Best Spinning Reels Under 100 – Guide & Reviews
Fishing is one of those outdoor activities that can stand the test of time. It will always be in vogue, so to speak. People like to go on fishing because it can be a good stress reliever. Others go on a fishing trip to bond with their family members. Still others see it as a way to master their outdoor skills and achieve personal goals.
If you’re determine to pursue fishing as a hobby, you should get the right reel to be able to enjoy your fishing trips and get the Choosing a fishing reel can be quite a task, what with the numerous models available in the market.
You don’t want to buy the wrong reel because not only would it cost you money, but it can affect your fishing pleasure and results.
How to Choose the Best Fishing Reel
There are many factors you will need to consider in choosing a fishing reel, but here are some of the most important:
There are basically four reel styles available: fixed spool, free spool, centrepin, and close faced.
Fixed spool reels are ideal for all-around fishing. Whether you are up for float fishing, trotting, or matching fishing, you can’t go wrong with this reel style.
Free spool is like a fixed spool reel, but it comes with an extra drag system. Centrepin reel style is ideal for river fishing because it can give the best control in flowing water. Closed face reels are mainly for river anglers because these are light and easy to hold all day.
The retrieve ratio gives you an idea of how many times the spool turns for a single turn of the handle. For example, a reel with a gear ratio of 5.2:1 means that the spool will turn exactly 5.2 times every time you turn the handle. On the average, general fishing reels have retrieval ratios between 4.8:1 and 5.4:1
Thus, a reel with a retrieval ratio of 5.4:1 is faster than one that has 4.8:1. While the latter is slower, you would need a reel with more cranking power to control more powerful and larger fishes.
You should buy a fishing reel with a drag system that operates smoothly. A drag system that operates smoothly translates to a fishing reel that would be easier to control.
Fixed spool reels either have drag systems placed at the front (front drag reel) or on the rear (rear drag reel). The latter is popular among pleasure anglers while those located up front are best suited for match anglers.
You should also look for a fishing reel that is lightweight, because you don’t want to be carrying a heavy load while on a fishing trip. Weight can also have an impact on other factors like comfort, durability, and ease of use. Opt for a lightweight spinning reel that is easier to handle even if you are to hold it for an extended period.
There are other factors that will come into play when you shop for a fishing reel. These include:
- Ball bearings - Simply put, the more ball bearing there are, the smoother it is to operate the spinning reel. Many veteran anglers go for ball bearings made of stainless steel because it is not only easy to control, but also more durable.
- Body - Reel body can be made of graphite, aluminum, or a combination of both materials. Aluminum is stronger but heavier. On the other hand, graphite is known for its rust-resistant quality.
- Ease of use - If you’re a beginner, you’d really want to buy a user-friendly fishing reel. It should be one that you can use in a snap without going through lengthy practice.
- Price - For most people, price is the most important consideration when buying a fishing reel. While I can’t blame you for settling for a fishing reel that won’t leave a hole in your pockets, you should still weigh in the other factors before buying the cheapest fishing reel that you can find.
Recommended Spinning Reel Reviews
If you’re still at a lost on which fishing reel to pick up, I suggest you look at these five fishing reels. I recommend them for being lightweight, easy to use, and durable, some of the things you’d want in any spinning reel:
1. Kast King Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel
This spinning reel is actually a new and improved version of KastKing’s waterproof fishing reel.
It is lighter and stronger than its predecessor, plus Kast King included a waterproofing seal system. It can repel a 3 minute plunge so you can keep on fishing.
This is a spinning reel that you would love to have if you’re a newbie. It is strong and such a quality item you can see it the moment you take it out of the box.
It also helps that you should have no problems mounting it on the pole and string. Plus its carbon fiber drag system gives it enough strength to land the lurkers.
Best of all, it has a very affordable price. This KastKing fishing reel is one of the best investments any angler can make.
