable parts. That’s what Abu Garcia does.
The Revo SX is arguably the best spinning reel on the market for bass. The smoothness and performance are hard to match. Especially at this price point. It’s a little steeper than some of those cheap reels out there. But it’s not a bank breaker, either.
If spinning reels have given you trouble with line management, check this out. The Rocket Line Management system keeps your line in check at all times. The machined aluminum spool is braided line ready, as well. The body is made from something called C6 carbon. That means it’s both tough but lightweight. It clocks in at just one pound, so it’s not going to cause strain too quickly at all.
There are 8+1 bearings in the reel. The gear ratio is 6.2:1. Line capacity and retrieve rate depends on the size you choose. Abu Garcia offers 4 different Revo SX reels. There’s the Revo2SX10, Revo2SX20, Revo2SX30 and Revo2SX40. The drag ranges from 10lb to 17 lbs. Retrieve can go from 30 inches to 40 inches.
Try the Abu Garcia for yourself and see if it doesn’t up your game. Until the fabled Abu Garcia Zenon is finally released, this is the great choice. The distance and accuracy are top of the line for a spinning reel. The smooth retrieve makes it well worth the money. Definitely our top choice for any serious bass angler.
Smooth, accurate casting
Great line management system
Lightweight but solid
Not as light as some others out there
Factors To Consider When Choosing a Spinning Reel for Bass Fishing
When shopping for a spinning reel for bass fishing, there are some key considerations to make. They include:
The material used to make the spinning reel plays a major part in the reel’s durability and efficiency. Mostly, bass spinning reels are made of either aluminum alloy or graphite composite.
Graphite is lighter than aluminum and has better corrosion resistance. On the other hand, aluminum has a sturdier feel, tighter fit but more prone to rusting especially with frequent saltwater use.
Some manufacturers make their spinning reels with carbon composite, which offers both aluminum alloy and graphite benefits. Others use die-cast aluminum, which offers better strength and durability than aluminum alloy.
The weight of the spinning reel is, for the most part, a factor of the material used in the reel’s construction. As mentioned above, graphite reels are generally lighter than those made of aluminum. When choosing a reel, you want to go for one that is lightweight yet strong. Heavier spinning reels will tire you down faster as they put a lot of pressure on your arms, shoulders, and back.
The maximum drag system capacity is the amount of bass weight that the reel can comfortably retrieve. The drag system works by providing counter pressure on the line once the bass has been hooked. For most bass, a 12-pound drag rating will suffice. However, you may require 15 pounds for heavier bass.
You can choose between the front and rear drag system. A rear drag system offers you better control during the fight, whereas the front drag system has a smoother retrieval. Whichever drag system you opt for should offer a smooth retrieval so that the lines do not get hung up or snap under the fighting fish’s pressure. Drag systems with multiple washers offer smoother retrieval.
The spool holds the lines and determines the casting distance and smoothness. In most reels, the spool is made of either aluminum or graphite. Aluminum is stronger and sturdier than graphite. Some manufacturers have introduced carbon spools.
The spool size should be coherent with the size of the reel. For bass boat fishing, medium reels are appropriate. If you are using a braided line, ensure that the spool you use has a braided line design.
Fluorocarbon is heavier and sinks into the water. It is ideal for use with heavier baits but not with topwater baits. Since it is difficult for the fish to see, it is suitable for use in finesse techniques.
Monofilament lines are light and best suited for use with topwater baits. They have a significant stretch, which comes in handy when hooking the fish. Braid line is comparatively the strongest and offers the best sensitivity of all three types of lines.
However, it is easy for the fish to see and get away. Seasoned anglers cover the front part of the braided line with a fluorocarbon line when using finesses techniques.
Bait fishing often involves long casts. When the fish is caught, it snags the line. A poor-quality line is likely to break as a result of the snag. Whether you use a fluorocarbon, monofilament, or braided line, ensure that the reel has a capacity for it.
Sensitivity of the Reel
Sensitivity is the reel’s ability to detect movement of the lure or bait in water either as a result of the bass biting or touching it. You want a spinning reel that is quite sensitive so that you know immediately when the fish bites the lure for you to retrieve.
The more the bearings, the smoother the operation of the reel. Stainless steel bearings offer better corrosion and rust resistance.
Gear Ratio and Line Retrieval
The most ideal gear ratio for a bass spinning reel is 6:1:1 or 6:2:1. This will help you to quickly retrieve the fish once caught. It also works well for the various fishing techniques, baits, and lures. The gear ratio should also be enough to retrieve at least 30 inches of line per crank.
Opt for a spinning reel with an anti-reverse switch. The anti-reverse feature prevents the handles from spinning backward, which keeps the hook set in place.
Which Is the Best Spinning Reel for Bass?
The best spinning reel for bass fishing has most of the following characteristics:
Can be used with a wide range of other fishing accessories such as different lures, baits, and lines.
It is sturdy and strong
Has adequate and smooth drag
Can be used for different bass fishing techniques
Light to medium weight
6:1:1 or 6:2:1 gear ratio
At least 12-15lb maximum drag
Can be used with the different types of lines
Has an anti-reverse switch
Has excellent sensitivity
Baitcasting vs Spinning Reels In Bass Fishing
Both types of fishing equipment have their place in fishing for bass. For a long time, bait casting was used by most expert anglers to catch bass. However, spinning reels have become more popular for catching and retrieving bass.
Baitcasting reels are best suited for use with heavier baits such as heavy jigs and spinnerbaits. On the other hand, spinning reels are ideal lighter lures and baits. They are also suitable for tactics such as wacky riggings and drop-shot rigs, which work well for both small and largemouth bass.
While you can use bait casters for catching bass, spinning reels are easier to operate and more versatile. At the minimum, a spinning reel for bass should have a 6:1:1 gear ratio, at least 12lb drag load, adequate line capacity, sturdiness, durability, and smooth operation.
Our pick for the best spinning reel for bass fishing is the KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel. It is powerful. The 5000 size has a maximum load capacity of 39.5lb. Its design incorporates several innovative features, including the water-resistant K.I.S.S technology, triple-disc carbon fiber drag system, strong precision mesh manganese brass pinion gears, and instant anti-reverse gear, all at an affordable price.
It has a decent gear ratio, but it could be better. Some people also find it too heavy for longer fishing escapades.
My grandfather first took me fishing when I was too young to actually hold up a rod on my own. As an avid camper, hiker, and nature enthusiast I'm always looking for a new adventure.
Established in 1998, BoatSafe is your independent guide into the world of boating, fishing, and watersports. We provide expert insights and detailed guides to help you find products tailored to your needs and budget.