Feature At a Glance
- KastKing is spectacular spinning reel
- Sharky II spinning reel has a CNC machined aluminum spool
- Although a Sharky II spinning reel has more carbon fiber drag power
- 10 + 1 high quality shielded stainless steel ball bearings
2. Piscifun Steel Feeling Spinning Fishing Reel
When it comes to durability, you can count on this fishing reel to last long thanks to its aluminum alloy cover. Its handle is made of stainless steel, designed to make power transmission a lot more efficient.
You won’t need to worry about the fishing reel getting damaged when you try to pull out a tough fish out of the water as this one has an oscillation gear made of alloy.
Plus there’s a solid brass gear for maximum winding power, and double bearing pinion gear that prevents torsional twisting and shaft misalignment.
While it is slightly more expensive than the KastKing spinning reel, the Piscifun Steel feeling spinning fishing reel is worth every penny.
Feature At a Glance
- Carbon Round Drag System provides smooth
- Precision-cut Solid Brass Pinion Gear
- Hardened 415-C Alloy Drive
- Aluminum Alloy Cover and Stainless Steel Bone
3. Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel
Around the same price range of the Piscifun fishing reel is this one from Zebco. It features a 3X positive pickup system for superior tracking and reeling in of fish.
It is made with aircraft-grade aluminum covers, with interchangeable handles for both left and right retrieve.
One thing you will love about this fishing reel is its ease of use. After placing on your fishing rod, simply grab it and tie to your favorite lure. You can start fishing without causing backlash or having to worry about perfect fishing techniques.
It has a gear ratio of 3:4:1, meaning it is best for retrieving heavier fish. Its spincast is built with quality grade aluminum, too. You’ll have no problems using lures from spinner baits, water frogs, and crank baits with this one.
Feature At a Glance
- Zebco's most advanced spincast reel
- First ever seven-bearing spincast reel
- 3X positive pickup system
- Ceramic line guide, all-metal gears
4. Okuma Trio High Speed Spinning Reel
Similar to the KastKing fishing reel, this spinning reel from Okuma is an upgraded version of an earlier model.
For starters, Okuma introduced an increased in the gear ration from 5:1 to 6.2:1 meaning this fishing reel is faster and more efficient when it comes to retrieval.
Moreover, it is made of a combination of aluminum and graphite. The result is a fishing reel that is not only strong but easy to control.
Another key feature of this spinning real is its Dual Force Drag System. Its body has several disc of drag washers, providing both top and bottom spool tension. This makes it easier for the reel to dissipate heat more quickly.
This also features stainless steel bearings for quicker retrieval of the fish. It also has an anti-reverse roller bearing to prevent the handle from spinning backwards.
Feature At a Glance
- Hybrid spool design with graphite arbor and aluminum lip
- Crossover aluminum and graphite hybrid body and rotor design
- Precision Dual Force Drag System (DFD)
- Incorporates both surfaces of the spool
5. Piscifun Tuned Magnetic Brake System Fishing Reel
Do not be fooled by the really low price of this reel, as it has an impressive array of features that will make its price look like a bonus.
For starters, it is made of superior quality nylon combined with aluminum. It doesn’t rust easily, thus you can use it for many years.
It features a high 13+1 bearing count that should keep your spool turning smoothly even after a day or two of use. Aside from its high gear ratio (6.3:1) you will realize why this reel will make your angling experience fun and easy.
It has a sleek, yellow and black design that makes it stand out among other fishing reels. And it is very lightweight, coming in at only seven ounces. You will also find its handles ergonomically designed, an ideal feature if you plan to fish all weekend long.
Feature At a Glance
- Low profile design with low noise gear structure
- Max. Braking Force: Approx. 4kg/8.8lb
- High Strength Nylon Glass Fiber Body and Brass Gear
- Computer Numerical Control Machined Aluminum Spool
With the numerous fishing reels available in the market, you will really be overwhelmed with all your choices. To make shopping easier, you should list down the factors that are most important to you. Is it the weight of the fishing reel? Is it the gear ratio, or the ease of use?
Once you have identified the traits that are most critical to you, then you can start shopping for a fishing reel that has the qualities you are looking for.
But you can start by looking at the five fishing reels I mentioned in this article, as they are great for both neophyte and veteran anglers alike.